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Saturday, May 20, 2017

The "Our Island Escape" Story

It was an ordinary day.  Trying to figure out where I should start my story, since there are so many ways to begin how we search for our yearly island escape.  Since the early 2000s Carol and I have been traveling to the dual island of Sint Maarten/St. Martin.  One half of this Caribbean island is Dutch while the other half is French.  I have told the story before about how it was determined where the border would be located, so that's not going to be retold once more.  Years ago we chose to stay on the French side of the island for our vacation, or holiday as it's known in France, since the French side is less developed, less traveled, more quiet as well as being known for some of the best food in the Caribbean.  Now, as far as how we chose a place to stay.  At first we stayed a week in a resort along the shoreline of the World Famous Orient Beach.  After a few years at the resort with prices increasing, we found a real estate agent who helped us find a private home, or villa as they are known in France.  
Magali as seen on her Facebook page.
Our agent was Magali and she showed us what was available near Orient Beach in our price range and we would make a choice.  Found the cost to be about half that of the resort so we changed our vacation/ 
holiday to ten days.  Magali always made sure our stay was enjoyable and stress-free having someone on hand in case we had any problems with something at the villa.  Eventually we increased our budget and added a few days to our stay which made it two weeks.  For a few years Magali helped keep our stay intact at two weeks and then found us a place that we could afford and increase the stay to three weeks.  But, Magali left the real estate business for a year or so and we had to deal with another realtor.  We continued to get excellent help, but missed Magali's welcome smile when we arrived on the island and her "Welcome Home" hug and kiss.  Last year we visited with her during our visit and found she was starting her own business.  This year we are staying in a different villa with a lower price tag and a minute walk to the beach.  She suggested Villa Matisse 2 which is a 3 bedroom villa on Orient Bay Beach in a gated community.  We found the villa to suit all our needs and the location is perfect.  One of my wife's major concerns is that the villa have U.S. cable TV channels so she can watch "Dancing With The Stars."  Our only concerns were: Since the owners are French, most of the books on the bookshelf were in French and the huge painting on the wall in the living/family room was a winter scene.  Couldn't have found a nicer place for our vacation needs at a reasonable price.  If you care to check out Magali's "Island Escape" offerings, visit www.Islandescapesxm.com.  I'm sure she can find something for you and you'll enjoy the attention she gives to you.  The following are some photos I took of our vacation villa this year.  It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy.

The kitchen was spacious and well equipped. 
The large living/family room with leather recliners and sofa.
Rear yard with palm trees.
Master bathroom.  The spacious shower was to the right. 
Master bedroom.
My wife loved the curved tile staircase. 
Master bedroom porch with hammock.
And ... the watchcat that protected the backyard from other varmints.

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