ST. MARTIN — Day 1

Over the past few years, I’ve gone on several trips with my mom (Naomi) and half-sister (Martha). In 2011 we went to Barbados. In 2012 we went to Japan. In 2013 our destination was Hawaii. Last year we checked out Saint Lucia. And now we’re in St. Martin. Good timing, too. Look how cold it was in New York City:



During the four-hour flight, we witnessed some bizarre behavior. There was a 70-ish-year-old woman “seated” two rows in front of me, who must’ve gotten out of her seat 30 times and walked up and down the aisle. At first she appeared to be lost and confused, and indeed, on several occasions she needed help finding her seat. Sometimes she started talking/interacting with whatever random person she happened to be standing closest to. The worst of it was when she calmly bent down toward a man who was watching a movie — a total stranger — and pulled his glasses right off his face! As you might expect, he was shocked, as was everyone else who witnessed it. She wasn’t malicious. It was probably just a case of Alzheimer’s or dementia, so mainly it was just sad. And her lips were cartoonishly puffy from a collagen injection.

Anyway, enough about that. After having worn two pairs of long underwear nearly every day for the past two weeks, it was SO NICE to look out the window at the end of the flight and see this:


Of course, being outside was even better:


There was a fourth person on our trip: Martha’s girlfriend, Amy — pictured below, driving to the condo we’d rented for the week:


On the way, we passed funky little buildings like this . . .


. . . and enjoyed some scenery like this:


Here’s my mom in the condo:


The set-up is pretty cool. We have the top two floors of a three-story building, and the elevator opens up right into our living room. Meanwhile, the view on the back terrace is spectacular:


It wasn’t long before we headed back out to do a couple of mundane tasks, one of which was grocery shopping:


We also found an electronics store and bought some European plug adapters for our laptops; we’re staying on the French side of the island (in a town called Grand Case).

Have you ever seen a 3D printer? I hadn’t until Martha pointed one out in the store:


Look at the Yoda bust that it had produced:


I don’t see the purpose of that technology in my life, but I’m damn impressed.

At around 7pm, we took a little stroll . . .


. . . and picked a random restaurant for dinner.

Now, it seems that whenever I visit someplace special and *don’t* post food pics, several people complain. Thus, I’m delighted to inform you that I started with lobster ravioli with coconut milk sauce, curry, and citronella:


For my main course, I had roasted Chilean sea bass, cabbage fondue with bacon and chorizo, and butter sauce:


(Yes, it was good.)

Here are the four of us:


For those who don’t know, Martha is wearing the gray shirt, and Amy is dressed in pink.

We all shared two desserts:


On the left is a chocolate cake with nutella ice cream. On the right is a banana tart, vanilla ice cream, chocolate and caramel sauce, and malted milk balls. Phew!

For weeks leading up to this trip, I’ve been eating carefully and exercising more . . . and on the very first night, before any of us had even gone to the beach, it all fell apart.

Oh well.
I’m on vacation.
I can do whatever the hell I want.


  1. raytheaustralian

    Bien dit Zack. Je sius d`accord. Le temps de vacances est cochon temps. Impatient de quelques bons vieux portions de style americains quand nous arrivons. Puis le dos a al salle de gym [ ou non ]. Vous etes chanceux d`etre si pres de la Caraibes. Je adore leur nourriture. Bon appetit !!

  2. jvfuentes

    Love Chilean Sea Bass! I’ve had it directly off the boat at my uncle’s house in Valparaiso, so many years ago :( But it is my favorite pescado. Very interested in the cabbage fondue!

  3. Zack Hample

    Vous êtes très drôle! Et je espère que vous êtes heureux de savoir que je aurai beaucoup plus de photos de la nourriture sur ce voyage.

    Sounds amazing. The “fondue” didn’t actually have any cheese in it (which, believe me, was disappointing, but hey, that’s what it said on the menu). It was just sauteed cabbage . . . with bacon and sausage.

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