On my 2nd attempt the next day, I finally made my flight. I drove to the airport, and it took only an hour, even with the shuttle from the parking lot to the terminal, compared to 3 hours travel on MTA from northern Manhattan to JFK. I sent a message to my hosts, Henry & Ines, that this time I’d made my plane. Unfortunately, the day before they hadn’t gotten my messages, which were sent through Flip Key, and waited for me at the airport. This time I’d gotten both a phone # to reach Henry & directions on how to find the condo on Orient Beach. I’d also told them which car rental place I was using.
Henry had said he found out he couldn’t wait at the airport. It turned out he brought Ines with him and she was waiting with their hummingbird logo, but I missed seeing her. They caught up with me at the Dollar Car Rental. Although I had a map, it was reassuring to follow their car north to Marigot and east past Grand Case to Orient Beach. There are roundabouts on the highways where you have to yield to traffic already in the circle. Henry & Ines led me to Mt. Vernon. We parked the car and the walked me to their condo.
Henry and Ines are from Germany, near the Baltic Sea, but have settled here in St. Martin. He is an artisan, and remodeled the condo. It is a studio – he added living space by making the balcony into a kitchen, with sliding glass doors that can be opened. The bathroom features a vessel sink, and gorgeous shower, with rock work on the walls and pebbled floor – supposed to be the best thing for your feet. The fridge in the kitchen area is small, but there’s also a freezer in the utility closet. The bathroom has a small washing machine. There’s a small wall AC unit – which I’ve used to stay comfortable. It’s not only warm, but humid! My smart phone tells me it’s 81F here, but freezing back home in Central New York!
Henry & Ines have compiled a guidebook – giving the wifi password, hints about where to shop & eat. They also gave me a mobile phone pre-programmed with their phone #s, ambulance, police and security. As a senior woman traveling solo, I couldn’t feel more supported. Henry phoned me after a day to make sure everything was alright. They live in Grand Case, and encouraged me to go out on Tuesday evening – there is small Mardi Gras type festival Tuesday in February, with a parade, street vendors hawking wares. They warned me to get there before 6:00 PM if I was to find parking.
I couldn’t have done better with housing and hosts than this updated studio with a gorgeous pool and where I can walk to the beach.