Last week, Hurricane Irma left a huge and devastating impact on several Caribbean Islands, and Saint Martin was one of them. There were reports that about 90 % of the island has been devastated in the wake of the hurricane. The photos painted a gruesome picture of the havoc. The JJ family had a chance to visit that lovely island in the spring of 2013. Reading about the aftermath of Irma made me want to go back and revisit the pictures from our trip, when we saw a serene island, made beautiful by the vivid colors of the vegetation. As with any country, there were rich neighborhoods and poorer ones. The Dutch southern island and the northern French somehow worked with one another to make the island a living, breathing soul. We stayed at the (then) Radisson Blu Resort Marina and Spa, St. Martin, which was a nice location framed by a crescent cove and surrounded by hills on one side. The Resort boasted a marina and a small beach. The rooms were airy and large and styled in a typical tropical decor. Our stay, though short, was memorable. St. Martin is famous for Maho Beach which formed the boundary of the runway strip at the Princess Juliana airport. Visitors hung out at the beach to catch a glimpse of the large planes flying in just overhead for the final landing. It was a very cool sight, indeed.

I wish to share some of the best memories from that trip.

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Loved the play of colors all around the island. Bougainvillea in the foreground strike a rich contrast with the resort lobby in the back
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Marina at the resort. The hillside of the Anse Marcel nature reserve border the resort 
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We learned to play Petanque, the famous French ball game, at the resort
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This iguana enjoyed splashing in the pool with us
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Spot me if you can! Sonny JJ enjoyed finding the iguanas and skinks
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Scenic St. Martin, it was a perfect day for an island tour
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Sea Urchin, we looked at and held various sea life forms at this beach
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Great Bay, Philipsburg where the cruise ships dock
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Great Bay, Philipsburg – the cab driver took us to an overlook high up for this view
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Colorful and so serene!
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Philipsburg, Sint Maarten
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Philipsburg, Sint Maarten
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Philipsburg, Sint Maarten
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Sunset Beach bar, Maho beach, the surf board has the timings of the flight arrivals
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Plane landing at Princess Juliana Airport, St. Martin
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Plane over Maho beach, what a cool experience it was to watch this!
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View from the French side of the Island
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View from the French side of the island

Its my fondest hope that with time and effort, St. Martin will return to its prior splendor.