The Life Changing Caribbean Adventure, Days 7-9
July 29, 2021

Days 7-9

Sunday Morning we woke up early and decided to head into the French capital of Marigot to find some breakfast. Kristy warned that it was highly likely that many of the places were going to be closed due to how religious the islands are. Man it was crazy. Places that were normally all hustle and bustle were ghost towns. We drove through Grand Case on the way and didn't see a single restaurant open. Not a one. I'm going to open up some restaurant that will cater to all tourists and people who don't want to cook but still would like breakfast before or after church. I will be so successful by being open on Sunday mornings that I will take the rest of the week off.

So, we finally find a pair of restaurants ish that are open with patio seating right near the water. Nice. We sit, both a little steamed cause we're so hungry and it was such a goose chase to find somewhere open, and are approached by a server. She orders a Sprite, I'll take a coffee, and Kristy asks for a pair of menus. About seven minutes later she returns with the drinks, Kristy asks for a menu again, and she walks away again. She comes back after a few steps and says, "Oh, well, all we're serving right now is hamburgers and hot dogs."

We both come close to blowing gaskets, but decide, whatevs, Island Time, mon. I'll sit and enjoy a coffee. Now, I can drink most anything that is coffee, juice, or alcohol related. And I usually like it too. However this coffee was bitter and burnt and horrible and I was just waiting for Danny and Lizzy to pop out of some tiki hut with a camera and a "cptv" microphone yelling, "You've been punked! Hahahaha!"

[x] French = Assholes
[x] Locals = Assholes
[ ] St. Maarten = "The Friendly Island"

We go a couple other places, ask if they're serving breakfast (it's like 9:30 am right now), all say no, and we finally get somebody to give us directions to a French bakery.

This place was the nuts. We ordered a schmorgasbord of items, the best croissants I've ever had, etc. I order a coffee: gets a cup, pushes a button on a super duper espresso maker 2000 that grinds beans fresh and then brews me exactly one cup - of the most delicious coffee ever. I order an orange juice, she asks, "Fresh or bottle?" I choose fresh, she takes two oranges out of a basket, puts them into the top of another machine, and out of the bottom comes one cup of orange juice. It was wonderful and the day was wonderful again once more.

We then figured out our way up to Fort St. Louis (thats 'Lou-ee', you American bastard) overlooking the French capital of Marigot and providing excellent views of the rest of the island and Angulla to the North. I have always wanted to check out a place like this, and I wasn't disappointed at all. It was basically abandoned. I was really surprised that we weren't charged five euros a piece or something to walk around. There were two informational signs and a fence around most of the area, but the cannons still lay in their original placements. The only thing that disappointed me was the quantity of litter, but that has been pretty common throughout the island.

The story was quite Fascinating to me. The whole Dutch/French on the Island is a bit important, but basically every few years or so in the late 1700's the British would come by and screw with the French in Marigot. The locals got sick of it, the local knight raised some money, and the town came together completing the fort in 1788 I believe.

Now, the only record of a battle that was posted at the fort was in 1808. The British were attacking once again, a couple hundred men from a few ships, and they were attacking the fort. According to the sign, the Brits were after their coffee. The French basically whipped the Brit's ass, killing, wounding and capturing a big number of men with only suffering one wounded man who recovered after six days. The story is then finished saying that the entire fight went without cannon being fired using purely muskets, and "not a bean was stolen."

Kristy and I giggle, I'm making fun of something like, "That's the best battle story they could come up with?" She then offers up this beauty in her best (which is good) French accent, "F&%$ you, you British bastards! You will never take our fabulous espresso!"

After that we went home and decided to continue this mission for good food and found "Fiesta Mexicana" in the phone book (which is pretty difficult to read when you don't read French), and since we had both woken up that morning craving tacos, we figured it was worth a shot. We were instantly rewarded with possibly the best margarita I had ever had, ordered the Beef Fajitas for two, and were not disappointed. Not nearly as good as my homies in LA or at El Torito, but considering the crap we've been fed all week it was like heaven. We then wandered to the beach and decided to rent a Sea Doo for a couple hours and do some exploring. We go to one island on our way to the other one about three miles out to sea. Just as we're about to get there, perhaps 20 minutes into our journey, the "Low Fuel" Beep comes on, and continues to go "BEEP.. BEEP.. BEEP.. BEEP.. BEEP.. BEEP.. BEEP.. BEEP..," all the way back to shore. I'm like, wtf, why do you rent me a boat for 2 hours with only 20 minutes worth of gas? He offers another one but by this point we're so tilted that we're over it, ask for our money back, obviously get refused, and accept the offer of time tomorrow.

We go back to the Villa/Pool, order Domino's pizza, and have a great evening together swimming, drinking, and playing backgammon.

We were pretty much over the island by this point. The nice people were so few and far between, like the good meals, that we wouldn't have minded going home on Monday. We had to take some jewelry back to Philipsburg because the workmanship on Kristy's bracelets sucked. So we have to run this errand and end up following a small dump truck across a decent portion of the island. In this dump truck is a family, Mom, Dad, three young boys, 8-13ish. At first I think they're waving to us, so I wave back. Then it turns out that they're simply just making fun of us. The kids fire empty bottles into the bushes as they finish their cokes. The parent's do nothing. I lost my hope for this island ever being a successful or happy place at that moment. It was really really sad. Poker News

We make it to town, find a good parking spot, walk easily to the shop, and they're happy to fix them. Nice. Food? We look across the street, see a Chinese place, and we're the only people there. Good news for us, because within ten minutes we have bomb Pineapple Chicken and Fried Rice in front of us. It was really really good and plenty cheap. Down to the casino, see if they have a game (nope, and sad... they have a table which is as close to being on the sand as possible. I would have loved to play there), but on the way we meet this awesome merchant who sells us bananas from Jamaica. They were delicious. We go to an outside bar, have a shot of rum and a beer, and go back to the jewelry store. Watch this:

Guy is talking to Kristy, Los Angeles comes up. He says, [this guy in his shop] goes to USC. She says, that's where I went, he calls out the kid, we shake hands. He just finished his freshman year, we talk about some of the buildings and places to live, etc, and it turns out that he is the only kid to go to USC from St. Maarten ever. Well done. He asks what do I do, I tell him truthfully (probably only because he was a USC student... I usually don't tell people), and he's interested, but his (dad, brother, not sure) is really interested in online poker and is across the other counter. He gets all excited, asks about Vegas, I live in Vegas, he says he's going there on the 4th. I laugh, say I'm throwing a party for my WPT premiere and invite him (Speaking of that, I'm throwing a party at my brother's bar, Half Shell on Eastern Ave, upstairs Monday the 4th whenever time the program starts). We chat some more, and then he ends up inviting Kristy and I to the wedding that he's going to Vegas for. Turns out Indian weddings are super cultural and special events, lasting three days, and it's super unusual for them to be in Las Vegas. The couple just loves Vegas though so they decided to do it there, and it happens to be next week, and we're invited.

Wow, I was honored. I felt like this was pretty unusual, gringos being invited to a traditional Indian wedding, and from what I've heard since apparently it is a huge honor. We left Philipsburg with a renewed sense of good people on this island and were pretty stoked on the way back to the French side.

The rest of the evening was wonderful. The daughter of the Indian family at the jewelry store recommended this restaurant to us on the south side of the beach near the naturists, and we decided to check it out. On the way we walked past a sushi joint, and looking down the beach it didn't look like our place was open. Kristy said, hold on, lemme throw this away, which gave us another 75 feet down the beach closer to our original destination. I realize that there's people sitting on the patio, and it's about a half dozen white people looking at us curiously as we approach.

"Y'all serving food?" Shit. Blown my cover already.

"Nooo, but wee arr haveing a dreink, com join us!"

Six frogs inviting a dude and his chick who are so obviously American to join them in their private gathering for a drink? Could be an ambush.


They pour us island-made guavaberry rum into a plastic shot cup, and we drink.

About 45 minutes later Kristy and I are looking at each other silly style cause we're both pulling another sheet up the spinnaker and it's about to catch the wind. Turns out that all the kids there, about my age, were raised in various areas of Southern France, came here one way or another, and were spending this afternoon sitting on this deck watching the sun set. One of them was a waiter at the restaurant and was also hired as the nighttime security guard. He was getting paid to take in the sun with his shirt off on a world class beach, meet some Americans, drink with his friends, and smoke a cigarette. Nice. They were awesome, we had an awesome time, and our faith in the French people was restored also.

We walked back to the village, had dinner at an Italian joint (delicious once again), came home, soaked in the pool, and called it an early night.

Today is day 9, and it's been a pretty lazy one thus far. I left the villa to go to the market and get breakfast, we watched a couple halves of movies we hadn't finished, and I wrote this mammoth blog. We head back tomorrow, and I'm ready to be back in the United States.

Peace and good luck,


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