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30 November 2011

Landgrens Take on St Maarten

My Parents were here last week! We has such a great visit with them, and a bit of vacation ourselves. I know you're thinking we're on vacation all the time, but it was nice to take a break from school and work and get to relax and play tourist for a bit. On Sunday, after touring the school and beach, we made a fresh fish (bought at the fresh market the day before) dinner and had our friends over as well. Monday we headed to Karakters, at Simpson Bay Beach. We enjoyed a nice lunch, then spent the afternoon in the water and watching the planes just beside us past the sand (not the Maho beach they fly right over). We also saw the first of many rainbows that week.

From Simpson Bay Beach
Tuesday we had a relaxing morning while Owen was in class, then headed to Baie Rouge in hopes of snorkeling. Unfortunately snorkeling was a bust all week, the waves were rough and stirring up too much sand, but we still enjoyed playing in the water. We also went out to dinner with Soc to Patagonia, best restaurant experience on the island! Wednesday we headed out for a fun filled day. We stopped by Sarafina's bakery in Marigot, saw all the markets, including the fish. Then we headed up to the top of the island, Pic Paradis, to get a good view of the island and surrounding islands. We drove most of the way up then hiked the last little bit, had to get a little adventure in there, Grove style :) After our view from the top, we headed to Orient Beach for some wave runners! We took 2 wave runners out for a bit, the water was pretty choppy and we all managed to get some serious air a few times. I think all parties had fun :) Then we relaxed on the beach for the rest of the afternoon and the guys played with boogie boards for a while. After the beach was Jimmy Buffett Rib Night at our local restaurant with some friends, overall a pretty fun day.

Thursday we went on the radio with Soc in the morning then went into Philipsburg for the afternoon, the Allure of the Seas was in port and my parents hadn't seen the new huge cruise ships yet. Unfortunately we couldn't get very close, but it was still neat to see from the boardwalk. We did a little walking around and a little shopping, this was one of the only parts of the island they had seen before, so we didn't spend too much time there. That evening we had a nice dinner on the lagoon at Skip Jacks followed by a last trip to Carousel, which my parents totally loved. Friday we spent the morning at Mullet Beach before packing up and heading to the airport. We had lunch and said our "see you soons" and just like that the week was over. Or so we all thought :) My parents incoming plane had a medical emergency on the way to St Maarten and the plane was grounded because they did not have back up medical supplies for the outgoing flight. So 5pm Friday, Owen is playing volleyball, I'm catching up on homework, and there's a knock at the door. My parents flight had been postponed until Saturday afternoon! So we headed to the hotel the airline put them up at, had dinner and hung out for a bit. The next day we had brunch, dropped their bags back off at the airport, and hung out back at our apartment for a bit. This time their flight, which ended up getting delayed a couple hours, was able to take off.
Top of Pic Paradis

So that's the rundown of the Landgren's visit to our little island. Everyone had a really great week and it was a lot of fun to show them the island from our point of view. Thanks for coming to visit!! Here are a few pictures from their visit, the last one is from a wedding at the Summit on Saturday, thought they'd like to see it. I'll post some more on our Picasa site next time I'm at the school, with fast internet. Enjoy!


Borrowed from a friend

08 November 2011

Halloween & Recent Happenings

The day to day here isn't very exciting, which sometimes causes the posts to be less frequent. However we have had some fun lately and even have some pictures to show it! We continue to be on the radio Friday mornings, which has been a lot of fun. We love making connections with people other than students on the island. We'll post a link to listen live, though with the time change it would be really early for you now (6-630am). 
We participated in the annual Community Action Day a few weeks ago. We did yard work at a school for children with mental disabilities. We spent the morning weed-wacking and picking up rocks and garbage, all to provide an area for the children to play during recess. The next morning I did a race (no pictures, camera was being repaired). Owen didn't run this one since his knee is still bothering him. It wasn't my best race but it was still fun. We have another race this Friday 11/11 for St Maarten Day, a relay around the island, I'll try to get a picture or two from that but no promises. 

We have gotten a few more dives in finally! We dove 3 times while our friend's parents were here a couple weeks ago. We finally went to some new spots, including a wreck which was awesome. The best of the 6 dives was to the old bridge that was sunk offshore when the new one replaced it (got to love how they dispose of things here, just sink it!). There were also a few small yachts around the bridge, purposely sunk there to make it more interesting. A friend on the dive had an underwater camera, the pictures below are from her. We saw a ton of fish, several large barracudas, sting rays, and a turtle. I think I may have seen a baby Black Tip Reef Shark as well, but couldn't get anyone's attention to point it out and by the time I looked back it was gone. We looked up pictures online after and I'm pretty sure it was one.

And finally Halloween. This year we actually celebrated Halloween! I found a large pumpkin and got to carve it! We even roasted the seeds and all. We had a Spouses Org Halloween party with lots of fun decorations and foods. Then we went to a party at a local bar. It was nice to at least get out and enjoy some Halloween festivities. So there are some updates of the last month around here. Owen is doing much better in his classes this semester. I am 3 weeks into my Masters and it is going pretty well. So we're just working and finding time for fun where we can. Hope everyone is doing well, we've been thinking about everyone in Connecticut this last week with all the power outages. Hope everyone is back up by now. We miss you all and love hearing from you, so don't be shy!

At the the Island92 station
Community Action Day

Add caption
it's hard to smile underwater!
Huge Ray

Found pumpkins!

Fall treats
It lit up, moved, and made noises; pretty cool!

Spouses Org Halloween Party