Summer Vacation 2011 – A Slight Deviation in Summer Plans

We were all ready to lay a bit low this summer. I mean, we did a nice trip to Belize and the Mayan Ruins in Tikal, Guatemala, for Spring break in April. And last summer was spent in its entirety in Norway. Time to enjoy our home and summer season locally…or so I thought.

This summer would be a great opportunity to show our girls parts of California they hadn’t yet seen. We’d call it the greater California roadtrip. The highlights would include stops at Disneyland and Legoland (they are only 7 years old, after all), a tour and mini photo safari of Bodie (a ghost town), and among other stops, renting a houseboat on Lake Shasta for a few days. Sound fun? We thought so…until we realized how much it would cost to rent a houseboat on Lake Shasta for a few days (and a boat or something to enjoy the lake).

As my husband looked at houseboat after houseboat, it occurred to him that renting a villa on the island of St. Martin wasn’t that much of a difference. This inspired him to take a harder look at the overall costs of what we were planning for our California roadtrip and a trip to St. Martin. We’d been to this island before and had chatted about bringing our girls along at some point. It seemed to be a family-friendly island.  The difference was really the airfare…and if we could spring for that, everything else washed out. Hmmmmmmmm….

This led to Truls’ final line of thought. Driving around California from 2 to as many as 6 hours, with its almost-daily stops packing and repacking bags, just didn’t seem like much of a vacation, particularly since he would be doing most of the driving. Relaxing in a villa on an island, enjoying fine French cuisine, discovering deserted beaches here and there, playing in the swimming pool – now that seemed like a real break.

Five days before we were supposed to leave for the first part of our trip, a wedding in San Diego, Truls thought he’d take a quick look at available villas in St. Martin and what airfares might cost. All things being equal (except for airfare), what would we rather do? And that, as you can imagine, was not a difficult question to answer.

So, here we are. Two days into our trip and it has been as relaxing and beautiful as we anticipated. St. Martin is that way. We’ve been here three times already – as our Mommy & Pappa getaway while our kids vacationed with the grandparents. This time, we’re here as a family and it’s every bit as fun as before…in a family sort of way.

Oh and don’t get me wrong…we’d still love to rent a houseboat on a lake someday. We just think it would be much funner (and less expensive) if we did it with family friends. In this case, the more the merrier, I always say.

The view from our villa over the ocean…

Villa Magnolia in Terres Bases, St. Martin (French side)

Driving around through Sandy Ground…watching the bridge go up….

A little grocery shopping to stock the villa’s kitchen…love this market with everything in French….

Dinner at Le Chanticleer in Marina Port Royale…didn’t let the girls order chicken nuggets but the hostess helped put a nice meal together of boeff & green veggies for Storyteller and Songwriter was perfectly happy with tagliatelle and a white cheese sauce. Eating a kids meal of chicken nuggets just didn’t seem right in this fine dining restaurant….

An original post to It’s Never Easy But It’s Always Fun blog.

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