Year after year at camp, I heard Denis rave about Sint Maarten.
“I know you love airplanes, so you absolutely MUST convince your dad to take you there someday!” he told me every year. “Heck, Barbara has never been, so maybe we will join you!”
Well, when one brings up potential travel plans and pairs it with Denis, Barbara and Erica, ideas don’t stay ideas for long.
After three years of hearing about Maho Bay, I finally found myself on an airplane with Denis and Barbara making the journey to Sint Maarten in early January. We managed to fly standby together (!!!) and we even floated right through Miami with no problems whatsoever. Talk about lucky.
I know you non-revenue passengers have my back when I say Miami (and Atlanta) is standby HELL.
Turns out, it didn’t take much to convince my dad to join us. He was actually scheduled to fly to Sint Maarten the following day. We figured it was perfect timing and this way, we could jump on his flight back home!
Since I was on college-girl & RA budget, Denis and Barbara were extremely kind and offered to let me crash in their suite at the hotel. It definitely wasn’t a bad deal, as this was the view from our balcony.
With just a short couple of days on the island, we started exploring immediately.
Our ultimate mission was to get to Maho Bay where the famous airplanes land, but we took the long route to get a feel for the island.
Finally, the moment we had all been waiting for… Maho Bay!
When I say the airplanes land right over your head, I really mean that.
Below is the Big Kahuna. This is one of the biggest planes to land over the beach–Air France’s Air Bus A340 that arrives directly from Paris.
Obviously, this isn’t the ideal beach to go to for relaxing, but I had no problem hanging out there all weekend. We stationed ourselves at Sunset Bar and Grill, sipped on fruity drinks and watched the planes land and take off all. day. long.
The bar updates the arrival times for all the big airlines on a surfboard. They also have a loud speaker that broadcasts the radio transmissions between the pilots and the airport’s control tower.
Watching the planes land was pretty impressive, but watching them takeoff was a show in itself.
I can’t imagine how much longer people will be allowed to test their fate on Maho Bay, but nevertheless, I loved watching this show unfold with every take off.
You can’t say they didn’t warn you!
Some thrill seekers willing to receive a face full of sand and jet blast, go right up to the fence, hold on tight and fight to stay grounded.
The jet blast blows sand everywhere and sends the waves back into the ocean. It’s really intense and quite uncomfortable to be in the midst of. I personally opted to avoid the fence and beach and sought shelter at the bar.
We watched the sunset and waited and waited for my dad’s arrival time to appear on Sunset’s surfboard.
Although it was nighttime, watching my dad land his plane right over my head was one of the coolest experiences I have had thus far!
With just a little time left to watch planes land with my dad the following day, our time in Sint Maarten ended all too soon with one of the worst sunburns I’ve ever experienced. My snowy January skin was not prepared for so much sunshine.
Denis and Barbara were my perfect travel companions and helped me check this trendy destination off my “traveling list of buckets…” Where are we going next, you guys?!