Came across some old photos of our first trip to St. Marten in 1977, and thought a few things that I can remember about it might be amusing for old-timers. We had been to several other Caribbean islands before we decided to try St. Martin. It was May or June, and we flew direct (probably on American) from JFK. At that time, there were car rental booths at the airport terminal at which you could take care of paperwork, but you could not pick up the car there, neither could the rental companies transport you; you had to take a taxi. We rented from Risdon Car Rental, which had a location at the Caravanserai Hotel which is where we stayed, so that was not too bad. The Caravanserai was, at that time, a low rise, well rated hotel that had good rates off-season, at least for basic rooms.
The restaurant was excellent, with a weekly buffet that attracted a lot of people, and we ate most of our dinners there. I don’t remember where else we ate; one dinner may have been at a Mullet Bay restaurant, and perhaps one at the West Indian Tavern, but I get mixed up by later vacations.
On our first full day we drove into Phillipsburg. These were the days when you could drive down Front Street and park on it with little difficulty.
In those days my wife liked to window-shop (and to an extent, jewelry shop) so we went there several times. Front Street was hot, a bit run-down, and what one expected of a Caribbean town. Sam’s became a favorite lunch spot, where we could sit on the balcony and watch the cruise ship passengers lug their liquor purchases back to the ship. There were fewer ships and they were much smaller in those days.
We also went to Marigot, but I don’t remember what we did there.
Of course, we drove around quite a bit.
The “main” road was not paved in all places on the French side.
We visited a number beaches, but Mullet is the only one I remember spending much time on, plus walking Long Bay.
Maho was not the best at that time. Experiencing the jet blast was not as popular as it has become. Tried to go to Friars, but must have taken the wrong turn.
Then, of course, was the view next to the airport.
This was the first of a large number of later visits – we were hooked.