I just realized after all the great advice everyone gave me before my trip, I forgot to let everyone know what a great time we had.

We flew out of Chicago on the nonstop united flight july 6-13. It was the easiest flight and baggage and customs etc we have ever encountered. We could have just been lucky, but we were glad we ended up driving the 5 hours to Chicago from our home in southern Illinois. We did a park sleep fly package at the Crowne Plaza O'Hare.

We rented a condo in simpson bay at the La Siesta Residences on simpson bay road. The condo was huge and had a wonderful balcony and decorated very nicely. We enjoyed the pool shared by the 13 units of the condos. We met a lot of very nice folks around the pool, most who had been coming there year after year. We really enjoyed the location in simpson bay, as we could drive all over the island to different beaches by light of day, but at night we could just drive to the main road in about 3 minutes for dinner and be close to home afterwards.

We had some of the best food we have ever had the pleasure of eating. Some of our favorites were skipjacks, lee's roadside grill, Bon Appetite, Izi, Yacht club, Karakters, barefoot in phillipsburg, and on orient beach Aloha, and Palm Beach. We also enjoyed the band "Church on Monday" at Red Piano.

We absolutely loved orient beach and went there 3 times. We were amazed of all the places to eat and get drinks and rent chairs on one beach. We also loved Mullet and Rosie's Ribs. We had a blast literally at Maho watching planes - that is a must do! Oh, and I can't forget zipping at Loterie Farm- what a gorgeous place. The food and cocktails and atmosphere at the tree lounge was amazing. Our teenagers also enjoyed the make your own perfume at Tijon Boutique.

Can you believe we did all that in a week?? We just must go back because we never made it to Anguilla or St Barths. We tried to go to Pinel on 2 occasions but the boats were not taking passengers due to a strike or some situation with a restaurant being demolished.

Last summer, we went to st Thomas /st John which we also loved and the only thing we missed in st maarten was the views and the snorkeling in the usvi. We will definitely return to both the usvi and st maarten. I can imagine next time we go to usvi we will miss all of the wonderful food and beach amenities in st maarten/st Martin. Lol.

I so love watching the Bravo show Below deck. Every time we see the simpson bay drawbridge - we say - that's our bridge!!

We hope to return in the future and bring along a group of friends - I think we would just have a blast. Our week went by so fast and we just about cried when we had to return home.