I'm in the Caribbean! Well I'm not, but I was on Friday... It's taken me a little longer than planned to get this out to you (soz) but I took about a zillion photos and, to be honest, I was just having too much fun (not soz). After what felt like a lifetime of waiting - hello month in the Arctic circle and the Med, nice to see you again - I finally made it to St. Maarten.
The Caribbean is the land of dreams. If you've never been and you in any way can, do it. Do it now. Although the beaches are so in-bloomin-credible that they'll ruin beach days in the UK for you forever. Just saying. Totes worth it though. As usual, I only got a day there, so I tried to cram in as much window shopping (look at me being all good!), eating and SUN as humanly possible. Here goes.
I managed to drag my self out of bed mid-morning and get out exploring. Time changes are a total drag, I honestly don't know whether I'm coming or going at the moment - I'm 6 hours behind UK time now and I'm like hang on, why am I going to work at 2am? When does the sleep happen? What? But, feeling not a little groggy, I wandered out into the sunshine and made my way over to the beach front.
There are loads of nice expensive shops (oh hi Michael Kors) which I didn't let myself go into because, oh bye all my savings. I was out with a friend, though, who it turns out is an absolute jewellery & gemstone fiend, so we went into the jewellery stores and I went a bit nuts over all the sparkles while he bought a pretty gemstone. Jealous. I told him that if I ever get engaged, I'm sending my boyfriend out with him to pick the ring and make sure it's not actually a bit of glass. Just saying, girl needs some backup.
After that we got out of the midday sun because it was absolutely sweltering and went in search of some food and wifi. There was a really cute place on the beachfront, which was a little pricey but hey, I wanted to look at the sea. After a week of gym punishment and salads (does the first bikini outing ever stop being petrifying?), I ordered a diet coke, a cocktail and a goats cheese burger. Is a goats cheese burger a thing? I've never seen one before but it was in-bloomin-credible. The cocktail was also fairly lethal. I couldn't tell you what was in it except rum. All the rum.
I don't know whether my brain might be a little bit broken, but I really liked the bar and the floor and oooh the blues and the pinks. It's a bit beaten up, but I thought it was pretty. No?
After a fairly colossal lunch, I hit the beach. I forgot how amazing the Caribbean is (sorry, I know it's not fair)! It was such a gorgeous hot day and the sea was beautiful for a little cool down dip. I dunked all my hair in because I had a night off work and fancied some sexy beachy waves, or at least some texture for a change - my hair's so fine it just goes insane the moment there's any humidity.
My new M&S bikini was great - it stayed on perfectly (thank you underwire) and didn't go weird and see-through. I don't know if bikinis really do that, but I'm always petrified that they will. I also wore a New Look dress (£7.99) and my Primark sandals (which were only £8). The sandals were fab for a cheap pair, but the left one did rub a little by the end of the day where the buckle fastens. Can't complain for less than a tenner, though, can you?
It was so nice to just lie out on the beach for a while. It was fairly quiet so I wasn't getting bothered all the time by people trying to sell me jewellery or flowers carved out of wood or drinks or anything. Just some blissful time lying there and listening to the waves lap up onto the shore. If only every day could be the same!
I had a bit of a walk around to try and work off the monster burger and took an absolute ton of pictures. Then I rewarded myself with an ice cream - if you can't have an ice cream on the beach when can you? I went for a scoop of Banana Berry and another one of Passion Fruit and oh my Lord it was delicious. The Gelateria I went to also had a little 'secret garden' area around the back which was cute, but I stayed out on the street nearer the beach because, to be honest, I was getting sick of having soggy hair and just wanted it to dry now please!
Word to the wise, I've been using Riemann's P20 sun protection and it is ridiculous. I'm fairly pale, so I normally burn like a crisp in the sun unless I reapply sunscreen every hour, but this stuff is magic. I literally put it on when I got up and it lasted ALL DAY. Through sunbathing, walking around getting hot and sticky, and even swimming. It's not cheap, but it's so worth it. Bear it in mind next time you're off on your jollies.
I started running out of time but managed to squeeze in a little time checking out some of the boutiques near the beach. There was a cute one called Blush that stocked some quirky Caribbean-style clothes and loads of really pretty jewellery. I was so tempted to buy the Dogeared necklace (see below) with "i am fierce" on it, but it was a little pricey and I'd pretty much run out of money by that point. But so cute, and the ring display made my heart do a little jump. Next time!
Hope you all had a fab weekend and that Monday hasn't been to hardcore! Keep checking back for more updates, and in the meantime why not follow me on Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest? Go on, have a look!