Back in St. Maarten


Looking out of the front of our condo in St. Maarten.

It is that time of the year. Mike and I are on our two-week vacation in St. Maarten, a trip we have taken every year for the past twenty years, with the exception of last year, when we came for only one week. Last year our trip was abbreviated because our property was still under renovation from Hurricane Irma that occurred on September 6, 2017. More about that next week, on the anniversary of that major event.

In the twenty years that we have made this journey to St. Maarten, we have had different experiences. Some years we have had family and friends with us for the entire two weeks. Some years we have had family and or friends join us, but not for the entire time. There have been other years, like this one, that Mike and I have had our three-bedroom three-and-a-half-bath condo completely to ourselves. We do not usually select the different options, they just happen.


Just one of our many beautiful views.

This year is different for me. If you follow this blog, you probably know that I stopped drinking alcohol in early May. The main reason I stopped was that I was unable to lose the weight that I wanted to lose and decided to see if the wine was in my way. I found out very quickly that it was. I dropped twenty pounds fairly quickly, and those pounds added to the ten that I had lost since the first of the year, put me at my goal weight. I decided that the no drinking alcohol plan had more going for it than weight loss. I feel better overall, I sleep better, and my friends say I behave better! I decided to not restart the drinking at this point, although I have not made a forever decision.


A lovely arrangement sent by our favorite jeweler, Ron, from Joe’s Jewelry.

At times like this, vacationing on a beautiful island where cocktails are plentiful, I miss the drinking. As I have said all along on this journey, I do not miss the alcohol itself, I miss the social aspect that surrounds the drinking. I am getting used to being the only one drinking diet coke or iced tea while others I am with enjoy their various alcoholic beverages. You never realize how much alcohol is consumed in our society until you are on the outside of that looking in.


A beautiful home in Beacon Hill seen on our morning walk.

I do not want to be like a reformed smoker who puts down those who still smoke. I have never smoked, but I have heard too many others who did and stopped, speak badly about those who still do. Nor do I want to change the preferences of anyone else due to my change. So, I go out with family and friends and drink my non-alcoholic beverages while they partake of their chosen beverages. I do not complain, nor do I attempt to change anyone else’s preferences. My plan does not have to be anyone else’s.


Looking out from our condo deck.

The beaches in St. Maarten are still beautiful. The shopping is still wonderful. And the food is still delicious. I can still enjoy most of what the island has to offer, regardless of giving up the calorie-laden alcoholic drinks.

With a grateful appreciation that Tropical Storm/Hurricane Dorian did not become a threat to St. Maarten, Mike and I are relaxing and enjoying this quiet respite. I hope that my readers will enjoy this last weekend of the summer and that Florida and the entire southeastern United States will be spared bad weather from Hurricane Dorian. In fact, may all areas be spared bad weather!

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About Patti Fralix

Patti Fralix inspires positive change in work, life, and family through Speaking, Consulting, and Coaching in three specialty areas: Leadership, Managing Differences, and Customer Service. Her leadership firm, The Fralix Group, Inc., has been helping clients achieve practical and tangible results for twenty-two years.
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2 Responses to Back in St. Maarten

  1. Patti, I reflect on my two trips to your beautiful condo and to the island of St. Maarten. Mother and I had such a sweet time in 2001, it was the only time she ever set her feet outside of the U.S. I will never forget that you flew her first class and what a lovely experience she had. Little did we know that in a few days after our return home that 9/11 would change our lives forever and so many would die in this horrible attack.

    Butch and I so enjoyed our trip in 2015 and will never forget riding out a tropical storm for sixteen + hours all boarded up. You and Mike are so hospitable and fun to be with. I love all of our memories through the forty-five years of friendship. Let’s continue to make more. Enjoy yourselves!

  2. Patti Fralix says:

    Pam, thank you for your sweet comments. Mike and I have so enjoyed your visits to St. Maarten. And I have thought of the visit you and Shirshee made for my 50th birthday celebration many times, and several times on this trip. I can see her rocking in the rocking chair, looking out at the ocean. Unfortunately, they replaced the rocking chair with another seat (not nearly as comfortable) during the recent renovation. And I have also thought a lot about your trip in 2015, and the day we stayed all boarded up, read, and ate what little we had, which was actually more than we even needed. We must schedule another trip soon, perhaps that cruise we have talked about.

    We have had a very relaxing visit to St. Maarten this year. Pool time, lots of good food, and of course, lots of shopping.

    The island has not recovered from Hurricane Irma. It is a great example of change, and for the most part, not positive change. I am so glad that we were here when the island was in better shape, and I look forward to seeing it return to its beauty. Of course,the beaches are still beautiful, but the infrastructure is in need of repair. The airport is still in temporary structures, and many of the buildings around the island desperately need a coat or two of paint.

    Love to all of you there. We are praying for all in Hurricane Dorian’s way. Tara and family are planning to evacuate, I think to North Georgia, near Stephen’s family. It seems that landfall may now be in North Carolina! The unpredictability of it is scary. Somewhat like life.

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