Friday, May 31, 2019

Plane Spotting on St. Maarten's Maho Beach

Visiting St. Maarten beaches supplies a lot of sunny highlights. This 37 square-mile, two nation island boasts 37 beaches for every mile, offering countless chances to sink your toes into soft, pearly sand and turquoise waves. All of the beaches have their own individual charm but only one is known around the globe for something other than sandy beauty.

Maho Beach is the famous beach  on the Dutch side of the island where the airplane runway almost meets the sand. I've seen countless photos and videos of planes swooping over the beach (There's even a Beach Cam to monitor the landings) and I was excited to grab a firsthand experience. Maho Beach is perched at the end of Maho Bay and the water glistened with crystalline waves when I waded in. Within 10 minutes, the sound of a jet rumbled  in the sky and a plane flew over my head as I splashed in the water. It's a crazy experience that adds to the excitement of being on a Caribbean beach. I visited Maho four times while I was on St. Maarten and seeing the planes never got old. What did get old was fumbling for a phone to take a pic if I was on the sand.  I never managed to be prepared so these pix don't capture the full drama of a plane flying just a few feet over your head as you lounge on a beach. It's not a tranquil beach, to say the least but it's definitely a bucket list-worthy activity.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Next Stop: St. Martin/St. Maarten

This week, I'm off to the bi-cultural island of St. Martin/St. Maarten. I'll be attending the St. Martin/St.Maarten Annual Regional Trade Show (SMART) where I'll be meeting with reps and leaning more about the island. St. Martin/St. Maarten is famous for Maho Beach, which is located at the end of Princess Juliana International Airport, shown above, as well as being the smallest parcel of land shared by two counties, France and the Netherlands. I'll be checking out the sand -hovering planes on Maho Beach as well as  exploring the French side and Dutch side of the island. Stay tuned!

Sunday, May 19, 2019

South African Music and Dance

South Africa is an exciting country. No matter where you are, in a big city like Johannesburg, or a rural village, there's always music, dance or art incorporated into the environment, usually all three. African culture does not separate art and culture from everyday living but I was still taken aback by the exuberant sounds and dance I witnessed everywhere I traveled in South Africa. I love African music and dance, it connects on a deeper level than anything  I've seen in the West. So experiencing the varied rhythms, movements and emotions of live South African music and dance was a joyful treat. Check out a few of my faves from Durban, Isithumba and Cape Town, in the videos below.

These Zulu women mesmerized me with the power of their harmonies and the emotions bursting through the song. I don't understand Zulu but I felt every single verse of this tune.

Full of high spirits and excitement, these dancers in Isithumba cultural village called up the power of traditional Zulu dance. They pulled me into it at the end and throwing my leg up that high was not quite as effortless as it looks, lol.

This group supplied high energy singing and dancing on Cape Town's waterfront. It felt like a church revival mixed with a turn up attitude.