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Sunday, April 29th, 2002 / Monday April 29th - Carnival
Saint Maarten, Netherlands Antilles

I can't remember who woke whom that morning at 1am(ish), but I do remember there was some debate about whether or not we were really going to get up to go do this. We did, and in hindsight we were glad we did.

The festival area itself sits to the North of downtown Phillipsburg next to a salt pond. It was $15 each to get in. You enter to find a stage up ahead with a calypso band playing, a wide open area for the audience, and the entire space is surrounded by booths offering food and drinks. There are people there of all ages, shapes and sizes. I would say as white folks however, we were by far the minority. And in the throngs of all those people, I couldn't help but be reminded of the concerts and festivals I've been to back home. Save one guy trying to cut in front of as we bought our tickets to get it, everyone was respectful to one another and really quite nice. When I attend a music festival in Golden Gate Park, I usually go prepared to be pushed and stepped on. Not here.

Curt and I checked it out for a bit, munched on some super yummy ribs and jimmy cakes (kinda like a greasy roll), and shook our moneymakers for an hour or two before we broke down and headed home to bed without seeing J'ouvert. I know, I know- that was the main reason we got out of bed in the first place- but we were just too beat. And there will be many more Carnivals throughout the Caribbean for us to see. We figured it was a bit like extending the anticipation and excitement.

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