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Luuck and I are with the boys 24/7- we have no "date nights" out on the town, no going to the movies, no sitting belly up to a bar without a care in the world getting a little tipsy planning a crazy adventure. Nope no babysitters for us- where we go our kids follow!! Our days getting sloppy are long gone- I'm not complaining-neither one of our bodies handles the alcohol as good as it once use to. We are getting old! But we still like to have a nice sundowner from time to time before the kids 7 o'clock bedtime. These are (dare I say) the best bars for kids we came upon thus far. In no particular order...

Sunshines beach bar- Nevis
This place has a swing set and trampolines right on the beach!! It's an awesome spot to have a relaxing drink,dig your toes in the sand, watch the sunset and your kids play all at the same time!!!

Buccaneers beach bar- st Maarten
Grown ups socializing kids riding little bikes, playing tag or soccer on the beach. Every Friday is kids movie night they put on a big projector- it's fun to watch under the stars and allows adults to have grown up conversations. They serve good pizza as well. It's a nice family night out!

Karacter- st Maarten
It's such a cool little bar- it's actually a bus!! This is a good day spot! They have awesome food and cheap buckets of our favorite beer, Amstel Bright. Free lounge chairs to sun bath on while listening to chill music and watching your kids play in the sand or run down into the ocean. You can't beat a day at karacter.

The last bar before the jungle- mayreaou
A beautiful bay with palm trees lining the beach. This little bar has a view of the whole beach if the kids wanted to play outside of the "enclosed dinning area" (sand beach with netting around) They also have a little "pool" with nurse sharks in to mesmerize the kiddos- or at least tell them if they are bad you'll throw them to the Sharks!!!

Couleurs Du Monde- Les Saintes
This bar has 15oz Leffe on tap, killer sunsets, and Legos to play with for the kids!! They even have a toddler potty training seat hanging on the bathroom wall!! The owners have a 3 and 6 year old so they know all about toddler tantrums!! It's a nice place to relax with little ones in tow!!!

I'm sure we have a lot more kid friendly bars to discover!!! And we'll let you know when we do!!

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We are young...especially by cruising standards. I'm yet to have reach the big 3-0 and Luuck just turned 33- we've been doing this the last almost 4 years. We are younger than most- by a couple decades or so. Cruising is something you do when you retire. But for us cruising is something we did before we even got started... AND...we love it!!

Luuck and I moved to St Maarten after our travels and rented an apartment and we never owned anything more that wouldn't fit in 4 suit cases at most. Luuck and I had no problems "downsizing" to live on a boat because we didn't have anything to downsize!! I couldn't even imagine getting rid of a household and lifetime of memories...for the ones that do...good for you!! You're on a whole different level in my book!!

While living here in St Maarten we both worked at the 2 most busiest restaurants the island has to offer. Between the 2 of us we were making GOOD money (300-500usd a day)- that allowed us to pay off our debt from traveling and allowed us to save as well. When first looking for a boat it was important for us not to have a loan from the bank and so we looked in our budget-40k or less. Yolo was the start of the dream and as our dream evolved from a family of 3 to 4 so did the boat and the work money making aspect.

With kids I no longer worked and Luuck was and is the " bread runner". We made HUGE sacrifices- Luuck worked 3 months straight at a time, with 2 months off as a captain of a 101 ft schooner for over a year. He made a career change (restaurant management to boat captain) when we made the lifestyle change. Money was good and easy to save but he wasn't home to see stormer grow or for some of the pregnancy with Rio or even Rio's couple months of life. We, especially Luuck, worked extremely hard for a bigger boat and once again it was important to us not to have a loan so with budget restricting under 60k we found a boat to fit our family and budget. Light was always at the end of the tunnel. Positive thinking=positive outcome.

We don't have car payments, insurance payments,cable bill, phone bills, or Internet bills. We don't go shopping- unless it's for the boat or food. We don't have baby sitters and we sure as hell don't go out and party( I do miss dearly tho but let's face it is a big expense and you pay for it in more ways then one- hungover with kids- no thanks). We (Luuck I mean), fix and maintain the boat when/if broken, if possible. We are very conusious of the money we spend. It's not about wanting what you want- it's about wanting what you got. We are by no means wealthy -our bank account now a days is pathetic but we are rich in life people- we are happy, healthy and in nature.

Basically this lifestyle is full of sacrifices any lifestyle you chose can be...if you want something bad enough you CAN make it happen. For us, the pay off and freedom is HUGE!! We anchor outside of expensive hotels or better yet, places so beautiful you can't build hotels, we see exotic locations and our boys get to see a different upbringing on the sea. We've done a lot on our own but I'm not going to lie... We also had help along the way- especially from Nama Beach- buying the kids clothes, toys ( always toys) and even putting moola in our account to buy "special" snacks and such from the grocery. Thank you Nama- you"ll never let us starve!! We love you!! We are very lucky to have this life and to be together happily as a family.

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It's much like you would keep them at bay in a house. We have an abundance of toys- we have more toys than tools. We don't go with the less is more approach. Stormer's attention span is that of a Jack Russell on crack. Not to mention my mom, Nama Beach, Stormer calls her, doesn't understand we live on a boat with limited space- No joke- she takes Stormer shopping with her via Skype!!

So besides the array of toys this is how we do...

Arts and crafts: painting, coloring, drawing, making little creatures- Pinterest has become my how to for arts and crafts. Stormer loves this and I'm not going to lie I get into it too.

Board games: Stormer is at the age he can listen and follow instructions so we have fun with candy land, zings, old maid, paw patrol game, hoot owl hoot. It's fun family time as well.

Movies and books: Our movie collection has grown. Stormers all time favorite are The Octonauts- I love them too- they are educational and they live in the ocean so he can relate! We like 'Room on the broom' and "The gruffalo' by Julie Donaldson her books are wonderful and cute illustrations. And of course dr. Seuss rocks!

Baking: The past year we eased up on the no sweets rule. Stormer loves to sit on the counter to add ingredients and stir it all up like a magic potion. He of course loves to eat the finished product as well.

Play dough and kentic sand- kentic sand is awesome! We have molds and a little tray to keep the mess contained. He can sit for a good 45-60min. Making shapes with play dough or making a sand castle in the sand with his diggers.

Swimming: This kid is in the water everyday. He's a fish!! We sometimes have to fight to get him out. Jumping off the back of the boat, paddle boarding, playing sea monster game- he's obsessed!

It's not much different to how it would be done on land. Just the small space of living on the boat, I feel, we are more involved no matter if Stormers playing alone or if we are actually playing with him. I love the closeness we have on the boat- the kids and hubby are never more than a few feet away!