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TRIP REPORT - - Jan28-Feb16, 2011
Posted by: SXMNorm (---.dsl.stlsmo.sbcglobal.net)
Date: February 19, 2011 10:59PM

Trip Report – January 29- February 16, 2011

Another great trip despite some kind of possible sinus cavity infection behind my right eye.

AIR - St Louis to Charlotte to St Maarten – Smooth down and back on US Air. Ticket - $638.rt/pp bought in September 2010.

CAR - Lucky Car Rental (www.hlcars.com) $426.00 for the trip with govt tax and without insurance.

PHONE – Sharon Harris ( queenofsxm2000@yahoo.com ) - $50.00 including time. Worked ALL OVER the Island.

ROOMS - Oyster Bay Beach Resort ( www.obbr.com ) - One bedroom unit in building 37 which overlooks the marina and entrance to resort.
Room was fine, except it was on third floor. Resort is now selling or have sold remodeled rooms overlooking Dawn Beach as “fixed” weeks. Resort itself is in great shape. Perhaps weather, perhaps economy, but it didn't seem to be totally filled for prime season weeks.
Turquoise Shell Inn ( www.tshell.com ) - Four nights at the end of our stay. As always, well kept and convient. Didn't get to see Marcus who was off Island. Carter took good care of everyone staying there. Love staying. Close to a lot. Great to walk Simpson Bay Beach. [i1047.photobucket.com]

ACTIVITIES - A variety of activities for this trip.

Tijon Perfume Class 101 ( www.tijon.com ) - Friends, Tom and Judy, returned [i1047.photobucket.com] for a second visit to SXM for ten days in the middle of our 20 days. Fun, easy going people [i1047.photobucket.com]
. They were nicknamed “Norm's Groupies” by Cyndi of Tijon's Parfumerie as they monitored my “mad scientist's” approach to creating my own cologne in Perfume 101 [s1047.photobucket.com]
I took this class without Betty because she has a “nose/sinus” thing with intense smells.
It is an outstanding thing to do for three plus hours including a short history of perfumes. The main part is creating your own “personal fragrance”. Tijon has over three hundred oils and selecting a combination was a dauting experience. Owner John helps along the way and readily gives his thoughts for additions or subtractions to your secret formula. In the end you are presented with a gift bag containing a Tijon T Shirt, a bottle one of their own colognes, sun oil, lip balm, a certificate that you completed class, a bottle of your own created scent, and a press release announcing your new creation. A truly enjoyable way to spend three hours. Don't miss it!

Art Tour – I volunteed to take a friend, Linda, who was on a one day stop to SXM on a cruise ship, on an Art Tour. I was joined by the ever adventuresome, Elaine, my friend Tom, and Kay and Mike.
With the help of Jeff (www.myislandart.com ), we contacted and arranged to meet six artists over the six plus hours Linda would be on SXM. Our first stop was a personal favorite, Jean Pierre Straub
[i1047.photobucket.com]
who does Marquetry. This is a very time consuming art of creating pictures with inlaid pieces of wood. Using the natural colors and grains of the wood to enhance the detail of the picture. The second stop was with Her Ladyship Ruby Rute at her studio in Friar's Bay. [i1047.photobucket.com]
Ruby shared a little of her background and also presented each if us with a signed book of some of her poetry and art. Stephanie Tihanyi, who also has work at Ruby's gallery was introduced. Antoine Chapon's (www.chaponartgallery.com ) studio in Marigot Marina [i1047.photobucket.com]
was next, followed by a stop at Sir Roland Richarson's Gallery. (www.rolandrichardson.com ) A stop at Minguet's Gallerie in Rambaud area and then onto Paradise View
[i1047.photobucket.com]
for a quick lunch. [i1047.photobucket.com]
Our last two stops were in the Oyster Pond area at Marie Moines, Les Exotiques Ceramique (www.ceramexotic.com ) and Dona Bryhiel's Gallery (www.donabrhiel.com ) .
Our tour got a little short at the end, but it was great to meet most of the artists personally.

SXM Lovers Get Together – [s1047.photobucket.com] It was a great party with a lot of people who love SXM getting together. Again this year it was at the Iguana Bar in the Captain Olivers restaurant. Snacks were tasty. Drinks were two for one. Was lucky enough to have a wonderful combination of SXM residents, sponsors, and SXM visitors.

I CAN Foundation – Some of you probably remember a couple years ago, the home for kids without parents was destroyed by fire. This year I revisited the home to present a several hundred dollar donation from Jeff ( www.myislandart.com ) to Mrs Gibbs, [i1047.photobucket.com]
the Director, of the I CAN Foundation. The rebuilt facility looks great.
[i1047.photobucket.com]

Sunday Evening Celine Cruise - ( www.sailstmaarten.com ) One of the best benefits of belonging to Jeff Berger's “secret” site is the free Sunday evening Simpson Lagoon Cruise on the Celine. Captain Neil takes you past the mega yachts [i1047.photobucket.com] , [i1047.photobucket.com] , [i1047.photobucket.com]
and around most of the Dutch half of the lagoon for about 1 ½ hours with free drinks. Great way to see some of the hidden and less seen villas and homes.

Harmony Night – Tuesday is Harmony Night in Grand Case. Made reservations for dinner at Piazza Pascal so we didn't have to fight the crowd at the lolos. Marching band came by around 8. [i1047.photobucket.com]
Other bands were playing along the street. Many vendors and artists.

Dual Massages – As part of the sales promotion at Oyster Bay we received a coupon for two for one Massages at Indulgence By The Sea. What a wonderful way to relax from the sales pitch. Upon entering the spa and changing into our robes we were asked to sit while our feet soaked in warm bath with rose petals. The we were on the tables for the next fifty some minutes while the ladies relaxed our entire bodies.

Glo's TTOL Party – Attended Glo's first TTOL Party at Toppers by the Sea. Met Julian from Waterfront. Had a wonderful HH drink with Coconut Liquior, Margarita Mix, Lime Vodka.

Art Fair - Although the weather a little breezy, the sun was out. Betty and I both thought the nu,ber of artists there was less than previous years. We did make contact with an artist who creates fiber art.
We're going to try to get something to hang above our bed at home.


WHERE WE ATE:

BREAKFAST

Many breakfasts were in our room with left over pizza or crackers and cheese along with the juice, milk, sodas we bought at Grand Marche. However did visit -

Nana's – Just opened in Oyster Pond area directly across from entrance to Captain Olivers. [i1047.photobucket.com]
2 eggs, bacon, coffee, toast is $7.50. No service charge, $1.=1E. Here's the owner preparing [i1047.photobucket.com]


La Suciere Bakery(2) – Is there anything bad there? [i1047.photobucket.com]

Bonnita's Cantina – Great setting on the Lagoon. 2 eggs, toast, potatoes, coffee - $8.50. No Service charge.
[i1047.photobucket.com]
Infinity - @Oyster Bay Beach Resort – Included in deal for listening to sales pitch.

Cafe on the Bay– Off Welfare Rd - Caribbean French Toast with Coffee - $8.95. Our favorite new spot. French Toast with chopped pineapple, bananas, mango, sprinkled with coconut and syrup on the side. [i1047.photobucket.com] Wonderful.
Owner is Marilyn from Georgia. [i1047.photobucket.com] Opened this past December.

Grand Case Beach Club - Ham,Cheese, and Onion Omelet(3 eggs) - $5.95
And the setting is priceless.[i1047.photobucket.com] [i1047.photobucket.com]

LUNCH

Buccaneer Beach Bar(2) – Cheeseburger comes with fries.$9.50 One of our favorite sandwiches on SXM. No service charge. A BBC also is a favorite.[i1047.photobucket.com]

Dinghy Dock – Bacon Cheeseburger with fries. $10.50 No service charge. [i1047.photobucket.com]

Sunset Grill and Bar – While waiting to pick up arriving friends a Cheeseburger with Ting and Iced Tea -$16.00. [i1047.photobucket.com]

Beau Beau's(5) – Overlooking Dawn Beach, [i1047.photobucket.com] since we were staying at Oyster Bay Beach resort, Beau Beau's was real convient for an inexpensive lunch with a great setting. Plus we could charge it to our room bill. They have probably “THE BEST” lunch deal. For $6.00 you get either a beef burger, [i1047.photobucket.com] ,
or a chicken burger, [i1047.photobucket.com] , or a grilled fish burger, [i1047.photobucket.com] .
All plates come with a good slaw and fries plus a soda, tea, or Carib. There is service and tax added to bill, but it's still a great deal.

Paradise View – As the lunch stop on the Art Tour, we stopped here. [i1047.photobucket.com] A couple of us also wanted to leave a donation next door at Bernadine's to help her support her animals. [sxmtravelforum.b1.jcink.com]
I enjoyed a very filling Ham, Cheese, and Egg Crepe. [i1047.photobucket.com]

BZH Creperie - In Oyster Pond, Betty and I love their Champagna Salad. 'Course we also love their dessert crepes. There are no charge cards accepted here and the exchange rate is whatever is the current rate, so it's not an inexpensive lunch, but a Salad, a carmel and a banana chocolate crepe along with 2 teas and tip was $45.00. Sorry I ate the crepe and forgot to take a pic first. It was great.

Happy Island – A growing tradition is the carry out of Chinese to our friends Paul and Carol home an afternoon lunch and swim. [i1047.photobucket.com] Meals are generally $10. One, with rice, is enough for Betty and I.
While waiting, we see Ruby Bute going into the Burger King next door.

Caribbean Blend – On the Boardwalk. Each year they get a little larger. Tremendous bargain and good food. Suzette, [i1047.photobucket.com] still makes THE BEST Margo Colada with real fruit. Ask Betty about strength. Here's one of the two owners, Romain, [i1047.photobucket.com] giving me a lesson. For $12. you get a slab of ribs, fries, salad, pasta salad, plantain, and something else. Look for Betty and me on their “freinds” board.

Cafe on the Bay - [i1047.photobucket.com] They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner as well as Happy Hour(4-7pm). They are closed on Sunday. Betty had the Caribbean French Toast. I tried the Sicilian Wrap. [i1047.photobucket.com]
We also had a Bay Smoothie, which disappeared very quickly.

Bonita's Cantina – Norm had the Smoked Pork Quesillas, Betty the Triple BLT. With two cokes - $22.50.

Sugar Cane Cafe – Another favorite lunch stop, especially while waiting for Boarding time. We split a French Dip, which they cut and served on two plates [i1047.photobucket.com] .


HAPPY HOUR -

Peg Leg Pub – Almost love their HH as much as their dinner meal. Stopped for a pre Super Bowl Party snack. [i1047.photobucket.com] [i1047.photobucket.com] [i1047.photobucket.com] This order was for four people. Appetizers are ½ price. Drinks are the same.
Great Deal.


StMaarten Yacht Club – Stopped one afternoon for bridge opening. Didn't eat anything, beers were cheap. Great place to see the “boats” real close. [i1047.photobucket.com]
[i1047.photobucket.com]
[i1047.photobucket.com]
[i1047.photobucket.com]

DINNER

Le Ti Provercal - [i1047.photobucket.com] Another tradition is dinner out our first night with friends Paul and Carol and now including Cyndi and John of Tijon. Here's the colorful presentation of the fish of the day.
[i1047.photobucket.com] and the Specials, [i1047.photobucket.com] . I had the Trunk Fish(the green one) having never had it before.[i1047.photobucket.com]
John had the Trigger fish, [i1047.photobucket.com]
Paul had the Tuna seared “blue”(barely on fire) [i1047.photobucket.com]
Betty, Carol, and Cyndi had the steak, [i1047.photobucket.com]
Can't remember what the dessert was exactly, but it was gone by in the end. [i1047.photobucket.com]
Good food, great friends. [i1047.photobucket.com]
And a “shot” to finish off the meal. [i1047.photobucket.com]

Pineapple Petes(2) – First visit, Betty and I split a Neptune Burger , a caesar Salad, and......a Crème Brulee(there's a surprise). [i1047.photobucket.com] [i1047.photobucket.com]
The second visit with friends Tom and Judy. They wanted the Lobster Thermodore. [i1047.photobucket.com]
They practically licked the shell clean. Betty and I had the Chicken Caesar Wrap. No crème brulee, since our next stop was The Carousel.

La Bamba(2) - Love this place. Great music on Sunday evenings. Met another former “shop” teacher, Larry and his wife Carol, along with their friends, [i1047.photobucket.com] and Bruce and Susan, Bill and Elaine, Dave and Britt. Good bar food. Had the ribs both trips.
[i1047.photobucket.com] .
Also met Jeff from DK Gems and Mike and Janet on the second trip [i1047.photobucket.com]
No service charge.

Sopranos – Pizza.. Sorry no pics. Actually left camera on table, but brain cleared before we got too far.

Piazza Pascal – What a great place both for dinner and enjoying SXM. Made an early reservation for Harmony Night for one of their rooftop tables. Got there on time and Donna had our table waitin for us. Betty and I had the fish specials of the night. [i1047.photobucket.com] Betty had the Encrusted Sea Bass, [i1047.photobucket.com] me the Corvina Fillet in jerk spices w/mango and palaya salsa [i1047.photobucket.com] Both our meals with a wonderful risotto colored with squid ink. Looked different, but tasted great!
Judy had a wonderful salad, [i1047.photobucket.com] and Tom had the Chicken Alfredo [i1047.photobucket.com]
They do $1.=1E if you don't charge the meal.
Harmony Night Drum Band came by towards the end of our meal. [i1047.photobucket.com]

Peg Leg Pub(2) – Always go on Wednesday night when Cover to Cover is playing. [i1047.photobucket.com]
Great music, great food. Betty and I always have the Large Filet($35.00) [i1047.photobucket.com]
Tom had the Ribeye - [i1047.photobucket.com]
Judy had the Red Snapper Filet [i1047.photobucket.com]
No body was going to eat this, until four spoons arrived, [i1047.photobucket.com]
then it was gone!
No service charge, but tax is added.

Mama Pizza – Overlooking Oyster Pond, they've added canvas roofs over the eating areas. Pizza is still good and reasonable.

Dinghy Dock - Still great ribs, but now the plate comes with a bean pot instead of fries.[i1047.photobucket.com] Fish and Chips - [i1047.photobucket.com]
No service or tax added.

Waterfront – had met Manager Julian at Glo's party the week before. None of us were real hungry, so we got two Caesar Salads which came in a creative dish [i1047.photobucket.com]
with anchovies on the side. We also ordered their meat sampler platter [i1047.photobucket.com] This gave us a taste of their chicken, ribs, and filet. Julian offered us a 10% discount for being TTOL.
There is no service charge or tax. There was a good entertainer walking around. [i1047.photobucket.com]

Floaters – [i1047.photobucket.com] Floaters is very new in the Oyster Pond area. It took over the place on the dock across from Busby's formerly occupied by Big Fish. [i1047.photobucket.com] Floaters served THE MOST creative and best appetizer we had this trip. Called a Plantain Canoe. [i1047.photobucket.com] It is a sliced and spread piece of plantain, covered with a spicy ground beef, marinara sauce, and cheese, then baked till the cheese melts. OUTSTANDING! We also had some of their Herb Crusted Mahi Mahi with a Mango sauce. [i1047.photobucket.com] [i1047.photobucket.com] Meal, appetizer, water was $35.90 before tip. No service charge/tax.

Big Fish - Now open across road from Floaters.[i1047.photobucket.com] They have created an incredible new, classy look.
[i1047.photobucket.com]
Dining is both inside or in the outdoor garden setting.
We had their Coconut Shrimp appetizer which comes with four sauces, peanut, soy, lemon grass, and sweet sour. [i1047.photobucket.com] We also shared a dinner salad of spinach, pear, pecans, gorgonzola cheese.
[i1047.photobucket.com]
and had to try their crème brulee for dessert. [i1047.photobucket.com]
With a glass of wine and iced tea, with tip -$49.00 no service charge or tax.

Chesterfields – Another must stop is Chesterfields for their grilled grouper. Had their Coconut Shrimp, [i1047.photobucket.com]
and the grilled grouper. [i1047.photobucket.com] The Grouper is $18.95. The Shrimp are $8.95.

Bajatzu – We chose this place for our Valentines Dinner [i1047.photobucket.com] after listening to Deepti(notice Betty's new earrings that match her ring) describe the chicken
breast they served. It's marinated three days, grilled and brushed with a glaze. [i1047.photobucket.com] It comes with garlic mashed potatoes and grilled plantain.
And of course, Cème Brulee. [i1047.photobucket.com]

Carousel(4) – certainly not a dinner place. Just a place to go after dinner for a wonderful ice cream. [i1047.photobucket.com]
[i1047.photobucket.com]



Some misc. pics - [i1047.photobucket.com] [i1047.photobucket.com] [i1047.photobucket.com] [i1047.photobucket.com] [i1047.photobucket.com] [i1047.photobucket.com] [i1047.photobucket.com] [i1047.photobucket.com] [i1047.photobucket.com] [i1047.photobucket.com] [i1047.photobucket.com] [i1047.photobucket.com] [i1047.photobucket.com] [i1047.photobucket.com]

Bye till May - [i1047.photobucket.com]



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/20/2011 10:02PM by SXMNorm.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Trip report - Part 1 - Jan28-Feb16, 2011
Posted by: Elaine (190.102.2.---)
Date: February 20, 2011 07:05AM

Had a wonderful time with you again Norm. Thanks for the tour and the as always wonderful party.

I also have a nose/sinus thing with strong smells. Would love to take the class, but honestly I know I would have to run out in about 5 minutes.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/20/2011 07:09AM by Elaine.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Trip report - Part 1 - Jan28-Feb16, 2011
Posted by: double-D (---.dsl.bell.ca)
Date: February 20, 2011 07:55AM

Norm...Thanks again for a great party....I will never forget that night!!
Fantastic idea with the art tour!!!

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Trip report - Part 1 - Jan28-Feb16, 2011
Posted by: SXMNorm (---.dsl.stlsmo.sbcglobal.net)
Date: February 20, 2011 09:49AM

Elaine, that's why I took the course without Betty. Bill could do the same,...in his spare time.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Trip report - Part 1 - Jan28-Feb16, 2011
Posted by: SXMNorm (---.dsl.stlsmo.sbcglobal.net)
Date: February 20, 2011 09:50AM

Dan,
Glad you could make party. Thanks for the hat. The Art Tour might start happening more offen.

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