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41 minutes ago 4/24 and 25 - more of the same..... [by pat]

First of all, if anyone is still following my posts, I congratulate you for your perseverance since you must be bored to tears by now. We haven’t done anything exciting or done any near island excursions, nor have we hob-nobbed with any of the stars who sometimes frequent this island. Our trip this year has been all about kicking back and relaxing and just letting the vacation happen without plans or agendas. And so far it’s worked for us. But remember, we’ve been coming to SXM for over 45 years and we’ve seen it all and done most of it, and chances are pretty good if we haven’t experienced something specific to SXM by now it’s because we’ve chosen not to for whatever the reason.

Wednesday 4/24

So yesterday, we breakfasted in on pastries and toast, and decided this would be a Friars Bay Beach day. Good call. We got a rather late start - I really do seem to need a personal tour director to get me moving this week and of course, we found ourselves in the heaviest traffic we’ve seen this entire trip from about Sandy Ground to the traffic circle heading outside Marigot going towards LaSavane. The big debate was which entrance to Friars Beach should we take but in the end it was a non-issue since we missed the first left hand turn-off that takes you past Gutside Restaurant and ended up taking that nasty rutted potholed goat path that brings you right into the Friars Bay Beach Cafe parking area. In honesty, the road is horrendous but if you creep you’ll be fine.

The beach had a bit of an incline but it wasn’t too bad and there was a slight step down about ten feet into the water. And yes, those sharp rocks abound but they seem far more bothersome to old folks like me than they did to the young kids playing in the water. But I was wise this year and brought water shoes for just this specific beach. And while I’m thinking of kids playing in the water, does anybody out there know what makes the game Marco Polo so appealing to them?

We had an incredible lunch - John enjoyed a lobster salad plate which consisted of greens and garnishes with huge chunks of Caribbean lobster and several dressings for it; and I had - what else - their beef carpaccio plate. It was incredible - more beef than I’ve eaten in ages and garnished with scallions, capers, diced tomatoes and Parmesan cheese served with yummy frites and a small side salad. And after all that, these little piggies even had dessert - John had their floating island dessert and I had a Nutella crepe. As one who doesn’t think of herself in any way, shape or form as a foodie, this place could easily turn me into one. I think with drinks, of which there were a few, lunch was not inexpensive but OMG! It was so very worth it. And since the chances are looking less and less that we’ll make it to Anse Marcel as our days rapidly dwindle, this was a great alternative. But who knows, we may get there yet.

But while I’m thinking about Friars Bay Beach Cafe, they do have respectable bathrooms (definitely NOT in the same class as Anse Marcel, but clean and working.......) and they are charging now for chairs and umbrellas. With lunch they were $10.00 for two chairs, an umbrella and a small drink table. Without lunch? No clue!

Dinner time found us meeting island friends for a dinner at La Rosa, Too. It was a lovely evening, so much so we were able to dine al fresco and weren’t bothered one iota by flying pesky bugs. There was a gentle breeze blowing - just enough to keep us all comfy. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves so I thank you, Jeannie Gunthanen and Sharon Harris, for the very pleasant evening. I know we ate something and I know it was very good but for the life of me, I can’t remember what it was. So much for my newly acquired foodie status......

Thursday 4/24

Today was a home day - breakfast here and most of the day at the pool. DH did the cabana boy thing once more so we lunched on the pool deck again.

And here was my big thrill of the day - I’ve wanted to try this place our last three or four trips and never quite got there - now don’t laugh - dinner at The Spaghetti House SXM in Jordan Village, and oh my goodness, it was delicious! Basic, but definitely very good. DH had a linguine w/steamed clams and I had a pasta with a carbonara sauce w/bacon and fresh mushrooms. The wine choices were red or white and dinner was served with garlic bread, and all for the princely sum of roughly $40.00 plus gratuity. It’s one of the very few island meals we’ve ever had for less than fifty dollars, and it was delicious.

And now to lalaland.
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1 hour ago Open Mic or Karaoke [by BelairGirl]
Will be on island May 4-25. Wondering if there is any place I can go and sing like an Open Mic or Karaoke? Any info would be appreciated.
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Yesterday at 06:54 PM Italy September 2019 [by dolfer]
My wife and I are finally going to Italy this year. The last two weeks of September. Flying round trip to Rome with the intention of heading north to Venice on 1st day of arrival and then working our way south. Areas on our list are Venice, Florence, Cinque Terre, some of Tuscany & Umbria, down to the Abruzzo area (wife has distant relatives in Teramo), down to Naples, Sorrento and then back to Rome to finish.

I am looking for recommendations on booking accommodations. Budget goal is to try and stay under 200 Euro a night (although I know that may be tough in areas). What methods/people have others used successfully?
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Yesterday at 06:49 PM Groceries between Grand Case and Orient? [by TundraCat]
Returning to the island for our first trip since Irma. What (if any) are our grocery options between Grand Case and Orient? I think I read that the grocery in Hope Estate has closed.
7 217 Read More
Yesterday at 02:38 PM Fuel prices going up Friday [by SXMScubaman]
I thought seeing the breakdown was interesting.
https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/87056-fuel-prices-up-friday
4 255 Read More
Yesterday at 03:24 AM Royal Caribbean cruise SXM port May 1 taxi question [by ShariGD]
Hi. This is my first post so I hope I'm doing it right. I am cruising on Saturday from Florida and am very excited that one of our port of calls is St Martin. My husband and I are traveling with 4 family members who have never been to SXM. My question is.... we plan to go to El Zafiro to use beach and have lunch and also visit Sunset Beach bar ... will it be difficult for us to find a cab to take 8 people ? I don't really want to book an excursion thru the cruise line.
Love ❤️SXM. Spent a week there this past November
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04/24/2019 10:23 PM Anegada Take-out Lobster? [by b6fischer]
We have two nights at Anegada and were thinking of doing take-out lobster the first night and eat on the boat.

Any recommendations of who provides this? Thanks in advance.
3 356 Read More
04/24/2019 09:09 PM A few observations...... [by pat]
So we’re coming into the home stretch of week two. Things we’ve noticed along the way.....

There is construction and construction debris everywhere but the goods news with that is things are still happening. Perhaps not as fast as some would like but they are happening.

Wrecked cars are everywhere you look and I’m not talking damaged but still drivable cars. On the sides of the roads almost everywhere there are junked vehicles so I’m guessing disposing of them is not feasible? Hopefully down the road.....

Traffic has been lighter than we usually experience this time of year but in all fairness our travels have been more limited than usual. You don’t encounter too much going from your room to the pool here at Royal Islander but we got a late start this morning and the traffic from Sandy Ground to Triple Gate area was very heavy with lots of road construction going on all over the French side.

I think they need a few BIG utility companies to come in and straighten out the utility services, particularly on the French side. How anyone can figure out what they’ve got and what they’re doing is a mystery. Some of the poles look like a spaghetti pot of wires dangling. Simply amazing......

Oops - getting late and we've got important people to see. My shower is calling me........later!!
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04/24/2019 01:46 PM Ace car rental [by DannynGinger]
Has anyone used Ace car rental? Any reviews?
6 360 Read More
04/24/2019 12:05 PM April 21, 22, and 23 - no news here [by pat]
Easter Sunday......

Breakfast at the Yacht Club, again. We got to chat a bit with both Monique and Chris and then the place started to fill up. We only saw 2 or 3 boats go through the bridge. Many of the big boys have departed now that the high season is pretty much behind us although we did notice that grey sailboat “A” return to the area, though at this point I don’t remember if that was Sunday or Monday we saw it. Yup! I still think it’s butt-ugly! But to each his own. I’m much more of a traditionalist when it comes to ships and boats and I prefer the lines of the older ‘Titanic’ or QE II style ships to the boxy lines of the newer ships built today - the ones big enough to transport whole cities.........

We didn’t do much of anything beyond hanging here at the RI pool but it’s a lovely island pool setting so between the fact it’s Easter Sunday and I wasn’t feeling a hundred percent, and I know only too well how crazy the beaches can get on the holidays, this was fine.

We did go out for a late lite dinner at Bar Code since every so often a burger is just the thing. One fish burger and one bacon blue cheese burger later we headed back home as my night-night was calling. The road through Mullet Bay golf course was crazy with cars parked everywhere and we remembered again why we usually spend the holidays at our pool, wherever that pool happens to be on any given Easter visit.

Easter Monday

We made a calculated choice to avoid the beach today as this is traditionally an island-wide party day for those who live here. Did breakfast in on pastries from Jules and spent the bulk of the day here at the pool. At noon my personal cabana boy made baguette sandwiches that we enjoyed poolside. And no, he’s not for hire - he only works for limited and selected people.

As the sun day drew to a close we decided to head to El Zafiro for dinner. We have always had very good luck with our meals here and this was no exception. John had a Sea scallop app served in a white herb sauce and I really enjoyed the coconut shrimp. Our entrees were grilled rack of lamb for me and steak for John. All was enjoyable but no room left for desserts. We enjoyed talking to a group of gentlemen, long time visitors here like us and who are from the same area of Cape Cod where my Granddaughter and her husband live, and we compared SXM notes on island escapades over the years. It was a very enjoyable evening and we should have left it at that and called it a night but sadly, so close to the Dunes, we stopped and made another small donation to the owners well- being. Enough fun for another day so home to bed.

Tuesday, April 23

We decided to change it up and do something different today so we had breakfast on our balcony instead of in the kitchen. How’s that for spicing things up!?

They always seem to have some small activity going on the pooldeck - yesterday there was an Easter Egg hunt for the kids and today it was poolside trivia for the adults - Thirty questions and I think we got thirteen right. We did great on island history and trivia but music and sports? Not so much! Another lunch on the pool deck catered by chef Johnny and then some serious bingo. Yeah, you guessed it. Didn’t do well there, either. But it was fun and Tortuga, the restaurant here at Royal Islander where the bingo was played makes a very good BBC.

All that activity and in one day, no less.

Dinner was at Bavaria - a longtime favorite of mine but Johnny not so much since he doesn’t really enjoy or crave German food. So I had the pork schnitzel with fried potatoes and J had the roast pork dinner which they very nicely Americanized for him by ditching the red cabbage and spaetzl and substituted mashed potatoes and green beans so we were both happy campers. And of course, a shared apple strudel to finish the evening along with a little discussion with Annette regarding her Irma experiences, which by Island standards were pretty good. Another island day maybe not so well spent by some people’s standards but truly enjoyed by ours.
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