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Yesterday at 09:32 PM Ramblings and combining a few threads [by bran]
Started to reply to CaribLee but it was disjointed so started a new thread of observations and replies.

But CaribLee, you are also correct as it was Le Galleon before and for many years and I don’t know how they did it but they literally modernized the place in view of Irma in speed warp time. They come they go but the good ones remain. However, Be Kool is very good indeed but got annoyed after the second time I paid cash and told the owner that it’s not right he charges 1.18 to the Euro. Tropicana is 1.10. So on our third visit when he gave the impression that he really couldn’t care less, I paid CC and saved $5.00. It’s not the price with me but the ethics. But OMG, the eggs cocotte with Fois Gras is something very special...like having breakfast and lunch combined and if you like eggs like I do plus the FG, it’s a combination made in heaven with dunking the toast into the dish and letting it go all gooey like a 5 year old but with refined taste. And their Dover sole was huge and for $26.00 a relative bargain so perhaps I should just shut up, cough up and be Be Kool. I know this should be on various other threads but with what’s been happening and I was going to write about this on a new thread, in fact I will start one now..........I was going to do a detailed daily report, still might after I get back but what’s happened on the French side has thrown us sideways a bit as do spend far more time on the French side than the Dutch and have done for years. However what I wanted to say was it’s a great shame as I noticed new stores opening in Marigot, a new very smart or redone Hotel right in the center plus new pastry shops, one in particular that had a fantastic selection and the store owners are trying so hard and felt they were on the way to better things. Give it another full year without hurricanes or problems such as we are experiencing now and could start to get back to where they were many years ago.
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Yesterday at 09:21 PM Christine Gordon intro to Caring! [by sxmmartini]
I need to meet more people like this.... loving, caring and generous souls!

https://www.facebook.com/stbarthrockstar/videos/10218399934483353/

2019 is almost over and let us help others and begin a New Year 2020 on a path that leads to Happiness and Peace!
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Yesterday at 08:09 PM Marigot today [by bran]
Knew the minute I hit town, something was wrong. No cars, no people, no nothing. All the stores were shut apart from the restaurants and there was garbage everywhere in the streets as drove through them, which apparently was the left overs from fires the night before. Could park where I wanted. Had lunch at Tropicana but the owner said the night before was terrible. Dinner for three people and they shut early and could see and smell fires burning from all over. Always have read about it(trouble, regardless where we have travelled)from afar, but the first time ever been actually in the heart of it so to speak. Also yesterday, after a downpour, only just made it through the floods going through the golf course.
A fun time indeed wave just another day in paradise. tgif and to quote a famous person. Tomorrow is another day.
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Yesterday at 07:45 PM Trip Repor10/27/19-11/6/19 – A Foodie Pictorial - Part 2 [by BeachKitten]
The surf was rough all over the island on this trip. Was able to get into the water at Orient only once, and that was calculating and timing the waves just right for entry and exit. The surfers certainly enjoyed the high seas.

At La Plage
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We had heard good things about Nonna Rosa in Maho. Owned by the same people as La Rosa, and ostensibly good pizza. Once we got there, we didn’t order pizza but rather Shrimp Fra Diavolo and gnocchi with a Bolognese sauce. Both were very good. My complaint is that there was no bread or salad served with these entrees. We also had no drinks, just flat bottled water, and the bill came to $55.

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Did some quick shopping in Philipsburg one day and decided to hit Mark’s Place on the way home. For less than the previous meal we had two drinks each and so much food we had to take some home. Chicken curry and goat curry. All very yummy as usual! Mark’s is a bargain and almost all locals as patrons. $49
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Celebrated the Nat’s winning the World Series during a rainy breakfast at the Yacht Club. Famous bloody Mary’s, eggs bennie, and a Cajun shrimp omelet.

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Orient. Drinks at KKÔ
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Yesterday at 06:30 PM Trip Report 11/12/19-12/6/19, PART SIX (final) [by jazzgal]
Tuesday, December 3

My time on the island is getting short, and I have not had enough beach time so headed to Anse Marcel for a final beach day. It was sunny and clear when I left the Toad, but the closer I got to Anse Marcel, the darker the clouds were.

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I hadn’t had breakfast so decided to have lunch upon arrival, with the thought of going down to the beach after lunch. I decided on the Guinea hen again, a favorite from an earlier visit. It did not disappoint. The first time I had it, the poultry leg confit on pastry was served with the lunch; this time, it was served as a second course. No matter; it was all good.

The dark clouds continued to look like rain, so I spent the entire afternoon in the restaurant and had a couple more drinks while enjoying the ocean. The “angry sea” that was affecting the entire island didn’t spare Anse Marcel as there was perhaps only 30 percent of the usual beach and the waves were active, which is unusual for that beach.

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I hadn’t yet been to Sele et Pepe’s new location so headed there for dinner. The interior is simply stunning; they did a great job in making it appear very upscale. The tables right on the water are actually looking out at a couple of large yachts docked there, but the atmosphere is wonderful.

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I also thought the service was very good. My appetizer was a special: oysters. I am spoiled by the wonderful oysters we have in the Pacific Northwest so thought these were just okay. My entrée was on the sheet of Chef Davide’s recommendations and was a sausage pasta in alfredo sauce. It was good but did not blow me away.

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All in all, I was a little disappointed in my experience here.

Wednesday, December 4

It was finally here: my last full day on the island. I spent it packing and vegging on the sand in front of the guesthouse. I attended the Toad’s happy hour and brought the leftover spinach balls for the group, again to loud acclaim. I wanted to go to Grand Case for my last dinner on the island but didn’t feel like the drive so went to Mario’s, where I enjoyed another spectacular appetizer: wahoo sashimi with crab rolls. Excellent!

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The lamb chops were good although the lamb flavor wasn’t as pronounced as it usually is. The vegetables were excellent, probably due to the large amount of butter.

Thursday, December 5 and Friday, December 6

The innkeepers didn’t have anyone coming in to my room for a few days so allowed me to stay on property until time to leave for my 5:17 p.m. flight. This allowed me another morning on the beach, which was a nice way to end my stay there.

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The innkeepers had asked my opinion about an advertising solicitation they had received, and I suggested TTOL as an alternative for them to consider. I also mentioned a couple of the Facebook groups as a way for them to keep up with island visitors and what’s being said about them. As I left, they said they had already joined TTOL and the FB groups. Hope to see you on here from time to time, Doug!

Then the long process began. I dropped by Leisure, and they took me to the airport. Check-in took only a few minutes, and customs wasn’t too bad. Security wasn’t pleasant, and I really miss not being able to utilize Pre-Check on the island. There were a couple of new (to me) gates – 9 and 10 – around the corner from the other downstairs gates. The area was air conditioned so the wait was tolerable. Walked to the plane and up the stairs; a nice attendant carried my roller up the stairs for me.

The flight to Miami was uneventful. Either I am getting used to it, or the walk to the kiosks wasn’t as bad as in the past. Global Entry was a breeze although the walk to the GE kiosks is longer than to the regular kiosks. It was about 15 minutes from entering the terminal to exiting customs/immigration, and it was another 15 minutes before my bags came out. I was able to recheck my bags on to Portland even though I was overnighting at the MIA hotel since my layover was under twelve hours, by about 20 minutes!
I was given incorrect instructions on how to get to the hotel so walked much longer than necessary. Took a shower and hit the sack for some shut-eye before my 4:00 a.m. wake-up call.

I had an early-morning flight to DFW, again on a 777. The layover in DFW was just long enough to take Sky Train to the next gate and board, arriving in Portland a little after 1:00 p.m. I was able to pick my cats up from the boarding facility that afternoon, which was wonderful.


It was another good trip although the first part was far too busy. There were too many events planned during the first part of the trip so I didn’t feel as though I had any extended down time. I won’t do that again. There were some notable exceptions, but I spent too much money on high-end meals that didn’t deliver.

Due to some other trips planned, I will not be making my normal island visit next June so I won’t be returning to SXM until late October, but that will be a five-week stay at the Toad.
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Yesterday at 06:18 PM Trip Report-Meet and Greet Pics-Part Five [by jazzgal]
Monday, December 2, continued

The Meet and Greet was held at Bar Code in Jordan Village. Originally I was intending this as a TTOL event. Since RSVPs were lagging, I opened the event up to a couple of the SXM Facebook groups and ended out with about thirty responses; probably 25 showed up. (There is a lot of crossover among TTOL membership and the Facebook groups.) Everyone seemed to have a good time, and several stayed for dinner. The staff did a terrific job of taking care of everyone, and I would call it a success.

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Vikki and Lori (standing); Elizabeth (IslandGem), Robin (irish1223), Cecli (seated)

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Richard and Nattasha (gomer 36); Andy and Judy

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Mj (Todd), Marygrace, Georgia (GaKaye)

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Tamara, Todd (Todd)

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Brad (wofan), David (GaKaye)

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Elaine (BillandElaine), Wendy (WendyK)

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Bill and Elaine (BillandElaine)

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Tad and Lori (tnw2007)

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Elizabeth (IslandGem), Robin (irish1223)

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Mj and Todd (Todd), Wendy (WendyK), Georgia and David (GaKaye)
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Lora (wofan), Vikki, Brad (wofan)

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Lori, Cecli, Tad (tnw2007)

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Linda (JazzGal), Jane

It looks as though I didn't get any pictures of Cleta and Larry, and I am sorry for that.
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Yesterday at 04:24 PM Trip Report 10/27/19-11/6/19 – A Foodie Pictorial - Part 1 [by BeachKitten]
Having been home for a month now, minute details such as what time we woke up for the car service (zero dark thirty) and a blow by blow of the days won’t be what you’re getting here. This is mostly pictures with a few details interspersed.

It was lovely arriving at the airport and hearing a steel drum band.
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Got “my” 69 car from Lesley of Kenny’s Car Rental wink
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Dropped the bags, shopped at Maho Market for breakfast items and wine. Hit Driftwood for several rum punches. Boy are the good and strong! Soaked up the rum with a pizza and chicken shawarma. Watched the idiots get on cars, in the road, etc to see the planes.
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First breakfast we stayed close and went to Tortuga at La Plage. Omelets and Mimosa’s. Ran into some old friends doing the Monday a.m. orientation. Got caught up on Mullet gossip. Mirian from No1SXM was there so we booked a 7 ½ hour around the island sail with her. ALL SAILING, no motoring! Love it.

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Our first day was overcast with intermittent showers but we wanted to check on conditions at Mullet. Was very happy to see efforts at garbage clean-up.

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Pre-birthday mani pedi’s and then lunch at Dinghy Dock. Burgers and mahi-mahi (or was it wahoo?) sandwich.

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Hubby had flowers delivered for my birthday
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Spent my birthday on Orient settled in chairs and umbrellas at KKÔ. Wine list contained the La vie en Rose in the pretty bottle with glass cork and rose on the bottom that you can buy at Costco for $12. I laughed seeing it for $39 There was a gendarme and his family enjoying a beach day with their baby. It was fun watching the baby and the K-9. Lunch was asparagus risotto and lamb. Yummy!

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After a wonderful day at the beach it was then birthday dinner at Sal e Pepe! They had a special table by the water for me, and had placed fresh roses and stars on the table to make it special. Appetizers were a large crab cake and carpaccio. Entrees were pasta with a meat sauce and jumbo shrimp in a Sicilian sauce.

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After dinner we walked down to Dinghy Dock. Spent some time with Seth and the bar kitty watching the World Series. To say that I don’t remember the end of the evening would be an understatement. Birthday shots really catch up to you.

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Yesterday at 03:26 PM Karakter Construction and General Observations [by gomer36]
Morning all,
Was reading the Karakter construction thread this morning while sitting there having breakfast, so thought I would ask. New construction is an expansion. Will have cabanas, spa with massage and a private chef experience available.

Also, went to new Texaco across the causeway to top gas off, and thick black smoke can be seen across the lagoon towards Marigot and especially Sandy Ground. Very much an attitude of "not your usual protest" from the folks on this side.

Flooding..the roads are next to impassable in some places..all your usual favorites. Mullet and Cupe Coy worst by far. Nasty tire busting pot holes have opened up, patch washed out..etc. many covered by water. Saw several disabled vehicles last night with bent trims. Be careful if you're on the island or on your way.

Thanks to Jazzgal for organizing the meet n greet at Bar Code. Made for a great start to our vacation, meet some lovely people. Back to Detroit and the frozen tundra.
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Yesterday at 01:09 PM 2 Questions pls [by bran]
Is the drumming and music still being played around 8pm in Maho tonight?

Any news on Sandy ground/French side strikes or “manifestations” as they like to call it still going on today?

Thx.
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Yesterday at 01:08 PM West End Ferry Update [by cruzdoc]
Haven't been down since June and saw where Native Son does have some ferries on the schedule now from Red Hook, ST to West End, Tortola. Do they have a terminal rebuilt at West End now to accommodate normal ferry traffic? They were only taking private ferries and yachts when we were there last.

Also, has anyone used the terminal and can comment on their efficiency assuming it has reopened? Trying to verify for some crew coming in April. Thanks in advance!

Brett
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