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Carol_HillAdministrator
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Our trip so far..
      #1735818 - 06/18/17 12:03 PM (168.0.84.219)

THE TRIP DOWN
We booked our air in January on AA. We only had enough miles for one ticket, so I bought my ticket for $410 roundtrip, Tampa to Charlotte to SXM, then the EARLY SXM to Miami to Tampa on the way home. We normally just drive 3 1/2 hours to Miami for the nonstop from Miami, but it was $300 MORE for that when we booked. Eric booked Tampa to the evening Miami flight to SXM, because that was all that was available at the time on frequent flyer tickets. So we were on different flights on the way down. We have often booked ff tickets with flights that were not what we wanted and have always been able to change them to better flights. This time we checked ALL the time until just two days before we were due to leave, before we FINALLY were able to get Eric on the same flights I was on. The flights were outrageously expensive the whole time to book, up until the last day, and there were easily 40 seats available Tampa to Charlotte and 50 seats available on the Charlotte to SXM flight, at the time we checked in.

So, on Thursday morning we were up at 3:45 AM for the two hour drive to Tampa, parked in the economy parking garage, checked one bag outside and were through security and at our gate within 25 minutes of parking. This was despite me getting TSA pre-check and Eric not, so we both went through the regular line.

I'm not sure what happened the day before our flight from Tampa. That morning there were 20 people on a stand by list and only about half made it on to what was then a full flight. They were offering to check carry on bags for free, so we checked one of our carry on bags (the one with nothing in it but clothes!!), all the way to SXM. The flight to Charlotte was uneventful and on time.

Once in Charlotte we split a burger at the bar next to the gate and eventually boarded. When we boarded the cabin attendant was asking people what their seats were, and moving most people up front, as the whole front of the plane had been empty, because no one had paid the ridiculous price to 'upgrade' to seats in the front. Without any prompting from us on seat location, she put us in row 16 by ourselves, so that we had three seats for the two of us (as did most everyone else) . It made for a lovely trip down.

ARRIVAL IN SXM
We arrived about a half hour early and the only other plane on the ground was another AA flight, that was already through immigration. There were NO forms to fill out and we were through immigration, got our bags and were sitting in the van going to Travel Rent a Car within twenty five minutes of when our plane landed!!

We went to Beachside Villas and admired the renovations to our unit.

And that view!



We dropped off our bags, and were back out the door to go to Grand Marche by 4 PM, an hour from when we landed. Traffic in Simpson Bay was bad--how shocking!--so it was 45 minutes to Grand Marche. We got a bunch of essentials and were back 'home' by around 6 PM, with the trip back (including the 'passing the scooter' incident!!) much quicker than the trip over had been.

I sent Eric over tothe boat bar for a carry out pizza while I unpacked. A few slices of pizza, with some drinks, and it was time for slumber!!

Friday morning Eric fixed us a ham and cheese omelette for breakfast. We didn't find many good deals on wine at Grand Marche, so Friday morning we headed out to Super U for some wine and a couple of other things. Lunch was burgers on the grill.

Dinner was at La Patrona for our anniversary. See the separate note regarding that. After dinner we headed over to Hollywood, where I had fun at roulette for a while, before I eventually lost my a$$. Oh well..

SATURDAY
Saturday dawned beautiful, as the weather during the day had been so far.




The beach here is beautiful at the moment, although it does have some 'waves' in it, so not totally level. We have seen basically no seaweed here, as there are just bits on the beach, and we have not seen anyone cleaning the beach here.


As always, our primary occupation here is just watching the passing view out our back door.





Breakfast was some croissants from An Pain Gourmet (by Super U).


Lunch was grilled chicken sandwiches with chips and salsa and fruit.



I was concerned that it would be too crowded on the deck with the grill, but we have had no problems with space on the deck.

And inside, the transformation is amazing! I LOVE it!



As before, during the day, we leave the front and back doors wide open and have the a/c off. It is so nice in the evening to be able to close up everything and put the a/c on and watch TV in the living room, with the doors closed for security.

Dinner Saturday evening was some baked brie that we found on markdown at Super U, for being short-dated. Saturday morning I sent Eric over to Carrefour for some strawberries, which they hadn't had at Super U. As usual, he came back with those, but ended up with some additional goodies, like some caviar and champagne! It was a lovely dinner!





SUNDAY

We heard some HARD rain overnight but Sunday dawned fairly bright, along with nice breezes. So far we had about 5 minutes of sprinkles Saturday evening around 7, but otherwise the weather has been beautiful during the day, with nice breezes.

Breakfast was continental affair, with some sliced ham and cheese and some fruit and a crossaint. Lunch looks to be ribs on the grill and potato salad. Life is good!

Edited by Carol_Hill (06/18/17 12:53 PM)


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BeachKitten
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Joined: 11/01/09
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Re: Our trip so far.. [Re: Carol_Hill]
      #1735819 - 06/18/17 12:20 PM (96.231.206.165)

Looks wonderful!! What a relaxing start. Happy Anniversary.

Would going over the causeway to Carefour have been quicker ?

--------------------
"It is good to do nothing all day, and then to rest" ;)



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pat
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Re: Our trip so far.. [Re: Carol_Hill]
      #1735820 - 06/18/17 12:21 PM (75.133.113.202)

So very happy that everything worked out with both the travel arrangements - flights, seats, etc., and the weather and beach conditions as well. Belatedly (but don't forget how early I was originally ...) happy anniversary.

I hope the rest of your trip is just as perfect.

--------------------
Respectfully,

pat



"Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat
them."


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Carol_HillAdministrator
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Re: Our trip so far.. [Re: BeachKitten]
      #1735822 - 06/18/17 12:39 PM (168.0.84.219)

Carrefour would have been quicker, for sure, but we had preferred Grand Marche. However, the selection this year at Carrefour has been better actually.

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Carol_HillAdministrator
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Re: Our trip so far.. [Re: pat]
      #1735823 - 06/18/17 12:40 PM (168.0.84.219)

Yes, as you know, I was really stressing over the flights!! Thanks for the wishes!

Just added a couple more pictures...

Edited by Carol_Hill (06/18/17 12:54 PM)


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Eric_HillAdministrator
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Re: Our trip so far.. [Re: pat]
      #1735832 - 06/18/17 04:19 PM (168.0.84.219)

Hay Pat I am here also!!! Just remember that, your DH is there also!

I went to the grocery store and everything!!! I got the champagne, like a good husband should!!

Had to give you grief!!!! All in fun!!

Grilled ribs for lunch.

--------------------
Eric Hill
TTOL Shop


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Eric_HillAdministrator
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Re: Our trip so far.. [Re: Eric_Hill]
      #1735833 - 06/18/17 04:26 PM (168.0.84.219)

Pat and everybody -- wait until the pixs from the grill today. Was wonderful and I did not over cook them. Grilled ribs for lunch in SXM and the view from the deck??? Ok how is this bad???

--------------------
Eric Hill
TTOL Shop


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The_Lurker
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Joined: 04/25/08
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Re: Our trip so far.. [Re: Eric_Hill]
      #1735834 - 06/18/17 04:39 PM (24.44.41.166)

Eric so funny !
Do we sometimes forget our husbands???



Happy Anniversary!!!


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Eric_HillAdministrator
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Re: Our trip so far.. [Re: The_Lurker]
      #1735835 - 06/18/17 04:53 PM (168.0.84.219)

Just to give Pat more grief!

Yes, we had potato salad for lunch.............. anybody wants to know, just ask Pat!!!! Nothing there, but ask anyway.

BTW, I got the strawberries for the champagne also, what is it with strawberries and champagne anyway???? This has to be a.......... not going there at all..... otherwise will have to lock this thread!!!

Vacation is good............ cannot argue with that under any circumstances.

--------------------
Eric Hill
TTOL Shop


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islandgem
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Re: Our trip so far.. [Re: Carol_Hill]
      #1735853 - 06/18/17 09:51 PM (174.116.44.201)

Nice report Carol and of course Eric. You can't have champagne without strawberries, but dipping them in chocolate would have been nice if Eric had thought to buy some!

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jazzgal
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Re: Our trip so far.. [Re: Carol_Hill]
      #1735858 - 06/19/17 01:26 AM (201.220.7.42)

Very nice report and great pictures. I, too, was on AA and I did have a form to fill out!

--------------------


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pat
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Re: Our trip so far.. [Re: jazzgal]
      #1735867 - 06/19/17 07:25 AM (75.133.113.202)

The last two trips two trips we made to SXM on AA they gave us forms but they weren't collected at the airport. Our April JB trip they didn't even give them to us and I think they said the forms were no longer necessary. And likewise, coming back into NY on that same trip but that might have been because of having GE?

--------------------
Respectfully,

pat



"Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat
them."


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Carol_HillAdministrator
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Re: Our trip so far.. [Re: jazzgal]
      #1735877 - 06/19/17 08:39 AM (168.0.84.219)

How weird! They didn't say anything about them on our flight and the immigration lady didn't say anything either. We were standing in front of her less than 30 seconds, long enough for her to welcome us back!

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Carol_HillAdministrator
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Re: Our trip so far.. [Re: islandgem]
      #1735878 - 06/19/17 08:40 AM (168.0.84.219)

Elizabeth--I didn't think to ask him to get them, so guess it's partly my fault!

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NJHarry
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Joined: 08/04/05
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Re: Our trip so far.. [Re: Carol_Hill]
      #1735879 - 06/19/17 08:52 AM (173.3.196.198)

Have a great time! I really enjoyed your pictures and the view. Looks perfect.

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Carol_HillAdministrator
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Re: Our trip so far.. [Re: NJHarry]
      #1735880 - 06/19/17 09:08 AM (168.0.84.219)

Thanks! It has been pretty darn good so far!

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JimCandD
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Re: Our trip so far.. [Re: Carol_Hill]
      #1735958 - 06/19/17 08:50 PM (208.91.195.229)

We arrived here on SXM Thursday on Delta from Atlanta and we didn't have to fill out any card as well. Going through customs was a breeze. Glad you are having a good trip so far. TV ?

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Carol_HillAdministrator
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Re: Our trip so far.. [Re: JimCandD]
      #1735964 - 06/19/17 09:11 PM (168.0.84.219)

Sorry--TV??

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