Traffic, if you pay attention to the bridge and causeway posted opening times, doesn't seem so bad his trip, with the exception of the one night it took us an hour twenty to get from The Towers to The Royal Palm? And avoiding certain areas at certain times helps, too.
More holidays than I have ever paid attention to before. We had all the Easter closures over the Good Friday to Easter Monday span and yesterday was another holiday - perhaps Labor Day? - or maybe something else. And this coming weekend is another holiday weekend - something to do with Carnival (or not?) and while they used to add on the queens Birthday to that one, it's still a long weekend but no one we've asked seems to know who or why they're celebrating it.
It seems many of the huge yachts seem to be mostly all headed off to greener pastures, or perhaps that should read deeper waters.....but the big yachts we typically see this time of year are mostly gone and the marinas around Simpson Bay seem almost naked of the big ones. I mean, there are still some, but just not the numbers and sizes we're used to seeing at this time of year. And we do come this time of year EVERY year.
And in the past, with all these holidays there were always so many business closures, not counting the restaurants which are almost always open. Now days it seems like the only ones really benefitting from these holidays are government and bank workers and office personnel in some places. Most businesses - grocery stores, jewelry stores and other places that cater more to the tourist trades - seem to be open and must just bite the bullet in paying their workers the higher rates for holiday pay. And the beaches don't seem to be as crowded either. Perhaps the rains over Easter weekend took its toll as well. But at least Mullet wasn't such a huge mess as in previous years. Perhaps the locals are learning.......
And while I can't say this for certain with reference to Philipsburg, there just don't seem to be the larger number of people out and about in the evenings. We were easily able to find parking in Grand Case when we stopped at Calmos for sunset drinks, and each evening as we've driven through Maho the sidewalks are empty. Most of the restaurants in Simpson Bay have had out front parking spots during dinner hour as we've driven by. Princess Casino was pretty much dead and Casino Royale wasn't much busier. With reference to Mano, I think Mr. Spadero really killed the rest of the area by making his resorts AI. There's just no foot traffic, or at least not much of it.
And I'm sure I'll think of other changes but these seem to be the most obvious that come to mind, for now at least......
"Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat