Loc: Portland, OR
Thursday, November 24
We headed out fairly early to Mullet and snagged front-row chairs. There was a somewhat small shelf, but it was navigable. What a perfect beach day, weather-wise!
As the day wore on, the crowds grew, as did the noise level. There were a couple of party boats that came and went. While Mullet is a beautiful beach, I think I prefer one a little less populous.
Our original plan was to have Thanksgiving dinner at Piazza Pascal with a Facebook SXM group. In thinking about it, I decided I really didnít want to drive back from Grand Case late in the dark. (With 20/20 hindsight, we should have stuck to the original plan.)
I had seen a Thanksgiving menu on line that sounded good and was located, I thought, in the Starz complex. So much for assuming. We arrived, but couldnít locate Dish DíLish (which I had confused with Delight). A nice lady overheard us asking about Dish DíLish and gave us directions to an area on Airport Road I thought was a little sketchy.
Dish DíLish is kind of a hole-in-the-wall place, but it was very clean. Their special menu was homemade eggnog (good); a walnut salad (very good); and entrťe including turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, green beans, ham, and applesauce; and pumpkin pie for dessert. Service was a bit slow but pleasant. Their online regular menu indicates a variety of Indian, Thai, Caribbean, and Mediterranean food. I think turkey is not their strong suit, but the beans and ham were good.
Friday, November 25
My friend played golf in the morning while I worked out and hung around the condo. We headed out to La Playa late morning. It took about an hour to get there from Maho; no construction, just heavy midday traffic. We were hungry so headed ďupstairsĒ for lunch. Who should we run in to but the Benners and Langstons! When I was at Dreams, I didnít have the Bo-bun Nem salad that I love so ordered it here. I didnít remember it being as salty as it was, likely due to the soy sauce. But it still was really good.
It was windy at Orient but still a good beach afternoon.
I had never been to LaPlaya prior to Brunoís taking over, but itís very nice and he has plans to make it even more so.
After already driving two hours, we stayed close for dinner and went to Escape in Cupecoy. This is where Fig used to be, and the new restaurant is quite a transformation from when Fig was there. I wasnít that hungry so had a special Ė pumpkin soup with red peppers; it was absolutely exquisite. Unfortunately, I neglected to take a picture. I had the crab cake appetizer for my entrťe. Good but not exquisite. I want to go back there this trip because they have so many interesting tapas. Service was attentive and pleasant.
Saturday, November 26
A low-key day. We headed to El Zafiro for a windy beach day. The setting is lovely, and the service was extremely attentive. The ocean was very active.
I had the shrimp Caesar salad, which was loaded with too many croutons, but the shrimp were nicely spiced. My friend had the grouper.
I had never been to Mario Bistro so we headed there for dinner. I had eaten at the restaurant formerly in that location, and itís a beautiful setting. The service was excellent. While good, I didnít think the food was worth the price. I had their signature duck and brought half of it home for leftovers. The tossed salad was very good, but Iíve had better duck in Portland.
Sunday, November 27
It was a perfect day for sailing! We went out on Capt. Ianís Spellbound, which we were dingied (is that a word?) to from SMYC. There were ten of us, which made for a comfortable sailing experience. Capt. Ian is very attentive to his guestsí needs, constantly asking us if we needed anything. The first stop for swimming and snorkeling was at the lovely Cap Jaluca.
Then it was back on the boat for a lunch of salads, chicken, and ribs; the latter were divine! The next stop was in front of CuisinArt, which is next to Bankie Banxís Dune Preserve. We walked around the CuisinArt a little and had a $15 guavaberry colada at their outdoor bar right on the sea. Then we walked to the Dune Preserve where someone other than Bankie was singing. Finally Bankie graced us with a couple of tunes, and then it was time for us to leave.
We had a beautiful ride back to SMYC.
Iíd never had SMYCís much-touted grouper fingers so tried those along with a couple of other appetizers; they are three for $25 during happy hour, and we just barely made it. I thought the grouper fingers were too much and too doughy, but to each his own.
Monday, November 28
Today was kind of a bust. My friend had planned to go golfing, but it was pouring rain. Plan B was to head to Grand Case to visit Tijon. En route, we stopped at the studio of marquetry artist Jean-Pierre Straub, whose work I adore; plus heís just a lovely person. Jean-Pierre Straub I noticed his work is showing more color than in the past. Since English isnít his native language, heís hard for me to understand, but it has something to do with the veneer on the wood. I found a grouping of three pieces Iíd love to have but held off for the moment.
Traffic was horrid and I turned around at the Marigot roundabout by the cemetery. Plan C: Philipsburg for some shopping. Quite a bit of traffic headed that direction as well. Just past Antoineís there was a barricade across Front Street, necessitating a left-hand turn. Not sure what that was about. Tried parking in the lot, but it was full; the line of cars waiting to get in wasnít moving. Plan D became lunch at Chesterfieldís; just so-so. Tried finding a parking spot after lunch, but it was not to be.
It was now about 3:15 p.m. We had a 5:00 p.m. reservation for the Topperís Rhum Tour. Decided to go by there anyway to see if we could get in earlier. Bless Daveís heart; he did a tour for just the two of us at 3:30 p.m. The tour was interesting and included several shots of rhum.
I bought a couple of bottles and now have to worry about getting them in my suitcase. Thank heavens bags for first-class American customers can be 70 lbs.!
I was getting tired of driving so we headed to the condo. The skies were spectacular!
We tried going to Moomba; closed. Then tried La Petite Paris; closed. Settled on Bajatzu. I had the appetizer of crab-stuffed shrimp with a side of vegetables. The shrimp were too salty, but the meal was otherwise okay. Service was pleasant.
Tuesday, November 29
I developed a hacking cough that had been getting progressively worse so stayed home during the day to see if rest would help. It really didnít, but I didnít want to miss my reservation for the sunset cruise on the Passaat. Met up with Dustin (and Ian) and met Candu. Miriam put us on the first dinghy so we could get our choice of seats on the schooner: the benefits of being a loyal repeat customer!
Normally the Passaatís motor is on only to get out of Simpson Bay, but Pieter had to turn the motor back on because there just wasnít any wind. The sky was gorgeous, and you could see both Saba and St. Kitts.
The last picture was just after the green flash, which unfortunately I didnít see or capture.
Dustin, Ian, and I then headed to Karakter to meet up with a bunch of folks to hear the great music from the Ď60s and Ď70s (what I listened to before I got jazz religion). My coughing was really bothering me (and Iím sure everyone else) so we had to leave before the music was over but not before getting the name of Elaineís doctor.
I think Iím going to run up against the photo limit for posts so am cutting this report off a day early. While the trip isnít over yet, one of the highlights occurred on Wednesday and will be in the next trip report.