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8 hours ago Dec. 4 and week one draws to a close...... [by pat]
Waiting for Jeannie of Shopndrop grocery service to arrive! Not a business call but strictly social - old friends planning to have coffee and visit. Traffic, maybe? No problem, mon. She’ll be here soon......

We ended up visiting over breakfast of sorts and catching up and we enjoyed every moment with her. I didn’t realize she had moved back to the Dawn Beach area but it’s so beautiful out there that I truly get it. One of our fondest SXM memories was many years ago along with other good island friends eating Indian cuisine on her porch and watching the full moon rise over the ocean. Special times, special friends and very special memories.

DH had to run to the grocery store because - OMG! - he ran out of both cookies and ice cream at the same time and he could almost do without real food than lack those two items in his personal food chain. And now he’s out watching the planes come and go. He never tires of this while I never tire of the waves crashing. To each his/her own. Whatever it takes, right?!

It’s been yet another beautiful day. At least one big cruise ship came on to our horizon before it moved on to greener pastures or perhaps I should say deeper waters? And now it or another one similar in nature has returned. And just one gorgeous big yacht anchored in the Simpson Bay area - no clue who owns it but methinks it’s one very wealthy owner, for sure, judging by the size and style of the boat.

Dinner tonight was at Mai Ti in Baie Nettle on the lagoon side and it was lovely. Over the years we had tried many times to go there in its old location and for one reason or another it just never quite worked out. We dined with old friends, MJ and Todd Benner and Georgia and David Langston whom we hadn’t seen in years, and Lora and Brad Mast whom we met for the first time this evening. We had such a good time. Our ‘driver’ picked us up here at BSV and what a treat that was. Left to our own devices I’m sure we would have ended up driving around forever and in the end we would probably not have found the place and gone elsewhere that was easier to find and more convenient for us. And thanks to our wonderful kids for a special treat. Who knew how sneaky they could be? What a nice surprise! As for the restaurant itself, it’s outdoor dining with tables under protective roofs, tiki torches burning, and a view of the lights over the lagoon where we could see all the way to the airport. Very comfortably elegant, for want of a better description. It was a lovely evening in every way and if we can find it again I’m sure we’ll return there someday.
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Yesterday at 11:15 PM Trip Report - Arrival [by nakedisbetter]
WE MADE IT!!

As promised here is our information on what it took to get here. If you are coming soon (We arrived on December 3rd) this is probably going to help you.

We used our state FREE PCR testing and scheduled our appointment 122 hours ahead of departure because it was the time we could get. We were traveling on 12/2 with an overnight layover in Miami with a MIA to SXM departure on 12/3. We received our negative results the morning of 12/2 and there were not the original lab form required by SXM so the were useless. Fortunately we had already put plan be in motion and paid for an antigen rapid test on 12/1 and had been working to upload our results. I was rejected 4 times and my wife 5 times. On my fourth time I was approved but with my wife still denied I was panicked. If you find yourself in a similar situation call: 721-542-3003 and ask for Nikisha. One call and 3 minutes later we had approval for her also.

Traveling:

1. If you are traveling out of Miami: Allow 3.5 hours at least to get boarding passes and through security. ALL international flights have to go through an additional prescreening in terminal D. Fortunately, our Lyft driver dropped us off at the D instead of E or we would have had to back track. You CANNOT use the self serve kiosks or check in on-line. This takes a long time. Fortunately, as our flight approached they called us by destination and we were able to get through a little quicker.
2. We departed out of Terminal E in Miami and their were NO food outlets open after security, so do not travel hungry. This is why I suggest getting there 3.5 hour early. Get through security in Gate D, find something to eat and then make your way to E if neccessary.
3. In SXM, everyone is in the same line until you get to medical screening. They initially didn't want to take our antigen test. It appears that the word hasn't spread that these are acceptable but a supervisor told her to let us go. (you have to show your results at both the screening and at customs).
4. Good news: if you checked bags (we didn't) they were coming off the belt faster then we got through customs. I have never seen that happen.

Once we are here: ALL IS GREAT!! We are camped at an AirBnB in Orient Bay for the next 12 days and plan to be on the beach. There is a lot of seaweed coming in and less of the beach bars currently cleaning it up. But considering that up until now there hasn't been very many people to clean it up for I am not surprised by that. There has been a lot of work along Orient and there are many choices for restaurants and chair rental just like normal, but with fewer people. Of course the most crowded portion is down at Club O. If you are coming in I will be there! Most likely you can find me with a Bright Yellow hat.

Thank you to all who have posted over the last month with their trip reports. It encouraged us to keep trying. The Islanders are VERY appreciative. If you are coming and this helped you get here, I like rumrunners and beer as a thank you!!!!

Bonjour!! from the great Isle de St. Martin!!
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Yesterday at 09:55 PM American Couple Fined On Anguilla for Breaking Quarantine [by NeilRooney]

Press Release

American couple fined $5,000 for breaking quarantine on Anguilla today
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Yesterday at 09:10 PM Medical Insurance [by boucharda]
I see the reports of on arrival checking of the EHAS form....checking that there is a negative COVID test...but I haven't seen any mention of the required medical insurance. Do they check to see if you have appropriate coverage or not?

Not asking if you SHOULD have the coverage...just curious to see if anyone was questioned about it and what proof was presented.
3 188 Read More
Yesterday at 09:04 PM Italy? [by ScurvyD]
Does anyone have any somewhat educated guess as to when we can take a halfway normal trip to Italy? We are scheduled to go in March after being cancelled last March. I have serious doubts it will happen, although trying to staying optimistic. Thanks
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Yesterday at 05:45 PM Delta From ATL Dec. 4 [by ruralcarrier]
No idea what the issue is but the flight was diverted to and has landed in Miami. Now scheduled to arrive SXM at 5:14 vs 2:42. This will have an impact on the return and connections in ATL. Good luck to anyone scheduled on it.

Also, from what I can tell, the return is now routed through Miami as well.
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Yesterday at 05:36 PM La Samanna will reopen February 15 [by Carol_Hill]
Daily Herald story

And I see Secrets will open the end of January. Hopefully Secrets will be in better shape than when they tried to open, pre Covid, when they were not prepared to open.
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Yesterday at 05:34 PM Towers workers demanding their salaries [by Carol_Hill]
Daily Herald story

Never will understand SXM labor laws. They have not had any paying guests since Irma, yet, they were paid full salaries until the Covid situation, and since then have been paid half salaries, all for no work, now 3 years and 2 months, post Irma.....
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Yesterday at 04:56 PM Didn't think we would make it tomorrow [by lcote]
We woke up this morning and still no negative covid tests in our email. I called our doctors' offices to see about expediting. No go there. Looked for instant testing anywhere....no go.
I delayed our Shop N Drop order til Monday.
And then, 3 hours later.....the tests arrived.
The moral of the story is,sometimes, good things do happen! I can't wait to be in SXM!
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Yesterday at 02:46 AM Thursday, Dec. 3 in the year of COVID-19 [by pat]
Another beautiful sunrise.....And the beginnings of what looks to be another beautiful day. Ah, paradise.

Breakfast at home and morning at the pool with lunch at home again. Are you getting the drift of our island time yet? But honestly, after all these years and trips and weeks spent in beautiful Sint Maarten, we really have no great desire to do it all anymore. Kinda’ like binderdundat enough times over the years so we can really relax and just enjoy at our turtle pace.

Can’t help but marvel at how the sky and surf changes almost hourly. This morning we felt things were a little hazy with big puffy clouds everywhere but all the near islands became much clearer about midday at around the same time a big Carnival cruise ship cruised in and then out of our area. And now it’s beautifully sunny and the waves are coming higher and higher and closer to our building. Swimmable for many but not this Grandma - I definitely know my limitations but I could sit here forever and just mentally embrace the sounds of the waves. And finally, coming home this evening it looks as though it may have rained lightly and briefly in our area judging by the new puddles every so often.

Remembering the traffic back-up last evening, we left early tonight to meet friends for dinner at Lee’s. No traffic and we were 40 minutes early but no troubles - it was more than worth the wait and we secured a perfect parking spot at Lee’s and that’s an accomplishment in itself. Grilled garlic butter basted lobsters amidst the presence of great people. Laughter and reminiscing of good times long past. I truly don’t think it could get any better ............

Ah, life is good.
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