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Week 1: November 17 – November 23 Trip Report #113083
11/24/2016 07:45 AM
11/24/2016 07:45 AM
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 3,851
Portland, OR
jazzgal Offline OP
Traveler
jazzgal  Offline OP
Traveler
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 3,851
Portland, OR
Thursday, November 17

Traveling in November is a first for me. I own three weeks at Divi in June. Due to major surgery in March, I wasn’t certain I’d be healed enough to travel in June so made plans for November in the hope of meeting some new people. A friend accompanied me this year who has been to the island with me twice in the past. Instead of staying at Divi, I decided to try something new, searched VRBO (no. 437060), and found a lovely two-bedroom, three-bath unit available at Blue Marine in Maho.

A Lyft driver picked me up at 3:30 a.m. I have Global Entry so had Pre-Check, which was a breeze. I was in the gate area by 4:20 a.m. for a 6:00 a.m. flight. Hurry up and wait. I opted for first class, and the legs from PDX to DFW and from DFW to MIA were on time and pleasant. The final leg from MIA to SXM was delayed about two hours due to mechanical problems.

At one point, the stewardess referred to the woman next to me as Ms. Parker so I asked her if she was Linda Parker, and she was! First new acquaintance made.

Leisure Car Rental was waiting for us at the airport. We were whisked to their office close by, signed the paperwork, and were off to Blue Marine, where the condo owners were waiting for us; it was probably midnight by this time. The condo has very high-end furnishings, and I think the owners wanted to make sure we weren’t going to be trashing their place. They gave us a tour and showed us about some of the idiosyncrasies of the place. Jeannie of Shop and Drop had delivered our order earlier that afternoon so the refrigerator was well stocked. We unpacked and crashed.

Friday, November 18

We slept in as, by the time we got to bed, we had been up over 24 hours. The first order of business was to check out the view from the condo’s large deck. This was part of what we saw. The total view is quite expansive.

[Linked Image]

It was such a treat to be able to have breakfast in the unit without having to go grocery shopping; thank you, Jeannie! I availed myself of the gym in the basement of our building. It’s somewhat spartan, but adequate. We were still recovering from a long travel day so spent the afternoon by the huge pool.

[Linked Image]

We decided to stay in the neighborhood and went to Fig. They weren’t all that busy, which surprised me due to their new location and its being a Friday night. Sungoddess joined us for dinner. She had salmon and my friend and I had prawns. We were given six different dipping sauces for the three of us to share, all of which were delicious; they included pesto, butter and garlic, tamarind (my favorite), BBQ, sweet and spicy, and I’m drawing a blank on the last one.

[Linked Image]

Saturday, November 19

Feeling rejuvenated after a good night’s sleep, and marveling at the varied views from our deck,

[Linked Image]

we headed out for a beach day. Since it’s so good and relatively close, the choice of the day was Dreams. There weren’t too many there when we arrived, but it started filling up. Here, the difference between June and November was apparent. When I’m on island in June, there are clusters of chairs here and there. This day, there were two long rows of chairs. Upon our arrival, it started raining a little so we didn’t get settled in our beach chairs just yet. Rather, we went to the bar and enjoyed their drink of the day: the Blue Dreams made of blue Curacao, vodka, Cointreau, lime juice, passion fruit juice. Following are the “before” (unstirred) and “after” (stirred) views.

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

The rain stopped before we finished our drinks so we settled in our chairs.

[Linked Image]

Eventually it was time for lunch. I had a delicious duck special, and my friend had a seafood salad.

[Linked Image]

Back to the chairs after lunch, but the rains came so we departed. My friend needed some grocery items so we went to the Carrefour at the end of the causeway. What a zoo! And their carts seem to be bidirectional, which I’d not seen before; very difficult to steer straight.

Wanting something light and close, we opted for Bar Code. The road was dark, and there were only candles on the tables. Duh! GEBE at “work” so no electricity. Bar Code cooks with gas, however, so we were in business. I had the vegetable “dumplings” appetizer with a small salad; my friend had the fish and chips, which were quite substantial and very tasty. Due, I assume, to the electrical outage, there were very few patrons for this cute place which was busier in June than it was this night.

Sunday, November 20

Another beautiful morning with gorgeous views from the deck.

[Linked Image]

I had a hankering for my favorite beach, Anse Marcel; we didn’t go the day before as I thought the traffic on a Saturday around Marigot might be a mess. With similar trepidation, we headed out. I was amazed at how light the traffic was, and we were there in what seemed like 15-20 minutes. I was hit with another stark contrast between June and November. Lots of people; lots of chairs. We ended out with second-row beach chairs but still had a good view of the water.

[Linked Image]

There were only two beach boys; even though they were very busy, service was pleasant and relatively attentive. There were sprinkles off and on during the afternoon, but nothing that necessitated leaving the beach. My duck appetizer was delicious. What you might not be able to see in the picture is the serving dish for the salad. There was a little hollowed-out area for the salad; the dish itself had tiny little rocks inside. Unique.

[img]http://i1214.photobucket.com/albums/cc498/lrlehmann/SXM%20Nov%202016/IMG_4367_zpsnsumu0dv.jpg[/img]

We stayed until around 5 p.m., when the chairs around us were being stacked up. Hint; hint!

I thought it might be fun to go back via the Dutch side since I hadn’t seen what might be new there yet. I know the island relatively well at this point but missed a turn somewhere, and we ended out in the Weymouth Hills/Reward area. By now it was getting dark and raining so I was a little stressed. Finally got back to a main road at the roundabout by Grand Marche so we opted for a quick dinner at Mark’s Place before heading back to Maho. My friend had a vegetable pasta which looked good and she liked. My choice was somewhat less successful: mushroom chicken. But the scalloped potatoes were yummy!

Monday, November 21

We’d been having trouble getting the washer in the condo to work so the owner came over to fiddle with it and finally was able to get it started. Hurray! The condo provides only one beach towel per person so we are doing laundry pretty much every day. My friend decided to walk to the golf pro shop to get some information about playing and then went on to Mullet for a spell. She reported that the waves were especially high. I opted to read by the pool.

[img]http://i1214.photobucket.com/albums/cc498/lrlehmann/SXM%20Nov%202016/IMG_4378_zps4rxbceto.jpg[/img]

A member of one of the Facebook SXM groups organized a meet and greet at Melange in Port de Plaisance. Traffic over the causeway was a horrid mess but we eventually made it about 45 minutes late. We walked into a room of people who obviously knew each other, but I didn’t know any of them. The room had been arranged with dining tables so you could talk only to those at your table. However, I made some good contacts and was glad I went as it was a pleasant couple of hours. Melange provided some delicious appetizers. Their focus is tabletop grilling: all you can eat for $40.

We then headed to Bar Code where a group was meeting for dinner; we thought we’d see if any of them were still there. Linda Parker, Bill and Elaine, Ann and Steve, GaKaye and Todd with their respective spouses, and a couple other people I don’t think are on this forum were there. We had a drink, and then it was time to call it a night.

[img]http://i1214.photobucket.com/albums/cc498/lrlehmann/SXM%20Nov%202016/IMG_4375_zpsnopjuwfr.jpg[/img]

Tuesday, November 22

Off to the gym, which I’ve done every day so far; today was the first day I’ve seen anyone else in the room. Breakfast was on the deck, and then we headed off to Capt. Frenchy’s in Grand Case to meet Bill/Elaine and Ann/Steve. While black clouds threatened much of the day, it didn’t rain but was overcast most of the time. We ate lunch in the restaurant and stayed at the beach until nearly 5 PM. I thought the food was just okay and the chairs aren’t very comfortable; however, the company was fabulous!

[img]http://i1214.photobucket.com/albums/cc498/lrlehmann/SXM%20Nov%202016/IMG_4392_zpstextdcuw.jpg[/img]

We were going to go to Karakter for music and dinner, but it had started raining. We checked the menu at Connie’s but it didn’t appeal. Byblos won by default but definitely did not disappoint. We both had the lamb kebabs, which were delicious. A nice man sitting at the bar shared his baklava with us; OMG, I might have to go back just for that!

I had read on Facebook that there was very good music at Karakter on Tuesdays. Since the rain had stopped, we went there for a nightcap. You jazzers will appreciate that the band was playing “Duke’s Place” as we walked in so I was encouraged at what else we might hear. After that tune, there was a female singer whose name I didn’t catch who performed for the rest of the set. The band is versatile; even though I’m a jazz purist/snob, Creedence Clearwater’s “Heard It Through the Grapevine” really hit the spot. Some Marvin Gaye and other good 70s music. Very good, very enjoyable; I want to go back.

[img]http://i1214.photobucket.com/albums/cc498/lrlehmann/SXM%20Nov%202016/IMG_4397_zpsplinnozq.jpg[/img]

Wednesday, November 23

On Tuesday I had received an email from the condo owner asking if we were going to be home this morning as a technician was going to come to upgrade the Internet service and “it might be good” if we were here as codes are likely to change. Just how I want to spend my vacation: waiting for a technician to do work on a dwelling I don’t own. I had planned to be here until leaving for a luncheon but thought the request was a little cheeky; technician didn’t show before we left. In the morning, my friend played nine holes, walking the course, and enjoyed herself. I enjoyed the deck views and noticed this fellow by some of the flower beds.

[img]http://i1214.photobucket.com/albums/cc498/lrlehmann/SXM%20Nov%202016/IMG_4402_zpsxojci4wp.jpg[/img]

We spent the afternoon having lunch with a fun group of people at Layla’s. It was at least a three-hour lunch.

[img]http://i1214.photobucket.com/albums/cc498/lrlehmann/SXM%20Nov%202016/IMG_4406_zpsvcwe26pu.jpg[/img]

The food was okay but again, it’s about the people.

[img]http://i1214.photobucket.com/albums/cc498/lrlehmann/SXM%20Nov%202016/IMG_4417_zpslqxj7noj.jpg[/img]

After the long lunch, we didn’t feel like going out for dinner so picked up pizza at Pizza Pasta. Decidedly mediocre.

IslandGem and her hubby were planning to stay at Blue Marine before they had to cancel their trip, and I was really looking forward to meeting them. The only good thing about her not being here is that I’m not competing with her and her excellent trip reports. Miss you, Elizabeth!

It’s hard to believe a third of the trip is already over. We have some fun things planned for next week so stay tuned . . . .


[Linked Image]
SXM Sponsors
Re: Week 1: November 17 – November 23 Trip Report [Re: jazzgal] #113084
11/24/2016 08:07 AM
11/24/2016 08:07 AM
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 12,462
Peaceful Eastern North Carolin...
GaKaye Offline
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GaKaye  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 12,462
Peaceful Eastern North Carolin...
Great start, Linda! Looking forward to seeing you again while we're here!

Re: Week 1: November 17 – November 23 Trip Report [Re: jazzgal] #113085
11/24/2016 08:24 AM
11/24/2016 08:24 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 1,294
Hershey, Pennsylvania
Tom Online content
Traveler
Tom  Online Content
Traveler
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 1,294
Hershey, Pennsylvania
You have set a new benchmark for trip reports. Thank you.

Re: Week 1: November 17 – November 23 Trip Report [Re: jazzgal] #113086
11/24/2016 08:37 AM
11/24/2016 08:37 AM
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 15,704
Ohio
ruralcarrier Offline
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ruralcarrier  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 15,704
Ohio
Thanks for the report and pictures. Very well done. Hope your recovery is going well as it sounds like it is.

Pizza Pasta, your description fits it pretty well IMHO.


J.D.
Re: Week 1: November 17 – November 23 Trip Report [Re: jazzgal] #113087
11/24/2016 09:24 AM
11/24/2016 09:24 AM
Joined: Mar 2016
Posts: 164
Shelby2 Offline
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Shelby2  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Mar 2016
Posts: 164
Ver nice beginning, great pics...enjoy your vaca!! <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Clapping.gif" alt="" />

Re: Week 1: November 17 – November 23 Trip Report [Re: jazzgal] #113088
11/24/2016 09:29 AM
11/24/2016 09:29 AM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 694
Western MA
S
SandS Offline
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SandS  Offline
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S
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 694
Western MA
Great repot as usual. Wish I had the energy you have. We tend to let sand gravity take over. Enjoy every minute.

Re: Week 1: November 17 – November 23 Trip Report [Re: jazzgal] #113089
11/24/2016 09:38 AM
11/24/2016 09:38 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 72,838
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 72,838
Central Florida!
Thanks for the first installment! Great pictures! Fig was not busy when we were there either. I wonder how busy they really are most of the time. I hope they make it. Looking forward to the rest of the story!


Carol Hill
Re: Week 1: November 17 – November 23 Trip Report [Re: jazzgal] #113090
11/24/2016 09:39 AM
11/24/2016 09:39 AM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 12,917
Brookfield, CT.
pat Offline
Traveler
pat  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 12,917
Brookfield, CT.
What a lovely report. Well done though I'm not at all surprised. Thank you for sharing it with all of us who 'woulda coulda shoulda' been there, too. Can't wait for the next chapter....... <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/handshake.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/handshake.gif" alt="" />


Respectfully,

pat



"Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat
them."
Re: Week 1: November 17 – November 23 Trip Report [Re: pat] #113091
11/24/2016 11:11 AM
11/24/2016 11:11 AM
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 2,659
L
LBI2SXM Offline
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LBI2SXM  Offline
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L
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 2,659
Loved your report. Keep them coming!!! You are right up there with Elizabeth when it comes to "top notch" trip reporting! <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Clapping.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Clapping.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Clapping.gif" alt="" />

Re: Week 1: November 17 – November 23 Trip Report [Re: jazzgal] #113092
11/24/2016 11:56 AM
11/24/2016 11:56 AM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 302
CT
MamaB Offline
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MamaB  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 302
CT
Thanks for taking time out of your vacation to post your report. <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Clapping.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Clapping.gif" alt="" /> Thoroughly enjoyed every word and picture.

Re: Week 1: November 17 – November 23 Trip Report [Re: LBI2SXM] #113093
11/24/2016 12:05 PM
11/24/2016 12:05 PM
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 3,581
Rhode Island
RonDon Offline
Traveler
RonDon  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 3,581
Rhode Island
Glad to hear about the contrasts of vacation in Nov vs June. We usually visit in March but have been thinking on other months.

Keep those photos coming! Great report.

Re: Week 1: November 17 – November 23 Trip Report [Re: jazzgal] #113094
11/24/2016 01:10 PM
11/24/2016 01:10 PM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 12,913
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
islandgem Offline
Traveler
islandgem  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 12,913
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Lovely report as always Linda! It so resembles my reports, I almost feel like I am there with you. In fact, I think we would have been in the same building. Pictures embedded in the report makes everything so interesting. I realize it is so much more work, but very much appreciated.Thanks for allowing me to enjoy my trip through your eyes! Looking forward to reading more of your adventures.




Re: Week 1: November 17 – November 23 Trip Report [Re: islandgem] #113095
11/24/2016 02:07 PM
11/24/2016 02:07 PM
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 1,045
COMMACK, NY
L
LONGISLANDSHARON Offline
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LONGISLANDSHARON  Offline
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L
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 1,045
COMMACK, NY
Loved your first report. Thank you.

Re: Week 1: November 17 – November 23 Trip Report [Re: jazzgal] #113096
11/24/2016 09:00 PM
11/24/2016 09:00 PM
Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 1,987
P
PelicanPirate Offline
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PelicanPirate  Offline
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P
Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 1,987
Nice report....

Re: Week 1: November 17 – November 23 Trip Report [Re: jazzgal] #113097
11/25/2016 12:11 PM
11/25/2016 12:11 PM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 1,882
Royersford, PA (30m NW of Phil...
Biturbo Offline
Traveler
Biturbo  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 1,882
Royersford, PA (30m NW of Phil...
Very enjoyable report and photos - thanks!


"In a yellow El Camino, listening to Howlin' Wolf" - Lucinda
Re: Week 1: November 17 – November 23 Trip Report [Re: jazzgal] #113098
11/25/2016 02:09 PM
11/25/2016 02:09 PM
Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,717
Galena, IL
indi Offline
Traveler
indi  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,717
Galena, IL
So nice to finally meet you!

You are right: it's about the people.


Joyce M-C

[Linked Image]



Re: Week 1: November 17 – November 23 Trip Report [Re: jazzgal] #113099
11/25/2016 03:49 PM
11/25/2016 03:49 PM
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 6,936
Yonkers, NY
fabila Offline
Traveler
fabila  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 6,936
Yonkers, NY
You've done a lot already in one week, Linda. Thanks so much for the pictures, I appreciate the time it takes to upload and resize, etc.

We never made it to Fig, Bar Code or Mark's Place which were on our list. Continued fun is wished for you.

Re: Week 1: November 17 – November 23 Trip Report [Re: jazzgal] #113100
11/27/2016 05:04 PM
11/27/2016 05:04 PM
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 7,068
St Louis, MO
SXMNorm Online content
Traveler
SXMNorm  Online Content
Traveler
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 7,068
St Louis, MO
Thanks Linda for the report. Always enjoy your writings and pictures.


Next SXM visit - January/February 2021
Re: Week 1: November 17 – November 23 Trip Report [Re: SXMNorm] #113101
11/27/2016 07:27 PM
11/27/2016 07:27 PM
Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 46
Omaha, NE
unipanther Offline
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unipanther  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 46
Omaha, NE
Awesome trip report, my favorite kind with descriptions and pictures throughout! I wish I would have figured out how to do that with mine, but I'm a rookie. Enjoy the rest of your time!

Re: Week 1: November 17 – November 23 Trip Report [Re: unipanther] #113102
11/28/2016 11:07 AM
11/28/2016 11:07 AM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 788
Toronto Canada
moxie Offline
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moxie  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 788
Toronto Canada
Great report and pics-thanks for taking the time. Looking forward to next installment.

Re: Week 1: November 17 – November 23 Trip Report [Re: MamaB] #113103
11/28/2016 08:47 PM
11/28/2016 08:47 PM
Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 39
Florida
S
SueA Offline
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SueA  Offline
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S
Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 39
Florida
I did get a Global Entry pass recently and was told it is only good for coming back into the US. You mentioned getting Pre check is that part of it and how do you go about getting that? Are there any other advantages going to SXM? Looking forward to my week starting 11/3!

Re: Week 1: November 17 – November 23 Trip Report [Re: jazzgal] #113104
11/29/2016 06:21 AM
11/29/2016 06:21 AM
Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 1,987
P
PelicanPirate Offline
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PelicanPirate  Offline
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P
Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 1,987
Have a question about Anse Marcel. On last trip I think we found the resort after driving up and down very steep and winding roads. Looked like a fancy country club, kind of imposing. It was late in the afternoon and we were just exploring, so we didn't go in.

If we were in the right place, do you just walk through the front to get to the beach and beach chairs?

I also seem to recall a parking lot--do you have to pay?

Thanks for any info for next time.

Re: Week 1: November 17 – November 23 Trip Report [Re: PelicanPirate] #113105
11/29/2016 08:02 AM
11/29/2016 08:02 AM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 986
falmouth,MA
wendyk Offline
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wendyk  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 986
falmouth,MA
Was surprised you've been there a week already, but see you've been busy! Do you prefer the island in June to Novemebr from what you've experienced do far?
Great report!

Re: Week 1: November 17 – November 23 Trip Report [Re: PelicanPirate] #113106
11/29/2016 02:02 PM
11/29/2016 02:02 PM
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 3,851
Portland, OR
jazzgal Offline OP
Traveler
jazzgal  Offline OP
Traveler
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 3,851
Portland, OR
Pirate - Yes, just walk through the parking lot to the beach. The beach boys will come find you to help set up umbrellas and collect the fee. No charge for parking. Not imposing at all. I assume you were on the left side of the beach facing the ocean? The other side (right) is the Riu, an all-inclusive resort.


[Linked Image]
Re: Week 1: November 17 – November 23 Trip Report [Re: wendyk] #113107
11/29/2016 02:04 PM
11/29/2016 02:04 PM
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 3,851
Portland, OR
jazzgal Offline OP
Traveler
jazzgal  Offline OP
Traveler
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 3,851
Portland, OR
Yes, I think I prefer June as there's less traffic. Can't tell that much difference in the weather.

I hope you are feeling well.


[Linked Image]
Re: Week 1: November 17 – November 23 Trip Report [Re: jazzgal] #113108
11/29/2016 08:43 PM
11/29/2016 08:43 PM
Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 1,987
P
PelicanPirate Offline
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PelicanPirate  Offline
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P
Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 1,987
Thx looking at google maps/earth, we probably drove up to the front of the RIU although it might have been the red roofed Bldg of Anse marcel beach resort. Do you go thru that red roofed Bldg and walk a ways to beach or do you drive around to the left of the Bldg's to the lot by the beach and that Bldg there? <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/dine.gif" alt="" />

For some reason it seemed like a maze with some gates or something or maybe we just gave up not wanting to look like the clampetts driving up to the Beverly Hills hotel after a long day at orient.

Re: Week 1: November 17 – November 23 Trip Report [Re: PelicanPirate] #113109
11/29/2016 09:32 PM
11/29/2016 09:32 PM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 12,917
Brookfield, CT.
pat Offline
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pat  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 12,917
Brookfield, CT.
When you come to the bottom of the big hill, the RIU guardhouse and parking lot are directly in front of you. Turn hard left and keep going until you can't go any further. At this point you will be in the paving stone parking lot of the Restaurant at Anse Marcel. You can either walk to the right and enter the beach directly or go through the building and down the steps to the beach. The beach attendants will show you to open chairs and take your lunch reservation time along with any immediate beverage orders. I believe the chair set-up for two is twenty Eu. Which includes two lounge chairs, an umbrella and a beverage table. We generally run a tab for the day and when done, we charge in EUs to our cc for what we think (hope?) is the best exchange. It's a day I wouldn't miss. <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/handshake.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/handshake.gif" alt="" />


Respectfully,

pat



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

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