Trip Report: July 25-August 1.
I’m not very good at this so it’s a poor attempt to describe what a wonderful time we had!
We arrived on time Sun. the 25th at 1:30. We were out of the Airport in less than 30 minutes and met by Leslie from Kenny’s with our dented Corolla! Picked up our phone from Sharon, stopped for a few provisions (beer, wine, breakfast) and we were off to pick up our keys to our place at Mont Vernon from Zuzu.
Mont Vernon in NOT for the physically challenged! It involves a lot walking…winding sidewalks and tiered buildings. The initial walk up with all the luggage and groceries was the worst. We entered the room and it was SO dark due to the hurricane shutters that were down..BUT, once we puched that button…oh my gosh, the view of the entire Orient Beach was so worth it. I will try to upload some pictures because we were in awe of our view. I will also say we slept great because of how dark it was in the room with the shutters down. We unpacked, got our suits on and walked the entire length of Orient Beach. Realized how hungry we were and stopped on the way back at Bikini Beach for burgers and fries. Perfect! Slept like babies.
Monday: Our first full day was spent relaxing at Palm Beach. Owned by Zuzu’s daughter, it is a wonderful place to stay while on Orient and we really enjoyed it. The staff was so attentive and the food was wonderful! We headed to Grand Case for a great meal and we were so tired and ended up at Calmos Café with our feet in the sand watching the sunset. Had some great barbecued shrimp and drinks. Perfect ending to a perfect day.
Tuesday: We thought we would head to Pinel Island since the weather was perfect and it was, but oh my gosh it was SO hot and no breeze. We spent most of the day laying in the water. Beautiful, just too hot. Ate at Karabuni. Good food. Just wanted to be in the air conditioning! Back to Mont Vernon for cheese and crackers and wine and beer on the balcony.
Wednesday: Grabbed some pastries from the bakery on the way our and headed to Marigot to check out the market. Same as when we were there last time so didn’t stay long. Drove to Mullet Bay and settled in right in front of Rosie’s. PERFECT day. Water was like glass and we met a wonderful family from Atlanta. Had ribs and beers (what a deal) and stayed till late afternoon. Picked up stakes and ended up at Karakters for and early dinner and sunset. Another perfect ending to a perfect day! We ordered a fish dish and they messed up our order but we said forget it and what we got was wonderful and we were given free drinks for the error. Great staff!
Thursday: We took the first ferry to Anguilla and met a cute couple on their honeymoon on the way over. We shared a cab to Uncle Ernie’s and learned that the groom’s grandfather was from Anguilla and he pointed out the land that they owned. Interesting.
Weather was perfect and we stayed till late in the afternoon. We had an early lunch so after getting back to Mont Vernon we decided to head to Grand Case. Ended up at Piazza Pascal and OH MY GOSH..so glad we did. Donna will greet you and Pascal is the chef and it is wonderful. We ate on the rooftop with a wonderful sea view and our meal was amazing. I had a pasta dish and DH had the coconut encrusted mahi mahi with mango salsa that I wish I had gotten! They are just the nicest hosts and we will definitely be back.
Friday: Spent the day at Palm Beach but walked the entire length of Orient. Great lunch..sharing a fruit platter (huge) and burgers with goat cheese. Dinner was at Le Pimient in Orient Village. Great meal with live music in the plaza…another great day.
Saturday: Drove into Phillipsburg for souvenirs and t-shirts! Had lunch at one of our old favorites, the Greenhouse. View of the Harbor is totally blocked now by a duty free liquor store. The Greenhouse in Simpson Bay is definitely the choice now. From there we drove to Dawn beach. Met by Mr. Busby?? Yelling at us that we could not park in his lot?? We parked in the Marina and got chairs. A few minutes later, the same rude man comes up to us wanting to know why we didn’t get our chairs from him instead of the man next to his. I think the only thing going for Busby’s is the $1 Coor’s light. Not impressed. We were going to eat there but staff was so rude. Decided to head to Le Galleon beach before heading back. Lots of local having picnics and swimming. Very nice but as others have stated, the water clarity is not so great. Enjoyed it though. A man there had a portable fishing line and was catching some small fish. I’ve never seen so many children around one little bucket. With each one he caught, more children would come to see. Too cute! We had dinner at Little Italy that night. Great! Wonderful ending to a wonderful week.
We have to go home!! Wish we could stay longer. Walked the entire beach and had pastries and mimosas on the balcony. Left at noon for the airport. Dropped the phone and car off without a problem.
Observations: Since our last visit there are a lot more round abouts. We LOVED them. Made driving a LOT easier. We just love Orient. We actually looked around on the Dutch side for the possibility of staying there next time but don’t think so. Walked to Tap 5 most mornings for croissants and the walk back to Mont Vernon was perfect. The Grand Marche just up the road at the round about is very nice. Got everything we needed for the week there. We usually love to eat breakfast at Andy and Cheryl’s but they are only open for lunch till Oct. Enjoyed talking to Andy. People seem friendlier to us this time…everyone on the French side spoke upon passing..and we really enjoyed Mont Vernon. We never felt threatened, even upon returning at night. We love St. Maartin/Marten and can hardly wait to go back.