Joanne and I finally joined our dear friends, Rose and Keith, in their TS after twelve years of invitations. You're right, we aren't very smart. Here's a report by subject matter.<br><br>Accomodations:<br><br>Stayed in a 2 BR at Pelican overlooking Simp. Bay. Very nice and easily accomodated us. The resort is beautiful, well maintained, and service is excellent. Example, on Fri. we went on a 3 hr.snorkeling trip and turned on the dishwasher as we left. Upon our return we were greeted by 2" of water all over the condo - broken hose on the dishwasher. A clean up crew soon arrived and everything was dry within 45 minutes.<br>The resort had a number of enjoyable activities enabling you to meet other guests. <br><br>Dining:<br><br>Went to Mama Mia (Maho Beach), Boathouse, Rancho, and La Charolais in Simp. Bay area, and Bistro Caribes in Grand Case. All were enjoyable with La Charolais and Bistro Caribes being exceptional. Also, the prices at all were very reasonable. I was the only one who got up early, so, the grits and bacon at Rick's were enjoyed only by me. <br><br>Orient Beach:<br><br>Certainly a dermatologist's worst nightmare. It's said only 15% of the population looks good without clothes on. Surprisingly, there was a larger percentage of 15%'ers on hand than I expected. Question - why does the Papagayo restaurant have separate bathrooms when most folks don't have anything on in the first place? The beach is beautiful and I now know what the term "sand gravity" means. The embarassing moment of the week came here when one in our party (not me) managed to trip over a large island resident lying naked in the sand. <br><br>Jewelry Shopping:<br><br>Joanne made it clear that she was going to do some buy some jewelry. And boy, did she buy! Went to P-burg and settled in at Royal Jewelry store where we found everyone, especially Vince, to be very helpful, forthright, and fun to deal with. Also, per Joanne, the prices were great. Something tells me she will return on the next trip.<br><br>Booze Prices:<br><br>I was like a kid in a candy store! Prices in P-burg were about half what we pay in Michigan. Loaded up on single malts. <br><br>Casinos:<br><br>We visited most except for those in P-burg. Ranged from fancy to one rung above casino night at the K of C hall. Princess and Atlantis were the largest and most attractive. Sadly, there were no big winners in our group. Hollywood had a good, free buffet on Sat. night followed by bingo.<br><br>Bathroom Rumblings:<br><br>Why are the urinals placed so high off the ground? I'm 5" 7" and was barely able to reach most of them. Felt like a sixth grader taking a whiz in the varsity lockerroom. Also, the suction when flushing the toilets was interesting. The first time I pushed the button I thought I was headed down the drain along with everything else.<br><br>Driving/Traffic:<br><br>The driving was done by Keith and Rose, which left the sanity of Joanne and I reasonably intact. Traffic is lighter in Sept, which only means the speed is greater. We had only one flat tire. This was the result, it appears, of a tire slashing caused by our parking in the taxi zone at Orient Beach. Readers be aware of this. Also, I would advise you to take a tire pressure gauge with you and to check the tires frequently. What's with all of the speed bumps?! The compressed discs in my spine are even more so now. I identified a rule of traffic on SM. If there is the remotest possibility that a car can come from somewhere, one will be.<br><br>Running and Dogs:<br><br>I encountered a number of dogs while running and elsewhere, even in one restaurant. All appeared to be very docile and I can't remember one even barking. My conclusion is they were too hot to be viscious. It seemed they all had an expression on their face which said "Why did I have to be born in this hot, humid place?" The Simp.Bay area was not very user friendly for running. After being almost creamed by a small van passing a line of cars it was apparent I had to stay off the road, period. There was usually enough shoulder, but I had to watch my step and proceed slowly.<br><br>Conclusion:<br><br>Can't wait to go back in March, 2004.