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And so it begins..... #192276
04/14/2019 06:18 PM
04/14/2019 06:18 PM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 12,097
Brookfield, CT.
pat Offline OP
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pat  Offline OP
Traveler
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 12,097
Brookfield, CT.
April 2019 - In the beginning.........

We arrived at SXM on the noonish flight via AA out of JFK. Perfect seats and a good flight down once we escaped the local north east area turbulence.

And we did NOT have a jetway but arrived the old-fashioned way, down the stairs and inhaling the aroma of all those aviation aromas. Airport arrival was easy - once down the stairs we had to take a bus to the arrival area, which we could have walked to faster but all’s well that ends well. We cleared immigration and luggage in no time and exited to take a cab to the Royal Islander, our home for the next two weeks and then it’s on to BSV.

First oddity was heading to the taxi stand since we always get our car from Kenny’s at the airport. We ran into a Lesley Bruce, and you just have to know - He is such a treasure. I know price is important to all of us but he is so much more than just that. Even though we weren’t getting our car until later, he ran over and greeted us and would you believe, he helped us to our taxi with our baggage - never ever have we brought so much stuff - and he loaded all into the cab for our driver.

Off to Royal Islander. You probably all know the sad story of that b itch Irma and the havoc she levied on our beloved Towers and then the mismanagement, putting it mildly, on the part of the owner Hushang Ansary and family, so for our second trip back post Irma we are forced to stay elsewhere. BSV would have been our first choice but it was booked for the dates we wanted so lucky for us, we found a two week rental in the same unit at Royal Islander Club La (Le?) Plage. It’s very nice and DH will certainly get his fill of airplane watching. It’s a two bedroom lock-out high up so the patio view is great.

The units at Royal Islander are very well equipped and nicely done inside with cool Caribbean colors and comfy furnishings and the staff have all been lovely. Only drawback - our room wasn’t ready so we had lunch at Tortuga while we awaited entry. By the time we got in and unpacked it was almost either nappy time or dinner time. We opted for dinner knowing if we tried napping we’d be gone for the night and probably wake up starving in the wee hours. Thanks to ShopandDrop and Jeannie we were able to make great hero sandwiches and call it a night.

April 14 - Palm Sunday

Did coffee and pastry in our room and eventually headed out for our annual island tour/drive. In November we ventured as far into St. Martin as Friars bay and as far into Sint Maarten as Front St. Today we covered the island and I have to say - much as we thought we had seen about the worse the island could throw at us, we were shocked and appalled by the absolute devastation across the French side of the island and equally amazed at how much more still needs to be done to restore Her to her former glory. This is just MY PERSONAL OPINION but for what it’s worth, the French government really needs to step up their game and help the people with more assistance than they’re currently providing. Either pitch in and help them or get out of their way. The Dutch side’s recovery seems to be light years ahead of what’s happening in French St. Martin and from the few I’ve spoken with, it’s not the people but as is so often the case, the government seems to be getting in the way more-so than helping. So very sad to see......

Okay, I’m down off my soapbox now and ready to share the rest of the drive. We ended up at Marks Place where we enjoyed a lovely late lunch experience, mussels with frites and a huge seafood salad plate. I will be the first to admit, if you’re looking for atmosphere this probably isn’t your best choice but if it’s quality well prepared food at reasonable prices you’re looking for, I just don’t think Mark’s Place can be beaten.

Oh, and the hat. John’s favorite “Air Mango” baseball cap of about age ten or twelve years by now, was once again left behind, this time at Marks Place, but a quick phone call and we found out they had it and would hold it for us. So far that hat has taken a swim in the deep waters off Grand Case, was abandoned once at Bar Code and reunited with its family and today, it’s resting peacefully at Marks. Well, at least it has good taste in venues.......

And we finished our day by stopping by and visiting dear friends. Our ‘quick stop’ ended up being at least an hour and a half visit. Time with good friends is always well spent.

Home again and before we knew it, it was cocktail hour. I think we’re too tired to head out for dinner tonight but plenty of time for that down the road.


Respectfully,

pat



"Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat
them."
SXM Sponsors
Re: And so it begins..... [Re: pat] #192277
04/14/2019 06:29 PM
04/14/2019 06:29 PM
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 13,768
Ohio
ruralcarrier Offline
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ruralcarrier  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 13,768
Ohio
Glad you arrived safetly and looking forward to updates. I am with you on Mark's Place.


J.D.
Re: And so it begins..... [Re: pat] #192281
04/14/2019 07:30 PM
04/14/2019 07:30 PM
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 3,217
Kennys Offline
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Kennys  Offline
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Joined: May 2002
Posts: 3,217
Welcome back and do enjoy . Cheers !

Re: And so it begins..... [Re: pat] #192282
04/14/2019 07:40 PM
04/14/2019 07:40 PM
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 132
P
panman Offline
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panman  Offline
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P
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 132
We loved our meal at Tortuga! Thinking about staying at Royal Islander our next trip. Enjoyed Beachside Villas this time....Maybe you will learn what is going on at Alegria with the construction going full speed....

Re: And so it begins..... [Re: panman] #192284
04/14/2019 07:46 PM
04/14/2019 07:46 PM
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 3,217
Kennys Offline
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Kennys  Offline
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Joined: May 2002
Posts: 3,217
It now will be called Morgan Resort and Spa. They are working on it full time.

Re: And so it begins..... [Re: pat] #192285
04/14/2019 07:49 PM
04/14/2019 07:49 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 67,833
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 67,833
Central Florida!
Thanks for the report! I am SO with you on your opinion of the French side government....


Carol Hill
Re: And so it begins..... [Re: Kennys] #192286
04/14/2019 07:53 PM
04/14/2019 07:53 PM
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 132
P
panman Offline
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panman  Offline
Traveler
P
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 132
Thanks for that bit of information....same owner as Alegria?

Re: And so it begins..... [Re: pat] #192289
04/14/2019 08:12 PM
04/14/2019 08:12 PM
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 3,217
Kennys Offline
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Kennys  Offline
Traveler
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 3,217
Yes .

Re: And so it begins..... [Re: pat] #192291
04/14/2019 09:05 PM
04/14/2019 09:05 PM
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 3,466
Portland, OR
jazzgal Offline
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jazzgal  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 3,466
Portland, OR
A nice first report. Glad you made it safely. I am looking forward to your future writings!


[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
Re: And so it begins..... [Re: pat] #192293
04/14/2019 09:11 PM
04/14/2019 09:11 PM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 12,753
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
islandgem Offline
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islandgem  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 12,753
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Great to see you arrived safely and ready for another fun island vacation. Enjoy every moment......you are off to a good start!



[Linked Image]


Re: And so it begins..... [Re: pat] #192299
04/14/2019 10:52 PM
04/14/2019 10:52 PM
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 6,769
Yonkers, NY
fabila Offline
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fabila  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 6,769
Yonkers, NY
Excited to read your reports Pat.

Re: And so it begins..... [Re: pat] #192301
04/15/2019 01:42 AM
04/15/2019 01:42 AM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 2,734
Boynton Beach, FL
EdB Online content
Traveler
EdB  Online Content
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Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 2,734
Boynton Beach, FL
as i have said many times....Mark's place is FANTASTIC. I am with you Pat on the atmosphere, but the service and food quality surely make up for the ''atmosphere''. I have stated more than once, that i think Mark's Place has some of the best ''italian'' dishes on the island, for a fraction of the price. I had both the lasagna, and the veal parm on our two visits a couple of weeks ago. Both were delish. Pat...i am a bit confused though...you mentioned you took a cab to RI...but ventured out exploring....how did you do that without a car?? inquiring and confused minds want to know. smile Did you find the filters? smile

Re: And so it begins..... [Re: pat] #192305
04/15/2019 05:59 AM
04/15/2019 05:59 AM
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 183
East Haven, CT
Wingman Offline
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Wingman  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 183
East Haven, CT
Pat, sounds like you're off to a great start to your vacation, I'm so happy for you. Looking forward to hearing about your days in paradise.

Re: And so it begins..... [Re: pat] #192308
04/15/2019 06:43 AM
04/15/2019 06:43 AM
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 322
CT
islandlove Offline
Traveler
islandlove  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 322
CT
Enjoy!! keep us posted!

Re: And so it begins..... [Re: pat] #192310
04/15/2019 08:01 AM
04/15/2019 08:01 AM
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 2,953
Rhode Island
RonDon Offline
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RonDon  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 2,953
Rhode Island
Looking forward to more of your reports. We never made it to Marks last trip so I really enjoyed reading about the food you ordered.

Are you at Royal Islander for the entire trip, or will you be moving?

Re: And so it begins..... [Re: RonDon] #192313
04/15/2019 08:24 AM
04/15/2019 08:24 AM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 12,097
Brookfield, CT.
pat Offline OP
Traveler
pat  Offline OP
Traveler
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 12,097
Brookfield, CT.
We are here at RILP for two weeks as we rented the same two bedroom two bath unit from separate sources for back to back weeks. We had hoped to be at our timeshare and by the time we started looking for alternatives, BSV, our first choice, was booked for our dates. We will be moving there for four nights before we finally head home. We’re on the 5th floor here so the views are very nice. This morning there was a beautiful double rainbow and LOTS of planes going by.

Remember, peeps, we are not foodies as such but we do enjoy good meals wherever they’re found but sometimes a ham and cheese sandwich is just as enjoyable as a full course meal, depending on the ‘who’ and the ‘where’ and that certainly applies on SXM.

And Ed, no filters and did rent from Lesley but picked up the car here at RILP later instead of at the airport. We usually don’t do Italian here on the island - so many great Italian places at home but we will make exceptions for La Rosa Too or Sal and Pepe’s but that’s anout it for us.

Have a great day, Everyone.


Respectfully,

pat



"Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat
them."
Re: And so it begins..... [Re: pat] #192319
04/15/2019 09:43 AM
04/15/2019 09:43 AM
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 6,915
St Louis, MO
SXMNorm Offline
Traveler
Happy Birthday SXMNorm  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 6,915
St Louis, MO
Thanks for including us in your current visit to SXM. Always fun.


Next SXM visit - October 25-Nov8, 2019, Jan25-Feb13, 2020

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