We made it to St. Martin (French side) for our 7th year in a row. Flight was great. United out of Newark. I think they got all the kinks out of the merger between United and Continental. Immigration, baggage and Travel Rent-a-car were breezes.
MONDAY EVENING WENT TO Dingy Dock in the Oyster Pond Marina. My wife had a burger and I had Fish and Chips, both good. Did not need to pay the 15% service. I do not know the criteria that they use for the 15 %, but it says on the menu 15% is sometimes added.
Tuesday - breakfast at Aux Pain D’Epices market- the market is owned by three women with whom we became friends over the past 2 years(my wife is fluent in French) - great French pastry and baguettes, later off to Orient Bay for a day at the beach-at Kakoa beach bar and restaurant Met Karl the head beach guy, a very nice guy - he always remembers us a gives us a good spot on the beach He gave my wife a French hug (-an air kiss on each cheek). - Ate lunch at Kakao always the same meal - Le croustillant de brie for me and Le melon prosciutto for my wife, always great. One negative the exchange rate on credit card transaction was 1.35 dollars to a Euro where official rate is 1.29. about a 4% difference, high even for a bank exchange rate. Most places give you a $1.30 per euro on cash. After the beach, a bottle of Rose and cheese on the porch. At night went to BZH creperie, which was excellent - I had chicken crepe fantastic. My wife had a goat cheese crepe very good - we shared a honey and almond crepe that was great. A mysterious 6% tax appeared on bill. Visited with friends after dinner on their porch, they had some Irish friends from Canada dispensing some good Irish humor and the tawny port made the evening very pleasant.
Wednesday - Had a baguette on the porch with some coffee from Guadeloupe then off to Dawn beach- beautiful breeze and not crowded. Rose and cheese on porch. Had dinner at the L’Oasis. It was good. My wife had monkfish in tomato sauce; I had pork tenderloin in a mushroom sauce.
Thursday- Breakfast on the porch then off to Orient. Karl had reserved a place for us by the water. Orient not crowded today no ships are in. Rose on porch. Dinner at BZH same thing as Tuesday.
Friday- Breakfast on the porch. off to Galeon beach, then later Rose on the porch. Had dinner at the L’Oasis. It was good. My wife had the monkfish again and I had beef bourguignon.
Saturday- Breakfast at Aux Pain D’Epices market greeted by a French hug. Packing to go to Royal Palm for a week then off to Royal Palm in Simpson bay area. - Had lunch in The Cabana restaurant at RP waiting for room to be cleaned. We had paninis; they were good. Unpacked and got some provisions at the Market Garden. Had Cocktails on patio. Then went to Brasserie New York in Porto Cupecoy. It was excellent. My wife, often critical of good restaurants, said her foie gras and mushroom ravioli were one of the best dishes she ever had. Quite a statement. She enjoyed her Brittany Sole expensive for fish ($45) but she said it was worth it. I had onion soup it was very good and a duo of lamb - a rack of lamb and stuffed lamb shoulder was excellent. All of the above were specials. With an inexpensive but good bottle of rose, the bill came to $164 with 15% service charge included. The wine list is good and very reasonable. We will go there again next year if it is still around.

Sunday -we went to the Palm Sunday procession and service at St Martin of Tours in Phillipsburg, a long service but very nice. Had Breakfast at the Pasanggrahan Hotel. I love their Bohemian style pancakes sort of a thicker Crepe. My wife had them for the first time and enjoyed them. After breakfast walked in Philipsburg, not much was open only one small ship in port. Stayed at the beach at the Royal Palm. Cocktails on patio. Shared a Pizza at the Pizza Gallery. Then went to hear Category 5 at La Bamba until 10:30. They stopped playing at that time. I guess too many complaints. It was fun as usual.

Monday - Went to Taste Factory for some pastry, had breakfast in room. Went to Karacter's good as always. Cocktails on patio. Went to The Palm in Simpson Bay. Owned by Canadian of Trinidad origin. Good quality Caribe food, but not inexpensive like the lolos. Will go again. The young owner Greg talked to us for a while, a nice person.

Part 2 and 3 coming soon. I apologize in advance on its length.