More about the title of this report later…<br><br>Left KC Wednesday, 5/28, AA through Chicago and SJU, returned Wednesday, 6/11, AA through SJU and Chicago. Great flights, mostly full, on-time both ways. AA definitely earned back the Frequent Flyer miles we used to pay for the flights!
<br><br>Stayed 3 nights at Cap Caribes on the “Stay 3, pay for 2” special. Great place – clean, convenient, close to the beach, friendly staff. Easy place to recommend.
<br><br>Did our timeshare thing at The Atrium Saturday thru Saturday. We still like the location and accommodations very much. Lots of great places to eat in the Simpson Bay area that we otherwise probably wouldn’t get to, plus it helps to manage the “sun time” a little. While we both love Orient Beach, 10 hours a day for two weeks is a bit much. <br><br>Moved to Club O for the last 4 days and stayed in a beach chalet for the first time.
Now I’m spoiled. We had the good fortune of being assigned Unit 52, Hanneman’s Hideaway
. I think it’s one of the few that are fully air-conditioned, but we didn’t really use the AC in the living area
because we had such a great breeze while we were there.<br><br>Met most of our usual group of wonderful friends we’ve made over the years and made a few new ones.
Some overlapped for just a few days, some for almost the whole time, but it was great to see everyone again. We’re all still alive –wooo-hooo!! (More of an accomplishment for some than others!)
<br><br>For those who have asked in previous threads about Steve, Barb and the Realite, the boat was indeed totaled by the insurance company
. The Brinks were very understanding and accommodating, and let them stay in a studio unit at no charge.
While clearly devastated by the loss, Steve and Barb were doing well, and went back to FL on 6/2. As fate would have it, they are in the process of building a new home there, so as Barb said, one door closes and another door opens. They surely didn’t want the door to close in that way, however. The cause of the beaching was a broken “knuckle” (for lack of a better description) in the anchor chain – a part the insurance guy took with him to address with the manufacturer. <br><br>We had breakfast and lunch at Baywatch several times. Andy and Cheryl
are such wonderful people and Adrian
is a great guy as well. Andy’s Seafood Pasta Special was incredible –
spaghetti type noodles covered in Andy’s homemade sauce with mussels, cod, shrimp and some other kind of ocean product. We split one and still had a hard time eating it all. We also had some outstanding ribs, great meatball subs, barbeque chicken – I sound like a walking advertisement, but their food, service and prices are outstanding, and the view is free!!<br><br>We ate at The Fish Bar in Orient Village one night, Banana’s twice, Dinghy Dock twice, had burgers at both the Sunset Beach Bar and Buccaneer Beach Bar
(it’s a toss up), Busby’s, Ric’s, Le P'tit Cul de Sac
carry out pizza, Le Ti Coin Creole
in Grand Case with Carl
, and Papagayo’s one Saturday night for karaoke. With the exception of Busby’s and Ric’s, we had great food and service everywhere. For those who remember the pizza at Portofino’s (before it got really greasy), Le P'tit Cul de Sac was every bit as good. We tried the ribs at Busby’s and were very unimpressed compared to other places, and service wasn’t too friendly. At Ric’s, we had a problem with one entrée, but Cathy was very apologetic and accommodating, removing it from our bill. It’s still a great place to watch sports on the big screens. We also did deli sandwiches for lunch 4 or 5 times, from Tap 5 in Orient Village, and the Peli Deli at the Pelican. Great cheap food, and we ate right on the beach!
<br><br>One note on the exchange rate: most places we visited on the French side used a 1 to 1 dollar/euro exchange rate, in spite of the current difference, and gas was much cheaper on the French side.<br><br>We rented a car from Best Deal, right across the street from the terminal – ended up being $150 per week, including tax, etc. for the standard white Toyota Corolla. We also rented a cell phone through Mr. SXM
with Cellular One. It worked as advertised and provided great peace of mind with a new granddaughter
and aging parents. We bought the plan that provided the number ahead of time, and it was worth every penny. [img]/images/icons2/thumbsup.gif[/img][img]/images/icons2/thumbsup.gif[/img]<br><br>While we were at The Atrium, Delores developed a sinus and earache. She went to the doctor in the complex across the street, within walking distance. She was treated extremely well, given the appropriate prescription and charged $24. Socialized medicine beats HMO’s by a mile!! <br><br>The TTOL party hosted by Eric and Carol on June 3 was excellent. Meeting some of the TTOL regulars, Barbara, Brian LeBlanc and his wife, and seeing old friends Tom and LeeAnn, DaveS and Terry, Jomom and Jim, and of course meeting Eric and Carol was great. We only stayed about an hour, so didn’t get to meet everyone, but I’m guessing there were 25 or 30 TTOL members there before we left. Thanks for a great party, Eric and Carol!! [img]/images/icons2/cheers.gif[/img]<br><br>We spent all but one of our beach days on the Club O beach. As reported by many, the erosion
is pretty dramatic from roughly beach chalet 51 to the Watersports building. Kontiki
is suffering heavily as well. Spent most of one day on Cupecoy, which was a nice change of scenery. The northern-most beach, where you enter by the wall, had plenty of sand. <br><br>Snorkeling around Green Key was good as usual. Snorkeling buddy Gary and I, along with Bob of Bob and Brenda swam over one morning. We saw an eagle ray, lots of fish and some nice soft coral. Gary and I also snorkeled the little reef that runs from the first swim platform to Pedro’s, and actually saw as many fish as at Green Key. The surprising thing on this little reef was the number of lobsters we saw. In an hour we counted well over a dozen, and at one point Gary used a “tickle stick” encourage a couple to come out of their cave. There turned out to be seven in this hole, and we had a great little “lobster parade” as they followed one after another for 25 or 30 feet to a new cave. That was quite a sight!!<br><br>Now, as to the title of this report… my buddy Gary
who also owns a timeshare at The Atrium, met Delores and I at Buccaneer Beach Bar
on the Sunday night of our timeshare week. We grabbed a burger, and the Mrs., being the smart one of the bunch, retired to the room after a beer or two. Gary and I started talking with Neil and his evil [img]/images/icons2/devil.gif[/img] bartender, Trisha. As the evening wore on and the beer flowed, Neil or Trisha (I don’t remember which) decided we needed to do “a” shot. Flavor unknown. “A” shot turned into multiple shots, all flavor unknown, but none of them were the same. Neil later told me we drank “everything but the kitchen sink”. Being a “panty-waist” (according to Gary) and a “lightweight” (according to Neil) I left around 11p after several beers and no fewer than 6 shots. The distance from The Atrium to BBB is no more than 100 yards, so I wasn’t driving, but could still have used a designated walker. Gary, Neil and Trisha kept going until who knows when. Monday was one long blurring headache.([img]/images/icons2/hangover.gif[/img] double [img]/images/icons2/woof.gif[/img][img]/images/icons2/madoudou.gif[/img]) Unless you’re a professional, don’t try to go shot for shot with Neil. He’s a bad man. He’ll hurt you. Great fun, though!! [img]/images/icons2/laugh.gif[/img]<br><br>Also, I took some nice sunset photos
from the BBB. There was a lot of humidity in the air that made for good pictures and a heavy overnight thunder and lightning storm. First time I’ve seen lightning in St. Martin.<br><br>All in all it was another wonderful trip, full of new and exciting experiences, most of which I actually remember!! [img]/images/icons2/laugh.gif[/img] Can’t wait for next year!<br><br>dave's June 2003 pics