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The French Tour--Trip Report 3 #199604
07/09/2019 01:46 PM
07/09/2019 01:46 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 69,701
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline OP
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Carol_Hill  Offline OP
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For Monday, we had made reservation for Anse Marcel Beach Club by email. They said they could not promise a cabana, but it depended on how big the crowd was. In a perfect world, we would have gone there on our anniversary, but since our anniversary was a Sunday AND Father’s Day, we figured there would be zero chance that we could get a cabana on Sunday, and I’m sure we were right, as our waitress said that they had served over 200 people on Sunday.

We left the house at 11 am for an 11:30 reservation for our chairs. I thought we had been to Anse Marcel before, but Eric didn’t remember, if we had. We weren’t really sure where we were going and thought we had missed the turn, but weren’t sure. There did not appear to be a sign at the corner where you turn for Anse Marcel. The road looks to be going straight up a pretty steep hill, but it really isn’t nearly as bad as we thought it was going to be. It is not as steep as the hill going up to Princess Heights, in Dawn Beach. There are some blind corners, but it is a two lane road, so just stay in your lane. Just keep going and you will pass a big sign board on the right that says Anse Marcel, so you know you are somewhat in the right place. Come down the hill and head toward the left. We took this picture as we were leaving.

[Linked Image]


The circle is where the restaurant is, so just look for those pointy roofs and aim for that area. Once you’re down on the flat, you make a left turn just before what used to be a guard shack, possibly for Secrets? I don’t know. Anyway, we finally arrived and there is ample parking for today. I can’t imagine the parking situation the day before, with 200 people!! crazy


The beach itself is not that attractive to me, darker brown sand, and I’m sure when the hills are green, not brown, it is prettier.
[Linked Image]

We gave the lady our name and she led us to a prime location. I doubt you get front row chair here, even on slow day, as this one was, unless you have a reservation. I was somewhat surprised to see plastic cups for wine, but they are pretty. I wouldn't mind having one as a momento.
[Linked Image]

The fellow brings the food menu and the wine menu and soon brings our drinks. If you want to take a look at the menu, pictures of the menu are in the Anse Marcel picture gallery, although I apologize, as the quality of the pictures isn’t too great. There appeared to be only one guy working the beach and he hustled! The water is very calm and there is no drop off and no rocks in the water. That was certainly nice, although I find as I grow older I’ve become much more of a ‘pool’ kind of person anyway.

We watched this little guy come out on the beach and plow straight out into the water, so I’m sure he had been there before.
[Linked Image]


We headed up for lunch and were very pleased to have a cabana, although it was not really not busy.
[Linked Image]

In fact, they only used the front row cabanas on this day and one of those remains empty all day. I decided to order the crispy pork cheeks, which I don’t know what it is, but took a chance. The waitress tried to explain it to me, in vain. It turns out that it is basically pulled pork, so we wrote it down for the waitress so she could tell the chef, to be able to describe it better for the American audience.
[Linked Image]

Eric had shrimp and scallops.
[Linked Image]

I did not really understand the description of the desserts on the menu, but I had the third one on the menu, as the waitress said it was lighter.
[Linked Image]

Eric got the rum soaked cake and it was!!! laugh
[Linked Image]

The food at AMBC was really good, but quite frankly wasn’t as good as the meals we had at Cote Plage or Le Pimente, but the experience overall of eating in the cabana was really special.

We headed back to the chairs for a bit and then headed home.

After such a big lunch, I didn’t want a big meal, but did want something. And since I never got my pizza the first day, we ended up going to Al Dente for carry out. Eric dropped me off at the restaurant to order and headed to Leader Price for some wine (I swear SOMEONE has been getting into our fridge and drinking all our wine!! grin toast We had never been to Al Dente before and from the outside appearance, I didn’t expect much. However, it was quite pretty in there, with very good a/c. The next time, I think I will definitely eat in there! This time, we took our pizza home and ate it on the couch. No pictures, sorry, but the pizza was pretty good!!

Tuesday we have scrambled eggs and ham for breakfast, along with mimosas.

I just don’t know where the days go. It’s so lovely here, that you just want to grab hold of every minute and savor it! We didn’t do much this day, like or other days, other than hang out in the pool and watch the boats go past. We got a kick out of watching the jet ski tours do a big circle in the vicinity of Happy Bay

[Linked Image]
Lunch is grilled chicken sandwiches.

We decide to head back over to Orient Village for dinner. We were able to park just to the side of Sao restaurant and head for Cote Plage, which was a great choice! Orient Square is so much more attractive to me now that Grand Case. There is lots of parking, and there was a decent breeze this evening, even though the weather had been pretty hot the whole time.
We ended up ordering a salad and two entres off the specials menu.



We enjoyed a lovely special salad of hot goat cheese on toast, with bacon and walnuts
[Linked Image]

Eric had the whole sea bass special, which the lady expertly cleaned in what seemed to be under 30 seconds!
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]


I had the special beef rib eye, which is a small piece of meat (LOL!), along with fries and an excellent pepper sauce.

[Linked Image]
Dessert was coffee gourmande, which was absolutely wonderful, and I hadn’t seen it offered on any of the menus anywhere else.

[Linked Image]The meal at Cote Plage was easily the best meal overall of the trip, followed by Le Piment, and then Anse Marcel Beach Club.
[Linked Image]

This cat thought that Eric might share his sea bass with him, but he was sadly mistaken.
[Linked Image]

We got back to the house around 10, one of our later trips out and I was grateful for the security gates.

Wednesday was our last full day and we did not plan on going anywhere and we didn’t. Breakfast was cheese omelette with ham on the side and mimosa.
We packed up most of our stuff in preparation for going home tomorrow. sick The maid came to clean and asked us if we wanted her to leave, which we were afraid she wouldn’t get paid if we told her to leave, so we had her stay and clean. Lunch was a chicken stir fry with cashews, onion and celery.


We did some laundry and enjoyed a last sunset, along with steak, baked potatoes and salad for dinner. It will be really hard leaving this place tomorrow.
[Linked Image]


Thursday we looked on the internet and saw that our plane was late leaving Atlanta. Fortunately there was no one coming into the villa for a couple of days, so Jules said that we could say as late as we wanted. Delta was automatically extending people another day on island if they wanted, but I don’t know if they would have paid for accommodation. Regardless, we just wanted to go home. We knew that we would definitely miss our connection in Atlanta, as our plane was due to land at 10:00 PM and our flight to Orlando was scheduled to leave at 10:30. But we knew there was another flight to Orlando at midnight, so we wanted to try to get on that flight. Due to a screwup on my part, Eric got booked on different flights than I did, and was scheduled to spend the night in Atlanta and leave the next morning at 7 AM for Orlando, and I was booked the next day. Once once we knew the plane had actually left Atlanta, we headed out to the airport, turned in our car, and got our flights changed to the same ones. We only had a short wait in the airport, where we had a drink and then headed to the plane for home.
The flight again was probably less than half full. We had booked Delta Comfort for the trip home and ended up getting three DC seats for the two of us, for the leg from SXM to Atlanta. We went to the counter in Atlanta and they put us on standby on the midnight flight, but went ahead and gave us a hotel voucher, which was for the Intercontinental, as I recall. I didn’t think about it at the time, but they didn’t give us any food vouchers.

I had requested wheelchair assistance in Atlanta and am so glad that I did, as in addition to the airport being freaking HUGE, getting to the new gate was a total clusterf*ck, as the train had stopped running for the night. So, after customs and re-checking our bags, we had to go outside the airport and take a BUS to the other terminal and go back through security again. Even with wheelchair assist and no line for C & I, it took us well over an a full hour to get to the new gate. I never would have figured it out on my own, as the wheelchair guy was even kind of confused. We were two of approximately 20 people on the wait list for the midnight flight, and were among the last to get onboard, although there were some who didn’t. We didn’t get Delta Comfort seats for that leg, which we had paid for, but that was no biggie, as we were just happy to get home, at 4 am…


SUMMARY We had just a lovely time and thoroughly enjoyed staying almost totally on the French side this trip and are making plans for another ‘French tour’ in the near future. While it will never replace Beachside Villas in our hearts, we would love to be able to stay at Villa Canoua again, if we can swing the cost. Thanks for coming along!


[Linked Image]

Last edited by Carol_Hill; 07/09/2019 02:13 PM.

Carol Hill
SXM Sponsors
Re: The French Tour--Trip Report 3 [Re: Carol_Hill] #199609
07/09/2019 03:02 PM
07/09/2019 03:02 PM
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 424
Central Coast, CA
C
cruzer Offline
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Central Coast, CA
Thanks for your reports, Carol Makes me want to go back this week, even though we've only been back 3 weeks.

Re: The French Tour--Trip Report 3 [Re: Carol_Hill] #199610
07/09/2019 03:11 PM
07/09/2019 03:11 PM
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 14,268
Ohio
ruralcarrier Offline
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ruralcarrier  Offline
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Nice.


J.D.
Re: The French Tour--Trip Report 3 [Re: cruzer] #199611
07/09/2019 03:19 PM
07/09/2019 03:19 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 69,701
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline OP
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Carol_Hill  Offline OP
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Thanks. I want to go back too! smile


Carol Hill
Re: The French Tour--Trip Report 3 [Re: Carol_Hill] #199613
07/09/2019 03:34 PM
07/09/2019 03:34 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 1,261
Hershey, Pennsylvania
Tom Offline
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Tom  Offline
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A benchmark trip report.
We will celebrate our 50th year anniversary this year. Yes, we are old but functional.
I would really like to make it special beyond our 3 weeks in Dec/Jan.
Could you PM me with some details on your special celebration? Sounds like I need to do some serious planning.
Thank you,
Tom G.

Re: The French Tour--Trip Report 3 [Re: Tom] #199614
07/09/2019 03:37 PM
07/09/2019 03:37 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 69,701
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline OP
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Carol_Hill  Offline OP
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Sorry, Tom, I don't really understand your question, but am sending you a PM.


Carol Hill
Re: The French Tour--Trip Report 3 [Re: Carol_Hill] #199623
07/09/2019 05:15 PM
07/09/2019 05:15 PM
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 455
Maine
SXMbeacher Offline
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SXMbeacher  Offline
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Maine
Nice report. The pictures say it all!



[Linked Image]


Re: The French Tour--Trip Report 3 [Re: Carol_Hill] #199626
07/09/2019 06:22 PM
07/09/2019 06:22 PM
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 3,658
Portland, OR
jazzgal Offline
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Another lovely report.

I think you are right about not getting front-row seats unless you have a reservation. I went to AM five times during my four-week stay and got front-row seats four of the five times. The other time I made the reservation just the day before so think that may have been why. By the time I left, they all were calling me by name. smile I had that shrimp and scallop dish that Eric had with the "French pasta" which was kind of a grain, and thought it was wonderful; the scallops were to die for! I did not eat at Cote Plage but, for me, AMBC was better than La Piment.

I have been thinking about staying on the French side one of these days, and your reports are reinforcing that wish. Thanks!


[Linked Image]
Re: The French Tour--Trip Report 3 [Re: jazzgal] #199627
07/09/2019 06:50 PM
07/09/2019 06:50 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 69,701
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline OP
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Carol_Hill  Offline OP
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As far as AMBC, I think I made a poor choice with my entre. I was thinking about the beef, which is probably what I should have had. Regarding Cote Plage, it really was outstanding.... It really was special, staying close to the great French side restaurants..


Carol Hill
Re: The French Tour--Trip Report 3 [Re: Carol_Hill] #199628
07/09/2019 06:54 PM
07/09/2019 06:54 PM
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Bip Offline
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Thank you for sharing. We leave for the French side on Thursday and am truly enjoying the insights. Are the galleries you mention in your post public? I would love to see the AMBC menu.

Re: The French Tour--Trip Report 3 [Re: Carol_Hill] #199632
07/09/2019 07:07 PM
07/09/2019 07:07 PM
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Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
islandgem Offline
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Thanks for a lovely report Carol. Glad you had a wonderful Anniversary celebration!



[Linked Image]


Re: The French Tour--Trip Report 3 [Re: Carol_Hill] #199638
07/09/2019 07:29 PM
07/09/2019 07:29 PM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 10,544
Auburn, WA
SXMScubaman Offline
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Nice wine glass. I can see plastic for the beach. They gave us nice glass ones in the cabana. I did keep a nice pen when we paid with CC. Yes I asked first. Wife had the chicken twice. So good.. I had the shrimp and scallops and there calamari. Both were very good.

Re: The French Tour--Trip Report 3 [Re: Bip] #199640
07/09/2019 07:29 PM
07/09/2019 07:29 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 69,701
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline OP
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Carol_Hill  Offline OP
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Yes, absolutely. Here on TTOL, SXM Photo Galleries.


Carol Hill
Re: The French Tour--Trip Report 3 [Re: islandgem] #199641
07/09/2019 07:30 PM
07/09/2019 07:30 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 69,701
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline OP
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Carol_Hill  Offline OP
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Elizabeth--thanks.


Carol Hill
Re: The French Tour--Trip Report 3 [Re: SXMScubaman] #199643
07/09/2019 07:31 PM
07/09/2019 07:31 PM
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Posts: 69,701
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline OP
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Carol_Hill  Offline OP
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Scubaman--Yes, they used glass wine glasses in the cabana.


Carol Hill
Re: The French Tour--Trip Report 3 [Re: Carol_Hill] #199646
07/09/2019 07:33 PM
07/09/2019 07:33 PM
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Posts: 10,544
Auburn, WA
SXMScubaman Offline
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Wonder if their gift counter sells them. If so I see a pair in my future.

Re: The French Tour--Trip Report 3 [Re: SXMScubaman] #199652
07/09/2019 07:52 PM
07/09/2019 07:52 PM
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Posts: 69,701
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline OP
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I thought about asking, but forgot.


Carol Hill
Re: The French Tour--Trip Report 3 [Re: Carol_Hill] #199654
07/09/2019 07:55 PM
07/09/2019 07:55 PM
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Posts: 10,544
Auburn, WA
SXMScubaman Offline
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Good reason to go back. Lol

Re: The French Tour--Trip Report 3 [Re: Carol_Hill] #199657
07/09/2019 08:07 PM
07/09/2019 08:07 PM
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Beautifully written Carol and both you and Hubble look great. Thx for all your time in writing these long reports. Think you do an even better job than the Minister for tourism. Mine will be almost embarrassingly pathetic in comparison to,yours when I get back and round to it. All we have done is eat and lay about.

Re: The French Tour--Trip Report 3 [Re: Carol_Hill] #199658
07/09/2019 08:16 PM
07/09/2019 08:16 PM
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Super trip report as usual. Glad you and Eric had a nice anniversary on island.

Wendell

Re: The French Tour--Trip Report 3 [Re: Carol_Hill] #199664
07/09/2019 09:51 PM
07/09/2019 09:51 PM
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Yonkers, NY
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Great reports Carol.

We've enjoyed our time staying on the French side when Orient had lots of beach/bar options. We spent all day at beach with dinners in Orient Village and surrounding area. Didn't have to drive much was a plus too. We hadn't stayed on French side in several years until we did a week April 2017. It was great all over again but we missed BSV. Nothing like the comforts of home with a million dollar view. We would love to return to two trips a year and split locations but with new job it's not possible so enjoy reading even more about everyone's French side adventures and excursions.

Re: The French Tour--Trip Report 3 [Re: Carol_Hill] #199667
07/09/2019 11:59 PM
07/09/2019 11:59 PM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 1,812
Royersford, PA (30m NW of Phil...
Biturbo Online happy
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Great photos and descriptions. Thanks - a special vacation for a special occasion.


"It's a magic kind of medicine, that no doctor could prescribe." JB
Re: The French Tour--Trip Report 3 [Re: Carol_Hill] #199668
07/10/2019 04:34 AM
07/10/2019 04:34 AM
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Posts: 270
East Haven, CT
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Carol, thank you for all the reports and pictures. So glad it was a indeed a special trip for you and Eric. I have never stayed on the French side before. It was fun to read all about it. Thank you again.

Re: The French Tour--Trip Report 3 [Re: bran] #199685
07/10/2019 07:57 AM
07/10/2019 07:57 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 69,701
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline OP
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Carol_Hill  Offline OP
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bran--Obviously you didn't read my reports very closely, as that's basically what we did--eat and lay about!! laugh I do look forward to seeing your report, with pictures! smile


Carol Hill
Re: The French Tour--Trip Report 3 [Re: Wingman] #199686
07/10/2019 07:59 AM
07/10/2019 07:59 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 69,701
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline OP
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Carol_Hill  Offline OP
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Thanks, everyone for the good wishes and looking forward to many more anniversaries on island! toast


Carol Hill
Re: The French Tour--Trip Report 3 [Re: Carol_Hill] #199776
07/11/2019 09:34 AM
07/11/2019 09:34 AM
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Posts: 319
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Thank you Carol for the wonderful trip reports. We have been staying on the French side for 20 years and agree with you that Orient Village is now far more attractive and welcoming than Grand Case. I wonder if Grand Case will ever return to what it used to be. So glad you had a fabulous anniversary vacation.

Re: The French Tour--Trip Report 3 [Re: pandpfromcanada] #199778
07/11/2019 09:46 AM
07/11/2019 09:46 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 69,701
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline OP
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Carol_Hill  Offline OP
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Yes, I don't know about that either. It is a shame that insurance issues and government regulations currently make Grand Case a shadow of what it once was. It is unbelievable to me that, almost two years post Irma, that there are so few waterside restaurants open there.


Carol Hill
Re: The French Tour--Trip Report 3 [Re: Carol_Hill] #199787
07/11/2019 02:19 PM
07/11/2019 02:19 PM
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Connecticut
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Thank you for your very thoughtful trip reports. We are especially interested in hearing about the French side because it has always been our preference. It makes me sad to hear about Grand Case and I know we've made the right decision not to go back just yet. Hopefully by the time we get to our 30th anniversary in 2022, Grand Case will be in much better shape, yet I worry about that.

Re: The French Tour--Trip Report 3 [Re: DukeMom] #199788
07/11/2019 02:23 PM
07/11/2019 02:23 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 69,701
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline OP
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Honestly, I would not let that deter me. Orient Village is WONDERFUL and Orient Beach is coming back. The other French side beaches are in good shape also. There is MUCH still to enjoy, even though Grand Case is still limping a bit..


Carol Hill
Re: The French Tour--Trip Report 3 [Re: Carol_Hill] #199937
07/14/2019 08:19 AM
07/14/2019 08:19 AM
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Posts: 3,229
Rhode Island
RonDon Offline
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Thanks for the great reports, Carol. Sorry I didn't respond sooner but I've been off line.

Looks like an anniversary to remember forever!

Re: The French Tour--Trip Report 3 [Re: RonDon] #199950
07/14/2019 12:37 PM
07/14/2019 12:37 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 69,701
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline OP
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Carol_Hill  Offline OP
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No problem, Ro. I did make good use of the gift you sent us at Anse Marcel Beach Club. smile We didn't get to Nice though. We only ate in Grand Case one evening. Orient Village was a lot more appealing to us.


Carol Hill

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