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Lazy, boring trip report #276805
03/01/2022 07:49 AM
03/01/2022 07:49 AM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 241
Upstate, NY
Mikel Offline OP
Traveler
Mikel  Offline OP
Traveler
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 241
Upstate, NY
Some might recall that last year, to commemorate my 25th trip to SXM, I did my first ever trip report entitled Long, Boring Trip Report detailing my 6 week stay. Well, here is a very similar story.
Once again, the entire stay was at Oyster Bay Beach Resort (OBBR). I say this might be boring to some since I am not a foodie, I seldom go to other beaches, don’t take a lot of pictures, don’t go to casinos and seldom travel in the evening for dinner due to my dislike of nighttime driving. But I did spend 7 weeks escaping the cold and snow in Upstate NY and enjoyed every minute of it.

We decided years ago that rather than making the 45 minute drive to Syracuse to catch a 5:30 am flight in the middle of winter, we would leave mid-day and plan to spend a night in a hotel wherever our connecting airport was. Last year we could not find a suitable testing location anywhere near us so we flew to Fort Myers and spent a week with my sister-in-law, got tested there and then spent a night in Miami before heading to SXM. Even though there was no need to test this year, we decided to take the same route.

We had an uneventful 1-stop American Airlines flight to Fort Myers on New Year’s Day and left Miami on Friday for SXM. We arrived 3 hours prior to departure. The line at AA to have our pre-approval paperwork reviewed was long as was the line at the ticket counter to check our bags. If you fly out of Miami, be sure to get into the international check-in line. We spoke with some people who inadvertently went to the domestic check-in only to reach the counter and be sent back to the international one. In total, it took about an hour to get through to the other side of security even with TSA Precheck.

The flight was about 50% full and landed on time. The St. Maarten authorities reviewed the pre-approval paperwork and our vaccine records and gave us the ‘green stamp’. It took a while for our luggage to come. We went outside to meet the AAA car rental shuttle, had our sufficiently pre-dented car in no time and made the trip to OBBR to check in.
OBBR has fully recovered from the hurricane and continues to make additional improvements. The new Veranda Market and Bistro (in the previous location of Beau Beau’s restaurant) is an example. There is a small grocery store, morning pastries, breakfast, lunch and dinner, pizzas, rotisserie chickens, beach service, etc.

The resort seemed to be only about half full with a combination of owners and Interval International trades. Many nights, they rented some of the unused rooms to stranded airline passengers or crew and passengers preparing to embark on a cruise over the weekend.

Since we come at the same time every year, we have many friends that do the same and though many are here, some opted out this year due to COVID concerns. There are still only a limited number of other resort activities taking place but more seem to be added to the schedule weekly.

We are early risers, usually up by 5:00. I normally walk Dawn Beach for a while early in the morning and stop at the Veranda for a cup of coffee, baguette and the Daily Herald. The rest of the day is spent relaxing, doing various errands, roaming the resort, etc. while my wife sits by the pool or on the beach. For the first 4-5 weeks there was seaweed on Dawn Beach which was cleaned up daily by a combination of raking and using their new beach cleaning machine. For the last few weeks, the amount of seaweed decreased dramatically and by the time I left, was close to minimal. During the whole time, there were always locations along the beach with no seaweed in the water to allow for easy swimming.

Breakfast for me is usually a just a bagel or toast in the room. We did go one Sunday morning to the Yacht Club and twice went to Chesterfield’s with a group of friends.

Lunch was hit or miss, sometimes a sandwich in the room or something grilled on the resort’s gas grills. We also had takeouts from Mark’s, Bunchie’s (sp?) food truck at the corner of Oyster Pond Road and Bishop Hill Road and the Friday noon poolside BBQ at OBBR. Other lunches were at Chesterfield’s, Gutside (Friars Bay), Greenhouse (Simpson Bay), Buccaneer Beach Bar, Sandbar and the Infinity bar at our resort.

Dinners were for Mama Pizza twice (Oyster Pond), L’Oasis, BZH, Greenhouse (Bobby’s Marina), and Chesterfields. We also had a few dinners at the Infinity Restaurant and Veranda Bistro at OBBR. Never had a day where we ate out for both lunch and dinner. As I said, we are not foodies.

We did make some daytime ‘social’ stops at Lay Back Beach Bar, Greenhouse (Philipsburg), Yacht Club, Coco Beach Bar (Simpson Bay Resort), St. Rose Arcade, Dutch Blonde, Juggie’s and the new Rusty Parrot located on Dock Maarten on the road into Chesterfields.

Since we were there for all the football playoff games, myself and a Canadian friend decided to sell squares again on boards for the AFC Championship (one board) and the Super Bowl (4 boards). Nothing elaborate, just $5 or $10 per square but we had fun doing it and the winners were happy.

I thought the weather was more rainy than usual for January/February, but plenty of sun with a nice breeze off the Atlantic.

OBBR does daily COVID testing but I opted to bring the BinaxNOW test kit with eMed with me. I did the test at 7:00 am in my room and had the results by 7:30 both emailed to me and loaded to the Navica app. I uploaded the results to the VeriFly app that American offers, completed the attestation form and received the green check mark to show the gate agent at the airport.

I arrived at the airport at about 12:30 on a Thursday for a 3:27 flight. I was shocked to see how long the line was compared to last year when I left on the same day and was completely through to the gate in 20 minutes. American Airlines had a table set up towards the end of the line to verify your test results and completed attestation form. I just showed the VeriFly app and proceeded to the next line to see an agent to check my bag. Total time to get to the gate was about an hour and 15 minutes.

My routine at the airport is to stop at Domino’s, get a personal pizza and proceed to the downstairs bar and wash it down with a couple of beers. I decided to sign in to the free half-hour wifi that the airport offers and when I did, I found out that my connecting flight from Charlotte to Syracuse had been cancelled, even though I had just been handed a boarding pass.

Once on the plane, I signed in to AA’s inflight wifi and rebooked myself for the next morning and paid the extra $35 for an aisle exit row seat. Spent the night at the Airport Holiday Inn and went back to the airport in the morning. The plane left the gate on time but when we were 2nd from takeoff, the Syracuse airport closed because they could not keep up with snow removal. We waited off on the side for a couple of hours and then had to go back to the gate for more fuel. Back out again to get in line and finally took off at 12:50, 3 ½ hours after leaving the gate the first time. Trust me, that was the best $35 seat I ever bought.

So now I am back in the cold and snow while my wife is still in SXM with her sister for 4 more weeks as has been the case for many years. They will head out occasionally to different beaches and casinos. I wish I could only get her to contribute to a trip report, but I can’t see that happening.

We are booked already for the same 7 weeks next year and if the next 10 months goes by as fast as the last two months, I’ll be happy again.

I did include a few pictures, a get together at the Veranda with some old friends from the Scavenger’s days, Dawn Beach after cleaning and the new beach cleaning machine.

Attached Files IMG_0995.jpgIMG_0340.jpgIMG_0339.jpg
Last edited by Carol_Hill; 03/01/2022 11:45 AM.
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Re: Lazy, boring trip report [Re: Mikel] #276810
03/01/2022 08:50 AM
03/01/2022 08:50 AM
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 7,209
Yonkers, NY
fabila Online content
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fabila  Online Content
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Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 7,209
Yonkers, NY
Not boring at all, thanks for sharing.

Re: Lazy, boring trip report [Re: Mikel] #276817
03/01/2022 10:03 AM
03/01/2022 10:03 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 78,800
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 78,800
Central Florida!
Thanks for the report. I'm curious, with that long a trip, do you have a washer and dryer in your room? Do you own that many weeks at OBBR, or do you buy in?


Carol Hill
Re: Lazy, boring trip report [Re: Mikel] #276825
03/01/2022 10:49 AM
03/01/2022 10:49 AM
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 2,741
Connecticut
The_Lurker Offline
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The_Lurker  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 2,741
Connecticut
Not boring--what a great way to spend the cold winters.

Re: Lazy, boring trip report [Re: Mikel] #276827
03/01/2022 10:53 AM
03/01/2022 10:53 AM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 241
Upstate, NY
Mikel Offline OP
Traveler
Mikel  Offline OP
Traveler
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 241
Upstate, NY
Hi Carol, they have a few rooms with washers and dryers but also have a coin-operated laundromat. $2 each for washer or dryer. No, I don't own that many weeks. I did acquire a few during my working years and they have a way to 'split ' your week into one week with a studio and one week with a one bedroom if they have availability. So I use a combination of each. Plus my sister-in law has the 3 weeks following ours so that is how my wife is still there.

PS. I thought sure you would have corrected the fat-fingered spelling error in the title of the post.

Re: Lazy, boring trip report [Re: Mikel] #276836
03/01/2022 11:45 AM
03/01/2022 11:45 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 78,800
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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Posts: 78,800
Central Florida!
OK, thanks for the info.

I missed that typo. Will fix it.


Carol Hill
Re: Lazy, boring trip report [Re: Mikel] #276854
03/01/2022 02:07 PM
03/01/2022 02:07 PM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 2,032
Royersford, PA (30m NW of Phil...
Biturbo Offline
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Biturbo  Offline
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Posts: 2,032
Royersford, PA (30m NW of Phil...
Nice report - Oyster Pond's excellent restaurants are some of the bests on the island.


"In a yellow El Camino, listening to Howlin' Wolf" - Lucinda
Re: Lazy, boring trip report [Re: Mikel] #276856
03/01/2022 02:35 PM
03/01/2022 02:35 PM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 16,312
Auburn, WA
SXMScubaman Offline
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SXMScubaman  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 16,312
Auburn, WA
Nice report. Not boring to me. Just layed back as it should be in SXM.

Re: Lazy, boring trip report [Re: Mikel] #276873
03/01/2022 06:06 PM
03/01/2022 06:06 PM
Joined: Sep 2012
Posts: 479
Northern California
T
thesimpsons Offline
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thesimpsons  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2012
Posts: 479
Northern California
Nice report! Sounds like our speed!

Re: Lazy, boring trip report [Re: Mikel] #276881
03/01/2022 07:53 PM
03/01/2022 07:53 PM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 14,061
Brookfield, CT.
pat Offline
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pat  Offline
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Posts: 14,061
Brookfield, CT.
Sounds very good to me. Thank you for sharing - it helps us through to our island time which isn’t nearly soon enough.🙂🙂


Respectfully,

pat



"Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat
them."
Re: Lazy, boring trip report [Re: Mikel] #276900
03/01/2022 09:16 PM
03/01/2022 09:16 PM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 267
crsxm Offline
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crsxm  Offline
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Posts: 267
Lazy boring is just my speed --wow 7 weeks, I don't think I'd ever leave! Thanks for the trip report. One question, what is the Rusty Parrot? We walked from Divi to the pier one morning. It didn't look open at the time.

Re: Lazy, boring trip report [Re: Mikel] #276907
03/01/2022 10:31 PM
03/01/2022 10:31 PM
Joined: Dec 2021
Posts: 169
US
F
FatCat04 Offline
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FatCat04  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2021
Posts: 169
US
7 weeks sounds heavenly!! Glad you had such a nice relaxing stay.

Re: Lazy, boring trip report [Re: Mikel] #276922
03/02/2022 07:59 AM
03/02/2022 07:59 AM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 241
Upstate, NY
Mikel Offline OP
Traveler
Mikel  Offline OP
Traveler
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 241
Upstate, NY
The Rusty Parrot is on Dock Maarten. If you were sitting at Chesterfield's and looked towards the cruise pier, it looks like a broken, rusted boat hull just below the end of the new zipline coming down from Pointe Blanche. In actuality, it is very well done. The bottom floor has souvenirs and does a 45 minute presentation on pirates (which we did not go to). The top deck has a bar with sitting areas and serves just some cold tapas at the moment. They plan to add a roof and have built a small kitchen to expand their menu a little. Great views of the cruise ships and the yachts moored at Dock Maarten.

They are open both day and evening. They have a Ladies' Night on Wednesday and also some live entertainment.


Rusty Parrot

Re: Lazy, boring trip report [Re: Mikel] #276926
03/02/2022 09:17 AM
03/02/2022 09:17 AM
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 1,247
bdeeley Offline
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bdeeley  Offline
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Posts: 1,247
Your link was not working and a working link is below to their site.


Rusty Parrot

Re: Lazy, boring trip report [Re: Mikel] #277052
03/03/2022 06:38 PM
03/03/2022 06:38 PM
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 254
Rhode Island
E
eightzerobits Online content
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eightzerobits  Online Content
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Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 254
Rhode Island
The Rusty Parrot presentation certainly felt like a lot less than 45 minutes. It was cute for the kids but I don’t think it was really worth the cost. We had a nice chat with the owner’s mother while the kids ran around the top deck. We were the only people there. Definitely targeting cruise passengers.

Re: Lazy, boring trip report [Re: eightzerobits] #277067
03/03/2022 10:03 PM
03/03/2022 10:03 PM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 16,312
Auburn, WA
SXMScubaman Offline
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SXMScubaman  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 16,312
Auburn, WA
Originally Posted by eightzerobits
The Rusty Parrot presentation certainly felt like a lot less than 45 minutes. It was cute for the kids but I don’t think it was really worth the cost. We had a nice chat with the owner’s mother while the kids ran around the top deck. We were the only people there. Definitely targeting cruise passengers.

Kids shouldn't be allowed to run around if busy or not busy. Not acceptable anywhere.

Re: Lazy, boring trip report [Re: SXMScubaman] #277069
03/03/2022 11:12 PM
03/03/2022 11:12 PM
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 254
Rhode Island
E
eightzerobits Online content
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eightzerobits  Online Content
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Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 254
Rhode Island
Originally Posted by SXMScubaman
Originally Posted by eightzerobits
The Rusty Parrot presentation certainly felt like a lot less than 45 minutes. It was cute for the kids but I don’t think it was really worth the cost. We had a nice chat with the owner’s mother while the kids ran around the top deck. We were the only people there. Definitely targeting cruise passengers.

Kids shouldn't be allowed to run around if busy or not busy. Not acceptable anywhere.


And scuba men should keep their off topic opinions to themselves.

Re: Lazy, boring trip report [Re: eightzerobits] #277070
03/03/2022 11:30 PM
03/03/2022 11:30 PM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 16,312
Auburn, WA
SXMScubaman Offline
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SXMScubaman  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 16,312
Auburn, WA
Its just good parenting to teach manners.

Re: Lazy, boring trip report [Re: Mikel] #277075
03/04/2022 07:21 AM
03/04/2022 07:21 AM
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 1,468
Westchester /NYC
Colour1 Offline
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Colour1  Offline
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Posts: 1,468
Westchester /NYC
I'll take boring any day than to deal with this freezing weather here in the Westchester NY for the winter! Thanks for sharing!! Yeah, that is some piece of equipment for the beach! No more food vendors on the beach??? We loved Ms. Bee's and yes, her ribs were the best on the island! She was so nice!! Safe travels!


Sand Gravity, got to love it!
Re: Lazy, boring trip report [Re: eightzerobits] #277085
03/04/2022 08:16 AM
03/04/2022 08:16 AM
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 1,247
bdeeley Offline
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bdeeley  Offline
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Posts: 1,247
There is nothing more pure than hearing the laughter coming from children's mouths or seeing a big smile on their face.

Re: Lazy, boring trip report [Re: Mikel] #277100
03/04/2022 11:06 AM
03/04/2022 11:06 AM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 241
Upstate, NY
Mikel Offline OP
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Mikel  Offline OP
Traveler
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 241
Upstate, NY
The top deck actually has a play area designed for kids with corn hole, small climbing area, building blocks, etc.

Re: Lazy, boring trip report [Re: Mikel] #277103
03/04/2022 11:27 AM
03/04/2022 11:27 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 78,800
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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Posts: 78,800
Central Florida!
So, there you go.


Carol Hill
Re: Lazy, boring trip report [Re: Mikel] #277107
03/04/2022 11:46 AM
03/04/2022 11:46 AM
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 264
S
StMartinFan Offline
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StMartinFan  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 264
Thanks for sharing your report. Sounds like a lovely relaxing time. Makes me want to try the resort, because we've never stayed in that area.

Re: Lazy, boring trip report [Re: Mikel] #277121
03/04/2022 12:27 PM
03/04/2022 12:27 PM
Joined: May 2021
Posts: 124
LI, NY
R
RM5 LI Offline
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RM5 LI  Offline
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Joined: May 2021
Posts: 124
LI, NY
Sounds like a nice, relaxing time. Thanks for sharing.


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