This was our 9th visit to the "Friendly Island" and was a short 6 days...three of which were very soggy.
We rented from Myra and Alain again and had a slight problem with the back hatch...the handle broke the minute we got to Club O.
Other than that, we've always used Triple A and we'll continue to do so!
Our first stop was for a Hiney and Di up on the hilltop stop between the airport and Phillipsburg.
There was a fellow playing a Casio keyboard while another gentlemen swung from a hammock singing old tunes nearby. We stayed for a while and Mary got to do her version of "Crazy" as I played the keyboard myself. After a few minutes, we were on our way to ClubO and to the store for wine, cheese and bare necessities.
Club O has changed a little. The chalet, #52, lost some character as there was nothing on the bare white walls. Papagayos was repainted but still looked the same. They are planning on moving the bar and tables soon. We are not lovers of the food and drink there, except perhaps breakfast and lunch. Dinner, for us, is out of the question there. The piped in music was limited to about 2 or 3 cds. We were actually learning all the words to each song after 6 days. Be that as it may, ClubO is still our number one choice.
The staff is very friendly and helpful. Zoe and Betty at the store very helpful. We opted for a burger for lunch. We didn't want to go anywhere the first night so tried a salad for dinner. As expected, it didn't cut the mustard.
The tipping and billing at Papagayos has changed too. I suggest tipping at the end of your stay.
Thursday, our first full day, we woke and walked the beach at 7am, snuck a dip at Esmeralda and then had a great breakfast at Papagayos.
After a few hours on the beach, we decided to go to Busby's for lunch.
Great lunch and Daniel is a very nice owner/host! He has had some problems with the beach vendors next door as you may know. I assured him, his problems will probably be solved once the condos are completed in back of them. It's a shame because some of the visitors tend to use all of his facilities and not eat or drink at Busbys. I sympathize with him. After a great lunch, we promised Daniel we'd return on Sunday for dinner. Mary wanted to shop for some bling at Royal Jewelers in town so we headed there. I did some gambling and Mary spent some of my losings smile! Back for a few more hours on the beach, we headed to the Sunset Beach Bar for a quick sundowner drink. Afterwards, we dropped by the TTOL party at Breezin'. On the way there, however, a gecko scared the crap out of us as it made his way into our jeep and crawled on top of Mary's head. She screamed on tossed it onto my leg as I drove to Breezins'. Mary said I screamed like a girl. I don't know what happened to it after that.
Breezin's had some really nice music there and it was nice to see some familiar faces. We stayed for an hour or so and went to Bamboo Bernies for a bite to eat. After a few drinks and Poo-Poo platter I was settling among the swaying palms, tiki torches and ocean breezes for the night. I closed my eyes and all I heard was soft music and an occasional puddle jumper coming in for a landing at Juliana. It was very soothing to say the least. After a while to sober up we were back at ClubO and to bed.
Friday turned out to be the best day considering the bad weather. At Breakfast, we met a nice couple we had previously met at HBR in April. They encouraged us to go on the Pelos cat ride to Tintimere, Pinel and Green Caye. The cost $70pp. It included beverages and snorkel equipment, Lunch at Pinel was not included. We had four couples in all. It was a great bunch of people.
On the ride over to Tint, I witnessed my first waterspout. It was about 5 miles out on the port side towards Anquilla and at least 1 mile high into the clouds from the ocean. It was interesting to see and very dangerous. Pelos is not something I would do again. It was too expensive compared to Tiko and we had to beg for drinks, especially on Tintimere. All of us were on shore screamin' for someone to fill our cups with some beer or rum punch. Not what we expected at all!! After the mud thing, we sailed to Pinel. That's when the clouds opened up. Up on the 2nd floor of the restaurant, it looked like something out of Survivor. The 8 of us sat under the leaky straw roof having a blast. We had a great meal of shrimp and lobster and the rain kept coming down it buckets. So much so, that the Windex blue water in front of the hut was turning brown. The captain took a vote and we cancelled Green Caye in return for more trays of Madou Dou.
Mary didn't seem to mind the rain because there she was the only one in the water, face towards the sky, catching the poring rain in her mouth.
It was a sight I'll never forget!
The skies cleared a bit so we headed back to Orient and arrived by 5pm. We were going to use a dinner gift certificate that we won at the NYC-TTOL party but the restaurant closed, so dinner was munchies and wine while listening to some entertainment at Papagayos.
Saturday, we checked out "Club Fantastico". It was really "Club Rediculo" . There was no one around except a lady who said they were booked. Very strange. After going down a steep driveway we entered a small villa type structure with 5 rooms. There was a pool, someone working on an empty hot tub and a bar outside. The kitchen was communal. We were shown a very nice room however....still no guests to be seen. It's too far from the beach and, in my opinion, not worth the effort or money. We took another search, that day, towards Happy Beach. We parked at Friars Bay and started hiking up a steep hill. It was way too hot so we went back. There has to be a closer road to that beach because I'm to old for that kind of hiking! We hung out at Friars and had a great lunch after swimming in the crystal clear and very calm water. I'd go back there anytime but someone has got to give me detailed directions to Happy Bay. We definitely couldn't find the right path.
We also stopped by the Madou dou hut for some rum that day and the shops up top. They actually remembered me from last year.
I forgot where we ate that night but Papagayos had a lame evening of karaoke. I think the DJ wanted to hear himself more than others. Mary & I did a song a piece and that was our evening.
Sunday was a beach gravity day and the weather was terrible. Cloudy and windy. Dinner, as planned was at Busbys. During another great meal, Busby's lost electric and it made the evening very romantic. Couldn't quite understand the service charge and how it differed from a I left both.
Anyone got an explanation? We were going to take a short drive next door to the resort, but the guards wanted 5 bucks to park...I don't think so. We should have walked from Busbys!
One last night time stroll on the beach and to bed.
The last day, was also miserably rainy as we packed and made our way home. We made a quick stop in town before heading to the crowded airport. Many flights were cancelled the passed two days because of the weather so we made it a point to get their way ahead of time.
To Miami, JFK and back to reality. It was 1am by the time we arrived home. What a long day.
I will still look forward to my return trip to SXM. I saw no evidence of crime and still feel very safe there. I hope the new owners of ClubO make some new additions. A pool would be great. Better food would also be a plus. Double massages on the beach at night would be neat.
I guess I want a lot on vacation!

Rich & Mary
Lovers of warm summer breezes, French wine &