Getting there:Day1 Up before the roosters at 3am, off to the airport at 4am, flight left on time at 6:15am. Nice thing about these early morning flights is they are generally on time as long as they came in the night before. Little snafu in CLT as the plane had some problem with the rear lavatory. The pilot and co-pilot came out into First Class and were talking to some of the passengers when some preppy guy from the back comes up and starts complaining about the delay. Says this is the 4th time in his last 12 trips that he has been delayed such that he misses his flight to St Barthís. Says this is ridiculus and stomps off. Chill out dude with the sweater wrapped around your neck.We were 45 minutes late leaving but arrived only 15 minutes late. I am sure he made his flight and glad I didnít have to see him again on the island.
On descending into SXM noticed there were no white caps and the ocean was flat. You could see the turquoise waters as we neared the airport. What a great sight. Landed and there was no line in Immigration and we were the 4th couple thru. On to baggage for a very short wait and then a real miracle happened.
Our bags were in the first group to come out. Wow, we were out into the warm sun in record time. We were using Unity and they were not there. One of the other rental car guys said hold on, heíll be back in a minute. Sure enough, he had gone to get something to eat and because we had cleared everything in record time he wasnít expecting us that fast. Off to Unity to get our wheels for the week. It is a Corolla with a super security system. Michael gives us a checkout on it and what to do if we accidently set the alarm off. That will come in handy later.
Off to the store to stock up on essentials for the week, liquor and nuts. Have hard time finding Diet Pepsi and Fresca. Find the DP at the 3rd store but still havenít found any Fresca so weíll fight that battle tomorrow.
Traffic is semi light so we decided to go over the hill on our way to Club Orient. Was backed up at the roundabout but moving. Got to Club O around 5pm and checked in to our beach front chalet. Broke out the laptop and got my slingbox cranked up so we could watch the TN-LSU game. Sitting on our patio, having a cocktail and watching the game. Doesnít get any better than this.
Around the end of the first half we decided we better eat.Out to the car and boy itís dark. Canít find the key hole and Mr Super Security alarm decides we are burglars and sets the alarm off. Glad Micheal showed us what to do. Iím sure it wonít be the only time this week we do that. Off to La Belle Epoque in the Marina. Saturday specials of ďTartare du BeoufĒ, steak tartar and ďVets au PouletĒ chicken egg rolls, bottle of wine and profiteroles to end. Everything was delicious. Tab was $73.50 and no break on the Euro exchange rate. Marina was very busy and there were a lot of French people at the restaurant.
Back to Club O with a stop in Grand Case for a bag of ice. Watched the end of the game and then early to bed. Itís been a long day for us kids.

Day 2 Sand gravity takes hold
Woke to a partly cloudy, breezy day with just a couple of sprinkles. Found 2 newer chairs and put our tags on them. Walked on the beach, what there is of it. Donít remember it being so skinny in all our trips here. Water was a nice temperature but cool when you got out and the sun wasnít shining.Lunch at Baywatch. Cheryl honored us with one of their old menus which we will frame and put in our St Martin room at home. We donated the Auburn tag that is in the Southeast corner over 6 years ago. Itís getting a little rusty so I donít know how much longer they will leave it up.
Dinner was at La Gondola. Wife had the vegetable lasagna and I had the chicken parm. 2 appetizers and nice bottle of wine. Tab was $160. Lemoncello to finish the day and we were back to the chalet and snooze land.
Day 3 Unscheduled shopping day
Whatís that sound on the metal roof. Rain! Maybe it will blow away. Lot more clouds than sun and you can see more rain coming in. Wife declares this a shopping day. Off to Marigot we head. Stop at a clothing store for a purchase of a $200 shirt. This is going to be an expensive day. A couple of more store stops and then into the labyrinth of booths at the Market. Here comes a big rain storm so we take a Coors light break before resuming her quest for the ultimate trinket. Finish here and then over to La Belle Epouqe
For luuch. We really like this place. She decides the weather is still iffy so we head over to Phillipsburg. Traffic going over the hill is not bad but when we get to the light at the bridge it just comes to a stop. 30 minutes later we make it to the free lots along the salt pond and they are packed. We drive up toward the Little League field and people are parked on the sidewalk in front of the stadium. Looks like a good place to me. If they tow mine theyíll have to tow at least 10 others. Off to Pearl Gems to buy some earrings for the daughter and then to some jewelry store to look at some rings she saw in one of the magazines. After looking at the rings, she decides she doesnít like them. Whew, my credit card is saved. After a quick stop at a perfume store we head back to Club O. The weather has cleared enough to get a couple hours in on the beach.
Itís the wine and cheese party night. Boy, some of these people dress funny when they put clothes on. After the free wine we decide we are to tired to get dressed and head out anywhere. Dinner is at Papagayoís. Wife had the Sea Bass and I had the Beef Stroganoff. Not bad and we didnít need to be driving,if you know what I mean. Back to the chalet to our nice cold room.

Day 4 Brochure day
Awake to the sound of rain again. Crap, not that again but this is a clearing shower and itís a beautiful day. Up to Papagayoís to see if we can find my yellow towel and there it is right where I left it. Carlos is there so we get a bloody Mary to start the day. Back to our chairs until lunch. Yea, itís Tuesday. Roast Beef day at Baywatch. Just love that sandwich. Back to our chairs to watch the hoards amble by. My God, if I ever leave my house dressed like some of these people would somebody please just shoot me. Surely they canít think it looks good.
Great afternoon in the sun. Clean up and head over to Grand Case to eat at one of our favorites, Bistro Caribes. CLOSED! How can that be. This isnít October. But there is the sign, Exceptionally Closed Dec 2-8. Donít know exactly what that means except they are closed. A quick huddle and we decide to try Spicy. Good choice. Wife had the Sea bass and I had the beef filet with black peppercorn sauce. Both our meals were very, very good. Warm chocolate cake to finish and this day is done. Rate is 1 for 1 and the tab is $135.00.

Day 5 No breeze
Up at dawn and the wind has died down to nothing. Boy itís going to be hot today. Up to Papagayoís for a little liquid breakfast. Walk down the beach to make sure our chairs havenít moved and then to the office to exchange towels. Lather up with 15 and off to the beach. Decide to snorkel so I put in at Papagayoís and swim down to the Perch area. Saw some fish but not much as the bottom is still very stirred up and has a lot of seaweed floating around. Try again tomorrow.
Lunch was at Kakoaís . Havenít been here in a couple of years as itís a big cruise ship stop. We get there early and have a salad and pizza. Very tasty and the little huts are fun to sit in. Back to our chairs for an afternoon of sun and swimming.
Dinner tonight is Tabba Khaddy. It is sad they are closing and we get Phillipe to give us a cover page of the menu. He graciously signs it and we will take it home and frame it and put it in the St Martin room. Wife had the red snapper and I had the sliced beef in the spicy sauce. Very good and it will be sad to see the restaurant go as their meals were different and very flavorful. Tab was $154 for wine, 2 apps, dinner and dessert. Had intentions of finding some music for the evening but just to tired so back to our cool room and off to snooze land.

Day 6 The breeze is back
Awake to just a beautiful morning and the breeze is back. Up to Papagayo for a liquid breakfast, Bloody Mary and a Screwdriver, off to exchange our towels then to our chairs. It is an absolutely perfect day. Lunch was going to be at the TexMex place but the cook doesnít arrive until 12. Itís 11:20 and we donít want to wait so itís back to Baywatch for another great lunch. Wife had a Kraut Dog and I had the Fat Wally. Back to our chairs and a couple of afternoon swims. Strike up a conversation with the people next to us, they are from Switzerland and are here until Dec 20th. Lucky them.
Dinner is at La Belle Epoque as the wife saw some pants at a store in the Marina that she just had to have. Got the pants, size 44, that got a couple of laughs as she is a size 6 at home. She now has pants that are bigger than mine.
I got a pizza and she got the tuna special that she says was excellent. I tell you, this place is hard to beat.
Quick stop on the way back to take a picture of a house on the hill right before the turn to Friarís that has an incredible display of Christmas lights. These people are really into this. Back to the room and watch a little TV before calling it a night.

Day 7 The breeze is really back
If I thought yesterday was breezy then it was really breezy today. Lotís of sand blowing around. Off to Papagayo for liquid breakfast and then to our chairs. To rough to swim so just caught some rays. Lunch at the Pirate for a couple of wraps. Not bad but very filling. Watched a lot of kite surfers and wondered how hard it is to learn. Looks like a lot of fun.Wind made it feel cool when the sun went behind a cloud so we moved back to in front of our chalet where it was a little more protected. Most of the people had left the beach by 4pm.
Party tonight at Baywatch. Cleaned up and headed over and in the distance we could see a rain storm coming. We had been there about 5 minutes when it hit. That little place shook from the wind and rain. Everybody that was there tried to huddle into one corner to escape the rain. It cleared up after about 15 minutes and they got things cranked back up. About 4 couples came in who had gotten drenched in trying to get there. They were cold and shivering but soon got a little dried out and the women cheered up. The place was really rocking and there were a lot of interesting Christmas themed outfits. Some of the body painting was really interesting. We ate, Prime Rib for me and a Clam Linguini thing for her. Had a few drinks and met a couple of people before deciding to call it a night since we would be leaving tomorrow. Didnít want to feel bad for the trip home. It was really dark for the walk back. Would not recommend walking on Orient Beach at night. Made it back to our chalet, watched a little TV and dozed off for the night.

Day 8 ď Time to go home / Chasiní illusions can get quite confusiní Hey Mr. Paperman Time to go HomeĒ from Donít Stop the Carnival. Well itís time to pack up and head home.
Quick walk on the beach. What beach!!! Wow, the beach really got eaten up by last nights storm and the wind today was the strongest of the week. Down by the Perch there is a 2 foot cliff all along the water front. Wow, what a difference a day can make.
Back to Papagayo for breakfast and then to the room to pack.
Stopped in the Marigot market for a few more trinkets and then to the airport to drop off the bags. A little line at US Air but not bad. Off to Pineapple Peteís for lunch. I had the spicy jerk chicken wrap and the wife had the tempura fish wrap. Very tasty. Back to Unity to drop the car off and then back to the airport.
Sitting there waiting they page that both the United flights to Chicago and Washington were being cancelled due to mechnical and technical reasons. I saw some unhappy campers. Boy, I am glad we are not on those flights.
US Air leaves on time and we are home by 1AM.
Another great trip for us, our 30 or 40th something. We never felt threatened and weíll be back in May for 12 days.