Trip report May 3rd-15th

This was our third time down, and possibly our favorite trip so far. We were staying with 3 other couples for the first week and the second was just for us!! We flew out of BOS on American. Couldnít have been smoother, start to finish. Got to the Airport and met up with a Panoramic rep and zipped over to pick up the cars. We all have our opinions regarding car rental agencies, and I will stick with my man Mohammed. He upgraded us no charge, and doing business with him is always easy and pleasant. I canít say enough, he is great to do business with. We grabbed the cars and headed to SSBB to wait for the 4th couple to fly in. Had a pop or two and picked up the other couple and headed to Orient to check in our Villa.
We rented Villa Cocinelle for the 3rd time. We met up with Magali and she went over the basics. Quick and easy. She is great; she set us up with some basics (beer and champagne) and even remembered that my birthday had just gone by. She also told us that the villa had almost been sold 3 days earlier, to our shock, but the owner decided to keep the villa and do upgrades. There had already been some upgrades since last year. They installed a security gate for the driveway for one. Which is a nice, but made me wonder a little about crime in the area, but I will speak of that later.
The first night was pies from Tap 5 and staying in, all of us talking and catching up. Oh and a lovely introduction of Vanilla Ma DouDou for one of the fellows, who is now convinced that I can make it at home for him and is willing to be the taste tester.
Second day, we got up and 4 of us went for groceries. We did our shopping at Sangís. We each were to do dinner one night of the week. Prices were reasonable at Sangís. They had the important things: beer, vodka, and ice cream. On the way back we stopped and got some fresh produce on the side of the road. The smells were heavenly. Everything so fresh and ripe. It was a sensory overload, I was in heaven. From there we spent the day at the beach. We parked ourselves in front of Bikini. We spent a couple days there during the week; it seemed to us that things have changed a touch at Bikini. For good or bad not sure, but itís a little different.
After day two it all blurs together, so now it gets a little random. We hit the Zip lines one morning. This was the 2nd time for Amos and I so we knew what was going on. The others were a little unsure, but by the end they loved it. I could hear them laughing and hollering thru the trees. Next year we are doing the extreme. Much to Amosí dismay!!! After that we ended up in Grand Case for lunch at Skyís the Limit. Two of us had gone and gotten take out from there the night before and everyone wanted it again. So there were 4 couples, we ate and at the end of it we all got out of there for $30 a couple with each having a full meal and 2 drinks each. Canít beat a bargain.
We did a day in Philipsburg. This for a group of over sunned people can be a nice break from the beach for a couple hours. Honestly it was an excuse for me to get to Gulmoharís and get my yearly treat!!! Again with my own opinion, love that place. They always put me in check on scotch and they have great prices for what they offer. I am currently enjoying Glengoyne 15 year old cask strength as I write this. Which is easing the pain slightly. Back to Philipsburg, Amos and I took everyone to the Guavaberry Emporium for a colada. After the first sip they were hooked and proceeded to get ice cream headaches due to quick consumption. We ended up at Blue Bitch Bar for lunch. Good food, nice view.
One of my personal goals on this trip was to go to the Fish Market at Marigot in the am. So on Wednesday morning I got up and was down there at 6:30ish. Holy Moses it was almost cleaned out by the time I got there. Great experience. I ended up with a whole fish and 4 dog fish steaks. All for $40. It was my night to cook. So we all spent the day on the beach and went back to the villa so I could grill up some fresh fish. This is the funny part. So is it just me or when you set out to grill something do you always run out of gas also??? It never fails. So thanks to my lovely wife and her uncle for keeping me mentally sane with drinks and music I worked the kitchen to the fullest with out any problems and still made a great meal for everyone. When life gives you lemons order a round of drinks and keep going!!!
That was the last night for two of the couples who had to return to their homes due to family and flights. So we said goodbye that morning and it was down to 4 of us in the villa for the rest of the week. Amos and I decided to take her aunt and uncle to Baywatch that morning for breakfast. We had been telling them about it for the past year. We had already done a lunch there with them and I think they got it, but they fully understood at breakfast. John, Amosí uncle, brought down Dunks coffee for Andy. Amos dutifully handed it to the man and we set about Mimosas and breakfast. What can you say that hasnít already been said? Itís always a slice of heaven for us and to share it with others who understand is always a pleasure. We went to Kokomarina for the day and pretty much stayed there for the rest of the week. From the moment we sat down everyone who worked there was great. Friendly, courteous, and overall pleasant. The food was great. We had Escargots, a Bacon Goat Cheese burger, and my favorite the Encrusted Goat Cheese Salad. SO GOOD!!! I canít think about itÖÖ..Iím hungry.
With that week coming to an end we said farewell and safe travel to Amosí aunt and uncle, who are now officially hooked and are already talking to us about í09. Amos and I headed down to LíHoste for week two. Not sure what we were in for, only having stayed at Cocinelle every other time and never having stayed for longer than a week we were anxious to see what was in store for us. We shipped the car off with them and started week two. Checked in to LíHoste and we were immediately pleased with our room. We had booked a ground floor and were upgraded to a second story. Canít complain about that!!! It was perfect for us. We went and had our complimentary drinks at LaPlaya and met our new bartender for the week. If I even tried to spell, let alone pronounce his name I would kill it. But if you find yourself on that end of the beach, stop at the beach bar and look for a very courteous, dark haired, and according to Amosí great eyes, bartender who will take good care of you. Actually the whole staff at the beach bar was great. We did lunch there one day, okay it was more like a sampling of the menu. Something along the lines of 4 or 5 courses over a few hours. If you havenít noticed we are foodies. LaPlaya had a great trio of Tartare. It was Mahi Mahi, Crab w/ Avocado, and Salmon w/ Feta. We also downed some great steamed dumplings; I am a junky for steamed dumplings. All around great food. The rest of the week was spent in front of LaPlaya on the chairs and walking down to Baywatch for lunch or breakfast. Oh yeah, while I think of it. We finally tried the Mussels Ala Andy. Okay, Iíve eaten a lot of mussels and different ways, you people are so right with how good they are. I was drinking the sauce with the shells, Amos was fighting to get in to the plate with the bread, but I was eating like I was in prison. And another thing, Andyís running a Philly Cheese Steak Omelet, are you kidding me!! We had a couple of those the second week, along with the Italian Omelet, the Chili Cheese Omelet and Blueberry Pancakes. And Amos got to slap a sticker up for a friend of ours who owns and runs his own doggie day care!!! Tuckered Out. We got to leave our mark!!!
As far as evenings went, we layed low in the room with pies from Tap 5, pate, stinky cheese and baguettes. That to us is a slice of heaven. We did the continental breakfast a couple times at LíHoste and it was good. Just the right amount of pastries and fruit. And a really good strong coffee.
But alas the vacation had to come to an end and it was Thursday. We awoke early and hustled down to Baywatch to say good bye and eat breakfast. We had our Mimosas, steak and eggs and a Philly cheese steak omelet. Said good bye to Adrian, thanked everyone and said until í09. We jumped in the ocean one last time, got ready and made our way to the airport. One day closer to next year. We lucked out on our way back. We went thru SJU and Amos thought she spotted someone we knew. Low and behold she was right. He is a flight attendant for American and he was on our leg from SJU to BOS. He and his crew made sure we were taken care of. We couldnít have ended the trip any better if we had planned it.
Overall observations:
Love the island, canít wait to get back. Love the people, canít wait to see them again.
Crime. It is what it is. Didnít see any. Never felt uncomfortable. We asked everyone we were with before they left if they felt any uneasy feeling. Not a single person felt any issue on the island. As matter of fact, the group we were with have been all around the world and said they have never been so relaxed and comfortable on a vacation. I think that is something to be said. We would like to thank everyone on this board that made this possible with all your great info. Without you we would be lost sometimes!!! Thanks to all who put up with reading this overly long report. It seems to be a cathartic way to end your trip with the hopes of the next oneÖÖÖ.until our next Ďti punch and Absolut and Club Soda!

"if you don't do it this year, you'll be one year older when you do"