Left Toronto on Westjet direct to SXM arrived about noon and met Mickey from Tropical-Tropicana Car Rental for the car. No problems on our way licity split. Stopped off at HILMA"s for a quick bit to eat and a little island news before proceeding to Sonesta Great Bay. This was our fifth year at this resort (second this year) and therefore we are well aware of what to expect in our all inclusive package. For us this actually works out cheaper than renting and flying from either Toronto or Buffalo and we have made many friends here over the years. The remainder of the day was spent poolside enjoying the rays and island drinks. Sunday started out more or less the same way Saturday ended, poolside but by mid afternoon it was time to get out. First stop to visit Phil at the Get Wet Bar for a drink and then on for a drive around the island. (general over view of the island to follow below) Stopped off at Peg Leg for a drink and catch up on football scores and then it was on to the Buccaneer for a beer and bowl of ribs before returning to the hotel. We had dinner at Pineapple Pete's enjoying Mahi-mahi and a rib eye with a Jamaican salsa. Cannot go wrong at Pete's.

So ends the next few days for me because I became a "dive widow". Thanks to the fact that I was somewhat restricted to activities due to the fact that a new hip is in my future, I suggested to Ken that this might be the time to go and get his PADI certification for scuba diving. Understanding that this would involve 3 half days. WRONG! It took the best part of five days (Mon-Fri). Ocean Explorers were great with Ken, although they were in the process of rebuilding from the damage done by OMAR and Ken found out it really wasn't fun to be a student while on vacation. Sure, diving was fun but the book studying was not light <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" /> and very time consuming. (Suggestion to anyone thinking about doing this, do the book work at a dive shop in your home area and arrange for your dive qualifications in SXM. Less time consuming and more fun on vacation). At least he did get his card and four dives while there. <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Joy.gif" alt="" />

Wednesday evening we had dinner with friends at Peg Leg and can't say enough about the steaks. Shawn was right on with the cuts he choose for us and the entertainment, "Cover to Cover" was a blast. We also had dinner a Lee's one evening, and although OK I know there are better places to go. Thursday evening we visited Colin at The Red Piano for a while, saw the new digs including the exclusive room for pole dancing (he says its for structural purposes) and saw Frankie G struggle for a while (recovering from the "Fever" for the past two weeks).

Before we knew it the week was coming to a end. We stopped at HILMA's for a final lunch on the way to the airport and returned to a frosty car in Toronto.

Although, there are signs of OMAR on the island overall things are getting back to normal. Sunset Beach Bar is open on a smaller scale for now (topless girls do drink free again) but continued visual signs remain around Beacon Hill and Mullet Bay Road. Some beaches are just now getting cleaned and more rocks are exposed than before.

Can't wait for our next trip but first I need a new body part, hopefully this time next year. Happy visits to all those heading down this winter season. Look forward to hearing your news.

(please forgive any typo's computer acting up - must feel neglected) <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/smashpc.gif" alt="" />