We belong to the Carol Hill school of trip report writing, so this is more of a dissertation than a report! We also wanted to have pictures to go along with it, so it's taken us some time to put together. I tried to post the report on the message board, but apparently it's just too big. I think I would have had to cut it into 3 parts. Instead, I set up a web site, and put the report and pictures there. The url is http://home.attbi.com/~seafans I've included a brief summary below. In addition to my trip report site, TTOL member "dave" created a web site on msn.com for sxm photos. So far it has his pics and our pics. These pictures may be found at communities.msn.com/sxmphotos .<br><br><br><center><br><br>Our St. Martin Experience<br>May 29 - June 5, 2001<br>Summary</center><br><br><br><br>Our intention is to have information that first timers will find useful, as well as details that veterans will appreciate. We also tried to address some of the questions that we see come up a lot on the board. The report is divided into major sections:<br><br>What's New/Different<br><br>We started with a few things that were new for us, or different than we expected, keeping in mind that we've been to St. Martin twice before, and have been reading TTOL on a daily basis for months: Rental Cars, Service Charge in Restaurants, Francs vs. Dollars, Blue Bay Info, Happy Bay (alternate driving route), Construction on Orient Beach, and Current Layout of Orient Beach. (Note - all pictures here are clickable.)<br><br> <IMG SRC=http://sc.communities.msn.com/tn/FA/70/sxmphotos/2/1b.jpg> <br><br>Getting There<br><br>Smooth, sometimes entertaining, trip on AA, including our side of the carry-on vs. checked luggage debate.<br><br>Hotel<br><br>Brief comments on the hotel options on Orient Beach, focussing on our choice, L'Hoste.<br> <br> <IMG SRC=http://sc.communities.msn.com/tn/FA/70/sxmphotos/2/26.jpg> <br><br>Our Activities and Beach Attire<br><br>We are serious beach fanatics. Except for a snorkeling excursion to Creole Rock, 2 trips to Pinel Island, and a morning of shopping in Marigot, we devoted ourselves to the sand and water of Orient Beach. These 2 sections describe the things we like about Orient.<br><br> <IMG SRC=http://sc.communities.msn.com/tn/FA/70/sxmphotos/2/19.jpg> <IMG SRC=http://sc.communities.msn.com/tn/FA/70/sxmphotos/2/24.jpg> <br><br>Snorkeling<br><br>We are avid, serious snorkelers. With us it's not just jump in and splash around a few minutes looking at the fish. We're usually in the water an hour to an hour and a half, sometimes up to 2 hours, each time we go in. We also have an underwater camera with multiple lenses, so we tend to spend a lot of time in an area, and examine it in detail. Finding good snorkeling sites is a high priority for us on our Caribbean trips. In this section, we offer our opinions on St. Martin snorkeling.<br><br> <IMG SRC=http://sc.communities.msn.com/tn/FA/70/sxmphotos/2/2f.jpg> <IMG SRC=http://sc.communities.msn.com/tn/FA/70/sxmphotos/2/37.jpg> <IMG SRC=http://sc.communities.msn.com/tn/FA/70/sxmphotos/2/34.jpg> <br><br>We also discuss the snorkeling sites we visited this year, Creole Rock and Pinel. We REALLY like Pinel Island. We have visited it on every one of our trips to St. Martin, and went to it twice on this trip. The main beach there is beautiful.<br><br> <IMG SRC=http://sc.communities.msn.com/tn/FA/70/sxmphotos/2/28.jpg> <br><br>But the smaller beaches on the other side of the island are where the good snorkeling is found.<br><br> <IMG SRC=http://sc.communities.msn.com/tn/FA/70/sxmphotos/2/2c.jpg> <br><br>Evening Dining<br><br>What St. Martin trip report would be complete without a section on restaurants?<br><br> <IMG SRC=http://sc.communities.msn.com/tn/FA/70/sxmphotos/2/3e.jpg> <br><br><br>Other Notes<br><br>We conclude with a few miscellaneous notes, not the least of which is that we had a TTOL get together on Saturday, June 2 at Papaguyo. Members present were Dave & Terry, Lou & Peg, Jasen & Tracy, and us, Steve & Barb.<br><br> <IMG SRC=http://sc.communities.msn.com/tn/FA/70/sxmphotos/2/27.jpg> <br><br>Once again, the report is at http://home.attbi.com/~seafans . Hope you all enjoy it!<br><br>Steve & Barb<br><br><br>

Last edited by Carol_Hill; 02/28/2002 02:11 PM.