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A VERY belated trip report #134359
07/03/2017 10:00 PM
07/03/2017 10:00 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 512
Rbailey Offline OP
Traveler
Rbailey  Offline OP
Traveler
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 512
Came across some old photos of our first trip to St. Marten in 1977, and thought a few things that I can remember about it might be amusing for old-timers. We had been to several other Caribbean islands before we decided to try St. Martin. It was May or June, and we flew direct (probably on American) from JFK. At that time, there were car rental booths at the airport terminal at which you could take care of paperwork, but you could not pick up the car there, neither could the rental companies transport you; you had to take a taxi. We rented from Risdon Car Rental, which had a location at the Caravanserai Hotel which is where we stayed, so that was not too bad. The Caravanserai was, at that time, a low rise, well rated hotel that had good rates off-season, at least for basic rooms.
[Linked Image]
The restaurant was excellent, with a weekly buffet that attracted a lot of people, and we ate most of our dinners there. I don’t remember where else we ate; one dinner may have been at a Mullet Bay restaurant, and perhaps one at the West Indian Tavern, but I get mixed up by later vacations.
On our first full day we drove into Phillipsburg. These were the days when you could drive down Front Street and park on it with little difficulty. [Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
In those days my wife liked to window-shop (and to an extent, jewelry shop) so we went there several times. Front Street was hot, a bit run-down, and what one expected of a Caribbean town. Sam’s became a favorite lunch spot, where we could sit on the balcony and watch the cruise ship passengers lug their liquor purchases back to the ship. There were fewer ships and they were much smaller in those days.
We also went to Marigot, but I don’t remember what we did there.
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
Of course, we drove around quite a bit.
[Linked Image]
The “main” road was not paved in all places on the French side.
We visited a number beaches, but Mullet is the only one I remember spending much time on, plus walking Long Bay.
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
Maho was not the best at that time. Experiencing the jet blast was not as popular as it has become. Tried to go to Friars, but must have taken the wrong turn.
[Linked Image]
Then, of course, was the view next to the airport.
[Linked Image]
This was the first of a large number of later visits – we were hooked.

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Re: A VERY belated trip report [Re: Rbailey] #134360
07/03/2017 10:27 PM
07/03/2017 10:27 PM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 3,047
Maryland/DC Metro
BeachKitten Offline
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BeachKitten  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 3,047
Maryland/DC Metro
AWESOME !!

Thank you so much for your VERY belated report. Such wonderful pictures and memories.


"It is good to do nothing all day, and then to rest" wink
Re: A VERY belated trip report [Re: Rbailey] #134361
07/03/2017 11:07 PM
07/03/2017 11:07 PM
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 429
South Coast of MA
S
SXMBND Offline
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SXMBND  Offline
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S
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 429
South Coast of MA
Very clever......thanks.

Re: A VERY belated trip report [Re: Rbailey] #134362
07/03/2017 11:19 PM
07/03/2017 11:19 PM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 12,931
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
islandgem Offline
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islandgem  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 12,931
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Thanks for taking the time to share your first SXM trip so many years ago. The pictures are so interesting!Things have changed so much over the years in all the Caribbean islands.




Re: A VERY belated trip report [Re: Rbailey] #134363
07/04/2017 12:08 AM
07/04/2017 12:08 AM
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 16,160
Ohio
ruralcarrier Offline
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ruralcarrier  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 16,160
Ohio
Very interesting! Thanks.


J.D.
Re: A VERY belated trip report [Re: ruralcarrier] #134364
07/04/2017 04:30 AM
07/04/2017 04:30 AM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 1,562
Long Island, NY
RICKnGRACE_LI_NY Offline
Traveler
RICKnGRACE_LI_NY  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 1,562
Long Island, NY
Very Cool


Rick and Grace
Re: A VERY belated trip report [Re: RICKnGRACE_LI_NY] #134365
07/04/2017 07:01 AM
07/04/2017 07:01 AM
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 352
Detroit
bluejacket Offline
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bluejacket  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 352
Detroit
Awesome!

Re: A VERY belated trip report [Re: Rbailey] #134366
07/04/2017 08:02 AM
07/04/2017 08:02 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 74,939
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 74,939
Central Florida!
Thanks very much for the old pictures and report! So interesting to see pictures from even before we started coming!!


Carol Hill
Re: A VERY belated trip report [Re: Rbailey] #134367
07/04/2017 09:02 AM
07/04/2017 09:02 AM
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 2,443
Connecticut
The_Lurker Offline
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The_Lurker  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 2,443
Connecticut
Very interesting!! <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Clapping.gif" alt="" />

Re: A VERY belated trip report [Re: Rbailey] #134368
07/04/2017 09:47 AM
07/04/2017 09:47 AM
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 7,116
St Louis, MO
SXMNorm Offline
Traveler
SXMNorm  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 7,116
St Louis, MO
Thanks for taking time to post. Loved the "way it used to be" pictures.


Next SXM visit - January/February 2022
Re: A VERY belated trip report [Re: Rbailey] #134369
07/04/2017 09:49 AM
07/04/2017 09:49 AM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 13,301
Brookfield, CT.
pat Offline
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pat  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 13,301
Brookfield, CT.
R Bailey,

What a wonderful trip down Memory Lane. We, too, made our first SXM trip in the very early seventies - the same year they were building the road 'over the hill' and I can relate to many of your photos. I wish we'd taken more ourselves.

The first time we rented a car (1973) I think there were more dirt path-like roads than there were paved roads on the French side of the island and more roaming goats, sheep and cattle than dogs everywhere. Orient was totally undeveloped and you really had to hunt for it to get there. And parking anywhere along Front Street was a piece of cake. It wasn't at all unusual to see an escaped chicken strutting down the road, even on Front Street, and there was virtually no traffic to speak of island-wide. Picking up walkers and giving them a lift was the norm back then, particularly the hard working maids walking along with their umbrellas open to keep the sun off their heads.

Such a wonderful time on the Friendly Island and so very different from what we know today. As Bob Hope would say, "Thanks for the memories......." <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/handshake.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/handshake.gif" alt="" />


Respectfully,

pat



"Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat
them."
Re: A VERY belated trip report [Re: Rbailey] #134370
07/04/2017 01:08 PM
07/04/2017 01:08 PM
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 7,048
Yonkers, NY
fabila Offline
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fabila  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 7,048
Yonkers, NY
Love the photos and trip down memory lane. Thanks so much for sharing.

Re: A VERY belated trip report [Re: Rbailey] #134371
07/04/2017 04:59 PM
07/04/2017 04:59 PM
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 625
Maine
SXMbeacher Offline
Traveler
SXMbeacher  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 625
Maine
That's awesome. Being a relative island newb, (2012) i can't place all of the locations, but some i can. My it's changed a lot! Thanks for the retro pics!


[Linked Image]
Re: A VERY belated trip report [Re: SXMbeacher] #134372
07/04/2017 06:03 PM
07/04/2017 06:03 PM
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,041
PA
biglar Offline
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biglar  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,041
PA
Dear R Bailey, We have been visitors for almost 20 years now and though we knew the island fairly well. We now think differently! Your photos and story tell us more about the island we love. I only wish we had found it earlier in our married life. So nice that you took the time to share it with TTOL. Do you happen to have more photos? I'm sure everyone would love to see them. LDub

Re: A VERY belated trip report [Re: biglar] #134373
07/04/2017 09:53 PM
07/04/2017 09:53 PM
Joined: Sep 2016
Posts: 110
Simsbury, Connecticut
shieneehead Offline
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shieneehead  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2016
Posts: 110
Simsbury, Connecticut
Thanks for taking us back. I so much enjoy seeing how the island has progressed. For good or ill we sure know how to exploit beauty.

Re: A VERY belated trip report [Re: shieneehead] #134374
07/05/2017 06:42 PM
07/05/2017 06:42 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 512
Rbailey Offline OP
Traveler
Rbailey  Offline OP
Traveler
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 512
Thanks to everyone who expressed their appreciation. I have a lot of random pictures; perhaps I will try to organize a timeline.

Re: A VERY belated trip report [Re: Rbailey] #134375
07/06/2017 06:52 PM
07/06/2017 06:52 PM
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,041
PA
biglar Offline
Traveler
biglar  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,041
PA
Please do. I think everyone would love to see it!


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