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trip report day1-2 #137819
08/13/2017 11:31 AM
08/13/2017 11:31 AM
Joined: Sep 2016
Posts: 110
Simsbury, Connecticut
shieneehead Offline OP
Traveler
shieneehead  Offline OP
Traveler
Joined: Sep 2016
Posts: 110
Simsbury, Connecticut
On Friday, we flew Jet Blue out of Bradley airport in Connecticut @ 7am and transferred in San Juan. We had never connected in San Juan before and it was smooth. Our gate was on the other end of the airport but we had plenty of time with the 1hr 20 min layover. We flew on Seaborne Airlines from there.

We loved the flight over as we were on a smaller prop plane that flew at lower altitude over St. Thomas, St. John, Tortola etc. We sat in front and had nice conversation with Julio the attendant. We landed a little early, used the restrooms and walked right through customs to meet Lesley with our rental. 15 minutes from landing to driving away from the airport! That makes me so happy!

We stopped at Super U to pick up essentials and made our way to our studio in Mount Vernon. They have paved the driveway and added a security gate in the lower lot accessed with a electronic fob. That is a great addition.

Once in our room we noshed on meats, cheeses, olives and bread, unpacked and went for a dip in front of CoCo Beach. The seaweed is plentiful on this end of the bay and hasn't been swept from the beach until you get in front of CoCo Beach. There is less in the water there as well. We spent a good hour letting the water work its magic dissolving the mainland tensions. We stayed until the sun was low in the west and shadows began to grow. We walked back little slower than we arrived with perma-grin on our faces.

We cleaned up a bit and decided to have dinner at Villa Royale in Grand Case. We felt like having fish and they have never disappointed. They were packed when we first walked up at around 8pm so decided to move on down the road to see what our other options would be. Several of the restaurants were closed for vacation or for the evening and we quickly decided to go back to Vila Royale and wait for a table to open. A table outside opened up in a few minutes. My wife had the grilled mahi and I thought I'd try something new and get the conch brochettes. The server brought out grilled shrimp for me instead. She offered to take them back and replace them but I was ok with the shrimp. The chef sent out a few pieces of conch for me anyway. It was ok. Relatively tender but i wasn't crazy about the marinade. I did like the shrimp much better so I was pleased. Service was great.

At this point it was 11:30 and we were absolutely wiped out. 4 hours of sleep the night before had caught up with us. We slept deeply that night.

Saturday we woke up with plans to spend the day in front of Les Temps des Cerises in Grand Case. We have never spent the day at Grand Case and this trip we want to get out of our routine and expand our experiences. We had walked through Cerises last year and thought it was a beautiful location. As we drove down the road to see if we could park closer on the street I just wasn't getting the vibe so we chose to go over to La Playa and plant there for the day. Great choice. It was such a great day in Orient. We paid $20 bucks for our comfy chairs and umbrella and made 2pm reservations for lunch. We spent the day reading and taking dips.

Lunch was fantastic. We had planned on going to Dreams based on Jazzgal's recommendations to try the Bo-bun salad but it is on the menu here as well. My wife got that and I had the Langaise salad with duck breast and gizzards. Yummmm. We swapped plates several times and were both very, very happy. We had a table just off the beach in the sand. This is why we work so damn hard!
We stayed until around 6pm when we were one of the last few chairs still occupied and the light hits that magical mix of sun and shadow. It one of our favorite times on the beach.

One of our goals this trip is to spend more time on the Dutch side than we have in the past. For dinner we went to Beirut. My wife had the Vegan plate of falafel, hummous, Babaganoush and Tabouli, I had the Beirut plate that swaps the falafel for 2 skewers. I chose lamb and beef. They start you out with a lentil soup which was flavorful but a bit salty even for my palate. The dips were delicious. The falafel had a definite kick. The lamb was the better if the skewers. After dinner we both felt extremely bloated and tried to walk it off down the strip. Something we ate was not playing nice with our stomach acids! We think it was the lentil soup... Nothing major but distended bellys and much belching. Tums would have been helpful. We got back to the studio, chewed a couple tums and crashed.

Today we are going to Simpson Bay to see experience what other TTOLers are talking about! <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Clapping.gif" alt="" />

Last edited by Carol_Hill; 08/13/2017 01:45 PM.
SXM Sponsors
Re: trip report day1-2 [Re: shieneehead] #137820
08/13/2017 01:46 PM
08/13/2017 01:46 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 75,253
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
Traveler
Carol_Hill  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 75,253
Central Florida!
Hi. Thanks for the report! I added some returns to make the report easier to read. Sounds like some good additions at Mt. Vernon. Looking forward to hearing the rest of the story!


Carol Hill
Re: trip report day1-2 [Re: shieneehead] #137821
08/13/2017 02:05 PM
08/13/2017 02:05 PM
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 7,116
St Louis, MO
SXMNorm Offline
Traveler
SXMNorm  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 7,116
St Louis, MO
Enjoyed your report. Good luck trying to break the usual routine.


Next SXM visit - January/February 2022
Re: trip report day1-2 [Re: shieneehead] #137822
08/13/2017 02:40 PM
08/13/2017 02:40 PM
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 2,472
Connecticut
The_Lurker Offline
Traveler
The_Lurker  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 2,472
Connecticut
Sounds wonderful!!
Waiting for more....

Re: trip report day1-2 [Re: shieneehead] #137823
08/13/2017 04:13 PM
08/13/2017 04:13 PM
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 3,952
Portland, OR
jazzgal Offline
Traveler
jazzgal  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 3,952
Portland, OR
Sounds like fun so far! A couple of comments:

  • If you go to La Playa again, if you mention TTOL, the chairs are free.
  • While both are good, the bo bun nem salads are different at La Playa and Dreams. Similar, but different ingredients in some cases. I prefer the salad at Dreams. So now you have an excuse to go to Dreams! <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/jester.gif" alt="" />


I look forward to your future reports!


[Linked Image]
Re: trip report day1-2 [Re: shieneehead] #137824
08/14/2017 07:53 AM
08/14/2017 07:53 AM
Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 326
CT,USA
DICKG Offline
Traveler
DICKG  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 326
CT,USA
Nice report , but I have a question when you booked Jet Blue out of Bdl did you book JB to SXM or did you book to San Juan then to SXM

Re: trip report day1-2 [Re: DICKG] #137825
08/14/2017 08:14 AM
08/14/2017 08:14 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 75,253
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
Traveler
Carol_Hill  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 75,253
Central Florida!
I don't know how this particular poster did it, but you can book on one ticket on Jet Blue to SJU and then on Seabourne to SXM, on a single ticket. Jet Blue used to do that with Liat also, I think.


Carol Hill
Re: trip report day1-2 [Re: Carol_Hill] #137826
08/14/2017 11:07 AM
08/14/2017 11:07 AM
Joined: Sep 2016
Posts: 110
Simsbury, Connecticut
shieneehead Offline OP
Traveler
shieneehead  Offline OP
Traveler
Joined: Sep 2016
Posts: 110
Simsbury, Connecticut
DickG We booked off Jet Blue. Arrival and Departure were booked separately but the connection in SJU with Seaborne was booked through Jet Blue.

Re: trip report day1-2 [Re: shieneehead] #137827
08/14/2017 11:08 AM
08/14/2017 11:08 AM
Joined: Sep 2016
Posts: 110
Simsbury, Connecticut
shieneehead Offline OP
Traveler
shieneehead  Offline OP
Traveler
Joined: Sep 2016
Posts: 110
Simsbury, Connecticut
Thanks for the tip Jazzgal!

Re: trip report day1-2 [Re: Carol_Hill] #137828
08/14/2017 11:54 AM
08/14/2017 11:54 AM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 3,054
Maryland/DC Metro
BeachKitten Offline
Traveler
BeachKitten  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 3,054
Maryland/DC Metro
We are going through San Juan both ways in October/Nov with Jet Blue. They have us on Seaborne for the short hops.


"It is good to do nothing all day, and then to rest" wink

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