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Home again...... #176206
11/24/2018 12:10 PM
11/24/2018 12:10 PM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 13,422
Brookfield, CT.
pat Offline OP
Traveler
pat  Offline OP
Traveler
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 13,422
Brookfield, CT.
So, Sunday past was our last full day on SXM until who knows when again. Hopefully, next April but right now, thanks to the on-going issues at our timeshare, I’m not banking on that but we’ll see what happens. Our two weeks literally flew by and yet, we promised ourselves this trip would have no agendas and we were damned and determined to relax and enjoy it.

It was a bittersweet trip, for me anyway. We got to spend time with old friends which is always a good thing and got to meet many more people this trip than I expected, and best of all, we got to meet people I’d hoped to come to know and at the very least, to be able to associate a face to a name. And sadly, there were a few friends from years gone by we’d hoped to connect with but we were unable to........and then there were the November groups we missed both before our arrival and after our departure - hopefully, another year and another trip our paths will cross again.

Our trip consisted of three nights at ElZafiro where the staff couldn’t have been any more gracious and welcoming as well as the accommodations being very comfortable. And then, the prize - eleven days at BSV in Unit 14, adjacent to the pool. The Mascarin family has created a real haven there that you really need to experience to appreciate fully, and I’m so happy we got to do both and we’re already looking forward to a return next Fall.

The trip itself was good but a hard one. So many ‘blue roofs’ everywhere, and so many places we’d come to love are gone. We drove around early in our trip and found it heartbreaking to see the damage and destruction everywhere. The first ride took us as far as Marigot and then on to P’berg, and it really wrenches your gut to see what so many suffered. And yet, even in our two short weeks we’ve seen old businesses reopen and new ones arise out of what used to be. But we also witnessed the sadness in the eyes of many when they spoke of their hurricane experiences.

And we know, St. Martiners from both sides of the island are a strong and resilient people, and THEY WILL SURVIVE. And they have and they are. And just like after Luis, a few years from now, that b itch Irma will be but a terrible memory like a really scary nightmare, or at least, that’s my hope.

It was funny, but staying on the beach in both places as we did, there was no strong incentive for us to go to other beaches and in fact, this was the first time in all our 45+ years of visits we never made it to Mullet. And our biggest decisions each day seemed to center around whether and where we should do meals, particularly dinner. We tried some new places and some old favorites and shared a few very pleasant evenings with good friends. It really doesn’t get much better than that, IMHO.

The journey home took place with yet more firsts. Our first departure under the current SXM airport situation; our first time using a connecting flight home in probably thirty years; and our first time connecting and clearing through CLT. And on that note, we were quite amazed the SXM airport situation went as well as it did both arriving and departing the island. I think we cleared immigration faster in our tent arrival than we ever did in the actual terminal. The only negative we experienced, and it really wasn’t too big a deal, was that we arrived almost simultaneously with the big Air France so baggage was a bit of a zoo but it often was pre Irma, right?

We connected through CLT going home. I felt a lot better when the porter told me it was actually a mile from where we deplaned at International Arrivals to where we departed in our local commuter. I suspected this might have been the case based on our flights to the island, but really, who knew?! I think I might actually consider this option coming home on future trips if it’s available and affordable. We did FF tix home this trip which is always a nice addition to any trip since free is good, particularly after all the hassles of booking flights that were ultimately cancelled and trips needing to be restructured due to other issues. But for SXM it’s well worth the effort, right?!

And in conclusion, my thoughts for those who are still debating their return, my suggestion Is go but with the mindset the island has suffered but the people are the same wonderful people you’ve always known and enjoyed. They want and benefit from our support and truly do appreciate our presence.


Respectfully,

pat



"Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat
them."
SXM Sponsors
Re: Home again...... [Re: pat] #176208
11/24/2018 12:31 PM
11/24/2018 12:31 PM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 789
Toronto Canada
moxie Offline
Traveler
moxie  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 789
Toronto Canada
Hi Pat, a nice thoughtful report. We had the same kind of experiences last year but as with your time there were more ups than downs and they do need tourists.

Re: Home again...... [Re: pat] #176216
11/24/2018 01:24 PM
11/24/2018 01:24 PM
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 332
CT
islandlove Offline
Traveler
islandlove  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 332
CT
Thanks Pat! Sounds like a great time!
We just booked out tickets on June rather than july....from Bdl Tuesday for 8 days for only $343!!! Unfortunately I don't think the towers will be ready so we booked at the Villas at Simpson bay for a pretty good price. We will be reaching out to Lesely..Of course..for transportation. My son is joining us and my daughter and her boyfriend who live in Buffalo will also be joining. As soon as I booked all tickets yesterday I was soooooooooo happy and started our count down which drives everyone crazy!!!!
I cant wait to go back. Thank you so much for your trip reports!!!!!

Re: Home again...... [Re: pat] #176220
11/24/2018 02:41 PM
11/24/2018 02:41 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 75,736
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
Traveler
Carol_Hill  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 75,736
Central Florida!
Thanks for all your reports regarding this trip (and your past reports!) You are so correct, when you have the beach at Beachside, why do you need to go to 'the beach' elsewhere?? toast Glad you enjoyed your trip, despite the down sides.


Carol Hill
Re: Home again...... [Re: Carol_Hill] #176225
11/24/2018 03:11 PM
11/24/2018 03:11 PM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 13,422
Brookfield, CT.
pat Offline OP
Traveler
pat  Offline OP
Traveler
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 13,422
Brookfield, CT.
Hi, Carol,

You are very welcome and you know I enjoy writing so the act of sharing my thoughts and opinions is my pleasure.

In absolute honesty, aside from the state of our timeshare, I really can’t say we experienced much in the line of negatives with this trip.

The island was lush and so many shades of green. With the exception of the one night we got caught out driving in the rain, and even though there were a couple of days we experienced showers, the showers only lasted long enough to cool you down and then we were back to full sun so you couldn’t really complain. The golf course looked great and the island flora was in full bloom The amazing colors of the sky, the water, the greens, the sunset skies and all the flowers made the rain but a minor and momentary inconvenience, but in reality it created a blessing from God and Mother Nature for all the beauty it provided.

We didn’t hit the beaches a lot but staying at Beachside you manage all the wonderful sounds of the ocean without getting sand in places you didn’t know you had places. And we did have one lunch of Rosie’s wonderful ribs thanks to the efforts of my DH.

Life is (was?) good!


Respectfully,

pat



"Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat
them."
Re: Home again...... [Re: pat] #176227
11/24/2018 03:29 PM
11/24/2018 03:29 PM
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 153
P
panman Offline
Traveler
panman  Offline
Traveler
P
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 153
Thanks for the encouraging trip report. We'll get back there...someday.

Re: Home again...... [Re: pat] #176236
11/24/2018 04:52 PM
11/24/2018 04:52 PM
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 16,249
Ohio
ruralcarrier Offline
Traveler
ruralcarrier  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 16,249
Ohio
Thanks for taking us all along.

When we have stayed at Horny Toad, we seldom leave with the exception of a meal.


J.D.
Re: Home again...... [Re: pat] #176248
11/24/2018 06:37 PM
11/24/2018 06:37 PM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 1,938
Royersford, PA (30m NW of Phil...
Biturbo Offline
Traveler
Biturbo  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 1,938
Royersford, PA (30m NW of Phil...
You enjoy writing and sharing your thoughts, and we enjoy reading them. We will be going in 8 days (12/2) and I'm sure we'll have those same bittersweet sentiments. Thanks, Pat.


"In a yellow El Camino, listening to Howlin' Wolf" - Lucinda
Re: Home again...... [Re: pat] #176249
11/24/2018 06:44 PM
11/24/2018 06:44 PM
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,549
originally Long Island, NY/now...
irish1223 Offline
Traveler
irish1223  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,549
originally Long Island, NY/now...
Very much enjoyed your reports and glad you got home safely. Looking forward to our visit next week.


Robin & Ed

Looking forward to getting back next year!

Re: Home again...... [Re: pat] #176258
11/24/2018 08:56 PM
11/24/2018 08:56 PM
Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 2,157
P
PelicanPirate Offline
Traveler
PelicanPirate  Offline
Traveler
P
Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 2,157
So is it a good idea to talk about the storm and say your sorry for them at every meet or just go about having a good vacation and pleasant discussion and only discuss storm/aftermath if they bring it up?

Re: Home again...... [Re: pat] #176262
11/24/2018 09:32 PM
11/24/2018 09:32 PM
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 66
CT. USA
beachy Offline
Traveler
beachy  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 66
CT. USA
I enjoyed reading your reports, I've booked for last 2 weeks in February and first two weeks in March, looking forward to going, we haven't been since the hurricane.

Re: Home again...... [Re: PelicanPirate] #176267
11/24/2018 10:32 PM
11/24/2018 10:32 PM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 13,422
Brookfield, CT.
pat Offline OP
Traveler
pat  Offline OP
Traveler
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 13,422
Brookfield, CT.
Originally Posted by PelicanPirate
So is it a good idea to talk about the storm and say your sorry for them at every meet or just go about having a good vacation and pleasant discussion and only discuss storm/aftermath if they bring it up?


This is a purely personal opinion, but I would NOT bring it up but if the conversation took that direction I would always express my sadness for what the people of SXM had to endure along with praise for how well they’ve endured and emerged through their personal storms. Those who want to discuss it will let you know but personally speaking, we didn’t dwell on it, not even with good and dear friends. Again, if they wish to discuss it they will let you know.....


Respectfully,

pat



"Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat
them."
Re: Home again...... [Re: pat] #176268
11/24/2018 10:59 PM
11/24/2018 10:59 PM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 14,308
Auburn, WA
SXMScubaman Offline
Traveler
SXMScubaman  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 14,308
Auburn, WA
Originally Posted by pat
Originally Posted by PelicanPirate
So is it a good idea to talk about the storm and say your sorry for them at every meet or just go about having a good vacation and pleasant discussion and only discuss storm/aftermath if they bring it up?


This is a purely personal opinion, but I would NOT bring it up but if the conversation took that direction I would always express my sadness for what the people of SXM had to endure along with praise for how well they’ve endured and emerged through their personal storms. Those who want to discuss it will let you know but personally speaking, we didn’t dwell on it, not even with good and dear friends. Again, if they wish to discuss it they will let you know.....

My sentiments also.

Re: Home again...... [Re: pat] #176285
11/25/2018 09:50 AM
11/25/2018 09:50 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 75,736
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
Traveler
Carol_Hill  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 75,736
Central Florida!
I agree. They lived through hell, some are still there, but I think most locals want to move on and just want people to come and enjoy. Oh, and spend money...


Carol Hill
Re: Home again...... [Re: pat] #176313
11/25/2018 05:28 PM
11/25/2018 05:28 PM
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 74
CT, USA
tnw2007 Offline
Traveler
tnw2007  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 74
CT, USA
Thanks for your reports and and all the info Pat. How is it being back home?


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