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Trip Report 10/25/21-11/8/21 - Part 1 #268420
11/09/2021 12:57 AM
11/09/2021 12:57 AM
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 4,274
Portland, OR
jazzgal Online content OP
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jazzgal  Online Content OP
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Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 4,274
Portland, OR
It’s been almost two weeks since my plane left Portland, OR, and this is the first time I’ve even thought about sitting down to write a report. This one will be different from my previous detailed reports, which I know will please those of you who don’t like day-by-day narratives.

Getting There

I left on October 27, too early to avoid having to get a COVID test. I had scheduled tests at both Walgreen’s (PCR) and a rapid antigen the next day at a clinic, just in case. The Walgreen’s test results were in my email by the time I returned home from the testing, so I was able to cancel the antigen test. I was grateful for that since the clinic was charging for travel-related tests. The EHAS approval took a few hours but came through before I went to bed that night.

Some of you may recall that when I was on island in June, one of my cats I was boarding had to be put down. Not being able to be with him was extremely painful. A week prior to my departure, I took my remaining feline in for his annual exam and was devastated to learn that he had progressed to Stage 4 renal disease, and the vet said he could go into failure literally at any moment. He was still eating, pooping, and getting around well so this was shocking news. In addition to the stress of arranging for travel, I was also trying to decide if I should cancel my trip, board him and not be there again when his time came, or put him down before I left. He did start to decline so made my decision for me, and I said goodbye to him the day before I left town. This really put a damper on the excitement of departure.

My routing was Portland – Los Angeles – Miami – SXM. Due to the reciprocal arrangements between American and Alaska, I was able to wait for my flight to LAX in Alaska’s Board Room, a nice perk. My itinerary included a three-hour layover in LAX, which I spent in the Admirals Club. I had never been in this Admirals Club before and thought it was stunning. The flight to MIA was a redeye on a 777 (seats lay flat in your own “cubicle”) and I had hoped to be able to sleep on this flight. Alas, it was not to be. My seat was next to the galley, and a flight attendant talked ALL night long. This was my view heading into Miami.

[Linked Image]

Again, I utilized the Admirals Club while waiting for my flight to SXM. This club is a stark contrast to the LAX Club, seeming dingy and almost dirty by contrast. The flight to SXM was full, and going through the various checkpoints at PJIA was not onerous. Due to all the discussions about liability insurance, I opted to go with Hertz this time, which includes liability in their quote; their quote was less than the others I checked. They meet you at the airport in a van rather than your car and take you to their office. The check-in process took a bit longer than I’ve been accustomed to with my prior provider but wasn’t unreasonable.

The Horny Toad

Finally, my home for five weeks. It was 90 degrees the day of my arrival so the air conditioning at Horny Toad was welcome. Even more so, the view.

[Linked Image]

Except for going out for dinner, I spent the first several days laying low at the Toad and trying to recover from losing two kitties within four months of each other. I was really touched when checking in to my room to discover a sympathy card from everyone at the Toad and that they had made a contribution to The Animal Rescue League. Pretty special!

A nice diversion was the 16th annual youth sailing race hosted by Sint Maarten Yacht Club that took place in Simpson Bay. There were 19 youth racers from six countries including Sint Maarten, St. Martin, Antigua, St. Kitts, Nevis, and Curacao. The overall winner was from Antigua.

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

A cute sign on my deck.

[Linked Image]

The Toad’s gardener.

[Linked Image]

The innkeepers’ cat, Betsy. They lost Ginger since the last time I was here.

[Linked Image]

A cute little decoration on the tables on the balcony. There is a string of lights inside the jar attached to the cork which you can switch on and off. I believe they are made by someone at The Mailbox.

[Linked Image]

Beaches

After about four days of doing virtually nothing, I was ready to venture out. Of course, my first beach was Anse Marcel. What a huge difference in reception this time vs. last time! I had made a reservation using the email address they gave me in June. I was greeted by name, time of lunch reservation was confirmed, hugs and cheek kisses from some of the staff. It was like old home week. This visit, I brought neighbors from the Toad who had never been to AM before, and I was glad they liked it.

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

A few days later, I returned with AnnandSteve from this board.

[Linked Image]

Another beach day was at Mary’s Boon with friends.

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
Sails

So far, only one although more are scheduled. This was on No1SXM, and it was a splendid day of sailing and playing in the water at La Samanna.

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

Nature

Mother Nature has been showing a lot of faces since I’ve been here. Really hot when I first arrived, then cooling down a bit. A good bit of rain, some of which lasted several hours. I caught this rainbow from my balcony. You have to look closely, but it’s a triple rainbow.

[Linked Image]

This one was while I was driving. I pulled over to catch it but realized after getting back on the road it was a complete semi-circle. I couldn’t pull over again, but the SXM Facebook groups were flooded with much better pictures of this rainbow than I was able to get.

[Linked Image]

I am getting close to the picture limit for a thread so will put food and special events in a separate post.




[Linked Image]
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Re: Trip Report 10/25/21-11/8/21 - Part 1 [Re: jazzgal] #268421
11/09/2021 02:14 AM
11/09/2021 02:14 AM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 2,026
Royersford, PA (30m NW of Phil...
Biturbo Offline
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Biturbo  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 2,026
Royersford, PA (30m NW of Phil...
Thanks for sharing, Linda. We're looking forward to the next chapter.


"In a yellow El Camino, listening to Howlin' Wolf" - Lucinda
Re: Trip Report 10/25/21-11/8/21 - Part 1 [Re: jazzgal] #268423
11/09/2021 05:18 AM
11/09/2021 05:18 AM
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 1,216
bdeeley Offline
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bdeeley  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 1,216
Very nice report, lovely pictures.

Re: Trip Report 10/25/21-11/8/21 - Part 1 [Re: jazzgal] #268424
11/09/2021 06:40 AM
11/09/2021 06:40 AM
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 16,666
Ohio
ruralcarrier Offline
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ruralcarrier  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 16,666
Ohio
Thanks for the report and pictures. Very well done.

Sorry for the loss of your kitty and also to hear Ginger is no longer around The Horny Toad.

Enjoy!


J.D.
Re: Trip Report 10/25/21-11/8/21 - Part 1 [Re: jazzgal] #268425
11/09/2021 06:50 AM
11/09/2021 06:50 AM
Joined: Mar 2016
Posts: 200
Shelby2 Offline
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Shelby2  Offline
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Posts: 200
Gorgeous sparkling beach photos...very nice! Enjoy your vaca!

Re: Trip Report 10/25/21-11/8/21 - Part 1 [Re: jazzgal] #268427
11/09/2021 07:13 AM
11/09/2021 07:13 AM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 13,990
Brookfield, CT.
pat Offline
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pat  Offline
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Posts: 13,990
Brookfield, CT.
So very well worth waiting for. I felt like I was right there with you enjoying your trip. Again, so very sorry about the loss of both kitties. I’m hoping we bump into you at some point. Five weeks here sounds like a fairy tale. Enjoy every moment of it.


Respectfully,

pat



"Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat
them."
Re: Trip Report 10/25/21-11/8/21 - Part 1 [Re: jazzgal] #268434
11/09/2021 08:36 AM
11/09/2021 08:36 AM
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 205
Royersford, PA
RABBY Offline
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RABBY  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 205
Royersford, PA
Was waiting for your first installment; as usual, did not disappoint!! Thanks Linda for taking the time to post. The pics are wonderful.


..."there's this one particular harbor"....
Re: Trip Report 10/25/21-11/8/21 - Part 1 [Re: jazzgal] #268439
11/09/2021 08:53 AM
11/09/2021 08:53 AM
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 7,191
Yonkers, NY
fabila Online content
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fabila  Online Content
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Posts: 7,191
Yonkers, NY
Thanks for sharing. I’ve got to get writing our report

Re: Trip Report 10/25/21-11/8/21 - Part 1 [Re: jazzgal] #268453
11/09/2021 09:35 AM
11/09/2021 09:35 AM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 406
Teresasxm Offline
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Teresasxm  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 406
Linda - We love your posts and appreciate the care, attention and time you take to post them. Thank you.
I was saddened to hear about the loss of your second furry friend. I'm glad Betsy was there for you at the Horny Toad.
Continue to enjoy your vacation!

Re: Trip Report 10/25/21-11/8/21 - Part 1 [Re: jazzgal] #268454
11/09/2021 09:36 AM
11/09/2021 09:36 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 78,185
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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Posts: 78,185
Central Florida!
First, let me extend my condolences for the loss of your second kitty. What a horrible way to begin your trip.

Thanks for the report. Glad for you that you have such a long trip planned and can have some time to cope with your losses. Enjoy the rest of your trip.


Carol Hill
Re: Trip Report 10/25/21-11/8/21 - Part 1 [Re: jazzgal] #268471
11/09/2021 11:49 AM
11/09/2021 11:49 AM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 732
Western MA
SandS Offline
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Happy Birthday SandS  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 732
Western MA
As a cat lover, my condolences. Thank you for the report & pictures. They are always so enjoyable & informative. Enjoy every minute of your trip. We are starting to get excited about our 5 week trip starting Jan 22, especially since the stress of testing has been eliminated.

Re: Trip Report 10/25/21-11/8/21 - Part 1 [Re: jazzgal] #268477
11/09/2021 12:04 PM
11/09/2021 12:04 PM
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 260
S
StMartinFan Offline
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StMartinFan  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 260
Thanks for sharing such a great trip report. Looking forward to hearing more as the stay progresses.

So sorry about the loss of your second cat. It's always hard to say goodbye to a dear pet.

Re: Trip Report 10/25/21-11/8/21 - Part 1 [Re: jazzgal] #268479
11/09/2021 12:06 PM
11/09/2021 12:06 PM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 15,974
Auburn, WA
SXMScubaman Online content
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SXMScubaman  Online Content
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Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 15,974
Auburn, WA
Glad you are having a great trip and thanks for the picture report. Condolences on the loss of your cat. We might be facing the same thing with our Black Lab female that is now 13 1/2 and will be 14 next May when we go to SXM. Never had a dog go past 13 and know it's coming. Hard to loose family members.

Re: Trip Report 10/25/21-11/8/21 - Part 1 [Re: jazzgal] #268501
11/09/2021 01:28 PM
11/09/2021 01:28 PM
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 7,129
St Louis, MO
SXMNorm Offline
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SXMNorm  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 7,129
St Louis, MO
Enjoyed your first installment. Looking at your view from Horny Toad certainly is a way that certainly helps with the lost of your kitties. Not totally, but helps. Glad you're enjoying yourself. .


Next SXM visit - January/February 2022
Re: Trip Report 10/25/21-11/8/21 - Part 1 [Re: jazzgal] #268536
11/09/2021 03:54 PM
11/09/2021 03:54 PM
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 77
Long Island NY
S
SurferMike Offline
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SurferMike  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 77
Long Island NY
Great pictures Jazzgal. Thanks for posting them. Nice to see familiar scenes of our favorite place, The Horny Toad. We also stayed in the Lido Deck just prior to your arrival. It was a great room (with much needed AC for a couple of days in mid October!) and had frequent visits from our friend Betsy. We’ve been going to the Toad faithfully since 2004 when Deb’s mom Betty ran it. Deb and her husband Doug have done a tremendous job of rebuilding the Toad after hurricane Irma and keeping it in the same style and comfort as the original. It’s only been a couple of weeks since we were there, but we miss it already. We’re looking forward to our longer stay this coming winter. Enjoy your time at the Toad and say hi to Deb and Doug. And Betsy!

Re: Trip Report 10/25/21-11/8/21 - Part 1 [Re: jazzgal] #268544
11/09/2021 05:57 PM
11/09/2021 05:57 PM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 12,976
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
islandgem Offline
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islandgem  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 12,976
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Thanks Linda for a lovely report. I enjoyed the chosen format and will look forward to more future updates. Take care, relax and hopefully it will help with the loss of Dexter and Elvin.❤




Re: Trip Report 10/25/21-11/8/21 - Part 1 [Re: jazzgal] #268564
11/09/2021 08:46 PM
11/09/2021 08:46 PM
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 2,713
Connecticut
The_Lurker Offline
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The_Lurker  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 2,713
Connecticut
Your photos are
amazing ! Thanks for sharing.
What do you use??

Re: Trip Report 10/25/21-11/8/21 - Part 1 [Re: The_Lurker] #268573
11/09/2021 09:44 PM
11/09/2021 09:44 PM
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 4,274
Portland, OR
jazzgal Online content OP
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jazzgal  Online Content OP
Traveler
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 4,274
Portland, OR
My phone. Still using a Samsung Galaxy Note 8 but plan to upgrade soon.

Sorry you couldn't make The Palms tonight. Would love to meet you in person.


[Linked Image]
Re: Trip Report 10/25/21-11/8/21 - Part 1 [Re: jazzgal] #268575
11/09/2021 10:01 PM
11/09/2021 10:01 PM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 15,974
Auburn, WA
SXMScubaman Online content
Traveler
SXMScubaman  Online Content
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Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 15,974
Auburn, WA
Thats the same phone I have too. Takes good pictures and has more bells and whistles than I can use.

Re: Trip Report 10/25/21-11/8/21 - Part 1 [Re: jazzgal] #268577
11/09/2021 10:13 PM
11/09/2021 10:13 PM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 258
crsxm Offline
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crsxm  Offline
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Posts: 258
Sounds like a great start to a well deserved vacation and recovery from the loss of your beloved cats. Hopefully the sunshine and good times with friends will help you heal. Enjoy your stay!

Re: Trip Report 10/25/21-11/8/21 - Part 1 [Re: jazzgal] #268579
11/09/2021 10:19 PM
11/09/2021 10:19 PM
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 17
Virginia
H
HibiscusFan Offline
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HibiscusFan  Offline
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H
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 17
Virginia
Have been waiting for your reports which are always lovely. I'm a cat lover, too, and send my condolences on the loss of your kittles. Thanks again for the photoes of our favorite island.

Re: Trip Report 10/25/21-11/8/21 - Part 1 [Re: SurferMike] #268596
11/10/2021 07:14 AM
11/10/2021 07:14 AM
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 4,274
Portland, OR
jazzgal Online content OP
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jazzgal  Online Content OP
Traveler
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 4,274
Portland, OR
Mike - I have become even better friends with Leggo, a ginger-like cat belonging to neighbors of The Toad. Debbie says neighbors leave her for weeks at a time without food. She has been gobbling up what I put out.


[Linked Image]
Re: Trip Report 10/25/21-11/8/21 - Part 1 [Re: jazzgal] #268605
11/10/2021 08:56 AM
11/10/2021 08:56 AM
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 77
Long Island NY
S
SurferMike Offline
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SurferMike  Offline
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S
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 77
Long Island NY
When I first saw Leggo, I thought it was Ginger until Deb told me what happened to her. Next time I hang out my towels in the back, I’ll bring some cat treats with me. Betsy sure likes them since she’s at he door early in the morning meowing.

Re: Trip Report 10/25/21-11/8/21 - Part 1 [Re: jazzgal] #268647
11/10/2021 02:21 PM
11/10/2021 02:21 PM
Joined: May 2021
Posts: 124
LI, NY
R
RM5 LI Offline
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RM5 LI  Offline
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Joined: May 2021
Posts: 124
LI, NY
Linda, as always, a fabulous trip report. Your photos are lovely. It makes me feel like I'm there as well.
So sorry to for the loss of your kitty.
Enjoy your vacation. I look forward to more reports.


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