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TRIP REPORT PART FOUR (final) - November 1-December 7, 2022 #293164
12/29/2022 03:18 AM
12/29/2022 03:18 AM
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 4,910
Portland, OR
jazzgal Offline OP
Traveler
jazzgal  Offline OP
Traveler
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 4,910
Portland, OR
BEACHES

Simpson Bay at Horny Toad – Sometimes I felt as though there just wasn’t any need to go to another beach because it’s so beautiful and relaxing just to stay at the Toad, despite the water often being too active for me to feel comfortable going in. On the day the first photo was taken, there were a few too many party boats a little too close; fortunately, they didn’t stay too long. Other days, I just vegged and enjoyed looking at the quieter boats in the Bay.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Simpson Bay at Mary’s Boon – I joined a couple of resident friends for a few hours at Mary’s Boon. They enjoyed a swim, and we had lunch. The soup was proclaimed good, but two sandwiches really missed the mark. This art is on the outside of a couple of their buildings.

[Linked Image]

Anse Marcel – With my time coming to an end soon, I needed another beach day and opted to return to my favorite. The water was very high on this day with room enough for only one row of chairs. Additionally, the wind was so active that they were not allowing umbrellas to be opened. Rain started after no more than an hour on the beach, so I went up for lunch. On a previous visit, friends had been raving about a tomato/mozzarella dish saying the tomatoes were wonderful. I thought so too. My chicken Caesar salad was also very good.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

ACTIVITIES

Quality Time – On my last full day on the island, I was invited to join others on a sail on Quality Time headed to Anguilla. It leaves from Bobby’s Marina; since they needed to take our passports to Immigration, they told me they would pick me up at Immigration, which was a lot closer for me. It was a morning of seeing several captains I know. First was Pieter driving his dinghy to/from No1SXM; we waved as he drove by. Then Ian Martin showed up as he had a group going out on one of his Spellbound boats. He looks great after having had surgery, and it was nice to chat for a moment. Then Neil Roebert showed up; Enigma was sailing to Anguilla for the first time since, I presume, the lifting of Covid restrictions. This is Enigma taken from Quality Time.

[Linked Image]

It was wonderful to be able to be on the water on my last day, but I’ve been spoiled by Enigma and No1SXM. I’m not a fan of loud music on sails, and there were quite a few people on a boat that doesn’t have the “spread out” room of Enigma. That said, the culinary offerings were much more impressive than I would have expected on a sail that is about half the price of Enigma: chicken, ribs, several salads, all good. Neglected to get a picture.

EATING

Cambuci – Even though Cambuci is next door to Altro, they are miles apart in how they treat customers, or at least in how they treated me. Cambuci was nothing but welcoming upon my arrival and checked in with me frequently while I was there to make sure I was having a good experience. The menu was not the same as is on their Facebook page, and I honestly had difficulty finding anything I really wanted to eat. I finally settled on a version of shepherd’s pie that had ground beef and mashed potatoes underneath the vegetables. I will return, if for no other reason than how pleasant they are but will hope for a different menu next time.

[Linked Image]

La Villa Hibiscus – WendyK and I usually tried to eat at Sol e Luna whenever we were on the island at the same time. It’s now gone, and La Villa Hibiscus is in its place, so we went there. I had eaten at its previous location atop Pic Paradis and was eager to see how this location might have changed things. A few improvements were made to the bar area, but otherwise it’s pretty much as it was when it was Sol e Luna.

[Linked Image]

There are several levels of eating experiences available; we chose the one that was three courses for 65 Euro.

[Linked Image]

It was amusing to see some of the wine prices; look toward the bottom of the list.

[Linked Image]

For my lunch, I chose the chestnut appetizer, beef entrée, and dessert trolley. Two desserts were on the trolley, but they let us have a bit of both of them rather than choosing between the two.

[Linked Image]

It was a nice experience with good food, but I wasn’t as bowled over as I was when it was in its previous location.

[Linked Image]

Vesna Taverna – At the open house hosted by “Indi” mentioned in a previous report, Vesna reminded me I still had time to come into her place for dinner, so a friend and I went. I had the lamb, which was even better for lunch a couple of days later paired with spicy noodle salad left over from Thanksgiving.

[Linked Image]

The French Touch – Another little place I really enjoy; I usually have a meal here while waiting for my jewelry to be cleaned. The omelet was very good.

[Linked Image]

Le Cottage – This was another gathering sponsored by Foodporn Group of SXM and was the fourth anniversary of the group’s gatherings. Le Cottage created a special three-course menu for us with several choices available in each category; I chose the lobster bisque, duck breast, and banana pie. If I had to choose a dish that stood out above all others this trip, the lobster bisque would be it. Seriously wonderful. The duck had a very nice flavor but was difficult to cut. Someone else at my table felt the same way, and Le Cottage discounted our checks by $10. Very nice of them. Met some new people at my table, which is a nice benefit of these gatherings.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Indigo Beach Restaurant – “Indi” organized a lunch to include a couple of residents and a couple of visitors. Shortly after arriving, a heavy rain came down; fortunately, there is ample covered space, and it didn’t last too long. I ordered the bo bun salad; once you have had that dish at the dearly departed Dreams, nothing else compares. It’s okay, but the Dreams version was outstanding. We had requested some separate checks: two singles and two pairs. It was just too much for the poor server, and we had to go back and forth before we received accurate checks. Nonetheless, it was nice getting together with friends as our time on island was winding down.

[Linked Image]

L’Auberge Gourmande – This was the choice of a friend leaving the island the next day. I had a “duck two ways” appetizer that was fairly heavy and a white-fish entrée. I thought both were so-so. Still, we had a very pleasant evening. Roland Richardson was at the table next to us.

[Linked Image]

Horny Toad Happy Hours – There is a happy hour for guests nearly every night. It’s BYOB, and guests as well as the innkeepers provide hors d’oeuvres. There were several nights where, after an hour of sampling snacks, going out to dinner seemed unnecessary. On those nights, I would just return to my balcony, often with Betsy, and read and enjoy the sound of the water. That sound may be what I miss most about the island.

SHOPPING

It’s dangerous taking jewelry to DK Gems for cleaning. I ended out making a fairly significant (for me) purchase. Sorry, not going to post a picture. I also dropped by Juggie’s place to get more spices. I had previously dropped off a bra for him to add to his collection. As I understand it, for every bra left with him, he contributes to a breast cancer organization.

After lunch at Anse Marcel, I drove to the shopping area across from Secrets as I had been hearing good things about it. I didn’t feel like shopping so didn’t get out of the car, but it appears to have a nice mixture of both eateries and retail. I will go back next trip to investigate further.

[Linked Image]

SERVICES

Georgina’s Nails – I visited her twice for acrylic nail fills and a pedicure. I continue to think Lidy is the best nail technician on the island. Even though there is a salon within walking distance of Horny Toad, I am willing to make the drive to avail myself of her services.

RANDOMS

I can’t get enough of the wonderful sunsets. It’s too bad I can’t see the sun disappearing below the horizon; I just have to settle for it disappearing behind Beacon Hill.
[Linked Image]

Are there two suns?
[Linked Image]

Are you getting tired of these yet?
[Linked Image]

Last sunrise of the trip.
[Linked Image]

Until June . . . .
[Linked Image]

CLOSING THOUGHTS AND GETTING HOME

The temperatures this trip seemed much cooler to me. Many times, especially in the evening, I felt as though I needed a sweater or at least long sleeves.

I am beginning to feel about Horny Toad how Pat and others feel about Beachside Villas. Often, there just isn’t any reason to go anywhere else. As a result, I felt as though I participated in fewer “activities” this trip, which is not a bad thing.

My return routing was MIA / DFW / PDX. I had only one and a half hours in MIA to get to the gate for DFW and was worried about making it. I called AA to see if I could change to the later MIA-to-DFW flight and was told I could not because my ticket was paid for with a credit from a trip in 2020 I didn’t make. Not sure why that made a difference.

I had a hotel reservation at the Grand Hyatt at DFW that I didn’t want to get stuck paying for if I couldn’t make the connection in MIA so cancelled the hotel. Then someone who left the island a couple of days before I did suggested wheelchair assistance, saying they would not have made their connection without it. I had never used that service before but do have difficulty walking fast for distances so ordered it. What a fabulous service!! The very nice gentleman got me to the DFW gate in 40 minutes!

I then tried to make another hotel reservation at the Grand Hyatt; it appeared to go through, but I wasn’t certain; glitchy wi-fi? When I got to Dallas, I went to the Grand Hyatt and asked if they showed a reservation for me. They showed the previously cancelled one but not a new one from that day . . . and they were fully booked. The desk clerk tried to reinstate the cancelled reservation, but that didn’t work. She said they did have a “comfort suite” which she said had just a murphy bed but full bathroom along with conference facilities. I said I would take it.

When I got to the room, a “service entrance” sign was on the door. I went in and the first room was a large pantry with a significant assortment of waters, juices, and coffee; there was even a stovetop. There was another door in the pantry which took me to another room that included the aforementioned bed, a desk, and a conference table with eight chairs! The bed was very comfortable, and the bathroom was the same as in king and queen bedrooms I’ve stayed in before. And this room was $30 or $40 less than a regular king suite. A win all around.

I also used the wheelchair assistance in Portland. We have a new terminal that’s not yet finished, and the wheelchair fellow told me it was about a mile from gates to getting out of the terminal. I was quite impressed with the folks who assisted me and will use this service again.

Thus endeth my reporting on a wonderful five weeks on SXM. Many thanks to those of you who have made nice comments on my posts. June can’t come soon enough!


[Linked Image]
SXM Sponsors
Re: TRIP REPORT PART FOUR (final) - November 1-December 7, 2022 [Re: jazzgal] #293166
12/29/2022 04:03 AM
12/29/2022 04:03 AM
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 2,032
Westchester /NYC
Colour1 Offline
Traveler
Colour1  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 2,032
Westchester /NYC
Thank you for taking the time out of your day to post these lovely reports! The photos were amazing and the food photos were great too!!! Yes, you are right, it is very hard to leave "our" beach at Beachside Villas!! Louise and I will re-tune and re-tune our itinerary before we come down in the hopes to get it all in, it just doesn't happen when you have a lovely beach in front of you!! I can see why you love the Toad, it's very beautiful there! The manager's HH is a nice touch!! Glad you got home safely and made all your connections!! Yes, until next time! I always have the camera on Maho, just to check on "our" home away from home!


Sand Gravity, got to love it!
Re: TRIP REPORT PART FOUR (final) - November 1-December 7, 2022 [Re: jazzgal] #293172
12/29/2022 07:15 AM
12/29/2022 07:15 AM
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 17,572
Ohio
ruralcarrier Offline
Traveler
ruralcarrier  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 17,572
Ohio
Another great installment and pictures. The Horny Toad really is a special place. Unfortunately, I have not stayed there since I met you there a few years ago. I always stop in for a visit when I am with the March group and staying at The Atrium (or Royal Palm in previous years). Thanks!


J.D.
Re: TRIP REPORT PART FOUR (final) - November 1-December 7, 2022 [Re: jazzgal] #293174
12/29/2022 08:08 AM
12/29/2022 08:08 AM
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 102
Atlanta, GA
BenP Offline
Traveler
BenP  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 102
Atlanta, GA
I’m in awe of all of your trip reports! I haven’t commented on the previous three but have been enjoying them from the cheap seats. Your pictures are fantastic and it gives me hope I can make it until May when we return. Thank you!

Re: TRIP REPORT PART FOUR (final) - November 1-December 7, 2022 [Re: jazzgal] #293176
12/29/2022 08:39 AM
12/29/2022 08:39 AM
Joined: Mar 2020
Posts: 838
Ontario Canada
Whale Tail Offline
Traveler
Whale Tail  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Mar 2020
Posts: 838
Ontario Canada
Thank you again for all of your reports and pictures. Your reports presentation is stellar, it's like going on an island tour with you. We are also looking forward to your return in June and another set of reports and pictures. Till then Thank you

Re: TRIP REPORT PART FOUR (final) - November 1-December 7, 2022 [Re: jazzgal] #293180
12/29/2022 09:48 AM
12/29/2022 09:48 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 83,078
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
Traveler
Carol_Hill  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 83,078
Central Florida!
Thanks so much for an amazing set of trip reports! Truly wonderful!!


Carol Hill
Re: TRIP REPORT PART FOUR (final) - November 1-December 7, 2022 [Re: jazzgal] #293183
12/29/2022 10:09 AM
12/29/2022 10:09 AM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 14,657
Brookfield, CT.
pat Offline
Traveler
pat  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 14,657
Brookfield, CT.
Wonderful reads, all. Thank you for your time and efforts in doing such an enjoyable collection of posts.


Respectfully,

pat



"Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat
them."
Re: TRIP REPORT PART FOUR (final) - November 1-December 7, 2022 [Re: jazzgal] #293185
12/29/2022 10:24 AM
12/29/2022 10:24 AM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 2,081
Clearwater, FL
Biturbo Offline
Traveler
Biturbo  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 2,081
Clearwater, FL
Thank you, Linda, for your most interesting reports. We're looking forward to July.


I'm going where the weather suits my clothes.
Re: TRIP REPORT PART FOUR (final) - November 1-December 7, 2022 [Re: jazzgal] #293188
12/29/2022 12:20 PM
12/29/2022 12:20 PM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 18,922
Auburn, WA
SXMScubaman Offline
Traveler
SXMScubaman  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 18,922
Auburn, WA
Thanks for that trip report or should I say Picture Novel. Really nice for you to do that for all us stuck in the States and elsewhere.

Re: TRIP REPORT PART FOUR (final) - November 1-December 7, 2022 [Re: jazzgal] #293189
12/29/2022 01:17 PM
12/29/2022 01:17 PM
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 2,990
Connecticut
The_Lurker Offline
Traveler
The_Lurker  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 2,990
Connecticut
Thank-you for the reports and photos!

They are so enjoyable!

Re: TRIP REPORT PART FOUR (final) - November 1-December 7, 2022 [Re: jazzgal] #293190
12/29/2022 02:25 PM
12/29/2022 02:25 PM
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 1,306
CT
pony600 Offline
Traveler
pony600  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 1,306
CT
Thanks for all your reports, I really enjoyed them!


[Linked Image]



If life hands you a lemon, just squeeze it on a lobster!
Re: TRIP REPORT PART FOUR (final) - November 1-December 7, 2022 [Re: jazzgal] #293193
12/29/2022 04:40 PM
12/29/2022 04:40 PM
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 338
S
StMartinFan Offline
Traveler
StMartinFan  Offline
Traveler
S
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 338
Thanks for the helpful trip reports. I appreciate how much effort you put into the photos and detailed descriptions. We may have to try Horny Toad on a future trip, based on your comments. We have a week at Divi but often add more time at a VRBO.

Re: TRIP REPORT PART FOUR (final) - November 1-December 7, 2022 [Re: jazzgal] #293194
12/29/2022 05:00 PM
12/29/2022 05:00 PM
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 7,459
Yonkers, NY
fabila Offline
Traveler
fabila  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 7,459
Yonkers, NY
Another wonderful installment, Linda. Thanks for taking us along on your trip.

I agree with you on the bo bun salad. As good as it was at LaPlaya when Bruno was there it still never matched the wonderful one at Dreams. I've had it at Indigo and Kontiki and while good they can't compare to Dreams.

Re: TRIP REPORT PART FOUR (final) - November 1-December 7, 2022 [Re: fabila] #293195
12/29/2022 05:33 PM
12/29/2022 05:33 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 83,078
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
Traveler
Carol_Hill  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 83,078
Central Florida!
Agreed, that salad--along with almost everything else at Dreams--was about the best there is. I so miss Dreams..


Carol Hill
Re: TRIP REPORT PART FOUR (final) - November 1-December 7, 2022 [Re: jazzgal] #293196
12/29/2022 07:25 PM
12/29/2022 07:25 PM
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 1,773
So. Shore MA.
jollymonsrv Offline
Traveler
jollymonsrv  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 1,773
So. Shore MA.
Magnificent Report. …. If My Bride reads this I am Screwed with Mew Choices. Thanks I Think 🙌

Last edited by jollymonsrv; 12/29/2022 07:25 PM.
Re: TRIP REPORT PART FOUR (final) - November 1-December 7, 2022 [Re: jazzgal] #293201
12/29/2022 09:29 PM
12/29/2022 09:29 PM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 4,323
Vancouver, WA
Todd Offline
Traveler
Todd  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 4,323
Vancouver, WA
Incredible detail on each of these reports, great job!


I prefer the Isle seat
Re: TRIP REPORT PART FOUR (final) - November 1-December 7, 2022 [Re: jazzgal] #293222
12/30/2022 03:24 PM
12/30/2022 03:24 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 185
East Tennessee
lhbsurf Offline
Traveler
lhbsurf  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 185
East Tennessee
Loved the trip reports and made several notes for our January/February trip! Thank you!!


Laura
Re: TRIP REPORT PART FOUR (final) - November 1-December 7, 2022 [Re: jazzgal] #293231
12/30/2022 07:46 PM
12/30/2022 07:46 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,364
Cincinnati area
Cincinnati_Kid Offline
Traveler
Cincinnati_Kid  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,364
Cincinnati area
Hi ! Glad that the Indigo Beach restaurant/bar is open. I went there about a year ago and did not find anyone and it appeared to be closed.


Paradise is an island in the Caribbean!
Re: TRIP REPORT PART FOUR (final) - November 1-December 7, 2022 [Re: jazzgal] #293902
01/13/2023 01:51 PM
01/13/2023 01:51 PM
Joined: May 2021
Posts: 138
LI, NY
R
RM5 LI Offline
Traveler
RM5 LI  Offline
Traveler
R
Joined: May 2021
Posts: 138
LI, NY
Another fabulous trip report. Your photos and descriptions are a delight to see and read. Thank you for sharing.


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