BEACHESSimpson 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.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.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.ACTIVITIESQuality 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.
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.EATINGCambuci
– 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.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.
There are several levels of eating experiences available; we chose the one that was three courses for 65 Euro.
It was amusing to see some of the wine prices; look toward the bottom of the list.
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.
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.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.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.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.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.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.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.SERVICESGeorgina’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.
Are there two suns?
Are you getting tired of these yet?
Last sunrise of the trip.
Until June . . . .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!