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Trip report Day 1 and 2, Feb 24-March 5 trip #314343
02/27/2024 09:24 AM
02/27/2024 09:24 AM
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FatCat04 Offline OP
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We (husband, 6 year old daughter, and I) got back to our favorite island Sat the 24th.

Day 1 Saturday

Flights were nice. We were on Delta from Nashville thru ATL. ATL is daunting and last minute gate/terminal changes not withstanding, it went smoothly.

Flight got in early. Good thing too. The arrival complex was packed. We spent almost 2 hours on the bus and then in line. We had only carry ons. I asked 2 separate people about having carry ons only. They both said it didn't make the process any faster but it was nice to breeze out after immigration, no waiting for bags. Once we got in the immigrations building, we were out in maybe 10 mins tops. Lots of hot heads in line but I think most folks were just confused and frustrated as to the multiple line situation, why lines moved differently, the very humid conditions, and just the kind of organized chaos of it all. But in the end it is 2 hours of inconvenience and sticky heat for paradise. I'll live. But, I will probably book midweek flights next time if this situation is still going on next trip.

Hertz was waiting for us, they said they always wait for their last customer even if it is past closing time. It took about 20 mins to get the car even though they were absolutely slammed. First time with Hertz at SXM. We have been Avis people for 15 + years. Hertz was as easy as Avis has been in the past The vehicle is a no frills island rental with 28k kms on it and the battle scars to prove it but it will get us where we wanna go and has good AC. I ask for nothing more.

We got over to Orient in about 25 mins. The island is so nice and green so rainfall must be good now. The downside to lots of rain is little biting insects. I must be their version of cheesecake because they can not resist me. Our rental agents met us at the apartment. Nice folks and a very nice place with a large balcony and great views. We got everything in from the car then hit up the Casino for a few necessities. Always amazes me how much stuff that little grocery has on its shelves. It is such a nice little grocery store. I love the Super U but the Casino really has all the necessities and so much more, and the prices are not bad. We will hit up the Tabac for beach toys tomorrow.

Off to Yellow Sub for dinner as is our tradition on our first night. Melvin took care of us. We both had the yummy garlicky mussels for appetizer and the very affordable entrecote steak for plat because we were hungry enough to eat a horse, and that steak was as big as a horse. It was perfectly cooked and tender. Husband had the blue sauce, I the mushroom sauce. They do sauces very well at Yellow Sub and both our meals were excellent. The bottle of Cotes du Rhone to wash it down was perfect. But the dessert.... oh... the dessert! Pistachio creme brulee... it was heavenly. We both got our own and good thing too. No fisticuffs at table. 6 year old daughter had the kids cheese burger and fries which was huge. No dessert for her as she was so exhausted and didn't want dessert... so you know she is tired. I gave her a couple bites of mine and she was happy. It was karaoke night and there was some real talent there. Made for a super fun night. We will probably go back again this trip on one of their music nights.

We made our sleepy way back to the apartment and sat on the balcony listening to the sea. Then collapsed into bed about 11... and slept like the righteous until 7:30.

Day 2 Sunday

Woke up to sea and sun and delicious coffee. Husband was off on the daily ritual beach walk and pastry run. The sea and beach looked stunning. It will be a slow beach day for us today anyway. We planned to lounge on the beach, do nothing, and then rest afterwards. snore

We decided to go to Kontiki as we know the beach manager Geoffrey having met him a couple trips back when he was at Bikini and he has always done a great job making us feel welcome. We got there around 11, ordered some wine, some lunch (a double Kontiki platter to share which was plenty of food, I love the chicken spring rolls), played in the ocean with the kid, made some sand castles, took a 45 min walk, and generally just enjoyed the wind and waves. The sea and wind were calm and perfect. It was pretty crowded so we knew that while the service was great, patience would be a must but we were in no hurry.

About 4 we headed to the pool for a quick dip and then back for showers and prettying up for dinner.

Maison Mere tonight. The food and service were very good as usual. For starter, husband had the special "perfect egg" and I had the mahi mahi cerviche. Both were excellent. Husband's egg was smothered in speck ham and cooked to perfect creaminess. My mahi was soft and buttery and the coconut milk and lime added such a nice flavor. Daughter had the kids fish and chips which were very tasty. For main, husband had scallops and truffle risotto which was loaded with truffle. I had the sole with table side service. The sole was very well prepared though it was not the usual buttery lemon prep with mashed potatoes but a creamy butter sauce with hints of almodt a Thai seasoning served with basmati rice. It was a nice change up and very tasty and the serving itself was big, hard for me to finish but I did it. Both our mains went well with the Loire white my husband chose. For dessert, daughter had 2 scoops of salted caramel ice cream, her new favorite. I had the roasted pineapple rum baba flambee and husband had the old rum souffle. All excellent and sadly we totally forgot to get pictures of half the meal. I'll do better tomorrow. All in all the food and service were wonderful.

We stopped by Le Bouchon to make a reservation for the next evening and then made our way back to the apartment for a glass of wine, the sound of waves and sleep. Another beautiful day.

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Re: Trip report Day 1 and 2, Feb 24-March 5 trip [Re: FatCat04] #314346
02/27/2024 10:10 AM
02/27/2024 10:10 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 82,610
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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FatCat--Thanks for the report and the lovely pictures.

So, it sounds like some officials have gotten some pushback over letting people without checked bags skip the line. As you say, lots of hot, frustrated people, who don't understand the "process", which seems to be total chaos. I suspect there was some shouting, etc., from people who were watching people without bags go around them.

Food looks great, and can't believe the size of that kid's burger!

When you get the chance, would love to see some pictures of your unit.

Enjoy!


Carol Hill
Re: Trip report Day 1 and 2, Feb 24-March 5 trip [Re: Carol_Hill] #314351
02/27/2024 10:53 AM
02/27/2024 10:53 AM
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FatCat04 Offline OP
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That is what I am thinking too Carol. It just seems to me that allowing carry on only folks to get through faster would debulk the lines some, encourage folks like us who NEVER travel without checked bags to do carry on only (it worked fine even with electronics and medicine and tons of less than 3.4 ounce items and we will do it again), and make the process faster for everyone but it is what it is. We are here and very happy.

Sure will. Let me tidy some. The first few days our rental condos always look like the Rolling Stones have been partying, well maybe not THAT bad but still messy. Great thing about this condo is that it has a separate washer and dryer and in these condos in this area, that is a luxury. And the owner put the dryer on the balcony, all encapsulated in a nice structure that almost looks like a large wooden deck box. You would never think it held a dryer. The box also muffles the noise and this set up keeps the heat out of the condo too. Really nice to have this little luxury since we are travelling very light this time.

It is 2 bedroom, 2 bath though the guest bath is separated into a water closet and then a separate sink and shower room. Entry area, laundry room, big open plan living room, dining space and kitchen round out the inside. Balcony is off the lr/kitchen and stretches the width of the condo. I'll download and post some pics of the not so untidy spaces here in a minute.

PS. The internet ATM is sloth speed so it will take a bit on the pics.

Last edited by FatCat04; 02/27/2024 11:02 AM.

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Re: Trip report Day 1 and 2, Feb 24-March 5 trip [Re: FatCat04] #314353
02/27/2024 11:06 AM
02/27/2024 11:06 AM
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Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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FatCat--well, never let it be said that the folks at PJIA would do anything that made SENSE. But frankly, I just don't think there is any way that there is not going to be resentment from the people who are standing in line, getting passed by other people. If they had done things that would have made sense, they would not have messed with arrivals during dead high season. If they DID decide to do that, they should have made the temporary arrivals hall bigger. It's not like they didn't know how many people would be coming through. I just HOPE that their estimate of having the temporary arrivals hall ready in the 2nd quarter is accurate. Although nothing has been on time yet, so no reason for this to be.

Totally understand about how things can get messy while on vacation. When you can, pictures would be lovely. It does sound like a nice place. And having a washer and dryer is heaven!


Carol Hill
Re: Trip report Day 1 and 2, Feb 24-March 5 trip [Re: FatCat04] #314354
02/27/2024 11:23 AM
02/27/2024 11:23 AM
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FatCat04 Offline OP
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Balcony with the dryer. Very comfy space.

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Re: Trip report Day 1 and 2, Feb 24-March 5 trip [Re: FatCat04] #314356
02/27/2024 11:35 AM
02/27/2024 11:35 AM
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FatCat04 Offline OP
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Master br and bath, guest br bath and WC. Laundry room.

I'll post the kitchen and living room later after I tidy up.

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Last edited by FatCat04; 02/27/2024 11:36 AM.

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Re: Trip report Day 1 and 2, Feb 24-March 5 trip [Re: FatCat04] #314359
02/27/2024 11:48 AM
02/27/2024 11:48 AM
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Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Love that balcony!


Carol Hill
Re: Trip report Day 1 and 2, Feb 24-March 5 trip [Re: FatCat04] #314360
02/27/2024 11:49 AM
02/27/2024 11:49 AM
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Carol_Hill Offline
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Thanks for posting.


Carol Hill
Re: Trip report Day 1 and 2, Feb 24-March 5 trip [Re: Carol_Hill] #314362
02/27/2024 11:54 AM
02/27/2024 11:54 AM
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FatCat04 Offline OP
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It is a very pleasant space.

As an aside, just looked out the window in passing and you would never know there are a million cruisers in port today. Just kidding, the parking lot in front here is packed. We are not beaching today. Kinda happy about that.

Attached Files IMG_20240227_114220915_HDR.jpg

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Re: Trip report Day 1 and 2, Feb 24-March 5 trip [Re: FatCat04] #314364
02/27/2024 12:03 PM
02/27/2024 12:03 PM
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Niagara RegionOntario Canada
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This looks like Ticoon, it is beautiful, have stayed there in the past. The views are Great!
Moune and Dominic are wonderful hosts. Enjoy your vacation .

Re: Trip report Day 1 and 2, Feb 24-March 5 trip [Re: BeachCouple] #314365
02/27/2024 12:13 PM
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FatCat04 Offline OP
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Indeed it is and thank you. Gorgeous condo and so convenient too. Yes, they were so nice and helpful. We will be back here.


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Re: Trip report Day 1 and 2, Feb 24-March 5 trip [Re: FatCat04] #314403
02/27/2024 06:10 PM
02/27/2024 06:10 PM
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Thanks for the great report and pics. I would definitely have my hands,,and belly,full with that burger. We spent many evenings in Maison mere last Nov/Dec for dessert and drinks. We thought their food prices were high,but will probably dine there in April.


Lived most of my life in Massachusetts
Re: Trip report Day 1 and 2, Feb 24-March 5 trip [Re: bostonbob] #314405
02/27/2024 06:36 PM
02/27/2024 06:36 PM
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FatCat04 Offline OP
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Thanks Bob. Indeed they are a bit pricey. As good as the dinner was, it will be a one time restaurant for us this trip whereas last night's restaurant Le Bouchon, we already have reservations for another night this trip set up we enjoyed it so much.


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Re: Trip report Day 1 and 2, Feb 24-March 5 trip [Re: bostonbob] #314418
02/27/2024 10:17 PM
02/27/2024 10:17 PM
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FatCat04 Offline OP
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Just as follow up Bob. Jerome who used to manage Maison Mere and Coco Beach Club back in 2022, he and his wife bought Le P'tit Bistro. We recognized him immediately when we were there tonight. He is from Nimes and is a really nice guy. Had a wonderful meal there tonight. Going back in a few days.

Last edited by FatCat04; 02/27/2024 10:18 PM.

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Re: Trip report Day 1 and 2, Feb 24-March 5 trip [Re: FatCat04] #314429
02/28/2024 08:22 AM
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They also have Sarah in the kitchen, former chef at Maison Mere

Re: Trip report Day 1 and 2, Feb 24-March 5 trip [Re: mahokid] #314442
02/28/2024 09:31 AM
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FatCat04 Offline OP
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Ahhh. good to know. It was a lovely evening and we will be headed back later this trip.


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