January 2007 SXM Trip Report

SXM Trip report December 28, 2006  through January 11, 2007

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Dec 28th -- Travel Day 


Up at 1:00 Am, Left for Logan at 2:10. Check-in was a breeze but the desks and security did not open until 3:30 so no need to get there before then. None of the concessions were open so we waited for our lay over in Philly to eat.


Flight from Philly to SXM was highlighted by a young man who proposed to his bride to be over the intercom. Champagne and tears. Of course she said Yes! It was quite romantic. All bags present and accounted for. Mickey did not have the car we asked for Again! We would not get a 4 door with trunk back until the weekend, so we arranged to swap a car a couple of days later.


Stopped by Royal Palm and picked up our Simm and a replenishment card for the trip. We then headed over to the Sapphire for check-in.  Did I tell you that we love the Sapphire? It took us all of 10 minutes to check-in. They remembered our names and wished us a happy anniversary at the desk.


We got 1 bedroom on the lagoon 5th floor for the first couple of nights. Then we were to move to a deluxe studio on the pool side for most of the rest of the trip. Final couple of nights will be at Ocean Club, a first for us..  Unpacked just a  couple of things, as we knew that we are not staying very long (2 nights). 


Regina had taken lots of meds on the plane trip down, still pretty sick so she crashed. I went down to the restaurant and had some pizza.


Dec. 29th, 2006          Back to the Top


Regina slept in while I soaked in the hot tub and watched the sun rise over the Caribbean. After eating a breakfast in of eggs and bacon, homefries coffee and toast,


It was showering across the island as we  made our way through Marigot and Grand Case to Orient Beach so we parked at Andy and Cheryl's, arriving around 10:00 am. The rain went away and DHB walked over to Club O and bought the chair passes for $100.00 for the 7 days. While Regina settled in for some sun and catching up with all our Club Orient Friends David moved the car over to Club Orient and then did the same.


Enjoyed a 2 mudslide happy hour. Very much later we had an early dinner/late lunch at Bay Watch. Beer Battered shrimp and scallops on a salad for me and just the scallops on salad for Regina.  


Walked the beach. late in the afternoon.


Back to the Sapphire, moving day was tomorrow. Called the desk and asked if we could get an early check-in, they said that they would try. We both read our books and took naps. Regina was still recuperating from the trip and the heavy duty drugs she was taking to combat the respiratory infections she came down with just before we left. After a nap we got up and ate the left over pizza and had a couple of glasses of wine watching the stars come up over the Caribbean.



Dec. 30th             Back to the Top

I read on the balcony and watched the sun come up over Cupecoy. It looked gorgeous out there. So we packed everything up and got ready for the move. Then we had breakfast in the room and then walked over to Cupecoy beach. Lots of sand by the seawall so we stayed there.



Around noon we walked back and were told that our was ready. First key did not work, but  the next one did. Met David and Pam, their kids had just gone home so they were moving from Tower 3 to Tower 2. We moved down 3 floors to a studio that over looked the Kiddie pool in Tower 3.


Ate a snack in our room of meat loaf and cheese and a carib, then packed our stuff and headed over to Club Orient. Met with Roy and Herta and Sandy (Rich had gotten delayed by work) Then Tom and Janey as we drove in. . Got  there in time for happy hour but it was just one mudslide break today because of the time.


We arranged to take Tom and Janey to Tabba Khady that night, so we went home, changed and then drove back through Marigot because the traffic was so bad trying to get around Maho. We arrived to find that Philippe and William had not yet returned from France where they were visiting Philippe's Mom. Quickly drove back to Club Orient and caught Tom and Janey before they left. We decided to try a special pizza place in Cul de Sac, it was closed too!. Finally ended up at Tap 5. Sara was our waitrress, she was a delightful French young lady who had recently arrived from France.



Dec. 31  New Year's Eve at Papagayo        Back to the Top


DHB up early again to watch the sun rise. Regina still on the drugs so she can breath, slept in. We decided to pack-up for the day and evening over at Club Orient, even though we had not been able to confirm any reservations. We also decided that we would purchase breakfast over at Orientique so we got an early start across the island.



Walked the beach early then stopped by Orientique to purchase wine and bread for communion. Bought a Berringer Savant Cavignon, best red wine I have had in years!. Happy Hour at the Perch. Mudslides for happy hour and then we went back for seconds again... oh no this is getting to be a pattern! The second one did Regina in and she fell asleep on the beach.



Sandy and Rich had double reservations for New Year's Eve, so we were able to take one of their two reservations and join them for the party. Whew... we had not packed anything for partying in a place where you had to dress up <LOL>


Regina wore one of her Caribbean wrap lace pareos with a beautiful waist beaded belt. 


We ate with Andy and Innes from Western England. He runs an Outward Bound type school. Innes was also involved in education.

Buffet has salad, srhimp, stuffed egs that had some heat to them. Then the second course was roast pork, beef bourgandy, chicken, scalloped potatoes and rice. it was much better quality food this year than in the past few.


David and Craig combined their talents for the entertainment this year. Dancing started around 8:30 to 9:00. We danced right up to mid-night. Fireworks were spectacular as usual.


Only bummers of the evening was 1 that no one was allowed to have cameras this year, so no photos of the food or anything else. The second was that we had to get dressed and drive back to the Sapphire.


January 1st Happy New Year         Back to the Top


Breakfast in at the Sapphire. Still no hangers for our clothes, but then did fix everything else we had requested. The Jacuzzi was reset, warm and now had an operating pump. That meant for some nice times on the balcony after a day at the beach.


Met Butch n Kelly at the beach. Spent time catching up with them and Jack and Loretta and Mary and Rich and others. DHB went snorkeling. Some spectacular shots of fish, rays and the reef this year. The reef is certainly coming back now that they have restricted the boat and jet ski travles over it. Did burn my butt to a crisp... as well as my scalp, even after repeated treatments of sun tan lotion. Have to come up with something else next trip.



We ate snacks on the beach as we knew that Baywatch would be closed for the holiday.


Left the beach and drove to Oyster Pond for dinner with Butch n Kelly. Showered there and then went to the little shop on the pier so I could get some cough syrup as I appear to have come down with Regina's respiratory bug.


Dinner was at BeauBeau's restaurant at Oyster Pond. We sat on the deck and had a great view of the sunset.


Regina had caesar salad with chicken and DHB had small side salad. There were lots of other goodies as it was the manager's party, so there were free drinks and lots of appetizers. No need to stuff ourselves with items off the menu when there was so much good free alcohol flowing!


Drove through Simpsons Bay for the drive home and traffic was not bad for a change.



January 2nd          Bling Day - Ca Ching! ,Ca Ching!      Back to the Top


I was real crunchy from the sun the day before, we had talked with Deepti several times about some special pieces we wanted this year so off we went after a late start to do some shopping . Parked by the salt pond near Rima and then walked into Front Street and spent almost the entire morning with Deepti at DK Gems.


Regina (on David's urging) tried on and then fell in love with a blue diamond pendant and we had some blue diamond earrings made to match. David fell in love with a bracelet of opals and diamonds. When it was shortened to fit Regina's wrist, we had the extra links made into a pendant to match, plus we found an exquisite chain that complimented the stones very nicely. (Earrings to match would have to wait till the next trip.) The opal and diamond bracelet turns out to be Regina's favorite piece and she wears it almost every day.


Butch and Kelly arrived in the midst of all this activity and we watched as Butch sprang for a major upgrade on Kelly's ring We had two very happy campers at lunch at the Kangaroo Court to say nothing of a very happy Deepti back at the store. I think that Deepti had to send her girls out twice to find just the right champagne and she mixed a spot of Creme de Cassis that made for a very elegant combination to celebrate another successful Shopping day at DK Gems.

The opal and diamond pendant made from the links of the bracelet.

The custom designed 1 of a kind blue diamond pendant.

Regina is trying on the earrings and pendant combination. Deepti is looking on.

Butch is still in shell shock. Kelly is just beaming!



Following our afternoon shopping, we went back to the Sapphire, watched the sunset while sipping a glass of wine in the Jacuzzi.


At 8:00 pm we wound our way down to the Atlantis Casino and met Kelly and Butch . Kelly hit it big on the slots and Regina did not do too badly at 3 card and roulette. Then we had dinner with Deepti at the Thai Savanah. We had spring rolls, fried rice, and a couple of other dishes recommended by Deepti.





January 3rd Happy Anniversary                 Back to the Top

Early start to Orient today. Ate 2 chilli omlets after walking the beach. Met Nancy and John on their first day on the beach.

Got my wet suit on this morning to avoid getting fried to a crisp again and snorkeled for a while. The respiratory infection is coming on strong and I was out of breath for most of the day.


Finally met up with Larry and Janice. Rick and Mary and Jack and Loretta joined our little group on the beach and we talked way too much. 2 mudslides for a snack and then back to Bay Watch for lunch. Shared a chilli burger and Caesar salad. Then we walked again down to Mt Vernon and back. Left Orient near 4:00.




Went back to the Sapphire and soaked in the hot tub with some wine then took a nap.



Finding The Stone is easy. From the airport, drive towards the Simpson's Bay Bridge. As you begin to see it coming in your vision look for The Rancho on the lagoon side. Directly across the street is a yellow building that houses Subway. nestled in a small stone building next door to Subway is The Stone. The bar at the Stone celebrates some famous "rocks" in the world. It is an eclectic place with the menus hanging on the walls. (See a copy below) The concept of the Stone is simple. Choice selected foods, cooked on hot stones to just the degree of  cooking you desire. Served with simplicity and elegance and seasoned for the most discerning palate.

Johan was waiting for us at the door, as was his beautiful friend Justine. Justine and Sean, both long time friends of Johan from South Africa had journeyed over to spend some time and lend support to Johan as he started up this new business venture. Sean was recruited to tend the bar while Justine pitched in as waitress, hostess, dessert chef and simply to give light to the place with her beautiful smile. It took a little bit of conversation to get Johan to place where he knew us from. When we told him that we had eaten his food before on the Celine and that we were the ones with the crazy "Nako" friends, then it all came back to him. The mud, the emergency run for ice. He joked with us the rest of the evening that it was the clothes that made it difficult to recognize us. <LOL> The conversation did intrigue Justine and Sean as they had not been to Orient beach yet. There was much fun as we made conversation about all of our trips to Tintemarre and sailing around the island with our friends. They were planning on giving the mud a try on a private sail with Neil the next weekend, and who knows, maybe even give skinny dipping a try too. Justine's stay on the island would be coming to an end and she was going to have to journey back to Cape Town and return to school.

As is our custom when we are trying a new chef, we placed ourselves in Johan's able hands. We asked him, what would he suggest for something light, something to delight the palate and he certainly did not disappoint us with his selections.

First was his wine selection. Since we were  sharing a bottle and having a mixture of foods to go with, he suggested a Sancere 2003, a French white wine that would stand up to the foods he had selected. It was an excellent choice.

Next was the appetizers. Johan said that the scallops were especially tender and tasty that day. He would prepare them on the stone with a light apricot sauce on the side. The salad would be just as light. The bread came with a dried tomato and spice spread that was just too good for words. There were four of the scallops on the stone and by the time I remembered I was supposed to take pictures we had already devoured 2 of them. A full plate would have been a whole meal for either of us, so we were glad we had decided to split the plate so we could have room for what was yet to come.

For the entree Johan had selected a pair of petite filets cooked on the stone. The filets melted in your mouth, were so tender that you could cut them with your fork. Veggies were a mixture of sliced and roasted veggies and a whipped sweet potato mixed with butter, herbs and some "special" ingredients that made them a delight on the tongue. Tried to find out what was in them and he just smiled. Steak was complimented by a light mushroom sauce. 

Normally for us, this is where we say good night and go back to our room to crash. Not so this evening... just as we were getting ready to call it an evening, Neil arrived. We invited him to share a glass of wine at our table and ended up staying the rest of the evening! Neil knew it was our anniversary and the next thing we knew there was a complimentary magnum of champagne. Life is Good!


After polishing off the champagne, the rest of the bottle of white and a good part of a bottle of red we decided to join with Neil as he had some dinner and we had some dessert. Otherwise poor Johan was going to have to just lock us in for the night! Neil had a wonderful looking tuna filet on the stone with the same mixed assortment of sliced veggies and whipped sweet potato.

I had a light mocha ice cream with some Baileys and Kahlua, the top was sprinkled with dark chocolate shavings and topped with a light whipped cream. Regina had something similar, but with shaved vanilla bean and Frangelico.


As we were enjoying our wine and dessert who should appear but our old friend Alana Busby. Alana is the former owner of Ms B's and the former chef of Mr.Busby's restaurant over at Oyster Pond. Alana is no slouch as a chef, educated in the best culinary institute in the Netherlands. She returned to help her father turn Mr. Busby's into a 4-5 star quality restaurant before the resort owners got greedy and tripled the rent. She brought a party of 5 to give the Stone a try.  She was delighted with their meal and word is quickly spreading about the Stone.) This was a deja vu for Regina and I.  7 years before we had hired Alana to cater a private dinner for the 2 of us at sunset on Dawn Beach for our 20th anniversary. She not only served us a delightful meal but she also treated us with the typical friendly and gracious respect that we have come to love about our island friends. It was serendipity that she would be there to help us celebrate another anniversary on our favorite island. 

The evening came to a close way later than we intended and we had such fun sharing and talking with our good friends. The Stone is a place that is conducive to that sort of thing. Excellent dining, good company, relaxed and friendly atmosphere all combine to make it a spot people will want to return to again and again. I know that is true for us. We returned a few days later with 6 more of our friends and we all had another great meal and a wonderful time.


January 4th          Back to the Top

Slow start due to way too much wine last night! We had a late breakfast in of croissants, juice and coffee. The order of the day was hydrate and replenish electrolytes for Regina.


Went back to Phillipsburg to see if the repair job and David's pendant was complete. It wasn't but they told us to stop by later so we did the shopping for the kids. Found Matt and John's Last Mango in Paradise shirts. We also found a little outfit for our grandson who was due in a couple of months. Browsed the just in from Paris shops and did not find anything that Regina liked for the weddings we knew were coming up.


Ate another lunch at Kangaroo Court. Side Caesar Salads and a wonderful thin crust pizza with cold topping of mozzarella, prosciutto, dried red peppers and olives. It was yummy.


Returned to our unit and both of us took a nap. Woke up in time to watch the sunset and take a soak with a glass of wine.



Then we went off to Skip Jacks for a late dinner.


Randy was our waiter. Brad from West Hartford is the owner and he used to attend a prep school that competed against Maggie's so we had lots to

talk about. Dinner was excellent. Regina had a pan fried grouper with parm cheese and in a light sauce. David had sesame seasoned blackened tuna with curly fries and veggies. We shared a crabmeat avocado dip appetizer that was delicious.



Watched as Neil put together a Pub Crawl. Probably would have succumbed and joined in had we not felt so out of it from the night before. The moon came up while we were eating. It was just so beautiful. Too bad we were not out on the water to see it. Regina was a little cold with the wind coming off the lagoon, need to remember to bring a wrap the next time we dine there.



January 5th                 Back to the Top


Up early, packed up for a full beach day and then the party at Bay Watch. Had breakfast with Andy and Randy. Regina had the Italian Omlet, David had a couple of eggs. Met up with Suzie and Kevin when we had just finished and walked the beach with them after the breakfast.


Mudslides for lunch. It was then we discovered that Dr. Jim's wife Polly had died of a stroke the night before at their garden chalet at Club Orient. Even though she had been in frail health for a while and had requested a "last trip" to her favorite place, it still was a profound shock to every one.


Wandered over to Luiz Gomez's place so Suzie could be measured up for a new suit. Regina bought a duplicate of her first hand painted pareo to replace the one we bought 7 years ago. Then we walked the beach again with Kevin and Suzie as they went back to their place at the Mt Vernon to get ready for the party back at Bay Watch.


Suzie gets fitted for a new suit


The party at Bay Watch was great in terms of the food and the staff. As usual, Andy and the crew did a great job putting on a feast for us all. Jane was a big hit at the party as well. The DJ was okay but honestly I think that Andy does a better job just selecting the music on his ipod and playing it himself. Nobody got up to dance this year and that was a disappointment.


Regina had the prime rib. It was to die for! I had the fisherman's platter and then we split some of Andy's cheese cake. Dr. Jim joined us and Regina and I kept him company through most of the evening.


A new canvas gets ready for Jane's expert brush

Part of the crowd that gathered by the bon fire and watching the moon rise over Orient Bay

Cheryl and the crew. Thanks again guys!

CaptainNeil gets is body paint from Jane

But nothing compared with the real body work that was shown off much to the amazement of all.

Moon rise over Orient Beach and the bon fire that Adrian made for us on the beach.




My only disappointment was that so many people who had made commitments to attend just did not show up. 50% of the people who signed up on TTOL and OrientBeach.com did not bother to show and that meant that Andy and Cheryl had way too much food for the people who did come. I am not certain I want to put them to all the trouble of getting the food and the staff and the entertainment only to have the people who wanted the party not to show up.



January 6th   Moving Day       Back to the Top

Woke up early and watched the sun rise while Regina slept in. Then we packed up our things and got ready to move to the Ocean Club for our last 5 nights. After finishing up our last breakfast goodies we called the Ocean Club about check in time and no one at the desk could tell us. Not a great way to start the day... Rather than wait I lugged our stuff down to the car, checked out and then we took our beach things and walked to Cupecoy.


What a beautiful day. Did not bring the camera or I would have had some great photos. We had some of Danny's ribs and a couple of Caribs took a number of walks and dips to stay cool. The sun was so hot we rented an umbrella from Danny and both of us hid under it for a while to keep from getting crunchy burnt.


We walked back around 3:00 and were able to check into room 16R. This is a 1 bedroom unit on the pool side of the resort. Second floor, up a unique set of spiral stairs.


Room overlooked the pool. huge bathroom with both a shower and a bath tub that could hold 3 our size comfortably. Good sized living room. None of the windows really worked that well, felt it was a shame to run the AC when the windows would not close. Signs everywhere about keeping sand out of the tub, shower and dire warnings about hanging anything out on the balcony.


I know that some folks will object to this, but it felt like we were intruding on some one else's party. Later we found out that many people come and stay at Ocean Club for 4-8 weeks at a time, especially during the time we were there, so we were outsiders to them! There were people gathered at a couple of units playing dominos or cards. Old folks snoozing by the pool, nobody swimming much less playing around. Even when we walked into the little cafe and bar no one talked with us. 




After cleaning up and taking a little snooze we changed and drove over to meet Kevin and Suzie at Gutside. This was a highlight of the trip this year.


Richard Brooks and his partner Lourdes took care of us that evening. What a nice couple! Regina and I both had the shrimp as did Suzie. Kevin had grilled red snapper. Suzie, our resident expert on shrimp said that these were perhaps the best she had ever had on the island.


Richard is quite the artist. He is a deeply spiritual man and we had hours of deep conversation about the meaning of his art, his life and then we tackled trying to solve the meaning of life on earth. Maybe it was the great tasting red wine or the homemade guavaberry cordial, the time flew by and we closed the place.


Some of Richard's art work. A living mural of life made from objects found around the island.

Kevin and Suzie arrive

Let's study that menu

Richard shared with us a magazine article from one of the Destination magazines that profiled his art and restaurant

Richard pondering the meaning of life

Richard and Lourdes in front of the living mural

Richard gave the girls a challenge to find certain images in the mural. The hunt was on!

Looking into each part of the mural brought forth new images, insights and meaning. You can spend a lot of time getting lost in Richard's art.



This place is a find of the island and we certainly will be back again and again. Thanks to Fred and Leslie to steering us to Richard and the Gutside Restaurant. By the way, the name comes from the fact that the restaurant is by the side of a small ravine that is filled with small river of clear running water coming out of the Colombier region of St. Martin. This kind of river/ravine is called a "gut". So the name of the Gutside restaurant was given to it by the locals who all come for the reasonably priced great food. 


 Now we only have to find out if Richard and Lourdes finally tied the knot. So Richard have you asked yet?



January 7th                  Back to the Top

Up very early this morning and over to Orient in time to see the sun rise on our walk on the beach.

Eventually most of our friends arrived, one by one. Larry and Janice, Butch n Kelly and Kevin and Suz. About 11:00 I did a communion service on the beach. Probably had more people this service than I would have had in the second church back home. Denis, the new GM of Club Orient joined us and we had a great chat after. We also had a wonderful chat with Rachel and her husband Greg.

During the mid to late morning a cascading parade of folk came by our chairs and cancelled their participation in the day sail scheduled for the next day. First it was Tom n Janey, then Andrew and Tessa, Fred and Leslie had left a message at the Sapphire telling us they had not even made it to the island due to the illness of their dog. Then Mark and Donna called our cell phone and cancelled due to them both arriving on the island sick.

Now it was panic time. We were down to Rick and Pam and Mike and Michelle. A quick round of invitations on the beach got Carol and Scotty to join us as well as Randy and John. Butch decided to come as well. So it was now not a total bust.

Regina and I had not yet connected with Philippe and William, so we went home, took a nap, cleaned up and then drove back across the island via Marigot, after getting stuck in traffic at the airport for 45 minutes. There was even a lot of traffic in Marigot for a Sunday evening.

Philippe was doing the cooking, William was alone on wait staff. It was their first night open since their return from France after visiting with Philippe's mom, who had cancer. With 6 other couples there for dinner we could not talk much but we caught up as best we could. They had a wonderful Christmas with family, Philippe's mother was in a remission of sorts, but he was trying not to get his hopes up too much as the doctors had given her only 6 to 9 months to live. Philippe and his sister were taking turns going home and that was exacting a huge toll on his spirit. I am worried for my friend.

The food was wonderful again!


Regina had Vietnamese Spring Rolls for appetizer, David had the Escargot with a light creamy garlic sauce.  For the main course Regina had tilapia with a ginger and soy sauces, French Fries and plantains, stuffed tomato and herbed broccoli. David had grilled red snapper with a lobster bisque sauce, herbed spinach and roasted red pepper.  William found us a wonderful German white wine that I wish I had gotten the name of, it was very smooth and just the right compliment to the seafood. For dessert Regina had a strawberry soup while David had a home made lemon sorbet with a vodka sauce. Finished the night with some house special rum that only William knows what was in it.


January 8th    Celine Day .             Back to the Top


Early start in order to be at the dock by 7:00. Actually got there before with no traffic for a Monday morning. Waited for 10 minutes and Gaynor arrived and when she did not see Neil a bit of smoke came from her ears. he had promised to get there early due to there being a late party at the boat the night before. He did not and the boat was a bit cluttered with the remainders of Neil having partied a bit too long with a dentist friend.


Eventually every one for the day showed up. From left to right...


Mike and Michelle

Rick and Pam

Carol and Scottie


Regina (David is taking the photo)

Randy and John














Gaynor and Captain Neil finished out the roster.





It was the best sailing day we have ever had on the Celine. Flat water, no waves, steady wind. What made it even more spectacular was the small showers and squalls in the distance over by Anguilla. That made for a cascade of rainbows. Single rainbows, double rainbow, triple rainbows!!! By the end of the day we had seen 13 different sets of rainbows without getting a drop of rain upon us. What a day!

Some Where









The trip out to Tintemarre was a great sail. We motored over to the Marigot Bridge. People gathered on the bow, mingled and got to know each other as Regina, Neil and I caught up. The Marinas were full of the super yachts and Marigot harbor was full of yachts and a luxury clipper ship.







Our meals were delicious. Croissants, juice, coffee  for breakfast. Regina made the coffee and kept it flowing for all those caffeine addicts. It was especially appreciated by Neil who asked us to make him promise never to finish off a bottle of whisky with one of his friends before a day sail again. LOL


Lunch was ribs (as Scoty called them "bones, the best wet bones on the island"), grilled mahi mahi, sesame blackened tuna, Neil's famous seafood paeillie, Of course there was ample to drink and this year I did not make the mistake of drinking the vodka straight up on the beach <LOL>.





Snorkeling was excellent this year. I ventured further around the reef to the left of the beach and saw a good sized barracuda, small ray, lots of reef fish, grouper and a puffin that was pretty curious and who came right up to the camera to check me out.



The mud baths were wonderful as ususal! Even Captain Neil joined in the fun this year!



Regina finally fulfilled one of her dreams of sailing a yacht this size as she sailed us back to Anse Marcel where Neil had to go ashore to purchase 10 gallons of diesel fuel for the engines as with all the commotion the night before he had forgotten to fill up. While we waited for him to return we watched a number of sea turtles, but they were too elusive to catch on film.


Sailed back to Creole Rock and did some more snorkeling there.





Finally motored back to the Marigot Bridge. Our crew was so mellow by that time that most did not cover up as we refueled and went through the bridge... LOL


Sailing across the lagoon at sunset is one of the treats of the trip. This time it was complemented with three special events. Air France took off right over our heads as we sailed by the end of the runway. It felt like you could reach up and touch it. By the time I got my camera out it was well above us, but what a sight close up. Second, Gaynor led a 10 bum salute to the dock and staff at Spinikers and the Lady C. Finally the sunset itself.



A great day was ended meeting Kelly at the pier and then journeying over to Buccaneer Beach Bar for dinner and drinks. Neil joined us for some food but took the "pledge" as he was still shaky from the night before.




January 9th               Back to the Top

Breakfast at Kissing Fish this morning with Chloe and we many cats and kittens. Other than perhaps Bay Watch and Papagayos, this is our next favorite spot to eat breakfast on the island. Chloe's fresh orange juice is great and the company is also so very nice. Most of the time we get served by spouses of medical students studying at the school down the block, so we also get to catch up with lots of young people who are often anxious for a word from back home.

Checked out the GeoCache there and dropped off a USA Travel Coin to see where it would journey next.. A Travel Coin journeys from cache to cache to with various world travelers. Here is the link to this one if you want to see where it has gone. So far it has visited some islands in the Caribbean and then to Europe where it has seen Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium and Holland.


Drove off to Orient and stopped at Paradise View for a shopping stop with Regina's favorite French linen shop. It is the second shop in the line from the entrance and looks like just another shop with all the same tourist trinkets and clothes, but she is the only one who gets in some unique lace and linen tops and skirts that Regina has come to love. This trip was no exception and we walked out of there with some things for Regina as well as some things for some friends.

While we were there a large squall blew up over Orient and it just poured buckets. So we drove down to Bay Watch and had a cup of coffee with Andy as we waited for the weather to clear. It finally did so we wandered down to Club O, settled into our chairs and had another wonderful day on the beach. Mudslides and cold meatloaf sandwiches for lunch. This afternoon was one of the calmest and sunniest days on Orient ever.

Drove back to our place at Ocean club, changed and drove over to the market at Maho where we bought some goodies for a veggie dish we were going to cook up at Neil's. Then we drove over to Skip Jacks and met up with Neil, Saul, Sherie, Ken and then drove together up to Neil's place above Cole Bay. That night The Stone was closed so waiting for us was Johan, Justine and Sean as well. We knew we were in for a feast!

There was lamb, mahi, mahi, blackened tuna, veggies, potatoes, mushrooms, lots of wine and another great evening with Neil and friends. Downloaded all the photos we took the day before on the day sail so Neil could have a copy. Sean and Justine were so fascinated by the naturist adventure they asked if they could join us for an excursion to Orient Beach the next day.

Chef Johan at work

Get that flambee action just right

Justine and Sean relaxing

The feast is ready


January 10th           Back to the Top


Breakfast at Zee Best, First time this trip that we succumbed to a basket full of those delicious croissants. Picked up Sean and Justine at Neils house and took some photos of the views from his balcony and toured his lab.


Views from Neil's House

Two anxious nudist newbies anticipating their first trip to Orient Beach<LOL>



Then we ventured over to Club Orient. Justine was predicting that Sean would chicken out when we got there. Sean was predicting that it would be Justine. We told them what ever they were comfortable doing was fine with us. As we had a set of chairs in the back of the car they carried them in.


Much to both of their surprises, everything looked so normal and natural around them that they both dropped the clothes as soon as they got to the beach and set-up the chairs.  After about an hour or so of getting used to it all they went for a swim and eventually a walk over to the sign for a photo that they could take back to South Africa with them. The swimming was what got them hooked, they played, and swam, enjoyed the raft playing like two sleek dolphins in the water and  you could tell that they thoroughly enjoyed the day. I don't think I have ever seen two people have that much fun swimming and playing at the beach. At the end of the time at the beach they both confided that if they had thought it was going to be this much fun and that relaxing that they would have been there long before the last day before Justine had to return to SA. The only downside of the whole day was even though we warned them both about cotton tails and the sun, Justine in particular got a pretty red tush <LOL> It would give her something to remember the entire ride back on the plane.


During the day Denis, Club Orient's new GM came over and invited Regina and I to join him for a drink at the Perch. There we talked about some of the changes and he said that if we wanted to host a party for outsiders at Papagayo next year that we would be invited back to do so. That hasn't happened since our party there 4 years ago. He also spoke about some of the changes, renovations the next summer and the possibility of establishing house accounts for known "Friends of Club Orient". He has some great ideas I just hope that the owners association will let him implement them. The staff certainly are the happiest I have seen them in a long time. he is doing a great job as GM!


We also with Tom and Janey's encouragement I met with the rest of the clergy contingent at Club Orient. 2 other pastors from Chicago area who were going to pick up where I left off and begin to host communion services at the beach while they were there. As owners of a garden villa they are in the position to do that a lot more frequently than I.


After dropping Sean and Justine back at their place we made our way back to our unit, cleaned up, took a nap and then drove back over to the Stone for dinner. First thing we did when we arrived is to check notes with Justine who had admired Regina's Wicked Weasel suit earlier in the day. Regina being a generous soul, brought her whole assortment and Justine then went off to try a couple on. She took the hot red one for use back home (those South Africa beaches will never be the same <LOL>) and then flashed her red buns to match showing us the results of her day at the beach. We did warn her <LOL>



Regina had Vietnamese Spring Rolls with a salsa made from papaya and other island fruit. It was so good! She followed that up with a vegetarian platter. David had beef kebab with gouda for the appetizer and Tilapia for the main course. Our friends who joined us, Kevin and Suzie had the shrimp and turf we had enjoyed several evening before as did Kelly and Butch. Had a malfunction of the camera at this point, think my batteries were low, what ever it was the close up photos of the food all came out blurry, so you will have to just imagine the feast.




January 11th  Departure Day             Back to the Top


Up early so we could pack up and still have some beach time. The desk gave us a late check out time... "any time you want". That was nice.


I packed up the year's supply of Rum Jumbie in bubble wrap and towels and wrapped it again in my wet suit and sealed in a leak proof bag. All of the bottles made it through the checked bag this year, safe and sound.


Craig Roberts picked up the chairs at 8:30. We wandered over to Kissing Fish and had another great breakfast with Chloe and Shahira. Then we walked over to Cupecoy. While we could have just used the Ocean Club beach, there was plenty of sand and absolutely no one on it, we walked over to the seawall area so we could get some chairs and say good by to Danny. Also hoped to run into Jerry and Dee and maybe some of the other Cincinnati crew.


It was scorching hot! Hid under the umbrella or stayed in the water. Had one last batch of Danny's ribs with a couple of Caribs. Then it was time to clean up and check out.


Refilled the car with gas, Mickey was waiting for us right at the new terminal drop off and it was an easy check in.


Regina wanted to get right up to L'Occitane and Jeff de Bruges because we still were not certain that they would be open and have what she wanted. They were, so she got all the presents and supplies and packed them away in her carry on. Would not be able to do that in Charlotte when we got there, as the bottles of cosmetics would have to be checked.


Then we discovered that there was no access to the good restaurant. BAD, BAD, BAD! Won't do that again!

We had some crummy ham and cheese sandwiches to get us through to Charlotte and then had a good dinner in Charlotte itself during our lay over.


Boarded on time, left early. Arrived early and through customs easy. Easy flight from Charlotte to Boston and it was also an easy ride home.



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