Eating Our Way Across SXM 

July 2007 SXM Trip Report

July 12, 2007  through July 21, 2007

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I know that we promised ourselves that we would never do a 1 week trip to the island ever again, but that was all the time we had this summer and with FF miles and oodles of points for RCI it was actually cheaper to go to SXM than it would have been to take a week trip around here... But we planned a very different kind of trip. No TTOL parties, no organizing day charters or trips to other islands. Our plan was simple. Sit on the beach, snooze, swim and then eat our way across the island. Due to mechanical problems on the Celine, Neil was able to join us in the traveling feast. In retrospect that was exactly the kind of rest we needed in order to be prepared for what we had to face upon our return. I was so glad we went.

 

 

 

 

 

 

General Comments

 

Snorkeled and stayed in the water much more than we have ever done before. Wore my wet suit do avoid getting totally burnt to a crisp on the back when snorkeling. Forgot to cover the back of my ears one day and that turned purple with being so burnt. Had to wear a shirt while swimming on Tintemarre because of the intensity of the sun. It was our first trip during the summer and the sun is much less forgiving in mid-summer than when we go in January. Will probably pack a bandanna to cover the head while swimming if we ever go back during the summer again.

 

It was our first trip in low-low season. It was refreshing not to have to fight all the traffic. Only one day during our stay was there a multiple number of cruise ships, that made for a much less crowded time in Marigot, Philipsburg and on Orient Beach. There were a couple of mornings when we were the only people in sight on the whole of Orient Beach during our walk. Even in mid afternoon the number of people using chairs at some of the other beach bars down Orient could be counted on both hands. The only part of the beach that had significant numbers was Club Orient. Even on Bastille Day the beach was deserted in late afternoon when I walked down. With so few people I had to wonder what the real fuss was about people covering up down the beach.  It was also very different to walk down Front Street a not to have to fight crowds. Almost too deserted when we went on a Sunday afternoon. Many stores were closed that afternoon as there were no cruise ships in port. Something like that would never have occurred in January.

 

Most of the restaurants we wanted to go to were open but hours shifted without notice. Many places that opened early for breakfast during January don't open till 8:00 or 9:00 during mid to late July..

 

We missed connecting with some people. Fred and Leslie, Janet and Stewart to name two. Don't  really know why. We also missed spending time with our favorite and most beautiful jeweler on the island, Deepti, who was away in India for a family wedding. For the most part it was good to get to know a whole new group of friends. I hope you all enjoy this report.

 

I wish you True Peace

David

 

July 12: Travel Day...    Back to the Top

Uneventful travel day on US Air out of Boston via Charlotte. Very glad we booked in ample lay over time both legs as we needed it due to mechanical problems on the way there. While on our lay over in Charlotte I used some vouchers from January to book our flights for our visit to Butch n Kelly in August. Bought some very nice sandwiches and fruit drinks at Starbucks and shared them on the plane. Much better than the food you can purchase on the plane these days. On the leg to SXM met Dennie our flight attendant. She was gathering information about places to eat, stay, rent cars and the like for her daughter and son in law who were going to be on the island starting July 25th. We gave her lots of information and a few business cards of folks like Tabba Khady, Neil  and The Stone. As we landed Sunset Beach Bar looked pretty deserted. But then again we had never been on the island during low season and it was a pleasant surprise to see less traffic and no crowds.

 

The arrival was smooth. Drove the van with all folks getting a car from Tropical Tropicana for Micky as he was still waiting for an arrival of some one else who had not yet arrived. Drove directly to Club Orient. I checked in and picked up some Carib and a few snacks. Had unit 138 and quickly unpacked the car and drove it over to the new parking lot by the maintenance garage. After unpacking, Regina crashed for a nap while I went down to the beach for a swim and walk. Got to know a few people as I went up and down the beach looking for Forrest and Lori. Never did find them on the beach. Saw a big group walking down the beach for a party at Kakao.

 

After watching the sunset and taking another swim I went back to the unit and woke Regina up and we walked down to Papagayos and had dinner with Forrest and Lori. Very excellent meal of Tilapia for DHB  and Buillabaisse with linguini for RAB. One of the best meals we have ever had at Papagayos and the staff was attentive and took very good care of us. Forrest and Lori shared with us their journey and said thanks for the web page and the Journey from Fear to Clothing Optional Freedom thread on TTOL (no longer on the site) . It is amazing how many people have been helped to understand naturism and give it a try because of that one set of postings. I encouraged them to find it again on TTOL and post their own response. I hope that they do so others can benefit from their experience.

 

We settled into bed around 10:30. Regina crashed right away. I could not sleep so I went back down to the beach later and swam to the raft and laid out and watched the Southern Cross come up over the horizon. That is always one of the highlights of my trips.

 

July 13th - First Full day ...  Back to the Top

Got up pretty early and walked the beach. This was the morning we got stopped by the Gendarmes in front of Kontiki. We were stopped while it was still in the early morning, around 7:15 am on our return walk by 3 Gendarmes. All young men, recently assigned from France and they tried to harass us into covering up. They said it was illegal. In French I asked them under what part of the French Code Penal or what new municipal by-law gave them the authority to say that. The lead spokesman for the group used the term "Exhibitionism and referred to the Code Penal. I countered, quoting the notes concerning "Sexual exhibitionism" in the commentary section of the code and told him that walking on a traditional naturist beach was not "sexual exhibitionism" as interpreted by the courts in France. I then shared with him that the beach has been a traditional naturist beach for more than 30 years and that the Prefecture in Guadeloupe had assured me that no one had been arrested under the code Penal for simple nudity on the beach.

He then mentioned , "we have to protect the children" and that people can complain" he even pointed to a French woman on the beach with her child. I asked, did she complain, he said "no", "she's cool". I said if no one is complaining why were they asking us to cover-up? He finally backed down and walked away with his two partners, and did not ask me to cover-up.

I was later told that others down by Coco were also confronted with this kind of enforcement and were detained for some time and then fined on the spot 11 euros.  More will be posted about the efforts of Naturist Action Committee and naturists on the island itself to see what is behind these new enforcement activities. Briefly I was told by Dennis at Club Orient that there was an agreement that no enforcement would take place during the early morning hours so he was confused as to why we were stopped at 7:20 am, well before anyone else is out on the beach.

When I talked with others on the Club O section of the beach I discovered that we were not the only ones harassed that morning. Another couple walking the beach was as well.

We returned at 8:00 am for breakfast at  Baywatch. Italian Omelet for RAB, Chili omelet  for DHB. After laying out and snorkeling the reef Regina and I hopped over to the Perch and enjoyed a 2 mud-slide lunch. We met Peter and Angela , a newly wed couple from Vermont, shared with them a sip or two of the mudslides and off they went for a mudslide lunch as well (aren't we a bad influence <grin>)..  Sat next to Pam and Paul from Torrington, CT. Met the three sisters who were there, all survivors of breast cancer, (all had mastectomies, one very recent).   Went back to Baywatch for Ribs for a late, late lunch at Baywatch. No one had told Cheryl that we were there that morning so she was completely shocked to see us at a different time of year. It was good to catch-up. Cheryl said that it had been a tough spring with the mugging of her one day as well as the robberies at the restaurant, saying that the stress had really taken a toll. They are closing for 6 weeks starting in mid August and will be traveling in New England for part of their vacation.

Snacks for dinner and then we walked down to Papagayos and used our drink coupon from Caribbean Island Travel (thanks Jim and Ed)  for some drinks and then back to our unit to read and snooze. Regina again fell asleep right away and I went back to the beach and laid on one of the chairs and watched the night steal across the beach.

July 14th, Second Full Day...        Back to the Top

Got up early and did not walk the beach today because it was Bastille Day and lots of locals had the day off. It was moving day so we packed up everything, I walked down and asked for a late check out, which we got until 1:00. that gave us plenty of time to enjoy our morning on the beach.

Hash Omelets at Bay Watch for breakfast. Andy told us that they would be closed the next two days so we had to make plans for breakfast and lunch some place else. Darn!

Chatted with Terrie at Watersports and he told us about the new massage therapist also named Terrie in the new pavilion right next to watersports on the beach.  We signed up then and there for two massages a couple of days later. Then we walked back and forth in front of Club O for 6 circuits. When we did not walk the whole beach we would do multiple circuits of the section from rocks at Pedros to the rocks in front of Papagayos. (.249 miles for those who wonder). Never walked less than 3 miles a day. The rest of Orient beach seemed deserted, no matter what time of day we walked it. I do have multiple GPS readings up and down the beach if people want to pin point on Google earth or some other mapping program  specific locations just PM me and I'll see if I have the point you are interested in logged. Next trip I was asked to log in the actual locations of the three rafts at Club O for folks who exercise by swimming from raft to raft. 

Sat close to Sandy and Bruce from Maryland.  He snorkeled with me and we had a good time and conversation on the beach.

Bruce enjoys the sea life on Orient Reef

Angela and Peter came back and we decided to change our diet <LOL> and had 2 all-over tans for lunch. I decided that one was okay but preferred the mudslides if I was going to drink 2. So after we checked out of Club O unit 138 we went back to the beach enjoyed the rest of our day, snacked a bit and had another mudslide. I walked down the beach between 3 and 4 with a cover-up and saw virtually no one beyond Pedros until I got to Boo Boo Jams. Then we got dressed and moved to over to the Sapphire.  

We got unit 301 this trip. Tower 3,  ground floor, almost across from the elevator. Very convenient. We also could park out front most times as there were so few people at the resort. The Jacuzzi needed a cleaning and reset but other than that everything was great and they took care of that on the first telephone call. Only downside was that we were right across from the kiddie pool and on one afternoon when I was going to soak nude out on the balcony one of the staff members of the resort was hosting a birthday party for one of their children. 25 kids running around with grandparents and  folks taking pictures did not make for my enjoying a nude or restful time in the Jacuzzi that afternoon.

Met Neil for dinner at Thai Savannah. We had Tad Pai, Satay Chicken, Pressed Duck, Thai Rolls, California Sushi. It was an incredible feed and then topped off with sorbet with flavored vodka for dessert. Neil said that his year had been the most successful yet with day charters and pub crawls and sunset cruises. Made arrangements to go for a sunset cruise and caught up on the news about all of Neil's extended family and activities. Missed Sean and Justine this trip.

 

July 15th  Third Full Day...     Back to the Top

Ate breakfast in. Bought croissants at the shop for snacking on the beach later. .

 

Communion service on the beach was a good time to reflect on the blessings we were enjoying. Reflection that morning was on the passage from Genesis "And they were Naked and not ashamed". I tried to share that natural goodness and not shame was God's intention about the human body. It is only human brokenness that makes people afraid of what God intended to be "very good". The service  was attended by about 10 people, more would have come but they did not know about it till after it was over. Dennis, the General manager attended and invited me to breakfast so we could have time to discuss the naturist issues of the beach as well as some issues dear to my heart about naturist use of the facilities by people not staying on the resort.   The three sisters attended and they said that it was one of the highlights of their trip. They were leaving that afternoon for uncertain futures with their cancer back home.

 

Shared a fare well happy hour with the 3 sisters. Susan we wish you the very best! Also met Tony and Cherie at the Perch along with their friends, MaryAnn and companion.

 

It clouded up and began to look very threatening so we packed up and left the beach a bit earlier than usual. There was a tropical high working its way towards the Virgin Islands and the wind and rain was very intense at times. Stopped at the Lido for two plates of food on the way home from a quick side trip to Philipsburg. Never seen it so deserted, but then again we have never been there during low-low season before. Back street is a royal mess. Hope they get it cleaned up before the high season.

 

Tried to capture the fury of the wind and rain from our balcony at the Sapphire, Even at our very protected ground level room it was surreal. I can not begin to imagine what being on the island during a hurricane was like. We heard our first thunder as well that evening.

 

storm whipped palms

 

 July 16th           4th  Full Day...       Back to the Top

Had a wonderful breakfast with Dennis, the General Manager at Club Orient. Papagayos is still my favorite place on the beach to have breakfast in terms of the view. We had fresh squeezed orange juice, eggs toast, coffee and tea. It was a working  breakfast on naturist issues about the beach and some data gathering for us on some other naturist issues. Dennis was heading out for his family vacation in France early during our stay so we had to grab what time we could. I am excited about some of the changes coming to the resort. Also met up with Rachel, the marketing director at Club O and enjoyed our time with her and her children.

 

Speaking of children, the many children at Club O was a special blessing this trip. At one point there was a castle building group of 11 children all gathered and watching them play, build, run and swim really made a big difference in our enjoyment of the beach. 

 

We had a great Day on the Tiko Tiko with some new friends. It was especially nice to go with a Danish family (Anette and Claus) and with their two young boys, Simon and Emil. Combine their two with Lola the incredible  boat driving daughter of  Frederique, a friend and and Philippe's son and we had  the privilege to see the cruise through the eyes of children romping in the waves, riding on the bow, playing on the beach. A very touching moment was during the low time in the afternoon when Anette read a children's book to her two boys under the shade of the beach umbrellas. Others on the trip included Ed and Robin, Lesa and Gary, Chris and Cheryl and Julie and Brian. .

 

Snorkeling on Tintemarre was a bit murky as the wave action from that tropical storm off the coast was kicking up a lot of sand. Swam around the corner of the beach following the reef for quite some distance this time. The coral is coming back there and there were some colorful parrotfish that I had never seen before.

 

We had grilled snapper, chicken with a wine sauce, baked potatoes, 2 kinds of wine, champagne, cheese cake and plumb rum for aperitif. Life is good!

 

Ed and Robin enjoy the water

 

Our day sail was followed by the Manager's Wine and Cheese party at Club O.  That was then followed by dinner at Papagayos with Jim and Jan. Regina had a pasta dish with beef, I had the grouper. It too was excellent and the wine choice was good too. Only thing I hated was having to put on clothes and having to drive back to the Sapphire.

 

July 17th     The 5th Full Day...        Back to the Top

 

Breakfast in;  eggs, juice, tea and granola rounds.. Then over to Club O for our Massages on the beach with Terrie. I went first, what a treat! While waiting for my turn I walked my 3 miles on the Club Orient part of the beach.  We both enjoyed our massages in the new beachside pavilion by Water Sports at Club Orient. Terrie from France was very good and we both agreed that we would go back again. He did some gentle spinal readjustments in addition to the massage and also did some pressure points that felt like Shiatsu.

 

Lunch at Baywatch. I had Caesar Salad with two kind of shrimp, Regina had the Roast Beef and some hot peppers that brought tears to our eyes. I was a bit crunchy from too much sun so we left the beach early, drove to the Sapphire, dropped off our stuff, cleaned up and then went into Philipsburg into see the folks at DK Gems to pick-up a set of earrings I had ordered. They were not what Regina liked so we made arrangements for them to get a different set and they would try to get them by Friday or ship them to us here in the states. Swapped our car with Mickey as we had ordered a 4 door and he finally had one.

 

Tried to go on the Sunset Cruise with Neil and his oil pan was still not in from the states on his port engine so we could not go. No problem, lets go out to eat instead! So off we all went to L'Otterie Farm. What a feast!

 

Appetizers: Konch Fritter with mango salsa, Shrimp cocktail with hazelnut and horseradish paste, Crevitz (white fish in lemon juice served with crispy wedges of tortilla with vegetables and salsa.

Regina's feast of Shrimp

Neil's Crevitz

Konch Fritters

Main course: Friend Lentil balls with Brussels Sprouts, lightly seasons veggies and yams and potato. Julie's famous Curry veggies and spinach. Pork loin with loads of veggies, plumb sauce (enough pork loin to feed 3 people my size) 

 

Curried Veggies

Lentil Balls

Pork loin with plumb sauce

 

 

We have to say this meal was one of the best we have ever had on the island. We were so stuffed we could not fit dessert. Next time!

 

July 18th           6th Full Day...             Back to the Top

Ate breakfast in. Arrived beach a bit later than usual so we walked the beach with cover-ups as we had heard about the couple who had gotten detained the day before at Coco beach area.  We've since learned that (no surprise to us) the Sous Perfect has been informed that the detention was not precisely legal and that he was informed by folks higher up in the authorities not to do that again. When I get more news on this issue I'll post it here. It is still a work in progress.

 

After our 2 mudslide regular lunch we were talked into eating again by Kitty (Karen) and John from Colorado so enjoyed our second Caesar salads this time with scallops and shrimp. Ross made us some special Italian Lemon Ice Vodka Smoothies... boy were those good!

 

On our way out for our evening we stopped at Cliffside and checked out the Sunset GeoCache  and dropped off Zachary's Travel Bug and picked up the Austrian Beach Mouse Bug that was there. We will release the Beach Mouse in Virginia when we go visit with Butch n Kelly later this summer. We enjoyed a drink watching the sunset as well. Regina really enjoyed some Johnny Walker Black and after that taste decided maybe it is time to try some Johnny Walker Blue. 

Regina with Sunset Cache

The Austrian Beach Mouse enjoys a drink at Cliffside at sunset.

The sun goes down over Cupecoy

Another hard day of vacationing for the Austrian Beach Mouse.

 

 

Then we ventured off to the Stone for a tremendous meal by Johan. After the night before our standards had been raised to a new bar and Johan did more than meet it!

 

Johan and his two new assistants David & Stephen out did themselves. What can we say? The decor has been softened with new chairs, rugs and wall hangings. David and Stephen know the food, the nuances of educating people how to cook them on their stones and were very attentive to our needs. The food has gotten better. Johan is only 23 years old and we have seen his food mature over these past few years. The best way I can describe the flavors this time is that they have gotten more subtle and richer. 

 

Appetizers: Calamari browned and  caramelized on the stone. Vietnamese Vegetable Spring rolls with a mint sauce that made them just melt in the mouth. 

 

Main dishes were his Sea Special and his Farm Special. Shrimp, Scallops, Tuna and Tilapia and Flank Steak, Duck and Sirloin. The usual lightly cooked veggies, sauces, mushroom and teriyaki, mustard and something mixed in. Delightful Italian Red wine.

 

For dessert I had the Silky Smooth, Kalua, Bailies, caramel and vanilla ice cream with Coffee liqueur on top. Regina had a banana liqueur based smoothie with vanilla ice cream, walnuts and Frangelico.

 

Bread and special red pepper pesto spread.

Vietnamese Spring Rolls

Calamari and veggies

Flank Steak, Duck with poid froisse and sirloin steak

David's "Sea Special"

Tuna, Scallops, Shrimp, and Tilapia

Johan spent quite a bit of time with us as we caught up with him and met his s/o.

David's Silky Smooth

Regina oohing over the taste of her Banana Smoothy

"I can't believe this is soooo good!"

 

 

 

July 19th          7th  Full Day...             Back to the Top

We tried to get an early start to this day be going over to breakfast at the Sapphire but it was not going to open until 8:00 then we tried Kissing Fish, it was closed too. So finally we went back to the room and had leftovers while we debated what to do about the weather. 

 

It was a cloudy and rainy all day so we headed into Philpsburg to do our shopping and other errands. Went to Front Street stopped again at DK to see if the earrings had come in, Vickie had said no, but that he would order them and send them to us in the USA. Stopped on the way back to the car at Rima and stopped at all of our usual stores to get things for the kids and especially our new grandson. We ate light lunch at the Sapphire restaurant when we got back from shopping, soaked a bit in our Jacuzzi on the balcony. Regina wanted to finish her book and take a nap.

 

We were supposed to meet Ed and Robin at Tabba Khady but Philippe called and said that the weather was so iffy with high winds expected as well as heavy rain it was probably best that we plan it another night. So we called them and re-scheduled for the next night.

 

With our first free night we decided we would go back to L'Otterie Farm to be able to try Julie's famous desserts. We were not disappointed. The same waitress wondered why we only ordered appetizers until we told her the reason why... Cheryl had sent us back with a mission to try Julie's desserts, saying that we had missed the best on the island.

 

I had a spring roll type appetizer. Regina had salad. Then we splurged with Julie's famous Pecan Pie and Cheese Cake. Both lived up to their reputations. Took a photo with Julie as well as all the foods.

 

Julie's Famous Cheesecake

Julie's Double Rich Pecan Pie

Julie from L'Otterie Farm

 

July 20th        8th Full Day        Back to the Top

We ate last bit of  leftovers for breakfast.

 

We journeyed over to Orient Beach and said good bye to our new friends.  It was good to meet you all, especially Forest and Lori, Ed & Robin, Lesa and Gary, Julie and Brian, Bruce and Sandee, Angela and her new husband Peter, Bruce and Sheila, Andrea and Bennie, Pam and Paul, Karen (Kitty) and John. Reconnecting with old friends like Jim and Jan, Paul S. Andy and Cheryl, Adrian, Ross, Neil, Johan,  Philippe and William was also a special time.

 

Walked the beach one last time. I know that  many of you wonder why it is that walking the beach  without clothes is so important to us. It is difficult to explain especially to anybody who has not tried naturism in any setting, private or otherwise.  Here are some quotes that might help...

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. 
Henry David Thoreau

"The best dress for walking is nakedness." - Colin Fletcher, "The Complete Walker III"

But my favorite is:

"By walking naked you gain an uplifting and almost delirious sense of simplicity. You become, in a new and surer sense, an integral part of the simple, complex world." Colin Fletcher

Walking au-natural for me is one of the best ways I know to get close to nature and when I get close to nature I find that I encounter a deeper part of life and I am able to embrace a fuller measure of my humanity and encounter my Creator who made me in a more natural and vulnerable way. Laying naked out on the raft at Club Orient at night looking up at the Southern Cross peeking above the horizon somehow connects me with the universe in a way that is so complete and so peaceful that I go to a place within my soul that is far deeper than many kinds of worship, meditation and prayer. Walking nude through a rain storm on Orient Beach at sunrise and seeing the rainbows over the mountain is a profoundly deepening experience. Walking with my partner down the beach at sunset connects us in a deeply spiritual and intimate way that does not happen when we do the same walk covered up with clothes. Laying nude out on the sand, swimming nude in the waters all imprint upon my body and soul a sense of connection that is complete and expansive. These feelings and sense of connections do not happen to to me in anywhere near the same degree when I have to do them clothed.

I work 24/7 in my profession back home. It is my naturist vacations that restore me, body, mind and spirit. It is these moments of deep relaxation and refreshment, these moments of true "re-creation", that is, being "created anew" that enable me to be able to be on call day in and day out to the many people who rely upon my counsel and support through many of life's most difficult passages. I know my ability to stay able to do my life's work is contingent on my finding places like our paradise on Orient Beach where I can refresh my soul and recharge my spirit.

I deeply hope and pray that other folks who have not taken the opportunity to experience the freedom and joy that naturism can bring won't take that away from us all simply because they can not understand others who relax and recharge in a different way then them.

I never have asked that every one who walks up and down Orient Bay get nude. If being nude makes one uncomfortable or creates stress then by all means do not do it. But simply because that might be your reaction, please do not force that on the rest of us.

Long before Orient Baie was even close to anyone's "neighborhood" people were walking down that beach nude. I would never walk into somebody's home or into a down town area nude but walking along a beach is not walking into some one's neighborhood. During our last walk down the beach this July I could count the number of people we saw on the beach on two hands.

Live and let live on the beach, that is all I am asking for. Orient Beach has historically been known as the best clothing optional beach in the world. Let's keep it that way. Toleration, kindness and respect will go a long way toward healing our world and the Lord knows we all could use a little bit of healing right now.
 

After some swimming time, sun time and pleasant conversations it was time for us to have an early lunch at Bay Watch and then we had to leave to tie up a few lose ends before we went home.

After leaving the beach we stopped in at the Dauphin Amego Phone Store in the Howell Center in Marigot on the way home and purchased a French side phone sim for our phone. The UTS sim is okay but we found we had much better reception the time we had used the Amigo chip when we had borrowed one two years previously, especially in our area of Cupecoy and the Sapphire. We once again had zero reception in our room with the UTS sim and as soon as we switched to the Amigo chip we had 4 bars.. Another benefit is that you don't have to stock-up on recharge cards and recharge every 60 to 90 days.  We did some other shopping  that afternoon in the rain.

 

Then we got changed and drove to Tabba Khady and spend some quality time with Philippe and William. We got there about 1/2 hour before we had told Ed and Robin to meet us so we could re-connect and spend some time hearing about Philippe's mother's final days and how the whole family was doing after her passing. Ed and Robin soon joined us and we continued the conversation around drinks and some special appetizers. Robin had recently lost her mother just a few short weeks before, so the conversation was a mutual one about family and losses and how one finds the strength to move on from grief to embracing new life.

 

Then it was time to enjoy dinner. Ed and Robin shared a Cucumber Lebanese salad in yogurt and sour cream dressing and the pork and vegetables Vietnamese egg rolls as appetizers, all of which they said were fantastic. Robin then had the Pork filet Senegalese Mafe style smothered with Tomato peanut butter sauce, fried yams and crispy lentil papadum bread. Ed had sauteed sliced beef with spicy red Thai curry and Coconut milk, jasmine rice, and vegetarian selection. To be honest I totally spaced out about writing down what Regina and I had. The pictures will have to tell the tail.

 

Robin's comment was "It all looked so pretty, we didn't want to eat it".  

 

Desserts were a special apple tart with ice cream and mint and a vodka lemon ice sorbet.

 

 

The Tabba Khady web site can be found here. http://www.englishversion.tabba-khady.net/

July 21st  ...  Travel Day to Go Home.      Back to the Top

 

Ate in, Checked out, stored our bags in the desk area and then walked to Cupecoy and spent a delightful morning with Danny at the beach. Walked back to the Sapphire, showered and went to the airport.

 

Had one snag at the airport. Mickey from Tropical Tropicana was no where to be found. Regina took the bags to check-in while I went searching. I eventually found him over in the parking lot playing cards. I told him that the car was where he always told me to go and he asked me why I would leave it there? He always has told me in the past not to bring the cars into the parking lot... but there was no use in arguing. I just walked back to the car, drove it around to the parking lot and dropped it where he was still playing cards.  I don't want to sound negative, but the last three trips Mickey has made us swap cars in mid stay because he has not had the car we ordered when we first arrived. Couple it with the snafu at the airport and his service seems to be slipping quite a bit. We just might have to give another person a try next trip.

 

For a Saturday departure the check in line was not bad. Maybe this low seasons thing is something we will try again. Ate lunch at the airport restaurant. Plane was late getting there but as we had planned a leisurely 4 hour lay over in Charlotte we were not worried. Regina had plenty of time to go to Jeff de Bruges and get her chocolates. They were appreciated by all here back home.

 

Uneventful ride home until we hit customs in Charlotte. The conveyor belt broke and it took them over 1 hour to get the bags up to us. Many people missed their connections. With the initial delay leaving and then the one hour delay in customs, we now had just enough time to go to Chiliís in the airport and had some heavy sandwiches to tide us over till we got home. With all the delays did not get to our home until 3:00 am on Sunday.

 

 It was not until we went to church a few hours later that we learned that Regina's Dad had had a severe stroke early in the day on the 21st  and was in ICU and fading fast. We rushed to his bedside and were able to get our children all there to say one last fare well. before he crossed peacefully in his sleep a day and a half later. Thank goodness for friends, neighbors and the members of our church. We would not have made it through the rest of the week without their love and support. I guess God knew we needed to rest up a bit on SXM to be ready for all that hit us when we got home. Lord knows without the trip we would not have had the energy to get through the next week with much grace.

 

 

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