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Dan & Pam's trip report Nov/12...Pam's POV.
Posted by: double-D (
Date: December 09, 2012 06:13PM

Trip report
St. Maarten 2012
Sunday November 25th - our Sunwing flight is pleasant – almost uneventful . Even the breakfast in flight is more than tolerable – I place the banana bread in my purse – sensing I might appreciate it more later.
4 gin and tonics between us – we are ready to land – we make our usual 100 yard dash to the baggage claim. The first one to grab the bags is the winner – it’s always Dan. This year though a wrinkle in his plans – a new step after baggage – another line up to make one final show of travel documents – no worries – he is ready . He hails a cab , ensures that no one will join us and try to claim first destination – and we’re off.
The resort is as we remember – with a few minor changes. Some fresh paint, a new beach side restaurant , some new management – but many of the same faces of the beautiful people who make our stay so memorable.
Rooms not ready – we change into beach wear – park luggage at the front desk, down the complimentary cocktail – and hit the beach.
No ships today – so the beach is ours – we make our way to see Janet at the Pasanggrahan – the oldest Inn on the Island. Apart from being a great person, bartender and friend – she was actually born in St. Maarten – one of the very few people who can say that.
We visit – we drink – we drink some more – and as the afternoon winds down – we meander back along the familiar beach – the beauty of the water, the birds overhead, the serenity of it all – we feel at home. Back at the hotel – our room is ready – not ocean view – but no worries – the mountainside offers a quiet from the late night revelers. On our way up to the 4th floor we grab a couple more drinks – after all we are on vacation. Once inside the room Dan finds a comfy chair on the balcony – while I organize suitcases and toiletries – it takes me maybe 15 minutes – and I hurry to join Dan on the balcony – Alas I am too late – he has become overwhelmed with relaxation – and has fallen asleep in the chair- I rouse him enough to move him to the bed – it’s 4:48 pm – the day is now done. I awake at 3:00a.m. – grab my purse- and banana bread from the flight – aaaahh – dinner.
Monday Nov 26th
Up at 6 – beach at 6:05 – breakfast at 7am. Cocktails begin at 10:00 a.m. – a beach walk, exchange of pleasantries with the staff and some familiar patrons – Dan scours the shoreline for beach glass. I sit in the lounge chair which he saved with our towels just after 6 a.m. – a tradition which he continues each day – year after year. Today is a special day – we have a plan – we are meeting at Marty’s dream bar for happy hour. We cab over late in the day – we meet Dan’s group – some I’ve met before, some I’ve heard of, some are completely new to me – but all are really wonderful human beings. We laugh, we chat, share some stories – Dan is in his glory – he’s a people person you know! As happy hour winds down – we accept a lift back to the Great Bay with Bruce – he’s going our way. As the day nears an end Dan knows better than to deprive me of dinner 2 nights in a row – we stop at the poolside BBQ for some roast beef , rice, salad – glass of wine – we find our way up to the 4th floor – day one is done.
Tuesday Nov 27th
Nothing day – beach, breakfast, cocktails, gaze at the ships in the Bay – re connect with the girls who run captain Jacks down the beach past the Pink Pearl. We discover that the new beach front restaurant at Great Bay is Italian – Dan loves Italian. So it’s caprese salad’s and pasta – after dinner we wander through the lobby – stop at the shipwreck shop for some chocolate – and head up to the 4th floor for reruns of the Mentalist .
Wednesday Nov 28th
Today’s plan – stop in to see Kenny at Ballerina Jewellery in Philipsburg – and meet Dan’s group at Janet’s Bar (the Pasanggrahan) for happy hour. Another beautiful night - Dan also got to meet the owner of the Inn – he was invited to go deep sea fishing the next day – but politely declined . Elaine and Bill drove us home and said goodbye to Annie – at this time she doesn’t have plans to return next year. Time will tell. Great to meet Lotsan and Pav...Jeannie...And see Steve again!!
Thursday Nov 29th
Hmmm – another nothing day. Declined about 6 offers for massages – the beach is quiet a haven for masseuses – it seems. Met up with EZ – a local musician we met last year – even bought his CD last year. He’s still working the beach – trying to hit it big. We closed the beach – enjoyed the buffet – Mexican I think- the food has improved over last year – both in selection and presentation.
Friday Nov 30th
Morning rain – we decide to walk to town via the road – love the sights along the way – the odd jewellery store mixed in with hotels, a casino, fashion stores, chocolaitere’s etc, down to the pier we go. Dan snaps a few pictures of charming older boats in the bay. The colors are so pleasing to the eye. Vibrant reds, yellows, soothing blues.
We continue along to Ballerina - I try to catch Kenny's eye - but it's too late, In with the selection of Christmas gifts for our son's girls is a pair of earrings I was considering for myself - but had decided against - Dan has now seen them - and he insists I get them. Never try to over ride him when he insists - you can't win. So now even as I write this - I am wearing the beautiful new hoops - small and sparkly - perfect!
The rest of the day is a blur - more drinks, more walking, swimming - and champagne and pizza on the beach for lunch - this is why we come - this is why we're here - a few moments in time - making memories.

Saturday Dec 1st
We can't wander the resort without finding someone to chat with. Dan has a wealth of information about the island - and people are interested in knowing about it.
We successfully complete the day - without massages - and even manage to have 3 proper meals. We make our rounds to the staff - They are largely why we return each year. We watch the last of the ships leave the Bay - and can only wonder at the plans of the people on board. A young couple is the talk of the resort - they became engaged while visiting Happy Bay this week - so much life ahead - we wish them well.
Sunday Dec 2nd
Slowly, but surely we begin to pick-up speed. Dan begins to revert to travel mode - first to check out, first to the airport - first to check in (with a stop at LeSecurie for butter soaked morning danish - one for each of us, and the taxi driver too), and then, as if controlled by the power of the island - he detours us to the driftwood bar - is it too late, can we squeeze in one, maybe 2 more drinks before we leave - SURE! and when the time comes we make our way back to the terminal and take our place in the line - we are homeward bound - only 51 weeks to go.
To all of you we met (Dan tried to name everyone on an earlier post), we thank you - for being such a wonderful part of this holiday. As this world sometimes seems as though we are all going to hell in a hand basket - you are bright spots - just terrific people, with a zest for life!
Onward and upward!

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Re: Dan & Pam's trip report Nov/12...Pam's POV.
Posted by: Elaine (
Date: December 11, 2012 10:19AM

thumbs up Lovely to spend time with you both!

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Re: Dan & Pam's trip report Nov/12...Pam's POV.
Posted by: Barbara1 (Moderator)
Date: December 11, 2012 11:00AM

and I missed it all! sad smiley


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Re: Dan & Pam's trip report Nov/12...Pam's POV.
Posted by: ANON (12.9.88.---)
Date: December 11, 2012 02:21PM

Impressive to say the least. I passed out after the coctails at 10:00 A.M. How do you do it and SURVIVE long enough to blog about it?>grinning smiley<eye popping smileysmileys with beerdrinking smileygrinning smiley So would it be safe to guess you had a good time?

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Re: Dan & Pam's trip report Nov/12...Pam's POV.
Posted by: double-D (
Date: December 11, 2012 06:56PM

Great time....Survival of the fittest!!See...We don't drink all year...well just a few...but down there we go wild....this is why I prefer to taxi all around the Island!!

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Re: Dan & Pam's trip report Nov/12...Pam's POV.
Posted by: SXMNorm (
Date: December 11, 2012 08:12PM

Thanks for the report. Glad you had a great time. 51 weeks is a long time to wait.

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