Caribbean Princess - May 31 to June 8,2003

This is our trip report for our trip to St. Martin from May 31 to June 8, 2003. This trip was slightly different, as we brought along Eric’s brother, Gerald, and thus needed a two bedroom accommodation. We checked on a couple of other places along Orient, but with the current summer special of buying 5 nights, getting 7 nights, Caribbean Princess was cheaper than getting two separate rooms at several other places we checked. As we always do for hotels along Orient, we booked through our friends Jim and Mary Ruos, at Caribbean Islands Travel Service. Caribbean Princess ended up being an excellent choice–a 2 bedroom condo ON Orient Beach.

I booked frequent flyer tickets on US Air and couldn’t get back home on Saturday, so I ended up staying an extra day by myself, at Mary’s Boon. Eric and Gerald bought US Air tickets through Cheap Caribbean, paying $300 PP less than what US Air was selling the same tickets for. I don’t understand how Cheap Caribbean gets those prices, but we certainly couldn’t complain..

Since Bulldog doesn’t want to hear about stuff till we get to SXM, I won’t tell you that we got up at the ungodly hour of 4:15 AM.. We went from Washington National through Philly, which was it’s typical charming self–meaning we left 45 minutes late from Philly. After a thoroughly uninspired box brunch, we landed 25 minutes late in SXM, which meant that we were behind an AA plane and a Continental one, and facing a LOOOONG line for immigration. Still, we were in the car in 40 minutes, which was not too bad. We rented through Kenny’s this time. It was a white Corolla, of course, great a/c in the car, no problems, other than the typical having to shift into second sometimes to get up the hill going to Marigot.

We stopped by Match for essential liquid supplies on the way to the unit, and found plenty of Pepsi! Apparently the Pepsi drought has been solved, as we saw it most everywhere, although truthfully, we forgot to look for Diet Pepsi, caffeine free, etc.

Caribbean Princess--
For those of you not familiar with Caribbean Princess, it’s pretty new, located behind but to the side of Waikiki Restaurant on Orient, between Cap Cariabes and Esmeralda. There are 12 units altogether, 6 on each floor. All units are 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, with a huge great room and great kitchen, and the best feature, a HUGE deck looking out over Orient. There is a great picture on their web site that shows the view, which is fantastic from the SECOND floor. Frankly, we weren’t inside any of the units on the first floor, but it seemed to us that the view from there would be pretty minimal, as there is a wire fence around the complex, with fairly tall plants right up against the fence, plus the dunes there in front of the unit, so I don’t think you have too much of a view from the first floor. The second floor, however, the view was OUTSTANDING. The huge balcony is the best part of the place. There is a table with 6 chairs on the balcony, as well as two lounge chairs. There are slider doors which open up to a width of maybe 8 feet. Tremendous!

The great room had two comfy couches, and TV with a couple of US channels, Cinemax, ESPN, CNN, TNT, plus a couple of French channels. There were no regular US networks, but we don’t watch TV in SXM anyway. We watched a movie one evening after dinner and that was about the only time the TV was on. The kitchen at CP was great--refrigerator with ice and water through the door, microwave, dishwasher, coffee pot, toaster, blender, etc. Also, the WHOLE unit was air conditioned, with the great room having a huge unit which cooled that area VERY well, as well as separate units for the bedrooms. We were very impressed with that. There is an electronic combination safe, BUT there is only one safe for the unit, and it is pretty small. CP provides a welcome pack of sorts, but I considered it fairly useless, as it consisted mostly of INSTANT coffee, tea, cocoa, sugar, etc.. Don’t plan on using anything out of the welcome pack. There is no CD player or radio and no clock of any nature in the place, so bring your own if you want one. Missing also from our standpoint were such essentials as an ice bucket and candles. There was also no 110 plug of any nature, even a shaver plug. There was a hair dryer in the bathrooms, however.

Caribbean Princess provides free use of chairs and umbrellas at Waikiki, which does have nice comfy padded chairs. Be aware, however, that they periodically have influxes of busses of cruise ship folks for the day, so on those days when ships are in, it is perhaps better to go somewhere else. There is the regular restaurant at Waikiki and the beach bar. We went into the regular restaurant on that Saturday, looking for just a sandwich, and they directed us to the beach bar. Unfortunately, since it was now after 4, they said they couldn’t serve us anything hot there at the beach bar. We did manage to get some cold sandwiches and french fries, which did hit the spot, since we were all hungry. That was the only time we went near either the Waikiki restaurant or the beach bar there.

One other nice feature of many of the hotels along Orient is that you can have charging privileges at several of the restaurants along Orient. This means that you can just flash your guest card from the hotel and the food or drinks will be charged to your room charge at the hotel. (This does NOT include Club O, or any of the beach bars toward Club O, past Kakao, or to chairs anywhere, as far as I know.) CP provides charging privileges at Waikiki, Kakao, Bikini, Kontiki, Coco, L’Astrolabe and LaPlaya. We used it to charge drinks at Coco Loco, which is the beach bar for Esmeralda, and which is also very close to CP. BTW, most nights Coco Loco is open till 10 PM. They did have a few sandwiches to eat at Coco Loco, but I don’t know if they serve them till the place closes or not. We did not go to Coco itself, although we did have lunch on the beach at Esmeralda, later on in the week.

Caribbean Princess provides daily maid service, which was certainly nice, including doing the dishes, and replacement of beach towels in the unit. There is a very small reception desk for CP, but it is only open during high season. Other times, the reception desk at Cap Cariabes takes care of folks, which is fine. The beach towels say “Cap Cariabes” on them, but are wonderfully nice and plush.

That Saturday evening we wanted a little more to eat, and would have probably gone to the lolos if they had not been closed. For those who hadn’t heard, they were closed by the government, which anticipates reopening them sometime around July or August. There didn’t appear to be any visible work going on there, that we saw. We went to Calmos Café instead and got a round of appetizers, chips and salsa, chicken sate and ribs, and shared the batch between the three of us. Good stuff, right on the beach, with our toes in the sand, looking out toward Anguilla!!

Sunday morning Eric went to the Tap 5 mini-mart for danish for breakfast. For those who haven’t been to Orient in a while, this is a GREAT addition to the Orient area. They have wonderful pastries, rotisserie chickens, booze, etc., right in the Village du Orient. Great little place!! We spent the day Sunday on the beach at Club O, arriving around 9:30, and had no problem finding chairs. Lunch was Pedro’s–$12 for 1 order of chicken and ribs, with fries and small salad. Good, but the prices at Pedro’s continue to go up every time, it seems. Me, being the old fart that I am, I liked that there was no live music, as it’s too LOUD for me..

We headed to Buccanneer Beach Bar for sunset, which was pretty empty. They were having some kind of victory bash for the politicians next door at Indiana’s, which was very LOUD and caused the traffic to back up all along Simpson Bay. For us, it gave us a nice opportunity to talk to Neil for a good long while. From there, it was off to Bistrot Cariabes for dinner. One of the nicest things these days about St. Martin is being greeted by old friends, such as Thibault and Amaury, who greeted us warmly. As we were finishing our appetizer, we saw the single fellow who had sat beside Eric and I on the plane on the way down to SXM, and invited him to join us. We enjoyed a leisurely dinner, which was fantastic, as usual, but forgot to make any notes about our dinner selections. At the end I don’t know if Thibault and Amaury were just being friendly, or trying to kill us with kindness, but we did some damage to a couple of bottles of Ma DouDou, and they sat down with us to help us out, since we had cleared out the rest of the restaurant! Afterwards, we headed to Tropicana Casino, where Eric proceeded to win a lot of money in about 45 minutes worth of a fantastic run at blackjack. (Of course, you know that money from the casino dissolves in the Northern air if you try to take it home with you from SXM, so we managed to give it all back by the end of the week!... ) That night was sure fun though!!

Monday morning we needed to get supplies for our TTOL party on Tuesday night, so we headed to Cost U Less and ultimately to Le Grande Marche. For those not familiar with it, Cost U Less is like a Sam’s, etc., mostly large quantity items. They did have some specific items that I was looking for though, heat and eat mini quiches (along with several other hot appetizer offerings) and huge frozen shrimp. From there, we went to Le Grande Marche, where I was tremendously impressed with the produce section–best produce section by FAR that I have seen in SXM...

Back to the unit and we were looking for carry-out pizza. Unfortunately, the fine folks at Le Petit Pizzeria in Cul de Sac were closed–not sure if they are closed for good or just on vacation?? There were chairs, etc, there, all piled up, so hopefully they will be back. Instead, Eric went to “Pizza au Grain de sul” (sp??) It’s across from the Texaco in Cul de Sac. A nice sized pizza was 9E, but not as good as Le Petit. Please come back, guys!!

Since it was after 1 by this time, we just laid out by Waikiki in their chairs for a couple of hours that afternoon. Afterwards, we headed out to the Greenhouse for some appetizers on the happy hour deal, which would serve as dinner. BTW, Greenhouse has changed their deal slightly on the Happy Hour appetizers–appetizers are now $3 off instead of being half price. Drinks are still 2 for 1. Conan wasn’t there though, apparently his night off. We then went by Ric’s Café and had a drink and said Hi to Cathy. From there, we went home and finished setting up for the party the next day.

Tuesday we spent a wonderful day on the Club O beach, meeting up with several TTOL folks. For lunch, we headed down to Andy and Cheryl’s. Eric and I shared a fantastic meatball parmigiana dish, with bread and salad, and an order of onion rings. Great!

TTOL party on Orient--
Around 3 we headed back to the room to finish setting up for the TTOL party, which started at 5. We served a cheese platter, fruit platter, mini-quiches and shrimp and drinks, and many folks also brought some drinks of their own, which was greatly appreciated! Everyone seemed to congregate out on that fabulous balcony at CP, and it got pretty crowded for a while. Everyone seemed to have a good time and the final guests didn’t leave till around 11. Must have meant at least some of them had a great time!! Altogether, we had about 30 folks show up, but I’m not going to mention names, or I will surely forget some folks and cause bad feelings! Eric’s brother did take some pic’s, so we hope to get some of those posted by next weekend..

Bulldog on Laser 101--
Wednesday morning we were supposed to appear on Bulldog’s show on Laser 101. Unfortunately, the power was out on the Dutch side!! Laser has a generator, so they were still on the air, BUT most people couldn’t hear it on the Dutch side since they didn’t have power and of course no one could hear us on the internet either. So we were on the radio for a bit, and promised to come back the next day.. KevinNYC did call in and harass Bulldog a bit for the lack of streaming, which was fun. BTW, both day’s interviews are available for download on Bulldog’s site.

C/O Day on Esmeralda beach–
We had heard over the years on several occasions that Esmeralda has a section of their beach where they allow folks to go nude. We had never gone there before, but since Esmeralda beach is right next to Caribbean Princess, we thought we would try it out on Wednesday. Esmeralda does not have a particularly huge beach, but if you look at the beach, standing in the water and looking toward the land, the section to the far right of the beach, closest to Boo Boo Jam’s, is the designated nude section of the beach. Be aware that it is not really separated from the non-nude section, but they do enforce it, as we had to move from our original chairs, which were in chairs closest to the other nude sunbathers. BTW, a couple more couples showed up later and they placed additional chairs in the nude section. The chairs are very comfy there, with nice pads, and a small table between the chairs, BUT the umbrellas are very small, compared to the ones at Club O. They really only cover about one chair, and the other is out in the sun. The price for 2 chairs and umbrella was $18. One thing that is very nice, if you’re looking for a more upscale experience, is that they have food (and drink) service, right at the chairs. We ordered lunch, which the guy brought right to the chairs, which was a grilled chicken breast with fries for me and ribs with fries for Eric, plus two glasses of wine for me and a beer for Eric. They put two small tables together and serve the food on a tray which fits right on top, and it is very comfortable. I was pretty surprised that they served the wine in a wine glass. The meal was good but fairly pricy though, about $50. The worst thing in our mind was that they griped about our cooler with drinks we had brought from the room, and said that we couldn’t bring drinks onto the beach. That kind of tore it for us, and we will definitely NOT be back to the beach at Esmeralda, ever, specifically because of that policy. I don’t know whether they have the same policy at Waikiki or not, but wouldn’t be surprised. Also, even though there were a half dozen or so couples at Esmeralda nude, it was a totally different vibe from Club O. Everyone was very much off to themselves, no one talked to anyone else. We did have a very nice day there, and it was very nice for us to just be able to walk straight out from the room to the chairs there. Many people might really enjoy it there, if you’re looking for table service and don’t want to bring your own drinks at all and you don’t want any gawkers walking past–which there were almost NO people walking past. The deal with telling us we couldn’t bring our own drinks kind of tore it for us though. Basically, we spent almost $70 on their beach, including lunch, but we felt like we weren’t welcome there. I really feel like Esmeralda doesn’t WANT people staying at other hotels to come there, and that may well be true, as they really do not have a particularly large beach. They tend to space their chairs further apart also, and not try to squeeze in chairs in every available inch of ground, so I think they’re looking for a different customer anyway. That’s fine, we will not be among those customers in the future..

Eric’s brother goes diving--
Eric’s brother, Gerald, is a divemaster and wanted to get in at least a couple of dives in St. Martin. When he had been in SXM before, he had gone with a company over in P’burg, with cruise ship folks, which he referred to as a cattle boat, as there were just tooo many divers. This time he went with a dive company located right on Orient, by Kontiki. Two tank dive he said, was $80 There were only around 10 people on the dive, including divemasters, which made it more enjoyable. He was happy enough with the operation to do a night dive, that same night, which he also found quite enjoyable. If you have specific questions about diving, please contact Gerald directly at

Dinner at Le Cottage--
That evening Eric and I decided to check out the upper deck at Rainbow, which we had never been to before. This is an AWESOME place to see the sunset and have a drink in Grand Case. What a fabulous unobstructed view of the shore in Grand Case!! Too bad they apparently don’t serve dinner up there???? After a drink, we headed to LeCottage, for a wonderful meal with Bruno. We shared an onion soup, I had a fabulous surf and turf, Eric had scallops, 2 coffees, a bottle of wine, and complementary rum came to $100, and well worth it!! Afterwards, a short moderately unsuccessful trip to Tropicana and time to go back home to bed.

Laser 101 AGAIN!!
Thursday morning we again headed over to Laser 101 for our interview with Bulldog. We were somewhat listening to the radio on the way over and did not hear until we arrived that, while the electric was working this morning, that once again, the live internet streaming was not working!! Perhaps Bulldog thought if we heard that, that we would not show up?? Anyhoo, we had a good visit again with Bulldog and he gave us copies of both shows so that we could take them home with us.. After finishing the interview, we went by LaVista to try to see Andrea but she wasn’t in at the moment. Sorry we missed you!

From there, it was time to head back to Orient!! We knew that we wanted to do lunch one day on the beach and today was the day! We went by Tap 5 and picked up one of their rotisserie chickens, and packed a lunch with chicken, cheese and grapes and wine and headed to Club O beach. We arrived around noon and had no problem finding a chair in the front row. I would say that the chair shortage problems are gone for the time being anyway. The day was a little windy but wonderful and we had a lovely lunch and afternoon on the beach, again meeting up with lots of great TTOL folks. BTW, we did not have any rainfall during the day during our whole week, although it did rain several nights during the night.

After cleaning up from a hard day’s work at the beach, we headed to Hot Tomatoes for a couple of drinks and thereafter to Peg Leg Pub for dinner. Sean greeted us with open arms, as always, and remembered the table we always sit at! What a guy!! All three of us ordered steaks, which were marvelous, by the way, and we enjoyed a nice bottle of merlot. The problems began when we met up with Jack and Linda and Jack kept buying us some kind of a specialty coffee!! We had a great time and had some candid conversation in an enjoyable time with Jack. Thereafter, we made the unfortunate decision to head over to Dolphin Casino and we proceeded to lose our *sses. It was around 2 AM before we headed back to CP with our tails between our legs.. BTW, CP has it’s own security guard, which we got to know fairly well, since we got to meet him most nights when we were hauling ourselves back home at whatever time in the morning.

12 meter regatta--
Friday morning dawned WAY too early and we were all hating life, but had agreed to go on the 12 meter regatta the following morning at 8:15, so we hauled ourselves over to Bobby’s Marina, slightly hung over and working on about 4 hours sleep.... The 12 meter is a great morning, and would be even better for someone that has any clue about sailing, which I do not!! Before you get on the boats, they tell you a little about the history of the America’s Cup races and then divide you up in groups. We had 3 boats sailing that day, but sometimes they only go with two. Once you’re on the boat, they assign tasks to everyone. And, BTW, unless you’re really into some serious physical activity, if the guy says anything about “grinding”, say “No thank you!!” I ended up with the cushy job of bartender, and my biggest problem was reaching down into the hold to get the drinks, as it was quite a ways down! The racing gets pretty exciting, especially when you are crossing the path of one of the other boats. Our boat came in second, unfortunately! We might well have won, but we cut it too close on one of the markers for the race and snagged it on our boat. As I said, if you know anything about sailboats, it would be even more exciting, but I had an excellent time, despite not knowing why we seemingly were going in different directions than the other boats all the time!! The regular cost is $80, but you can often get discounts through your front desk of your hotel.

After the regatta we headed to Andy and Cheryl’s for lunch. I had a meatball sub and Eric had sausage and peppers and Gerald had the fish and chips. We shared an order of French Fries, but frankly, I don’t think Andy’s fries are nearly as good as his onion rings! I think a week of not much sleep and too much fun caught up with us Friday afternoon, so we just went back to Caribbean Princess and hung out there for the afternoon.

Dinner at Le California--
Friday evening we wanted a little something to eat, but not sure what, but eventually ended up at Le California. We had eaten there before, but not for a while. Their menu is a delight, with REAL salads that you can make a meal of, plus individual pizzas, plus pastas and French dishes. This makes them a very nice selection for a group who may want different items. I ordered the LeCalifornia salad, Eric had the crab cake appetizer, and we split an ice cream dessert, plus a bottle of water and 2 glasses of wine. Altogether the bill was a very reasonable $47. And, BTW, Le California is giving 1 to 1 on Euros to the dollar! And, check out the bulletin board they have out front at Le California, as there are quotes from TTOL on there.

Saturday–Eric and Gerald go home
Saturday morning we ate in at the unit again, trying to use up most of our food out of the fridge, and then threw out most of the rest of it, keeping a little bit of cheese and grapes for my sojourn over to Mary’s Boon. Eric and I laid out by the pool for a couple of hours, which was actually very nice. The pool is to the side of CP, and is very small, but usually there is no one in it. There are nice comfy chairs and a couple of umbrellas and some little tables. It is very private, as it is right by the road, but separated by a fence which has tall plants against it. Occasionally you will hear a big truck go by on that road, but otherwise, it is very quiet. On days when it is really windy on Orient, it would be a nice place to hang out for a couple of hours.

We checked out of the unit right around noon and I dropped Eric and Gerald off at the airport to check in for their US Air flight, which was the 4 PM flight to Philly. Traffic was bad, and it took us until almost 1 PM to get to the airport. There was NO one in line at the US Air counter. I went back to Mary’s Boon and checked in and came back to pick them up, and they had been waiting for 20 minutes or so by the time I got back.

Mary’s Boon--
When I knew that I was not going to be able to get a FF seat on Saturday to return home with Eric and Gerald, I decided that I wanted to stay closer to the airport for that last night, so it wouldn’t be such a big deal to the get to the airport the next day. So, since we had not stayed there before, I decided that I would try Mary’s Boon. I contacted Dicky, who was able to get me a discounted rate for the one night in one of their oceanview studios. Mary’s Boon has a couple of different rooms, and I knew that I would not be interested in one of their cheapest rooms, as they are basically below ground level. They also have some gardenview rooms, but I was not really interested in one of those either. They are kind of behind the other rooms and seem to have no breeze, in addition to no view. I was assigned one of the oceanview studios on the first floor. The room had a wonderful view of the ocean and there is a wonderful long veranda which goes all along both levels of the hotel, with tables and chairs to sit at. If I were to stay there again, I would opt for one of the studios on the second floor. I am not certain, but I believe the first floor portion is older than the second floor portion. The windows on the first floor are ONLY the slatted wooden windows. There were two problems with this–one, if you did decide to close the windows and use the a/c, it was DARK in there and two, the a/c really didn’t work that well. Actually, there was a decent breeze, BUT I am a wimp, and love my a/c. They really don’t encourage you to use a/c at Mary’s Boon, and I noticed, on my perambulation of the grounds on Sunday, that most people appeared NOT to be using their a/c. I would point out that the rooms on the SECOND floor had regular glass jalousie windows, and the next time I stayed there, I would require one of those rooms, OR one of the rooms in the brand new building, which also had regular glass windows.

You can take a look at their website for a good picture of what the rooms look like, but they have a lot of character, with lovely antique furniture throughout, and painted tiles and lots of nice amenities, such as a microwave, apartment sized refrigerator, blender, toaster, hot plate, coffee maker, Radio/CD player, clock, dishes, TV with US channels. What I found slightly strange is that there were NO bath amenities of any nature other than soap–no shampoo, lotion, bath gel, etc. That would have been nice. What WAS nice, however, was a bottle of champagne in the fridge, which was surprising to me, since I was only staying one night.

Rooftop observation deck at Mary’s Boon–
MB is RIGHT by the airport runway–a fact that you forget for about 58 minutes out of the hour. About twice an hour during the day some big jet lands or takes off and you remember!! It didn’t bother me, as the noise is for about 30 seconds, once every half hour or so. I stayed in room 106 and virtually across from my room, there was the stairway going up to the observation deck , which had a good view of the end of the runway away from the terminal building. Eric and Gerald and I took our bottle of champers up on the deck there and drank to a great vacation and waited for their plane to land. Once we saw the plane land, we were off to the airport, where I dropped them off. This was even better than being at Sunset Beach Bar, as we were drinking the free bottle of champagne! The deck is covered, which is nice, as it gets pretty hot up there, but usually you get a decent breeze, which makes it very pleasant.

After dropping off the fellows, I went back to MB and fixed myself a drink to watch their plane take off. I met up with some other nice folks there on the observation deck, who were also staying at MB for one night before going home the next day. I saw their plane take off, then went back to the room to take a shower, then put on the a/c and was off to Ric’s Place to watch the Belmont. I had an appetizer of Jalapeno poppers and a glass of wine and watched Funny Cide stink up the joint and lose his Triple Crown bid. Afterwards, I headed to Bananas and sat in the front bar area and had a cheeseburger and fries for dinner. I shared part of the burger with the local dog. It was only 8 PM by this time, so I went by Buccanneer, but Neil wasn’t there. Unable to resist the siren song of the casino, I went by Pelican Casino (OK, HOLLYWOOD, then!!), and proceeded to lose about $60 on blackjack and decided it wasn’t my night. They had some type of a buffet going there and the pitboss asked me if I wanted a ticket for it, but I declined since I had already eaten. Should have taken it, I guess, so that I would have seen what they had.. Back to MB, and I listened to Jimmy B on the CD for a while, then went to bed.

Sunday morning I had breakfast at MB–kind of a weird ham and cheese omelette, (not recommended) and coffee and conversed with my friends from the previous night’s encounter on the observation deck. They were from Charlotte and had booked FF also on US Air, but had not been able to get FF from Charlotte–had had to book through Philly both ways just to get the FF seats! I saw them later at the airport and they confirmed that they had been able to switch their flights to the direct Charlotte flight going home, saving them about 6 hours in the process. I went to the desk to ask them about a late check-out. They confirmed that no one was in my room after me, so I was able to stay in my room until time to leave for my 4 PM flight, no charge, no fuss! Thanks, MB!!

The US Air counter opens at 10:00 am on Saturday and Sunday, thus around 10:00, I headed out to the airport to check in. I inquired about taking a bump, but they were not full, alas. It only took about 20 minutes to check in and pay my departure tax, and I was back in the car. Unfortunately, the weather looked ominous when I left the terminal, nixing my original plan to spend the day on the beach at MB. It had already poured HARD that morning, just as I was finishing breakfast, so I didn’t want to hang around the hotel if it was going to rain some more. I decided to take a drive around the island, and thus drove over to the french side, by way of Sandy Ground and Cupecoy. I stopped to try to check out Hotel Beach Plaza, which often runs cheap specials with air included. The lobby and restaurant looked nice, but alas, they said they had no rooms I could take a look at, so was unable to see a room. From there, I went on to L’Esplanade in Grand Case, based on Ed and Sandra’s trip reports. Lovely, quiet hotel, very nice. The rooms were nice, although it is a little out of the way. There are wonderful views from the balconies there.

From there, I headed back to Simpson Bay and checked out a place that I had seen recommended before–Yummy Terrace, which is right across from the airport. I don’t know, I guess I missed whatever was exciting about the place, as I wasn’t impressed. I got a meat pie for $1 and carried it back to MB with me to have for lunch. I finished up the remainder of my cokes I had brought over from CP, and had some cheese and grapes and threw out the remainder. Afterwards, I headed out to the small MB pool area. The pool area is on the airport side of the hotel, thus has no view of the water, but it is surrounded with lovely plants, and has a couple of lovely places to sit in the water and relax. There are a few chairs and tables and umbrellas, and it is a very quiet spot–at least 58 minutes out of the hour! I talked with a couple of ladies who had just arrived from Philly and stated that it had been raining there the past week–like it was something new... That was one thing that I noticed very much at MB–folks seemed to be friendly and liked to talk. That was nice....

Out of the pool, took a shower and got dressed and headed to the airport, meeting up with Leslie Bruce from Kenny’s–right on time at 2:45, just as we arranged. Boy, is that airport service nice!! The plane left on time, about 2/3 full and I suffered through a nasty turkey sandwich. We arrived in Philly on time, but the plane leaving Philly to come home was 45 minutes late. Like that’s anything new in Philly???

Summary–Great trip, wish it was longer! Met lots of great TTOL folks! Glad we’re going back in October!!!

Carol & Eric

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