St Maarten/St Martin
26 February 2012 Newsletter

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Cupecoy sunset

Weather: Sunday started wonderfully and was quite nice, not much of a breeze, which was OK as the temperature only reached 81F. There was a lovely sunset, that didn't end as a green flash because of a bit of cloud on the horizon. Monday and Tuesday were lovely, a bit warmer, with a slight breeze, and lots of sun. There was no rain here on the island but at times Statia and St Kitts were lost in tropical squalls. On the right is a shot off the Caribbean balcony with the twin peaks of Statia on the right and a bit of St Kitts on the left. On the left below is the view off the lagoon balcony on one of these beautiful clear days with a puffy clouds. A large cruise ship was in Marigot harbor (and an oil tanker). The tower of Belle Créole is on the left and to the right of cruise ship is Créole Rock off Grand Case. The middle photo is a cloudy morning shot of Saba with a crown of clouds watering the rain forest at the top of Mount Scenery. The last shot a is a cruise ship blotting out Saba as it passed by on its way to Pburg with the rising sun raking its flank. Later in the week it warmed up a bit but the breeze kept us cool. Saturday at 7PM a five minute tropical shower took about five degrees off the temperature, dropping us to 75F. An even longer shower drenched the Marigot's Marina Royal while we were dining.

The box shows the current local conditions and here's the detailed forecast from Click for Juliana Airport, St. Martin Forecast Weather Underground and here's one from the Weather Channel. Sunset tonight will be at 6:18 PM. In 2012 the full moon dates are 8 Mar, 6 Apr, 5 May, 4 Jun, 3 Jul, 1 Aug, 31 Aug (a blue moon), 29 Sep, 29 Oct, 28 Nov, and 28 Dec.

SXM-Beaches: The panoramic photo above shows the far eastern side of Simpson Bay. Pelican Reef is the white water you can see at the far right. It has good snorkeling. The land to the left of that is Simpson Bay Resort, formerly Pelican Resort. The hill in the middle is Cay Bay Hill and the one on the left is Cole Bay Hill with the road snaking up and through the pass to Pburg.

On the right is a view east along Simpson Bay from the Horny Toad Guesthouse, showing the same two hills. On the left is the view to the west with Beacon Hill in the distance to the left and the airport on the right. The sun sets on the far side of Beacon Hill providing some lovely sunset shots.

Beach reading: Straight Man by Richard Russo - about $5 (used) - Martha is reading this and likes it. From Amazon: Straight Man is hilarious sport, with a serious side. William Henry Devereaux Jr., is almost 50 and stuck forever as chair of English at West Central Pennsylvania University. It is April and fear of layoffs--even among the tenured--has reached mock-epic proportions; Hank has yet to receive his department budget and finds himself increasingly offering comments such as "Always understate necrophilia" to his writing students. Then there are his possible prostate problems and the prospect of his father's arrival. Devereaux Sr., "then and now, an academic opportunist," has always been a high-profile professor and a low-profile parent. Though Hank tries to apply William of Occam's rational approach (choose simplicity) to each increasingly absurd situation, and even has a dog named after the philosopher, he does seem to cause most of his own enormous difficulties. Not least when he grabs a goose and threatens to off a duck (sic) a day until he gets his budget. The fact that he is also wearing a fake nose and glasses and doing so in front of a TV camera complicates matters even further. Hank tries to explain to one class that comedy and tragedy don't go together, but finds the argument "runs contrary to their experience. Indeed it may run contrary to my own." It runs decidedly against Richard Russo's approach in Straight Man, and the result is a hilarious and touching novel.

ginger Sapphire Beach Club: We are back in our condo at this time, so it will not be available until 10 April. The rate is $1000 per week. You'll get a 10% discount from Unity Car Rental, one of the longest running and most trusted on the island, and many more coupons as well, including the use of our 2011 SXM Privilege Card that gets you discounts on many restaurants. Check the calendar on our website for available dates. A recent visitor said, "Erich, We had a wonderful time at your condo for the third year in a row. We appreciated the coupons. Hope to be able to do it again next year."

The shot on the left is a ginger flower and on the right is a shot of a crown of thorns plant on our Caribbean balcony.

For those of you who wish to sell or rent their week or unit, we have opened up the Sapphire Beach Club website for that purpose. We charge $25 per year. If you wish to rent or sell your unit, send us some text (and $25 to esk@sxm-info.com via Paypal). If you wish to rent or buy a unit without high middleman fees, check out the website. At present, there are several sales and/or rentals available directly from owners. Given a 25 to 35% standard rental commission, there should be some bargains in eliminating the middleman and dealing direct.

SXM-Hotels: We just stopped in at Bleu Emeraude and it is as lovely as ever. It's on the beach at the entrance to Grand Case from Marigot. they have a beach with chairs for your use and each unit has a kitchen fully equipped with a fridge; microwave; oven; dishwasher; washing machine and a terrace. You can cook or you can walk to Grand Case. There is a new manager, Tessa, with a lovely Irish lilt. At the other end of town is Flamboyant Beach Villas, not quite as new, but well-kept with similar amenities. A bit further at the eastern end of the beach is Grand Case Beach Club.

Construction/Destruction: Below left is a photo of the check-in/administration building area at Mullet Bay Resort, just past Maho. The building was damaged in Hurricane Luis in 1995 and sat derelict until this last summer. This building and almost all the the residences have now been bulldozed and trucked off, probably filling in some wetland someplace. The middle shot was taken further north as the road winds through the golf course. The small utility building is all that is left of about four duplex residences. It took them 17 years, but they did a nice job on the cleanup. They did take coral and some concrete blocks and totally lined the road, eliminating parking. Moreover they have been telling people that they can't walk on the golf course side of the boulders, but have to walk in the road.

The final photo is of the Blue Mall taken from our lagoon balcony. It's largely finished on the outside including a new sign offering to sell apartments. The inside is still not finished reminding me of the finest see-through buildings in Houston in 90's.

Porto Cupecoy has been advertising a unit at about 25% off this weekend only for several weeks now. I think the unit changes weekly, but it does suggest that you should make your first offer at least 30% off their asking price.

Shopping: We went over to the Blue Mall's Farmer's Market. It's something of a misnomer as there are few farmers on this arid island. We walked through several tables of jewelry into the courtyards and found this table of fruit with no salesperson in sight. On the right, in the shade, was a stand from Greenfingers. We had just stopped at their shop in Cole Bay earlier this week and bought the cactus on the far right and the crown of thorns above.

Alcohol: As usual, we headed over to Select Wine Cellar on Friday. Sylvain's computer was down so we didn't get the news and walked into a birthday party and mystery wine tasting. The first wine was a fairly deep yellow color with a big, round flavor, but I didn't think it was chardonnay, possibly a mix, somewhat like a white wine from the Rhone. It was revealed to be a Jura, the rugged land to the east of the plains of Burgundy, leading to the Alps. White wines here are produced from either Chardonnay or Savagnin or both, but mainly Chardonnay. They are aged for up to four years in oak barrels, produces a flowery and fruity wines, certainly different from the chardonnays of Bourgogne. They also seem to be quite long lasting. The 2005 vintage was exceptional and is still available at Saratoga Wine Exchange. Just type in the keyword Jura. Down here, the bottle came from Le Gout du Vin in Marigot. As the retail outlet for Grand Vins de France, they have more wine than Select, but less parking. 2009 was a good vintage but the ones between 2005 and 2009 were just average.

Activities: On Sunday night we stopped in at Pineapple Pete to catch Tim on guitar. On Wednesday night after dinner we headed over to Porto Cupecoy to catch the Next Level Band. It's not exactly my kind of music (Soca and Salsa) but they did keep me there tapping my feet. There were about twenty people dancing and another twenty looking on and the three restaurants that can see the stage (Quatre Vents, Ernest and Fidel, and the Rendez Vous Lounge) all had respectable crowds on their outdoor patios. It helped that it was such a lovely evening.

Groceries: Jura is famous for its cheeses, especially Comté, Morbier and Vacherin or Mont-d'Or. The plate below has a slice of Comté on the left (US Imports at 26.90€ per kg or about $16 per pound), rather expensive but with a great nutty flavor. The Morbier is a softer cheese with a bit of ash in the center as two halves are made separately, topped with ash, and then combined before being sold. It's a bit cheaper at about $8 per pound.

We had some Petit Billy for lunch with a bit of crispy (frozen and warmed in our toaster oven) banette from La Sucriere on Marigot's waterfront. This cheese also came from the US Market and Steve Jenkins in his Cheese Primer says Billy is a region of France in the Loire Valley that makes this cheese and that it is worth seeking out says Jenkins. We agree especially as it costs about $5 for the round which weighs about 250 grams or half a pound.

We did another bit of shopping on Thursday as the fresh fish starts to arrive from France. Both Grande Marché and US Market had fresh salmon. Both were selling it for about $12 per pound. Avoiding the French side because of the strong Euro is a mistake.

Traffic: The Dutch side has been working on the drainage on Welfare Road and around the corner onto Unity Road. They sometimes close the road at night, so be aware of this as you cruise the bars and restaurants in Cole Bay. For what it is worth, the road going over the Dutch Bridge is Airport Road on the west and Welfare Road on the east, although many businesses there don't like to use that name in their address. The bridge is also the dividing line between Simpson Bay on the west and Cole Bay on the east. I actually had a client that had a restaurant in Cole Bay, but did not want me to say that he was in Cole Bay. Thus, my restaurant maps have Simpson Bay East and West.

Travel: The airport ran out of fuel again last weekend. Air Canada spent the night here. So did a few Canadians, presumably. Other airlines refueled at other airports, notably Puerto Rico, but obviously, this caused delays at best, and missed connections or worse for others. The photo on the right (courtesy of Leland Harms) shows Corsair coming in for a low landing at Maho.

Cars: Alain Arnell (Triple A Car Rental) lost control of his previous website and has a new one at www.aaa-sxm.com. The site highlights the new world headquarters building (right) next to the airport runway. He does meet you at the airport so it is a very short drive to the lot.

Gas: The Dutch side raised gasoline prices from 2.39 to 2.47 NAF per liter on Thursday. There are about 3.8 liters per gallon and the gas stations give a lousy exchange rate, so this is about $5.30 per gallon. French side prices haven't moved, 1.25 per liter. Get it at the Cadisco on the lagoon near the French Bridge and they do 1 to 1 on the exchange rate, making this about $4.70. The Cadisco at Orient also does 1 to 1, but the price is always a few cents more.

Green logo Nature: On the right is a flower growing in the wasteland between the Blue Mall and Porto Cupecoy. Ya gotta love a place where this much beauty just pops up unbidden.

Our office is well over 100% solar-powered and our hosting company servers are about 130% wind-powered.

Small Island story: It appears that United People's (UP) party parliamentarian Jules James has voted on a motion regarding Simpson Bay Resort where he is manager. The opposition parties wanted to make hay of this and attempted to call a special meeting, but few people showed up so no quorum, no vote. They are every bit as dysfunctional as Washington.


As you can request five prizes on one entry form, you could win a bargain on lodging, car rental, entertainment, dinner, and a gym to work it off! That would be five prizes to one person.

Current Contest:

19 Feb to 15 April 2012
Caribbean View Condo - half price summer rental (May-October)
Lagoon Pub Crawl - two for one ticket
Skipjack's - $50 off a dinner for two
Marci's Mega Gym - Two for One week with a shake
Random Wind - $40 gift certificate
Peg Leg Pub - $50 off a dinner for two
SXM-Privilege Discount Card - One free monthly card
Select Wine Cellar - Wine tasting and a bottle of wine
Radiant Gems - $50 off a purchase of $200 or more
Piazza Pascal - $50 off dinner for two
Escargot Restaurant - $50 off a dinner for two

Read our rules, visit the websites of these sponsors, find their contest codes, and enter them on our entry form.

One of the rules is that you should enter each contest only once. You can enter five of the drawings on one entry. Thus, you could win a rather nice vacation at a considerable savings by combining accommodations with dinners and activities.

Here's some comments from a past winner:

I was very pleased to win your contest when my wife and I were on the island. I was able to use the three restaurant certificates and the Privilege Card. They were well appreciated and we had good service at all along with good food. Skipjack's has been a regular for many years (one of our favorites and we always go twice during our visit). Peg Leg Pub is also a restaurant we have frequented in the past (good steaks), but Piazza Pascal was new to us and will now be on our list to visit next year. Donna was very good hostess.
Bob Ross

Future Contests:
15 April to 15 July 2012 | 15 July to 14 October 2012 | 14 October to 9 December 2012
same cast of characters as current contest



On 12 Feb the Euro was at 1.316 and today it is at 1.345. That's almost 3% in a week. The Greek bailout took a major step forward, strengthening the Euro. If the bailout (and those on the rest of the PIIGS, that aren't this difficult) work, the Euro may continue upward as the US is putting its Republican flavors of the week on display. It will only get slightly better when they finally choose a candidate because than he and Obama will start flaming until November. I see continual public bickering and congressional stalemate until then and unless some major changes in Congress come out of the elections, the only improvement will be a lowered volume on the bickering. Below is a chart of the last two years plus the first two month of 2012. As you can see, the Euro is weaker now than it has been for most of that time. Only for a few months in the low season of 2010 did it drop below its current level. I do believe the Euro is heading higher and as we are spending a good bit of September in France, I have bought Euro futures.

California Restaurant is still offering 1 to 1. La Villa and Piazza Pascal, also in Grand Case, is offering 1 to 1 for cash. Almost all other restaurants on the French side that we have visited have offered us a better rate that we would get from our credit card or a bank. There is no doubt that they want your business.

Charging your credit card in dollars used to save the 3% currency transaction charge that most cards are now charging for foreign currency transactions. About a year ago my Citibank card said they would charge me 3% just for doing business overseas - even if it was in dollars! I now use a Capital One card and get an excellent exchange rate. The frequent flier benefits can be used on any airline and there are no blackouts. Note that you won't get frequent flier tickets quite as fast. It may be best to use the Cap 1 card out of the country and take the rewards in merchandise. We picked up an 18 bottle wine refrigerator with half of our points from the previous year, but we couldn't even fly one of us to SXM.

Chase has come out with a Sapphire Card that is similar to Cap One, although the no foreign transaction fee only comes with the $95 per year preferred version. You'd have to spend about $3000 overseas to make the fee worthwhile, but there are other benefits, including a signup bonus if you spend over $3000 in your first three months. Read these discussions on Credit card Forum and Daily Markets and decide if they work for you.

On Sunday night we headed over to Skipjack's for dinner. There was no parking out front, but the lot across the street takes the overflow. There were only two tables left at 8PM and while we got our bread, water, and wine rather quickly, the kitchen was struggling to keep up with the President's Day vacation week overflow crowd. We started with the usual 2009 Concannon Pinot Noir ($31) from California's Central Coast. It's light and certainly won't overpower Martha's blackened grouper ($24, below left). The grouper comes with both a Créole sauce and a pineapple salsa. I was always skeptical about a sweet sauce with fish, but now I can't decide which I like best. I had the 20 oz ribeye with a creamy sauce ($32, below center). Despite being slammed, the kitchen turned out perfectly cooked food. With the added 15% service charge, the bill came to about $100. It's a good price for such good food. Enter the SXM-Info contest get get a $50 prize to make this dinner half the price!
Concannon Pinot Noir

Piazza Pascal
We went to dinner at Piazza Pascal on Monday evening with another couple. We had 7:30 reservations and parked in the pay lot. The stroll down the street showed most restaurants to be busy, so we were thankful to have reservations on the upstairs terrace. Our friends started with the Caesar Salad with shrimp and portobellos ($15) and Martha and I had the Salsiccia Classico ($13, below center), sautéed Italian sausage with peppers and onions. Both were well received. Our main courses were the Veal Milanese ($22, below left), sautéed veal scaloppini battered in egg, parmesan and Italian bread crumbs for Martha and the Seared Tuna Filet ($25, below right), a tuna filet encrusted with parmesan and herbs topped with grilled peppers and portabella mushrooms and drizzled with balsamic reduction. We ordered the 2008 Castello di Nipozzano Chianti Ruffina Riserva at $48. We had this at La Gondola last year and liked it so much that I bought a couple cases from the Wine Cask in Cambridge, MA. The only problem with our dinner wine was that it was gone quickly, causing us to order another wine that I have in my cellar, the Badia A Coltibuno "Cetamura" Chianti ($28). The bad news is that distributor is out of that bottle and the good news is that he has substituted a better wine at the same cost. Put it all together and I say we had a great meal in a nice location at a fabulous price.

veal milanese veal milanese tuna

Kakao Beach Bar
From Wendy K: I was a bit concerned that it might be a bit too breezy at Orient Beach today, but we'd made up our mind to have lunch at Kakao Beach Bar and visit our friend, Gilberto, who is working there now. The restaurant was crowded when we arrived, but he found us a table just behind the beach chairs, in the shade of a palapa, and brought us a bottle of Perrin Reserve Cotes du Rhone (24€, right), slightly chilled. As you can see from the view (below left) there are plantings separating the beach from the palapas, so the breeze was not a problem. We looked over the menu, but decided on one of the specials (two were fresh fish and the other beef): a "pave de rumsteack pane au poivre noir" (22€, below left). We asked for frites, and were served a large plate of them, in addition to stuffed roasted orange pepper, sautéed red cabbage, a stuffed tomato, and a square of dessert-worthy scalloped potatoes. The steak, ordered rare, came sliced, with a very healthy amount of crushed black peppercorns. Everything, including the service, was perfect. A shot of passion fruit rum finished off the meal, and we relaxed enjoying the beach activity and the blue, blue water.

Pizza Galley
On Wednesday night we drove out to Simpson Bay for dinner at Pizza Galley and another chat with JP. We ordered our usual small salad and split it (plenty for two), the JP Special Pizza (Pepperoni, Italian sausage, green peppers, mushrooms, caramelized onions, black olives, and mozzarella cheese, $17), and the house wine, the Mon Redon Cotes du Rhone for $24. There is a wine list, but this is a quality Rhone blend that is fine with pizza. It was a great meal perfectly filling for the two of us and only cost $47 plus a tip for the crew.

And on to the usual discussion with JP about dining and the restaurant business. He asked were we would go for our last meal in Grand Case. We allowed that we had been talking about our last meal on the drive over, even though it is still seven weeks away. We do want to get to Le Tastevin, and if money were no object, we might eat here every night. It wasn't always thus, as we recall a meal 8-10 years ago that did not thrill us, but since 2006 we have had a string of fabulous meals there. The food is good, service superb, wine list long and well considered, the facilities from building to table service are lovely, and the view is one of the best on the island. Obviously, the customers have to pay for the water view and the large wine cellar. We have a water view all day long and don't dive too deeply into the deep end of their wine cellar, so we can happily dine on the other side of the street and still find wines that we like. The first three places on the main strip (Bistrot Caraïbes, Auberge Gourmande, and La Villa) fulfill all our desires for French cuisine and good Burgundies without a view of the water.

JP mentioned the review of La Fourmi (ant) in last week's menu, but I reminded him that was from Wendy K, not me. He asked if I knew that it was the next part of Olivier Genet's empire. I had heard this but wasn't sure, so I didn't mention it. Obviously, I wasn't thinking very hard because the original restaurant, La Cigale (grasshopper) and this restaurant are linked via the fable of the industrious ant and the idle grasshopper.

JP and Lorna at the Pizza Galley Salad JP special

On Thursday we headed over to Le Ti Coin Créole at the far end of Grand Case. It's possible to walk from the central parking lot, but there is a bit of parking next to the restaurant and a bit more on the street. We got a spot in their lot and walked in to a window table. We ordered the Cotes du Rhone (22€). Créole food is not necessarily hot, but Carl does offer some wonderful home made hot sauce. A sturdy syrah from Rhone works well, if you like really spicy food.
Martha always has stewed Créole conch as her main course and as I always try to have two different main courses, I have the conch salad as an ap (below left, 6.50€) so I can have some conch also. It's amazingly tender conch in a tasty and slightly hot dressing. Martha ordered the accras for her starter - excellent (above right, 7.00€). Martha's stewed conch is in the center (13.50€) and I had one of Carl's signature dishes, the seafood pasta (below right, 19€). We were both very happy. The conch was tender, the pasta was al dente and loaded with fish and shrimp. We skipped dessert, but you can check out the Sweet Potato Pudding photo and recipe from a previous article we wrote. The total cost for our dinner was $92, not bad for real Créole food from a real Créole chef, cooking in the Créole house he grew up in.
conch Stew Conch Snapper

Café de Paris
Wendy K had been here a couple times and was quite happy. Recently we heard that Moulin Fou's sous-chef was coming over and that Mehmet, one of the better waiters at Belle Epoque Restaurant, was now the manager. We walked in at 7:30 on a Saturday evening to a half full restaurant and found Vincent, manager of Belle Epoque, having a drink at the bar. He told us that the owner of The Village, at the other end of the marina, now owned this place also. He has spent quite a bit of money fixing it up as it is quite lovely including a waterfall. The cuisine is also a step up from the usual brasseries on Marina Royale. Alas, there is no magic, when you spend more money on fixtures, hire a more expensive chef, and allow him to use better quality and better caliber ingredients, you charge 32€ for a beef tenderloin (below center) with a foie gras topping. Not only did my beef tenderloin have a bit of foie gras, but so did my very tasty vegetable napoleon. You'll note the greens are arugula, not iceberg, and the potatoes, while bearing the unfortunate name of ratte, are another expensive extravagance. My dictionary says they are pink fir apples and while that sounds better than rat, it still doesn't sound like a tasty potato, but it was. Martha's mahi was also a bit special, being cut from a whole loin by the chef - no prepackaged, frozen fish here. She also thought her Créole sauce was quite good. We had a bottle of 2007 Mont Redon Chateauneuf du Pape for 49€, not cheap, but a good price for a great vintage from a good grower. Our total bill got to 100€ and they used a better-than-market 1.3 as the conversion. We added a good tip as a thank you for the pre-dinner and post-dinner drinks.

You don't have to order tournedos Rossini. Several tables enjoyed pizzas, all moderately priced, and according to Mehmet, they are the best on the island. There were various specials in lower price ranges and certainly cheaper bottles of wine. They also had several bottles of wine that were over 100€, and a table of Russians enjoying every one of them. People watching is great fun here.



News and Changes: We have reworked the article on Créole restaurants that we wrote a several years ago. There are recipes for a four course meal in SXM-Info's features section. You'll find a recipe for Conch Chowder from Antoine Restaurant, a recipe for Accras from L'Escargot Restaurant, a recipe for Crab-stuffed Grouper from Skipjack's, and a recipe for Sweet Potato Pudding from Ti Coin Créole. Skipjack's logo

Heineken Regatta: The Regatta kicks off on Tuesday 28 Feb with the Budget Marine Match racing Cup. Leap Year Day is registration day and a party at the Yacht Club. Thursday is the final call for registration and a party at Port de Plaisance. Friday is the round the island race and a party on the Boardwalk in Pburg. Saturday is the race from Simpson Bay to Marigot followed by a waterfront party. Sunday has the race back to Simpson Bay and the closing ceremonies followed by the BIG concert.

Grand Case Nights: Harmony Night in Grand Case has morphed into "Les Mardis de Grand Case" - The Tuesdays of Grand Case. It still features the closing of the main street so it can be filled with local arts, crafts, and food vendors along with a few musicians. It's great fun, although it can get crowded and if you want a streetside table, you will need reservations or extremely good luck.

Drummers in Grand Case

Porto Cupecoy Nights: On Wednesday night Porto Cupecoy had a concert featuring Control Band, a local favorite. This week will feature the Baby Soda Jazz Band, an eclectic New Orleans street-style band. On Monday nights they have a French Film Festival with subtitles. This week the show is Welcome to the Sticks. Although living a comfortable life in Salon-de-Provence, a charming town in the South of France, Julie has been feeling depressed for a while. To please her, Philippe Abrams, a post office administrator, her husband, tries to obtain a transfer to a seaside town, on the French Riviera, at any cost. On Saturdays, from 9AM to 1PM they have a farmer's market featuring local fruits and vegetables, gourmet foods, and island crafts.

Marina Royale Nights: Thursday night has been claimed by Marigot's Marina Royale. This coming Thursday has a Sexy Chic theme with the Showtime Band.

Dutch side carnival schedule:

Thur, April 19 Opening Carnival Village/Opening Jump Up Fri, April 27Senior Calypso Finals
Fri, April 20Senior Calypso Eliminations & Road March Competition Sat, April 28Jouvert Morning 4am
Sat, April 21International Concert (Soca) Sat, April 28International Concert (Latin) (8pm)
Sun, April 22Junior Carnival Parade Sun, April 29International Concert (R&B / Reggae)
Mon, April 23Ms. Mature Queen Pageant & Cultural Manifestation Monday, April 30Grand Carnival Parade
Tues, April 24International Concert (Hip Hop / Dance Hall) Tues, May 1Second Day Parade
Wed, April 25Senior & Teen Carnival Queen Pageants Wed, May 2Closing Jump Up & Burning King Momo


SXM Privilege Card Coupons: Below are links to the SXM-Info clients who have coupons on their websites. Another approach is the SXM Privilege Card which seems to be a pretty good deal. It will get you various discounts and/or perks at about 50 restaurants. They also cover hotels (mostly spa treatments at hotels), activities, and more. Most of the restaurant perks are a 10% discount. Use it twice in a month and it pays for itself. Victoria Contin, the force behind the Privilege Card, has come out with Island Video Guide and Web TV. SXM Island Video Guide and Web TV

Bikini Beach
Kakao Beach
Marci's Mega Gym
Endless Summer Beachwear
Oizeau Rare
Pizza Galley
Tai Chi
Select Wine Cellar
Radiant Gems
Tropical Wave

  Our condo: The condo is available for rent $1000 per week or less for the summer. The rental includes about $500 in coupons from several of our website clients including one for 10% off a weekly car rental from Unity Car Rental, one of the longest running and most trusted car rental agencies on the island. Other notable coupons are $50 from Skipjack's restaurant, a tasting and a bottle of wine from Select Wine Cellar, a two for one ride on Celine's famous Lagoon Pub Crawl, $50 off a daysail on Random Wind, $50 from Piazza Pascal. The Christmas and New Year's holiday weeks will be available at $2000 per week and the balance of the high season is available at $1500 per week. As always any days within the next month are available for $100 each. Check the calendar on our website for available dates.

  SXM-Info has chosen SkyMed and MedjetAssist to arrange medical transportation services. We hope you never need it, but when air evacuation flights cost $30,000 or more, it's good to have. Check out both and see which one offers the best prices your timeframe and traveling group.   Click here to Enroll Now

Kindle: We now have one, so I'm really convinced that the Kindle e-book from Amazon is the best thing to take to a beach. It only weighs a half pound and is one-third of an inch thin. Even better, the price has dropped to $79. Newsletter subscriber Contessa says: "I loaded it up with more books than I needed and it was a very convenient way to read without lugging books to the beach." Paul M wrote: "My wife and I spent a lovely week at La Samanna in late March and I loaded my Kindle with several books and read them on the beach. The Kindle was fabulous. I had a case and was careful not to get in contact with sand, but the device was excellent to use for beach or poolside reading." Wendy K reports that her friend Jerri is quite happy with hers and now Wendy reports she bought her own. If you've already got one, you can get books here. They are cheaper than any other version of the book (except used!)  
Even though Martha has a Kindle and is quite happy with it, she still downloads audio books from our local library to her Zune or Sansa player (iPod knockoffs) and that has been working rather well. Obviously, these are audio books and it's not the same as "reading" the text, but it works quite well and keeps us amused as we drive. I just got a newsletter from a reader who reports that "Regarding downloading - several of my friends have the Nook and they can download books on it from their library in the states...but they do expire after 2 weeks."