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Trip Report 6-16 June

Leesburg, Florida
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Trip Report 6-16 June

The most notable thing about or trip this time was the things we didn't do Had every intention of exploring places we haven't been--On Da Rocks, The Place, Garveys, ChaCha San, Ferry Boat Inn, Karlas, going to restaurants we haven't been to in a long time, Picante, Trattoria, Barrel Stay etc, and didn't do any of it. Didn't go to Shoal Bay East or West, Cove Bay, Island Harbor Crocus Bay, Rendezvous Bay. Sort of fell in to the been there done that mode We basically vegged in the Meads Bay area and enjoyed every minute.

Transportation--Flew from Orlando to San Juan on Jet Blue and then to AXA on Anguilla Air Express. Six people on the plane Arrived at 4 PM. Customs and immigration were a snap Went to the parking lot and picked up the car Ronnie Bryan had left and were at Turtles Nest a little after 5 PM. On the way back to SJU Rose only had two people on AAExp and Cape Air had two seats so we flew with them. Except for small snafu with a wheel chair assist in SJU it worked well. Customs and immigration in SJU are a breeze early in the AM

Accomodations--We were in a condo on the second floor east side of building 1. Had stayed in it before and were disappointed. It was sold and the new owners refurbished and redecorated it and it was great. Probably the nicest TN condo we've stayed in. After settling in I went to Best Buy to pick up some provisions. After traveling all day didn't feel like going out to dinner so I went to B&D Bbque and got chicken and ribs. Chicken was great but ribs a little tough.

Food/Restaurants--That was the first night of eating in. We only ate dinner out four times and lunch out four times. Next morning went to Gerauds for Breakfast which was great as usual and stocked up on pastries. Lunch was at Ocean Echo. I had a Lobster wrap and wife had a lovely Tuna Nicoise salad. We were the only ones there. I am baffeled as to why more people from Viceroy don't go to OE. Seems like it would be a no brainer. After a large lunch we decided to eat dinner in so it was off to Blanchards Beach Shack for take out.

Sunday we went to Roy's for lunch with sine AXA friends. First time we ate at Roys was last June for fish and chips. Evidently Roy is letting the Kids take a bigger role in running the restaurant and the menu has changed. For starters we had conch fritters which were excellent--almost as good as mine. I had a tuna burger which was also excellent. Not your Starkist from a can. Fresh caught ground tuna made to order. HIghly recommend. Since I knew we weren't going out to diner I got some chicked curry to go and we ate in again.

Next Day it was Straw Hat for lunch. I had to get my burger fix and really like their burger with caramelized onions and gorgonzola. Ate diner in again courtesy of Blanchards BS.

Tuesday we ventured out to AARF to give them some Love Rescued Me dog scarfs and Small plastic water bowls for dogs traveling to the states. They only had three dogs onsite. On the way back stopped at Fat Cat Gourmet to pick up a quiche and sinful coconut cookies and at Gerauds for a sandwich for lunch and of course more pastries Belive it or not we actually went to out to dinner at Straw Hat to celebrate our anniversary. Wonderful meal as usual.

On Wed we ate lunch in-Quiches from Gerauds and that night joined some AXA friends for dinner at Valley Bistro. Years ago we had breakfast there when it was owned by Michel former owner of Cote Mer and Alan the Chef. Dinner was delightful. Very eclectic out side setting. Three of us had Pork with mustard sauce and one Beef Kabob, The presentation of the Kabob was really cool. They make all kinds of special sauces for the various entrees. The price of the entrees was about half that in most restaurants and the food excellent. Of course you don't get the beach/ocean view but a good deal for the dollar. Definitely should be on the list of inexpensive eats.

Next day lunch at Straw Hat again and dinner in --Crab quiche from Fat Cat

We went back to Roys for tuna burgers since my wife hadn't had one yet. Excellent again On the way back to TN we stopped at Sea Spray to say hi to Pamela. Bought a couple of AXA christmas ornaments she had painted. Really nice The highlight of Friday was dinner at Jacala. Had to get my semi-annual Steak Tartare fix. Jacques was a delight and we had a wonderful conversation Asked if they were going to move back to Malli when it opened and he smiled and said I'm 63 . ready to retire and don't want to get back into the rat race.

Sat was another laid back day. Went to Straw Hat again for dinner and got my Tuna Falt Bread and Curried Goat fix. Unfortunately they didn't have any lion fish all week so will have to wait till Dec to try it. Everyone raves about it. Peter and the whole staff at SH are really wonderful. Restaurant was packed every night

Sun we just bummed around all day, started packing for an early AM departure in Monday and had leftover Quiche for dinner.

Obversations/ Rumors etc--

Weather was super. Sunny every day. Meads was like a mill pond. don't think we had 5 min of rain the whole stay hence no mosquitoes. Mother Nature paid us back for the miserable weather last Dec when a tropical depression stalled and we had rain every day

Malliouhana--The refurbishment is way behing schedule and nobody seems to know the real opening date. The plan now is to open the main building first -Soft opening ??- and then open the outer buildings/villas six months later.

They are building two large villas right next to The Beach House. The one nearest the road is about three stories high. That has to effect The Beach House selling price. Pretty soon there won't be a vacant piece of land on Meads

Altamer has been sold to New York Time Equities Inc. Believe the plan is to expand the property and still build the marina. Heard the selling price is about $8m which is a steal. Really liked to go to Altamer when Chef Le Duc was there and Dumpa played. Favorite entree was Three different fish done three different ways. Delicious

The Frangipani reception, conference, and exercise facility is almost finished and looks really nice. They did a good job.

.Look for an anouncement regarding Viceroy toward the end of the year

Klassic Kafe may reopen in the near future !! Can't say any more as it's not a done deal and I don't want to reveal names.

Finally--Getting to AXA is getting harder and harder and more expensive for us Senior Citizens Airfare was almost as much as 10 nights at TN. Going via SXM is out for us as we both have leg problems and climbing on and off ferries and shuttles is pretty much out. Could do AXA Air Services but their schedules don't mesh and would require an SXM overnight one or both ways. THe last three times we did Axa Air express which worked well and the cheapest to fly in. Cape Air is more expensive and they don't land in AXA till 6:35 PM which is a bummer. Tradewinds wasn't flying in June as it seems they move some of their planes to New England for the summer Was hoping Winair would do a couple of SJU/AXA round trips a day but that seems to be a non starter now. Don't know why Liat isn't interested. They now fly from St Thomas to AXA and ANU. Why not SJU. Seems the AXA Government only really cares about the rich high rollers who can fly in in their private planes and pay the exorbitant fees. Maybe the new Gov't will address the issue. Hope springs eternal

That's it for now. Have to get to work on my Dec AXA must do list. Ha!!!

Philadelphia
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for Anguilla
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1. Re: Trip Report 6-16 June

Thanks Howard. Mysterious about Viceroy so I guess we will have to wait and see.

Sorry to see Meads getting congested down at that end too. Looks like we'll miss you again as we'll be there in Nov...too bad. So nice having Straw Hat so close to TN.

Thanks again.

Philadelphia...
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2. Re: Trip Report 6-16 June

Howard miluv:

Loved your report and you sound like us! We are also now "veggers" after years of doing all the island stuff. We have the 'tude of "been there/done that" and like sticking pretty much to our environs and revisiting our favorite chow places. We also like keeping a low profile. It all goes so darn fast.

Ah yes, Meads Bay is beginning to look like Shoal Bay. Very loud and busy during the day. But I admit to enjoying the people watching while lunching at Straw Hat. OTOH, Blanchard's Beach Shack keeps calling to us and so far (that's SO FAR!) we haven't had the waiting and crowd problems at lunchtime that others complain about.

C'mon Howard! What's the skinny on Viceroy's announcement? Inquiring minds...

Be sure to tell G we sent a big hug.

:-)

Devon, Pennsylvania
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3. Re: Trip Report 6-16 June

Thanks, Howard. Nice Report. We always say, "next time, we'll do..." but somehow, we end up not doing much but our favorite spots for dinner and lunch and hanging in for most lunches. It's nice, though, isn't it!!

Maybe this year we'll get places we say we are going to because we'll be staying in the Barnes Bay area, which we've never done before and staying longer but, odds are, we'll end up "vegging" too. Hey, isn't that's what AXA is for?

Las Vegas, Nevada
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for Anguilla, The Valley
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4. Re: Trip Report 6-16 June

Howard, we have tapered down too, spent more time at home this past trip and really enjoyed it, it was wonderful to veg and relax, got take out, and it was lovely just sitting on the porch, watching the ocean and enjoying the quiet.

We had a problem with Cape Air and the wheelchair, they did not send a pickup and we were stranded at the terminal door, thank heavens we had a long layover.

Turtles Nest always seems great to me, great location and that beach area is one of the best on Meads - no berm, would love to stay there if we could get a ground floor - very difficult for DH to do stairs.

I have heard, don't know if it is true, that allegedly, BBS pays Viceroy to send customers to them, hence they walk right by OE, such a shame as we think it is terrific. They have some of the best loungers around and their food and service is great, we have been there for lunch and dinner and have no complaints. It is one of the few places that has a ramp type entrance into the restaurant, great for the handicapped.

You hit many of our favs, we did manage to make it to Barrel Stay last trip, and it was as good as usual.

Went to Valley Bistro a few years ago, and while the food was good, the clientele hanging around left a lot to be desired, I spoke with Scott Hauser (Sotheby's) about it, and he assured me they had cleaned up their act, sounds as it that is true. We will give it another try.

Can never say enough good about Gerauds and Straw Hat, we love them both, and Jacala too, it is always the best meal of our trip.

Interesting about Mallihouana, they had a job fair today, hiring for their Nov opening.

Meads Bay has gotten so busy, we have not been there in a while, it was always so peaceful and quiet, things change, not always for the better.

Good news about Klassic - that is a cute little spot with good prices - hope they do open again.

I cannot agree more about getting to AXA, my DH is in a wheelchair - difficult for him to get on and off boats, so we have been flying in and out of SJU but 5 hr layovers are killer. Wish the Gov would really look into the options of getting people to the island.

Thanks for your review Howard, it was really great, and I thank you for all your time, don't forget, if you are looking to adopt, I am available :-)

Ellen

New York
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5. Re: Trip Report 6-16 June

Howard, love your reports as you always have a great time! Thanks for the updates and oh boy you have me

very curious about Viceroy. We also have a big to do list to try other places but we tend to go back to our favorites again and again. Glad you had good weather!

Baltimore, Maryland
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6. Re: Trip Report 6-16 June

Loved your post, Howard! We haven't been to AXA nearly as many times as you or others on the forum, but we also keep going back to old favorites and don't do much but rest/relax at Frangi during the day. We traveled around from beach to beach during our first times there, now just prefer to stay put. CAP really put us in that mode--hard to leave their beach! We know we'll have to change the things we do once we get to retirement in a few years--we'll look at Turtle's Nest this trip! We'll have to change the way we eat as well!

Hatfield...
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7. Re: Trip Report 6-16 June

I loved reading your newsy post, Howard. I heard you about airfare--it's become a little out of control.

Thanks for taking us along for the ride--you've definitely got me wanting to try the Valley Bistro again. I heard somewhere that it was the chef from Big Spring who is there now, and our meal at Big Spring is the best value meal we've ever eaten on the island.

Leesburg, Florida
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8. Re: Trip Report 6-16 June

Emily--The chef from Big Spring--Ken--is at The Pumphouse for the time being. Everyone says their food has really improved--Stay Tuned. Looking forward to your report

Las Vegas, Nevada
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for Anguilla, The Valley
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9. Re: Trip Report 6-16 June

Pumphouse food is terrific since Chef Ben took over, have not had one bad meal there, and they are now open for lunch and dinner.

Ellen

Baltimore, Maryland
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10. Re: Trip Report 6-16 June

Will have to give Pumphouse a try this year for dinner! Where is Valley Bistro?