Tuesday November 5, 2002 (cont.): From there we went to check out Upper Shoal Bay (where Serenity restaurant is) in the daylight. We drove to the restaurant only to remember it is closed on Tuesday. The stairs and path down to the beach were chained off so we turned to leave. At that point Kenneth - the owner of Serenity (and also Old House) - came up and personally escorted us through the restaurant and down to the beach. We stopped and had a Diet Coke at Gwen's where she was a delightful hostess. We then walked around the point to Shoal Bay East. The water was too choppy for snorkeling and the beach was too crowded for us so we headed back to our car.
From there we drove up to Captains Bay where my new adoptive parents live (I just have to convince them they want to adopt a slightly used 40-something). What a house! It's hard to get the scale from the picture unless you look carefully and see the jeep parked toward the right side of the house.
We drove around the eastern tip of the island - close to Windward Point but not quite all the way there. From there we headed down the south side and stopped at Palm Grove. We snorkeled a bit (was not impressed) then headed into the restaurant to try some of Nat's famous johnny cakes. We never had any on our trip in February and now realize what we were missing. We ordered seconds and sat there drinking our Diet Cokes and talking to Nat. Turns out he used to live in Columbia, Missouri and still has 2 sons living there! And he has a brother that lives in Fulton, Missouri! Yet another Missouri connection.
Since we couldn't make it to Mimis Bay in our rental car in February we decided to head down there in our nifty 4x4 Suzuki. We were walking around and we hear someone calling Hi! Hi! It was Tamika - our server from Serenity restaurant the previous night! She and her brother (I can't remember her brother's name) were there to check his crayfish traps. We walked with them and watched him check his traps while Tamika (she is SUCH a sweetheart!) told us some interesting history of Mimis Bay and Sile Bay. She was telling me things that I had never read in all the research I had done. She told us how those 2 bays used to be very popular until a hurricane destroyed the roads and they were never rebuilt. Other things I can't remember - I need to start carrying a note pad with me :-)
Her brother brought up his trap with 3 crayfish and a parrot fish inside. He then filled us in on how to best cook the crayfish, where most people go wrong when the do try to cook them, etc. He then SO nicely offered us his fresh catch! We politely declined as we knew neither of us would take the time to cook them but that was SO sweet!
We went back to the villa and tried to get in a quick snorkel at Sandy Hill Bay. We snorkeled a bit but there was not enough daylight left so see anything.
Went back to the villa, showered and changed for dinner. Had a GREAT meal at Pumphouse. I had the steak burrito (yummy!) and Mike had a bacon cheeseburger. A couple of Diet Cokes and our bill was $40. You should make sure you are on island time before dining here - the service is very good but is not at all fast. But the food is definitely worth the wait! Pumphouse is on our every trip list.
We went to Straw Hat for dessert on the way back to the villa. Mike is a very picky eater and looked at the menu once and didn't think there was anything he would eat so we have never dined there. But I hear so much about the setting and how wonderfully located it is that we wanted to go there. Even though we were just having dessert we were given a primo table right at the water's edge. The owner Peter came to our table and we had a very nice conversation with him. He told us that an octopus lives right under the table at which we were seated. We looked out the window off and on all evening but never saw it. I was very impressed with the exceptional way we were treated even though we were not eating a full meal there. The service was very attentive and pretty much perfect! I had a dessert called Chocolate Indulgence and Mike had Carmelized Bananas. Both were delicious! A Diet Coke and a bottle of water and a bill of $35. Definitely worth the trip!
We went home, watched a little tv, sat on the terrace and looked at the lights of St. Martin, then fell asleep to the sound of the ocean.
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