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dougtamjj
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February 11, 2009 12:32 am  

We will be home back on island in less than 24 hours. Doesn't quite seem real. We had a big family cook out tonight and the weather here in Norfolk Virginia was a beautiful 74 today so it was a wonderful evening. I only have a few more things to do before going to bed. Saying goodbye was hard. My youngest daughter was watching me say goodbye to my new baby grandson and bursted into tears. I said oh shit which JJ repeated several times. I told her to stop crying because unlike her I don't look dewy eyed and beautiful after heart wrenching sobs but red faced and swollen eyes. I could not help but cry as well. So hard to leave family especially a new grandson. I cannot wait to get back to STX where I feel so at home but at this moment it is bitter sweet.


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aquaponics
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February 11, 2009 9:41 am  

"Do you really think they're not told to buy in Sint Maarten or other islands?"

I know they are often told to NOT buy in STX as they step off the ship, because STT or StMaarten has better prices.

"Do you really think that all the merchants on STT advertise on the ships?"

NO

"And what about the merchants on STT who do NOT advertise on the ships? They're open when ships are in & up to now are making a living so obviously ship passengers are buying from them."

as I said STT is a different story, they cater to tourists because they have ships on a regular basis.

"I don't mean to be harsh but if stores can't bother opening after all the whining about no ships coming to STX then they deserve what they get which is nothing. Unfortunately, that hurts the ones who are trying to attract the business. Friends I have in retail say not all days are wonderful but if you judge by just one or 2 days then you're not a very smart retailer & if nobody's buying anything maybe you need to look at what you're selling or your prices."

Trade, at times we have gone years without a cruiseship. Maybe that's why all our stores don't cater to the tourist industry. i don't think the owners that are closed on cruise ship days are the ones whining. As far as deserving what they gets, Ive heard many retailers say they don't care one iota about cruise ship passengers coming. Again, when they are told not to spend money shopping here it usually result in more one or 2 bad days of sales. I think it has a bit more to do with what they are selling or the price.

I still stand my position that mandatory opening on cruise ship days is not in the best interests of all businesses on STX.


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Trade
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February 11, 2009 9:46 am  

I don't believe in mandatory opening either but you're sure not going to sell anything if you're not open.

Tam, glad you'll be back home.


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divinggirl
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February 11, 2009 10:47 am  

Trade - I know someone who was working on the dock for a cruise ship and overheard passengers saying that they shouldn't buy in STX because STT was the next stop. I just came back from a cruise where we were told exactly that. Don't buy (jewelry, leather goods, whatever) on this stop, wait until tomorrow when we dock in "destination X" as they have better deals. When I looked at the newsletter for that day there were no merchants in it advertising for that particular type of item. Meaning, the merchants on that island don't pay the cruise ships to advertise to the passengers but on the next island they do. Every day there is a shopping guide seminar for the next day's destination. The cruise ships definitely do their best to influence where the passengers spend their money.


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Bombi
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February 11, 2009 11:09 am  

Have a safe trip Tami and family. welcome home


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aquaponics
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February 11, 2009 12:21 pm  

welcome back Tami. My Dad is leaving Norfolk tomorrow to come to STX to visit his granddaughter...


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Trade
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February 11, 2009 4:38 pm  

My whole point was, if you're not open you're not going to get any business.


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aquaponics
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February 11, 2009 5:04 pm  

I see your point Trade, but the case in STX is often if you do stay open you very well may not get any business. Subtract payroll, wapa, and pay yourself and it's often a losing situation.


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Betty
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February 11, 2009 5:17 pm  

It will most likely be a loosing proposition for a while. But if you don't try it for at least a year I don't know how we on stx would know that.

I think the owners should at least open their shops on cruise ship days. Most of our retail stores are small and can be run by one person. They can always take a day or a half day off during the week or whenever they want. Its like a dinner restaurant trying lunch for one month and then say business wasn't good enough and stopping. It takes a long time to build up a reputation. You have to try something for a longer period to really see what the result will be. STX definitely has a few unique stores. We have some great artisians like Jan Mitchell, IB designs, etc...

I think many of stx retailers are blowing it. You can not be afraid of long hours if you own your own business. Especially here. In a year or so when we start to feel the slow down from stateside, these retailers will be crying again.


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islandtyme
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February 11, 2009 5:52 pm  

Close on Sundays is ok if business is slow, but if a cruise ship is in port, then we should most definitely be open!
It was a short day........11AM - 2:30 PM (peak hrs)........you can both sleep in & make the beach later!
The ship passengers may not be buying much on their short pass thru, but they might want to come back for a week or longer!! Then they are a captive audience, and will shop at those cute lil stores they remembered from the cruise. The 1st yr Will be hard, but the benefits in the long run are the prise we should keep our eyes on!!!
Ghost towns & hefty cab fares will be the final nail in the casket........


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mydream
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February 11, 2009 8:10 pm  

Someone needs to contact whomever is over the guy standing in the doorway of the ship, telling the passengers to wait to spend there monies elsewhere and let them know whats going on.I don't feel it's right that this is happening and if I owned a shop on STX i would contact the cruise line. The ships employees should not be telling this unless they are ask by a passenger. That's like standing out side a shop telling people not to buy johns apples because Jonas apples next door are better. And back to open or not open on cruise ship days, i would rather make ten dollars as to making nothing, and if money is tight(can't pay an employee to run the shop) then why not run it yourself. Hey it's only your business, I'm sure it puts food on the table. I for one would not want to let my fellow business owners down. Just my thoughts.........


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Trade
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February 11, 2009 9:10 pm  

You have some great shops in STX, It;s very pleasant to shop there & I hope it all works out. Frankly, I don't think people are sheep & will totally listen to what some yahoo on board says. I'm smarter than that & don't think I'm any smarter than most potential customers. The problem will be convincing the shop owners to give it a go. I hear business is slow here as well as far as the ships go & that many will be closing their doors.


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dougtamjj
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February 12, 2009 12:32 am  

We are finally home after 4 months off island. 5 months for hubby. It is a very surreal feeling. We stopped at the store after arriving to get some staples for the night and then came home to drop off our luggage. The house looked ok but our trees took quite a beating from Omar and I have quite a bit of weeding to do. We went to Deep End for dinner so JJ could hunt some crabs. I think he found about 20 of them within 15 minutes. After dinner we came home. JJ built a habitat for his crabs and then played with his hamster, Charlie, even taking Charlie to bed with him. It was colder than I expected. I had dressed in summer clothes for the trip home and froze to death on the plane. I expected to be swamped by the heat when we landed but kept my jacket on because of all the wind. I imagine the kite boarders are in heaven. I also thought that with all the wind that there would be no mosquitoes. Wrong. I have 4 bites already. I spayed JJ down with deet before he went to bed. I am happy to be home but I don't feel like I am home yet. Only dreaming.


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Trade
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February 12, 2009 8:39 am  

Welcome back, Tam! Can't wait to hear more JJ stories.


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terry
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February 12, 2009 11:47 am  

Someone earlier hit it. They are getting a kickback form the shop owners on the other islands.
I know that the dive operator who gets the ships business from aboard ship booked Scuba trips has to kick back 30% to the ships.
They are not allowed to raise their rates above their normal rates. That's a lot of money!
I know that the dive shop right by the pier passed up on this offer / stick-up and is hoping too make out on the people who did not book trips while on board.
In the ships defence, in the case of a Scuba trip, the passengers are assured that a boat will be waiting for them. In the case of shopping, the passengers are assured that the shops will be open. How would it look to the passengers if the ship were to tell them what great deals and shopping they may find, only to have the shop closed. They are looking out for their customer relations as well.


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aquaponics
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February 12, 2009 11:48 am  

Surprised a thread didn't come up here about the indiscriminate shooting two nights ago in Mon Bijou into residential areas. Bullet holes all over individual houses. Automatic weapons...

Yesterday during investigations the local PD found an Ak47, 2 shotguns and a cache of ammo laying in the bush behind some of the houses. At least those out now off the street and the police say arrests are forthcoming... I hope!


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dougtamjj
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February 12, 2009 12:04 pm  

Thanks for the welcome home everyone. I am still pinching myself as it doesn't seem real. We woke up to a beautiful sunny day with cool breezes. How wonderful. JJ is happily play with all his toys that he has not seen in months. He has already raced his new crabs trying to find the fastest one. Daughter was so happy to have us home. It has been hard taking care of the house and animals all by herself. I am ready to start cleaning the house and attacking the weeds that have taken over. Hopefully we will get a beach day before our container arrives with solar panels and new windows. That is when the real work will begin. We have decided to wait a week or two before putting JJ back into school so he can adjust to being back. Not quite sure where we will enroll him. If he wasn't missing other children so much I would probably just home school the rest of the year.

Tam


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dougtamjj
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February 13, 2009 1:18 am  

Hey Beth, what are you guys doing this Sunday. We thought we would go west. Love to see the two of you. I have lots of good books coming in our container and Doug has some cool new tools.


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dougtamjj
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February 14, 2009 1:07 pm  

Happy Valentines Day everyone.
I spent yesterday doing a big grocery shop and hacking back the bush and weeds that have taken over our yard in the last 4 months. I spent $750 at the grocery and managed to pick my jaw up off the floor. I don't know why the sticker shock was so bad after living here going on 3 years. Too much time back in the states I guess. I consoled myself with that was a months worth of food and I would only be going back to the store for milk and bread for the next month.

Our container was stopped in customs in Florida but was released yesterday and put on the boat. We should have it by Tuesday barring any further complications. That is when the real work will begin installing new windows and solar panels.

We went to jump up last night with our daughter. It was amazing how many people she knows. Never more than 10 minutes went by without someone coming up to speak with her. We got to meet a lot of people including divingirl. It was a pleasure. Hubby has pneumonia and is only on his 3rd day of antibiotics but wanted to go with us. After about 2 hours I could see he was wearing down so I suggested we go home. He said he didn't want to be a party pooper but the relief on his face was obvious. Poor guy. JJ is coughing pretty bad as well. Time for some down time for those two. While we were walking around downtown JJ was saying hello and chatting with anyone who would listen. On the way home he said mommy this is a nice town we should stay here. I agree.

Since we have been home JJ has made a habitat for about 20 crabs a baby toad and a couple of lizards. We have a large aquarium coming in the container and he is so excited about having a salt water aquarium. I am hoping his great interest in animal and sea life will continue especially through the teenage years. When my older boys were teenagers we got them a project car to work on to try and stifle the raging hormones. JJ however shows an increasing interest in girls that surprises me at his age. He gets all dreamy and silly around the ladies. Last night he told his sister that she was totally hot. I am sure he got that from hanging around all the young men who work at my shop. The great love of his life right now is Steve Irwins daughter, Bindi the jungle girl. He says that he is going to find her and marry her because she has lizards and snakes and she lives in a tree house. He added that when he marries her that we have to stay with him as well. I guess we will have to see how Bindi feels about that. lol


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dougtamjj
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February 14, 2009 4:06 pm  

It seems as though I am hijacking this thread.

So I was unpacking JJs suitcase and had an armful of clothes. I was carrying them to his room and out crawls a big centiped from the clothes in my arms. I jumped up and down a couple of times while trying to scream. No sound was coming out of my mouth. Finally I threw all the clothes and yelled for hubby. I know I am a big wimp when it comes to centipeds. Now I don't want to unpack anymore.

JJ and hubby are now playing with the centiped. I need a drink.


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islandtyme
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February 14, 2009 5:11 pm  

JJ and hubby are now playing with the centiped. I need a drink.
LOL.............Agree with the drink! Centipeds are freakish!


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up
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February 14, 2009 5:47 pm  

Anybody know what's going on in Havensight this afternoon? Cruisers with sirens blaring and a couple of vehicles from the bomb disposal squad....all turned into Havensight.


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trw
 trw
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February 14, 2009 6:44 pm  

major drama up here in lavallee a few days ago the dea was buzzing my yard and the bush surrounding my land looking for pot plants,apparently all the unsolved murders here have been solved,it took them 2 days to helicopter over an acre of land, LOL and so after scaring my dogs for two days they found nothing as far as i know,and then i got to work the same day and the old time drug dealer came in for soup and told me there had been an ak-47 shootout at 3 in the afternoon over in mon bijou (more of that self cleaning oven thing). Then the gov's assistant came in and i suggested that the 200 million we might get from the feds go towards a new "green" wapa plant on the south shore instead of more housing projects and food stamps,and last night hugo(ton ton macoute thug with bling)hodge came in and yelled at my boss about his anti wapa signs and my boss yelled back and then the thug stomped out LOL good entertainment,we were so busy last night we sold over 100 gyros outside on the street,so everyone we need to start the campaigne for a green wapa with the stimulus money


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aquaponics
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February 14, 2009 8:02 pm  

trw, I heard about those gyros...ya famous!


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trw
 trw
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February 14, 2009 8:14 pm  

yes they are quite good,i have one about 3 times a week,oh the new soap place is going to be called the bubble bistro,the labor commissioner was in for lunch with his daughter one day and we laughed about the demmansay website and how awlful it was and how he was listed as about to lose his job or be reassigned,i'm hearing alot of complaints about the service at a strand street restaurant,we have the nicest young couple here on island for 2 weeks,they are stationed in southern iraq and came here for their vacation and the first night they came in for dinner i introduced them to one of my favorite lawyers and he picked up their tab


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