Sunday, May 6, 2012

Another St. John Adventure Begins!

We’re off on our annual St. John adventure.  Because the hotels were so expensive near the Boston airport, we decided to be decadent and have a limo take four of us to the airport.  Only, it wasn’t supposed to be a “real” limo; we were supposed to be picked up by their Escalade since we had so much luggage (remember, we transport almost all our food).  At 2am the driver arrived in a real limo.  Needless to say, our luggage didn’t fit, so we were in the back of the vehicle with three large hard suitcases.  For Donna and me there was no problem.  We just stretched our legs out across the one suitcase.  6’ Frank and 6’2” David were a wee bit cramped.  I did appreciate the gleaming crystal wine glasses, softly piped in music, and the constantly changing tubular lighting around the roof.  Since we had all basically stayed up until 2, we dozed during the 2 ½ hour trip.  The black-suited driver was mortified, but we gave him a healthy tip anyway.  It wasn’t his fault; the owner had decided to “treat” us.  From the ticket counter to the Jetblue flight to Puerto Rico, all went well…. Except that we had the “children from hell” sitting behind us.  A family group, numbering 10 in all, were letting these kids scream, wail on each other, kick our seats, etc.  Forget sleeping; I couldn’t even hear the movie.  Finally, after giving the mother the dirtiest look I could muster, several times, I called the attendant.  She was sympathetic and moved Donna and me to the exit row where we finished out flight in silence.  When we were in leaving mode, the man behind us leaned forward and whispered, “We were going to kick your seat a few times, but you didn’t seem in the mood for a joke.”

At Puerto Rico we had a two-hour layover.  My, but that airport has grown over the two decades we’ve been coming down here, and they’re adding another terminal just for Jetblue (which makes me very happy since they are my most favorite airlines).  We transferred to a six-seater Cape Air Leer jet (that comment is for you, JR).  All my life I’ve been scared-to-death of small planes, but the short hop to St. Thomas was wonderful.  Being completed surrounded by windows and flying 1,000’ above the ocean and small islands was surreal.  As we landed, I felt like I was playing with a flight simulator because we were so close to the pilot and could see the landing strip approaching head-on.  There had actually been seven passengers, so one sat in the co-pilot seat (I tried not to think about the implications of that); when we deplaned, he told us the pilot had said a number of times, “Don’t touch anything.”  Thankfully, he was obedient.

We picked up our red Escape (KF), loaded all our luggage, except the one piece that didn’t make it, and headed across the island to the car ferry.  With just minutes to spare, we backed onto the ferry and made the short trip to St. John.  We were so tired, we didn’t even leave the car.  The car ferry docks only minutes from where we stay.  Frank kept repeating his mantra—“stay on the left, stay on the left.”  Unlike Britain, not only do St. Johnians drive on the left, their steering wheels are on the left.

When we arrived at the Westin, we were thrilled to see that our villa had had an exterior makeover, and much of the vegetation had been replaced.  The pergola over the hot tub, also known as “lizard lounge” because the iguanas would lie (SM) on the top before dropping into the Jacuzzi, is now gone, and the gas grill which had been fueled by propane bottles had been replaced by a built in grill.  The placement is a bit odd as it is now installed just inside the door instead of under a roof near the kitchen, but I suspect that had something to do with the gas lines.

There’s not much else to report.  After we put the food away, I went to take a little nap (5:30ish) and awoke this morning at 7:30.  Frank was already up and working on SOLO stuff.  Frank aka Mr. Energizer Bunny was in the pool here last night and is now down at the Westin beach while the rest of us are still semi-comatose.

I don’t want to mention the bright sunshine, gorgeous blue sky, palm trees swaying in the light breeze, or the air redolent with scents of various flowers…. How did I do with clichés (PL)? Nor will I comment on the clear, turquoise waters of the Caribbean.

Now that we’re out of NH, the weather should turn to summer…. At least there are no black flies here.    I learned from Verizon that I can text and receive texts at no charge, but calls are $1.99 minute, both making and receiving calls and that includes listening to voice mail.  If you need to reach me, please text.  I call SOLO daily, and you’re welcome to leave a message there.  Miss you all.       

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