Day One: May 22nd
Talk about a comedy (sort of) of errors. We weren’t laughing at the time, but now it’s pretty entertaining. If I believed in signs, I’d say that the world was trying to prevent my father and I from getting to the islands. But we showed em wrong!
Kris, Rob, Val, Dad and I arrived to Dulles at 6am to check in for our 8:15am flight to San Juan and subsequetnlty St Thomas. Dad’s baggage check wouldn’t go through and the SLOWEST woman in the universe was handling the issue for us. Time kept ticking away as we waiting at the counter for her to figure out the problem. We resolved it at 7:45… the plane leaves at 8:15! Dropping off Dad’s bag and the urn became another nightmare in that TSA wanted to check and double check that it was okay to check remains… seriously? Have you never done this before? So that took another 10 minutes. Dad and I took off on a sprint to security. We had sent K, Rob and Val ahead of us so at least they could make the flight. They staged a sit-in for us and tried to hold them from closing the doors. However, if any of you know Dulles, you know how friggin big it is. Security took forever, and then the tram, and then walking to the gate. Kris texted me a countdown of how long they were willing to wait to us. We were sprinting down the terminal when she texted “final boarding!” I swore we weren’t going to make it. And I embarrassed myself with how out of shape I am (though it didn’t help to have a 20lb bag on my back and sandals on. LoL. But we made it JUST as they were closing the doors. Thank God.
San Juan weather was awful ...
We flew on a Cessna airplane which was just a 10-seater. Poor dad had to wait for the next flight out which was supposed to leave at the same time. Kris was lucky enough to sit in the cockpit area up front with our pilot, Shaun. He was a gem and a helluva pilot. J The flight was nice. I really don’t get super nervous on small planes. I just say a prayer and enjoy the view. What else can you do!? But the flight from Puerto Rico was fast, and the weather cleared up. Now the issue was dad’s flight was delayed, and Kristen’s bag and Joan’s urn had not arrived with our jet.
Thank God in heaven that when dad arrived an hour later, K’s bag and Joan’s urn were there. A stop at the rum store seemed to be fitting at that point. PS: they give you free shots of rum in the airport. This place is awesome.
We drove out to the “resort” to settle in. They mixed up the reservation and ended up giving us two suites on opposite sides of the complex. So dad and I are staying over here in building F, and Rob, Val and Kris are in building A. We’re staying at a place called Sapphire Resort, in Red Hook not too far from the car ferry docks. The resort looks like it was once quite grand, but that the years and the weather has worn it down a bit. I’m not complaining though. Both of our suites are newly renovated and pretty nice as a whole! However, the ones right down the row from us are not renovated and I don’t think even are rented out currently. But regardless of the “fixer-upper” state of the resort, the grounds on the beach are incredible.
After a long and stressful day of travel, we headed out to Sunset Grille for a fancy dinner. Oh dear friends, it was amazing. I got a conch salad to start and a Bushwacker to drink (my new favorite!). For dinner I got crab stuffed Mahi Mahi with broccolini. Everyone got something different so we all took bites from one another. What a decadent and delicious dinner! For dessert I got a strawberry cheesecake which was out of sight! It was a very pricey meal, but Dad treated us, and I swear even if I paid for it all… it was worth every penny. So delish! Our waiter, Dylan, was a nice guy from New York who moved down here to St. Thomas about a year back. He made bank off of our table alone.
After dinner we settled back into our suites and turned it in for the night. Dad was concerned that he’d wake me up too early in the morning so he decided to sleep downstairs on the pull-out couch and sent me up to the master suite with a king sized bed and private bath and balcony. Now before you think “what a brat” I swear to you I fought him on it and continued to ask to switch. But the man refused and when he refuses, you pretty much have to give up. So here I sit, diagonally across a king sized bed writing this on my laptop and listening to the rain hit the window. After a long, stressful day, it was so nice to see everything came together and we got to end the evening on an awesome high note… a feast of exotic foods at a high-end resort, 10 feet from the Caribbean Sea. I’d call that a success. Tomorrow: shopping!
Cheers and sore feet,