A couple of weeks ago, we went away. We loaded one suitcase with mine and hubby’s clothes and paraphernalia for a week at the beach. We loaded a smaller suitcase with the same for the teenager. I sorted and arranged all the stuff for the younger kids and my mother-in-law put those in her big suitcase with her clothes. We packed a carry on of stuff we couldn’t survive the night without and a carry on of toys and books to occupy us all on the plane ride. We crowded into the van and drove to Atlanta.
We flew to St Thomas with little aggravation. The airport there doesn’t have those cool tunnels going from the gate to the plane though. So we deplaned onto some slippery stairs in the rain and walked across the tarmac to the airport. The airport also doesn’t really have walls. it is a bit surreal. We gathered all of our luggage and caught a taxi. This is not a taxi like I am used to. Not a four door sedan painted black and yellow. This was a big van that held 12 people and all their luggage too. We drove across the island to the ferry. The island is quite hilly and the roads are very narrow and they drive on the wrong side! I was nauseous the whole way. So was my middle child. He is the only other one who can’t read in the car either.
We loaded up on th ferry, still in the rain. Most of the ferry is covered and there is bench seating. But the windows are open air and we still managed to get rained on. The ferry trip is only about 20 or 30 minutes and then we arrived at St John. The island of our destination. We caught another weird taxi. This time it was a pickup truck with benches bolted into the bed and a tarp type cover attached. So, we continued to get rained on. Again with the narrow roads and hills and nausea. The island is beautiful though.
God, this is not a good blog entry. We spent a week at St. John’s. There was a frak-ton of sand. The beach and ocean were pretty much straight outside our door. Maybe 60 feet from the door to the water. There were fantastic green trees and shrubs everywhere. Weird ugly bits of fruit fell from some. Coconuts from others.
It rained every single day we were there. but it did so intermittently. It would be pretty clear and warm and then 5 minutes later a huge deluge would come through and last 20 or 30 minutes. Then it would peter out and be nice again for a while. After we came home we found out we were in the outer edge of a storm system that turned into Hurricane Alex. Luckily, we only got some rain and no actual hurricane stuff.
It was so hot I could hardly breathe sometimes. I sweated every minute I was there. An occilating fan screwed to the wall does not make much difference in the kind of heat you deal with in the Caribbean in the summer. There was sand everywhere. I bathed often, but could never quite get clean. I swam a little and snorkeled some. The fish are so colorful and the coral is so interesting. And the coral is within walking distance of the shore. All the kids snorkeled too. They had so much fun.
The kids all slept in one room with my mother-in-law. That was an amazingly nice perk. We had two rooms, cabins kind of. Each had four twin beds in it. She took all the kids the whole trip and let hubby and I have total privacy at night, every night. It was sweet. Too hot to cuddle, but sweet anyway. The kids woke up at sunrise and got covered with sunblock and went straight to the beach part every morning. They spent nearly all day long, every day, from sunrise to sunset, playing on the beach and in the shallow part of the water. They built several sand “castles” every day. They loved the trip. They were so happy and playful and they had so much fun that they hardly even fought!
I read 6 books on the trip. I was bitten approximately 200 times by mosquitoes. We had some spray to keep the bugs off, but they loved the taste of it and bit me even more when I was wearing it! The meals were reasonable. Not too much stuff that was weird or inedible. Nothing very healthy either, but I managed. The showers were little rock-walled stalls with no roofs. The shower head came out of one wall and had a little rope pull. To get water, you had to be pulling the rope. When you let go, the water stopped. And there was no hot water. A weeks worth of cold, inferior, low-pressure showers. *shudder* The sunblock and sand and bug spray didn’t get off completely until after we got back home.
This is so rambly. One evening, hubby and I took a taxi over to the place where the ferry docks. There is a little town there. We had dinner and wandered through the shops. I had only brought one pair of shoes with me. they were slip-on sandals with leather uppers. The rain everyday had ruined them. They wouldn’t dry out! I had to buy shoes in town and I spent $50 on a pair of Reef brand slip-on sandals. They aren’t even pretty! But they are comfy and they aren’t leather or cloth and they were dry in the mornings after being rained on during the day before.
*shrug* I don’t know. I was hot and dirty and kind of miserable. But it was a very nice trip and I read a lot and the water was lovely and the snorkeling was nice. We made it back home without any incidents. The kids were well-behaved on the plane. I washed four loads of laundry the night we got home. And I lived through the trip without losing my mind or killing anyone.
Did I cover everything?