Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you. -- Carl Sandburg
There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

January 31, 2013

Boogie Board

This is not me or the BIL or St Thomas but it is bodyboarding
Today, we stayed at the hotel and tried the boogie boards again.  I think we got the hang of it.  When you do it right and catch the wave right, they send you smoothly into the shore.  Great fun and decent exercise too.  Lots of misses too.  I think it works if I wait for the water to drop low, then hop on the board because the wave following the big drop is a big one.  More than once, a big wave following really drenched me on the sand.  This is a good way to get a lot of sand inside one's clothing.

The Day of the Iguana and Gorilla Feet

While walking around the resort, we came upon a large family of iguanas. Later, we found a few of them at the end of the beach.  They are funny critters.  One came right up to me and looked at me expectantly.  I suspect he had been fed by people.  They eat leaves and are nice lizards unless scared, then they use their long tail as a whip.  On the beach, an obnoxious non-English speaker got a long stick and started hassling the poor lizard.  I don't know why some people are mean to peaceful animals.  I objected but it made no difference to him.  Don't know why the movie said night of the iguana - they only seem to be out during the day.

Another Day in Another Paradise

Wednesday we ventured to St. John, the small volcanic island just to the east of St. Thomas.  We drove down to the east end off St. Thomas for the car ferry, or more accurately, vehicle ferry.  The Hundai Sonata that we rented is very low to the ground and I did a poor job of following directions and scraped the bottom horribly backing onto it.  The Ferry guy did a great job trying to direct me but I didn't fully understand his signals.  He had me back into a slot between a mini van and a big semi truck.  At least 2 more panel trucks were also on the ferry.  This is a work horse ferry  It is a short trip across the channel to St. John.  Coming off, I drove off at an angle and did a lot better with the bottom.

January 29, 2013

a day in paradise

Today in St. Thomas, we had a few rain showers and it seems to be cruise ship Tuesday. There were a lot of boats out there.  I lost count of all the cruise ships we saw coming and going after about the 6th or 7th one.  They still had a few leave after dark - all lit up like a Christmas tree.  They are really massive!  Some of the primary ship lanes are right in front of our hotel.  Plus a lot of sailboats, water taxis, tourist boats, pirate sail boats, a huge yacht being ushered out of the harbor by a pilot boat.  It was a steady stream all day.  I suppose all those cruise ships added a lot of extra traffic as people piled out to do things in a frenetic pace to see the island.

In the morning, my BIL and I ventured out to find a drugstore to get my sister some Zyrtec for her allergies.  We headed for the town, Charlotte Amalie, and encountered a long traffic jam that took forever to get thru.  Went about 2 miles an hour.  My guess is the cruise ships were the cause of that too.  We found the KMart and got the drug.  Outside, were dozens of people sitting with their computers. KMart has free wi-fi.  To get back, I opted to go up the hill and over around the other side to get back.  It's starting to look familiar now.  It was longer but took less time because traffic was less.  I still only added another 5 miles to the car total.  This place is small.

In the afternoon, my BIL and I tried an ocean kayak with marginal success.  Turned out we were in it backwards which the guy didn't tell us until we got back.  We only were in in about 15 minutes.  Even so, the sea was a little rougher today but it is quite stable.  Then we tried a boogie board. It's a floater about 3' long.  I have seen people use them to body surf with.  It took some tries before I got it to stay under me.  Then, I just went around in an oval with the waves.   Physics works just like they said in class - a particle in a wave goes around in an oval but stays in the same place as the energy moves thru the water.   I finally figured out that you only go forward in the cresting wave on the board.  With the single crest just a few feet from the shore, it doesn't give a very long surf distance.  But it was fun.

In the evening, the hotel listed a rum tasting and salsa dancing at the nearby restaurant.  But when I asked, the server didn't know about it.  She checked and they were supposed to but no one showed up to do it.  The server gave us a little of the Cruzan rum flavors in pineapple, coconut, and mango anyway.  The people who work  for the hotel are exceedingly nice.  They were good - very smooth rum.

Tomorrow, we plan to take the ferry across to St John.  I'll put some pics in when the wi-fi is better.

January 28, 2013

St. Thomas

My sister and brother-in-law flew into DC Friday night in a little snowstorm.  I drove to the airport to get them for a quick overnight at my house, then back to the airport early Saturday morning.  I was happy to get a break from the winter chill that had set in.  My BIL didn't have a seat assignment but my sister and I did.  I dropped them off at the gate where my BIL got a seat in short order and my sister got a wheelchair. I circled back to park the car, hop on the shuttle, wait in the long line to check in, wait in the long line for security, get xrayed (when are those machines getting decommissioned?), wait for the shuttle to the far terminal, wait to get a cup of coffee, and finally get to the gate where sis and bil have been waiting an hour and a half wondering what happened to me.  Big difference when you are handicapped compared to we regular folk.  They even managed to get my sis and bil seated together at the last minute.  The flight was uneventful.  Got a car and spent a ridiculous amount of time finding it because they don't have signs.

January 3, 2013


Note: This was an abject failure. It died in 6 months going to random app opening and closing at a rapid pace and after the short warranty was over. I'm very disappointed in this.
Today, I finally ordered a tablet computer.  I've been dissatisfied with my mobile computing while I'm in travel mode.  If I'm not particularly enthralled with a place, I like to drive until I get tired then find a place to park for the night.  I take care of the animals, take a walk with the dog, do something about diner and go to bed.  I've been using my smartphone to do a little web browsing and reading before dropping off to sleep.  It is a pain to write on the phone.  I discovered I could dictate to it thru the Android voice to text facility which helped a lot but then there's always that comical misunderstandings from the little robot.  I also found it hard to update my blog.  I usually didn't want to boot up my laptop without a lot of time to spend.


I got a surprise in the mail today.  My new passport arrived.  I didn't expect it until near the end of the month.  I thought renewing my passport would be a big hassle because my last one expired a couple decades ago and it was in my married name which I haven't used in even more time.  So I thought I'd have to supply all the documentation for who I am.  All they needed was the old passport (with a much better picture than the current one - but I was a lot younger then), my birth certificate, and drivers license.  I applied in person at a post office on December 19th.  They told me it would take 5-6 weeks to arrive.  But in just a hair over 2 weeks, I have it.  Hopefully my birth certificate will come back in the next day or so.  They send it in a separate mailing for some reason.