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 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.

We had to go thru town to get to our hotel and driving is on the left side of the road but the cars are American so it really feels weird.  I did all right but missed the turn to our hotel and went up incredibly twisty, steep roads.  The top of the hill looks like a cliff and you can't see the road at all.  A bit unnerving.   But we saw a little more of the island that way.

Finally found a place to turn around and found the right road and down, down, down to the hotel.  Took us 3 tries till we found the right one.  The Mariott has 3 hotels in the same area.  We had to wait for our room because my sister needs a ground floor room and it wasn't ready.  Having had no food at all - just a cup of coffee - we went to the Sand Bar and ordered appetizers for lunch.  Very delicious albeit expensive.  After lunch, our room was ready for us.  It was in the 4th building but they took us down a service road so the walk wasn't far.

The room is lovely with a nice porch right on the ocean.  Turns out we have an all inclusive package with included meals and drinks for the whole stay.  We didn't know that but the resort restaurant prices are very high.  The food is really good.  It is very nice to have the price set and not have to balk at the prices on the menu.  A beach restaurant, Coco Joe's is very close so we have an ideal location for my sister with her limited range in walking.  Our first night, they had a fabulous buffet that they charge $50/per but it is included in our package.

My BIL and I did a little ocean swimming.  There's something so pleasant about bobbing in the waves.  We hiked up to the big hotel on the hill to check out the other restaurants and while it is beautiful with stunning views, it would have been a real problem for my sister.  She just can't hike the distances it would have required.  Also, the menus were not much different than Coco Joe's.  So we are very pleased with what the travel agent did even if it wasn't all that clear what we had gotten.

On Monday, we took a drive.  I noticed the car was saying it had low tire pressure so we took it back to the airport and got a different one.  Then we headed to the western end of the island.  It is really steep and very pretty but there are few places to stop and take a picture.  It took us a long time to find our way back to the hotel and ended up going up high and over to the east end of the island before we figured out we had gone too far.  In about 3 hours we managed to drive about 40 miles and went from end to end.

It looks like this will be a restful vacation more than the driving all the Big Island in Hawaii that we did there.  St Thomas is clearly a volcanic island.  I can easily identify the old lava rocks from all that I learned in Hawaii.  It is long dead, tho.  We have free wi-fi at the hotel but it is very weak and I can barely do anything with it.  I doubt pictures can be uploaded with it.  It drops completely often.  My cell signal is non-existant but I can get a bar or two on top of the hill.

Wifi is a lot better Tues am.


  1. Well.. glad you posted but RATS ... sure was hoping for pictures. Sounds beautiful .... right on the beach! oh, man smell that ocean air... and listen to the waves ... love it.

    $50?? holy moly! for a buffet? man. Have you posted why your sister is in a wheelchair and I've forgotten? it must be quite a challenge indeed.

  2. I'll put some pics in later - like when I get back home and have half way decent speed and bandwidth.

    My sister has ruined ankles. She had one replaced a year ago and is just now getting to be able to walk some but she still swells up badly. They told me I'm here because my BIL needs a playmate that she can't do anymore. Plus they like me. Good thing I like doing the beach walks too and like driving.

  3. oh bummer ruined ankles? jeeeez ... well, I'm glad they like you. That always helps... hahaaa your BIL's playmate?... what that's fun.... How long are you going to stay? week?

  4. yes, a week. We go back on Sat.

  5. oh wow.... beautiful hotel... and view. Love to watch those sail boats... schooners? are they? beautiful and pffffft ~ I got tornado warnings in my little corner of the world..

    But somehow this looking out at water eliminates a lot of aggravation ... the guy next door is killing me with his smoke... ! I walked around really early this morning before he gets up and permeates the air both outside and inside... I'm going to ask to be transferred to another room today. Couldn't sleep last ... must be the warmer weather ~ the smoke just gathers. I could barely walk into my bathroom. have to have a towel over m'nose!

    wanna come sit on your porch...

    Hope you and your BIL play nice today ... and your sister has a fun experience or two. gorgeous

  6. Nice that there is no smoking at all in this hotel. Sis is having fun. We'll get her into the ocean in a couple of days here.

  7. well. the signs on the door say ... No Smoking ... doesn't mean a thing... hate it hate it hate it.

    glad your sister is having fun and well all of you ... ;)


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