Sunday, June 28, 2009

Sunday, June 28, 2009, St. Thomas, USVI

Okay, here I am, kicking back on Sapphire Beach on St. Thomas. Actually, you probably already know that I am there. But now I need to tell you how we got here.

Larry has been urging golf to use his Delta flight privileges, so she decided to do so. She emailed a buddy of hers -- let's call her . . . . Kathy. So golf invited Kathy to come down to Atlanta and then go on to St. Thomas with her (you may recall that golf is still on her "wanting to snorkel" jag, and this is about the closest place to her to go to, and she knows her way around St. Thomas). Well, Kathy was happy to join her, so golf got her set up as a Delta Buddy for flight privileges (NOT free, just significantly reduced cost, but still flying stand-by), and Kathy came down from the Chicago area to meet up with golf at the Atlanta airport. UNFORTUNATELY for them, the 10 a.m. flight to St. Thomas (STT) wasn't able to seat all its stand-by passengers, so they rolled over to golf and Kathy's 11:30 flight -- and bumped them off that flight. BUMMER!!! The next flight was at 5:30 p.m. on that day, Thursday, June 25 (and they couldn't fly the NEXT day if they got bumped again because Delta had an embargo on Buddy pass travel on June 26-27 -- we don't know why). So with a six-hour wait, they left the airport and went to golf's house to check things and then headed back to the airport.

Where they WERE seated on the 5:30 flight and did arrive in St. Thomas after 9 p.m. Thurs. night. This is not an ideal time to arrive in STT, as you may know if you ever been there -- the roads aren't the best or the best marked, not like roads and highways in the continental U.S. of A. However, having been here twice before, golf had a relatively good idea of how to get where they were scheduled to go for their accommodations. And without more than one minor missed turn, they did arrive safely over the "roller coaster" road to Sapphire Beach on the northeast side of STT. Whew! A slight stutter with finding the right condo building, but finally in and able to unpack.

Promptly the next morning golf wanted to go snorkeling, so they went down to Sapphire Beach, to check out the options. It was a bit of a hike down there from where they were staying, so they hiked BACK up to the condo and decided to run errands first -- groceries, etc. -- and they were delighted to find cartons of cigarettes at K-Mart for $18 a carton (compare to $35-50 in Georgia!!). They stocked up -- DUH!

Back to the condo, where they donned swimwear and headed for Sapphire Beach (driving down this time). They snorkeled east, middle, and west ends of the beach. They had the most luck in seeing sealife on the far west end of the beach, where, among all the tangs, parrotfish, grunts, damsels, butterflies, etc., golf spotted 6-9 little squid. She didn't have an underwater camera with her to get a picture of them, but this is what they looked like, about 12" long.

She promptly called me for assistance . . . .

Yeah, right . . . .

Kathy was having a bit of a difficult time because she didn't have fins to help her with snorkeling, so golf kept paddling off on her little air mattress and rather leaving her behind, so Kathy decided just to sit in the sun and get a tan and read her book. golf took a break too and decided that I needed some photo ops. Kathy was rather dismayed initially, while golf did her usual looking-for-places-to-pose-me routine.

There was a lot of beach volleyball in "Magnum, p.i.," wasn't there? So, of course, we had to get me at the volleyball net.

And golf just can't resist putting me in the water . . . .

And she always sticks me up in a seagrape tree (though this tree had a rather intriguing look, but, then, don't they all? They are great trees - and it doesn't hurt that they're always down on the beach).

But then Kathy started to catch on to the idea -- rather the way Larry does when HE suggests a good place to take a picture. And Kathy came up with a GREAT idea!!
golf's snorkeling air mattress looks just like a "my-size" dinghy! Not exactly a surf-ski, but then golf can't find one of those for me. So since this appears to be my only chance to get out on the water, I'll take it.

Soon they headed back to the condo where they cooked a steak and baked potato for dinner.

Luckily for them, golf was able to get the laptop to pick up an internet connection out on the balcony. The individual units didn't have WiFi and it was supposed to be available only down at or by the office. But golf's laptop piggybacked on something so it worked for them on the balcony. As I said, that was a good thing because there was no TV! Well, there was a TV, there just wasn't any cable connection. SUPPOSEDLY, it was being changed to a new company and should have been installed on Friday. Wasn't. Or Saturday. Not. So the internet connection was an major entertainment asset (Kathy's just about as internet-addicted as golf!).

Soooooooooooooom, all in all, it was a good first day in St. Thomas.

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