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Friday, December 11, 2015

Bad Omens and Good Luck in the Virgin Islands...St. Croix, Part 2



You can catch up with Part 1 of our St. Croix trip here.

We’re on the runway at Miami International, engines powering up, about to take the final flight to St. Croix when the pilot comes on the intercom as the engines wind down.

“Folks, we’re going to have to return to the gate. The second button on the radio is not working and FAA regulations say we can’t fly without it. Hopefully, this will be a quick fix and we can be in the air shortly.”

Uh oh, I’m already nervous about this trip, booking an unbelievably cheap trip to St. Croix in the U. S. Virgin Islands and crossing my fingers, hoping that the hotel will really have an accessible room for us. Is this a bad omen?

We crawl back to the gate. A mechanic soon appears up front and walks out with a box. We can see him get in a truck on the tarmac and drive away.

“Folks,” (they always start that way…a real folksy, aw shucks, wouldn’t you just know it, kind of quality in their voice) “the mechanic has just taken the entire radio and is heading to supply to see if they have a replacement in stock. We’ll let you know what happens as soon as we can.”

Our 4:20 flight is supposed to have us on the island at 7:00pm. Even though our package came with taxi vouchers to and from the airport, I have decided to rent a car so we can explore the island at our leisure. Besides, it just might give us somewhere to sleep if no room is available…will the Hertz office still be open when we get there? They close at 9:00pm.

Wouldn’t you know it…15 minutes later, the truck returns. The mechanic plugs in a new radio and leaves the plane…a hero to cheers from the main cabin.

“Folks, this is your captain speaking…that has to be the quickest repair in my history of flying planes. We’ll close the doors and be in the air as quick as we can.”

Just a little over an hour late, we’re wheels up from Miami. Now, I’m just wondering if I’ll make it to the car rental counter in time.

We touch down in St. Croix at 8:20pm. Since we need the aisle chair, we have to deplane last. You never realize how slow people can get off of a plane when you’re in a hurry and have to wait. You’re sitting there thinking “pull your suitcase, don’t push it; did you not know the plane landed? You’re just now getting your case out of the overhead?”

Sometimes, I'm not just thinking it...

St. Croix is too small for jetways, so we have to deplane using a very slow lift. We’re on the tarmac at 8:45pm. The plan is for Letty to go to baggage claim while I hustle to Hertz.


Luckily, they’re next door to each other and I make to the counter with a few minutes to spare. Our “minivan” turns out to be a Ford Flex, nice car but a real minivan would work better for us. We’ll make it work.

Letty makes quick work of the luggage and a taxi driver with our name on a board appears. I tell him we don’t need a ride but since we did pay for a voucher, would he mind driving to the Buccaneer and I’ll follow? No problem…we have a lead car to the hotel. Thirty minutes later, we’re there.


I tip the driver and head in…this is my biggest fear. Would we get the room promised? We hand the front desk clerk our voucher, fill out the form, and he hands us the key.

“Your room is just around the corner; would you like me to show you the way?”

Sure, why not? The moment of truth, what would the room be like and how accessible is it?

Four doors down from the main entrance, he opens the door for room 104…or I should say suite 104. There are no steps. There is plenty of room. The bathroom is accessible (tub, shower chair, and grab bars…no roll in here but not necessary for us) or I should say THIS bathroom is accessible. Yes, we have two.


It’s a full suite with a separate bedroom featuring a king-size bed, a huge ocean view terrace, two bathrooms (one accessible), three sinks (one in a separate dressing area), a large walk-in closet, safe, refrigerator, two flat-screen TVs, DVD player, a living room with a day bed couch that Tim will sleep on, a bucket filled with ice and a water pitcher.

Finally, my fears of sleeping in the car or on the beach are subsided. It’s time to enjoy this luxury but low-budget vacation.


It’s been a long, anxious day of traveling so we’ll hit the sack and take up the beautiful island of St. Croix starting in the morning.

Darryl
Copyright 2013 – Darryl Musick
All Rights Reserved

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