St Thomas 2020

Day 13: Friday, July 30

Trying to get home...

Here we are...our last day. :(  The only option we had to leave today was a later flight, which was perfectly fine with me. I hate to be rushed and like to allow plenty of time to wrap things up and get to the airport. Our flight didn't leave until 1:45pm.  Then we had a long layover in FLL before we'd be able to get home as well. It would be a slow and drawn out day for us, but that was ok.

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We had seen that they had a little coffee shop at the resort and went in to check out their menu. They had various breakfast items and I successfully managed to cook up all of our breakfast food the day before. This meant I was going to take a break from cooking today and actually eat out for breakfast for the first time since we arrived. Go me!

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On the way over to The Beach Buzz, we found a baby iguana. Oh my gosh! I'm just so in love with these little guys. They are the cutest ever! Sakari picked him up and put him out of harms way. I was so afraid that someone was going to step on him sitting there on the sidewalk.

Inside of The Beach Buzz...

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We took our food out to the little dining area right outside and had a leisurely breakfast and talked about what a wonderful time we had during our stay and how bad we didn't want to leave. 

After breakfast, we headed back to the condo to finish our last minute packing and make sure that Kendra and family were up and at'em. I told her about the little breakfast shop if they wanted something to eat, but she's always so last minute that she was still busy packing and it's always a frantic state of mind based on turmoil in their place. 

I had Sakari go out to the beach and grab me some sand in a baggie while we killed time. I always collect a little bit of sand everywhere we go and put it in miniature glass bottles, decorate them with the name and put them in a cabinet for display I have at home. It's amazing to see the different colors and textures of the many places we go. 

Time was ticking and I wanted to get to the airport at least 2 hours ahead of time if possible. I really didn't know what to expect with check in and security. I started early with trying to rush Kendra because she needs that extra little "push".  To my surprise, when I said it was time to leave, she was actually ready and told me to head down to get them. The cleaning staff was already coming in to clean and it wasn't even quite time for us to be out, but they were ready. 

Then off we went to head to the airport, drop off the family, then her and I take the rental car back. 

We had made it all the way to around the Charlotte Amalie area when all of a sudden I hear Billy say "Kendra, you did grab my bracelet didn't you?" Her reply was "No, I haven't seen it". He told her it was in the drawer under the bed in the corner and she was the one that had went around and grabbed everything and double checked every drawer. She once again replied "no, I didn't see any bracelet".  He thought she was joking...but she was NOT. He started to panic, she started to panic, it was chaos in the van now. Then he said "Where's my necklace???" Yep, it was missing as well. Kendra started telling me to turn the vehicle around. They needed to go back. SAY WHAT??? I'm not missing my flight because you guys left something behind!  Kendra was persistent in telling me to turn around. "That necklace and bracelet combined is over $20 grand! We are going back and if we miss our flight we miss our flight! It's cheaper to pay for new airline tickets than to replace the jewelry!"   Well...maybe for you guys but I have nothing to lose in this but money wasted in missed flights! You guys can drop me off at the airport and take the rental back to the condo's yourself...and make sure you turn the vehicle in for me as well. If there's any extra charges, it's on you. I mean who brings something worth that value on a vacation? IMO, that should be left at home...even for safety reasons!

 

We started frantically calling the condo owner to let her know what had happened. We informed her that the cleaning staff was already there cleaning when they had left the building. She had told us that she would contact them and see if they had found the jewelry. Kendra, Billy and the kids zoomed off heading back to the condo.  

Our condo owner called back to say that the cleaning staff said they hadn't found any jewelry and she 100% trust them that if they found anything, they would be honest and let her know. Billy wasn't so convinced of this considering the dollar value of the missing items. 

We decided to go ahead and check in our luggage and head to security.

The place was pretty bare if you ask me. 

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I would continue to watch Kendra on my tracker and see how far she was from the condo. It felt like eternity watching them try to make their way back and I was really hoping they weren't driving dangerously on the winding hilly roads trying to make it back. That was the last thing I needed. 

After getting into the airport (quick and simple), we tried to locate where to go to for Spirit Airlines. There was a sign and it looked like we were heading down some abandoned hallway of no return. It was a very long hallway with a lot of construction going on. 

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Coming out on the other side, you entered a very small room that was nothing but a sweaty hot box! There was no air conditioning in there and they had 1 large fan in the back. Oh geesh! I guess Spirit was the bottom of the totem pole in this airport. I decided I would sit right by the hallway because at least there was a breeze of air coming from the main airport there. 

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Meanwhile, I'm still getting updates from the condo owner and also Kendra and Billy. They had made it back to the condo and the landlord was meeting them there. 

This was our view...

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The next update we would get is that they had found the jewelry! THANK GOODNESS! At least they had it back in their possession! Now Kendra and Billy were headed back to the airport. 

I contacted the lady at the rental agency to let her know what was going on. I knew they had the rule that they wanted all family members to be dropped off at the airport and then someone return to the rental agency with the vehicle and then the staff would finish up the paperwork and then bring that person back to the airport for drop off. After telling her our story, she gladly agreed to just have them go directly to the rental agency and she would take all of them to the airport. Thank goodness! They just might make it. 

I would continue to watch them on the way back to see how close they were. I did notice they weren't coming back the same way. Kendra said they were trying to cut down time because there was so much traffic the other way when they headed back to the condo that they thought it might be easier to go that way instead. 

Our plane had pulled up with new arrivals to the island and they were exiting the plane. I was getting nervous. It was now 1:15pm and our plane was to be pulling out in approximately 30 minutes. 

Now I can say that these new arrivals seemed to be getting a different welcome than what we did when we arrived almost 2 weeks ago. There was a lady standing outside that was screaming really loud and ordering people here and there and barking commands in a non-friendly way. Hmmm, not sure who peed inn her Wheaties this morning but she didn't seem to be having a good day...especially if someone tried to ask her a question. She'd just bark "get over there". Had we encountered her when we first arrived, I wouldn't have had such a good first impression. The staff we encountered upon arrival was kind and considerate. 

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Then I noticed Kendra had made it to the airport and was now out front. 

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Kendra said they were so hungry since they hadn't had time to eat and wanted to know if there was any place inside to eat. I decided to head back into the "regular" airport area and investigate on my way to the bathroom. I did find a cafeteria style restaurant called Hibiscus Cafe, but the lines were so long, there was no way they would be able to make it to the plane in time.

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Our sweaty hot box of a room was now completely full of people that you couldn't even move. There was standing room only and Kendra and family were not any of the standers!

 

Well the time had come. They were calling us to board the plane. We hadn't seen Kendra and the family yet, but she informed me that at least they were there and wasn't too worried about hurrying to get on the plane since they had assigned seats. #majoreyeroll  

We headed out the door and to the red...I mean green carpet they had put down for us. 

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It feels so weird boarding the plane like this. I've only seen things like this in movies. I think it's kinda neat myself. 

We took our seats and they immediately started sanitizing us with their fog. Wash away all those potential COVID germs please.

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The announcements had started...please turn your cell phones on airplane mode, buckle up, have everything under your seats...we were about to take off!!!!!!!!!!!!! Where is my family????

 

 

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Then I seen them come around the corner....the LAST people to get on the plane of course! Only my family!

Sakari had already settled in with her Henna pen and was drawing.

 

 

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It was time to take off....goodbye St Thomas...we loved your beautiful island and was so happy we were able to spend time here during this dreadful state of the world. It was a nice getaway while it lasted. I can't wait to return again!

 

 

We passed the beautiful turtle beach that we all had agreed that it was one of our favorite days and beaches we had been to during our visit: Brewers Bay

 

 

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Then we were off...

 

 

FINAL THOUGHTS....

 

 

St Thomas is a beautiful island. We have been here several times and enjoyed ourselves every time we have been here. 

This wasn't the vacation that I had hoped it would be and by that I mean that we didn't get to do everything I had planned on doing. I'm a beach lover and I fully expected to go to every beach that I could. But, with Kendra and family not wanting to go, combined with the Tropical Storm we encountered taking off 2 days of our trip and the issues we had waiting around trying to go parasailing for the first week...it just wasn't in the cards. 

I really hope to come back and stay again and be able to go to all the beaches and places I had hoped to go to this time: Magens, Mountain Top, Drake's Seat, Water Island, Mangrove Lagoon, and COKI!!!! Then also the other beautiful beaches I wanted to see on St John.

If I was to come back, I would definitely want to stay at Sapphire again. We absolutely loved it here. It's beautiful, decent snorkeling, the pool area is awesome, and the SEA GLASS!!!! Like wow, the most I have ever seen other than in Bermuda at the sea glass beach. I came home with quite the collection and so many beautiful colors!

 

 

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Another thing I wanted to do was to compare photo's from the last time we were at Sapphire. It had been 10 years since we were there last and with several hurricanes that hit St Thomas, there were some palms missing and then again the vegetation had also expanded in areas as well. But it was neat to try to create the "scene" again. 

 

 

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UNTIL NEXT TIME.... WE               YOU ST THOMAS!