Sunday, June 17, 2007

St. Thomas... Welcome to Fantasy Island

We have been back from St. Thomas for a couple of weeks now. I have been teaching Yoga for Summer Scholars for the past week. At any rate, the reality of St. Thomas wasn't too far off from the vision I shared before the trip. Maybe there is something to this principle of: "We are co-creaters with the Universe" afterall!

I drove to New Orleans so I wouldn't get motion sickness in the car. We arrived, checked into a hotel and had a fabulous dinner at an Italian restaurant. I ordered tea and was presented with a blackberry-sage blend from the Republic of Tea. All I can say is that was the best tea I have ever had... Yum... Yum... Lip-smackin' good.

Our flight left early, so we got up at 4:30 so the girls could do their treatments. We arrived at the airport with minimal hassle going through security. Although, the security guard did raise an eyebrow looking through the dufflebag of medication. We had a cooler with Pulmozyme, TOBI and a little container of 7% Hypertonic Saline. The pills were in a gallon-sized ziplock bag. Another ziplock bag contained all of the nebulizer essentials. I just stood there like it was the most natural thing in the world for a family of four to be carrying a complete drugstore in a duffle bag, so they let us through. Dan, however, had to relinquish her highly dangerous hairspray and straightening creme she had stashed in her purse. This set her into a little bit of a cranky tailspin. As an aside, I would think it a greater security risk to take a teenaged girl's hair care products than to let them through. She was at risk for a serious emotional meltdown for the remainder of the trip. The loss of hair product threw her into an immediate funk. This funk worsened as the withdrawal effects of no cell phone or computer set in. Her mood spiraled downward into a little bit of what Southerners like to call a "hissy fit".

We did, indeed, arrive in St. Thomas after a lovely, noneventful flight. The landing was really incredible. The plane just kept getting lower and lower over the water with no land in sight. Then, all of sudden, the plane touched down and we were on the ground. As soon as we disembarked, people in the terminal were offering samples of rum. Given that we don't drink alcohol, we didn't partake; however, I found it amusing that it would be possible to land in this tropical paradise and enter immediately into an alcoholic haze remembering nothing of the entire experience...
We retrieved our bags and found our taxi through Tropic Tours. The motion sickness I avoided on the way to New Orleans found me on the ride from the airport to Wyndam Sugar Bay. It was a wild ride on the left side of the road over and around hills and valleys. On a couple of occasions, Sarah was convinced we were going to meet an early end by careening off a cliff. However, our taxi driver transported us safe and sound to the front door of the hotel. I was a light shade of green. Our taxi driver humored me by posing for this photo. Alas, he looked nothing like my vision.

We arrived at the hotel with about fifty other people. Dave waited in line and got us checked in while the girls and I scouted out the hotel lobby and the gift shop.

Our room looked exactly like the one in the picture I posted previously. For some reason, there was the unfortunate aura of urine in the air as we rounded the corridor to our room. I can't say for sure, but it may have had something to do with the wide availability of rum... At any rate, we arrived in our balmy warm room and I dragged Dave out to the balcony to take this "loving embrace" photo.
We immediately headed for the pool, where we watched a couple get married. There was a wedding every day. There were three pools with waterfalls. The pools led down to the beach.
It was reasonable not to leave the resort at all. We spent nearly every day lounging by the pool. Nonalcoholic smoothies were available from the Turtle Rock Bar. There was a grill available poolside for lunch each day.

Behind the waterfall was a little cave area... In this area there was Foosball, ping pong and a pool table. The girls both learned to shoot pool. Dan became quite the shark by the end of the week.

We went snorkeling one day. The girls reluctantly agreed to this adventure. They must have developed their Mimi's aversion to sharing space with God's oceanic creatures. However, once they got the hang of it, they really enjoyed it. I loved seeing the fish and all the underwater sea life. I even got to see a sea urchin up close. It reminded me of the time in college when I prepared sea urchin to serve my classmates for a science class.

The beach was lovely. I could see why so many people want to get married there.

Note Sarah's braids. It took nearly two and a half hours to get her hair braided. She looked fabulous. Eat your heart out Bo Derek!

We went on a tour of the island and shopped in downtown St. Thomas. The tour was nice, but a little long. We rode around in an open air taxi. Thank goodness for this! It prevented copious amounts of motion sickness from ensuing. During the tour, our guide acted as part tour guide, part real estate agent. He let us know all the properties that were available. Since most of those seemed out of our price range, we just stuck with the souvenier shops.

The donkey's name was Monica Lewinsky. She's a democrat.

Imagine my surprise running into Kenny Chesney! Yes, I've heard the rumors. Kenny and I rise above such idol gossip. Our relationship is no one else's business...

On the tour, we also visited a place called "The Great House". It is a botanical gardens and place to host events on the island. Dan was overjoyed to find a cat living at The Great House! The bird never would talk to me even though I stood there for quite a while talking to him. Maybe he knew that I secretly abhor birds.

We also purchased our toe rings. Dan jumped on our bandwagon and bought one too. They don't match, but each reflects a little of our personalities. (Sarah's is shaped like a crown.)We played mini golf. Dave and I tied for first. He can never just let me win anything! We also each had a massage. It was both girls' first time. They are both hooked. I kind of thought they might be ticklish, but no... They enjoyed the experience thoroughly. That same day, Dave and I also attended an evening yoga class while the girls satisfied their computer craving in the hotel lobby.

We spent time in the hot tub, as well... Iguanas usually surrounded the hot tub. I don't know if they liked the warm, moist air or if some other reason drew them to the area. But, the iguanas were really neat. They would walk all around the hot tub and pool area. One of them came close to me and licked my toe. They were a little like scaly, green dogs.

Ducks also wandered around the property.

On the last night there, we stayed poolside for a show. Madame Voodoo was a fire eater and glass walker. We had great fun oohing and ahhing. Dave even got to dance with Madame Voodoo along with about 10 other unfortunate gentlemen who were pulled from the audience.
The trip was so great! The worst part was getting stuck in the Miami airport for about 8 hours on the way home. We didn't get back into New Orleans until after 2 in the morning. We arrived home at about 4:00. Still, it was entirely worth it. We are definitely planning on doing another trip to the Carribean.