Finally we got to sleep in...until 7AM. Another quick breakfast in the room but with a little upgrade. Our hotel room came with a $75 food credit to be used in the hotel on anything except adult beverages. We had gotten some lunch stuff, ice cream, and this morning there was enough left for fancy coffees for my parents and hot chocolate for my brother and I.
We didn't want to wait on a bellhop, so we hauled our luggage downstairs ourselves. Mom went to check out (worried check-out would be as long as check-in) and Dad went to get the car. Self park should have cost my parents over $20 a day, but as they are so new they don't have a way to account parking yet, so we parked for free.
Off to the Orlando Airport where we boarded on-time without any issues. We flew 50 minutes down to Miami. While in Miami we got lunch. We got empanadas at Half Moon Empanadas. This was my first time eating these. I had cheese and it was really good. My brother had pepperoni and cheese and my parents went for the more traditional filled with jerk chicken. I actually like them. Mom and I then went to the newsstand where she bought a book and I picked up trail mix for the flight.
We had a 2 hour flight mostly over the ocean. When I looked out it looked more like a painting than reality. We flew over several islands...Bahamas, Turks and Caicos, and more. So many shades of blue. More then you'd ever find in a Crayola box. I saw one island completely of white sand that swirled out into the blue ocean.
We landed on St Thomas where we picked up our bags and exited outside to the humidity again. There were lots of uniformed taxi drivers. We went to the head one and told him we needed a ride to the "Red Hook People Ferry Terminal." We had learned from our friends this would be a longer drive, about 40 minutes, but only a 15 minute ferry ride. Also if we missed the 5PM there were ferries every half hour to our new home for the next week on St. John's. It's also important to tell them the people ferry because they also have a car ferry where they can fit 20+ cars on board to go between the islands. The drive was interesting. They drive on the left side of the road, BUT like America the steering wheel was on the left side of the car. I thought this was silly because I thought it would be difficult to see people approaching.
At the ferry terminal a man offered to take our bags and get them loaded on the ferry. We bought our tickets which luckily I am still a "child" as I am under 12 for a few more months and saved my parents a few bucks. We also needed to pay for bags. We learned the guy who took our bags was really only making a quick buck. We could have loaded the bags on ourselves and given our bag tags to the captain. Oh well...live and learn.
We got on the ferry and opted to sit inside, but with open windows on the bottom floor. I sat by the window and got sprayed. When we got close to St John's we could see several small buildings...no high rises, and homes dotting the the hilly landscape. We would pull into the Red Hook Ferry terminal in a lovely little marina. Mom spied her friend Justin waiting for us. My brother and I grabbed our bags and ran out to meet Justin. It had been two years since we had last seen him in Italy. My Mom laughed when she got there "Love the backdrops we get to catch up in" she said to Justin. Last time we were together it was Castellina de Chianti in the Tuscany region of Italy.
Justin and Dad left us on the corner sitting on our bags while they went and got our Jeep. Almost everyone drives Jeeps on the island due to the steep hills and crazy, curvy roads. Ours would be candy apple red. About a 10 minute drive around bays and up massive hills we wold reach Justin's house perched on top of a hill above Fish Bay.
We were greeted by Foe (Justin's wife) and their daughters, Georgia 4 years old, and Rae not quite 2 years old. Rae was in Foe's belly when we were in Italy. She was a mini of her sister, but very spunky. Also Foe's Dad, Malcolm, who is from South Africa, and is sailing around the world. His sailboat is parked down in Fish Bay and we call him using a walkie talkie for dinner and other adventures.
We had a wonderful dinner and welcoming drinks on their decks. The girls warmed up to us and we ran around playing. We would have our own little apartment on the bottom floor. Two bedrooms perfect for our family overlooking the Bay and a small swimming pool. We settled into bed while our parents sat upstairs and plotted out the week's plans. Can't wait for tomorrow morning.