Monday, December 3, 2012

St Thomas - Day 1 - fist fights, emergencies, and spectacular views

In the words of my good friend Rob Dewitt:  Holy Smokes!

All ya'll know I've been looking forward to this all year.  Like, literally.  We booked our flights back in January.  Just counting down the months all year to now!
I think I've been feeling a little stressed though because I had THIS show up a couple days ago, and it just got uglier and uglier.
we have named her la Diabla - Nasa called and it's interrupting the satellite transmissions.  Twice I knocked out a flight attendant as she passed by me.  It's THAT big and ugly.

Saturday night at 11:15, Splenda and I picked up the Shark and her husband (Tuffy chauffeured us) and we headed for the airport.  It's been a minute or two since I flew Delta and was slightly chagrined to find out they charge us for luggage.  What the freakin heck?  Luckily, because Adam is a medallion member we got ours free.  Security was a breeze (middle of the night) and we were to our gate in plenty of time.  Of course, medallion perks didn't extend to us for boarding so while Tib and Adam got on early and had plenty of leg room and overhead storage space, we were seated back behind the wings.  We both had an aisle seat and I was hoping to get settled in and sleep.

After dozing off and on, watching Fox news, dozing some more, I could hear some shouting up ahead and noticed that Splenda was watching something occurring a few rows ahead of us.  I pulled out my ear plugs and looked.  Two dudes were on the verge of throwing blows!  Picture two VERY large human being males.  Both in aisle seats.  Man behind is extremely tall and VERY wide.  Sitting in his chair, his knees were crammed into the seat and pressed into the seat ahead of him.  Man in front also large decided he wanted to recline his seat.  When he did that, he literally crunched back man's legs.  Back man said something to him (not nicely). Front man claimed he had no room either and needed to recline.  Back man explained that it basically crushed him.  Front man claimed he was suffering as well.  Front man reclined the seat again and back man lost it.  Using all his body force SHOVED THE SEAT FORWARD throwing front man into the seat ahead of him!  Now they are in a face to face "discussion" and front man threatening to tell flight attendant.  (I know right?)  All I'm thinking right now, is please stop this so that they don't force our flight to land for unruly passengers!  Flight attendant comes by.  Assesses the sitch, speaks to both men and basically tells them that there isn't much they can do, flight is full and to suck it up.  Both men set their seats upright and remain that way for the rest of the flight.

I go back to on and off dozing, only to be awoken to the flight attendants running up and down the aisles.  I groggily pull out my ear plugs again to look around just as an announcement is made over the intercom system: "Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a medical emergency occurring.  Is there a doctor or medical support personnel on board?  A doctor, nurse, emt? Please hit your call light."  About 15 call lights go off, and the attendants start querying them to see what level of medical expertise they have.  A gentleman two rows up from Splenda went and then a couple of other people further up.  Since I was sitting in the aisle I could sort of see what was going on.  In first class, they had a passenger laying on the floor.  It seemed like a lot of panic, at least to the one flight attendant because we got a couple more announcements telling us that there was a medical emergency and would every please stay in their seats.  I watched her grab the defib case, and a couple of other medical boxes.  Up ahead I could see someone holding an IV bag.

The captain came on, again explained that the medical emergency was urgent enough that it required us to land as soon as possible.  He was turning back to Memphis.  He thanked everyone for their patience, pleaded with us to stay in our seats and he would continue to let us know more information when he could.  The guy that was a row or two in front of Splenda returned to his seat and I listened as he explained the situation.  A man in first class had a heart attack earlier this year and had stents implanted.  Tonight he was experiencing cardiac arrest symptoms.

We landed in Memphis, EMT and paramedics climbed on board, quickly stabilized the man and got him off and into an ambulance.  We were given instructions to remain seated and the captain would then take us to Atlanta.

Of course we arrived about an hour later and so rather than take a chance and miss our connecting flight, Tib got all four of us moved to a flight just an hour later.  That meant we had time in Atlanta to get some food, get off the plane and stretch out a bit.  We were all so exhausted!

Back on the plane in Atlanta with the next stop being St Thomas!  Slightly different plane so rather than watching satellite TV, we had the privilege of watching  "Happy New Year".  One of the dumbest shows ever!  Got a little more sleep in, but not much.  Finally, we landed on the island!

We made our way to the baggage claim hoping that the Delta employee who had assured Tiburon when she changed our flight that our bags would be scanned and changed as well.  On a hunch, Tib went to the Delta offices while the rest of us waited at the baggage claim.  No bags for us.  Tib came back with ONE of my bags but our other one and both of theirs weren't there.  So one bag never got taken off the original flight and followed the first route all the way and had been just waiting for us.  The other three were lost.

At the Delta counter, it took some time, but finally were we told that the bags went to Miami on American Airlines (? - I know right?) and that they wouldn't be coming until about 11:30 that night.
Craaaaaapppp!   After being promised they would get there that night and delivered to our hotel, we caught a taxi and arrived at the resort.

Bluebeard's Castle. Amazing!  Sure, I have been on new and more updated properties, but this was amazingly beautiful.  And the view!  Holy Smokes!
From out deck - Charlotte Amalie

From our deck - the harbor and all the charter yachts

The pool area

From the pool overlooking the harbor

After checking in, wandering around a bit, we decided we needed food.  The restaurants on the property didn't open for awhile so we hit the street and decided to find a restaurant and a grocery store.

The Fat Turtle was fantastic!  And eating with a view over the harbor was amazing.  After dinner, we walked over to the grocery store and suffered some serious sticker shock!   HOLY SMOKES!
Yes, it was almost 9 bucks for a box of cereal.  Everything was outrageously priced.  I don't know how people can afford to live here!

We stocked up on a few essentials, and then found a "gypsy" taxi rider to take us home.  We talked him into a good rate, he was friendly and so we asked if we could hire him for our needs for the week.  He was more than willing so we made arrangements for him to come pick us up in the morning.

The stunning sunset.  Man, this is gonna be a good week - I can just feel it!

Next up, Sunday - how we vacation on the Sabbath.


CountessLaurie said...

It looks beautiful! Enjoy!!!

wendy said...

I hate flying....
that being said, I think you guys will have a wonderful time.
Getting out of this cold and snow and COLD, sounds pretty darn good.
I think I'd even welcome a zit in exchange (tee,hee)

Ann Marie said...

I hate flying too.. and just reading your post led me to panic.

Thank goodness for that castle and those spectacular views...

tammy said...

Welcome to LP's world. Seriously, he's so glad the flight attendants have to deal with most of the drama. And can I tell you how thankful I am for defibrillators on board, just in case.