Nine Minutes on Tuesday

I think that unpacking is an unpleasant reminder that the latest adventure has ended, and the transition to the regular routine is about to begin once again. I usually return almost always on the latest flight in, and by the time I get home, I can hardly wait to sink beneath the familiar sheets of my own bed. I can find a myriad of excuses for procrastinating when it comes to the ritual of unpacking, and it usually takes a few days to completely finish the laundry, because that is when I definitely know that it is time to move on to other things. This time the latest painting was completed, and the remodeling of my Tuscan style master bath was interrupted. It is much more enjoyable to look back upon the anticipation and the unexpected surprises.


Travel to the Caribbean, this time to the U.S. and British Virgin Islands, was smooth except for a few moments of slight turbulence before arriving in Miami. I am still amazed when I travel and there are passengers who are flying for the first time, combining fear and anxiety with childlike awe. I love seeing their faces as they realize that the pilot has landed safely, and they have reached their destination. Since this was only the first one for me, I was relieved to find out that the gate for the next departure was close enough to reach without the usual marathon sprint. The corresponding flight to St. Thomas was also uneventful and the only hold up timewise was going through customs upon arrival. Fortunately, the hotel was about five minutes via taxi, only we arrived too early to check-in, so we left the luggage and were accompanied by Ms. Dixie, from Donegal, a delightful Irish guide, who walked us to the one dollar bus stop down the roadway. For tourists, the fare was $2 U.S. per person; locals and current residents paid a dollar. These buses are characteristically loaded with islanders and few if any whites. The buses are painted white on the exterior with colored bleacher type seats and bright decorative canopies. Dixie pointed out the difference between the tourist versions, which appeared newer with even more colorful island-inspired motifs as well as a much higher fare.

Time was the important factor within the early part of the afternoon at Fish Tails; we arrived merely nine minutes before the start of happy hour, and while there, met two gentlemen who told us about our final destination the next day: Tortola. After starting off with chilled mojitos and appetizers, we left the bar to make the return trip to our previous bus stop. This time we encountered racism in Red Hook when we tried to take a return two dollar bus. The driver told us that he wasn’t going that way when we asked, only he did not know that we knew that these buses make the same loop, and it was obvious that he would be going by our stop. Another driver was nice enough to allow us on his bus and when we arrived back at our hotel around twenty minutes later, the room was ready. A late afternoon swim prefaced the succulent lobster dinner at the hotel restaurant. Problems with texts and cells kept us from joining the couple who had flown with us. They would be staying there for the duration, and we would be getting up early the next day to catch the fast ferry at Charlotte Amalie.


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