Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Right before we left on our boat trip I picked up a care package from my mom that was all homemade Christmas cookies and fudge (note to mom: chocolate does not make it in the mail, sorry!) as well as a few things she picked up for me. I left it in the car while we are gone but I did have oatmeal cookies for breakfast today. That has to count just like a bowl of oatmeal, right? Maybe a bowl of oatmeal sprinkled with a bit of sugar...
This morning I stopped by our PO Box and we had two more care packages from my mom, a small package from my friend Buxton and a BUNCH of Christmas cards. I was anxious to get home and open everything! I couldn't hold out on the small package so I opened it. When Chicago first got snow we asked Jen and Michael to send us some- so they did! It's in the form of a snowglobe with a picture of Chicago on one side and a picture of the four of us on the other. It literally about melted my heart. I wanted to laugh and cry at the same time. We have the bestest friends ever, I miss you all!
I waited until I got home to open the rest. Lots of cards from our closest friends and family plus those infamous Christmas letters. Normally I tend to skim these (sorry guys!) but this year I read every word- I didn't want to miss a thing. Tim's dad and stepmom sent us pictures from this years Thanksgiving at the farm. I'm not going to lie, it got me a little choked up. The kicker though was a music card from my parents that sings 'Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas'. At that point I did cry. It wasn't helped when I opened the care packages from my mom (thanks Uncle Larry for shipping them!) and found she had wrapped everything we asked for in Christmas paper. I really want to put on the slipcovers but I feel like I need to wait until Christmas morning to open them so I think we will! PS- that means you all have to wait for Thank You cards because I believe they are wrapped in one of the packages!
I love it here but I'd love it even more if we could have wrapped everyone up and taken them with us. Don't worry- I will be fine. Keep the mail coming- I've listed our address again in this post hint, hint ;)
9715 Estate Thomas, PMB #127
St. Thomas, VI 00802
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Monday we woke up and headed back to land to rent Jeeps so we could drive around the island. It's such a beautiful place- so much of it has been undiscovered and is just lush and overgrown. Or maybe it's because the US Navy had control of it until 2003 and used to bomb it! We ventured out to several beaches, trying to hit as many as we could in the time we had there. We had planned on leaving around sunset and getting back into St. Thomas around mid-night. While sitting at Lazy Jack's bar, we decided we really wanted to try the Bio Bay excursion. Basically, there's this bay there that glows. You can read more about it here- there's a lot of big words that I'd likely misuse and mispell!
Catch is that you have to wait until it is pitch black to go see it- the tour we were looking at would be over at 8:15 PM which wouldn't put us sailing until 10 or so, getting us into St. Thomas around 4 AM. We decided to go for it and I got Laddie covered (thanks, Amy!). The Bio Bay tour was amazing! I must admit, it was a bit different that I thought. I kind of pictured it Simpson-esque and glowing instead it glows when anything moves in the water. We kayaked out to the center and got out and swam for about half an hour. Poor Dawn got stung by a jellyfish :( That was definitely not mentioned as a possibility and likely a good thing I wasn't aware until then! The picture below was taken at night yet it looks like the water is clear as day- that's the organisms glowing!
After the tour we set sail home :( What should have been a 5-6 hour sail back hit a little snag when we snapped a chain that steers a boat. Luckily, Cameron knows his way around boats a little. He sailed the boat all the way from Maine to St. Thomas by himself. He actually knows more about his boat than anyone I've ever met (sorry, Mike!) and it's amazing. We finally pulled into Yacht Haven around 9AM - just a few hours late! We were certainly given the full sailing experience and I can't think of a better weekend here so far! Great times in great locations with great friends!
Friday, December 11, 2009
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Saturday, November 7th: We land in STT and rent a Jeep to get all of our crap from the airport to Kates.
Sunday, November 8th: We return the Jeep and rent a bright blue Dodge Calibur for a week so we can run errands and look for cars. It is due back on the 15th.
Monday, November 9th: We drive past a house that has two Jeep Cherokees in the front yard for sale so we call the number on the car and are told one is a '99 for $5K and one is a '97 for $4500. We say thanks and ponder.
Wednesday, November 11th : We drive past again, pull over and call. Antonio says he can be there in 5 minutes, we wait 20 with the family that lives in the house- clearly not related to Antonio. He comes, tells us the '97 is alread sold but we can take the '99 out for a test drive. At this point he realizes he only has the keys for the '97 and we decide to meet the next day.
Thursday, November 12th: We drive to meet Antonio at 11 AM, he decides he can't meet us then, ,how about 530 PM? So we have 6.5 hours to kill... We meet him at 530 (correct keys!) and Tim goes to start the car and it won't turn over. Antonio goes away somewhere and returns with the keys for the '97, switches the battery and we drive the car. It drives just fine for an island car and we tell Antonio we will call him tomorrow.
Friday, November 13th: We call Antonio and ask him to meet us at the 'lot'. He pulls up in a green Ford Escort we had seen around the island. It is also for sale. Tim asks him how much he wants for it and he says $2800. Tim offers him $6K for both cars, he thinks for 30 seconds and says okay. There are a few things that need to be done on the cars- Escort needs a new tire and the Jeep needs a mirror. Oh- and let's not forget titles, plates, etc. Antonio says 3 business days- Wednesday- so we follow him to his shop and give him a $500 deposit. Then we extend our rental car through the 18th.
Wednesday, November 18th: First things first- we are trying to figure out how to drive three cars with two people and make it to our jobs when we need to. Guess it doesn't matter because when we call Antonio- he doesn't have the paperwork. Oooookay. So we call and extend the rental car until the 19th.
Thursday, November 19th: Yeah! We get the Jeep (complete with tags, plates and insurance) and I follow Tim to return the rental car. We leave the rental car place only to find that the car is pulling like we have a flat. Really? I've had this car all of an hour. Luckily we are right by a tire place so we pull in. He replaces the stem. Okay, $20 fix. No biggie. Oh yeah- and the Escort isn't ready yet. Maybe tomorrow.
Friday, November 20th: We go back to Antonio who gives us the keys to the Escort. While Tim is writing the check I happen to ask where the title is for each car. He said in the glove compartment. I go back and check the Jeep- yeah... it's in his name, not ours. So, we have to leave the Jeep with him and keep our check with us. At this point, you can tell he's getting frustrated with his guy who did the licensing. Luckily he gives us his Trailblazer so we have two cars and tells us to come back on Monday.
Monday, November 23rd: We call Antonio, not ready.
Tuesday, November 24th: Jeep is not ready still. Tim's car won't start. Buy a new battery and still won't start. Some cords are loose according to a guy Tim works with. They jimmy it as a quick fix.
Wednesday, November 25th: Jeep is ready! We give him the Trailblazer, have him fix the battery cord issue in the Escort, deduct the cost of the battery and are on our way.
Sunday, November 29th: Tim's car has a flat tire at work which he alleviates by filling with air from the golf cart air supply!
Wednesday, December 2nd: Busy car day! We drive to Stumpy Beach, rough road to say the least, and the same thing that happened to my tire (pulling right but not looking flat) happens again. It occurs to us this happens when you switch out of 4WD into 2WD- great. Put Fix a Flat in it and it's fine. Text Kate to get her friend's contact info who works on Jeeps. Take Tim's car to Western Auto for an 'inspection' of sorts to see if anything is wrong and to figure out his tire situation. He has a screw in the wall making it unpluggable. Buy tire. I go to work, security goes to move my car- it no longer reverses! Call Romeo, my new car guy, he comes up to me and magically makes it work. For now he says- transmission fluid was burnt. He will try and flush it in hopes that will fix it and I won't need to rebuild my transmission. We make arrangements for him to come get my car on Friday.
Friday, December 4th: Romeo takes my car and does a transmission flush. He said all is good and I tell him he can have the car again next week to look at the tire/4WD thingee, wondering if this will ever end!
All quiet on the car front.... for now!