11 January 2014

On Whining

Hard to complain about a trip to our tropical isle.  But let me try:


Jet Blue, having cancelled all flights on Monday, had a near riot on its hands at its JFK terminal on Wednesday. Well, at least I was prepared to riot. Times Square on New Year's Eve was, relatively speaking, a gracious lawn party. At JFK, the Jet Blue staff was overwhelmed.  Who knew that when you cancel all flights, the following days would be extra-busy? JB needed Bloomberg management, and instead apparently got refugees from the Obamacare computer sign-up program.  Madness. Lucky for us our plane was an hour late, otherwise it would have departed while Pinks and I, along with the rest of the cattle, were snaking back and forth in the bag-drop corral.  Moo!


It's all about expectations: much more forgivable was the Winair flight experience in the hop from St. Maarten to Paradise.  By 2:30 PM we were at the Winair desk in SXM, checking our baggage and seeking boarding passes for our 3:10 flight.  But in a Seinfeldian scene, the Winair lady told us we did indeed have a reservation for the 3:10 plane, but it had left at 2:25.  If you do not know what Jerry's response would have been, ask an older person.


We did catch a later Winair flight. Our luggage? That arrived two hours later, on the last flight before they closed the St. Barths airport at dusk.  Hey, same day luggage arrival is a Winair treat.


So, 12 hours after starting out, having eaten nothing since 5 ayem, we sat on our villa deck in the dark, wearing shorts and t-shirts, drinking Belvedere (Pinks) and Tanqueray (moi), munching on Saltines--the famous St. Barths cuisine at its best.
Note to psychiatric professors in medical school : Forget prescription tranqs,--It is impossible to maintain a high-stress mien while getting looped on gin and tonic in a tropical clime, while staring out at the megayachts anchored in the bay.  There were five such vessels out there that night.  All we could see, of course, were the lights. Lights on the deck and the superstructure one would expect, but inasmuch as the first job of a boat is to keep the water out, why would any sentient being drill holes in the hull, under the waterline yet, just to install lights that serve no purpose other than to twinkle as the wavelets lap against the ship?  Do the lights leak? Murphy's Law says of course they do.  My roof leaks and it is 200 feet above sea level. .


But hey, the lights look great from our chaise lounges, and I thank the yacht owners for the sight of those twinkling behemoths that are required to anchor in our front yard because they are too large to tie up at the quay in Gustavia Harbor. (The harbor can not accommodate any ship larger than 180 feet.  Think about that: a north-south city block is about 200 feet. The biggest ship in our front yard now is Luna, 377 feet.)


Lest you think we are in heaven here, know that the gods still do their best to punish us: Our high-tech Carib tv system is stuck on CNN!  Can you imagine having Wolf Blitzer as a permanent guest in your living room? The plus side is that it poured on Thursday and I got to watch the entire Christie press conference. Schadenfreude is my middle name. It doesn't get much better than this.


And for sure, our precip is rain, not snow, and because I would rather sit indoors under my leaky roof than sit on my  beach chair  under my  leaky umbrella, we stay home when it is raining and start drinking  earlier in the day. This beats working.


Come on down!


A bientot.
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