I figure the fact that we left Wichita Falls about 15 minutes later than planned actually put us about 30 minutes ahead of schedule. We stopped after about 75 miles to stretch our legs and get a bite to eat. Mickey D’s in Decatur might be new and shiny but the service is not. There were at least six teenage boys working, and I use that term loosely, and it seemed beyond them to make a cup of coffee. I ordered a plain latte, plain ‘ole milk and espresso. Seemed simple enough. What I got was super sweet, the temperature of tap water and took four people and 20 minutes to make. I threw it in the garbage on my way out the door. Never go to McDonalds for what you should get at Starbucks. Lesson learned. As for stopping in the first place, I am traveling with wimps. When driving, I stop when I reach my destination or run out of gas, whichever comes first. I have a bladder of steel. When I take my dog Cash with me on the four-hour drive to Midland, I even make him hold it. I assume we are already on island time.
We got to bed at about 11:00, which gave us approximately three hours to sleep. Unfortunately, my iPhone sent me a reminder at midnight that I had an appointment in the BVI. #+*?!,^~>%!!! On the plus side, I set a land speed record for taking a shower. It’s amazing that all ten of us took showers and were ready to go at 3:00 a.m. I felt a little sorry for the shuttle driver because we had a total of 20 suitcases, most of them very close to the 50 pound limit. In fact, five suitcases are filled with nothing but books. We are pack mules for a good cause. There are very few children’s books in the BVI and Julia’s church collected books that we are taking to a liaison in Tortola. Wonder if we can write off this entire trip as charity on our tax return next year. Joe says to itemize it. Conversation during an audit would go something like this… IRS: What about this $900 bar tab at a place called the Soggy Dollar? Joe: You have to realize that booze is actually cheaper than water over there.
We got to the airport the requisite two hours in advance at 3:45. This would have been fine except for the fact the ticket agents didn’t arrive until 4:00 and security did not open until 4:30. And apparently, my coffee troubles did not end with McDonalds last night. This does not bode well. Starbucks did not open until 5:00. At least they were supposed to open at 5:00 but inexplicably did not open until 5:15…when were were due to be boarding the plane. We finally walked off, approximately a nanosecond before they took their first order, which would have been us. Arrrg! Never go to Starbucks for what you can get at McDonalds. Lesson learned…again. The coffee on the plane was not nearly as good…I want a decent latte, dammit…but at least it was caffeinated.
While we we waiting in line at Starbucks, Tres was the lucky recipient of a prostate exam from his friendly TSA agent. He must of had that shifty look about him or his reputation proceeded him. There is a hilarious story concerning Tres and airport security from a couple of years ago, but the re-telling might involve being banned from air travel for life or incarceration and I wouldn’t want to get him in trouble, but it’s legendary.
On the bright side, my coffee woes took a decided turn for the better. Twenty-five years ago I had the best cup of coffee of my life at the Marriott in downtown Atlanta…until today at the Miami airport. There was a little sandwich shop next to our gate that served Douwer Egbert’s brand coffee. I know, I’d never heard of it either. It would be a travesty to doctor it up as a latte…it’s that good. I figure that cutting out the latte portion of my daily cup will save me thousands and thousands of calories per year. I will most likely be a size two bikini-worthy babe by this time next year! I will also have a shipment of it waiting for me by the time I get home. I can hear some of you saying, “Enough of the coffee talk already!” Point taken. We are moving into the cocktail hour(s) now anyway.
We had a three hour layover in San Juan and we took full advantage at the bar (and a $280 tab later) and the duty-free liquor store where we each had our assigned grocery list. We finally made it to Tortola. The important thing is that the 50 pounds of suitcase meat made it’s way through customs without being confiscated. We had a whole elaborate plan to sneak it in, but fortunately we didn’t need to resort to bribes. It was important that we protect the meat at all costs because it is priceless out here. Oddly, the guys all agreed.
The airport is on the east end of the island and Frenchman’s Lookout is on the west. It’s about a 40 minute drive on narrow winding streets and the idiots drive on the wrong side of the road. I saw my life flash before my eyes several times. I don’t think I’m cut out to drive here…or ride except with my eyes closed.
The property is absolutely fabulous! There are views of water 300 degrees around the house and the two story veranda wraps all the way around. Before the trip, Joe said that he didn’t think there was any way the place could be better than last year, but he officially stands corrected.
As I finish for the day, some of the guys are smoking a cigar out on the patio by the pool. Eddie jumped in the pool declaring his nipples are hard and Kirk is planning his bachelor party since he and Julie are getting married on Saturday. There’s been talk of Haitian hookers or something called a ‘donkey show’. My brain is mush and I’m too tired to really think about it too much. I’ve been up about 40 hours with a two hour nap thrown in. This was a long post for a long day.
Stay tuned. I’m sure more hilarity will ensue after I’ve had some sleep.