* not an honest representation of the reality of my truth.
Travel day. These are always fun. Like the kind of fun you have when you’re trying to eat ten hot dogs in two minutes cause your friend Dan said You couldn’t and called you out in front of the whole cafeteria. But after the last hot dog is finished and the tear is wiped from your eye you smile because you know you did it. That is what traveling is like for me. Ten hot dogs in two minutes.
We flew Jet Blue this time, which is a surprisingly awesome airline. So awesome that I said “we should sign up for their miles program” at least five times during the trip. (Sponsorship please. I accept free flights and peanut M&Ms). Keeping with tradition of having an amazing gate agent for our trips the Jet Blue gate agent was spot on. Very nice and happy and very gay he made a nine am flight after three hours of sleep a dream. Despite Stacey’s requests we did not take him with us. He is probably still in Chicago making other weary travelers happy.
Our first leg of the journey landed us in San Juan Puerto Rico. Or as I call it the island of Ponderosas. Puerto Rico is incredibly beautiful and filled with wonderful people but it’s like all of the Ponderosas from the nineties packed up shop and moved down to the 51st state. That and Carls Jr, lots of those too. We didn’t get to leave the airport but we had a short (four hour) layover. If you thought eating in an airport was expensive try eating in an airport on an island. For a plate of wings (fresh, rooster was crowing upstairs at baggage and was in our stomachs 20 min later) a steak sandwich and four beers rang up a 70 dollar tab. Which sucks but at least the beers weren’t $9 and roughly 8oz*
Our flight to Tortola left at 7pm and was on a small two prop 8 seater plane. The nose was baggage storage and the wings held our carry ons. This plane was tiny. I sat behind the captain in a tangle of my own body parts.
I’m better at flying than I was. But not awesome at it, in fact many would say I’m “bad” at flying. That I “panic” quietly as we take off and land. These people are 100% correct. It was my first flight on this small of a plane and it happened to be at night, which is super duper. The thing about these little planes is that they fly relatively low and they pivot in the air. It’s a crazy flight and the landing part is even crazier. And since the ride is only forty five minutes it still happened to be might when we landed, in fact it was even darker than when we took off. Weird.
After a quick check in with customs and a baggage scare we were off. Stacey’s sister and her boyfriend picked us up in the tiniest little car ( SUV? Probably a stretch) our bags and four people were “snug” (I’m not sure I was actually in the car) for our ride to the house. If you’ve never driven on the islands let me paint the picture for you. Imagine a roller coaster in a really crappy theme park, not in the best of shape but still running at full speed. Now imagine it with people In cars coming in both directions that slow down to avoid each other at the last possible moment. And it’s night. And this is a British territory so everyone is driving on the “opposite” side of the road.
Notice I didn’t say wrong. Just because something is different than I’m used to doesn’t make it wrong…dad.
The night ended with a few beers to celebrate surviving aforementioned drive and a rolling black out that affected the west end of the island. The lights went out and the stars came out. It was, without a doubt, the most vivid and expansive field of stars I’ve ever seen.
As I fell asleep sweating like crazy and in a panic that the lights wouldn’t come back on, I thought, “this is going to be a great trip”