Sunday, May 29, 2011

I Hear Miami is Nice this Time of Year

Honeymoon Day 8 - Monday, May 9, 2011 - Return trip to Dallas, with unplanned Miami excursion

Monday morning, we woke early at 4:00 am (3:00 am Dallas time), so we could get ready in time for our taxi to pick us up at 5:15 am. It was a 45 minute ride the airport. Luckily, we were able to leave a little later than airline regulations would suggest because the airport in Tortola doesn't open until 6 am.  (Our flight was scheduled for 7:20 am, so according to airline recommendations we should have been at the airport at 5:20 am)

When we got to the airport at about 5:55 am, there was no counter agent at the American Airlines counter until about 6:20, so we just waited. In Tortola, after clearing the counter agent, you have to go to another desk to pay the BVI exit fee before going through security. After all the various check-points, we were waiting at the gate at about 6:45. Boarding should have started in about 10 minutes. We were headed home... or were we?

Several loud speaker announcements reminded passengers for our flight to San Juan to get to our gate for boarding, but then at 7:05, 15 minutes before our scheduled departure, they finally told us that the plane was having mechanical problems that would cause a 30 minute delay.  At 7:30, the delay was extended; at 8:00, it was extended again. By this point, passengers had started calculating the latest we could depart and still make the 11:20 connecting flight to Dallas (about 20 of us were headed for that Dallas flight). The verdict was that, if we left by 10:15, we'd probably be okay because it's a 30 minute flight, but we also had to clear customs in San Juan.

Because the Beef Island airport is very small, there is just a glass wall through which you can see the tarmac and all the planes, so we could see the mechanics on a ladder working on the propeller. There was a general murmur of excitement when the mechanics stepped away the propellers were fired up for a test. At 8:30, they announced to us that the plane was fixed and we would begin boarding when the crew arrived.

When the crew arrives?! They're not here? We were supposed to leave over an hour ago; why aren't they here? The crew did not arrive until 10:15. The gate attendant could give no explanation for why the crew wasn't there. I should point out that you could get to the airport from the furthest point on the island in an hour. Taking an hour and 45 minutes for the crew to arrive was absolutely ridiculous, particularly given the fact that the plane was already delayed over an hour for mechanical issues.

After all that frustration, the plane finally took off at 10:45 (30 minutes after our deadline to make our Dallas connection). When we got to San Juan, we got through customs relatively quickly, but despite our Dallas flight being 30 minutes delayed, we saw that the flight had already departed when we got through customs. All the Dallas-bound passengers got in line for re-booking. The agents were a little overrun. In fact, one said in a loud  voice to us that only passengers who have missed their flight should be in this line. We all, slightly annoyed, responded that we had, in fact, all missed the same Dallas flight because of the crew not showing up for our flight until 3.5 hours late.

Luckily though, American Airlines was able to rebook us through Miami to make it to Dallas that same day.  It would be at 10:15 pm instead of 3:30 pm, but at least, we weren't having to spend the night in the San Juan airport for the next flight to Dallas.

We ate lunch at an airport grill. We were both starving by that point because we'd just had a couple pieces of bread left over for our breakfast, thinking that we would have a better breakfast in San Juan 3.5 hours earlier. I had Quesadillas and John had a Bacon Burger.

The flight to Miami was un-eventful. The Miami airport was particularly overpriced and annoying. We ate dinner at the Corona Beach restaurant, which refused to make even the slightest substitution (which resulted in me eating the rice off John's plate and John eating the fries off my plate).  I had ribs and John had fish tacos... it was by far the worst meal of the trip.

We were exhausted, but delighted to finally be on the way home when we boarded the flight to Dallas.  John's parents met us at baggage claim in Dallas, and we finally got home a little after 11 pm, we'd been awake for 20 hours, and a particularly frustrating 20 hours at that.

Since we didn't take any pictures on that long day, here's a few pictures from after we got back.
The scene we came home to
Another view of the mess that was our entry room.
A few gifts had come while we were away, and this is probably John's favorite
Day 2 to Day 7 - See the difference?
When we got back several people said to us, "You didn't tan at all".  To those people, you are wrong... we were just pretty pasty when we left.  :)

And thus ends the account of the Hansen Honeymoon.  Despite the frustration of the last day, we really enjoyed ourselves, and we hope to go back and stay on Cane Garden Bay for a long weekend or holiday in the future.  

Yea!  We're Married!

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