Saturday July 31
When the clock went past 12:30AM, and nobody was bug-covered and banging on my door, I knew we were already doing better than we had done in 2008.
The night before, I’d developed an idea. On Saturday, we were to head off island and to The Marriott on St Thomas. After the less-than-desirable experience JewelrySlut and I had when trying to procure food in 2008, I took matters in to my own hands.
I cut up the remaining steak and chicken and a good deal of the remaining cheese. They went into bags. The remaining red wine, flavored rum and Cruzan went into empty water bottles (marked on the top in Sharpie to keep them straight). The remaining OJ and Cranberry juice also went into bottles. I’d just made us a bar and dinner. It would beat whatever the hotel threw at us.
We woke up and packed. We’d been told we could stay at the house a few hours extra; nobody was coming in. When I asked The Suttons if I could hold the car an extra hour I was told “NO!!!” Ok lady…I getcha loud and clear.
We dropped the Jeep off before 10…not wanting to be late or even close to late. We dropped the bags at Connections and set out into town. We had business to attend to.
A stop at St John Spice lightened our load and our wallets. I had a gift card, so my bill wasn’t that bad. But, I found some nice new spices and loaded up on sauces that you can’t find at home. We were invited upstairs into the inner sanctum and got to help Ruth in her backsplash selections.
There was dancing.
We went downstairs to Freebird. We’d told Shmuppie before the trip that she could get a hook bracelet if she wanted one AND promised to take care of it. She got one and JewelrySlut got some more toe rings, a cute silver petroglyph bracelet and some silver turtle earrings. While talking to the owners about how much we liked the new store, I mentioned that we had to go to Patton to choke on the price of a really cute diamond palm tree we’d seen earlier in the week.
“Palm tree? Like this?” Out came a slightly smaller version of what we’d seen; a white gold palm tree lined in wee little diamonds. My Amex never made it back in my wallet after the purchase of the bracelet and silver trinkets.
MerlotMan and ChurchBomber also bought hook bracelets. At this point, only JewelrySlut lacks one, but she’s got a petroglyph bracelet from Freebird that looks like a traditional hook. Damage done, we had to go back to Mongoose.
Should anyone care, please let me talk about having an easy last day. As we were shopping and wandering about aimlessly, the 10:00 ferry was loading. About 47,000 people were trying to get on it and they were all pissed off. I was once one of them.
“Why don’t they open the ticket counter until 9:55?”
“I’m going to call someone when we get home about this!”
Yup…if you can, stay on St Thomas the last night. It’s way better.
We picked up a bushel of genips in the park and Shmuppie and I spit seeds out as we walked. Back at Mongoose, we stopped to look at the palm tree. It was larger but was also 2.5X the price. Good thing I opened my big mouth at Freebird.
The ladies had another shirt to buy or some bullshit, so I went to go buy my birthday present. My office currently has a large metal Virgin Islands Pale Ale sign. On my visit, I noticed that they not only had 4 new beers; they had 4 metal signs. So, I bought 4 small signs to hang up in the office on my “Wall of beer” (I love working from home). Shmuppie and MerlotMan started to melt down (neither has ANY tolerance for shopping) so I suggested an early lunch.
Thank the Maker for the Deli Grotto. (All St John fans are nodding). Not only is the A/C set to “cut glass”, but the food is great. We all settled into some large sandwiches and had a relaxing lunch. With full bellies, we went back to Connections and to the 1:00 ferry. It was time to say goodbye to St John.
The trip had been a success. Sure, the “getting there” sucked, but we made it and had gotten the bad luck out of the way. There wasn’t anything on the trip that could have gone better. Sure, I needed 2 more days to check a few more things off the list, but we all agreed that we didn’t need to go find a new island. We’d be back and could do other things then.
The Redemption Tour had been a success.
Now all we had to do was survive St Thomas.
Ah…St Thomas. I tolerate thee like the DMV. I’d prefer not to have you in my life, but I need you. You serve a purpose. You have an airport. I can’t think of anything else good about you.
We spent some time thinking up slogans for the St Thomas Tourism Board. Here are a few:
St Thomas! Marginally cleaner than the DR!
St Thomas! Where it’s socially acceptable to grind on your wife at the hotel pool!
St Thomas! It’s like Seaside…only hotter!
St Thomas! If you’re a douchebag, you’re welcome here!
Ugh…and, yes, we had chosen to stay a night here. Because, it’s a lot better than rushing across the islands to get to the airport.
We arrived at the Marriott. I had prepped the group to be ready for anything.
When this is over, I’ll share with you not only my letter to Marriott but their response. Until then…
We got to the hotel and dropped our bags. I went into the cooler and as I sang the Beverly Hillbillies theme, extracted a few bottles of rum and moved them to the smaller cooler. ChurchBomber looked in horror as I sang and did this…in the hotel’s front doorway.
I let them know we had arrived. As expected, our rooms were not ready. We went to the fitness center to change and then went out to the pool…and stepped into an episode of Jersey Shore.
(Breathe in…breathe out…it’s only one night)
Everywhere we looked were people who looked like they belonged on the Jersey Shore. Roided up guys in plaid shorts and DG sunglasses. On their arms were orange women in white bathing suits that accentuated their stretch marks and beer guts. We found a spot near the pool and got into the Black Lagoon…I mean the lovely outdoor pool. After a while, we had thirst. $34 later, we had 4 cans of beer and a virgin pina collada. Ahh…resorts. There’s nothing like them.
Stop looking at me that way. I’m allowed to bitch. Until this point, there hadn’t been any bitching in over a week. After a while, we decided to go get our rooms. I had messages saying they were ready, so we were all set.
“Hi…I’m here to check in. I understand my rooms are ready” I was handed 2 sets of keys…to rooms on different floors. Now, I’d called the hotel twice to confirm that I had reserved rooms “close to each other”. When told “They’re only one floor apart”, Angry Hotel NoGoodDaddy came out. I asked, quite firmly, that they honor my request…the request that the guy had read to me and had on his screen. After some time, I got 2 rooms on the same floor. Up we went.
We got to our room and I was immediately made to feel like someone using points. We had a shitty room. Sure, I could have upgraded us for a hundred bucks or so, but I was trying to do this on the cheap. I’m sure rooms 1645 and 1651 are designated for points users. There’s no other explanation. I looked at our bathroom and was not disappointed. The ceiling in the shower was rotted and collapsing. Just as I had expected (I am 100% serious here. I knew this was gonna happen). There was also no ventilation in the bathroom. That’s always a nice feature. Despite this, we all showered. While JewelrySlut was showering, MerlotMan and ChurchBomber showed up.
Their room had no hand towels, bath mat or washcloth. In their place was a plastic knife on the bathroom floor.
I went to the fridge and opened up the bar. As I poured ChurchBomber a drink she let me know that, while most of the time I was irritating and twitchy, at times, I could still amaze her. I may have looked like a goon out in the lobby moving my bottles around, but we had booze! MerlotMan had some wine and we all settled in with our drinks. After a while, I busted out the food and we more or less ate dinner in the room. Shmuppie consumed an entire bag of tortilla chips and salsa. We didn’t really care.
MerlotMan, JewelrySlut, Shmuppie and I went out to go for a walk. I wanted to visit the desk and show off the pictures I had taken of the shower. The guy on the desk was horrified. To his credit, he asked if we wanted to change rooms. I declined, knowing that moving all 5 of us would have been impossible…plus…I had a plan.
We walked around, noticing just how filthy the hotel was and then went back to the room for a nightcap. We all went to bed early. Sunday was coming. Sunday was travel day.