Thursday, March 26, 2009

Tuesday to Saba

Last Tuesday Handyman, Baby Gabe, and I woke up at 1:30 A.M. in order to catch our 6:00 A.M. flight at O'Hare airport. Thankfully the drive to the airport was uneventful (if slightly tense) due to the fact that the alternator on Handyman's van wasn't working, and we weren't sure if there was enough juice in the batteries to get us all the way to the airport. My automotive advice to Handyman was to just start wacking the hood in hopes of getting the alternator to start working again, but Handyman ignored me.

No one appreciates my automotive wisdom.

We had a layover in Philadelphia that was quick, to say the least. Our flight arrived in Philly at 9:10, and the next flight that would take us to St. Maarten left at 9:30.

In typical airport fashion, our connecting flight must have been 10 miles away from our first flight. Handyman and I had to really hoof it to make it in time!
Gabe wasn't very happy on the flights. He was just getting over a pretty bad case of the stomach flu, so his sleep patterns and appetite was all messed up. Also, waking him up at 1:30 in the morning might have had something to do with his fussiness.
I know it had a lot to do with my fussiness.

I love it how the flight attendant very politely said, "Do you think your baby would like some apple juice?", which translated into, "Can't you get that little brat to shut up? He sounds like a tortured cat!"

Once we arrived in St. Maarten, we took a bus from the airport to Phillipsburg. Most tourists take a taxi, but we're frugal (*ahem* cheap) so we took the bus. A taxi costs around $27, but a bus is only $2 a seat. We didn't realize that "seat" really meant "seat", so we had to pay a little more than we thought because our luggage took up a few extra seats. Oh well, it was still a lot cheaper!

Our bus driver spoke some sort of language that seemed to be a mixture of French, Spanish, English, and Gobbledygook. I think it's usually referred to as "patois". I pretended to be hard of hearing so I could get him to repeat himself. Usually by the second or third try I figured out the jist of what he was saying.

Feeling practically dead on our feet, we walked about half a mile to the dock where the Dawn II ferry comes in.

Security to get into Saba was by far the most rigourous. Getting into and out of the US was nothing compared to the thoroughness of these guys.
Apparantly, they're trying to crack down on drug trafficking. The policeman (who was only doing his job, after all, so I wasn't upset) opened all the lotion bottles, looked inside the barrel of my blow dryer, and even (yuck!) tasted the baby powder to make sure it was not cocaine!

He took ALL the clothes out of my suitcase, and to my complete embarrassement, proceded to check the lining of my undergarments. I rather wryly noticed that all the deck hands paused in their duties to watch. (Remember, this is my tenth anniversary trip, so I had a few "unmentionables" in that suitcase that were not supposed to see the light of day.)

The ride on the ferry took a little over two hours and was pretty rough. Thankfully I don't get seasick and Handyman took a dramamine, so he was alright as well. The three of us, very tired by this point, fell asleep shortly after getting on board.We were soooo happy to finally get to my Uncle Paul and Aunt Sue's place, the First and Last Cottage.It's called that, because it's the first cottage on the way to Hell's Gate, and the last cottage on the way to Windwardside.
In fact, if you'd ever like to write them a letter, you can just address it to First and Last Cottage, Saba, and the letter will get there just fine!Cool view, huh?


Ellen said...

Awesome post, Rach! You would not have known Gabe was fussy, by looking at those pics. Your trip there was an ordeal in and of itself! But, wow! Beautiful! Although, I do have to be honest that I did give out a chuckle at your expense re: your "unmentionables." Hee hee. (*Sorry.*)

beadlizard said...

What a story! If you write this up as a novel, I'll proof it for you...

Sounds like quite a trip to get there, but paradise once you arrived.

Acornbud said...

Glad to hear you made it safely. You know you forgot your other two kids. (wink)

Andi said...

It looks like you had a nice time. How quaint and peaceful! I need some of that!

Liz Foley said...

Next time I am SO coming with you. I do not care if it is your anniversary!