Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Cruise Journal: Day 5: Tuesday, September 30, 2008

**Pictures would not work. I'll try again later. Use your imagination. All 0 of my loyal readers.**

**Insert a beautiful picture of St. Thomas port here.**

Today we arrived in St. Thomas. The weather and scenery were beautiful. They tied up at dock and announced the immigration process. They called non-US citizens and Deck 6. Then we waited. Finally, Keith got done and came to the cabin. He said we should just go. We did, but not without some problems. (Katy vs Mom) What a headache. We finally got up to the line and it was gigantic. It moved pretty fast though and we were done quickly. Then we got off the boat to go to Paradise Point. It was a bit of a walk and of course, Katy fussed all the way. When we arrived, we got in a gondola all by ourselves. It was quite trippy going up the mountain. The plants looked like stuff out of a movie. When we got to the top, we got drinks. We had 2 bottles of water and a soda. Keith was expecting a canned drink, but got a fountain drink. He said it tasted funky. He left it. Probably smart. We had thought about doing a bit of shopping there, but again, Katy was cranky, so we left. The ride down was just as nice as the ride up. We walked over to the Budget rental office. They only had Jeeps. They were $82 plus another 20 for the CDW. We passed on it. We got back on the ship and had lunch. Katy continued to be a pain. Keith was ready to trash the day and stay on the boat. I insisted that we go.

**Insert another pretty beach picture here**

I changed into my suit and Erin did too. I packed the backpacks and waited. Finally, Katy said she didn’t want to stay (I would have) and she did want to go to the beach. Ok, fine. We left the cabin, disembarked, and got a taxi to downtown. We should have specified to the Water Island Taxi, but didn’t. He dropped us downtown. We realized this wasn’t where we wanted to be and finally got help from a Tourist Info booth. The lady there was so nice. She initially gave us directions to the water taxi to Water Island. It meant another taxi and then waiting on a boat. I finally asked her, “Where is a nice beach, on this island, that we can take the girls to?” She directed us to Emerald Beach. She said it was very nice, shallow, with facilities. We immediately got a nice taxi driver who drove us there. He went a back way, off the main road, so we could see the beach. Wow! It was amazing. He took 2 pictures of it for us.

**Insert yet another gorgeous beach picture.**

He dropped us off and we headed in. A short walk down a path led us to the most beautiful beach. The sand was nice (if short) and the water was amazing. We found a shady spot under a tree and spread out the blanket. Erin and I were immediately ready. Katy sure perked up when she saw the ocean. We played and swam until almost 3:00. We met a nice couple from AZ/CA. They were staying on the island for a week, at the resort there at Emerald Beach. They were very nice and had some good tips. The gentleman said that all the beaches on the Dutch side of St. Maarten will be fine, and that even the French side will be fine. To find the nude beaches, we would have to ask a local. Which, of course, we won’t do. When we were ready to leave, we packed up and headed out. We walked to the main road and flagged down a taxi. The driver was an older lady. It seems like everyone here knows someone in NC. Kinda strange. ;) We met a nice couple from Philly who are down here on vacation. They are staying at the Marriott hotel on the point. I’ve got pictures of it from the ship. We sat in traffic due to road construction for a while. We made it back to the boat at about 4:20. We passed through security with no problems.

*Insert - Yes! - another wonderful beach picture here.**

We got the girls in the shower first. Katy didn’t get all the sand off the first time and had to go back in. Then, once they were dressed, they laid on the bed. After a snack, they played the quiet game. Of course, they both fell asleep. I’ll declare them both the winner and give them each a dollar. That was our agreed prize for the winner. Of course, it is really Keith and me who are the winners – we get some peace and quiet while the girls take a snooze. After the girls fell asleep, Keith headed up on deck. I’m writing in the journal. The current time is 5:10pm. The girls have been asleep since about 4:45pm. Ahhh! Bliss!

9:47pm: I woke the girls up at 5:35. Katy was feeling awful and I forced her to let me check her temp. She had a fever of 102! Obviously, no kids club! I took the girls and we tried to find Keith. We couldn’t and came back to the cabin to try to have him paged. I called the purser and they wouldn’t page him. Only in medical emergencies will they page. So, I said my daughter has a fever and I need him. The purser asked in a really nice but firm way for me to take her to the infirmary. As we were getting ready to leave, I put notes on the door. And as I did, who should I see walking down the corridor? Keith! Erin ran and greeted him and we all made our way to the infirmary. About 30 minutes and $120 later we had an answer: an ear infection in the right ear and tonsillitis. The doctor gave us some Augmentin and told us to keep her dosed with ibuprofen.

We went to the buffet for dinner. I had some turkey, rice pilaf, and dinner rolls. I also had 2 bowls of the chocolate melting cake. It was really melty tonight. Keith had fish, chicken parmigana, rice, and apple pie. Katy ate a bit of turkey. Erin had 3 helpings of turkey and French fries. We dosed Katy and within 30 minutes she was a different child! We really must remember in the future: when she acts funny, check for illness! We went on deck to watch cast off. While waiting, we saw a ray! It was so cool! It was completely dark and I spotted this shape floating along in the water. We followed it and watched it disappear. Tres cool. Then we watched them cast off the lines at the aft tie down. The girls thought that was pretty neat.

As we were walking forward, Erin began to scream. She had gotten stung by a bee or hornet. I pulled out the stinger pretty quickly and Keith stomped the insect. We got a napkin and ran cold water on it. Keith got her some ice. After a few minutes she calmed down and we came back to the cabin to doctor it up. A bandaid, cream, and ibuprofen made everything better. We went back on deck and danced to some music. Then we had a snack/dessert and watched the lights of St. Thomas fade. On our way to the cabin, we stopped and bought some post cards and key chains and magnets. Then my S&S card quit working! I went to the pursers desk and stood in line. They made me a new card. Alls well that ends well! Today was a busy day and tomorrow will be too. Good night!

**Insert an amazing picture of the nighttime lights of St. Thomas here**

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