Friday, December 31, 2010

Maybe not so paradise, after all.

So in the last twenty four hours I have:

- Woke up at 3am after getting roughly two hours of awful sleep in order to board a redeye flight out of Chicago at 5:30am.

- Made a connecting flight at 10:55am from Miami to St. Kitts. So far, so good. All of my flights are on time and going as smoothly as multi-hour coach flights can.

- Was informed by the pilot that St. Kitts is currently experiencing "light rain" that makes it impossible for us to land due to a slick runway. I was suspicious because it's a tropical freaking island, you'd think they would have that covered by now. We reroute to St. Maarten and refuel and wait 30 minutes before making another attempt to fly out to St. Kitts.

- Nope, still too wet! We reroute to St. Maarten again and stop for about an hour, during which time we're actually allowed to get off the plane and eat something. All of the restaurants are closed, though, so we're all snatching cold ham and cheese sandwiches out of the refrigerator of a cafe kiosk like rabid coyotes.

- We make one last attempt at St. Kitts, are unsuccessful, and reroute to San Juan, Puerto Rico. The airline hooks us up with a free hotel room in a really nice hotel, meal vouchers, free taxi service, the works. Unfortunately it took over two hours to make it through customs and get everyone situated, and the airline lost one of my bags. It's in Miami and will be flown to St. Kitts tomorrow. Meanwhile, I'm without a change of clothes other that my pajamas and clean underwear.

- All of this is on top of the fact that the pilot during three take offs and landings was a complete novice. We bounced, we skidded, we shook. It was pretty terrifying, actually. At one point the wing tips nearly brushed the ground on a landing, and he barely cleared a mountain peak during one of our take offs. This is very likely the real reason we couldn't land in St. Kitts.

So, short a great deal of sleep and one bag which may or may not make it to St. Kitts tomorrow, I'm going to call it a night. I have a wake up call in 6 hours. But before I go, I'll leave you with some stunning pictures I took during the flight from Miami to St. Kitts (the first time).

Bye bye, U.S! That's the tip of Florida behind us.

We rarely knew exactly which islands we were flying over, just that they were very pretty.

This, however, was St. Maarten. You can see it was getting a little nasty out by then.

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