PDA

View Full Version : 8/4 Magic--Day 5--Wednesday, St. Thomas


miksicnarf
08-21-2001, 05:22 PM
I think we were already docked when I got up this morning. Our plan for today was to go to Trunk Bay on St. John on our own. I called room service with a huge order: coffee, breakfast for the kids—buttermilk pancakes and Mickey waffles, and lunch for all of us to bring to the beach. I ordered two each of the three types of sandwiches offered—tuna, turkey and ham plus a half dozen chocolate chip cookies. It took room service three trips to get the order right—they kept bringing blueberry pancakes instead of buttermilk, and shorted us the ham sandwiches. I have to say those were the driest, most unappetizing pancakes I’d ever seen, and the waffles were like hockey pucks. After all that trouble, no one ate much. I’d brought Ziploc bags, and packed up the sandwiches, potato chips and cookies in the collapsible cooler I’d brought, along with a supply of sodas and bottled water which our concierge kept our refrigerator stocked with. I saw Eulanda in the hall (she was always out there, I swear every time I opened the door) and asked if she could bring some extra ice for the cooler. Helpful as always, she said no problem, how soon do you want it? I also packed a beach bag with sunscreen, etc., and we had a huge rolling duffle bag with snorkel gear. We’d grown fat and lazy from being waited on on the ship, so it was a rude awakening to have to schlep all this paraphernalia ourselves. I’d opted to do Trunk Bay on our own rather than the Disney-sponsored excursion so we’d have more time at the beach, but I guess the trade-off is the inconvenience of the above-mentioned schlepping.
I guess we were off the ship by 9:00 or so, with the boys still in a fog :) We got a taxi right outside the ship to Red Hook for $8 per person. It was a regular old car, but comfortable enough. Our driver was a nice, older man who chatted amicably during the 20-minute ride. He radioed ahead to his partner on St. John, Puff Daddy, so that he’d be waiting to meet us at the ferry and take us to Trunk Bay. We were on the 10:00 ferry, which cost $3/person, $1 for Alex since she’s under 12. It was a nice, 20-minute ride to St. John. As promised, Puff Daddy was waiting for us—he was easy to spot with his huge gold necklace with “Puff” spelled out across his chest. Despite the intense heat, he was immaculately dressed in a crisp shirt and tie. He took us and another larger family in his open-air truck, again I’d estimate it was a 15 or 20-minute ride. He stopped briefly at a few scenic spots. At one point he stopped at a point that overlooked Trunk Bay, far below. When he announced that was Trunk Bay, Michael, who was seated in the row in front of me, started to get out of the truck—he thought that was our stop. I was LOL and asked him how the heck he thought we would get to the beach from there.
When we finally did arrive at Trunk Bay, it was a short walk from the taxi to the beach but it was hot, hot, hot and felt like miles. We walked to the less-crowded left side as we entered the beach area, plopped down our stuff and I had to force the kids to put sunscreen on first before they dashed into the water. I wanted to rent beach chairs, so I grabbed $20 from Michael and went off to find them. When I got to the rental hut, I saw that chairs were $7 each but required a $25 deposit :( So I left with no chairs. Back at our spot on the beach, Michael had determined that the place to snorkel was down to the right where all the people were (duh, I guess that’s why they were there!) and wanted to move camp. After my fruitless chair-hunting hike in the extreme heat (remember, I hadn’t been in the water yet), I wasn’t going anywhere so we just spread out a few of the towels we’d brought from the ship and stayed where we were. Michael and the kids went off to snorkel while I stayed put to watch over my precious-but-often-pain-in-the-butt camera gear. At last, I got in the water! It was awesome, truly the most crystal-clear seawater I’d ever seen and I’ve seen some seawater in my day :) When Michael returned from snorkeling, I took a turn. It was good, but not as good as our benchmark snorkeling experience on the Big Island of Hawaii at Kealakekua Bay. I did get to see my favorite fishes, the colorful parrotfish :)
We ate the lunch we’d packed, which tasted so good (as food often does outdoors after physical exertion) and I was so glad we took the trouble to bring it. There is a snack bar right off the beach, though, but it was nice not to have to leave the soft, white sand to stand in a hot line.
We’d arranged to meet Puff Daddy at 1:30, so we packed up and headed back to the parking lot. There are showers to rinse the sand and salt off if you like, although the sand is so fine and soft that it just falls right off when you’re dry, unlike our local Venice sand that sticks in every unmentionable crevice of one’s anatomy and abrades the flesh right off one’s bones. Puff was waiting, and we got back to the ferry in plenty of time for the 2:00 crossing. Back at Red Hook, we looked for our original driver but instead we found another guy, Mr. Bradshaw, who assured us he was also a member of Puff’s team so we rode with him back to the ship. The kids and I boarded, but Michael wanted to check out the nearby shops. He ended up nearly missing the boat, as we heard the all aboard sound several times before he appeared. He wasn’t the last one, though: we saw a pilot boat bringing someone to the ship after we’d sailed. Michael bought me a sweatshirt (coulda used that earlier in the week in the movie theater!) and I think he bought some alcohol. There was a treat (I forget exactly what it was--cookies, maybe) waiting in our room along with a note of apology from room service for the errors in our breakfast.
Today’s show was Who Wants to be a Mouseketeer, and this was one we’d all been looking forward to. Michael watches Millionaire all the time, and Andrew is a Disney trivia expert and really wanted to be chosen for the hotseat. Didn’t happen, though :( A high school girl and her father made it the farthest, up to $750. I forget what the final question was, but they opted to bail out with the cash. Everyone who played got at least $200, as the host would give outrageous clues if the contestants didn’t know an answer at those lower levels.
Our dinner tonight was at Lumiere’s, and Michael and the boys decided to eat in the suite. I wouldn’t have minded staying in too, but Alex really wanted to go to the dining room so we ladies went alone. I had the beef tenderloin and Alex had the ravioli, which she liked but the portion was very small. I felt awkward explaining to Aleksander, and then again to Sandra, why the guys weren’t there. They just felt like eating in the room, but our servers seemed to take it personally. Aleksander made a big deal about bringing my chocolate soufflé from Palo—he held the dessert above his head and danced around the dining room with it. I was embarrassed, and in all honesty that dessert was quite disappointing :( I wish I’d had the chocolate mousse or crème brulee from the regular menu instead. We were out of the dining room in less than an hour, as Alex was in a hurry to get to the Lab to make goo.
Back at the room, the guys had enjoyed their stateroom dining experience. Mikey also liked the ravioli but it was nowhere near enough for him; Andrew had the beef tenderloin and Michael had the herb-crusted sea bass, which he didn’t care for. Thinking of me, they’d ordered a variety of desserts so I did get to try the mousse and crème brulee after all :) I think I have to give the crème brulee the nod out of tonight’s lineup.
My notes are sketchy and I can’t recall what we did for the rest of the night. I know I didn’t go to the movie because Castaway was playing again. I guess I probably spent some time at the Internet Café, read my book and called it an early night after the exhausting day at the beach.