Thursday, September 29, 2016

Sept. 20, 2016---off to St. Thomas!

5 days after we got home from 4 weeks in Hawaii, I was off to catch a flight to St. Thomas.  I wasn't planning to go, but circumstances made it a perfect opportunity to  join my daughter and her husband there for 3 nights, so I happily joined them.

Originally I had booked them accommodations in a studio unit at the new Wyndham Margaritaville.  With our VIP status with Wyndham, we're eligible for free upgrades if they're available.  I kept checking and the one and only time anything else appeared it was for a 3 bedroom Presidential Reserve unit, so I immediately upgraded them.  My daughter, again, stressed that she and Josh would like me to join them, so she booked me a flight on Spirit Airlines out of ATL for about $370 rt.  Couldn't pass up a deal like that!

So dark and early, Ken drove me to the airport.  At least there isn't much Atlanta traffic at 5:30 in the morning!

I've only flown Spirit one other time---from Fll-Atl to dog sit when Angie and Josh were packing and driving their stuff up to Suwanee, but it is a surprisingly nice airline.   At least as far as the plane goes.  They do charge for everything from carry on luggage to sodas, but since I was only going for 3 nights, all I needed fit into my personal bag (beach bag) which is the only thing free you can bring.
As we were taking off from ATL---

Beautiful views of the South Florida coastline and the Everglades Cruise port that we often take cruises out of.

It was another nice smooth flight and I arrived in FLL about 20 minutes early.  Good thing since the board said I was to go to the next terminal over for my connecting flight.  After sitting at that gate for about 30 minutes, I went to the customer service counter and asked if I could be moved up in the plane.  I hadn't purchased seats and the computerized randomly selected seat I was assigned when I checked in for my flight was in the back of the plane.  At least it was a window and maybe I should have kept it for a better view of the ocean, but I moved up to row 7.
Looked like we were going to be delayed for awhile.  We did sit on the tarmac for about 10 minutes, then I guess they decided we could beat the  storm.
Had a bit of a view of the wing, but still saw lots of the ocean.
Unlike flying over the Pacific, the Caribbean is really pretty from the air.  So many greens and blues.
So many islands!
I thought it was interesting that the clouds built up over land.
We had flown to St. Thomas once before, but it was night then so I didn't have these views.  We did have some views on the way back to FLL that trip, but not as many as this time.
another of the hundreds of islands.
so many great looking snorkeling areas!
Yes, I was a bit obsessed with taking pictures of the islands and waters around them.
Wonder what all these islands are named.
Wonder if I've been to any of them via cruise ship?
About 2 hours later we were landing in St. Thomas---about 20 minutes early.
Love how they bring ladders to the plane and everyone fights to get off.  I did notice many of the passengers on Spirit don't wait for the seats in front of them to get off first.  Some take it as a free for all and run up the aisle as soon as the seat belt sign goes off.
Angie and Josh arrived about 1 1/2 hours before me and got the rental car and a snack while they waited for my flight.  They flew in from MIA and had spent the previous 3 nights in Pompano.  But as soon as I called them, they were there to pick me up within minutes.
Several cruise ships in town today.
love the husband day care.
By now it was about 4:30, so we went straight to Margaritaville to check into our condo.
They even treated us to a free Margarita at check in.  It was quite tasty!
Love the sign in the lobby
more of the lobby
The kids actually had reservations for 4 nights, but it had to be made in 2 reservations.  Their last night was suppose to be in a studio since I never did see an upgrade for that reservation.  That's why I stayed 3 nights and they stayed 4.  As it was, they let them stay in the same unit all 4 nights!  What a deal for half the points of a studio!  Our unit was the lower level here, right by the beach and pool!

Our 3 bedroom unit was the lower level up to the 2 patio doors on the far right

Hope I can luck into this unit again some day!

from the front door
hallway to the 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms

kitchen again

livingroom towards front door.

loved the sign on the living room sliders.

view from our livingroom patio

view from the other patios

another view of the living room.

interesting arrangement

Margarita maker bar.  The kids bought the Cruzan at the airport.  Turns out the alcohol would have been about half the price if they had waited until we went to K-mart (needed sunscreen and a few groceries).  We did find out that they would let you check Cruzan at the airport for free to bring back with you.  I think the limit is 6 per person and it has to be packaged in boxes and taped well, but we drank it!  None of this made it home.

heading down the hall to check out the bedrooms.

master bedroom---which I gave to the kids.
their en suite bathroom.
huge shower which Angie said got the bathroom floor all wet no matter how careful she was.
huge patio with really comfy furniture.
middle bathroom.
middle bedroom

3rd bedroom

the starter toiletries they supplied in the bathrooms.  I understand these ones are unique to the Presidential Units.  Wonder what they have in the other units?
the 3rd bathroom tub/shower.  Only tub in the unit.
3rd bedroom (mine) patio.  Loved that round chair

View from my patio

the pool to the left of our building
We went to the restaurant for dinner.  It was Happy Hour, so we happily partook in it.  Pretty decent happy hour---2 drinks of the same kind for the price of one.  Angie and I each got a pina colada and Josh got 2 Hurricanes.
my burger.  Love the plate.  The burger and fries were quite tasty, too.

Yea!!! We're here!

That pretty much took care of day one.  We chilled around the condo for the rest of the evening.

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