Saturday, May 13, 2006- Ahhhh the appointed time is here. No more day dreaming. It's vacation time again.

I'm up early checking flights and doing some final packing. There is always the need to run the vacuum cleaner one last time when you have 3 dogs and a cat inside.

I'm in flight now from Miami to St Croix. It's an old 737 and only about 2/3 full so there is plenty of room. A poor mans first class.

We arrive in St Croix a few minutes early. The humidity is up. Everyone was wet with sweat lugging bags off the plane.

Our car rental person from Centerline met us as usual but the van to take us to the car was out on another call. Okay….it's island time, no worries. So Gigi heads to the luggage claim to pick up the bags and I wait on the van. The van eventually came and I pick up the jeep.

Meanwhile not a single bag has been unloaded from the American Flight. Gigi and another 125 people are standing around in the heat waiting for the luggage to come on the conveyer.

I switched places with Gigi so she could go to the jeep and sit in the air conditioning.

Finally a few bags come out, then a few more. Slooooooowly the luggage builds up volume. Finally I see the first bag, then the second, and wait for the third. It's starting to look bad. Me and a couple of Rasta guys are staring hopelessly at the conveyor.

Okay. 2 out of three ain't bad but I know that is not going to set well with Gigi. It didn't.

I filed the report and they assured us the bag would be on the next 8:50 PM flight from San Juan.

We arrived at the Carambola after doing a little grocery shopping. This is a nice place but in need of good management. The grounds could use some work. The staff is nice but not coordinated. The rooms are large, quintessential Caribbean with the wooden beam ceilings and open ceiling fans and tile floors. The appliances and fixtures need replacing. Two light bulbs are out and the buttons on the phone are unmarked.

The view is great. We are ocean front. It is very lush here. Lots of vegetation.

We are tired and want dinner. All we have eaten is salty airline stuff all day. I want a glass of chardonnay and a seafood salad. We went down to the open air bar/grill and wait. And wait. Other people are getting attention and we aren't. Eventually a really nice waiter came by and took our drink and food order. We wait, and wait. New people come in and get service, drinks and food. Nothing for us. I flag down our waiter and he realized he completely forgot us. He forgot both our drinks and order. It's not like we were in a dark corner either. We were seated in the middle of the open deck.

So we sit back and enjoy a most beautiful sunset. And a few drinks. This is not the place to catch a buzz. You get one drink on their terms. Sip it slowly.

I ordered the house salad with seared tuna with blue cheese and blue cheese crumbles. Gigi ordered the same but with shrimp. She got the crumbles and I didn't. I wasn't about to send this salad back though.

The salads were good. The service was horrible. They deserve the dreaded one shrimp.

Flamboyant Lounge

We attempted to sit up to wait for our bag but fatigue took over and we decided to turn in.