Welcome to the first day of the rest of our blog. Today marks our exodus from America for a while. It didn’t start off smoothly. Monday, on the 10-hour drive from Knoxville, TN to Jacelyn’s parents’ house in Oxford, FL, we became aware of Tropical Storm Irene. She was moving toward San Juan, Puerto Rico, where our connecting flight to Dominica (Dom) occurred. Halfway home, we stopped at a Starbucks to get online and see where things stood. Much to our dismay, Liat Airlines, our connecting flight, had posted on their website that all flights to and from San Juan were cancelled! To top it off, their customer service didn’t open until 7 am and our first leg of the flight started at 7:30, which meant we would have to check in for the flight to Puerto Rico not knowing the status of our flight to Dom…
Then began the scramble. Multiple customer service numbers, websites, storm-tracking, espresso, and 53 minutes of sleep in a night later, we woke up at 4am to decide what to do. Should we head to Airtran in Tampa, which hadn’t cancelled their flights and hope that our connecting flight came back online? Should we get some sleep and try to get moved to another flight with Liat, although, their site said that there were no open seats on any flights to Dom until Friday? Should we find a cave and hide there forever? These options, and many more, passed through our minds. In the end, true to form, Jacelyn thought we at least had to make the effort of driving the hour-and-a-half down to Tampa to at least do everything in our power to be available. I’m so glad she did!
We arrived, checked our many bags (and guitar), and hurried to the gate, with me repeatedly dialing Liat’s customer service number. It was nerve-wracking because we’d already technically checked the bags, so if Liat still had no flight for us, we would have to not board the plane and let all of our luggage go on ahead of us to San Juan! How’d it play out? How’d I get to this point, sitting at 30,000 feet, writing to you? In short, Airtran delayed us an hour, which gave us time to call Liat, who informed me that, contrary to their websites’ updates, no flights were cancelled and we were good to go!
And what’s left of the day? Scramble to retrieve and recheck our luggage (pay insane fees for the overweight charge), hop on a smaller plane, arrive at 5:10pm on Dom, find our transportation, travel an hour to Portsmouth, and locate our new home! I’ll write more at the end of the day when that list has been accomplished. Or…..when we get stranded somewheres.
…So…we’re stranded somewheres. Technically, we’re stuck in the basement of the San Juanairport, waiting for our plane to get fixed on the island of St. Vincent, fly two hours to San Juan, pick us up, and fly 3 hours to Dominica. It’s already 2 hours and 15 minutes past when we should’ve left. Not sure what we’ll end up doing. Delay indefinitely, cancel, sleep in airport, hotel, Tata’s? Choices, choices…
…Here’s what ended up happening. Our flight arrived, we took off 5 hours later than what we were supposed to, they flew us as far as the island of Antigua, where they put us up in a hotel. Went to bed at midnight, got up at 3:30am, took the van back to the airport, slept through the 40-minute flight to Dom, and woke up as we were descending between two green mountains to the Dom runway. We made it through customs, took the 1-hour ride to our town, Portsmouth, checked in at Ross University and were taken to our apartment.
We slept for 3 hours, went and bought some necessities. One the way home, we saw George’s Restaurant, which turned out to be strictly authentic Chinese food! We were able to speak Chinese to them and order “to dou si”, which is a spicy shredded potato dish that we haven’t had since we left China 5 years ago. Got home, set up the internet, spoke with family, blogged and am currently….falling……..asleep. Talk to you tomorrow! (Oh, and not every entry of this blog will be so list-esque) (AND, I will actually edit my entries in the future.
Below is a picture of our apartment complex, called GreenHomes. Click HERE or on the pic to see all the photos from today!