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Coming Home to the Islands

We arrived on St. Croix late Monday evening after a long day of travel. We had gotten cheaper tickets by agreeing to a long (8 hour) layover in Miami Once, when we had a long layover in San Juan we stayed in the Admiral's Club which made it much more tolerable. We looked into that this time, but both were under construction. So I found us a quiet lounge and we mostly just hung out there. But then our flight was moved to another gate and we rode on the sky train. Then it was delayed and so we hung out a bit longer. But eventually we arrived to St. Croix where Buzz met us at the airport with a jug of rum & grapefruit juice. It felt like coming home.

We've been coming to St. Croix for a dozen years. The first time we came Daniel was just a little guy who had only learned to swim the week before. Now, he will turn 18 while we're on island. We plan to visit the distillery, which he's visited many times before, but never been able to sample the rum at the end of the tour.

We haven't come every year: last year I used the resources I might have used to come to St. Croix so Phil and I could go to the Universala Kongreso in Lille. I was really happy to go and to spend time with Phil. But I've been missing St. Croix all year.

I don't think I would want to live here full time. I worry that after a couple of weeks, it would start to lose its magic. It is like magic when you step off the plane and smell the tropical air. And when you come over the hill down to the coast and see the blue Caribbean Ocean laid out before you.

I love the easy-going attitude of the people. Nothing really works the way you expect. But that's OK. It's usually close enough and as long as you don't bring any expectations, it's fine. Centerline bakery doesn't have any pastries? Let's try Nacho's! There's no rental car available? There'll probably be one tomorrow…

Now that we've had a few days to settle in, some new folks are coming in tonight for a week. Tomorrow is Emancipation Day and Monday is the Fourth, for which Buzz has planned a little symposium for archeologists, turtle people, and mongoose people to all present some of our on-going projects. And we've got a bunch of on-projects to talk about.

All too soon, we'll be packing up to head home. And I'll be glad to get home. Like Rose always says, if you never leave, you can't come back. I'm already looking forward to coming back.