Sunday, January 19, 2014

Adventures in Curacao Day 1

So as you probably noticed, I was not as good as blogging each day on this trip. Likely for a couple of reasons. One being that I am a little burnt out technically and so have found myself shying away from trying to be creative on the computer. Second, as we travelled with others, it felt rude to be sitting with them typing away on the iPad and not conversing. Instead, I would fall asleep at night recounting all of our adventures so I would be sure to share with you.

Our traveling got off to a bit of a rough start. We had booked ourselves on the red-eye to Toronto leaving just after midnight bright and early on Sunday. Our packing went surprisingly well and we were at the airport in no time. Security was a breeze and we found ourselves with lots of time to relax at a restaurant at the gate and grab a quick snack.

Partially tuning in to the drone of announcements, the four of us - Jimmy, Robert, C. Ann and myself - were anxiously chatting about how excited we were to be on our way. My ears perked up as I heard a poorly pronounced Farrell and quickly realized that they were requesting Jimmy and I to check in at the gate. Thinking they were starting at the top of the alphabet and doing passport checks, I gathered our things and headed over to the counter. Surprisingly we were told that they had rebooked us on an earlier flight. I asked if the Teasedale/Marquis crew were also rebooked but they were not. Ugh! There was a huge storm rolling through Toronto and the gate agent urged us this was a good thing.

Well to save you all the sordid details, we were delayed an additional 45 minutes. Robert and C. Ann were on a flight that was supposed to leave 25 minutes after our flight. They, however, were delayed 2 - 3 hours. Jimmy and I arrived before dawn, grabbed a bite and found a quiet place to sleep until Robert and C. Ann got in. Our departure flight was supposed to leave right as Robert and C landed but luckily enough it was also delayed. Also, fortunately, we did actually get out of Toronto shortly after our revised time despite the fact that runways were shut down. The attendant said we were one of the last flights to actually leave before they grounded all aircraft. Thank you west jet for prioritizing our flight above the various local flights!

Before we knew it, we were pulling into Paradise. It was already dark by the time we arrived but we grabbed our bags, lugged everything in the humid head over to the car rental, lugged everything plus Jimmy's bags over to the car (Jimmy had run ahead with the agent to get it all straightened away) and proceeded to play a game of tetris to fit 2 golf bags, 2 big suitcases, 1 medium suitcase, 2 carry-on suitcases and all of our backpacks/duffle bags. Oh that also needs to include 4 adults. All in a compact size car. EEP! But we did it. The boys took the front seat and C sat on my lap with the bags stacked on the seat next to us!

Jimmy did a great job navigating the roads while Robert followed the instructions we received with our accommodation package. As the dark shadows of foliage flew by we tried to soak all the store lights in to get a bit of our bearings.

We arrived at our place, dipped our toes in the pool, settled in a  touch and headed back out to find some food. The owners of the villa had recommended a couple of restaurants but unfortunately they both were closed. The server at the one did recommend a snack shop up the road. We were starving after a day of travel and only a sandwich to tie us over and so we were ready for anything at that point.

The snack shop (we were later told the locals call it a snackie) was a hopping spot for the locals. Unfortunately we did not speak papiamentu and they didn't know much english. We were not too sure if we ordered or what we ordered but hung out waiting just in case! There was a local dj spinning some tunes and some wonderful dance moves. A local dog has getting his fill of petting and people seemed to be constantly coming and going. Suddenly 4 styrofoam containers lined up on the counter and they were looking at Jimmy expectantly. He handed over money. Smiles and nods were exchanged and we were off.

We got back to our villa and settled in outside to a delicious meal of rice, grilled pork chops, tandoori chicken, steamed plantains and curry ketchup! There was so much food we couldn't begin to eat it all. But oh so good.

What a fun way to start our trip . . . especially after the travel stress.