Latitude 17N

Monday, July 31, 2006

Our airline story

So our flight went off with a hitch or two or all started the night before we were supposed to leave. We went out for dinner and on the way back I noticed that the plane that usually overnights at the airport for the early flight out was not there. At this point it was 8:30 so I knew it wasn't coming in. When we got home I checked my flight status and it said my flight out of Nevis was CANCELLED! It had been thundering and lightening and raining heavy all day so it wasn't really a big surprise but you know how denial can be. Even at dinner we were seated at this table that was under a seam on the canvas roof. It started pouring and the seam turned into a gutter and was splattering on the deck right next to Jaime and getting him all wet. But back to the airline story...I found out that I had been re-booked on the afternoon flight which gets into Boston at 10:30pm. I was not so excited about this because traveling with Julian at night is not that easy. It really makes for a long day. So we got up that morning and I was trying to get some last minute things done like printing some documents for my online classes that were starting in a couple of days. My printer was on the fritz and I didn't get any of that done. Jaime called me to let me know that he was only going to be able to take one class next semester which would mean he was a part time student which also means that he wouldn't be eligible for loans next semester. So that was not good news AT ALL. He is working on that at the moment so hopefully things will be fine. But it was not good news to hear just as I'm about to leave. Oh and earlier when Julian got up...he tipped over our coffee table with a marble insert and smashed it all over the floor. Not sure how much this will cost to replace in Nevis! We got to the airport almost 2 hours early and there was a huge crowd. Most likely due to the cancelled flight from the a.m. They "looked through" my luggage and sent me over to the check in line. I finally got up to the counter where I had to juggle the contents around to meet their weight requirements which took a bit of time and a lot of sighs behind me from those poor Four Seasons guests that had to wait around in the hot, humid conditions of the airport. So sorry for them. Then I had to get security clearance from the mysterious entity that they call when you're "flagged". This is the second time it has happened to me leaving Nevis. I'm not sure if it's me or Julian that's running from the law but it sure makes me sweat every time! They told me that every so many random people need clearance but when it happens twice to you it seems a bit scary. I really don't want to end up in Ye Olde Nevis Prison Farm. So we finally get on the plane on time and get up in the air. I am stressed at this point from all the crap that has happened that day. Plus, I didn't get my sandwich at Deli by Wendy as I had planned so I was hungry too. The beverage cart came our way and I ordered a diet coke and some apple juice for Julian. He was reading a book at this point and shortly after he got it he spilled the whole thing all over his book and into his open backpack which was on the floor below his tray. SO...I had to clean that all up which was a wet sticky mess. Once in San Juan we were able to get some linner or sunch or lupper. It wasn't the best meal ever but the waitress was very polite and nice and attentive so that made it ok. Julian was out of control that day and driving me nuts. I don't know if it was a case of nerves for him or excitement but he would not calm down. I had to take away his privelege to watch a movie while we waited for the plane which made for a long wait. Finally we got on the plane and were seated next to an old man from San Juan I am thinking. He did not speak English which I was happy about because I did not want to talk to anyone. I was tired and bitchy. Then he fell asleep which was good to. This little girl in front of us kept trying to reach back and pull down our shade on the window and I was ready to grab her hand and send it back. I need to be able to see out the window until we get up in the air and even out in altitude. She kept trying and looking over at me like I was going to help her. But I gave her the evil eye and finally she gave up because she couldn't reach. I'm so mean! Julian calmed down on the plane and he watched as much of a movie as his battery would allow. Then he watched the in flight movie 8 Below which was a good movie for him. We bought a snack box from the snack cart and had a drink while we watched our movie. There was a screaming toddler in the row diagonally in back of us. There is actually a child in the world that is louder than Julian! Haha. But it wasn't my problem so it didn't bother me too much. I just kept my earphones in and turned up my volume. The lady next to us was fighting the motion sickness. She was a caribbean woman all dressed up for the flight with her matching fancy purse. I tried to get up to go to the bathroom and she caught my eye and motioned that she was going to get sick so I let her go first!!! Then the guy in the other bathroom was taking so long that my bladder decided that it didn't really need to go after all. So I sat back down and Julian fell asleep for the last hour of the flight. It was rough getting him out of his deep sleep. Oh, I almost forgot, as we were getting on the plane Julian was peeking into the cockpit which was open and the steward told him he could go in if he wanted. He hollered to the pilots that someone wanted to come in and they turned around and said "Hey, how are you, come on in" and showed him all kinds of stuff. They let him turn a dial that did something and made a voice come on and say "system check complete" or something like that. The pilots were really nice and kind of funny, looking at all the buttons and telling him that they didn't know what half of them were for. Just kidding around...I hope! So that made his day and from that point forward he was acting a little bit more calm. When we finally got into Boston, I figured that to top it all off our luggage would not make it but it was all there and our ride was there to get us too. Our driver was a it of a dud. Julian kept trying to talk to him. He said "Ken, do you like to watch National Geographic" and he didn't reply and Julian looked over at me and said "I think I'll take that as a...NO!" It was so funny. Then he fell asleep again and we made it to Missy's house and got upstairs and into bed. I'll post more about the weekend another time. I think this is turning into a book! Hope all is well in Nevis! We're having a great time in the grand old U.S of A!!!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Our homeschooling days...are OVER!

We went to an open house at the Lyn Jeffers Primary School, which is a private school here in Nevis, tonight. We have been toying with the idea of putting Julian in school especially since we are going to be here for 4 more months. We decided to check out the school which just finished it's first year of primary. The school has been in existence for some years before that teaching only secondary school. So anyway, we wanted to find out who would be teaching 3rd grade and to find out about scholarships etc. So we found out that there would be a new teacher for the 3rd grade class. A veteran teacher with some 30 years experience who they say is very good. They have been trying to get her all year. She's a local lady and hopefully she will do ok. One really good thing is that the school is going to create individual education plans for every student in the school. He will have Dr. Marybeth Ellison for his science teacher!!! We love her. She is actually also Jaime's teacher right now! Julian has met her several times and loves to talk to her. She is the one who told him about her experience sailing through the Bermuda Triangle. She is very interesting and smart. Well obviously...she's a doctor and went to Yale! The best thing about the night is that they had a raffle for free tuition and guess who won! WE DID!!! I couldn't believe it. I was so shocked. The funniest thing is that there were so many people there who I know from horse back riding and triathlons and the beach and they all know about my homeschool woes and were so happy that we won. They thought we really deserved it. So lucky us!!!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006


I love this picture of Julian. We had gone out to dinner with our friend Andrea who was visiting, her fiancee Chris and our friend Bombay. This was over the mid-semester break. Our big splurge for the break was a dinner at Coconut Grove. Julian was complaining that he had growing pains so we told him to get on the floor and stretch. The tables are widely spaced so there is a lot of room between them so he got down and stretched and then did a meditation move. It was so cute! I don't know where he gets this stuff! He is always a good sport hanging out with all of us big kids. He bellied up to the bar at one point and kept the bartender, Sean, company. They chatted in between customers about all the important things in the world. It was really funny. For any of you who have been to Coconut Grove you will probably remember Jens the tall, thin, cute waiter who is an expert on food and wine. He has left Coconut Grove to go back to school. He is feeling that he needs to exercise his brain a little bit. He fit in really well there and we'll miss him a lot.

King/Queen of the Road

June 24th was the annual King/Queen of the road bike race here in Nevis. The women rode 20 miles and the men had to ride 40 miles. It was a loop course. We started out at the bottom of Shaws road (on our end of the island) and rode to just beyond the medical school which is a gradual uphill climb for about half of the distance. You turned in the road at the end of the good pavement and came back around, passing the starting point and riding to the base of hurricane hill. Here you turned and rounded back to the start point. That is one lap. The women did 2 1/2 laps and the men had to do 5 laps. It was a hard course. From hurricane hill you ride into the wind which was a bit strong for the day and there are several gradual uphill portions on the road. I am happy to report the the Moreno family brought in last place in both categories. My skinny little legs apparently do not have much muscle on them to get going fast enough. Oh well it was still was fun to finally finish. It took me 1 hour and 19 minutes to finish my 20 miles and it took Jaime 2 hours and 15 minutes to finish his 40 miles. The photo is of Reggie Douglas who is now the King of the Road here in Nevis. He has not held this title for several years and was happy to be in front and finishing first.