June 6, 2006
After the performance at Carnegie, I went with the band on a cruise around Manhattan. That went until almost 2am, and by the time I’d finished packing, I wasn’t asleep until 3am, and woke up at 5am to head to JFK to fly to St. Croix in the US Virgin Islands, where I’d be joining AEJ and her family on their Caribbean vacation. I’d never been to the Caribbean, and had no idea what to expect. One of the first things I learned: they drive on the wrong side of the road.
I have to say, the view from the room was great.
I mean, look at the cozy little spot on the beach!
I didn’t go there intending to watch videos, but the selection in the room consisted of the most seminal of Lil Bow Wow’s oeuvre, “Like Mike.” I was torn.
AEJ’s mom had made one of my favorite snacks, this cheese / bean / jalapeno / corn / cream cheese roll-up. Oh, I love these.
That’s AEJ’s hand in the above shot. She’s a beauty, but she doesn’t like to have her picture taken, especially by the paparazzi who follow us around wherever we go.
AEJ’s brother, Peter, found this friendly bug at the pool.
Peter was nice enough to remove the bug so I could use the mustard bottle. The proper way to apply condiments to your burger is in opposing zig-zags. If you don’t do it this way, I will never photograph your burger.
There were a lot of birds in St. Croix, and they seemed to follow us wherever we went. AEJ called them all “chicken.” Hello, chicken!
AEJ lived in St. Croix for several years when she was very young, and this was her first time back since she was 10 or 11. One of the highlights of the trip, to me at least, was the chance to see AEJ’s childhood school.
It’s a cozy place.
We stumbled upon this disturbing sight in one of the darkened classrooms. This is what happens when the government insists on only teaching abstinence. Kids need an outlet for all of those crazy urges, and now they find that outlet in art class. This is messed up.
Here’s the school building where AEJ says they had gym class, but as far as I can tell, they used the entire place to cook tagine.
Or maybe it wasn’t tagine at all. Maybe, just maybe, they were cooking babies in there. I’m not a fan of children, but even for me, this seems a little extreme. (Did you know that they taste just like chicken?)
At the pool, I enjoyed tasty bright blue drinks.
My feet in the Atlantic Ocean. (AEJ — and the map – insists that it’s actually the Caribbean Sea, not the Atlantic Ocean, but I refuse to accept that. I think the Caribbean just has identity issues.)
AEJ’s mom has an old friend who still lives in St. Croix, and he’s an airline pilot. He was a pilot for American Airlines for almost 40 years, and he recently retired. Now he runs a private airline called Bohlke International Airways. He offered to fly us from St. Croix to St. Thomas for the day. I was pretty freaked-out about it, because, as I’ve written many times here, and as my most recent piece makes very clear, I hate to fly. I now refuse to fly in prop planes, and if I have to travel somewhere without a major airport, I insist on flying to the nearest major city, and driving the rest of the way. Tiny planes scare the crap out of me. I mean, look — even the plane is covering its eyes.
The plane was tiny — only big enough to seat 5 in the main cabin.
I was willing to do this on one condition — that I be allowed to sit in the co-pilot seat. I figured that if I could watch Bill, the pilot, as he flew, and hear everything he said to me and to air traffic control, I’d be less scared. Plus, this was a great opportunity to put my Aviator sunglasses to the test.
It was probably the least-scary flight I’ve ever been on. And the view of the islands was beautiful.
For the flight back, I was back in the cabin, and my terror of flying returned full-force. Bill suggested that I take flying lessons, as it would probably make a huge difference. I’m thinking about it…
It was a nice couple of days. The ocean was beautiful, we had some great meals. and there’s no denying that cocktails in the pool is a really, really good thing. And they have chickens!