Sunday, November 19, 2017

2017-11-19 DFW-LAX-DFW-HKG-DFW-LAX-DFW

2017-11-19 DFW-LAX-DFW-HKG-DFW-LAX-DFW

Nov 18
DFW-LAX
A321 first class window seat.  Pre-ordered seafood meal, they did not have it.  In fact, my name was not even on the PIL, the sheet that has everyone's name on it.  So they thought who are you and why are you sitting in first class?  I said I paid a lot of money for this seat.  They looked it up on their handheld and there I was.  They said I should complain to AA that the gate agent printed the PIL prior to all passengers being confirmed.  But I checked in online the day before and did everything the way I always do it


4 hour layover in LAX.  Ran into Elma.  She suggested going into the "canteen" and getting free drinks, sandwiches, desserts, whatever I wanted.  Then take tunnel over to T5 and sit in Admiral's Club.  That is what I did.

737 back to DFW.  Landed at 11:11pm, drove home, slept at 2am.


Nov 19
Wife’s birthday.  6am, kissed her happy birthday, kissed sleeping kids, called uber, 7am arrived DFW.
FlagShip Dining does not open until 8:30am.  So I took a shower but the shower was broken.  Had to shower with a hose.  Water all over the place.
Ate breakfast, it was nice. 

10:00am boarded AA125 DFW-HKG

Nov 20
5pm landed HKG


Nov 21
Woke st 6

Sunday, July 9, 2017

2017-07-06 DFW-SKB Saint Kitts and Nevis

2017-07-06 DFW-SKB Saint Kitts and Nevis

We flew from DFW to MIA to SKB.
First stop was Admiral's Club in Terminal A in DFW to get breakfast

The flight DFW-TPA is about 3 hours

TPA-MIA is about one hour


Second stop was Admiral's Club in Terminal D gate 15 at MIA.  This was just remodeled and looks good.  Gate 30 is under construction but will have a FlagShip Lounge and FlagShip Dining when it opens in 2018.


The flight MIA to SKB was scheduled to leave at 5:30PM but was delayed and then gate changed from D1 to D19 and we were told there would be an aircraft swap and it would be brought from the hanger and so it would leave on time.  Wrong.  They can't seem to get their story right.  A flight came in from Bermuda at D19 at 6PM and that is what they had to clean and then we could get on it.  Had to wait for catering to do the front cabin as there was equipment blocking the area.


The flight MIA- SKB is a little over 3 hours, 737-800 at 370 (means 37,000 feet altitude) and 442 (means 442 knots speed).  Went straight over the Bahamas and many other islands.  It was a night flight and very pretty to look down and see all the white lights


We landed and there are no jetways to deplane.  You have to walk down steps.  It was not raining so we were lucky.  The rain had stopped about half hour before we landed.

Fill out your form on the airplane.  Make sure the bottom part and the backside are also filled out.

Then the customs person will quiz you, why are you here, where are you staying, how long are you staying, what are you bringing with you, how many times have you come here, where are you coming from (I said Miami), where are you originally coming from (I said Dallas) and so on.

We had a taxi driver pre-arranged who was waiting outside with a sign.  He drove us to the Marriott just 10 minutes away.  It was, I thought, XCD $20 which is 2.7:1 or USD $7.20.  I give him XCD $20 + 5 tip but he said it was USD $20.  I even clarified and confirmed it on email two times that this was XCD not USD.  So be careful.



There are zero traffic lights.  There are a few roundabouts.

Peak season is December to early April when hotel rates tend to skyrocket.

The best time to visit St. Kitts and Nevis is in May and June, when hotels lower their rates to lure in travelers and the winter crowds thin out. Really good deals.  For example, get 7 nights, only pay for 4, get 3 free.

Summer months when the islands experience the Atlantic hurricane season. And keep in mind St. Kitts and Nevis' average highs hover around 80 degrees Fahrenheit year-round and the humidity in July is 80 to 90 to 100%.




Day 1
Spent by the beach and pool and hung out.  Burger at the pool bar is USD $17.  Smoothie USD $10.  Everything is USD $.  A 1.5 litre water bottle is USD $7.

Took taxi to Marshalls's for dinner.  Got there at 6 PM.  Apparently people eat around 7, so the place was empty and we had it to ourselves.  The sun was setting, what a pretty view from our table

Looking west


Looking south


Lots of mosquitoes.  Bring bug spray or spray before you go.

Took taxi back to hotel.



Day 2 Sunday
Woke early, had breakfast.  Taxi arrived at 9:00 AM and we started a three hour tour around the island.


First stop was up the hill and look back at the Marriott (middle right in picture where the crescent shaped beach comes to a point).  All that brown stuff floating on the water is seaweed.  Tons of it floating in covering the beaches.

This is the view looking south.  On the other side is the island of Nevis.  The body of water that separates Saint Kitts and Nevis is about two miles.


We went through the capital city BasseeTerre, stopped to get a haircut at a local barber shop.  It was $25 XCD (about USD $10).


Three hospitals on the island.  Three universities, one of which is a vet school.

We went to see Wingfield Estate that is supposedly Thomas Jefferson's great-great-great-grandfather's place but there is no evidence to that effect.  Established in 1625.  Declaration signed in 1776.  So do the calculation how could this have happened

http://www.caribellebatikstkitts.com/wingfield.asp


http://www.thedailybeast.com/uncovering-the-secrets-of-st-kitts








Flambouyant Tree... the national tree of Saint Kitts



We went to the north of the island and the view looking east.  See where the waves are breaking (way out there)?  That is the Atlantic ocean meeting the Caribbean Sea.  Look all the way to the left?  See that tall volcano?  That is another country.

Did not stay long.  Lots of little large ants that bit us on the ankles that left big scars.




I took the picture from the red dot on the far right and the dots show the view looking at the other country




Here is an Anglican church by the sea


The volcano on the island erupted in the year 1,000 and it flowed down to the ocean, they call this area Black Rocks





Monday
The beach at the hotel was deserted.  No one was there.


Took taxi to different beach
Went to Cockleshell Beach http://www.stkittstourism.kn/explore-st-kitts-activities-beaches-display.php?business=68 and it was deserted with lots of seaweed.  That big mountain way in the background (faded) is the island of Nevis




But a few feet away was Reggae Beach and there were a few people.  Lunch was USD $100.  Taxi was USD $24 to get there and USD $24 to get back.

And a mountain goat (that white spot)


That is two brave folks from our family doing paddle boarding

Look closely at the boat, it is named Rush Slowly.



Dinner at Rock Lobster
http://rocklobsterstkitts.com

It was too buttery


Shrimp and pasta


Shrimp


Fish

Dessert



Walked back to hotel.  It was dark but safe.  Only one guy trying to harass everyone, trying to offer shoe shine.  As people ignored him, he would walk besides you and touch your arm and tug at your shirt sleeve and ask for money.  Other than that:
No beggars
No t-shirt shops selling junk
No loud scooters or mopeds or motorcycles
No little shops along the road trying to sell you junk
Very little litter along the road

There are
a lot of junk cars sitting around
a lot of old buildings and shacks everywhere
a lot of unemployment is visible


The taxi's all have names painted on the front
The taxi fares are set prices.  Everyone takes US Dollars
http://www.discover-stkitts-nevis-beaches.com/st-kitts-nevis-taxi.html


Everyone has a nick name.  Their name might be Robert, but their nick name is Blues

I invented a new nickname for myself: Don't Ask




Our dog ButterScotch (a cavapoo) misses us.  He stayed home.




Tuesday
Woke early.  Ate quick breakfast.  8:15 AM gathered in lobby, total of 12 people piled into a taxi at 8:30 AM and headed out to zip line tour.
http://www.skysafaristkitts.com

This was a lot of fun.  Best part of the trip.  Watch video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=elSr8C3zTuQ


Relaxed by the pool in the afternoon

6:00 PM s'mores by the pool.  Dinner at



Wednesday
Woke early, taxi arrived at 9:00 AM, drove to ferry station.  9:30 AM ferry (USD $10 per person one-way) to Nevis, a 50 minute trip.  Alternative is to take a taxi to Reggae Beach USD $24 one-way, then a water-taxi $? for a 10 minute ride to Nevis, then a taxi to destination on Nevis.  We are in no hurry and wanted the scenic route.

Ferry schedule
http://www.sknvibes.com/travel/ferry.cfm