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Day 1 – Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride

Written By: dawg on May 12, 2009 No Comment

Adventures in Saint Martin – April 2007

We awakened excitedly at 4:45 to the expected 15 hour travel time from our front door in to the hotel. I checked the flights online and to our horror, the first flight is delayed 3 hours. That will ensure that we miss the second leg from Dallas to San Juan and arrive a day late in Saint Martin. What a way to start a vacation. Our hearts are pumping en route to Airport. Desperately, my wife, Madam Luvely, calls American Airlines from the car to find out what other route might be available to reach our destination the same day. Whew … we all breathed a sigh of relief when told we had already been rescheduled onto another flight 30 minutes earlier, allowing us to make the original Dallas connection.

The flights were rather uneventful, aside from the talkative young school teacher, Miss Boysterus, who sat behind us on the first flight. Her disciplinary volume echoed through the cabin as she conversed with all the strangers around her. Thank Goodness it was only a two hour flight! However, after we sat down at the gate for our next portion of the trip, Miss Boysterus plopped down beside Madam Luvely and began hollering jovially into her cell phone. Madam Luvely soon removed herself from the scene, preferring to stand rather than endure the loud commotion ringing in her ear. We now understood that Miss Boysterus was headed to St. Croix and we could only hope she was at the opposite end of the plane, which might reduce her noise to a reasonable volume. As fate would have it, Miss Boysterus sat right across the aisle from Madam Luvely on the 4 ½ hour flight to San Juan. By the time we landed, we were unfortunate enough to know her entire life story, despite attempts to drown out the sound with earplugs and MP3 players.

Upon arrival in SXM at 10:00 PM, I was shocked to make our way from plane through customs and to our transfer bus in 15 minutes! We were greeted by our driver, John, who led us to a full sized tour bus outside the door. Great, I have seen this picture before. We would now wait for throngs of other passengers before departing to multiple resorts of which ours is one of the last. But, to our amazement, John informed us that he had been called to replace our original driver and we were the only three passengers. We hopped into the first seats and began our final journey, with John (aka – Jeff Gordon) at the helm. John was a cheerful, talkative character who provided plenty of island information every inch of the way. However, he mentioned that he would normally be home with his family at this time (10:15) and proceeded to minimize his absence by taking us on an electrifying version of Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. He weaved the huge vehicle quickly around stopped cars, darted into the oncoming autos in traffic circles and narrowly missed dozens of obstacles on the narrow, winding roads, never considering the possibility that the bus has brakes. At one point, Madam Luvely just knew he would crash her head into an overhanging building. More than once, a drunk, who had stumbled into the road, narrowly missed meeting his maker, as John warned them with a quick toot of the horn. Though he successfully navigated the people, cars and buildings, he actually did take out a row of hedges at one point. Although Madam Luvely was a nervous wreck, my 16 year old daughter, Miss Witt, and I were exhilarated by this real life Disney World adventure and wondered when John was scheduled to make his NASCAR debut.

We checked into our 2 bedroom duplex at the Alamanda resort (Trip Advisor Hotel Review) a mere 45 minutes after departing the plane. Day 1 had been an exciting journey. Although very tired, we were filled with anticipation about Day 2.

Note: Story originally posted on Traveltalkonline.com Forums >> St. Maarten – St. Martin

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