Tuesday, March 22,  was our final afternoon on St. John. Hungry after our six-plus-mile hike to and around Reef Bay, we had a leisurely lunch at Miss Lucy’s very close to where we were staying at Concordia. The next day we would have to say goodbye to St. John and make our trip by boat, plane, and car back to wintry Chicago.
But we still had time for a couple more adventures.
We arrived at Miss Lucy’s for lunch at about ten minutes to two. Sean and I had enjoyed our dinner there on our first trip to St. John. Hit hard by Hurricanes Maria and Irma, it had only recently reopened. With the establishment now only open for lunch, we had been looking for a chance to fit it in. And this would be our last chance before we headed home.
It was hopping, but we put in our names and were seated in only about fifteen minutes.
Look at us. So happy and hopeful and hungry.
Time passed. Then more time. The flustered server in barrettes and a pink tutu checked on us from time to time as we waited for our food.
More time passed. The server began asking other tables…and us…if we still wanted to wait. We decided to stick it out. If we left we’d have to drive somewhere and sort of start over.
Plus how much longer could it take to get our food at this point?
Look at us. Look at us so hangry and irritated.
After two and a half hours, we were served our West Indian fish fry and conch fritters. They were good, but not two and a half hours good.
Late in the afternoon, at 4:45, we stopped one last time at Calabash Market for…well more to say goodbye to Sean’s handsome friend than to actually buy anything.
We knew he was there because his car was parked across the way.
While Sean was inside, Jimmy went and sat at the saddest bus stop. We still didn’t know if it was actually in use.
Back at Concordia, Sean returned his rented snorkel gear before the office closed. I kept mine just in case as we headed down to the beach at Saltpond Bay for a final swim.
I was glad so that I had kept my gear because I spotted a juvenile Green Sea Turtle relatively near shore. I called Sean over, and he put on my mask and got to see the turtle before it swam away.
It was a great end to my snorkeling adventures.
Meanwhile, poor Nick had managed to drown his phone for the second time in as many months. He excused himself and went back up to the eco-tent.
The rest of us watched the sunset over Saltpond Bay before walking out the short trail across to the windward side of the peninsula.
Passing the Salt Pond and its swarming insects and briny foam, Jimmy observed, “I hate this place.”
Even as Saltpond Bay is calm and tranquil, surf beats Drunk Bay.
Visitors like to create effigies out of the coral that the waves wash up.
Jimmy swapped out some of the dicks to make them bigger.
Josh loved Drunk Bay, but Sean declared it creepy and sinister.
On the way back past the foaming Salt Pond, Josh said it reminded him of the foam party at Camp-it, the gay camping resort in West Michigan.
Back in the eco-tent, Sean and Josh made some pesto pasta, Jimmy DJed, I double-checked the ferry schedule, and we all putzed around and began packing up before heading to bed.
Next morning, Wednesday, March 23 , it was time to head home.
I woke up at 6:15, and the others were stirring. We began packing up. I swept the sand out of the rental car. We did the dishes and stripped the beds. We were ready to go fairly quickly.
After donating some leftover food and booze to the kids in the office, we piled in the car and waved goodbye to Concordia.
On the way up to Centerline Road from Coral Bay, we stopped at the delicious smoothie truck for breakfast smoothies, bagels, toast, and coffee.
We turned off Centerline Road and took North Shore Road one more time to wind past the beaches. In Cruz Bay, we pulled into Mongoose Junction to use the public restrooms. The parking lot attendant chided me for taking the turn into the parking area too fast.
As we waited to drive onto the ferry, we recorded a sequel message to the voice memo about the haunted car another group of travelers had recorded and that we’d discovered on our first day.
Have a listen (first the original, then the response):
We drove onto the 11am ferry, turned off the car, and headed up to the deck for the crossing of Pillsbury Sound.
To the south we spotted Great St. James Island, aka Epstein Island. Yikes!
The ferry docked at Red Hook. We disembarked and started the drive over to Charlotte Amalie. Josh directed us to a taco place to get lunch, but we couldn’t find any parking in the narrow, colonial-era streets of the city’s historic district.
So instead we drove out a little way toward the airport and went to a cajun place for lunch, foreshadowing our coming trip to New Orleans in September .
We returned the rental without incident.
As we were passing through customs, there was a guy who wanted to cut the line because he was late, but Jimmy was not having it.
In the lounge, Sean bought a round of beers, which we sipped while we waited first for Josh and Nick to board their Spirit flight, then for the rest of us to head out onto the tarmac for our American flight.
In Miami, we got some Cubanos before boarding our flight to O’Hare.
Our cab ride home from the airport was terrifying. The guy wasn’t wearing a mask, he was speeding, he was swerving, he forgot to turn on his headlights, and he was distracted watching a speech by Vladimir Putin on his phone. We thought we were going to die when he ran a light on Foster Ave.
We didn’t. And when we got home, Elsa was very glad to see us.
When’s the bus coming, Jimmy?