…that we left Barbados, but not really.
Yesterday morning I got up really early and took a few last minute sunrise pictures:
This one is my new favorite, though:
Then we got packed up and ready to leave by 10, then started reading, texting, just hanging around. Brenda stopped by and we talked quite a bit while Tom was finalizing his packing shutting down the computer and all. Brenda’s youngest daughter teaches English in Spain so they only see each other about every 3 years – except on Skype.
I reminded Tom that we didn’t have all the time in the world, that our plane was at 2:30 so we needed to be at the airport by 12:30 so we needed to leave…NOW.
We stopped to check out and ran into Bernice. She’s the first person I ever really met in Barbados and it’s always special to see her again. She’s often on holiday at least part of the time we’re there, though. She’s thinking about her next summer plans – either a 3-week conference or a cruise. What to do!
Then, Paul stopped by. He said that Culpepper Island will be partly finished by March and ready for tours when we get back next summer. I can’t wait to see that. It seems that we can trade our place for that as an even trade whenever we want.
We got a taxi for the quick trip to Grantley Adams Airport and were there by 11:30. We found out that our 2:30 plane had been changed to 3:15. <sigh>
I think I have picture or Tom texting, calling, using his phone everywhere!
We were to leave from Gate 12. Then they said Gate 13 so we went there and went to board. Unfortunately, the shuttle was outside Gate 12 so we walked outside to the shuttle, got on and rode back past Gate 13.
Luckily there weren’t too many people on the flight to Miami so we were able to stretch out a bit.
We got to Miami about 15 minutes early so had to wait for a gate. Finally off the plane and going for the l-o-n-g walk to Immigrations and Customs.
The line for Immigrations was really long and moved slowly. We got near the front and were informed that we were not US residents, we were US citizens and needed to be in a different line, further away. The woman who told us that said we could get near the beginning of the other line. Of course, the official at that line said we couldn’t and Tom had some words with her. Luckily, we weren’t denied admission!
Finally through that and on to get luggage and on to Customs. That went pretty quickly and dropped off luggage so they could put that back on the plane.
We next had to wait in line for security – again – then a Sky Train to our real gate. This process took about 2 and a half hours. Last year doing the same process, we had time to get dinner at TGI Friday’s. We were the last ones on the plane, just made it before they closed the doors.
We got to Dulles just before midnight. I called my mom and she said that the power was out in most of our neighborhood due to a tornado that had touched down in the afternoon.
Our luggage was the last off the plane. It even had a tag on it that said “Last Bag”. Who knew?
Another taxi and finally, home! We were lucky and had power.
My plan for Sunday was that Tom would go to a meeting and pick Mimi up on the way back. I would call Mom and we would go to Kick Off Sunday at church.
What really happened was Tom woke up for his meeting and accidentally got shaving cream in his eye. He told me he was going to the emergency room. I asked if he wanted me to take him but he thought it would be better if I picked up Mimi. OK
Off he went…then came back and said he had a flat tire. By now, I was definitely awake.
I emailed Thia to let her know I could pick up Mimi any time and said I’d call after 9. She emailed back to ask if I was home. I was going to respond since obviously she was awake but Tom called first. He was at the ER and they were going to hold him for a few hours to get the acid (who knew shaving cream had acid in it?) all out.
Just as I hung up from him, Thia and Mimi appeared at the door. Thia was on her way to church and they were going to her Mother-in Law’s afterwards and figured we’d want Mimi back before that.
I’m not sure Mimi was happy to be here with just me. At Thia’s there are a couple kids to play with as well as a cat and Mimi’s sister, Penny. I’m pretty boring, especially because I was more interested in napping than playing. I gave her a Frosty Paws and that helped for about 2 minutes.
Eventually Tom got home with antibiotics, eye washes and other stuff. Mimi was delighted to see him!
I’m glad I cancelled students tomorrow. The Piano Room needs a LOT of work before I can teach again. And laundry needs to be done…
We just saw this ship in Barbados harbor last Wednesday! Several folks on our Cool Runnings catamaran had come off this ship to sail with us.
From Totally Barbados
Barbados has unveiled plans to construct an ultra-modern cruise facility, in the capital city of Bridgetown.
Totally Barbados has been informed that, when completed, the Barbados Sugar Point Cruise Facility will allow the tourism-driven country to welcome some of the largest cruise ships in the world.
Another advantage of the facility is that it will in effect separate cruise and cargo activities, thereby addressing complaints about the two competing for limited space within the port.
The development will take place along Trevor’s Way and involve reclaiming 15 acres of land from the sea, 100,000 square feet of which will be provided for commercial activity. Dredging is slated to begin in November 2012.
Minister of International Business and International Transport George Hutson said the project will be done in two phases, the first of which is estimated to cost 300 million dollars. He said the initial stage will include two cruise piers, arrival and departure facilities, along with parking lots.
The two-year project will be spearheaded by Barbados Port Incorporated in a joint venture with a consortium comprising Barbadian company SMI Infrastructure Solutions Incorporated and Royal Caribbean Cruise Limited, the world’s second largest cruise operator.
Project to bring Jobs to Barbados
A minimum of 200 jobs are expected to be created during the construction phase, with 500 more added through related commercial activities.
Once completed, the facility is also expected to feature Barbados rum and sugar culture as a major theme throughout.
Minister Hutson said the Barbados government is banking on the new facility to attract more cruise ships, with a view to increasing the revenue generated from their passengers.
He pointed out that for Barbados to effectively compete with new and emerging tourism markets, it must improve the customer experience and satisfaction.
It is with that in mind, that the new facility will be constructed in such a manner as to offer the opportunity to experience Barbados cuisine, local music and even see local artisans prepare their products for sale.
Barbados wants to be Cruise Hub
The facility will bring Bridgetown to cruise passengers, the minister said. He also said that the development would assist Barbados’ efforts to become a hub for cruise tourism.
Cruise tourism in Barbados has grown from just over 127,000 in 1985 to 726,543 last year. The highest number of cruise passengers 812, 863 was recorded in 2004.
According to the latest Central Bank of Barbados figures, which are for the first half of this year, the number of cruise passengers rose slightly, by 2.5 percent, although 21 fewer cruise ships visited.
The effort by the government to boost the intake from cruise tourism is in keeping with recommendations from the central bank, which has stressed that Barbados needs to earn more foreign exchange to register sustainable growth.