While we wanted to accomplish a few things on this trip (register the new ride…ha!, attend to the business of the solar panels, etc. ) , this trip was primarily to introduce the house to the kids and have a bit of vacation time….. so this is more of a trip report than anything else….and it is our first time staying in the house (which is just barely
In case you forgot, it is the white one sticking out of the hill there……. really have to work on landscaping (though i am not sure how much goat proofing we will have to do first…..we have a TON of goats…..) The house is seriously lacking in curb appeal….or curbs for that matter. Anyway, i digress, after the barge (one of two that were currently running) we stopped first at the Beach bar and were able to meet up with the SeasTheDay guys if you aren’t already following their progress, you should! (http://seasthedaystj.com). After a couple of cold beverages we headed over the hill to the house, assembled air mattresses and headed to shipwreck landing for dinner– for family trips that has always been our traditional first night dinner and it did not disappoint. It was fairly dark by the time we made it to the house so it wasn’t possible to see all of the progress that was made (and i did not take too many pictures i am afraid….and i apologize) . One thing the kids made me keenly aware of the MOMENT they stepped into the house was this : ‘how much do you want to be that someone is going to try jumping off this balcony and into the pool?’ ugh…..that thought actually NEVER even crossed my mind!But this is the view from the balcony/deck down to the pool (and there you can just make out the pool tile (coral stone) which had been mostly laid but is not grouted, filled or sealed (i am told this will be completed by tomorrow) — Which demonstrates the straight shot from there to the pool…….COWABUNGA……and then? This probably demonstrates the temptation (and foolhardiness) more clearly
Since you cannot fix stupid, I guess we will have to put some very clear signage that this is NOT a good idea. A friend and wife of RAE suggested a picture of the hospital in st thomas with the warning that it’ll take about 5 hours to get there…… Another friend suggested screening it in–which would be a shame, but might be a good idea. Monday we headed to Lameshur — this was my first beach trip in, i think 3 visits in the past 2 months.
An on- island friend upon hearing we bought a place looked at the G-man and said ‘well, you will never vacation on St John again–you will always be running to the hardware store or some errand…’ Let’s hope that we can prove this wrong at least some of the time! Later that day I was due to head to Cruz Bay to pick up two of 1st-F-1’s friends meet the person who was acting as the agent for the person i had bought the car from (he had already left the island….hmmmmm) Now, i KNOW that i shouldn’t buy a car site unseen…and i have heard the warnings and let’s just say, i get it….and deserve whatever happens…..SO the seller sends the power of atty via express mail…and we are off to connections….but the Title is still with the car, so back to the car to get the title….and then back to connections and all is notarized for the BMV and then ….’you have a copy of the sellers drivers license, right? ‘ look in the envelope and he forgot to include it…… frantic phone call… can you fax it? sure….waiting…and then ‘NO- cannot fax– will email’……doesn’t come thru…..then the internet goes down– and it is 5 pm….so no way i am getting insurance and getting to the registry today (it would have been tricky anyway….but not happy about having to come back into town to deal with all this again….) So….. off to get the girls…….
This next part is the SAGA OF REMOVING THE CAR FROM THE MONGOOSE JUNCTION LOT so three teens, one slightly stressed out middle aged woman and two cars….one a rental and one a standard transmission beater that needs to be moved….. you do the math…. quasi legal activities needed to be engaged in. I was not proud of this slight incursion into lawlessness– but we had to get both cars up the hill (the one for repair of a power steering pressure hose and a valve gasket cover-repairs which i knew about and parts which i brought with me-the other one for onward transport….) and I am the only one that drives a standard….. 1st-f1 was a bit hesitant to drive on the left– but we’d go slow….. I get into the ‘new’ car (and have both of 1st-f-1’s friends with me-) depress the clutch and turn the key….and nothing…..lights on, but NO one is home in the engine compartment….okaaaaaaayyyyyy let’s do that again…..AND….. nothing…… so a few more frustrating turns of the key and i call the former owner…. my annoyance not quite in check… (he disclosed many things about the car– but there were some -like this and the lack of a working seatbelt, and a few other things that were left out of that conversation)–he informs me that the clutch has a bit of ‘play’ and in order to engage the starter sensor you have to push the clutch over to the right– now this isn’t hard once you get the hang of it, but it was very difficult to figure out what he was trying to tell me long distance. But finally mission accomplished and we are off…up the hill (the clutch is a bit weird and will take some getting used to….) 1st-f-1 does an admirable job on her first outing on St John roads. At the house and it feels great to have a bunch of kids there, have the g-man there– in short, it feels happy and that means a ton .
Monday night we met up with friends at concordia for open mike night– I missed most of the music since we had all the car drama , but had drinks and a great meal with friends. (and 2nd-f1 even dared to perform…..nerves of steel that one…..)
Wednesday was the crazy fest that is the BMV…..dropped the kids at Francis and then off to the BMV — walk in and then realize that i had forgotten to go to the insurance folks first….so off to the insurance folks and then after about 45 minutes (with very pleasant people i might add!) had my car insured…..then back to the registry and after about 90 minutes? had the car registered as well.
We celebrated 2nd-f-1’s 15th birthday at shipwreck on Wednesday
and went sailing to Jost with Kekoa and friends on Thursday- which was great fun.
We set a meeting with J-1 for Friday Morning– unsure as to how things would work themselves out–but we did want to have the week to hang with the kids as much as we could and not think too much about the serious business of the renovation. After a long discussion with the G-man about the laundry list of projects and all-he decided to part ways. J-1 did a great job getting us going- and i am very thankful for that- So now we are interviewing and getting quotes from other builders to finish (hopefully!) what we have started! My tiling seems to be a spiraling price point– so time to get real about that as well…… We got a quote on a cable rail system from custom Welding in St Thomas — am going to see what it looks like if we bring in the cable ourselves…..(thanks for the tip– if you are reading this you know who you are !
The wind and rain really had started picking up towards the end of the week– and that sort of sealed the deal on the sliders debate…..After living in the house G-man sees that the kitchen really does need a complete overhaul — and on this trip it was decided that we have to put in an extra hot water system – since it is all located on one side of the house and running water from one side to the other while waiting for it to heat up is just wasting water and power…..Signed the contract for the solar, and met with an A/C installer to get prices for installing split units in the bedrooms. so the project list just keeps on growing…….but the interior ceiling is all painted, the roof is fixed and some of the strange plumbing and drainage issues have been dealt with….
More dinners with friends at Aqua bistro, Oasis, and at persons homes; attending a meeting of the Coral Bay Community Council , easter on Francis
and mostly meeting more wonderful neighbors and other residents, and getting to know yet others even better makes me more sure that this is a community that I want to be a more permanent part of –With kids still in highschool that will be a while off… I probably will go back when we have some more business to attend to (in a few weeks?) but until then i will leave you with this picture 1st-f-1 took from the first floor bedroom balcony