Since the long flight from San Juan home would not include any meals, we tried to tank up before we left St. Thomas. Our landlords said that the restaurant at the airport featured good, local food so we took them at their word. The short flight from there to San Juan was on a larger plane than the first one. The plane was so big I was allowed to keep my purse, although there was no space for carry-ons. We quickly left the steep mountains and half moon beaches of St. Thomas for a picturesque flight over the Caribbean. We could see sail boats and yachts making their way between countless tiny islands and reefs. It would be easy to run aground here. The view over Puerto Rico was stunning in contrast. That island is flat, laced with rivers and lakes, and far more built up. It's hard to believe that two islands that are so close together could have such different natural features.
The connection in San Juan was a bit tight and of course, we landed in the farthest corner away from the gate for the flight home. It was located in a terminal that was under construction and there were absolutely no directions signs. After every few hundred yards of walking we would stop and ask someone if we were still going the right way. The route took us out of the terminal, which meant we had to go through TSA inspection once again, wasting even more time. As we ran to the gate boarding had begun, but we did have time to get our seats changed so we shared an extra one between us, which made all the difference in the 4+ hour flight. The plane was almost full. What were all these people doing, leaving the beauty and warmth for the dark and bitter cold?
When you are in 88º humidity your mind knows that you are heading toward 10º, but that still doesn't prepare you for the actual shocking experience. Rather than waiting for a hotel shuttle to take us back to where we had left the car, we took a quick taxi ride instead, avoiding a long wait outside in the wind. The car started and we were on our way. Ken continued to concentrate extra hard to stay on the correct side of the road. In England he drove on the left with a left hand side drive car, in St. Thomas he drove on the left with a right hand side car, and now we had returned to what no longer felt all that familiar even in our own car.
It was 53º in the house. Even after two hours of serious effort the furnace still had not raised the temperature to a comfortable one. Welcome home.