A Travellerspoint blog

December 2014

Flying In and Fixing the Scooter - 3-5 December 2015

Getting Organized on 6 December


View 2015 Grenada (and 2013) & 2015 Costa Rica (plus 1996 and 2008) on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

We liked our first visit to Grenada in 2013, so we decided to go back to Grenada for another longer visit - even though they drive on the left, they speak English and seemed to be pro-American.

My goals for this visit (not in any particular order) were

  • Buy some spices - to use and for gifts
  • Visit the farmer's market in St George's
  • Photograph the Grenada lighthouses
  • Snorkel at the Underwater Sculpture Park
  • Document cemeteries
  • Visit Carriacou

Friday December 3rd - Leaving Home

We got packed - finishing up yesterday. I have transferred almost everything to this computer and even finally got signed in to Yahoo groups. But I found that I was missing the photos from 2011, 2012 and 2013. So I went in and attached an extra hard drive to the old computer to download them, and that was going to take 2 hours (and it was already midnight). I then realized that I hadn't called the credit card companies. When I talked to Morgan Stanley the guy said that they now charge a currency conversion fee, but that if I went into a bank and got a cash advance, that there would be no charge. Also that they would send any kind of cash - not like NFCU who only do pounds, euros, and Australian and Canadian dollars.

Anyway, I left the computer copying files and went to bed. I woke up early and turned the old computer off and took the hard drive in to put the files on this computer. Then I tried to print out the boarding passes, but I found I had made a mistake in my passport number and my birthdate. I went back to the AA website and fixed my passport number and found that my cursor apparently slipped and said I was born in October. So using the correct passport number and the wrong month of birth I was able to print out the boarding passes.

When I went back in to the computer room, the old computer was at the blue screen of death. So I turned it off and also turned off the modem.

large_xIMG_3581.jpg
Roofer outside my bathroom window

The roofers showed up and have done the extra pieces on the main roof and they were making good progress on the porch. I don't know if they will finish today. Bob thinks it is unlikely. I took a shower with the shades drawn.

We left about 1300. We got up to BWI right about 3 and picked up KFC for dinner. We are at the Country Inn and Suites and they ARE Suites. There are two bathrooms, two TVs, and a separate sitting room with a microwave and a fridge. There's also about three closets.
dining room of the suite

dining room of the suite


We have a wake-up call for 3:00 as our flight loads at 5:20.

Saturday December 4th - flying out

Normally I pack a nightgown in my carryon so I don't have to access my suitcase, but I forgot to do that, so I slept naked (I guess that is bed-time commando) except for underpants.

We went to bed early, and I think we did sleep some. Bob said he was waking up every half hour. I was having a back problem. The lipomas which everyone says don't bother people much, do bother me - they ached enough to keep me from sleeping very well. If I sleep on my side (which I have been doing for over 50 years), the side that isn't on the bed aches. I had to sleep on my back.

About 2:30 I got up and went to the bathroom, and that waked Bob and he got up and shaved etc. The wake-up call did come at 3, and the radio that he set for 3:01 on the clock radio, also turned on as scheduled. I had put the computer away before I went to bed.

Bob went down and came back with a luggage cart, and packed everything up and went down and checked out. I followed, after going the wrong direction in the hall once. Usually I have to ask Bob which way to turn but he wasn't there to ask. They were to have called a cab for us (which they paid for), but there wasn't a note about it, so the desk lady called one for us.

The cab driver put Bob's suitcase in the back seat between us because he had stuff in the front seat.

He knew where Leonardtown was. He was talking about his mother leaving an abusive husband in rural WV and someone in Piney Point taking her in.

He delivered us to AA curb check including helping Bob across with the luggage, and the sky cap was concerned because apparently first class is allowed 70 lbs per bag and the Luggie was 76. But it was accepted without much problem. We checked two bags and the Luggie, and we went through security - Bob didn't even have to take off his belt, and they didn't make me get out of the wheelchair and just scanned my hands.

large_xIMG_0266_1_.jpg
Bob waiting for boarding

The wheelchair guy took us to the gate (C4) and I plugged in my laptop and used the wi-fi in the airport for a little bit. The gate people were talking about something not operational and also the captain wasn't there. The captain did appear, and the wheelchair people trundled down and loaded on the plane.

But ... apparently the thing that wasn't operational was the toilet. There were two problems. One was that the toilet for first class and the captains had a cracked seat, and of course pax could not use that as we might get pinched. And one of the other two toilets could not be fixed. They didn't want to fly the 737 with a full load and only one toilet.

I thought of suggesting that they tape the seat to the cover and make the front toilet for men (standing up to pee) and reserve the back toilet for women. But that would probably be a radical idea.

The captain came back and apologized profusely and said that there was another airplane out in the field, and that they would switch us to that one.

So all the wheelchair people were trundled out and down to C7 which had a flight which was currently boarding. After they got done, it was quiet for awhile. I talked to the lady on one side of me - she was flying to Trinidad. I think she missed her connecting flight. She was complaining about not having any information. I got five emails from AA about the problem. The last one said that our flight was delayed until 7:30, and as I was reading that to her, the first officer was passing us and he said "It aint going to happen"

One of the other wheelchair people was flying to St. Martin and they said they had missed their connecting fight also. Fortunately, our connecting flight doesn't start to board until 1430, so for us to miss it would be really unusual.

We had to be de-iced before we took off. (?) We took off about 8:30 - about the time we were to be landing. We went right down over the Patuxent. and the Potomac, and I could recognize all the places below - if we had taken off at the original time, it would have been too dark to do that.

large_IMG_3653.jpg
St Mary's River and Horseshoe Bend

We went across Virginia and SC and GA They fed us - a choice of quiche or oatmeal. Bob took oatmeal and I took quiche. There was also fruit, a biscuit, and fries (which were a little raw)

xIMG_3666.jpg
My breakfast

We got to Miami about 10:30 and it was raining.

xIMG_3675.jpg

We landed at gate D50 and are taking off from D19. I thought we could go to the Admiral's club, but apparently that is only for Europe. So we went down to the gate and Bob went to Wendy's and got lunch.

There was, of course, another flight which was boarding at Gate D19. For Jamaica. And they got all boarded and we went and sat in the handicapped seats because the plug in the pillar did not work. And then, when they were almost all done, they got all the pax OFF the plane again. They said it was because there was something that had to be cleaned up or some type of provisioning that had to be done with the pax off the plane. Neither of us believed that for a minute.

I talked to one of the pax, she had flown to Miami from Dullas - she was from Reston. So they were reboarding and it was getting later and later. I got another email from AA and they said that the gate for Grenada was now D32. So I went to one of the gate agents and asked to have someone come and get us. She was very nice even though she was quite busy and said she would call.

So after they all got boarded, one of the gate agents sat with us and flagged down someone in a cart to take us. I asked what was really wrong with the plane, and she almost told me, but then she said that they weren't allowed to say.

So we got to D32, and that flight was even on that board. I was talking to the lady next to me and she lives here in Grenada. We did take off (in the rain) a couple minutes late because a passenger could not be found and they had to take his suitcase off. This time they asked us if we wanted pasta or beef and we both picked beef.

xIMG_3683.jpg

This came with lobster and macaroni (which I think of as pasta), and two salads - one was kind of skewers with a cherry tomato, an olive and a piece of cheese. There was also a roll (white or wheat), and afterward there was ice cream with pieces of chocolate and tiny pretzels on top.

Saturday December 5th - Arriving

large_IMG_3693.jpg
Grooms Bay

I made a reservation at Grooms Beach Resort where we would have a kitchen and they assured me that I would not have any steps. I also made a reservation for a car with Avis which was so expensive that I canceled it.

We got here in the dark and went through customs immigration and got a taxi to the resort. The wheelchair lady said it would be $50 but that was EC$ and he charged us $20 US. It turns out that in order not to do steps, I have to go around by the road and while there were no stepS (plural) there was one small step at the entrance.

large_IMG_3707.jpg
Orange step at the room entrance on the right side

The front desk arranged a rental car for a more reasonable rate. We are semi-unpacked and Bob has figured out how to work the TV and AC and I was able to get on the internet. BUT... when we unpacked the Luggie scooter, it did not work.

Pictures of the room the next day

xIMG_3686.jpg

xIMG_3685.jpg
There were two double beds. When we are at home, I sleep on the left side of the bed (as you are standing at the foot of the bed facing the headboards) and Bob sleeps on the right. These beds were set up so that the left side of one was against the wall. If I slept there I couldn't get out to go to the bathroom without crawling over Bob, and there was no nightstand on that side of the bed. So he slept on his side of the bed (right side) on that bed and I slept on my side (left side) of the other bed and the nightstand between the beds gave me a place to put my glasses at night

Sunday December 6th - getting organized

Today has been stressful, but successful. When the Luggie would not work even though the battery was charged, Bob was swearing and I was upset.

We got up about 8, and finished unpacking, but I didn't want to walk all the way to the restaurant to get breakfast. Bob got a flashlight and said that the problem was a manufacturing defect - the wire was pinched and eventually broke. He went and borrowed a screwdriver from the hotel, but there were two tiny philips head screws that he couldn't get to.

We were to get a car delivered about noon, so we were getting ready to walk down when we got a call that they would be there about 1. We went down anyway. I looked at the various maps and tried to figure out a schedule, but it was hot and I was hungry. The girl at the desk found a hardware store that was open even on Sunday.

IMG_3708.jpg

The guy came about 1 with a two door SUV, right hand drive. Bob drove him back to his car and then we went to the Grand Anse Spice Mall to the hardware store. I stayed in the car while Bob shopped. Which I hate doing.

IMG_3688.jpg
(Security guy in the parking lot)

He came back thinking that he could now fix the problem and asked if we should go to the grocery but I was hungry and I wanted to go to where I could see a Food Court.
Food court

Food court


But we went to KFC instead.

xIMG_3690.jpg

Bob in line at KFC

And they didn't have extra crispy - only extra spicy which I don't care for. And the dinner didn't have any sides except fries. I did get water (in a bottle) instead of a coke which is good because Bob forgot to bring his water bottle and now we have two.

He then wanted to go to the grocery, but my back was hurting so I said he could go shop if he left me in the car with the Ac on. Because if he did that, I know he wouldn't dilly dally. He came back with grapefruit, bananas, some cookies and cranberry juice. I got us back to the hotel, (although we had some wrong turns at the roundabouts - people on the right have the right of way), and I can't figure out how to make the cell phone speak the directions. We parked on the side of the hotel near our room. Bob was afraid there wouldn't be enough parking, but it was OK. Also this is still the 'summer' season, so not that many people.

Then Bob settle down to work on the Luggie and finally said he thought he had fixed it but would let it set. So he watched TV and I edited photos. Finally he put it back together again and it worked. Hurray.

I feel much better now.

IMG_3697.jpg

We decided to go up to the restaurant here for dinner. We were the only ones there. It seemed that everything we asked for, they didn't have. It wasn't lobster season yet for instance. But eventually I had shrimp Alfredo and Bob had grilled Caribbean shrimp and we both had a virgin pina colada. Bob pronounced his shrimp to just the right amount of spicy for him (which is hardly spicy at all).

A very pretty little black and white cat came by to be petted - a fairly young cat I think. We asked whose it was, and the girl said that on Grenada, nobody owned any cats. They were all cats at large. I tend not to believe that.

IMG_3704.jpgIMG_3703.jpg
For dessert, I had ice cream and Bob had cherry cheesecake. They didn't have blueberry and I don't care for cherries that much.

IMG_3706.jpgIMG_3705.jpg

Bob went up the steps to the room and I had to go up the driveway and down the road. But the driveway now had a gate. I yelled for Bob (who didn't hear me of course) and a man came running and opened the gate, and also put lights on the road so it wasn't pitch black.
xIMG_3695.jpg

So far I have not accomplished any of my goals. Tomorrow we will start on them.

Posted by greatgrandmaR 17:00 Archived in Grenada Tagged airport Comments (0)