From -5C to 26C

January 15, 2017
Arriving ahead of schedule. How exciting is that! We just might make our twenty minute flight from Antigua to Montserrat. Brian was worried that we may be delayed leaving Toronto, but it was a full moon night with starry skies. I was glad to have a cosy winter jacket from my brother, Jim, to wear to the airport.

img_4740The three of us were surprised at the very long line of cars headed for departures at seven on a Sunday morning. Ah, so many snowbirds winging their way south. Not as many families as there probably had been a few weeks ago. Jim expertly deposited us near the West Jet entrance.

Once inside Pearson, I was more than warm. We zipped past the long lineups for baggage check as we had no luggage to check and we happily had our electronic boarding passes on our phones. We screeched to a halt at the entrance to Security where six lines of grim looking humanity snaked back and forth to await its turn to be searched. I estimated three hundred people ahead of us, but it took a mere twenty minutes to make it past the security check.

We had a comedian for a flight attendant. “If you have anything positive to report, my name is Ashley. If you have anything negative to report, my name is Angela.” I spent the flight reading and chatting with my seat-mate from Port Elgin. Her husband and I knew each other in my previous life as a principal.

Our female pilot had us arriving half an hour ahead of schedule but there is only one runway in Antigua and four planes were there ahead of us; so, we circled the island and arrived under a rainbow thirteen minutes early.

Life was simpler at the old tiny airport but there is now a much larger airport; so, we had to walk farther and be in more lineups to go through immigration and customs then turn around and go through security to wait for our seven passenger plane to take us to Montserrat. Our plane was half an hour late boarding, but we had the good company of Barb and Al who had arrived on a delayed Air Canada flight and were accompanying us to the Taj.

Bryan was waiting for us at the Osborne airport where we filled out more papers to be admitted, but all was done with a smile and with only seven people to line up, all was done quickly. Bryan drove us up, down and around the twisting roads following in the blackness what could only be described as rush hour, seven vehicles ahead of us going in the same direction with folks yelling to one another from the side of the road.

We received a very warm welcome at the Taj from Susan, Pam and John where we were directed to the newly renovated Garden View room, formerly known as The Dungeon. Absolutely delightful!

After gin and tonic and relaxing on the patio under a canopy of stars we regaled ourselves with a great meal prepared by our hosts: steak, a cheesy okra dish, roasted potatoes and cabbage salad.

More stars, a downpour, good conversation, more stars and now we are off to dreamland with tree frogs loudly serenading us.

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