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:: Going Back to Union Island

So.. for the last couple of months, Amy's been spending a lot of her spare time negotiating another trip for us, back down to Union Island in the Caribbean. Originally, she was working with our Atlanta friends Steve and Tuba to meet up with Tim and Cambria at some island in the Caribbean where we could rent a house for a week. Unfortunately, those plans fell through, partly because Tuba was having a lot of visa problems. On the brighter side of this, the situation motivated Steve to finally ask Tuba if she'd marry him (to which she said yes). You see, even when we have travel problems, good things happen to our travel companions. That's why you should invite us to go somewhere exotic with you (also offering to pay doubles your karma, btw).

A few weeks after our failed travel plans, we heard out of the blue that our DC friend Pete was planning on visiting "Timbria" during his spring break from law school. We promptly asked Pete if he'd mind us tagging along, and upon receiving his casual-as-always approval, Amy got back on the vacation planning path. The end result is that we're spending the week on Union Island at Tim and Cambria's place.

The trip down to union was of course awful. We started our journey at the unPleasanton BART station at 6pm. Approximately 19 hours and three flights later, we were sipping Bitter Lemon drinks with Tim and Cambria at the Union Airport, waiting for Pete to arrive. The trip was your standard lot of annoyances (BART no longer goes direct to the airport, the flights were crowded, the guy next to me smelled bad and kept fighting for my arm rest even though he had an aisle seat, etc). The oddest annoyance happened while waiting in the ticket line at SFO. This lady that was in front of us started complaining because they wouldn't take her positive form of ID, which was... a birth certificate. Lady, they're no picture on that thing, and they're not going to fingerprint you to see if you match. Ok, so I feel bad for that lady- I think she wound up not getting on her flight.


It's just three hops away

Anyways, as the above map shows, the trip was from SFO to JFK (ugh) to Barbados to Union (on a prop plane). Landing in Union is quite an experience. The runway is situated between the ocean and some steep hills, so the pilot has to dive to get to the runway, and then put on the brakes before he goes into the water. As we were coming in, I looked forward and noticed the only thing you could see through the pilot's windows was the blackness of the runway. The pilot did a good job, though, and everything worked out.


The view from under the wing

At Union, Amy and I went through customs only to discover that my bag was missing (the one with all our expensive snorkel gear). The airline assured us it was on the way, so we decided to just sit and have some drinks at a small cantina next to the airport. We were a couple of hours early, but we didn't mind just hanging out because we were still pretty dazed from the flight. Tim and Cambria joined us, and we all waited for Pete's plane to come in. Pete's flight got pushed back, and when it did arrive, he was missing both of his bags. We caught a van (Justin's) back to Tim and Cambria's place, where they fixed us a nice meal with the fresh produce Tim had bought. It didn't take long for us to conk out.

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