Friday, 9 October 2015

Leaving on a prop plane

When we arrived in Trinidad and Tobago at 4:50 a.m. we had to switch planes. To do this we had to go down to where customs is and check in with a young lady, who then takes you to a secure elevator and sends you back up to where you came in! While this seems crazy, before we departed from Pearson we encountered a family who had gotten lost trying to get to their connecting flight in the massive terminal. Their plane had left without them and the airport staff were trying to figure out what to do.

If you ever find yourself in the Trinidad airport with a connecting flight, stop and have your coffee at the shops before you go through security. There is no food or coffee (OK there is coffee from a vending machine which I can’t imagine is tasty). We bought the boys some juice and waited for the connecting flight. To help bide the time, there was another family waiting with adorable little Spanish speaking girls singing a game that was a cross between the hokey pokey and a statue game, when the song stopped you couldn’t move. I think we all could have watched them paly all day.

Our flight was called just after a 737 pulled into our gate and for a brief moment I was excited that it wouldn’t be on a prop plane. The moment passed when we walked down to our plane… a teeny tiny little island hopper that you board from the runway and not a terminal ramp. I felt like somewhere Tattoo was saying “the plane boss, the plane”. Both boys loved this plane, because you don’t go as high and you see a lot more. Sadly a lot of what we saw was pollution- oil slicks and plastics.

On the approach to Grenada, if you are sitting on the left side of the plane, the runway just magically appears about 10 meters before touchdown and it creates the illusion that you are actually crashing into the ocean! Owen was remarkably calm about this turn of events. Perhaps because Brent and Aiden could see the island. Right next to the airport is the new Sandals resort, offering personal butlers and five star vacations.

At the airport we went through the international line, and with only a few passengers it probably didn’t matter. We spent a lot of time with their border police as it is certainly unusual for someone to stay so long and with children. We will need to go back and extend our visas in November but other than that we were clear.

With the time spent getting in, we were the last people to the baggage carousel, so it was pretty easy to find our bags… until the power went out, in the whole airport. Then it became really hard to find your bags, or your kids, or your toes! Luckily it only lasted a few minutes and we went out to find Samuel’s smiling face waiting for us.

Sam has amazing packing skills and managed all but two bags into his car, but Brent’s kiteboarding equipment proved too much and we needed a taxi. We made it to the house with me only mildly concerned about dying when it appeared a car was driving straight at us, it was of course in the proper lane and me just thinking we too should be on that side of the road.

At the house we changed clothes and headed off to open a bank account. This took until about 10:00 a.m. at which time we had “brunch”. Aiden had noodles and the rest of us had roti. Then we got cards for our cell phones which consisted of me holding Sam’s smoothy outside with the boys while he helped Brent, then me going in with I.D. and then Sam needing to go back in. It was like musical chairs.

Next was to Beacon, the boys’ school. The staff were nice but they didn’t have pants for either boy and no tie for Aiden. The secretary tried to explain where to go but she did not seem to get that we had only landed 5 hours earlier. Thankfully Aiden’s French teacher fully grasped the situation and went down to give Sam detailed instructions.

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