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Trip Report Limin' in Montserrat - Trip Report!

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I thought I'd try something different for this trip report...writing some while I am relaxing on a verandah of villa in Montserrat overlooking our Caribbean blue pool, the ocean, the island of Nevis and our grounds of huge frangiapani trees, palms, grapefruit trees, and lush greenery. I even hear a rooster crowing!

Nothing like getting up at midnight after a short nap to start our vacation! We drove to Newark and flew through Charlotte to Antigua. It got cloudier and cloudier as we flew further south. Have you even been on an airplane where there were three bouts of people screaming? There was one harrowing minute of fear just before Antigua. Loved the pilot who came on the intercom afterwards and calmly said sorry for the little bumps! Hitting a wall and dropping out of the sky was more like it.

The airport at Antigua was crowded and we walked from the plane along the runway to the building, passing other planes and groups of people going the opposite direction. I'm not sure how everyone knew where they were going! Inside, the lines moved very slowly. There is a special line in the middle for people catching connecting flights, about 4 lines over from the far left line. If you are going, don't confuse it with the lines to the far right running perpendicular to the first lines that you see. Those are overflow lines for regular immigration lines and they don't seem to move at all. Just hope you don't arrive after a jumbo jet (which we did) and don't forget a pen - many forms to complete to get in and out of Antigua and into Montserrat. We were flying FlyMontserrat to our destination. It took about 1/2 hour to check in...and we were first on line. I've heard about the laid back attitude so took it in stride, despite the huge signs saying that if you didn't check in 60 minutes in advance, you couldn't check in, and another stating that if you are late for the plane, they'll take your luggage off and leave without you. We certainly passed the 60 minute mark, but no problem! I guess that fact that someone had already noticed us was good enough. Finally got our boarding passes (looked like they were typed into an adding machine onto the little strip of white register paper) and headed for the departure area, complete with gift shop. Loved the dry-erase white board announcing the flights!

Finally we were called and then we saw the plane. TINY! I thought of the winds and turbulence on the way down and tried not to get nervous. My thoughts took another turn though after I ended up sitting up front next to the pilot. What a seat! (My son is still kicking himself that he turned down the pilot's offer!) The flight was incredibly smooth despite it being so cloudy that the sky melted into the sea and we couldn't discern a horizon.

We were met at the airport and taken to our villa - Montserrat Breezes. In the meantime, my 20 year old son, who had left Newark just before us on different flights and who was to have arrived 1/2 hour before us, was no where to be seen. Turns out that WinAir canceled his ticket from Antigua to Montserrat! Despite having the online printout of his ticket, they told him that since I hadn't sent in some form giving permission for them to charge my credit card, they canceled the ticket instead! So, they had my email address, they had my credit card number, they had my phone number, they didn't send me a form but did send me a confirmation code, and there's my son alone in Antigua with no plane ticket. Nice! Funnily enough, my son had been saying all along that he would have preferred to go by ferry, so he was happy! He took matters into his own hands. He found a taxi and paid double to get him to the ferry 'as fast as possible'...and the driver did. He just made it, and coincidentally ran into the caretaker of our villa while riding over, so he even got a ride to the villa! Amazing luck!

Our family: my husband and me and 3 of our kids, ages 20, 17 and 17. The kids were a bit nervous about coming to Montserrat becuase they heard there wasn't much to do. Once they got to the villa and saw the pool, all their reservations were swept away. This is a gorgeous place and I'll describe it a bit later!

Once we all arrived, an island chef brought us dinner. We had taken a family vote and had a wonderful king fish dinner which even the chicken-voters loved. We also had plantains (yum!) veggies, potatoes, salad and pie, and ate outside overlooking the water and listening to the thousands of crickets surrounding us. So peaceful!

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