Confessions of a Laid-off Lawyer

Just Your Average Joe Blogging Away His Debt—In One Year or Less

Island Life

with 6 comments

Total Black: $2,893.81
Total Red: $241,487.55

Today started around 3am with a drive to the Philadelphia airport for a 7:30am flight to San Juan, Puerto Rico.  Nearly eighteen hours later, I was in my new apartment on St. Croix.  What a day. 

As mentioned in Leaving New York, I didn’t arrive back in Pennsylvania until after 11pm last night.  I unloaded the car and the cats and then set out to look for my passport.  In the hustle to get everything packed, somehow the movers packed my passport.  I checked about ten boxes but could not find it.  Thankfully, my sister had picked up a Virgin Islands tour guide-book and it said a driver’s license would suffice for travel to the U.S. Virgin Islands.  So off to bed I went to catch about three hours of sleep.

The car I received from the rental agency was this huge boat: a white Lincoln Town Car.  My mother drove it nearly all the way to the airport while I sat in the back trying to keep the cats quiet.  After nearly three-quarters of the drive we realized that they liked air conditioning.  With that on, they pretty much kept quite for the remainder of the drive.  Pulled up to the curb, unloaded the luggage and the cats, and dropped off my mother.  I returned the rental car and hopped the shuttle back.  When I arrived, we checked in, dropped off the bags, and walked over to security screening area.  I had to walk through the scanner twice, once with both cats.  That was the most disruptive part of the trip.  Check-in was unbelievably smooth.  No one else was in line.  Security screening too went amazingly smooth.  Within about thirty minutes we went from curbside drop off to the ticketed area.

Unfortunately, some mechanical problem delayed our departure to San Juan, causing us to miss the connection to St. Croix.  And for nearly three hours we were stuck at the San Juan airport (I think the airport in Scranton rivals that airport for things to do!), uncertain whether we’d even get on a flight to St. Croix that day.  I don’t understand why airlines are so schizophrenic.  They couldn’t tell us if the weight-balance restriction would be lifted; they couldn’t tell us whether there would be room on a later flight.  They didn’t provide us any other alternatives but to sit tight.  There was no way I was missing my first day of work because of airline problems.  Hell, they could’ve sent us to St. Thomas and we’d catch a ferry to St. Croix.

Luckily, my mother and I made it on the next flight, though we couldn’t sit together.  And roughly an hour later we landed on St. Croix.  Both cats made it through without problem.  Well, the male cat threw up on descent to San Juan, but that’s it.  My fear was that one of them would urinate in the carrying case so I had covered their crates with wee pads.  Thankfully, they weren’t needed.

All in all, the entire trip from New York to St. Croix, through Scranton, Philadelphia, and San Juan, went almost without issue.  Only the missed connection.

Once we arrived in St. Croix, however, that’s when the hiccups began.  Hertz was being a bitch about the car rental, wanting to block off $500 regardless of the amount of the rental.  And I couldn’t use my mother’s credit card because then they wanted $500 per driver.  Never heard of that.  So off we went to Budget, right next door.  And we rented a jeep.  Without issue.  There was a problem with one of my credit cards.  I had created a sizeable amount of room on the car, but had ended up using too much of it along the way: the first car rental, the pet store purchases, and so on.  So my mother had to put her card down to cover the rental.

Once we passed that hurdle, we had to find our way to the apartment.  And all I had for navigation tools was my iPhone and directions from the landlord.  For anyone whose driven in St. Croix, or heard about it, you’d appreciate just a portion of the directions I received:

“Take the first right that you come to (that’s a real paved road), and you’ll be on Rt. 624.  (You will see South Shore Café on your left just before you come to it). When the road dead ends, take a left and you’ll be on Rt. 60.  At the next stop sign you will keep going straight.  You will almost immediately pass Cheeseburgers in America’s Paradise on your right.  If you see that, you’ll know you’re on the right track.  Heading East you will pass Cheeseburgers in Paradise and Chenay Bay Resort.  After you pass the pink Coakly Bay Condos.  Look for Chicken Charlies and a gas station on your left.”

And that’s really the way you give directions here.  And really the way that you navigate the island.  But understandably, I got lost about four times.  I wasn’t really able to read on my cellphone while simultaneously checking the maps app and driving.  The landlord didn’t send me those directions until the day of travel, so I wasn’t able to print them beforehand.

Eventually, we made it to the apartment.  And within about thirty minutes we were off again to K-mart, of all places, to pick up a litter box and some basic food stuffs.  The cats had been holding it since approximately 3am when our trip began.  We hit up K-mart and then came right back.  Once the cats were set-up, we left once more to grab food.  I didn’t even get to relax and unpack until nearly 8pm.

Tomorrow I become a law clerk.  I guess then today is the last day I can claim to be “laid-off.”  Hmm . . . .

Written by Laid-off Lawyer

May 31, 2010 at 21:53

6 Responses

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  1. Nah,

    That’s the good thing about “laid-off.” You can use it to describe yourself in the present tense or past tense.

    Wife and I are thinking about heading down to the USVI later this year (no sense leaving nice weather in PA when we could leave it in the winter), but we’re not sure if we’re going to stay on St. Thomas or St. Croix.



    June 14, 2010 at 08:38

  2. Congratulations on getting settled in. Best of luck in the new job!

    Jim in Chicago

    June 14, 2010 at 11:10

  3. How much is your accomodation costing you on the island?


    June 14, 2010 at 11:45

  4. $900 a month, everything included like internet, cable, water, electricity, etc. Oh yeah, and pool. An awesome view. The occasional visits by deer. Chickens too. All in all a good deal I’d say.

    Laid-off Lawyer

    June 14, 2010 at 20:19

  5. Thats a good deal you’ve got on the rent.


    June 15, 2010 at 05:06

  6. I meant to ask what does your job ential? We dont really have a similar role over here in the UK, we have judge’s clerks but they undertake a more usher type role.


    June 15, 2010 at 09:02

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