By the third week of March, after a cold season of snow and ice, we’re ready for a change and looking forward to warm relaxing days with our toes in the sand. We head to our favorite island getaway, the Island View Guesthouse in St. Thomas.
Much to our dismay, this year our trip to St. Thomas took an unexpected turn and we found ourselves stuck in Philadelphia, PA. US Air let us know the delay in Philadelphia caused us to miss our connecting flight to St. Thomas. Good grief! The earliest flight we could board, to take us to our destination was at 7:00 AM the following morning, from Philadelphia to Miami, and then from Miami to St. Thomas arriving at 3:20 PM.
What to do with an unexpected day in Philly? Well, make the most of it and find something to do. Without our luggage and in need of a night’s accommodations, US Air provided survival kits to get us through the night and a discount on nearby accommodations.
Kelly and I had never been to Philadelphia so we grasped this as an opportunity for our family to see the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall. Having read about these historical landmarks, I was excited to finally visit and see them in real life.
After checking in at the Days Inn in Springfield, we had a delicious lunch at the hotel restaurant. It was tasty, with lots of robust flavor and reasonably priced. The crab cake sandwich was zesty and full of chunky crab meat that just melted in your mouth.
After lunch, at about 2 PM we boarded the South East Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA), Media-Elwyn line train. The ride was smooth and interesting. We stopped at several Victorian train stations and viewed eclectic duplexes and beautiful homes on the hillsides.
Exploring Philadelphia proved to be fun, educational and memorable. I won’t forget the embarrassment I felt when two national security officers whistled and yelled at me. They were not the friendly warm fuzzy types.
In my excitement to get some creative pictures, I crossed the road and ducked under a fence to get a closer view of Independence Hall.
“Hey–you! Over here–exit now! Now! Go!” Two burly security guards started yelling, blowing whistles and making angry hand gestures towards me.
“Yikes,” I thought. Security meant business and I ran for the nearest crosswalk. Good thing I had dressed comfortably in stretchy pants and running shoes, however I felt like I should’ve been wearing a bullet proof vest after that incident. Lee and Kelly welcomed me on the other side of the street with rolling eyeballs and several comments I won’t mention here.
After a good walk and sightseeing, we took the train back to the station and went back to the hotel. We slept well and resumed our trip with a 7 AM flight out of Philly on Friday, a day later than planned.
The flights on Friday to our destination went smoothly and at 3:20 PM we touched down in St. Thomas. We retrieved our luggage, which arrived in St. Thomas before we did (hmm) and with a short ride in the trusty white rental jeep, we arrived at our favorite tropical destination, the Island View Guesthouse. It feels like home away from home and the people are warm and welcoming. We settled in, switched to island time, basked in the toasty sun and met with our friends.
Until the next post, happy spring!