Today is the day. We arrived in St. Croix as official residents. But first, before I talk about that, here’s a quick update from the last couple of days.
Over the last week we have been frantically packing and going through YEARS of stuff, each item deciding whether A) we really need it anymore and B) if we do, whether it is cheaper to ship it or rebuy it, once we’ve arrive on island. Our other dog, Kaden, finally made it to our going pile.
My car officially sold to a nice man in Bradenton, and she now has a home in a covered garage. I think the A7 found a great home, and I got my full asking price. I couldn’t be happier about that transaction and her new owner.
We also found a good home for BC, our 25 year old snake whom I’ve had forever. Our friends, who are really into reptiles (seriously they have enough to be a mini pet store in their house) have volunteered to care for him. Brittany and Cameron already had another ball python and were surprised to see just how big BC was. Needless to say, I don’t think we could have found a better home. (Fun fact: BC stands for Billy and Christopher, named after my brother and I as kids… but now it very well could stand for his new owner’s names, Brittany and Cameron).
We literally have purged 50% of all the things we own. All of the things we kept, we are shipping via USPS. 16 boxes total so far, and we probably have another 10 to ship when we return for the next part of our move. Pricing out our options, UPS wanted $900 for the same box that USPS wanted $90 for, which includes $50 insurance and 3 Day priority shipping with tracking. When it comes to the Virgin Islands, USPS can’t be beat for non-furniture items. Our total move looks like it will cost us less than $1,800.
Yesterday, we had our giant yard sale. We made $1,700!!! Incredibly, it looks like we are paying for our move by having sold all the crap we couldn’t bring with us anyways. A very special thank you to my mom, Sue Royall, and our good friend Valerie Whitehurst Kuliberda who really killed it for us, and assisted us with the sale. We worked from 5am to 3pm and got rid of so much stuff.
This morning, we got up early and headed to the airport. We were tired and I think it shows in the photos. Construction at MCO meant ridiculous security lines today. Even though checkin was smooth, we missed our flight. That never happens. The gate door shut in front of us. The great people at JetBlue however, (shoutout to Di at the Just Ask Desk) took care of us, as they always do. Even though I had to book another airline and pay for the tickets, JetBlue (via my Twitter account) was willing to give us that as a credit, so our net out of pocket ($450) was credited in a combination of points for future flights and a cash refund, even though they aren’t affiliated with the other airline we booked on. They are the best. I always recommend JetBlue. And, I always recommend reaching out to any airline via public social media if you have an issue to get it taken care of. (Disclosure: I am long on JetBlue’s stock.)
Now, I’m not sure if you’ve ever flown Cape Air whom we booked for our second flight, but they more or less give you a plane and you fly it yourself. It wasn’t quite the smallest aircraft we’ve flown in (Shaleece and I were in a single prop 4-seater when we flew into the Amazon in Venezuela), but it definitely was an adventure. This is not how we normally get into St. Croix, but it was the last flight of the day and we had to jump on it. Shaleece took the helm (she’s always wanted to be a pilot) and landed us safely. I’m still unsure how she landed so smoothly while looking at my camera.
Since the second flight was a bit later than the first connection, we arrived 2 hours behind schedule. That means we were going to miss our mattress store appointment and be sleeping on the tile floor tonight. No matter though, our realtor Doane Dariah came to the rescue again and went out of her way, letting the delivery people in early for us! I seriously can’t recommend this woman enough!
Rupert Ross, our awesome friend on the island arrived to pick us up in our new Jeep. He is amazing and helped pick up the Jeep from port when it was delivered on the Norma H. (A car delivery service between St Thomas and St Croix.) I had a small issue with Norma H in that they lost one of the two $400 keys, but they found it a couple of days later, and we can pick it up on Wednesday… that is if Hurricane Irma doesn’t delay them further.
So let’s talk about that for a minute. Our first few days as official residents and we have a huge hurricane headed towards us. Not sure why, but we don’t really have a worry in our minds about it, with the exception that we may get rain our first few days in paradise as we try to take care of a bunch of moving errands. This blog may get interesting in the next few days.
The house is much nicer than we actually expected, believe it or not. It’s very large and has a huge outdoor balcony with multiple seating areas outside. The dogs will love this place. There is no AC (but the breeze is fairly cool/nice and we will probably get a small unit in the bedrooms), but other than that this place was a winner from the start. Although I have no idea why you would ever need it on this island, there was a surprise sauna in our master bathroom. Cool, I guess.
Tomorrow we go to look at the final list of land parcels we’ve narrowed it down to with Doane! We can’t wait!