Day 11 – Sunday, March 10 (St. Maarten to Wendell, NC)

John needed some paperwork from Sam the jewelry guy before we left, and Sam graciously offered to drive us to the airport. His son was at a swim meet and would be done around noon, so that worked for both of us.

The airport in St. Maarten, Princess Juliana International, is not a big one and they are doing some major renovations. The staff is very helpful, and we were pointed to where we needed to be in line. We were checking in our bags, and I noticed in the next line was the captain of our ship, Captain Yuriy, or Captain Crusty, as we so named him. I’m not sure how many months he had been on the Star Flyer, but he was going on a weeks’ vacation. He was all smiles until the customer service person told him something he didn’t like and then his true colors came out. He doesn’t seem like a happy person, lol!

After we checked our bags in, we went easily through security and found our gate. There was basically nothing in our terminal and we knew we’d have to have something to eat, so split a turkey sandwich from a vendor cart (bleh!). We were not able to get business class on this trip and we realized why when we boarded the plane as there were only four business class seats! We were two rows behind them, so it was not bad. Unfortunately for me, my screen didn’t work, which meant I couldn’t watch anything. Our flight was over 4 hours, and I could only read for so long, and I sure can’t sleep on a plane, so it was a very boring flight for me. My only saving grace was the guy in the row in front and across from me played Forrest Gump and I caught parts of it even though I couldn’t hear anything, lol!

Once we landed in Charlotte, we ended up having to stay on the plane for about 30 minutes as customs was backed up and they would not let us off. We had a connecting flight to Raleigh with about 1 ½ hours layover in Charlotte, but seeing as customs took us over 45 minutes to get through and we spent another 30 minutes on the plane before we could get off, that cut into our time. We managed to catch our flight and prayed our luggage would make it as well. The flight is only 29 minutes in the air, and we had seats up front, so once we landed we were one of the first ones off. I can only handle being on a plane for so long and I get antsy. Sitting that long is not my thing. Luckily it did not take long for the bags to show up (very grateful they made it!) and we were able to catch the bus to take us to the parking area. It was quite chilly (in the 50’s) compared to what we had in St. Maarten. After a long day of travel, we made it home about 11:45 p.m., and John ate a frozen burrito, and I had a bowl of Raisin Bran since we had had nothing since the bleh turkey sandwich earlier. The trip was amazing, but we were glad to be home and in our own bed.

Another trip in the books, looking forward to the next one!

The last pics from our balcony at the Holland House Beach Hotel.
We found your boat, Chad 😉
Captain Crusty himself…..until next time!
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