24 December 2020 | Bay Gardens Hotel, St. Lucia
"Your passport please." the ticket agent asks when I finally make it to the front of the line. Due to it being an international flight, I was not able to check in at the kiosk or via computer.
"What is your final destination?'
"St. Lucia," I reply.
She starts typing away, looking for everything that St. Lucia requires for anyone flying into their country. I have my stack of forms in my hand ready to fulfill any need that she requires. Well not everything.
She probably could have used a Valium or a stiff shot looking at how crazy things are for her.
"Your approval form to entry the country."
I quickly hand it over to her. She takes her time reading it and hands it back.
"Your negative Covid test."
I proudly slide it under the window. She looks at a long time. I am confused since I circled the word negative and my name for easy recognition.
"I don't think this will work. It doesn't say anywhere that this is a PCR test. St. Lucia requires a PCR test."
My joyous demeanor drops a notch. I knew it had to be a PCR test and I had asked the other tasting sites if that is what they were giving. I hadn't called Vail Medical just assuming they used the same testing procedure.
"I'm sorry, I can't let you board without a PCR test."
"But it says negative, right there," I point with my finger.
"It's the wrong test, I'm sorry. Let me see when I can get you on another flight."
My shoulders drop. My face droops into the most sorry face i have had in a long time. My sad puppy dog eyes tell the rest of the story.
Originally I was scheduled to fly out on November 23. Covid had other plans so I was so excited to finally be flying out to St. Lucia where I will have to quarantine for 14 days before being allowed on my boat.
2020, the year of change, of accepting things that are out of my control. Sailors have a saying, "plans are written in the sand at low tide. They can be washed away or changed at any time." This has been so true this entire year.
I take my bags and walk back out of the airport and sit by the wall trying to figure out a new plan. I call my friend who dropped me off at the airport to ask if she can pick me up after I explain my sad story. She is running errands so had not started driving back up the mountains.
She picks me up and we seek out two testing sites that are open on Sunday and are PCR tests. They both tell me it will be 3-5 days for the results to get back. My flight is scheduled for
Wednesday so I rescheduled it for Thursday, just to be safe.
The two test come back the next day and I think Im ready to go. I keep the flight for Thursday and call the airport shuttle to give me a ride down. All set so I think.
On Thursday, the shuttle forgets me and I take a later shuttle causing me to miss my flight. I reschedule my flights at the airport, give them all of the "correct" paperwork and amazingly enough, I arrive in sunny warm St. Lucia for my quarantine stay.
I picked the Bay Gardens hotel since it was less expensive and more importantly has a sister property located right on the beach. We are allowed to go by hotel shuttle to their property and enjoy all the sandy beach amenities.
This quarantine thing is not so bad after all.