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Destination wedding

I thought about packing my clothes for this five day excursion into my old faithful, Old Navy backpack.  But then I realized, that since I would be bringing my lightstand it wouldn’t work.  So bringing a check in luggage was the way to go.

Back in November, Pat contacted me about a destination wedding in St. John’s from May 12th to May 16th.  It would be a definitely awesome opportunity so I immediately said yeah that I would second shoot for him.  I never been to the Caribbean so this was going to be an awesome thing to do!  Free adventures!

When May rolled around, I literally jammed this month full of vacation days from work.  St. John’s for almost a week, then I would go back to work the Monday after and then leave for Oregon on the Saturday.  This May is going to be awesome!  Since I never take use a vacation day during the school year, I jam it in near the End and almost near the fiscal roll over time period.  Next year, if I don’t do the teaching English abroad thing, I am going to take a full month adventure.  Not sure where, but I think hehehe Ireland, Spain, or Italy.  Yep.  I will probably head to Spain, but I like re-adding Ireland and Italy.

So with this destination wedding, I rented a Canon 24mm L prime to shoot with.  Right before I left, I got the lens in the mail from borrowlenses.com and instantly was sold on it.  I negotiated a deal with another photographer to trade my 24-70L for his 24L.  A great deal!  I am going to miss my 24-70, since it has been with me for so long and I have used it for literally everything.  But it is time to move on and move my craft up a notch.  Hopefully things go as expected and it can be shipped out on Monday and I can receive it before I leave for Oregon.  Or I will just resort to using my 50 and 135 for the adventure.

Tuesday, when I finished packing and playing with the dogs, I was preparing to get ready to watch the latest episode of Lost when mom called to pick her up from the Philadelphia airport.

Argh!!  I was going to miss this episode!  Third to last episode and I am going to miss it.  Oh well, when I get back on Sunday I will watch it.  Aye.

Oh well, I left to pick up mom leaving Grace and Mitzy home.  This way they wouldn’t be hopping into my lap as I drive.  Especially Grace.  Hehe.

When I picked up mom, it was already 9:40 pm, so if I sped or not, I was still going to miss the show.  Poop.  She told me about the cooking that she did in Atlanta.  Which was cool.  She hung out with Paul’s mom, where both of them were trading recipes and trying out new dishes.  Paul’s parents are awesome!  They helped out my parents a lot during this trip.

We got back at about 10:10 pm, I showered and rested up a bit to go to JFK airport.  Ugh.  I hate going to JFK.  I had to go to Pat’s to pick him up first than we will both head up there.  Flying out of EWR (Newark International Airport) would have been so much better, but we were booked flights from JFK.

I originally planned on leaving at midnight to be at Pat’s 1 AM, but the longer I would stay the more likely the chance of me taking a brief “nap.”  Which could mean sleeping till way past when I was supposed to be there.  Since our flight was a 7 AM, I didn’t want to run into any sorts of trouble so I played with the dogs and said bye.

Packed all my gear into my car and adding the parking lot’s details into the GPS, I headed off to WaWa to get some coffee for the drive.  I never drank the coffee at WaWa before, to be honest, when I do I usually get the cappuccino.

The coffee hit the spot, especially for the really dark trip on 70 east.  The road was getting some fog which looked like it was raising off the road.  I should have stopped and taken a photo.  Anyway, I was cruising at 50 mph down the road, so I wouldn’t get pulled over by any cop that could have been lurking around.

I arrived at midnight in need of taking a mad piss.  I wanted to arrive so I could take a brief nap at Pat’s place, but first I had to take a piss.  So while I was outside I texted Pat that I was here, and he said he would be right out.  :O

I guess they, him and his roomie, are both nightowls, since his roomie was in the bathroom showering.  Crap!  I had to take a crazy piss … and possibly dump.  I told Pat I would just “Shang Hai” it.  So He pointed out a fence in the back where I could take a piss where no one could see.  Well not like they could because who would be up at this time?   Only crazy photographers.

We left for Smart Park, the parking lot I had a reservation for.  After my work performance evaluation with Steve, I asked him if he knew of a shuttle service to JFK.  Nope.  He googled coupons for parking at JFK [why didn’t I think of that?] and found some parking spots.  The cheapest was Smart Park, where it brought up the price of $75.83 for the time Pat and myself would be off.

Along the drive to JFK, Pat gave me further details on the clients.  I think he likes all his clients, which is great!  It makes for fun shooting!  Joe and Alyssa sounded extremely awesome … totally fun and laid back.    This would definitely be fun.  While he was chatting them up, I missed my turn to get to this one exit so I had to turn around.  The GPS pointed that the parking lot was a little off to my side, so after I turned around, I nearly missed the exit again.  But I cut through some emergency cones and did a mini S turn to the exit.  Thank goodness there was no one but us on the highway!

We finally arrived at Smart Park and unloaded the Subaru.  I got my tag from the clerk and the shuttle drove Pat and myself to the airport.  This went extremely fast and easy!  Depending on how my car looks when I get back I might give them positive reviews.

JFK was dead.  However, there were a sprinkle of other people waiting there when Pat and I walked in.  We checked in using the computer terminals.  But a few minutes later we knew we had to go to the bathroom.

Baggage check in time was at 3:30 am and we were hanging around since about 2:15 AM.  Crap.  Pat was able to pack everything into his thinktank international which was amazing.  I think he brought only two pairs of clothes.  Haha!  Well I did too, but I had a light stand to carry.  While we waited we fooled around with his iPad.

The iPad is nice!  I am eventually going to get one, he is diligently waiting to get the 3G version of the iPad.  I will be happy with just the wifi version.  J

Time slowly eroded to 3:30 am.  We saw people crawl into the airport at a snails pace.  Or maybe we were in need of serious sleep that people seemed to walk very slow.  In any case, when 3:20 AM came around I meandered to the front of the line of the luggage check in with other travelers following behind me.

You would think when someone says a time, they mean it.  They told us that the check in starts at 3:30 AM.  But it wasn’t till around 4:10 when it started!  I was getting irritated, don’t say 3:30 when you really start at 4!

This douche and, I guess, girlfriend tried to be slick walking to the front past the huge line of people next to him to cut in front.  Seriously, how can you miss the huge amass of people waiting and how can you think that the “end” of the line starts in the “front?!”

“Can I help you?” I asked

He mumbled something and I pointed to the back of the line.  What the hell was he thinking? That he can just mosey up to the front, while those who were early came in to wait as patiently as they could?  For fuck’s sake!

Well someone finally came and thankfully my check in was pretty fast for a freaking long wait.

Going through security was … almost a breeze.  If we were in midday, I am going to guess that going through security would be swell.  Haha right.  More like a bitch.  Oddly the TSA thought it was necessary to swab my macbook pro.  Seriously?  First they man handle it out of the tray and now swabbing it?  Did my food and coffee stains leave some kind of radioactive mark or did they just have nothing better to do?!

Well that was over.  Pat and I headed over to our terminal at about 4:40 am.  Fooooood… we need foood and coffee!  The Starbucks near us, finally opened at about 5 AM where Pat and I rushed off to get some overpriced [airport over pricing haha!] coffee and food to munch on.

But the coffee didn’t hold me over.  I was in and out of sleep, when the parents of Alyssa and Joe came by and saw us.  I can’t tell if we did meet the moms as I woke up and went back to sleep.  It would have been a day of not sleeping for me since I woke up the previous morning at 5:20 am and have been up since.

Still groggy, Pat mentioned something about the internet and I woke up. Haha!  I pulled out my iPod and found out that if we downloaded boingo’s [I hate boingo] app, we could get a free hour.

Wah hooo!  This would be my last time I can check my email and facebook since I would soon find out that I could not connect to the wifi at the villa.  Checking my email I saw the samples from the 24L from Jason and responded that they sharp and awesome.  Can’t wait to get back to trade my lens!  Too bad he is in Wisconsin, which means…. Trouble for me if I can’t get it in time! Haha!  But I could just shoot with my 50 and 135 in Oregon… if I had to.  Shooting landscapes and vistas are going to be tough with those two, but ah well.

Then I responded to Khang’s email!  Whoa he emailed me!  I forgot alumni weekend is coming up and he was going to come by.  Hopefully I will be in Princeton during that time, but I kind of doubt it since it is on a weekend.  He also wanted to know what kind of camera I was shooting with and any tips for him.   My suggestion was it depends on what lens lineup he wants.  Canon and Nikon bodies are very close in performance and only the dorks say which one is better over each other.  No one really uses all of the functions of a camera, but focus on the specifics that make their shooting work.

I went onto my Princeton webmail to find my AA frequent flier miles account number to show it to the stewardess.  Oddly, she reminded me of Dr. Kwan, well the voice was pretty much alike.  Maybe she was Virginia, just with a different look!

When we boarded the flight it went by moderately fast.  Pat and I were in group 2 so we were able to get in pretty fast.  Too bad there were kids around us, kicking and screaming.  Argh.

Because of the width of my torso [no fat jokes. Haha!]  it was pretty uncomfortable sitting in the middle.  But three hours later we landed on St. Thomas.  Upon entering the baggage area, we were given free samples of rum.  It tasted like cough medicine.  Yeach!

I thought dropping off my luggage first would result in getting my bag …. First.  Nope!  Well when my bag finally did arrive, we headed outside to catch a shuttle to the dock where the ferry would take us to St. John. The shuttle took us from the airport to the dock after a long bumpy and windy ride!

After a good forty minutes we were at the pier.  Buying a drink before the ferry ride, Pat and I boarded the ferry and met some of the wedding party and guests.  We met Justin, Joe’s brother in law, and Kim Joe’s sister.

We landed and were greeted by Alyssa and Joe.  Which was cool.  Huh.  From Joe’s facebook picture I thought he was more built.

Harborville.  A place where apparently no one knew about was the villa that Joe rented for Pat and I to stay in.  Taxi driver after taxi driver, not one of them knew where it was.  So one of them was brave enough, or conniving in to drive us around to exact the fee of the drive to Harborville.  We went up a hill, but turned around because it didn’t look like the place we were going to stay.  The taxi driver had to back up and turn around to make a left.  When we got up that hill, we found out that that area was not the place we wanted.  So Pat called Liz, the person in charge of the villa, we turned around to head back to the first stop as it was in that vicinity.

He dropped us off and we walked up, with all our gear in two, this ridiculously steep hill.  It was a sharp 70 degree incline.  When we finally got up there, we were totally out of breath!  I freaking run 2 miles every day and I was out of breath!  It turned out to be all for nothing because that was not the place.  When we went back downstairs she was waiting for us to drive us a quick 2 minute drive to our villa.  Next door.

We spoke for a little bit, well, Pat was.  I did the most important thing.  Test out the wifi..



Oh well.  It was time to chill out where we would rest.  Meaning sleeping for a couple hours. Haha!

When we woke up we had to head towards Banana deck to meet up with Joe and Alyssa and meet the gang.  Taking a photographic hike down, we stopped by an outdoor beach bar to get some drinks.  I had this amazing bushwhacker drink.  It was so awesome, words from me could not describe it!  It was a mix of alcohol- Bailey’s, vodka, and something else mixed with chocolate!  It was really good, even though it was eight dollars.  My most expensive drink that I have ever had.

… turns out Banana dock was an open bar.  AHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I had two beers and a glass of wine there. Haha!  I spoke with Alyssa about Vietnam and some dishes.  Pretty cool that they are going there.  She also goes into Princeton a lot, not sure if she works there as well.

Pat and I left to go back to our villa to rest up.  But first we went to Dolphin market to get some groceries thinking that we can just cook on our own would be more affordable.  No sir.

Holy shit!!  Honey nut cheerios was $6.95, Rice milk was nearly $5, and a bag of apples was $7.89!!  What the heck?!  We left with just a bag of apples.

How do you like them apples?