The long awaited date was finally here.  Tessa’s birthday was today.  For over a month now, all we have heard about was how many days to her birthday.  We had elaborate plans for a party.  But in the cruising world, the best laid plans…….

We had planned to be back in St Thomas on the 22nd at the latest.  Tessa’s birthday gifts, as well as Easter gifts sent by the Grandparents were waiting there.  The nasty weather, 20 foot northern swells, made that impossible.  We spent Easter at Sophers Hole, then checked out of the BVI’s on the 24th, and checked back into the USVI.  The next day (the 25th), we took a ferry from

CruzBay to Red Hook, on our way to Charlotte Amalie to pick up the presents.  Tessa did get to open one present before we left that morning, a charm bracelet from Grandma and Grandpa, which I had brought back with us from Christmas.  That held her over for a little while.  We thought we would be back early, so she wouldn’t have to wait long for her party but the trip expanded.  After getting to Red Hook, we walked to the marine store to get some supplies.  From there we caught the local bus, (very cheap, you can pretty much ride the whole island for a dollar), and headed to Kmart. The Kmart in Red Hook is big, and while I helped Tessa shop for some new clothes, the boys were off looking for swim shoes.  We had a quick birthday lunch at McDonalds, and then caught another local bus.  The buses run in a figure 8 on the island.  Kmart is the center of the figure 8.  We ended up getting on the bus that was going back the way we just came, so we had a longer ride as we went back to the ferry dock, then back to Kmart before heading to Charlotte Amalie.  That was fine for the rest of us since it had started to rain, but Tessa was about out of her skin.  She wanted her presents.  After getting caught in traffic, we finally made it to our mailbox about an hour later.  We were overwhelmed by the amount of stuff that was there.  There were at least 8 boxes, and one huge box containing our breeze boosters.  All of us brought backpacks for the occasion, so I made Tessa and Tristan turn around while I opened the boxes, and started loading their backpacks.    I wouldn’t let them see what was in the boxes as I wanted them to be surprised when we got back to the boat.  While we were at our mailbox, we ran into Chris and Anne from Blue Runner, The dive shop they work at was just around the corner.  We spent a few minutes talking to them, and you should have seen Tessa.  She has seen the boxes, she knows there is candy and birthday presents, they are in a backpack she is being forced to carry, but she can’t touch them and now Mom and Dan are socializing, instead of getting her back to the boat so she can start her party.  Chris gave her a lollipop to appease her, but that really didn’t help.  We said goodbye and headed out to find a taxi.  This time we took the ferry from Charlotte Amalie toCruzBay instead of stopping in Red Hook.  Back inCruzBay, Dan and Tristan stopped at the barber shop for haircuts.  We were way behind schedule for the party, so I reached in the backpack and brought out a present for Tessa to open.  That bought me a little more time.  By the time the haircuts were done and we got back to the boat, it was after 6:00 pm, and I still hadn’t made Tessa’s birthday cake.  We were all exhausted, but at 8:00 pm, we had presents, cake, and a promise we would carry the party over to the next day.  Not exactly what she hoped for, but it turned out alright.