|The view from the deck as we waited for clearance from immigration to leave the ship.|
Thirty-three years ago I met my friend Colleen in Minnesota. She was a successful real estate agent working for me, then a broker foe an international real estate franchise.
Becoming fast friends, we shared many common interests; philosophical viewpoints, health and fitness goals, a love of people, animals, and the environment around us.
|The view from the pier as we walked to the nearby shopping area where Colleen and I met yesterday at 11:00 am at the Dockside Bookstore.|
Eight years later, after many meaningful times spent together, she decided to make a dramatic life change; sell everything she owned, leave family and friends behind and move to the US Virgin Islands. Sound familiar?
Over the years, Colleen worked on charter boats, often out to sea for weeks at a time, later as a massage therapist, and eventually as a wedding planner for couples preparing to marry in the islands. Single, with a gaggle of friends, she supported herself in modest comfort, never failing to appreciate the warmth of the sun, the balmy ocean breezes, and the freedom of a simple life.
Colleen, my friend of 33 years, has lived in St. Thomas for the past 25 years
Staying in touch and, through her visits to the US, we imagined that someday I’d see where she lived. Yesterday, at long last, I did.
|The view from Colleen’s yard, although encumbered with satellite dishes offers a great view beyond the few obstructions.|
It was a joy to see my long time friend. Tom walked me to the Dockside Bookstore in the crowded shopping area where passengers from several ships were shopping in a wide array of stores. He returned to the ship, leaving me with time alone with Colleen.
The view of the port of St. Thomas from our veranda.
When our visit ended, Colleen brought me back to the bookstore where I walked a short distance to meet Tom at a nearby fountain. Hand and hand, we meandered through the jammed area, later returning to the ship.
After my visit with Colleen, we walk back on the pier as we took this shot of our ship, The Carnival Liberty. Our cabin is eight doors behind the “bridge” (on the right in this photo) on the port side.
Surprisingly there weren’t many photo ops in that area. Mostly, it consisted of relative modern stores, not of much interest to us. We saw a few locals, as Colleen explained. Locals don’t frequent the shops by the pier preferring their own shops and malls in other areas of the island.
Many sailboats were anchored in the port area.
Goodbye, my dear friend. It was good to see you. Maybe somewhere down the road, our paths will cross again, if not in this life, perhaps in the next.
Loud reggae music was blaring from this party boat as it motored along beside the ship, as the party crowd whooped and hollered.
The clouds rolled in and it began to rain shortly after we returned to the ship later in the day.