First Day Disaster

Snapped this pic with my phone on the way to St. Thomas. Sunsets from above can be great, too.

We landed after dark and stayed at a semi-skeezy hotel near the airport, because we couldn’t check into the timeshare until the next afternoon. In the morning, we ate breakfast at a restaurant on the beach, which was lovely and warm. Then we loaded up the car and headed to the timeshare hotel. Stepdad Dave asked for early check-in, but that still wouldn’t be until about 1 or 2. But the hotel stored our bags and we got to walk around and see the premises.

After this pic, my mom took my phone and tried to take one with me in it. Somehow she hit the button to make it into a video. I think it’s so funny to watch – turn on your speakers, too. Sorry it’s so huge. If anyone knows how I can reduce the size (decrease resolution maybe?) with Windows Live Movie Maker, let me know!


So, then we traipse off to find a restaurant David and I ate at when we were on St. Thomas years ago. It was part of this hotel of individual condos, with these great walking trails that switch back and forth down the hillside to the beach. The steps are natural rock and my mom tells Stepdad Dave to watch his footing. He complains that my mother thinks he’s clumsy, but that was one trip to Mexico and it was because his glasses were bad.

We find the place. Have a fun lunch with beers. (I’ve been asked to add that Stepdad Dave wants it known that HE did not have anything to drink – only Diet Coke.)

All is well.

See the happy fun?


So, Stepdad Dave gets a call from the hotel that our rooms are ready. He’s all excited to go check in. We head up the first hill and we’re all kind of dragging rear. I jokingly say that the climb back up is the price we pay for all the beers. We cross the little asphalt road and Stepdad Dave is huffing a bit. He tells us to go ahead. My mom is perkily climbing away. David, behind me, asks Stepdad Dave if he needs to rest. Or, I say, over my shoulder, we can bring the car down to pick him up.

We hear a funny noise.

I look back and Stepdad Dave has fallen off the path, rolled down the hill and is clinging to a root at the edge of the drop-off. David is already running down the path to get to him from below. I’m wondering how the hell we’ll do this, that maybe David can push from below and I can get to him from above.

Then the root breaks and he drops over the side. Of this.

That’s looking up from below.

My mom didn’t see any of this, but she’s coming back down. I yell at her to go slow (very helpful of me, I know) and I’m running down, thinking he could be dead, with his skull cracked open. I’m wondering mainly how I’ll explain to stepsister Hope that I got her dad killed on St. Thomas.

Fortunately, he didn’t die. He came down that embankment, rolled over the retaining wall and landed on the road. The ambulance came to get him. We spent most of the rest of the day at the hospital. The doctor on duty was fortuitously a guy who’d trained in the Los Angeles Trauma Center. After multiple x-rays, it turns out that Stepdad Dave broke his shoulder blade. An amazingly minor injury, all things considered.

No surgery. No vacation cut short. Just an immobilization sling and pain meds.

Here he is a few days later, looking jaunty with the carved walking stick we found for him. We’re hoping he’ll get in the habit of using it, just to stabilize himself. He didn’t get to snorkel, alas, but we had a great time anyway.

7 Replies to “First Day Disaster”

  1. Wow! That was quite a fall. Glad that your stepdad wasn’t hurt too bad all things considered.

  2. I’ve heard of vacations going downhill fast, but this takes the cake. Stepdad Dave, we’re so glad that you came out of it with nothing worse than a broken shoulder blade and a huge story. Get well soon!

    Jerry & Jo

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