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Tuesday, January 31, 2006

St. Thomas Bunker Hill Pool Area - Held at Gunpoint!!

This is a trip vlog from Bunker Hill Hotel in St. Thomas. While we were staying here we were held at gunpoint at 3am inside of the hotel near the pool. We were lucky we didnt get killed. For a more descriptive and humorous commentary please read the entry below the video.

Hey all,

I'm not usually one to publish this kind of personal story but I thought I'd try for a Joe Kelly-caliber urban legend and, of course, the potential for future infamy and a spot on the Norton Antivirus top-10 most-caught spams list.

I don't really fancy myself the type that attracts trouble but suffice to say that five tall white guys in St. Thomas are generally perceived as the "Carnival Cruiseline crowd" and seemingly regarded with disdain (probably rightfully so). Oh, if only we deserved such stature. In fact, we were simply five b-school buddies out for a budget trip to the beach between semesters.

Having now been there it would seem that St. Thomas has two types of accommodations - "shady" and "resort". The former is recognizable by the great distance between its front door and the sea, and the latter is recognizable by ... well I couldn't say. There were gates in between.

The afore-mentioned armed robbery occurred within hours of our arrival to the island but not before we'd run up a $300 bartab and witnessed a barfight whereby Joe (a 20-yo local) laid-out Kevin (a 37-yo tourist from the US) on the floor by means of a beer bottle across the head. Note that I was playing pool with these two clowns not 30 minutes before this occurred.

The $300 bartab was courtesy of our cute waitress, "Kashmir" (named after the place and not the Zeppelin tune, to my dismay), who feigned interest in the company of the five of us (for shame!) and proceeded to feed us overpriced shots called, conveniently, "Kashmir shots". In our defense, said imbibements were welcomed after American Airlines cancelled our nearly empty direct flight from JFK to the VI in lieu of a much less direct one. "Mechanical failure" may or may not be the fault of the airline but certainly flat-out-lying should count.

Don't ask me why -- perhaps out of pity for our hotel owner -- I will refrain from mentioning the name of our hotel. If you really want to know, one or more of my travel companions has made clear that they intend to post the story on the popular travel website from which they booked the accommodations.

Anywho, returning to the hotel around 3am, we decided to go for a dip in the pool. Two of my companions stripped down to their skivvies (this becomes humorous later - skip to the "police report" section) but I opted to walk upstairs first to grab my suit. I wasn't gone for five minutes only to return to a masked (with a garbage bag - hey, low-rent muggers have low-rent masks) gunman who has my two nearly-naked friends with their hands in the air. This I observed from the relative safety of the balcony one floor up ...

It was at this point that, without regard for my own life or safety, I proclaimed something profound and then proceeded to dive from the balcony above onto the assailant ... nope, nope, wait ... my memory is foggy but although similar, what I actually did was to run back into the room and dial 911. Of course this didn't work because the phone was inoperable (courtesy of our five-star accommodations).

For lack of what to do next, I intelligently returned to the pool and proceeded to inch - with back to the wall (I knew Bruce Willis movies were good for something) - back into view of the scene. Luckily for me, in the intervening two minutes, somehow my victimized friends (although they can't really piece this part together) determined that the gun was, in fact, fake.

What happened next is the best part (well, second best - after the naked police report). My friend Sean proceeded to chase down the fleeing gunman who had since made off with two wallets - one of which was still contained in the pocket of his pants. Motivated primarily by the burning desire not to have to call Visa or the DMV, Sean proclaimed something along the lines of "Damned if that guy is going to ruin my vacation", jumped about 15 feet from where he was and proceeded to chase, tackle and recover all of the goods (although the gunman escaped). Meanwhile, our 5th musketeer had managed to reach the local fez via his cell phone who, to their credit, arrived in moments.

I think Nat had the best line of the night which was simply "Of course not.", spoken dripping wet at 4am, wearing nothing but his underwear to the policewoman who enquired, "Are you drunk?".

All's well that ends well they say. We were cordially offered a free night at our hotel which, yes, we remained at for two more nights before moving onto Tortola and then St. John. What can I say? The "laziness" mechanism is apparently far more powerful than the "flight" mechanism if not quite as powerful as the "fight" mechanism.

( much thanks to my buddy Hock for putting this story together and allowing me to publish it - i guess screen writing classes are good for something )

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Jamaica - Sandals Whitehouse Overview

An overview of Sandals Whitehouse starting at the front entrance.

Jamaica - Sandals Whitehouse Beach Area

This vlog from the beach at Sandals Whitehouse shows the water activities area of the beach and provides a description of what you can expect to find at the resort beach.

Jamaica - Sandals Whitehouse Day Trip

This video is of a 5-hour trip we took from Sandals Whitehouse to the Black River and YS Falls in Jamaica. There are many day trips that can be arranged at the tour desk at Sandals Whitehouse, but this one was nice because it was only 1 hour of driving each way and only cost $63 per person.

Jamaica - Sandals Whitehouse Guest Room

A vlog that shows the amenities of the standard hotel room at Sandals Whitehouse in Jamaica. For those of you interested in staying here this will give you a good idea of what to expect in the guest room.

The goal

The goal of tripvlogs is to provide a place to share trip related video with the world. If you want to add your video to the vlog let me know and i'll add it for you!