Bruce and Heléne's Vacation to Torture-Tola

Bruce and Heléne’s Vacation to Torture-Tola
November 7 – November 15, 2003

See now this view would be awesome, without the freaking clouds!

The Weather

  • 14+ inches of rain
  • All schools closed
  • Landslides…kind of feels like an earthquake
  • Tortola Department of Disaster Management activated
  • Roads closed due to running water, rolling boulders or debris blocking passage
The House

  • Tin roof and tile floors throughout provided for a nifty echo of the pouring rainwhich translated into sleep deprivation
  • Solar hot water…meaning very minimal hot water…let alone use the jacuzzi tub
  • Several blackouts
  • Tons of dead termites and other insects (outside) from the rain making Bruce play poolboy on the one nice day (ok the 6 hours of sun that we did get)
  • The umbrella flew off the table and down the hill
  • Surrounding wildlife included this “barking venemous fanged toad” (it was really a very small frog) that sounded more like two ducks killing each other (or something else perhaps)
  • The chameleon chase…through the living room and up into the recliner…and then finally outside
  • OK so we cant prove it, but we’re both sure the house was occupied by some rather nasty spirits

The water is supposed to be BLUE not brown from all the mud running off the mountains

we need more ice on that ankle

The Injuries

  • Heléne wakes up on day one to find her eye swollen shut due to a mosquitoe bite …how utterly attractive!
  • Bruce skins his head on the side of the pool…equally attractive!
  • Falling ashtray at the Hard Rock Cafe in St. Thomas splinters and nicks Heléne’s leg
  • Bruce burns his wrist on the grill cooking dinner
  • Heléne (whose middle name is NOT Grace) falls down the steps making a total mess of cuts, scrapes, swelling and bruising of her leg and causing Bruce to become an EMT again. For the record it Hurts when you clean a cut with gin
The Car

  • Revived Bruce’s 4 x 4 off roading skills
  • Greeted us each morning with a flat left front tire
  • Had more holes and dings than we could count
  • Had a detachable fender…we’re pretty sure that isnt standard
  • Door handle fell off mid week
  • Absolutely saved our butts more than once due to the horrendous road conditions
This is the best shitbox anyone could ever have

Boats through the mist...a view from yet another crowded restaurant as it was the only thing you could do and stay dry!

We Didnt

  • Have lunch at the Soggy Dollar…just off of Jost Van Dyke, which we could see from our balcony
  • Go to the beach…any beach
  • Go to St. John…”Hi guys, you probably want to avoid my island. We have no power”…Heléne’s friend Joanna who lives on St. John
  • Horseback ride on the beach
  • Rent a boat
The Trip Home

  • American Eagle tells us if we take a charter flight they will give us a $150 voucher and upgrade us to first class on the flight from San Juan to Boston…we agree
  • We discover we have to pay $150 for our charter tickets…and the voucher is $300
  • The plane from Tortolla to San Juan has 9 seats…we get to sit behind the pilot
  • American Airlines claims American Eagle has no right to promise an upgrade… but they’ll happily give us more room for Helene to stretch out her still injured (and expertly bandaged leg) by seating us in an exit row
  • Helene gets all but stripped searched by security who can not understand why her leg is causing the metal detectors to go off…explaing that there is hardware in her leg from when she broke it (no the other one many years ago) and even showing them the scars from where the screws are just didnt seem to be an acceptable reason.
  • Bruce (obviously distracted by the thought of a strip search) is forced to do an impression of a famous old commercial and sprint from the gate back to security where he realizes that he has left the bag with all of the gifts in it.

We are SO out of here... We thought when Bruce closed the gate for the last time the adventure would be over... (insert maniacal laugh here)

We got to use the sunroof on the way to the airport...(See Heléne peeking out the top) ...until it started raining again

very road became a river...with rapids

Of course that isnt a perfume store that Bruce is waiting in while Heléne Shops...

More muddy water (remember its supposed to be caribbean blue) making for oh so breathtaking views

Ahhh...much better Laughing with new friends on Virgin Gorda

Just in case you didnt believe us... "...Rains fell persistently from Saturday night up to press time on Thursday..."