It was September of 1979. I had embarked on a new adventure. I was doing something I had always dreamed of; I was going to live on an island. It was a long, long flight to an unknown life. The three of us arrived in the dark of night. When the plane doors opened we were hit by a wall of heat and humidity that would make Chicago in August feel comfortable. The bus took us to our home which was a few miles down a very dark road. I was at once excited and afraid, wondering what I had gotten myself into. Mary, a few years older than me, seemed to take this all in stride. Tom, who was to be our leader but turned out to be a close friend and anchor, was very businesslike as he left our company being dropped off at his residence first. We were tired as we arrived at our destination and were led to our room. It was dreary inside; the poor lighting did not help to brighten our accommodations. I had a feeling of panic in my heart as we each picked a bed room. I, as usual, kept my doubts to myself but it was so quiet that my fears were almost audible. Telling myself that I had to sleep, that sleep would make it better, I made the decision that when I awake in the morning, if this was not what I had wanted, I could always go home.
Dawn came and I remember the feeling of total bliss as I walked out into the living room. Mary and I looked out our window to a sheet of white sand followed by the gentle surf of the deep turquoise of the Caribbean. And so began my Caribbean adventure. This was a lesson I learned. Never judge a hotel by what you see at night, and this also holds true for the dreariness of cloud cover. That room, on that beach became the measuring stick by which I measure all hotel views.