Spending Christmas visiting two more new, well, not countries, but new territories at least.
First stop was the 787-10 lie-flat redeye from LAX to EWR, where the airport was definitely decently busy. A 7am airport bagel and a stupidly overpriced bloody mary wasn't exactly the meal of choice, but the bloody mary in particular brought a nice, mostly-socially-distanced seat at the bar to dine in relative safety and get some work done during a three hour layover.
Next leg was downsized from a 777 to a 737 several weeks out, and the 737-800 wasn't even full, so I guess that makes sense. Smooth flight to Puerto Rico sort of made up for the aircraft swap, and Luis Munoz Marin International Airport is mostly pleasant enough if you avoid the decidedly run-down Terminal D. Dining options are basic, especially due to COVID-19, but at least they had Popeyes Fried Chicken?
That said, Cape Air leaves out of Terminal D, and no one's going to remember the giant hole in the bathroom ceiling when you embark on a AVgeek experience like one of their tiny Cessna 402's for the 35 minute flight through the clouds from Puerto Rico (SJU) to St. Thomas (STT). Quite an experience, with one passenger actually in the otherwise-unused copilot's seat, the pilot with his door open during taxi to give some natural A/C, and a nearly 360 degree view out of the cabin including the old school analog cockpit.
Arrival in St. Thomas was definitely more of a slice of Americana than, say, Aruba or Trinidad and Tobago, although the island is definitely many sizes smaller than Puerto Rico. And the Ritz-Carlton, while fairly recently remodeled with very decent rooms (as they should be for the price they charge), actually really only knocks it out of the park in the lobby building, which manages an elegant feel with a light breeze from the beach that photos can't seem to capture.
One note: due to the holiday, wasn't able to get a dinner booking at any local restaurant. So planned ahead for that and brought my own dinner, plus Christmas cookies from the airport club. Wasn't much but it was enough, and honestly I have plenty of fat stores!