Screwed up sleep schedule due to the short redeye the night before, combined with the 4 hour time zone shift, left me awake in plenty of time for another Nongshim instant ramen bowl and the quick walk to the beach for sunrise.
Wasn't exactly the most pictuesque sunrise, but then, any sunrise you can soak in on a warm quiet beach is worth enjoying.
Having already had breakfast (yay cup noodle), caught up on sleep instead, then all too soon it was off to do a quick island tour. Drake's Seat, looking north, was clearly for the natural beauty, while the south-facing Charlotte Amalie Overlook was actually more interesting a view. The mix of both the city as well as the additional islands that made a formidable natural harbor seemed to better capture the spirit of St. Thomas for me.
Quick drive through the nearly-empty cruise ship tourist trap areas and then back at the airport. Unlike yesterday afternoon's arrival, today the single terminal was insanely crowded, enough to be very uncomfortable and to make social distancing nearly impossible. And that's before accounting for the idiots who refused to wear masks. *sigh* Needless to say didn't even try to eat or drink anyting in such a risky environment.
The first leg back passed some impressive clouds over Puerto Rico on the way back to Houston. The rest of the flight was uneventful aside from the plethora of idiots who spent much of the flight not wearing masks, UUUUGGGGGGGHHHHHHH.
Arrival in Houston wasn't much of an improvement, clearly most of the COVIDiots on the flight lived in Texas. Found one airport restaurant that at least had ample social distancing in place. Bam Bam Vietnamese held the promise of some decent ethnic food on the menu, but the actual menu itself was straight up American, and was best described as indifferent.
At least the final flight of the trip, back to LAX, was quite comfortable, and felt much safer. As a plus side, finally found a respectable looking Christmas tree on arrival, too!