Wednesday, April 21, 2010


I'm back...I hope. Well, feeling healthy again. It has been a long road back from my last post because I wound up being ill for quite a while. Good ole pneumonia turned into a staph infection that required new meds. Well lucky me, I was allergic to the new meds which brought my misery to new heights. I'll spare the gory details because, well, it's a little self indulgent to be frank. I refuse to turn our relationship (writer-reader) into my own pity party.

Shortly after my recovery we took the kids on their very first vacation. My husband and I had been to the Caribbean a few times early in our marriage and we had always wanted to share it with the kids. We found a really affordable package for St. Thomas and we were on our way.

We arrived to our hotel late evening and they didn't have the room we requested. They upgraded us to an ocean view but they only gave us one bed! How were four people going to spend one week in one bed? After much insistence from my husband, we were finally given a roll away bed at 11:30 PM. We decided to grab some food while we waited and were quickly met with sticker shock by the $16 hamburgers. Oh my, what are we going to do for food for a week?

We managed by sharing meals, ordering kids meals for our 14-year-old and skipping meals. Determined to enjoy the one and only vacation we have been able to give our kids, we focused on the positive.

The tight quarters brought us a little closer and we decided that every night we would name our favorite person of the day. These people ranged from airport employees, fun waitresses, a really nice couple from Michigan and a very animated and determined jeweler in one of the tourist shops.

I should not forget to mention the very nice woman from Connecticut and her daughter that we met in the bar. As she stood up to leave, she said, "It was very nice to meet you, my name is Muffy!" I almost spit out my drink as I stumbled to reply. Upon her exit from the bar, I looked at my husband and laughed, "Did we just meet Muffy from Connecticut?"

The beaches were breathtaking. Unfortunately, some fellow hotel guests brought their city attitudes with them. There was lots of beach chair hoarding which soured the experience a bit. Many guests would come down to the beach at dawn, throw their beach towels down on several chairs and go back to bed. Therefore, there wound up being no chairs available for the people that were actually on the beach when the sun rose.

One morning my daughter and I sat on the beach to watch the sunrise. A disheveled, bleary-eyed woman came down to the beach, gathered up 20 beach chairs and scattered her beach toys, towels and magazines all over them and promptly went back to bed. We were appalled, I mean, really, 20 chairs!

In the spirit of all that is fair, my daughter and I scattered her chairs around the beach, collected her belongings on one chair and pulled that one to the back of the beach. I felt like a mischievous child as we giggled and then fled the beach.

There was one gentlemen who had 11 chairs in his possession. He saw that I had only one and that I was earnestly seeking more. He asked me how many I needed and I said that one more should suffice. He turned to his wife and asked her if they should give up one of theirs to us. She shook her head and blurted out a stern, "NO!" I am pretty sure they were from New Jersey.

All in all our vacation was a success. We spent a good deal of our time in the water, playing with the fish and exploring our hearts out. We all enjoyed good food, good drinks and good times. Of course, we had some challenges but how unhappy can one be while visiting the beautiful island of St. Thomas?