Scarlott Letters

Just some stuff I find funny…


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Day 8 – Was As Good for You As it Was for Me (or Kabuki Security Theatre)

We might have had a bunch of meat to finish off last night, but we were pretty much out of coffee and creamer.  This could be bad.  Every morning, I have gotten up, showered, dressed, fixed my hair and put on my makeup before going downstairs.  This morning, I threw on some clothes and headed to the coffee bar down the road.  Trust me, this was best for everyone.  No morning coffee is Defcon 1 in my world.  You can ask Joe.  I must have looked like I needed it, because the girl at the counter wanted to know if I wanted a triple shot or an intravenous drip…stat.

Julia worked her magic and got us a late 2pm checkout at the house. Our flight isn’t until 5, so it was great not having to vacate the premises at 10am.  This gave us plenty of time to take one last walk on the beach, a dip in the pool, or watch the 3rd round of the NFL draft.

Apparently, security at the airport got me mixed up with Tres. Each and every year he gets pulled and strip searched, which is a source of great merriment for the rest of us.  This year, it was me…and I was not amused.  I feel so violated.  And just to be thorough, I was pulled into a separate room to have my suitcase searched, then at security I was patted down and my carry-on bags searched…and as if that wasn’t enough, the process was repeated AGAIN at boarding.  I haven’t gotten this much action since this morning.  I am now convinced more than ever that I’m hopelessly heterosexual.  That girl did nothing for me.

All that makes me wonder about the application process for people in airport security.  I bet they are put in a room with a stand-up comedian and shown re-runs of Seinfeld, and if they so much as crack a smile they are out of there. Their annual evaluation consists of being sequestered with a litter of puppies and if they laugh it is immediate grounds for termination.  Bonuses and promotions are based on how long their brainwaves and pulses flatline while watching a baby giggle.  It takes a special kind of sourpuss to make the cut.

The flight was uneventful but going through Immigration and Customs in Dallas was not.  It took almost 2 hours to get through, but on the bright side, no cavity searches were conducted.  We got into Dallas too late to get a flight to Midland, so we’re staying at the Grand Hyatt at the airport and going home in the morning.  Tres and Julia are headed to Brownwood.  Denise and Eddie are headed to the Westin.  Dave and Gina back to Wichita Falls.  Dave and Judy are in a cab, headed home.  So we are scattered in every direction.  Gathered for drinks the other night, listening to the tide roll in, it struck me how very lucky we are.  Not just because we get to spend a week each April in some island paradise, but because we have friends that we are delighted to spend a week with each April.  We are truly blessed to have these people in our lives.  Love you guys!  Try to stay out of trouble until next year.

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Day 6- Walking On Water

We had a busy day.  Well, a busy half day.  We didn’t do squat before noon.  After lunch we drove over to Chaulk Sound and Taylor Bay.  Chaulk Sound was absolutely breathtaking!  I’ve seen pretty awesome Caribbean waters over the last four years, but nothing like this.

The water in the Sound is actually quite shallow, causing the vivid turquoise color.  Pictures really can’t do it justice.

Next up was Taylor Bay. Now this is a beach that I can really get behind.  You can literally walk a 100+ yards out into the water and still not be knee deep. This was as close to walking on water as I’ll ever get…and I wasn’t worried about drowning.

This evening we went Dewayne & Chris’ condo for drinks and to listen to some live music. Their place at the Seven Stars Resort is fabulous! We got to see a sunset for the first time since we arrived, as the sun sets behind our pool house.  After drinks it was on to a great local Italian restaurant for dinner.

The only funny thing I have to report happened early today while the housekeeper was here.  Apparently, the owner of our house regrets giving us such a good deal (thank you Master Negotiator Julia) and has instructed the housekeeper that she is not to replenish toilet paper or paper towels for us this week.  Really??!!  While she was upstairs cleaning this morning, one person kept watch while another pilfered a roll of paper towels and hid them in the refrigerator. What a lawless group we are.  Normally I would frown upon these kind of shenanigans, but he should know he cannot win this kind of battle with the likes of us.  He obviously doesn’t know who he’s dealing with.  We are Texans after all.

 


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Day 5 – Purple Toes

We had such a brief look at the marina yesterday that Joe and I decided to walk down there this morning to see what all was there.  On the way, I stopped to read the sign coming into our development.  I’m shocked that the police have not already beaten down our door since we have several “suspicious persons” in our group.  Maybe we’ve escaped incarceration because none of us is dressed in a suit that resembles the opening credits for Mad Men.

When we got back to the house, it was locked down tighter than a drum.  It seemed that our compadres had left our asses for greener pastures, namely shopping in town.  Resigned, we headed back to the marina where we could at least get a beer and some lunch.  We met the van coming back to look for us.  We hopped in and headed to the shopping district.  Wait a minute…I’m in a van, heading for shopping and I have no purse or wallet with me.  I am pretty sure that Joe paid for the scenario to play out just like this. The flaw in his plan is that he and his wallet are with me.  It must have been his lucky day because I didn’t find anything I couldn’t live without…or maybe I’m just saving myself for the diamond district in New York City in June.

After shopping, which now that I think about it, consisted mostly of Joe steering me away from jewelry stores and into a pub for drinks, we went to the Alexandria Resort.  All you at home will probably not be  surprised to learn that we ended up at their beachside bar.  All in all, it was a very relaxing afternoon.

We have had a strange phenomenon this year.  Every single guy has hurt his foot by stubbing a toe.  Two of them actually have toes that have turned purple and one of those re-stubbed the same purple toe again this morning.  Another actually stubbed a toe, cracked his head on the boat yesterday, is covered in mosquito bites and has beer-induced gout. By my count, that’s 9 injuries for the guys and 0 for the girls.  In light of this, I propose that the women stay for another week to avoid getting on a plane with the injury-prone men…purely in the interest of safety you understand. 


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Day 4 – In Memory of Tilly

I face the day with equal parts of anticipation and anxiety.  Our “boat day” is always the most fun of the trip…but I don’t swim.  I panic if I can’t touch bottom.  Since I’m five foot nothing, nearly all pools and some hot tubs meet my criteria for panic…never mind the Caribbean.  I believe this makes me the bravest of the group because every year I stare into the face of death, and have emerged the victor…so far.

Early this morning, we saw this boat out in Grace Bay off our balcony.  I was hoping it was ours, but no such luck.  As it turns out, it is the “A” Hamilton and is the second most expensive yacht in the world, at a cost in excess of $300 million.  It is owned by a kinky Russian Billionaire.  We pulled up a Wall Street Journal video of it, and in addition to three boats housed in the boat garage, $40,000 shower faucets, three swimming pools and a disco <someone should tell him disco is dead>, there is a secret hidden “nookie room”.  You can’t make this shit up.  My first thought was “no way”…my second “it can’t be too secret if you can Google it”…and my third “you need a special room for that?”

Our boat was named the White Sands.  She is a 42′ four bedroom, four bath catamaran with a crew of three, which is probably slightly smaller than that of the yacht, but we don’t have to mortgage our houses to get her out of the harbor.  We did find out that Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, or Brangelina as they are known by the Hollywood crowd, and all their kids, went out on the White Sands not long ago, so we are in pretty good company.  We may not be the A Hamilton, but we’re nothing to sneeze at either.

Tres is on the left in this picture.  Notice the Tilly hat he has on.  I’m sad to report that, although I survived the day and lived to tell the tale, Tilly was not so lucky.  I told you these boat rides were treacherous.  We can only hope she has gone on to a better place…like the A Hamilton.

The snorkeling was superb, or at least that’s what I was told.  One spot had a shipwreck and there were fabulous reefs all along our route. There was at least one 5′ nurse shark spotted.  I’m relieved we don’t have any nurses with us.  As far as the snorkeling went, I may not know much, but I’m pretty sure you should get rid of your snuff first.  Just sayin’.  All I can personally vouch for is the rum punch. What a great day!

 


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Day 3 – When Old Friends are New Again

I heard that the Daves went fishing early this morning.  It’s probably true because Dave K asked if I would be up at 6:50 to take them to meet the fishing boat. Only if you mean P.M., Skippy. They were gone when I got up at 9:00, so I can only assume the fish are quaking in their little boots by now.

The remaining men went snorkeling after breakfast, where Eddie and Joe learned they are no match for Tres.  I think either one of them could take him in a drinking contest, but not in the water. Tres is Patrick Duffy in the Man from Atlantis, webbed fingers and all.

While planning our trip, Julia discovered that some friends, Dewayne & Chris Travelstead, from Wichita Falls have a place here.  They came over this afternoon and we had a great time getting reacquainted. Tres and Dewayne went snorkeling while the girls hung out in the pool, where Chris gave us some handy grocery shopping tips.  Apparently, you just have to know what aisles to be on.  Who knew?  The other guys left the snorkeling to the pros and did what they do best…red solo cups. It was a lively and fun afternoon for all.

As it turned out, the fish needn’t have worried.  Every year the Daves book a fishing trip, but to date I have seen no evidence of any actual fishing. They could just as easily be attending high tea with the Queen. I could be wrong but I’ve heard that fishing usually involves either eating the catch or at least getting a picture holding up a fish.  So far, nada.  You have to give them kudos for persistence, eternal optimism and keeping the guides of several islands going in the off season. 

At this point, I have to eat my words just a little.  Apparently, Dave K caught a bone fish and has actual photographic evidence.  I think it was photoshopped.


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Day 2 – Ho’s Before Bro’s

I woke up this morning and my first thought, right after “How cool is this view?” was “Gina is nuts.”  She was in charge of food and decided it was was cheaper to bring as much as possible with us, rather than buy it here, where the cost of beer could almost turn you into a teetotaler…almost. Not only that, but you can’t really get good beef in the islands at any price. We’ve always brought a tenderloin with us, which always makes me nervous going through customs, but this year Gina took it to a whole new level. Here is a partial list of what was brought from Texas: 12 pounds of beef tenderloin, 12 pounds of pork tenderloin, 14 chicken breasts, 55 hot dogs, hamburger patties, homemade meatballs, several boxes of crackers, spices, steak rub, zucchini walnut bread, chips (yes, chips), cereal, candy, all manner of snacks…and most importantly, coffee. In total, over 100 pounds of food was purchased, frozen, packed, carried, checked and flown to the island.  Our food is more well traveled than my kids.  Sad, but true…and no that does not mean you get to come with us next year, Courtney and Whitney.  Not only are we going to have some mighty fine meals, but there’s plenty of room in the suitcases to take shit home.

Most of the day was spent by or in the pool, the music cranked up loud and drinks in hand.  Let me just say that next year there will be an amendment to rule #7 barring anything by the Chipmunks. Spending the day after our travel day just chillin’ has become kind of a tradition. We have a routine…play a day, chill a day, play a day, chill a day. On the ‘chill’ day it’s all like, drink a little, float a little, drink a little, eat a little, float a little, drink a little, laugh a lot.  It works for us.  

I admitted to Joe that I was having a bit of writer’s block this afternoon. I was just not feeling inspired.  That might have been the black rum, but I don’t think so. I told him I needed someone to do something either really stupid or funny.  He says if I wait long enough, I’ll probably see both before the night is over.

Eddie stepped up to the plate and asked me to go take a picture of Denise taking a nap and blog about it.  I think he must want to attend his own funeral…sooner rather than later.  I also thinks he’s a little scared she might smother him in his sleep if he takes the picture. Apparently, he is not as concerned about my welfare.  I told him that women have a code very similar to the ‘bro code’ among men.  For lack of a better term, I’ll just call it the ‘ho code’. Taking a deliberately unflattering picture of a fellow ho would be a direct violation of the code.  It is for this reason there are very few shots of me on these trips.  Unfortunately, Eddie did not get the memo, because if it moves, or in this case doesn’t move, he shoots it.

I, on the other hand, try to take only flattering shots of my fellow hos and bros.  Take this one for instance.  Joe has never looked finer or thinner.  You’d think I Photoshopped it, but I didn’t.  I swear. How lucky am I?


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Day 1 – One Suitcase for Clothes, Two for Alcohol

I should probably take this opportunity to reintroduce this year’s castaways.  Tres and Julia are with  us again, which is good considering Julia did all the planning for the trip. We would have ended up in a tiki hut with a port-a-potty and no refrigeration for beer if I’d been in charge, which is why I’m not. Tres, well I’m not sure exactly what his role is, but if any of us has an island vibe it’s him.  I’ve owned recliners that aren’t as laid back.  Dave and Gina are back again, each providing essential talents.  Gina is our own personal Martha Stewart.  Her suitcase is somehow magically bottomless.  Whatever you need, she’s got it…sunscreen, a hat, 30 lbs. of tenderloin (no kidding), a Jet ski, no problem.  And without Dave we would never get to drink.  No one breaks the alcohol barrier until Dave K has his first Bloody Mary in hand.  It’s a rule.  This is the third year for Eddie and Denise.  By the end of the trip, Eddie will have filled up at least ten 32G SD cards, which will each hold approximately 10,000 pictures.  You do the math.  I might look good in one of them.  Denise is a riot.  She is one of the few people I know who can match my level of sarcasm, which means she has a black belt.  Dave and Judy are our only non-Turks-virgins.  Having been there before, Dave S will be our own Frommer’s travel guide, but better. Judy is funny in her own right and will help us get on island time because that’s her normal time. Then there’s Joe and I.  Enough said.

In case I’ve already pissed off a traveling companion, or a reader, I should probably take this opportunity to give you my blog guidelines.  First, I love all these people.  Anything I say is in the spirit of fun…and might be slightly exaggerated.  That’s called artistic license, which is a real thing.  You can look it up.  And it pretty much gives me free reign to say most anything, which brings me to my second point.  I apologize.  I figured I might as well get that out of the way. My humor and language can be crude at times, so if you’re easily offended, quit reading right now.  If you’re still here, I’m pretty sure it’s legally binding that you agree not to get your panties in a wad at anything I might write. Now that my attorney/nephew is satisfied, I can get on with our trip.  <Joe says he doesn’t think I need the disclaimer. I told him it was mostly for my readers. He said, “Don’t they know you at all?”  Good point.>

We all met bright and early this morning at DFW Airport.  Over breakfast Dave K got us started right with a bloody Mary, which was a good thing because it reminded us that we needed to get ourselves to the duty free shop to buy a cart load of alcohol before departure. I have included a picture of our actual cart.  I’m not sure that’s enough to last the week, but fortunately we have rum waiting for us in Turks.  As it turned out, we had to pay customs coming into Turks for excess alcohol.  I don’t know whether to take that as a bad sign or a good one.  The jury is still out.

Our plane left right on time, which can only mean one thing…American is having an off day.  This brings me to traveling first class. Yeah, if you ever have the opportunity to ride up front, do that.  Not only do they bring your nuts to you hot in a crystal dish, but you even get cashews and almonds in the mix.  Plus we got a full meal…and free drinks…and the stewardess fixed me fresh brewed ice tea…and the very best thing about first class, fresh baked chocolate chip cookies, which must drive the people in coach crazy. Our upgrade to first class is still not confirmed for the return flight and if we don’t get it, I’m gonna be bummed, but the rest of the group would probably get a chuckle out of it.

I see pictures from our previous trips all the time, but every year I forget how beautiful the water of the Carribean is until we’re flying over it. Villa Paprika is gorgeous.  There’s not a bad room in the house, all with great views.  I’ll be posting some additional pictures for your viewing pleasure once I’ve got daylight.

After dinner, a trip to the grocery store was called for.  Apparently, $200 worth of mixers and beer were also called for.  Beer is $48/case here, in case you’re wondering.  Of course, a jug of OJ is $11…but you do have a great view while you drink your screwdriver.  I think Turks & Caicos is one of those places that proves the adage “if you have to ask, you can’t afford it.”  

As I finish up, we are sitting poolside. Our bellies are full, drinks have been poured, cigars have been smoked, lies have been told and I’ve run out of funny.  Stay tuned for tomorrow’s adventures.