Scarlott Letters

Just some stuff I find funny…


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Shark Bait and Mult-Tasking

  I rejoined the land of the living yesterday to more than a little ribbing. It doesn’t pay to show any weakness around these vultures. If they smell blood in the water, they will pounce in a New York minute. You know what you’re signing up for when you join this group. I’d be disappointed with anything less.

Since I hadn’t eaten in over 24 hours, I remarked longingly that I was craving a big juicy BLT sandwich. You’d have as much luck finding Sasquache as a BLT in the islands. The next thing I knew, Gina had whipped some up. I swear I don’t know how she does that. I should have asked for creme brûlée while I was at it.

Our last day was spent with one last trip down to Pusser’s for Painkillers…except for me. I had ice tea. We also spent time in the pool. Gina is the only person I know who does water aerobics while drinking a vodka cran. Now that’s a woman who knows how to multi-task. I am bringing this heretofore unknown possibility to the attention of my instructor when our neighborhood classes start in June. 

 We also had our last meal out on the veranda at sunset. It was the quietest I’d ever seen our group. I remarked that all ten of us must have finally run out of things to say. Joe said, “Actually, I was just thinking about how lucky I am to be in this beautiful place among such great friends.” A perfect benediction for a wonderful trip. Amen!

  

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Soggy Dollar or Bust!

  We missed the Soggy Dollar Bar on Jost Van Dyke on our sailboat ride Monday. That could not stand. It’s practically tradition. To remedy our oversight we headed out on the 10am ferry to Jost. The ferry boat was not really up to our standards, but we were ready to make sacrifices to reach those white sand beaches and rum drinks. On the ferry I met a fellow blogger, and not just any blogger, but a CAT blogger. Yes, they actually exist. I nearly spit water out my nose. All I could think is that I hope she doesn’t read my last post. I don’t think she would find the Great Cat Massacre as funny as we did.

At the Soggy Dollar, most people arrive by boat and swim in, which is where the bar gets its name. This wasn’t an option by ferry but it did afford us a taxi ride up the mountain and around to the beach. The view when we came around the corner was breathtaking. 

 We snagged a great table and the painkillers and the laughter began flowing. It was a great way to spend three hours…unfortunately we were there 3 1/2 hours. In my defense, I was doing pretty good until someone bought me a margarita. Mixing rum and tequila…not my most brilliant move. Then, my so called friends started feeding me Kailua shots. I don’t do shots. Let me reiterate. I. Do. Not. Do. Shots.  It was not pretty. And that my friends is pretty much all I know about yesterday.  Fortunately, someone (I hope Joe) saw me safely to my room where I was ready to join the group again in a short 16 hours. 

 


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That ain’t right…

An adventurous six of our group headed out yesterday morning for snorkeling at Smuggler’s Cove. The other four slugs, of which I’m one, stayed at the house. I discovered two things drifting in the hammock…you can actually be too lazy to read and you get a really nice design on the backs of your legs from of the cords of the hammock. #1stworldproblems 

 When I could be lazy no more, Joe and I walked down to Pusser’s for a lunchtime Painkiller, or what I now call the Filter Eraser. There was a large group at the bar who reminded me a lot of our group actually. However, it wasn’t quite noon and a few of them were already well on their way to being toasted. The conversation they were having was quite entertaining. I really wasn’t eavesdropping because they were shouting, not only across the bar at each other, but all the way down the boardwalk at their wives to please quit shopping. There was nothing about these people I didn’t know before they piled into a single dinghy and headed for their boat. I can’t tell you if they all made it or not, but I can tell you that dinghy was loaded down.

As we ordered a light snack, Joe remarked that we might actually lose weight on this trip because we haven’t really had too many full meals. I said that’s because whenever we’ve found ourselves at a restaurant we’ve had to decide whether we wanted to spend our money on eating or drinking…and drinking is winning.

  I didn’t need to worry about the snorkeling group starving. They ended up at a restaurant where Tres had three bushwhackers at 525 calories each. Also, the restaurant offered chocolate mousse and tiramisu for dessert. Tres couldn’t decide, so he got both. I would give a million dollars for his metabolism.

Once we were all back home, it was pool time. This time the subject strayed to pets where Julia told us about a chow named Shasta she once owned. I can’t tell you how many people he actually bit because I lost count, but I know that one of Tres’ groomsmen ended up in the emergency room the night before their wedding. I can also tell you he was single-pawedly responsible for the Great Charlie Cat Massacre of 1982 where 14 out of 18 of Julia’s neighbor’s cats tragically lost all nine lives. I’m guessing they were not sorry to see her move.

We ended the day with our traditional beef tenderloin dinner. We bring the meat frozen in our luggage every year because it’s impossible to find good beef here. Our total tonnage for food this year was only 79 pounds, down from our high in Turks & Caicos two years ago of 110 pounds. By this time in our week, we are ready for some good Texas beef. After dinner, we played Cards Against Humanity. I’ve never seen Tres laugh to the point of not being able to speak before. The game was very funny, but also disturbing. If it can make make me blush, it’s pretty out there. The people who came up with some of those answers ain’t  right.


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All about that tail (sung to the ever popular song All About That Bass)…

Yesterday was full of activity so today was another day of relaxing at the house. We wouldn’t want to overtax ourselves. Being  glutens for punishment, some of us walked down the hill to go to Pusser’s for lunch. The mall walking I’ve been doing sporadically back home has not prepared me for the mountains of Tortola. My altimeter says we’re at 295′ and you drop to sea level in about 1/2 a mile. Considering about half of that is mostly level, that’s a couple of pretty steep declines. I don’t remember the trip down hurting my knees quite as much five years ago. Next time, I’m bringing my rappelling equipment. Luckily, Eddie brought a group of wimps down in the car and he offered to carry my lard ass back up. 

 Once everyone was back, I found a shady hammock to do some reading while everyone else was at the pool. I heard lots of laughter and talk of something called an “Eddie sandwich.”  I was tempted to go hear the story about exactly what makes up an Eddie sandwich, but luckily for him and probably the folks back home, I was just too comfortable to move. His story stays on Tortola…for now. 

 We hired a chef from a local restaurant to come in and cook dinner for us. Our views and veranda are better than any place we could go out to eat. We actually kind of got cleaned up for the event. Except for Tres, who as you might expect, left to his own devices, didn’t bring a nice shirt. He wore a Pine Cove church camp tee shirt that Julia made him wear wrong side out. I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.

Our menu was four courses. Conch fritters for appetizers and seafood gumbo for the soup course. The main event was local Anagoda lobster, which was served split right down the middle. As Tres remarked, it’s all about that tail. Dessert was mango cheesecake which might have been as good as the lobster. It was all delicious although I don’t think a couple of the girls were expecting the lobster to be staring at them. 

 After dessert, queue the cigars and single barrel whiskey, at least for the guys. I don’t want to smoke one, but I sure do love the smell of a good cigar. We spent a couple of hours laughing and talking, where Dave S clinched the Asshat of the Day award. Somehow we were talking about the new provacative Viagra commercials and he said something to the effect that if all women looked like that, there wouldn’t be any need for the product. Boom!  Asshat winner right there. Poor Dave. We ragged on him the rest of the night. It’s great to have friends you can tease unmercifully.


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A 12-hour tour, a 12-hour tour…

My mother posted that the windchill in Wichita Falls was 39 degrees yesterday morning. All I can say is it sucks to be you. It was a beautiful day for sailing, so that’s just what we did. Ray and Brenda picked us up in his catamaran and we headed out on the turquoise waters of the Caribbean. 

  I think this is the first time in my long life that I didn’t wear clothes all day. I should clarify before your mind goes too far astray, ’cause really who wants that image in their head, I was wearing a bathing suit. I think it’s a rule if you’re on a boat, whether you can swim or not. Our first stop was Cooper Island where I had the two best painkillers ever. I now have a gold standard to measure all others against. It’s a very high bar. Snorkeling, savory conch fritters and creamy painkillers. It might be my new favorite place.

  Next up was Saba Rock at the Bitter End of Virgin Gorda. It was a long trip from Cooper Island but luckily we made it in time for happy hour…although, really every hour on the boat is happy hour. On the way in we passed a huge yacht, with a shiny black helicopter on the upper deck and a boat, bigger than the one we were on, on the second deck. As we sipped our painkillers, the owner of the bar came over to chat. He said the yacht belonged to John Travolta and said he would probably be walking through the bar in a few minutes. No way were we leaving our seats.

Sure enough, the man himself came strolling through. We immediately began singing the theme song from Grease, which naturally caught his attention, so he and his bodyguard asked to join us. Turns out Trav, as he asked us to call him, likes painkillers. After a few, he invited us out to the yacht. Turns out he was having a party with about 50 people later in the evening, including George Clooney, Ryan Gossling, and oddly enough Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Can you believe our luck? Well, you shouldn’t because this whole paragraph just happened in my vivid imagination and my Google research confirmed that it’s not even Travolta’s yacht. 

 Our house is on the top of a mountain. The marina at Sopher’s Hole where Ray was picked us up, is not car friendly. So, our ever problem-solving fearless leader, Julia, thought we should just walk down to the marina. It’s not that far, probably no more than 3/4 of a mile, but I swear the road is at a 90 degree grade. It is so steep that going down (unless you fall and just roll to the bottom) requires almost as much effort as going back up. And it was going back up at the end of the day that almost did us in. Ten middle aged people, sunburned, with sea legs after hours on the water, and possibly, no definitely buzzed made for quite a picture. It would have been funny if I could have caught my breath enough to laugh.

You might be thinking that a boat trip with only two stops is not a big deal, but everything is spread out. We were gone twelve hours. It was a long day but full of fun, Bloody Marys to painkillers to champagne, the most beautiful water anywhere in the world, an awe-inspiring sunset, and most importantly, the laughter of old friends and new. Thank you Ray and Brenda and the Pirate Girls for a wonderful day and lasting memory! 

 


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This does not suck…

Gloria, who runs this place like a well oiled machine, had a beautiful and tasty breakfast ready for us on the veranda this morning. Being here does not suck. It’s hard to work up a worry in this setting. I can see why the island attitude seems to be “whatever…whenever.” 

 

I told the group this morning that I don’t know what I’m going to write about today but I need them to do something funny. Joe said that this is our relax and drink by the pool day so it’s a given that someone will do something stupid. My blog will probably just write itself. We shall see.

 

 Our first day after a full day of travel is typically spent chillaxing around the pool. A small contingent of misfits made their way down to Sopher’s Hole for ice and a few sundries. As you might expect, this group goes through copious amounts of ice, which has a half life of approximately a nanosecond once it’s out of the freezer. Anyway, after a stop at Pusser’s for drinks, they found “butt magnets” at the store. What do you do with butt magnets but have an Asshat of the Day Award? Tres wins the first award for his cannonball stunt. 

We laughed so much today I had tears running down my legs. I could you tell more about what was so funny but you just had to be there, plus I’ve forgotten most of it. I really need to write this stuff down as it happens. Dave Shatzer reached his limit for hearing “All About That Bass” and “Love Shack” about  mid-afternoon, which he swears have both played about a bazillion times since yesterday afternoon. I think he would have listened to Abba’s greatest hits by that point. We took pity on him, switched from our Five Greatest Hits playlist, made another batch of Painkillers. The next thing we knew he was sacked out in a hammock…next to the kitchen where “Love Shack” started playing on the radio! He cannot escape that tune. You can run but you can’t hide. We should just make it our anthem. 

 

Ray and Brenda Styles, who are actually from Wichita Falls, came to dinner along with a girl who captains one of his boats and another friend. Tomorrow is a full day of sailing on his catamaran. He says it should be a perfect day for sailing. We took another group picture at dinner. If you compare it to this morning, it is obvious we either need to quit drinking or quit taking pictures.  

  


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Holey shit and pass the Tylenol…

Now that’s more like it. Our flight to Miami made up for the lack of windows yesterday by sporting two windows on each first class row. We don’t often fly first class but my advice, if you get a chance, do it. Sit back with a mimosa and a good book and wait for breakfast to be served. I am reading a slutty thriller. Joe is reading Dante’s Divine Comedy about the seven levels of hell. Sometimes it’s like I don’t even know him. I can’t say for sure, but I suspect that yesterday’s flight inspired today’s reading material. I didn’t know American Airlines was even around in 1308.

 

 We are making our first return engagement to Frenchman’s Lookout on Tortola in the British Virgin Islands (BVI). We’ve stayed at some really fine houses on our island treks but this one tops the list. It is a five suite villa that sits atop a mountain peninsula and has a 300 degree ocean view. It comes with a breakfast cook and a groundskeeper. I’m sure they will be delighted to hear of our impending return. 

Getting there has proven to be a challenge. The house and the airport are on opposite ends of the island. It’s an hours drive through winding mountain roads. This time, we thought we’d be smart and fly into St Thomas and take a ferry over. That proved problematic because of flight time versus ferry time, so we’ve hired a private water taxi. At least I know where all the Pirates went…they are charging exorbitant rates to drive water taxis. The phrase “you can’t get there from here” comes to mind. Once again, Julia came through as our travel agent, getting all the kinks and bugs worked out. Many more trips like this and she may want to hang up her rolling suitcase. We, of course, being the selfish bastards that we are, won’t let her. She will be our travel maven until she is planning the best way to get ten Rascals on a plane. 

We arrived in St Thomas to a crazy busy airport. I had somehow forgotten the humidity here is about 120%. I know you don’t believe that’s possible, but I swear it’s true. I look like Rosanne Rosana Dana on crack. I’m going to just have to go with it. 

When we got to the house, we discovered that our groceries had not been delivered. While this might not seem like an emergency, our rum was in that order! Luckily, it soon showed up and we quickly hit the pool, where Tres proved he has a death wish by canonballing right in the middle of the women, with me taking the brunt of the splash. I don’t know how. I don’t know when. But I will have my revenge. 

Last week Eddie wanted everyone to send him a list of their five favorite songs. He made a playlist and we tried to guess who chose what song. We ended the day with dinner on the veranda, a gorgeous sunset, cigars, 18 year old Glenlivet and a discussion of the differences in toilets in India compared to toilets at the Aria in Las Vegas. All I can say is “holey shit” and the differences are vast. Maybe tomorrow we can talk about phlegm.