The older I get the less I like to travel. Oh, I love actually being at new locations, breathing in new experiences, seeing new sights, trying new cuisine, enjoying old friends, but the actual planning, packing, airports, TSA, et certera, are not as exciting as they once were. I look forward to it like I look forward to my annual mammogram. But somehow the wonder that is the turquoise of the Carribbean pulls me back each year without my normal grumbling, probably because I already know what the payoff will be…and positively because, besides what I put in my suitcase, there is no planning on my part. This is the eighth year Julia has handled that monsterous task for a group of ten to twelve people, and it is a huge undertaking. I feel guilty about that, but obviously not enough to relieve her of the burden. In my defense, I can follow instructions with the proper motivation, so she just needs to channel her inner bitch and tell me what to do to help. (See how I turned that around and made it her fault? It’s a talent of mine.) I usually end our trips by telling her how much I appreciate her hard work, but thought it would be a great place to start this time. Her life is hectic enough without planning trips for the Dirty Dozen. Word of advice, Julia…if you’d book us a place like a tiki hut on Gilliagan’s Island just once, that not helping shit would stop.
So, after all that planning, our 8th Annual Let’s Get Kicked Off Another Island Bar Crawl has finally commenced. Our destination is a house called Cascades on Turks and Caicos (https://tcvillas.com/prop/cascade/). You should see this place…six master suites with outdoor showers, three pools on two different levels, a waterfall walkway. It’s decadent. The exact opposite of a tiki hut on Gilligan’s Island. Whenever I arrive at one of these places I have to pinch myself. I was a military brat and our vacations growing up consisted of spending three weeks at my grandparent’s farm near Crowell, Texas. We didn’t have the Carribean, but we did have plenty of sand, my Granny’s yeast rolls and peach cobbler, and a childhood filled with Papa’s teasing and countless memories.
I wouldn’t change a thing about any of those years. I also never in my wildest dreams envisioned staying in a place like this. To dissuade you of the notion that I’m totally spoiled, I can report that although there is maid service, we do not have a full staff with this house…no house manager…no driver…no breakfast cook…no lunch and dinner chef…and (gasp) no bartender. I suppose we will have to muddle through on our own. Dave K has already voluneered his services as bartender, but if he starts pouring floaters, he will be relieved of duty immediately. Alcohol poisoning is not on my agenda this week.
Two of our Dirty Dozen are MIA. Dave and Judy are missing out and the purpose of my blog this year is to make them so filled with regret that in the future they move heaven and earth to get this trip on their calendar. I actually requested that a trip be scheduled a couple of weeks later than normal several years ago because of the impending birth of a grandchild. After that, the kids were put on notice about pregnancies and due dates. That, my friends, is dedication.
One of our first orders of business after arriving was dinner and drinks since we haven’t had a chance to buy mixers yet. It’s called priorities, people. Everything was excellent. I had fresh caught grilled Wahoo fish (I had to look it up), with vegetable risotto and caper sauce…oh, and two pina coladas. I didn’t really want the second, but they brought it by mistake so the waiter said he’d just leave it and not add it to the bill. Joe swears he hasn’t seen me move that fast since he sent me to the Louis Vuitton store the last time we were in Vegas. While waiting for our entrees, Gina became distraught because her phone was nearly dead. I thought I was plugged in, but she takes it to another level. The palm trees were strung with lights which means what? Electricity! I swear she eyed the nearest tree, calculating her odds of making it the nine or so feet to access the plug. I really, really wish she had tried. It would have made for some great blog pictures! I guess it’s going to take more than two drinks…now I have a goal! Stay tuned.