Wednesday, September 30, 2009

And We're Back...

Back after 10 beautiful days on vacation. We had a great time despite a rocky start. I'll do my recap in a couple of parts seeing as you may fall asleep.

This first part starts before we left for vacation. You can file this under TMI but it sets the scene for our tumultuous start. A day or so before we were about to leave for vacation, I began to experience some, let's call it 'discomfort' in my fanny (not the British fanny, the American fanny.) I will not post a link to this condition as the page has photos, lots of graphic photos. I want to be able to look you in the eye next time I see you so I'll be as descriptive as needed while still maintaining my dignity. So I didn't give the discomfort too much thought as I've been afflicted before. After an infuriating flurry of phone calls to my doctor and CVS, they finally got the right prescription to me. I was in so much pain (I am not really a wuss but this was pain like no other, like worse than giving birth by c-section. For those of you that have never experienced this 'roid rage, count yourself blessed. For those of you that had or might in the future, call me. We'll trade horror stories.)

Things usually calm down after a day or so on the meds, (you don't take the medication orally... 'nuff said.) Not so much this time. And to aggravate the issue, we had to fly first thing Friday morning. Things you are not supposed to do during a 'flare-up' (that word alone is disgusting): sit for long periods, stand for long periods, lift heavy objects. Friday's 12-hour odyssey to St. John broke all the rules. By Friday night we were settled in to our fabulous house and I was on the phone with the doctor in tears, freaking out that I had already ruined our trip. The doctor had some suggestions, beyond the meds, that involved baths and ice and laying down, no alcohol consumption, and oh ya, keeping the nethers dry.

Cory put me on the DL for all of Saturday and part of Sunday. He took Beatrice to the beach and into town while I laid on the couch catching up on my programs. BET has this freakshow: Tiny and Toya. (Tiny was in Xscape and is engaged to T.I. Toya is Lil Wayne's ex-wife and mothered his baby at 15.) There was also a Project Runway and The Rachel Zoe Project marathon. God hooked it up. Whenever I'd start to feel depressed (like on commercial breaks) I'd just look out the sliding doors. Not the worst place to recuperate.

By Monday, I was off the DL and back in action, in the car, ready to go to the beach. Cory turns the key, and nothing. Car battery is dead. If you've not been to St. John, while its totally a fully functioning little island, there are some challenges. Like for instance the crazy hills, houses built into cavernous mountainsides, and steep, steep driveways not conducive for tow trucks. As luck would have it the landscapers came by just at that moment. They didn't have jumper cables, but they did a nifty little thing where they pulled out their battery, pulled out our's, and popped there's in to our car to give us a little juice to get into town. My favorite part was when I asked them if they wanted some water and they replied 'no.' Then I offered beer and got a resounding 'yes' in return. It was 8 in the morning. The smiles on their faces were awesome when we handed them a six-pack of Red Stripe for their troubles (along w/ some cash.)

So Cory got the car into town, and after a couple more issues we finally got a new battery. So we made it to the beach on Tuesday. But first we needed a quick visit to the clinic. Nope, not for Beatrice. For Cory. He had himself a sick case of swimmer's ear. After using everything the pharmacy had to offer for water and wax removal, we hit up the clinic and they got all professional on the ear. Of course this is the year we went to St. John without our resident audiologist. (Bri, we really could have used your audioscope). Beatrice and I waited at the clinic while Cory had his orifices drained. She was good for the first 20 minutes, then started in with an endless litany of 'Daaadddyyy', pointing maniacally at the entrance. An hour later, when Cory finally came through that door, everyone in the reception area cheered in unison "Daaadddyyy."

The best part of the whole clinic experience was that they were in our insurance network. In fact, they were the only doctors in the Virgin Islands that were in our network. It never works out like that.

So onto the fun stuff, we took lots of drives around the island. The green, lush hills and windy roads go on forever. 2/3 of the island is protected National Park.

The views and lookouts are insane. This photo was taken from the Caneel Trail behind our house.

We went to all of our favorite places: The Inn at Tamarind Court, The Beach Bar, Uncle Joe's BBQ, Woody's, and JJ's. The Beach Bar has a beach right off the bar (hence the name) so we spent many Happy Hour afternoons there. We could usually get in about 3 beers while Beatrice played in the sand, watched the boats, and ate her chicken fingers and french fries.

Speaking of beers, this island has the right idea. You drink all day long, especially while going about your daily business. There really isn't anything better than stopping at a convenience store on your way to the beach at 9am and walking out with a couple of ice cold Red Stripes. You don't really see people drinking soda or waters, but always cold beers. So refreshing. You can drink in the car, on the street, everywhere. Here's Cory on the ferry over to St. John.

We went to all of our favorite beaches: Trunk Bay, Cinnamon Bay, Hawksnest. More often than not, we were the only people there.

We found the library. Its in this old building from the 1700s. Beatrice was in heaven. We were the bonehead parents that only brought 2 books for their nerd-child. We made do with the "What To Do In the Virgin Islands" cheesy tour books that were stacked up at the house. Her favorite pastime before bed was to thumb through the guidebooks, pointing out Mai and Daddy. Sometimes I was flattered, other times, not so much. Daddy was always a big black man.

We saw a lot of wildlife. Cory went on a couple solo snorkeling missions. He saw a turtle (Johnny B, my heart broke for you.) Seeing a turtle is kind of the holy grail for snorkelers in St. John. That and a shark. We saw a sand shark on our last trip. I don't want to brag but I pointed it out while the snorkel leader was pissing around with some coral.

Beatrice and Cory did a lot of lizard hunting.

When we were by the pool one afternoon, Beatrice kept looking under the chair saying something which we couldn't decipher. Finally I looked under the seat and realized she was saying 'cute.' She had found a baby lizard. He was under that seat every day while we swam in the pool. She would get out of the pool and point and say 'cute' over and over. It was cute overload. I threw up in my mouth.

Every morning we watched a hummingbird suckle sweet nectar. (Dave, my heart broke for you... 'twas majestic.)

We saw a bunch of roadside donkeys and chickens. Cory made fun of me because I freaked out when he coaxed a donkey over to my car window. Those things bite. They're not just mopey Eeyores. They are hungry and mad.

And oh ya, I forgot to mention that while on bed rest, I got bit by a scorpion. MotherF-er was hiding in the couch frame. It hurt like hell. Evidently it was non-lethal.

Are you still with me? That's probably enough for now, More stories and photos tomorrow.

Overall a beautiful vacation, full of lifelong memories. I couldn't be more appreciative of this life that I get to live.


  1. Jul....where to, your storytelling is absolutely priceless. Glad you're "feeling better" and you had a great time on your trip! Looking forward to hearing the rest! You crack me up!!

  2. Oh my God. If I didn't konw you better, I'd swear you were making this all up for your first novel. Jeeeeez!!!! The scorpion bite was just like a mild afterthought - HAHA! Glad you managed to have a good time, despite all the ailments. xo

  3. Jul, my oh my what an interesting trip. Glad to hear that everyone got to enjoy the trip minus a few bumps along the way.

  4. I think the scorpion bite was a bit overkill, Jules. You had us a fanny...