Monday, November 29, 2010

My Week Away, Part One

Barbara: Deb and I decided that this week, I’d go ahead and give you a little howdy-do from warm Jamaica today and Friday, and Deb would post something on Wednesday. As I’m busy doing nothing, Deb has kindly stepped in to field any comments you leave so we can keep our cozy conversation going this week.

Sorry the photo is of so-so quality. The one thing I did forget to pack is the cord that lets you download the photos from the camera. At least you can get a little idea. 
Room with a view
So, now, here is the official post de Monday:

We arrived last night just as the sun was setting—pink streaks threaded the sky and the light was so warm and soft, it saturated the colours on every colourful thing. The foliage is wild and lush and the landscape is rubinesque, full of rolling hills that plunge down to the sea. The hills are dense with bamboo, mangrove, almond, coconut, cherry—apparently every tree in Jamaica bears edible fruit.

We’re on the north side of the island, so the sun drops behind the hills turning day into dusk at about 5:30. By 6:15, it’s pitch black. And oh, when it’s black, the night sky comes alive with the stars.

We tour the property and it’s heaven. The only hitch is that our room is set up in the hills, far away from the water. All of our usual frugality goes out the window as we decide to upgrade to an ocean view. Right now it’s just paper money. Or play money.

In fact, every action feels like it doesn’t have any of the usual repercussions. Like drinking alcohol. My husband and I are normally light-weight drinkers—I mean, maybe a couple of glasses a wine A WEEK. Phil is always happy to be the DD. Club soda is his drink of choice at the local bar. And food? We eat reasonably, both in quality and in quantity. But put us in a bathing suit and stick us in a resort and suddenly it’s coco-limes and rum and cokes and brandy snifters, as well as those couple of glasses of wine A NIGHT, all to wash down the nachos and jerk and chips and dainties. First drink of the first full day? 11:30am. (…it was a coco-lime, okay) … (one part fresh lime juice, 2 parts coconut rum … mmmmm)

And let’s not forget the sun. Oh, how we worshipped it today. And who can blame us when we just left behind its Canadian face: in November it is just a distant memory of a life-giving star. It is vapid and cold, hardly worthy of its name. And on months when we get its hot self, I hide under sunscreen and hats and sunglasses. But here the sun is a tonic and a slave. Salvation. Healer. It’s easy to forget that it can turn on you on a dime and burn you to a crisp. But we languished today, just so you know. We languished in its warm embrace and succumbed to our Jamaican haze.

I thought of all of you, I swear I did. And I sent you some vicarious warmth and sand and relaxation. I kissed the sun for you.

What is your favourite way to “get away from it”?


  1. Barbara, I'm so glad you're warm and happy! :) Luxuriate!

  2. Sounds wonderful already. Get yourself a spa treatment to round out those drinks.

  3. Sounds like an amazing trip. I would give anything just to see the sight's that you are seeing now. It sounds so beautiful. That photo is amazing. How can you get anymore amazing than that. I think the word for this post is just simply "AMAZING". At least to me it is.

  4. Gorgeous! I can feel the warm sand between my toes now. Thanks for sharing this.

    Lately I get away from it all via my imagination, books, audio books in the car and old movies.

    Oh, and looking at old Sears homes on the web. Weird, I know. But I love architecture.

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  6. This is sort of weird but the way I like to get away from everything is by going to the gym and working out and doing some yoga and meditation. And of corse a nice massage after helps.

  7. Yeah I agree with everything said. Sounds like a little lime slice of heaven. Barb I love that you are enjoying every single moment and "drinking" it all in! I can get away in anywhere seriously. As long as it doesn't involve everyday responsibility!!! xo

  8. Lyndsie you're so right with that. That can do it too...and beautifully.

  9. Lisa! Sears homes! Are you talking about houses decorated out of the Sears Roebuck catalog, or (do I dare hope?) the houses that were built from pre-fab kits ordered from the catalog? I am squeeee'ing to find someone else who knows about Sears houses!

    I just read a really awesome biography of Julius Rosenwald, a severely underappreciated historical figure who has fascinated me for years. You might enjoy it:
    Julius Rosenwald: The Man Who Built Sears, Roebuck and Advanced the Cause of Black Education in the American South (Philanthropic and Nonprofit Studies) by Peter Max Ascoli

    I requested it by interlibrary loan and enjoyed it so much that I added it to my wist.

    My mental escapes:
    1. reading -- I'd die without books.
    2. going out by myself and wandering around with my camera taking pictures
    3. swimming --- swimming and swimming and swimming only thinking about my breathing and moving my body through the water, wearing myself out

  10. Rigel you always amaze me with your energy! And I love your escapes!

  11. I am so TOTALLY JEALOUS! I really need a Sugar Daddy to put me up on a tropical island. About a dozen years ago I had a boss who spent a couple weeks in Jamaica and came back in love. He said he'd retire there in a minute if it weren't for the poor health care... not a place to spend long spurts of time after about 70...

  12. LOL Umm, thanks Deb. I think. I'll choose to take that as a compliment. :)

    Actually, soon I'll crash all sore and worn out, but right now I'm jazzed from adrenaline. I could fly to the moon on the energy I rode a little bit ago. I witnessed a really, really horrible car crash (complete decimation) this afternoon out on the highway coming into town and worked the scene. (I haven't been an EMT for years, but, apparently, the universe ignores this little detail. *sigh* What was I gonna do? Not help? Not an option.) I was the first even remotely medical sort of person on the scene and the only for a while, but I had a FABULOUS group of big, burly Bubbas who yes m'am'd me and did exactly what I said ("Put your hands here like this". "Hold here like that. Keep her still. Tell me if she stops breathing." "Tell 911 we need extrication gear," "Could someone please get my back, I'm climbing up and in," etc., etc. etc.) and totally rocked and I just wanna find and hug every single one of them. It was a triage situation with 3 patients including 2 with serious injuries so even when my buddies who are medics got there, I was still climbed up on the back of a destroyed little car in my skirt and sock feet (don't ask) holding onto a woman in the backseat whose leg was broken and pinned and who had a head injury, had altered state of consciousness, and was really dang combative. Really combative. I was having trouble keeping a patent airway on her because of the bleeding injuries to her mouth and because, on top of everything else, she had asthma. I had a really big, strong guy holding onto the waistband of my sweatshirt and the waistband of my skirt behind me on the ground reaching up helping me hold my balance while she bucked me like a bronco amongst the shattered glass and twisted metal. All of this in a ditch full of cold water above the knee in a storm. The pisser is we couldn't fly her out because the choppers couldn't fly in this weather. :(

    LOL Got home and climbed into a hot shower clothes and all, peeling off and washing away the mud, glass, and blood. Never been so glad to get into a hot shower in my life! I was COLD! Shivering, chattering teeth, gray toes, fumbly bumbly cold. LOLOL

    OH, but the first cop on the scene was YUMMY. I'd climb into a pile of mangled wreckage with him anyday. ;)

    Anyway, I'm buzzed on energy right now but will kaflumpf onto the couch soon enough. LOL

  13. It was totally meant as a compliment. You are so filled with energy. Isn't that a lovely thing? And after that harrowing story, you NEED a hot holiday. Hart, You deserve to go somewhere wonderful. Is there any way you can make it happen? I have been to Jamaica twice and loved it!

  14. LOLOL I figured, given how bubbly you are, that you meant it that way. Still, I have a sneaking suspicion, Deb, that you totally run circles around me.

    My best friend in college nicknamed me Jordan after the female lead in our mutual favorite movie. (To this day, he and I drive his wife nuts quoting this movie back and forth to each other. LOL)

    (Don't worry. I have mellowed considerably over the years. LOL)

    I wonder what Barbara's up to right this second. Actually, wait. My face is turning bright red even trying to imagine! I hope the water's warm. ;)

  15. This looks and sounds soooo wonderful! I am freezing right now with thick socks on right next to the heater. ENJOY IT!

  16. It's snowing here.

    It's 82F in Jamaica.

    *hugs Barbara* Slide your toes into the sand for me today! :) LOL Please post more warm pictures for us to stare at! :)

  17. Lovely! Lovely! Lovely!
    Thank you Barb for the wonderful description of your idyllic adventure - sounds soooo perfect for the two of you (the perfect way to celebrate 22 years together as well!) I'm looking forward to reading more - but take the time for yourselves - we can wait (if we have to!).

    Rigel - I must just comment - thank you for being the kind of person that "jumps in" - I hope that the victims you helped had positive outcomes, I'm sure that they had a much better chance at that because of your efforts. The world loves and needs your adrenalin!


  18. Sounds heavenly! How nice of you to post for us! christy

  19. just catching up. Could have used this vicarious post last week. That will teach me to lag behind.



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