Barbara: Well, here I am, on the eve of our last day, getting ready to post my second postcard to all you guys. I’m happy to tell you that it’s been just perfect in every way.
And PS, these are still my crappy iphone photos (no camera cord, remember?). Phil hates himself here, but I think he looks adorable.
Here are a few benefits to traveling in the “off season”:
The not even half-full resort means that you can partake of any activity at any given time because there’s always space (like on the gratis snorkeling excursions––where you might find yourself memorizing every underwater phenomenon in case you never see its like again).
You can always find a primo beach spot (Phil and I favour a gazebo that is perched over the ocean on a boardwalk––actually you can see it behind our heads in the photo. Normally, we’re all about the sand, but here the sun and shade are available in equal measure under the gazebo, whereas the beach often loses sun or broils under it—not so good for my pale skin.). It feels like we have our own hoity cabana.
Not only does the resort lure you to it through cheapo half-price sales, but it even throws in spa credits (yes, you heard me: spa credits!! Imagine if you will a couple’s massage on that same gazebo perched over the sea as the sun sets.).
You always get a table overlooking the ocean (if you want one).
And there aren’t nearly as many drunken partiers overestimating their ability to ingest the all-you-can-drink offerings.
The downside? My empathetic nature inclines me to worry for the poor half-full resort and its staff: how will they survive without legions of revelers as fewer and fewer people seem to have the time or money for this kind of indulgence? Anyway, just wanted to point out that my husband and I are doing our part in the all-important save-the-resorts campaign. We are selfless people.
So, it truly is lovely and relaxing and beautiful. And I am grateful beyond words for all of it. Not only that I’ve been able to come here for my own indulgence, but grateful that the world even has such bounty to offer. I never take for granted my home landscape, but there is something powerful about meeting a foreign landscape for the first time. I am always moved by how the world feels both majestically hardy and heartbreakingly fragile.
And maybe a vacation between a husband and wife offers the same magnifying glass to the hardiness and fragility of relationships. I have seen couples here bring all the petty grievances and tribulations of home to this paradise, and couples who sit side by side in complete and utter silence, maybe for lack of common ground or maybe in communal comfort, and couples who seem to see and hear each other with fresh (windswept) eyes and ears.
Phil and I haven’t had many issues with honesty and communication over the years, but there’s nothing like throwing off the shackles of responsibility to give us a burst of refreshed and renewed romance. Luxuriating on our loungers between naps and reading, or bent over candlelight and under evening stars, we’ve been talking a lot about our joys and hopes and ideas and, of course, our daughters. We talk about them a LOT. Some things you don’t want to leave behind.
I’ve told Phil a few times already how grateful I am that he is as good a listener as he is a talker. It seems I need both.
But my favourite moment with my husband so far? The other night at the resort show, they were having a “Newlywed” type game where couples on stage were asked about their relationships while their significant others were sequestered. Phil and I played along privately in the audience, telling each other the answers we would have given had we been up there. The men were asked what was their beloved’s most annoying habit. Phil––who never misses a chance to tease me mercilessly (it’s his “thing”)––was stumped. I mean truly stumped. I couldn’t believe it (especially since I could name half-a-dozen habits I thought annoyed him). He insisted he couldn’t think of one. And then something came to him: apparently I gasp. Surprise, delight, fear, shock, empathy: all of it makes me gasp. And me gasping scares the bejeezuz out of him. I'm proud to say I took that one on the chin like a man (and kissed him for it like a woman ;) ).
Not bad for a comfortable old couple with miles of experience, huh? It’s good work when you can get it.
See you back at home!!