Nothin’ like nap-time and girlie-drinks on a powdery sand beach to recharge the batteries. We’re back, we’re tan (at least Oodgie is…I tan like Edgar Winter), we’re feelin’ good, and we’ve grudgingly returned to our parental duties. Actually, that’s not true…we were glad to reunite with Cheeky before she completely forgot who we were and mistook us for the SLA. I’ll tell you, though…if you’d asked me if I missed making formula or cleaning up the torn and wrinkled remains of the morning newspaper while I was floating in the ocean, I probably would have said "no." Make that definitely...definitely "no."
It was a great trip, and I highly recommend you all seal your kids up in TupperWare for freshness and take off to Negril for a long weekend. You’ll thank me for it.
Instead of Yahooligans today, here are some trip highlights.
We’re waiting to check in at the airport when in walk two
girls. My guess: first international flight, and sooooo
excited about Spring Break! Ohmigod!!! One is wearing a
fur-lined vest; the other is wearing a Judge Smails yachting blazer. I’m thinking neither is appropriate. Both are wearing Rasta hats with the fake dreadlocks hanging from them. One plugs her little iPod into some crappy
speakers she bought at Brookstone and starts dancing. In the ticket line. Like
an idiot. "Why isn’t anybody DANCING??" Because we’re
old and are shamed by our lack
of excitement trying to be adults while waiting in a 500 person line to board a plane, we try to
ignore them, but phrases like, "Ohmigod, your other passport photo was so hot" stick in my mind as we
shuffle forward. I can’t even muster
the memory of that sort of jubilant ignorance in my past, although I was a
little jealous that they were so excited about their little vacation
while we drearily shuffled like characters in a Fritz Lang movie.
We climb on the bus to the resort, and as everyone takes their seats a guy hops on and asks if anyone wants beer for the trip. Dumbstruck that no one is raising their hand to take advantage of this one-time offer, I raise my hand and order two beers. All I’ve got it a $20, and I hesitate for a second as I pull it out, thinking, "This can’t be a good idea." It’s hot, I’m thirsty, and maybe those girls in line loosened my inhibitions, so I hand over the money. ("Normally I wear protection, but then I thought, 'When am I gonna make it back to Haiti?'") He disappears and we wait. And wait. The last of the luggage is on the bus, and the driver is introducing himself and telling us about the trip. Still no beers. ("Well, he's an ex free-base addict, and he's trying to turn around, and he needs a place to stay for a couple of months.") I look at Oodgie and she verbalizes what I’m thinking. "We’re suckers, aren’t we?" The doors close, and so do my eyes. I’m stoopid. I knew that was a bad idea. ("I don't know the guy, but I've got two kidneys and he needs one, so I figured...") But Jamaica is so fun and friendly…it could have worked! The bus pulls out of the airport, and everyone silently judges us while we quietly pretend like nothing happened…
Our bus pulls over to the side of the road a few minutes outside the airport. The door opens, and our beer guy steps onto the bus!! "Jahmon, I have your beers!" He hands me two ice-cold beers and correct change! I scoop my jaw off the floor and look out the window to see the car that he used to chase down our bus. Jamaica is AWESOME! We are so not suckers! In your face, silent judgers! We ROCK!
The bellman hadn’t even closed the door to our room yet when the sales pitch began. "How much do you need, mon?" He knows a guy, and he could have it to us in 45 minutes. He even gave me a wink and a flick of the nostril that says, "Ganja ain’t the only thing on the menu." Me, I draw the line at anything that can’t be cultivated in a college dorm room with proper lighting and live Phish bootlegs. My glaucoma is much better now, thank you.
You know what looks great with a sunburn? One of these.
Regarding beachwear: If your breasts are perfect, then please, by all means, don’t let me stop you from exposing them. I respect your right to self-expression. And you should thank your surgeon, who, by the way, will be getting a appreciative Hickory Farms gift basket. However, someone needs to explain to me why retirement-aged European men think it looks good to wear these.
A soft-serve machine on the beach. THAT is a good idea.
Margaritaville: Someone whose opinion I formerly trusted insisted that we go there, so we walked down the beach toward the giant inflated rum bottle. Here’s what we heard over the loudspeaker as we approached: "OK, for this scavenger hunt, I’m going to need you to bring me something—anything--with a school’s name on it, an employee nametag, a bikini top, and a condom!" Yeah, I've been to that bar before. We all have. Not here, but somewhere. And no thanks…I'd rather drink my Red Stripe somewhere that doesn’t serve watermelon shooters in test tubes, thanks.
Let me close on this final image, before the cold reality of being home engulfs me. Relaxing on the deck, watching the surf pound the beach just a few yards away as the sun sparkles on the water and slowly shifts from yellow to orange to red, with a Cohiba in one hand and a cold beer in the other, while listening to Getz/Gilberto, is about the nearest thing to paradise I've experienced.