Our recent trip to St. Lucia was a delightful adventure. As you can see from the accompanying picture we were all smiles. You can also see how Kim spent most of her time—in a bikini soaking in the sun. Meanwhile, I was sporting my wide-brim Toby-esque hat, shades, shirt, long trunks, and a thick lathering of SPF 6000 sunblock, which I believe is what NASA uses to coat their satellites to protect them from solar radiation in orbit. And still I pinked up a few times. We were known around the resort as the bronze babe and the pasty guy. (Okay, we weren’t really, but we probably should have been.)
While we spent ample time lounging and reading at the pool or the beach (or in my case, hiding under umbrellas and lurking at the shady side of the swim-up bar), we also ate too much, and learned the art of avoiding locals selling beads on the beach.
We also spent one day out on a day cruise to the other end of the island. Pulling out of port at 9am, the cruise director announced that the bar was open because, after all, it was 12:00 somewhere. In the islands, no one waits for 5pm. Hell, they serve drinks with eggs and bacon in the morning. We toured a live volcano, actually walking down into the caldera. It reeked of sulfur in a way that I’m sure would have reminded Hugo Chavez of a George Bush vapor trail. But it was cool to see the smoke rising out of the ground and the richly colored rocks and soil there. They kept reminding us that the next time it blows, the town we sailed into will cease to exist. I think this was a subtle way of saying that they were happy to have our tourist dollars, but that we shouldn’t plan to move there. On the way back, we stopped to snorkel over a reef. It’s too bad my mom couldn’t have been there as I know this is her favorite summer activity (inside family joke – sorry).
The next day we headed into the rain forest where we rode a series of zip lines. This is the first time we’ve done that, and it is every bit as cool as it looks on TV. However, they make the girls (and long haired guys) wear these hair net things which when you strap a helmet on top of it, add a big harness and a pair of work gloves results in a look that not everyone (okay, anyone) can pull off. I have pictures, but I’m not allowed to post them.
Traveling to and from the rain forest, we rode in a van piloted by a local. Like most of the drivers, he tried hard to share local points of interest along the way. This was a nice touch and took your mind off the death inducing game of chicken that all drivers on the island play almost constantly on roads which in this country would be considered poorly maintained sidewalks. At one point we passed what was arguably the largest most ornate building in the area. None of us were surprised when he announced this was the Catholic church. Another passenger asked if he knew the name of the church. I was personally hoping for something along the lines of Our Lady of the Perpetual Rum Buzz or St. Reefer’s Smoke of the Ascension. So I was waiting with anticipation as the driver paused for a moment and announced in an accented and slow drawn out speech intended to educate his riders that this was called… the “Ro-man Cath-o-lic Church”. We all tried hard not to get caught snickering in the rear-view mirror.
Finally, we engaged in a bit of sailing, which is probably only interesting if you know that our qualifications for this excursion consisted of an afternoon I spent falling off of a wind surfer 20 years ago. So it was with unwarranted confidence and the knowledge that there was a rescue boat at the ready to come fetch our sorry butts when we I screwed up, we took out one of the resort’s Hobie-Cats. I’m proud to say we successfully guided ourselves out and around the bay and managed to get the boat all the way back to port without help from shore. Kim was patiently soaking up the sun and seemed to easily tolerate my seemingly random calls to duck and move to the other side of the boat as the sail boom swept the deck somewhat more often and haphazardly than I intended. It was fun, but I don’t think we’re ready for the America’s Cup just yet.
All-in-all it was a fun and relaxing few days. And we knew it was time to return north when on the final evening we both agreed that we couldn’t wait to be cold again.