Monday, August 8, 2011

Return from the Land of the Still and Quiet

X-man and I returned home from our five-day excursion to St. John in the U.S.V.I. It's his second trip down there in a year, and we were encouraged to visit again thanks to a wedding invitation for my cousin. Destination weddings are expensive, and our family plus my parents were the only ones able to really make it down. But the three of us don't turn down beach time in crystal blue waters -- ever.

This year was actually more exciting than last because my child who cannot float at the pool by himself without first somehow filling his swim shorts with air was able to float in salt water just find. He was a buoyant baby. Want to know how I know... perhaps the cutest thing I've ever seen him do (besides when he got his eyes tested for kindergarten) was throw on fins, a mask and a snorkel, dive into water head first, kicking his way out into sea. We stayed closed to shore, but some of the beaches easily got over his head. And he totally didn't care. When he had enough, rather than standing up, he swam back to shallower waters. Except the one time we saw a puffer fish eating a dead crab underwater. He was so excited at the size of it that he stood up, grabbed on to me shouting and pulled me under. Doh. I'm a pretty okay swimmer, so I got him calmed down and back into shore without too much trouble (that's why we didn't venture more than 40 feet away from the beach or over any coral with him).

I have pictures to show you, but they're in a camera in some luggage that didn't make the drastic gate change from D49 at one end of Miami airport (still my least favorite airport) to E-5. So, we're waiting on them to come home. One of these days, I'll be rich enough to afford a ticket from ORD to STT direct without having to make transfers. But since airfare for three was $1,800 and we got to go for free with MacTroll's miles, I'm not complaining. Our whole trip was maybe $800.

The wedding was lovely. We couldn't stay too much for the party, but X-man was full of his 1,000 questions at the wedding ceremony, which my parents found very entertaining. X-man went swimming at the pool at my Aunt's resort with MacTroll while I got some exercise walking around town. Then we dried them off and got them to the reception at Rhumb Lines. (Self service rum available. I made myself a coconut raspberry martini.) But you could also make use of the open bar.

Also, turns out my kid has the sweetest blood ever. Every night he'd emerge from his room at the house we were staying in with giant welts from mosquito bites all over his body. I sprayed him with some mosquito repellent but that stuff only lasts 3 hours, and, of course, the first night I got his arms and legs but forgot his feet... and no one likes bites on their feet.

The house itself was on the south side of the island, but it was at one dead end on top of a cliff -- great for cool breezes, but a kind of a distance to drive to the beach. The road this house was on didn't connect to our normal south end beach, so you had to drive all the way around the other side of the island and come back to visit any of our usual places. But the house was free thanks to a family friend, and we were very grateful for their hospitality and that X-man got to see my dad and stepmother for a few days. He's had the honor of vacationing with all of his grandparents this summer.

Our 18-hour trip home yesterday was very taxing. My child had enough brains to wake up at 7 a.m., pee and go back to sleep. His mother did not. I was was up at 6:15 a.m. I've showered, done some laundry and opened the mail. Wait, I even ate some oatmeal. MacTroll on the other hand, never made it to Austin. His day of travel stopped short in Dallas.

Mother nature really screwed us yesterday. But today, today is going to be a wonderfully productive day.

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