Part 2 PARADISE: A RETURN ENGAGEMENT
PARADISE: A RETURN ENGAGEMENT
It was twenty long hours after arriving in St. Thomas before I was in the water. That has to be an endurance record for me. After reading Part 1 of this trip report, you all know how I feel about whatshername…but I absolutely adore the warm, clear, clean, turquoise blue waters of the Caribbean!
I’m an early riser by nature and my “job” is to make the morning coffee. I do that each morning and then out to the terrace with a cup to enjoy the sunrise over the eastern hills of Frenchman’s Bay. I sit and watch the island come to life. With the sun, come the yellow and red flowers, the Iguanas, the hummingbirds, the terns, the seagulls, the brown footed boobies, the Magnificent Frigate, and my favorite…the Pelicans.
I love to watch the Pelicans swoop from over the rooftop of the terrace and move out over the water. There, they maneuver to a few inches above the water and glide across the bay. Then with a few flaps of wings they gain enough altitude to fly over the rocky east part of the bay and disappear. A most graceful bird in flight.
And…down in the courtyard moving its neck back and forth with each step it took was the white egret that we saw the first day. Sorry…the white egret with the red stripe on HER head and red striped markings on its body, making her unique. ( Sheesh!) She (I’m going to have to ask Gerie how she knows it was a “she”) was playing chase with two cats. Anytime the cats got too close, the egret would just fly to a different spot in the courtyard. The cats kept stalking her.
Bluebeard’s Beach Club, along with other resorts, is participating in an attempt to control the cat population on the island. They’ve build a small structure that looks like a doghouse and they feed the cats. There’s a painted sign on the structure that reads “CAT CAFÉ” although Gerie kept referring to it as the “Cathouse”. They also take the cats to get spayed or neutered. It’s a great idea and must be working well since we didn’t see any kittens around like we have in past years.
It took me about twenty minutes before I felt as though I had lived on that terrace my entire life. Everything was so familiar and yet so brand new, if that’s possible. It had been 2 years since I experienced that view but at the same time I felt as though I had never left it.
Gerie wakes a few hours later and joins me on the terrace where we pretend to plan our day. Few of the plans come to fruition as the day takes on a will of it’s own and we mere mortals just go with the flow. Eventually, we slather up with our SPF 30 sunblock and get ready for the beach. Before we go I ask Gerie if she put her ring in the safe. She verifies that she has.
My daughter got engaged last 4th of July and she and her fiancé learned more about diamonds than any layman should know. They told me that sand is one of the worst things for a diamond ring. A diamond can scratch and sand can scratch it. Also, a grain of sand can wedge its way between the ring prongs and the diamond and eventually pry it loose. I never had these anxieties before I got engaged!!!
With the ring safe and sound, we head for the beach. We pull a couple of chaise lounges up close to the water, lay our towels over the backs of the chairs, sit back and soak up the sun and the beauty of Limetree Beach. After no more than five minutes of reverie, I cup my hand over an ear as though I’m listening intently.
“What?” I ask.
“What?” I repeat.
“I’ll be right there!” As though I’m having a conversation with a distant friend.
I turn to Gerie and say to her, “The water’s calling me!”
Walking into the Caribbean waters is an exquisite experience. Even after baking in the hot sun, there’s no hesitation in entering the water. There’s no shivering, or splashing the water on your chest to get used to the temperature. It’s warm and inviting and feels as though man was ordained to be a water creature. We swim out until the water is over our heads and then just hang there in the water like two large corks. There’s no need to dog paddle or move your arms and legs to stay afloat. You just hang there motionless as though you’re in a sea of warm jell-o. If you happen to move your legs ever so slightly in front of you, the salty, jell-o water picks you up and you’re floating on your back in a matter of seconds. I love the Caribbean.
After a few hours of Limetree Beach, we headed out to Havensight to the Delly Deck for their world’s best Western Omelet. They didn’t disappoint. I waited 2 years to have that tasty omelet again. I don’t know how many chefs the Delly Deck has gone through in that time or if it’s the same one, but I pray that they never change it.
Very satisfied with our brunch we returned to Bluebeard’s and Limetree Beach where we spent the remainder of the day. In and out of the Caribbean Sea…heaven must be something like that. If my vacation were limited to Limetree Beach, the terrace, and Delly Deck…I’d be a happy vacationer!
That evening Gerie and I and friends, Fred and Nikki, who own timeshares at Bluebeard’s Beach Club also, went to The Caribbean Saloon for dinner and to watch the Hall of Fame football game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the New Orleans Saints. As it happens Fred and I are both avid Steelers Fans. Gerie out of self-defense has learned to be a Steelers fan and Nikki follows some second rate, high school football team known as the Dallas Cowboys. That’s got to be some relationship between Fred and Nikki during football season.
The inside of the Caribbean Saloon changed a bit for the better since my last visit. The atmosphere is nice, dinner and drinks were good, and the service was great.
And, Yes!…to all the sports widows and/or non-football fans out there, I took Gerie to watch the Steelers play the day after I proposed. There are certain priorities in life that must be adhered to (to which must be adhered???). Ask anybody from the Steelers Nation! The truth is that weeks before we left Long Island for our Caribbean Vacation I asked Gerie if she knew what Sunday August 5th was? She confessed that she didn’t. I told her it was the Hall of Fame Football Game between the Steelers and the Saints. She replied, “I know where there’s a great Sports Bar!” Is there any question as to why I asked this woman to marry me? A developing Steelers fan who owns a timeshare in St. Thomas. I wonder why it took me so long.
So…each day we went swimming or snorkeling at one beach or another and thoroughly enjoyed the Caribbean waters. I’ll talk about the different beaches and what we did and saw in a later part. However, before we left the room to go out and enjoy the Caribbean I made sure that Gerie had put her ring in the room safe. The thought of a grain of sand working the diamonds loose from the ring and losing them in the sand or worse yet, the ring slipping off her finger and being buried under the sand under 10 feet of water was a primary concern before I could really enjoy being in the water.
“Did you put your ring in the safe?” I’d ask.
“Yes. I did.” She’d say and show me her naked ring finger.
After about 4 or 5 days of this, Gerie finally said:
“John. This is my engagement ring, and I love it dearly. I promise that I will take good care of it. I know that you searched for the perfect ring for me and I appreciate all that you did…but it’s my ring now…you have to let it go!”
I laughed. But, she was correct. The ring was mine for about 6 weeks and daily I practiced in my mind slipping it on her finger in the most romantic way that I could possibly think. Then on that sunny, Saturday afternoon, I gave it to her. It is hers now. And I have to let it go.
You are SWEET!!!! Keep your story coming!
Wow - - great report! Your description of the water is RIGHT ON TARGET! Beautiful!
I didn't know about the diamond damage from the beach, though. Thanks for the tip!
Glad to see a fellow Steelers fan on this forum.
Great trip report I do miss the water myself. My wife and I love going to the beaches while we are on STT/STJ. Takes all your cares away. Ok the rum plays a big part in it also.
We didn't eat at the caribbean saloon this time around but is good to know they made it a little nicer for next time we go down.
I didn't know about the sand either. I guess it's a good thing I don't take my rock on vacation to the islands! Love your report!
yeah go Steelers!
I also am glad to hear about the sand thing, but I always feel so naked without my rings on. I will always leave them in the safe from now on. Guess that means I should take out my earrings also before swimming?
BTW - hubby and I will be at the Steelers game on Sept 23 - against the 49ers. can't wait!
anxiously awaiting part 3!!!
BUTTERFLIES!!!! So romantic!
Gerie, you lucky lady!
Enjoying your 2nd report in a few years. Didn't know the Diamond ring thingy either. I have a recessed setting so hopefully mine is ok. Your wife to be is right...Give it up...it's all hers now! LOL!
Great Report, really enjoyed it.
I honestly thought the only thing that could scratch a diamond, was a diamond.
And, a ring is probably safer on someone's finger than anywhere else. The sand in the
setting makes sense, though.
I think you were very sweet to be so protective of something you were giving
to someone you love.
Your returned engagement was enjoyable..I like to have a 50th birthday gathering 2008.How would I go about doing this in St. Thomas. Thank you
This was a great story. Let me know when I can make you a wedding broom.