Everyone has a different idea of what paradise is. For some, it means putting a raft into the bath-like water and floating around while immersed in a book. For others, toting a cooler and sitting in the water, drinking your beverage of choice. Or kayaking from beach to beach and snorkeling at each one. Or a Mama snorkeling while Dad and toddler beachcomb on the shore.
This was ours. We would sit in the shallow water, talk and joke, play rock paper scissors to see who would get the snorkel gear, then head out for a few minutes to what felt like our own aquarium. Sometimes Steve would grab my hand and we would point and gesture at what we were seeing in our own sign language. Or we'd hold hands and float, letting the current take us wherever. Beach in the morning, assemble a picnic lunch at Deli Grotto, and take it to go sitting on another glorious beach in the afternoon. We were getting 8-10 hours of sleep a night. Our bodies must have been in shock. At home a great night is six hours, less for Steve whose body clock is chronically confused from working nights, then switching to days to spend time with his wife.
It was a departure from our usual trips. We didn't hike. We didn't kayak. We didn't leave the island but once which admittedly we regretted doing. And while in some ways we were thinking ahead of the months to come and what trips would be like in the future with babes in tow, for the most part we were enjoying the now.
~the first time we turned the corner and saw Maho Bay. Pull over!
~seeing the moon from our shower's skylight every night.
~our cozy little table at the window in the back room at Sweet Plantains.
~Me driving on the left side of the road.
~Favorite foods there: conch fritters and sweet plantains at Miss Lucy's, the foie gras on toasted brioche with caramelized pears at Waterfront Bistro, all my virgin drinks but especially the guava one at Rhumb Lines, the baked goods at Deli Grotto.
~Rabbit the Goat at Miss Lucy's.
~Sputtering on fumes as we rolled into town one day and barely made it to the lone gas station on the island.
~Watching Steve discover the magic of painkillers.
~Our favorite beaches which will forevermore be on a pedestal for us: Jumbie Bay (thank you Taos couple for the recommendation), Maho Bay, Francis Bay (you want to be skinny like Francis?) and Trunk Bay.
~Two words: tan lines.
~The first time Steve turned left in this left-driving world.
~Feeding the burro an apple.
~Snorkeling together, husband telling me he didn't like snorkeling without me 'cause he knew I always had his back.
~Steve's little song that he would repeat over and over again like a 5 year-old the rest of the trip...we saw three beaches...
~Our squid friends, going back for the brain coral picture, going back for the manta ray picture, and Steve diving down towards the porcupine fish.