Cruisin’ for a Bruisin’ PART II

The remainder of our ports were spent at THE BEACH! In St. John’s, Antigua, we jet skied and splashed around at Jolly Beach.

In St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, we hit Magen’s Bay, ranked as one of National Geographic’s Top 10 Beaches in the World. The drive up the precipitous mountain in our open-aired taxi was my favorite part. Maybe it was the view of the inlet or more likely it was the exhilaration from knowing that if we hit so much as a pothole while I was leaning out the window to take the following picture, I would be ejected like a rock in a slingshot. That’s why they call me the Craaaaaazy Canuck.

My Descent into the Ant Kingdom

St. Thomas touts itself as “The Shopping Capital of the Caribbean.” As a non-shopper, I renamed it “The Tacky Jewelry Capital of the Caribbean.” Forget the overabundance of diamonds. Do you think we could find even one cheap T-shirt for the sole purpose of boasting to our friends that we leave the house at least once a decade?

We finally found a flea market with tawdriness galore. For a little background, my attempts at bartering are weak at best. In Antigua, most of the shirts were $12. When I distractedly approached a local and asked the price, I generously counter-offered her $10. She then informed me that was the price she just gave. Note to self: do not offer the same price they did.

I was out to redeem myself in St. Thomas. Some booths had T-shirts that ran 3 for $10 and I casually asked a woman why some were also marked up to $12 each. I hadn’t even given her my show-stopping offer before she went ballistic on me, starting to swear and calling me nasty names, such as a “Little Ant.” Truly, that final affront was the biggest blow of all.

My gallant husband intervened and defended my non-ant honor. The psycho lady then unleashed on him for several minutes and looked like she was going to snap and wallop him at any moment. It was so completely unfounded that we were both stupefied over the drama.

We avoided her corner of the market as we proceeded with Operation: Cheap T-shirt but later encountered her at another booth. Immediately, she started screeching at us and I countered with a sweet, “Ohhhh look! It’s my new friend!” I’m sure I graduated to “Big Ant” status after that. I have since been banned from any attempts at bartering due to the international bounty on my head.

Our Own Private Idaho

Our final port was a private island in the Bahamas. “Private island” conjures up imagery of having an enigmatic paradise all to yourself. Now, add about 2,200 people from your ship on a 400-foot stretch of beach. The whole congested thing was a bit overrated but we did find a little hammock in a cove of palm trees as refuge and also had a great day snorkeling. On an artificial reef. OK, so it was really overrated. But a really overrated day on the beach is better than an underrated day of sub-zero temperatures at home.

Le Cirque Bijou

By far, our favorite show at sea was a spectacular Cirque du Soleil-style aerial thriller. Karla and I were eager to see the acrobatics. Jamie and Ivan were ecstatic about the prospect of girls soaring above in their underwear. We ensured our seats were front and center six rows behind the stage. And we all marveled at the spectacle of superb high-flying athleticism that unfolded.

Just when we thought the show couldn’t get any better, it did when I felt a WHOOSH above me. When what to my wondering eyes did appear but a male bungee jumper, coming so near. With a beautiful, rippled body plunging from above, I knew in a moment it must be hunka hunka burning love.

Sadly, I don’t have any pictures because the theatre rules stated there could be no flashing during photography. And I just didn’t think I could abide by that.

On the Road Again

Suffice it to say, there were some serious withdrawals upon debarkation. What: no one to make my bed for me? To turn down the sheets, make funky animal shapes and leave chocolate? No more 10-course meals that I do not have to cook?

When we finally arrived back in Denver at 1 a.m., we commiserated with our Turkish shuttle driver about all the snow and the dire winter we’ve experienced. Juxtapose this against Ivan and Karla’s cabbie in Miami. Or should I say crack-dealing cabbie who took them to all the corners of the city where he went about his dealings during his fine tour of the city.

Maybe being home ain’t so bad after all…

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