5.28.2010

A Final Splash

Remember the bag of 100 balls Mike bought a couple years back, to the delight of Delaney and Hayden who threw them all over the house? And all over the yard.... and over the banister... and under the car...?

As an appropriate conclusion to our life at Dos Palapas, Hayden threw them ALL once more into the pool five minutes before we were set to leave for the last time. 

Mike's final job (before loading eight suitcases and six carry-ons into the truck) was fishing those darn balls out of the water.

Look out Hartford, los gemelos de las Islas de Bahia are moving back to the block.

5.20.2010

Winding Down the Carnival

Our stuff arrived on Roatan in a 40-foot container.

It's leaving in a 20-foot.

But this time it's without the help of Ron and Rob, the "professional relocation experts" in Connecticut who had a truck full of supplies and burly men. So our sincere and special thanks goes to U-Line for creating a "basic moving kit" that they shipped to us novices, stranded on an island with no moving companies, tape guns, bubble wrap -- or even boxes.

As of this moment, we are up to 115 boxed, inventoried, and labeled items of personal belongings. As we get them finished, we stack them in the foyer for Senor Gomez, our faithful gardener of three years, to carry down to the garage. I can just hear him muttering in Spanish, "This isn't in my job description...."

I've drawn the line at shipping back the contents of the liquor cabinet, which got shipped here from Hartford without anyone paying too much attention. A few weeks ago I started a personal crusade to systematically get rid of the tequila and rum, but frankly I've tired of it. Anything left will be left behind, along with the other 50% of the contents of two fully furnished houses that we sold with the property.

And to anyone who thought I was joking about shrink-wrapping our furniture, think again. Another gracias goes to Plaza Mar for stocking an absurdly large restaurant roll of plastic wrap. They won't stock decent toilet paper or diapers, but they get kudos for carrying 2,000 feet of extra-wide saran right when I needed it.

I've spent so many hours wrestling with the wrap, one blade-torn sheet at a time, that I'm even dreaming about it. Last night, I woke up panicked that I had shrunk-wrapped Delaney.

Fortunately, our final day coincides with the end-of-the-year party at Discovery Bay, Delaney and Hayden's school for the past two years. We're so glad they are finishing the term along with their friends. The next day, however, we'll be on a jet plane bound for the next phase of this crazy life. We've made this eventuality comprehendable to the kids by promising there will be a "bookstore" (i.e., Barnes and Noble) wherever we are going. "I'm going to get a Princess book," yells Delaney. "I'm going to get a Thomas book," yells Hayden even louder.

So clearly, leaving the home they've since known since they started crawling isn't going to bother these two island babies, as long as our first stop in the New World lets them browse and buy books to their hearts' content.

I'd like to say the same is true for their Mother, but I'm afraid the end is bittersweet. It's come so fast. Large properties like ours just aren't selling on the island, so any offer had to be taken very seriously.

In truth, we are happy to say we've done it.

And, happy that we're done with it.

Mike says he won't be needing a beach vacation for a long time.

Hallelujia.

5.08.2010

View from the Shower


If you look to the right: you look through the window of our open-air Balinese shower, over the Spanish tile roof, across one of two thatch-covered palapas that frame the swimming pool, over the lawn and treetops of the deep Palmetto Bay shore, and out across the vast expanse of the Caribbean Sea.

If you look to the left: you look through the glass French shower doors, over the jacuzzi tub, through an open window, out to the lush rainforest encircling the southern side of the house.

If you look up: floating puffy clouds against a blue blue sky.

If you look down: earth-colored travertine tiles, smooth under two pairs of little feet dancing a Happy Shower Dance.

No wonder Delaney and Hayden are the cleanest kids on the block. They take even longer showers than their Mommy and Daddy.