We've been off for a week, spending my inheritance.
My mother died last December, leaving me a little nest egg. After tucking it away in carefully selected mutual funds etc., it dawned on me that it's been 10 years since I've been out of the country, and the kids have never traveled abroad. So I took part of the money my mom had left us, and booked us a posh holiday at a "beach villa resort" (which, to be honest, sounded a little redundant) in Saint Lucia.
So here I sit, scratching my sunburned back with a hairbrush (it feels soooo good), thinking about the past week and what I've learned. In no particular order, they are:
1. Saint Lucia is a hilly place. A couple of million years ago, an
unimaginably huge volcano erupted from the seabed, leaving today a
series of small mountain peaks covered in lush rainforest vegetation.
It is beautiful beyond belief, vivid beyond belief, and poor beyond
belief. Outside the
hermetically sealed confines of our resort, people lived in shacks made of corrugated tin and concrete blocks, or just plywood, or--if they were lucky--concrete covered with stucco. Many houses plainly had no indoor plumbing.
2. An entire week of being waited on and pampered to the nth degree by people who are all black, down to the last laundress, is, in the end, a little creepy. I kept looking around for Scarlett O'Hara....and seeing her. Saint Lucia is a favorite destination for newlyweds, and some of the brides definitely had that Bridezilla look.
3. With kids, the term "vacation" must be used with some reservation. Parents are never off duty. There is never that luxurious sense of a unbroken time laying before you, hours and days on end, to ponder, to think, to sketch, to read good books, to take long afternoon naps or long beach walks. You are much too busy negotiating sibling wars and tracking down those goddamn black shorts.
4. My mom would have loved it.