Saint Lucia is lawless!
Okay, that might be an exaggeration, but seriously, things are much more relaxed there. Take a look at the following photo and you’ll see what I mean:
I’ve never seen anyone riding like that back home in the States, but it was a common sight on this vacation.
Day 3 started with a 45-minute drive, which took us through a traffic jam in Castries, the capital of the country:
It was worth it, though, not just for the glimpse of city life, but because we ended up on this beach . . .
. . . with this view:
Here’s a dweeby photo of me in the shade:
Some people are willing to get skin cancer in exchange for being tan. I’m not one of them. I was perfectly content to lie there for a while and read a few chapters of this book:
Did you notice the words “uncorrected proof” below the image of the car? This book has not yet been published — it’s coming out in May 2014 — and the publisher sent me an advanced copy, hoping that I’ll like it enough to give them a blurb. I’m about halfway through, and thankfully for everyone involved, I’m loving it. It’s really funny.
As for the beach, part of it was terribly crowded . . .
. . . but after walking past all the dumb tourists for five minutes, Hayley and I found a nice, peaceful area:
Here’s something that made us smile:
It’s hard to tell, but there was a guy in that boat who was selling all kinds of tropical fruit. I bought two tiny bananas from him for a total of two Eastern Caribbean dollars. That’s about 80 cents’ worth of US currency, but it was worth it. We were so hungry that our stomachs were practically hurting, and it helped bridge the appetite gap until lunch:
In case you missed my first two entries from this trip (or have a bad memory), that’s my mom, Naomi, in the white shirt, my girlfriend, Hayley, in the black dress, my half-sister, Martha, wearing sunglasses, and Martha’s girlfriend Amy at the head of the table. (I ate lamb roti.)
After lunch, I decided to rent a jet ski. Here I am putting on my life jacket . . .
. . . and look who joined me!
That’s Hayley sitting behind me — and did you notice the expression on her face? Here’s a closer look:
When we reached open water, the only thing louder than the roar of the engine was her constant shrieking in my ear. She thought we were gonna die. It was cute.
As you can see below, we didn’t die:
That’s a photo of us back at the hotel, reading near one of the swimming pools.
When it got dark, we returned to the condo and started a game of Scrabble:
Poor Hayley. I went first and played IGNORES for 70 points. She then played DEAN for 12 points, at which point I threw down ADDiCTs to take a 146-12 lead. To be fair, most relationships have a mismatch of intellect, and she happens to be the smart one. No joke. You know how some people need to have everything explained, and they’re still like, “What? You mean . . . wait, I don’t get it.” Hayley is the opposite. It’s scary. So yeah: poor Hayley because she has a dumb boyfriend (although I *am* quite good at Scrabble).
Halfway through the game, all five of us headed out to dinner. We had to walk to the nearby waterfront and wait for a ferry, during which time I got hustled by this guy making palm-leaf grasshoppers:
I didn’t want a palm-leaf grasshopper, but I couldn’t help it. According to my family, I’m too friendly. They told me later that when the guy said hello from 10 feet away, I should have ignored him and kept walking — easy for them to say, but it contradicts my nature. When someone says hello to me, I say hello back, or in this case, I glanced at him and gave a friendly, subtle nod. That prompted him to scurry over, and before I could blink or say “no thanks,” he was already performing palm-leaf origami in my face. At that point, I knew it was too late to get out of it, so I figured I’d take a photo and give him a dollar. After all, the grasshopper *was* pretty cool, but then of course he started making another and ended up asking for five US dollars “for the grasshoppers and the photo.” I reluctantly handed him the money, and as I walked away, he said, “Give me another dollar.” I flat-out refused and felt unsettled about the whole situation. I hate to say it, but that’s how I often felt in Saint Lucia. There was a level of desperation and shadiness that went beyond what I’m used to dealing with back home.
Anyway, let me now return to being a “privileged ass-hat,” as Hayley just called me. Here’s a wannabe-artsy photo I took on the short boat ride across Marigot Bay:
We had dinner at a really nice place called Rainforest Hideaway — the one legitimately fancy meal of our trip. Here’s what the outdoor seating area looked like:
I started with Thai-spiced coconut and pumpkin soup (and a unicorn horn):
For my main course, I had salmon, or, to quote the menu: “parmesan crusted salmon with cauliflower puree and roasted root vegetables and fire roasted pepper pesto”:
We all shared a bunch of desserts:
In the four-part photo above, starting on the top left and going clockwise, you’re looking at 1) pineapple and coconut cheesecake with caramel and pineapple sauce, 2) rum sauteed bananas with rum raisin ice cream, 3) white chocolate creme brulee with lime and raspberry compote, and 4) rich velvet chocolate tart with vanilla ice cream.
I don’t consider myself a foodie, but damn! Sometimes I feel the need to document my meals. Is that so bad?
This was the scene outside the restaurant as we waited for the ferry to retrieve us:
Back at the condo, Hayley and I finished our game of Scrabble . . .
. . . and went for a midnight swim. Here she is testing the water at the smaller/colder of the two pools:
Here I am in the water:
Everything was so beautiful . . .