5 long, sleepy days that all ran together, punctuated with fireworks and burgers and paddle boards and dips.
I hate to be dramatic, but it has been an eternity since we’ve taken a proper vacation. Almost every weekend is spent upstate, yes and short trips to visit family in another state, sure, and a hop to Disney last summer, okay. But otherwise, it’s been a slog (3 years?) of renovations and working and weddings, etc. And I don’t know what happened but sometime around last November we finally broke down and decided it was time to take advantage of Winter Break.
Luck of the draw we got upgraded to a Penthouse, which I think just means we got the top floor and a slightly larger apartment. Somehow as soon as we walked in the room, Alice insisted that the kids get the Master Suite because the parents always get the Master and it’s their turn. She was laughing so hard and finding it so funny, I thought she deserved to win the fight. Plus, the rooms were practically identical, both had King beds, the only difference was a balcony and a larger bathroom in the Master.
When we hopped back to the dock on the main island, some locals just happened to be feeding the Black Tip Reef Sharks swimming below.
Our second day was also the second afternoon that Everett felt really tired and weak, with zero appetite and no desire to be out in the pool or on the beach. Could he really be that worn out from the morning excursion? Is it a ruse to stay inside so he can just play his Nintendo? Is he sick? We weren’t totally sure until it was impossible to miss – he was sick. Like, real sick. A very high fever and so super grumpy, coughing all night, complete with the kind of moaning and groaning that only comes from someone who’s trying to be strong and brave and not a burden but just can’t help it because they feel like such crap. And it also seemed like Alice was starting to feel ill, too, runny nose, pale and exhausted.
In the afternoons we just accepted it and spent them in our (thankfully very spacious, very clean, very comfortable, and very amenity-filled) apartment, lounging on the sofa and taking jacuzzi baths and swimming in our king beds. We cooked dinner that nobody ate any of. Nights were harder and included a lot of wet rags, cold baths, and at one point I was literally balancing ice packs directly on Everett’s skin without him flinching an ounce. I was thankful the kids were in in the Master bedroom as Alice had requested/demanded, because it was easy for me to take him into the bath when I had to or just leave heaps of towels all over the floor with room to spare.
On Monday morning we knew we needed professional medical care and got in front of a doctor, hit the pharmacy, and after just one dose of antibiotics and some ancient, magical island cough syrup concoction, he was on our way to feeling better. Scheduled to leave this hotel for another, more remote one, the very next day (Tuesday), we took advantage of another full 24 hours for Everett to just lay around like a couch potato to relax and rest.
That evening Everett seemed to finally be feeling really well, so we decided to take the golf cart for a spin around the hotel and explore a bit on our way to dinner. The pictures don’t capture it, but the moon that evening was really full, really bright, a silvery glowing orb in the watercolor sky. We climbed to the edge of the island to get a closer peek and soak in our last evening in this magical place.
Officially in the back half of our vacation, we were all finally well enough for the main event. A boat trip to see several of the nearby cays and feed iguanas and swim with pigs! I’d had to reschedule it, and of course we had to travel all the way back to our previous hotel, even further, in fact, bright and early, but it only made us that much more excited.
A seven day trip, it only felt like three. Maybe because we spent half of it with a really sick kid, but maybe because it just whizzes by so fast wen you’re in paradise. Our last night was the first night we all slept well. No coughing from Everett, Alice not chastising Everett for hogging the bed and crawling into our bed for the rest of the night, only to spend 2am – 6am kicking us and somehow (perplexingly) managing to steal the blankets from both of us despite her position in the middle. We all woke up, with the sunrise, smiling, well-rested, the kids literally giggling to each other. All I could think was “oh how I wish we had one more day,” I thought we were so clever, flying back home on a Friday to have the entire weekend to prepare for “real life,” but why did we rob ourselves on another full Friday (or even another whole Saturday) in paradise?!
With a 12:51pm flight, it meant we had to leave the hotel at 10am, so we had only a couple hours in the morning to have a bite to eat and then run out to the beach and sink our toes in the sand, see what the tide brought in, put our faces in the salt water, and blow a kiss goodbye to the sand dollars. Alice found a tiny coconut to add to her beach treasures coming home with us and Everett got another session of Fortnite dances in waste deep water. Scott and I spent the time plotting our return.