Saturday, April 5, 2014

Um, hello Weight Watchers?

  We had another great week in Turks & Caicos thanks to Grandpa. We're kind of the anti-Bravo Housewives vacationers -- very little drama, though a fair amount of gourmet food and more alcohol than we typically consume. 

And of course, despite working out every day, I'm terrified to get back on the scales. Weight Watchers, I am yours again. I had momentarily decided that this year, I'd skip the chocolattte croissants that have faithfully followed my morning workouts like pickpockets follow tourists. 

But then I remembered I was on vacation. I might have doubled down a day or two. And it was totally worth it.

The idyllic weather, scenery and the awesome hospitality at Beaches resort may have something to do with it, but we Reeds truly do all like each other. Plus, there's no obligation to travel as a pack, so some of might do a group thing that others don't, or we might cluster as a group near water and within sight of the trolling waiters who are ever eager to refresh your cocktail for you.

Alison set a record one day for strawberry daquiries at the poolside bar. She'd been sipping on them most of the day when I joined in and ordered. "Two virgin strawberry daquiries, please," I said. I don't know if it was the word "virgin" or that I'd ordered, but she was slightly outraged.

"They usually come with rum," I said, defending myself.

"What?!" she said, momentarily convinced she'd been boozing it up. 

"I don't think they'd be giving ME alcohol," she sputtered. She later switched to pina coladas as it had been a goal of hers to test that drink out, too.


Jennifer, Peter, David, Alison and I took a SCUBA lesson. Jen decided she didn't want to spend the whole day on a boat, so only four of us went on a dive. Peter had trouble with his ears and didn't get all the way to the bottom, and David had trouble staying down but it was a fun experience. As beginners, we didn't get to go to the more scenic, deeper areas but it was still fun to paddle around breathing from a tank and realizing you were literally swimming with the fishes.

David also had trouble grabbing the rope to make the ascent, but he was within reach of me, so I snagged his hand and brought him to line. Thus, I decided I was the savior of the trip and will forever remind him that I saved his life.

Our dive captain, Gustavo, would likely have come to his rescue eventually, but I got there first. So there's me: officially a life saver.

We could have gone on more dives, but the beach was calling and Gary, David and Peter had fishing plans, and  Alison and I got hot stone massages, which were aMAYzing.


Poor Uncle David got a little fashion skewering from his still newlywed husband.

"I got them at Kohl's," David was explaining to someone.

"Yes," intoned Uncle James. "In the Missy Department."

We dubbed Peter "SharkBait" after David's repeated complaint that it was Peter who was manning the reel at the time his 100+ pound trophy fish was stolen off the line by a hungry shark. 

Without missing a beat, Alison threw her hands in the air and said, "Ooh Ha Ha."  (Nemo fans will get that..)

So all poor David has to show for his island vacation is a picture of the fish head that came aboard. Sadly, no one captured a shot of the munching shark. I'm pretty sure the tale the shark told was better received than the one we heard. But I still maintain that losing the fish of his fishing lifetime to a shark is a better story than actually landing the damn thing. Plus, had he done that and had it mounted, the boat captain said it would cost about $10,000.  That's a nice lunch....

Alison came away with a turtle tattoo, a couple of conch shells, shells she scavanged from the beach,  a fist full of fancy lotions and fun little bracelet. She also picked up a few new friends and got a chess lesson, which she promptly tried out on her father.  We had dinner waiting, though, so I don't think they  got to finish their game.


David asked Alison if she'd trade her week in Maine this summer for an extra week in Turks right now. She paused before declining. She likes her time on her own in Maine, plus, she couldn't possibly miss a week of school AND she had plans to go to the movies with Nick on Friday.

The Turks airport is tiny and there's not much there to eat, so we usually try to bring cookies or croissants and fruit to get us through the long wait there and the first leg of the flight home. This year, even the small bar was under construction so the options were a meat pie on a warmer, beer and assorted chips.

I dipped into the croissants and had an apple, but left one apple in our bag, which was quickly sniffed out by a cute little airport dog at the Charlotte re-entry area. Alison had wanted to pet him, but as he was on the job, it was probably a Homeland Security violation so I tried to steer her away from him. The handler was fairly sharp with Alison about not petting the dog as he sniffed, which did not endear the handler to Alison.

So the dog found the apple but missed the conch shells, which were detected by the extra Xray and security check the apple discovery had forced us into.

The people manning the agricultural check didn't seem alarmed by the conch. Alison, however, by the time we got through the extra security checks, was over her charm of both the dog and his handler.

"The beagle confiscated our apple," she complained to the bored security guards. They didn't care. And at that point, I didn't either. It was a long day getting home.

We were lucky though. Our flights were on time and screaming children free. Jennifer and Peter sat behind the family from hell on the way to the island, and then all the other other Reeds had to spend a night in Philly when their flight home to Portland was cancelled.

But everyone is home safe and sound, if a little bit sad to have left paradise.

"Oh man, mom," Alison said to me as we drove home from the airport. "Tomorrow, we'll have to get our OWN food. If we go anywhere and I just get what I want and leave without paying for it, it won't be my fault."

I kept her mostly home, just in case... :)


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