Category Archives: Vacations

A Couples Beach Vacation: Day 4


This post won’t be a long one because we just bummed it up on the beach yesterday.

We got up late and found a place for breakfast called Kitty’s Kafe. It was pretty tasty. I had an egg and cheese sandwich on French toast, Bub had a pork chop with eggs, Clint had steak and eggs and Mary had an omelette.

After breakfast we headed basically straight to the beach. I waited a bit to go down so I could wrap my leg up, but we were down there until the sun went down.

For dinner, we went late to DeSoto. It was crowded, but we waited at the bar and had some oysters and then sat down to our meal. Clint finally got his red snapper (fried). Mary had hers grilled. I had a platter with scallops, shrimps and fish. None of us but Clint was able to finish our meal they were so big.

After dinner we went to Floribama to listen to music and hang out. We stayed until they closed and came home to fall into bed. Unfortunately, when we got home, we had to make all the beds because we changed rooms and had washed all the sandy sheets. Poor planning on our part.

Today, we may fish some off the pier and hang on the beach. Our plan is to have dinner at Cosmo’s tonight, but are dreading the wait. Supposedly it’s very good, but you have to wait forever. Some lady told us it was worth the wait though, so we will see.

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A Couples Beach Vacation: Day 3


I write again sitting on the balcony of our condo listening to the waves and looking out over the ocean. We really do have a spectacular view and the weather has been pretty good. Not too sunny, not too rainy, but just the right amount of each to keep us from over or underdoing it.

Yesterday was more of the same, we got up, had breakfast, sent the boys for some necessities and then made our way down to the beach. As I mentioned in the last post, we hadn’t been super impressed with the people here…thinking most of them are rude and not capable of observing proper personal space.

When we got to our spots though after Mary and I finished our workouts, we were able to maneuver a bit and get a place to ourselves. To our right was a family of all generations. The youngest, who the boys had played with the day before at the pool tossing a football, asked if he could borrow our volleyball. He apparently had tired of skim boarding. When they brought it back, I said, “Ok, since you’ve played with our stuff…I want to learn to skim board.” So the training commenced. (I should note, that at this point, my husband had walked back up to the pool to use the restroom, so he was nowhere in sight.)

The first attempt was no good. My feet got onto the board, but barely. I fell and busted my left leg and got a little road rash to show for it. But of course, I decided to try a second time. For the second attempt, my legs flew over my head and I landed on my back…rewarded with some road rash on my backside and a swimsuit full of sand. At this point, Clint had joined in the training and was doing little better than me, but was still trying. When Tanner returned, I said, “Hey honey, watch this…” and tried for the third (as it’s always a charm, right?). I then proceeded to jump onto the board, fall immediately off and have my ankle twist in a way it shouldn’t and that was the end of that. I floundered around a bit as no one was sure whether I was laughing or crying. When Bub figured it out, he tossed me over his shoulder and carried me to my chair. I sat there a bit with ice on my leg and people fussing over me, but a nurse nearby scared us into going to the emergent care clinic.

So we did. The boys carried me up the beach and I half hobbled/half hopped to the car. When we got to emergent care, I realized, that in the fluster, I had left in just my swimsuit with no cover up, or shoes. At that point, I didn’t care, but quickly felt bad about it when we pulled into the center and a group of high school cheerleaders was there volunteering…not so great for my self esteem. The nurses were so nice, I had managed to call ahead and tell them we were coming, so they met me with a wheel chair and gave me a robe to wear after they wheeled me straight from the street to an exam room.

As I waited, they offered me a snack. The nurse said, “Would you like an oatmeal cream pie to settle your stomach?” I said sure, of course. When she came back with water she said, “I forgot, but we have Bruster’s ice cream out there, would you like some of that? We have chocolate raspberry and birthday cake flavor.” I said, birthday cake and she returned with an oatmeal cream pie AND some birthday cake ice cream. Everyone said it was a big show just to get some ice cream.

Anyway, they xrayed my ankle and fortunately it isn’t broken, but it is a high ankle sprain and I’m stuck in a boot for the next week. It makes the beach a little difficult, but I went back out yesterday and just carefully maneuvered the sand. Today, I’m going to try wrapping it in a trash bag and taping it to my leg so that I might be able to get in the water. We will see how it goes.

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Now all this sounds like I took this like a champ, I really didn’t. I cried like a baby sporadically for the rest of the afternoon. Though at the clinic, I tried to be really cheerful because it seemed to get us better service. (On another side note: if you are ever injured in Gulf Shores and need urgent care, I suggest going to the one on the parkway. They were so nice to us. The whole ordeal from fall to return to the beach was less than two hours.) I must say, though, that everyone who saw me said, “Oh I had a friend who broke their doing that.” That’s what I get for thinking I could keep up with a kid, but, man, that eight year old made it look sooooooo easy!

I came up from the beach a little earlier than everyone else to give myself time for a pity party and to shower before dinner. By that time, I was ok. For dinner, we went to Tacky Jacks and had some drinks, a dozen raw oysters, fish tacos, shrimp and grits, and crab cakes. After that, we went to The Hangout, had some truly awful strawberry daiquiris, heard an ok cover band (maybe called Rumor Mill) and then headed home where we all immediately crashed.

I’m the only one up right now, but I would wager it’s because my Ibuprofen has has worn off and my body wanted me to put my compression boot back on instead of hobbling around without it.

Despite the injury, this trip has been great and I look forward to another beach day today and one tomorrow. Not sure where we’ll eat tonight, but on Friday night, we’re going to Cosmos to do it up with a big nice dinner. Good thing I’ve got this Gucci boot!

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A Couples Beach Vacation: Day 2


Coming to you from my beautiful morning view again.

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Clint and Mary jumped out of bed this morning to place our chairs on the beach, so I’m taking a few short minutes to tell you about our day yesterday.

We were on the beach all day. We packed a great cooler full of snacks and drinks and sat on the beach ALL.DAY. The only disappointment was how rude people are, as we placed our chairs and then someone came and sat BETWEEN us and the ocean…seriously, like two feet away from us. I wanted to ask them to move, but my husband was too polite to let me. (As I type this now, I see that Clint and Mary placed our chairs in a different spot and someone has already placed theirs less than a foot to our right when a huge expanse of empty beach sits directly to our left…some people).

Around 1 p.m. yesterday we came up for lunch and made sandwiches and hung out a bit, then headed back down to the beach where we stayed until a cool breeze and a little rain ran us off. We played bananagrams (a scrabble-like game) and then went to a place called Sea n’ Suds for a raw oyster appetizer before we called in our dinner order at Steamers.

Now, our desire was to have a low country boil will all the best sea food, but we didn’t want it to be too spicy (for me) and we didn’t want to have to cook it, even though we wanted to eat it at our condo. A cab driver from yesterday told us Steamers was better than another place we had looked at to order from and we got more/better food. Crab legs, crawfish, shrimp, corn, sausage, potatoes, mussels and oysters. And lots and lots of butter. We had brought two loaves of french bread with us, so we used those to sop up the mess.

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We talked about taking a photo to show you what it looked like after we finished, but we were embarrassed. Our inner fat kids sure did come out during the meal.

It was an adventure for me and Mary to get the steamer picked up though as apparently there are TWO Steamers located in Gulf Shores and myriad other restaurants that DO steamers. Called in our order at the right place and then after our oysters headed to pick it up at the wrong place. When we got to the wrong place, they not-so-helpfully directed us to the other place, so we called the other place and they not-so-helpfully gave us directions to their place, which we couldn’t find and then called and not-so-helpfully got directed to the VERY crowded restaurant then stood in line while no one would talk to us until we finally got our steamer (that obviously had been sitting on the counter for the last half hour, because it was pretty cold). Luckily, the boys had been baking the bread so the oven was still hot.

When we got back, we just popped that basket into the oven and let it steam itself a bit and then enjoyed. We tore into it in such a way, it was good that we weren’t in public, but we were not ashamed. We ate like savages with our hands and were covered with seafood juices and made a huge mess. We ate in almost complete silence. It was WONDERFUL!

After we cleaned up, we sat on the balcony watching people shoot off cheap firework and answering “would you rather” questions…Would YOU rather work or be at the beach?! DUH!

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A Couples Beach Vacation: Day 1


As I sit on our amazing balcony today listening to some music mixed with the crash of the waves on the beach (very poetic, I know), I can’t help but think life is pretty awesome.

I’ve got a tasty bagel with homemade in Tennessee almond butter and cream cheese and a great plan for day two at the beach.

Yesterday we left the house at 5 a.m. It took a bit of rearranging and puzzle doing to get all the necessities into Clint and Mary’s jeep, but we made it work without having to leave anything behind. Clint drove, Bub navigated and Mary and I slept/read/bossed from the back seats. We got down here around 1 or 2 p.m., settled into our awesome condo, grabbed an overpriced, just-ok lunch at Bubbas (just because) and Mary and I got matching tshirts. Then we hit the grocery store to keep our costs down this week…sandwich meat and fixins and breakfast stuff and all. After the grocery, we enjoyed a sit on our balcony until it was time to head to dinner.

We had intended to have dinner at Floribama, but were talked out of it by our cab driver who told us to eat at Happy Harbor instead. It was a fine enough meal. I had a delicious crawfish and corn chowder and the salad bar. Bub had a blackened grouper and a WAY over-buttered piece of corn and some rice. Clint and Mary split a Grouper Florentine with rice and broccoli. We shared some Yellowfin Smoked Tuna dip and crackers and bushwackers for dessert (an ice cream based drink with chocolate syrup…can’t go wrong in my opinion). After dinner (which was cheaper than our mediocre lunch) we headed over to Floribama but were dissuaded from going in when a nice couple from Maryville told us it wasn’t really worth the $3 cover to get in and that we should try it again later in the week. Gotta love East Tennesseans! 🙂

After catching a ride back from a very helpful cab driver home, we walked the beach and played with some kids who were catching sand crabs in buckets with flashlights. It was so creepy. The kids were disturbing the crabs with the light and as they scooted across the sand, they would catch them in nets and put them in a bucket. One kid’s bucket looked like something off Fear Factor with all those tiny, spider-looking crabs running around in there…so creepy. We put our feet in the ocean and then made our way back up to bed as it was a VERY long day!

Today, we are headed to the beach…and that’s it. I got up early and did my 100 workout as instructed by my trainer so I feel pretty good about my ability to do whatever I want today. We might venture up for lunch and then Mary and I are going to pick up dinner (a pre-made low country boil) from a place called Steamers and bring it back so we can eat on our balcony with an amazing beach view…

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Not too bad, huh?

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The Last Traveler


I wrote this on the plane Thursday…just now posting it!

I’m typing this blog from the plane as I travel from Chicago (originally Oklahoma City) back to Knoxville after my last trip there to cover for another Marketing Director on maternity leave.

Over the last six to eight weeks, I’ve been flying every other week from Monday (usually a 5am flight with a 3am wake up call) through Thursday (arriving home around 10:30pm). It’s been great as far as work experiences go. The staff I worked with was really nice…welcoming…grateful even for my being there. The mall manager there is a long-time veteran with the company having been there before then taking a hiatus of sorts and coming back. He’s worked at a bunch of malls and with almost everyone in the company. He is super knowledgable and supportive. I learned over my weeks there that his mantra was, “Do good. Do right. Keep having fun.” A great mantra for life, but an interesting one to hear in the workplace, but I watched it in action several times. The way he treated tenants, customers (of all kinds…alternative, hippie, traditional upscale mall shopper, mall walker, angry, happy, etc.) was interesting to watch. If they popped in unannounced with problems or concerns, he stopped what he was doing and visited with them. No matter the issue and what the cause, he listened intently and endeavored to do right by whomever was in his office.

I must say it was refreshing. I know that when times are like these are (though there is rumor things are turning around) it’s hard to keep your head up and worry about others. We all trudge along, whether we love our jobs or hate them, trying to get from day to day hoping for things to just get better. We forget that it’s important to love what you do and enjoy who you do it with. I know sometimes those terms are idealistic (and wholly out of reach for some), but the time I’ve spent in Oklahoma City, I’ve seen what a positive attitude, even on the shittiest day, can do. What I’m saying is I’m going to try to take the lessons I learned and try, more often than not, to put them into practice.

Now, those of you who follow me on Facebook have probably just seen the following sequential posts (paraphrased here because I’m 35,000 feet in the air) during my time in the airport and boarding the plane:
– If you have a dip in your mouth so big it looks like you have a goiter, maybe it’s time to rethink the habit.
– Also, they aren’t going to take off without you if you’re already through the door. Chill out and step out of my personal space.
– Also, the safety pamphlet is the same one that was on your last (and every) flight. Stop digging in that pocket and kicking my seat. She’s going over it up front!

Trust, there would have been more snarky posts, but I was in search of a whole wheat bagel for dinner and rocking out on my iPod. “Wait,” you say, “Didn’t you just say you learned some great lessons about doing right and good…that you’re going to carry them with you and try to put them to practice.” Well, yes, I did. Baby steps, I guess. Let’s be realistic.

There is nothing quite like airline travel that makes me appreciate working in a mall. I mean, sometimes it’s trying, but I know I’m one of the lucky ones that actually, truly, loves what I do for my job. I love vacations and time off, but I also, not so secretly, love going to work. Some days more than others, but I do, definitely love it. Airline workers on the other hand, have to…most of the time…feel one step above telemarketers as they are almost always being yelled at, dealing with screaming kids and grumpy travelers. I know this because I (shamefully) have yelled at an airline person or two….some deserving and some not so deserving…but that’s beside the point.

Just making observations here…

Also, all this solo travel has certainly helped me to see that I much prefer traveling with my husband. I mean, sure, I spend my time on these trips (after work) devouring trilogies on my Kindle and eating warmed up meals from the Whole Foods deli…and maybe eating ice cream in bed while watching “bad” (read: awesome) television. I’ve even gone for drinks with the mall staff, but I do certainly miss my Bub when I’m traveling alone.

Bub is a pretty good travel partner…he lets me sit in the aisle seat…watches my purse so I don’t have to carry it to the potty…plays Scrabble on the iPad with me…let’s me take over the game he’s playing on his iPhone even if he is playing it…shares his snacks and sodas…puts up with the delicate ecosystem that is my digestive system–a problem that typically only rears its ugly head during travel–but doesn’t scold when I eat like I’m three (“No breakfast…I don’t feel good…can I have a bite of your breakfast sandwich?…I’m hungry…Can I have a candy bar and some gummy snacks?”)

I also can’t deny how supportive he has been through all of this. Encouraging me to put myself out there, travel and gain the experiences I want within this job. After being gone for four days on my first trip, he encouraged me to take another one that just sort of popped up last minute, even though it meant not seeing him for a few days more. He constantly reminds me that the reason I work so hard at this job I love is so I can do things I love to do outside of work…with him and our friends and family. He keeps me grounded, but also pushes me. Basically, he’s a pretty great husband and I’m so ready for this freaking plane to land so I can get home to my tiny family.

I should have paced myself better with the Shades of Grey trilogy…literally, I read all three books between Monday at 5am and today at 5:30pm…so I had something else to do on the plane besides fret over turbulence. Over 1,600 pages in all three books…give or take a couple hundred. I seriously could not put them down…last trip it was The Hunger Games (yes, I jumped on the bandwagon)…but in all honesty…lady readers, you want to check out Shades of Grey.It will not disappoint…trust…or should I say blush? A little awkward at parts when I was reading on my flight to OKC stuck in the middle seat between two large men. If you’ve read it, who would play your Christian on the big screen? Your Ana? Mrs. Robinson?

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Barbados – Day 8: Travel (A Re-Run)


On the plane (9:30am):

I didn’t sleep well last night, not sure T did either, but my alarm went off at 4am just the same. I took a shower and then woke T up to do the same. We packed up the last of our stuff (I even managed to pack that half bag of granola to ensure that our only waste was the half pint of milk…go me!)

We got on the taxi at 5am and just as we were approaching the airport, it started to rain (yesssssss!) making leaving not seem so bad. In the airport, we had some rather disgusting ham, egg and cheese croissants. Then went to wait on our plane. We ran into our friends from Maine at the gate and exchanged business cards. (If you’re reading this blog, Griswolds, it was so nice to meet you and to have some familiar UT alumni faces on the island!) We loaded the plane and as I type this we are just about an hour and twenty minutes out of Miami. The plane is super full and it’s a little hot. The lady next to me was playing poker on her iPhone with the noise on, she couldn’t hear it because she had Bose headphones on…shuffling sounds repeating…and it was making me blink a lot. I debated not asking her to turn the sound off, but we are still a ways out and she didn’t seem to be tiring of the game, so I asked her. I feel a little bag because her husband turned the sound off for her, but she lost the game and had to start over. (I said a little bad…not a lot, because, like I said, we are still a ways out.)

Also, as I was typing this, T said, “We will see about ‘Go you'” in reference to my granola smuggling. He said, “If I have to leave you in Miami, I will.” I said, “If they ask me to throw it away, I will, but we have to try, Bubba, we have to try!” Aren’t we a funny pair?!?!

They’re showing The Office and Parks & Rec reruns on the plane and some awful movie called In Time with Justin Timberlake…I decided not to watch and finished Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. I will probably start the Coco Chanel book, but it’s only a sample so I won’t be able to download the rest if I like it until I can get free WiFi. Same with Cleopatra,

T is in the window seat because I don’t like to climb over two people when I have to pee, which is a lot because I have a nervous bladder when I fly. I never think, on these flights together, to pick aisle seats for us. Anyway, we are flying over islands and I still believe, we believe, that it would be super cool if islands were like maps with big labels on them so that as you fly over them, you could tell what they were, or the pilot should tell you, but that that would probably be annoying if you were trying to sleep. Or they should make the flight attendants know what they are so when you ask they don’t look dumb and you don’t feel dumb…but alas, that’s not the case.

Also, we are at the back of the plane…like one row in front of the bathroom so it’s a good thing we have a three hour layover in Miami because I have a feeling it might take that long to get off the plane and through customs. We both have 750mls of dark rum and T has an extra liter of silver in his bag. We think we are each allowed one liter duty-free, but can’t decided if we think they will make us throw away/give up the extra liter of silver rum or if we will just have to pay taxes on it. Stay tuned!

I think when I touch down in Miami and get to our gate, my first call will be to Miss Sharon to check on her and how she did with Winston. Remember, our friend Kelly had to lock him in our bedroom since he wouldn’t come out from under the bed. Apparently, and I’ve never seen it, he can be a real jerk when I’m not around and other people are encroaching on his space. T says it makes him worry about my children rearing abilities, I tell him it should help he want to ensure that I’m never a single mother. We both joke of course, I’ll be a great mom! Haha. 🙂 Also, I think I will have Chinese food for lunch. I must not have done too badly this week, because the jeans I wore down here (and didn’t wear all week) still fit. We will see what the scale says tomorrow morning…maybe Monday morning…maybe Tuesday!

We are about 40 minutes out now…blah!

In the airport (12:55pm):
Landed safely, made it through customs (with all rum, guava cheese and granola), rechecked bags and then went through security again.

Managed to outwit and outrun several schools of airport jellyfish (people walking around with no idea what to do or where to go who just bounce around the walkways in a meandering fashion getting in the way). I got Chinese food (at the same place we ate last year after the honeymoon) and T got Nathan’s hot dogs and fries. Now we are just waiting to board our flight to Nashville (goes out of Miami at 3:15pm Nashville time).

On the second plane (3:30pm):
At 2:45pm they started boarding our flight to Nashville. They made some calls about needing a couple people willing to give up their seats on this flight for a $500 flight voucher, a meal voucher and a guaranteed seat on the next flight out – a little research showed that wouldn’t be until about 3:15pm TOMORROW, so we didn’t oblige. As they called the final boarding call, we handed over our tickets and went to board the plane in the most convoluted way…had to go outside, walk past several other boarding areas, hear planes taking off and then stand in line for a good 15 minutes waiting to be given instructions about what to do. When we finally boarded, we were lucky enough to have almost a plane full of kids just coming back from a mission trip. By the looks of it, none of them were allowed caffeine or processed sugars growing up and went wild on the stuff in the airport. There were rowdy teens with sugar highs and Chacos as far as the eye could see…blah! One was behind me kicking my seat…she actually popped the bag off it’s snaps…”Hey, I appreciate the work you did, but knock it off and take it down a notch…Mountain Dew is not your friend.”

We took off a little behind schedule and even though it’s almost four now and we get in at 4:30pm, it 4:30pm Nashville time, not Miami or Barbados time…that’s right, by the time we get home we will have been in three time zones today (non-consecutively). This flight is about 2.5 hours.

When we get there we will head to the Radisson to get our car and make the two and a half hour drive home.

Home (8:45pm):
It is so good to finally be home. Winnie is in a tear, but being sweet as ever to me. He is meowing quite a bit, but I think he’s just telling us how crappy it was to be left alone all week…plus there was a small incident where he was locked in our bedroom for two days. Poor thing.

Anyway, as one final act of rebellion for being home, we ordered Marco’s Pizza and breadsticks for dinner. Tomorrow, I get on the scale. Yuck!

It’s been a great trip and was the perfect way to celebrate our one year anniversary. We think next year we will vacation stateside in the summer (of course taking an anniversary weekend trip of some kind) so we can save some money for a different kind of international trip…maybe Europe!

Anyway, hope these posts weren’t too obnoxious while you were sitting in the cold watching it rain. We just want to share our trip with you. Pictures to come later.

(Also, as a side note, I hope you’ll be understanding of any typos or incorrect grammar in these Barbados posts because I did them on my iPad, while traveling, sunbathing and drinking rum…I’m sure there are a few mistakes here and there, but you get the gist…I’ll be back to my proper English ways in the next post, hopefully. :))

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Barbados – Day 7: Beach Bums The Sequel and a Spanish Lesson


On Friday morning, we figured it out…we put the grown up cereal/granola in some naturally sweetened yogurt from the Dover Market. It was just what we were looking for since the kid cereal had vanished. (We typically figure things like this out by Friday.)

Obviously, we didn’t have much planned as it was the last day of our vacation that wouldn’t include travel. We went down to the beach early and posted up in two great chairs. I downloaded a book on my Kindle (Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close) that was pretty good, a little odd, but good…and now I can see the movie :)…and a couple of book samples – Coco Chanel: An Intimate Life and Cleopatra: A Life, both books I’d seen other people reading (along that note, the Kindle makes it difficult to snoop on other people’s beach books because you can’t see the covers. Fortunately for me, not everyone has made the switch. I tried to keep T mostly in the shade, but he got bored, so he went up to the room to mix some drinks for us and get his iPod.

Around 12:30, we went to the Dover Market for lunch…they have a little deli in there. It was a good thing we were eating when we did because I got a little light headed standing in line at the deli. Because of that, we decided to eat on our balcony in the room. I had a Cheese Cutter (which is a salt bun CUT almost in half with a giant slab of cheese in the middle) and some Cole Slaw and some Cheddar Sun Chips…cheese me up, Scotty. T had a Ham and Cheese Basket (which is a croissant with ham and cheese folded up like a basket) and French Onion Sun Chips. For dessert, we had Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies – two a piece.

We rested a little bit until I started feeling a bit better then headed back down to the pool. We chose some chairs that that an umbrella and were sort of in the shade. We laid there reading and napping and swimming (not all at once or necessarily in that order, of course) until about 4:30, then, because it was a little hazy, we went up to the room to get ready for dinner.

Our reservation was at 7 and our taxi was scheduled for pick up at 6:45 so we packed up a little bit, showered and relaxed with two large glasses of wine to finish off the alcohol we’d bought to consume while at the hotel. At that point, our only waste would be about a half a pint of two percent milk and half a bag of the granola. Go us!

At about 6:40 we headed down to the front desk to inquire about checkout. They gave us a copy of our bill (only about $200 Barbados dollars) and we paid them then headed off to dinner.

We ate at Brown Sugar…another restaurant that caught my eye due to its Southern sounding name, but it was lauded as an authentic Bajan restaurant with authentic Bajan fare. Upon further research, I found that Monday nights there were buffet night and had all the foods we were looking for throughout the week…seriously authentic Bajan cuisine. Obviously, we missed the Monday buffet and would be back at work in the states by the time the next Monday buffet rolled around, so we tried it for dinner…only logical

As an appetizer, we had Flying Fish and Cou Cou with a red gravy/sauce (not cous cous)…the National Dish of Barbados. You’ve heard of flying fish already this week, but this wasn’t breaded and fried it was baked and rolled and placed on top of a cake of Cou Cou…which is basically cornmeal and okra bits, possibly some peppers. It was delicious and we were thrilled to have been able to try it. Though, again, even as they called it the National Dish of Barbados, we found it odd that only one place we went even had it on the menu…but nonetheless, we enjoyed it and may try to add it to our dinner rotation at some point.

For dinner, I had the Seafood Medley (which was all sorts of seafood…shrimp, fish, scallops, crab, etc. served au gratin with a white sauce) accompanied by local fruits and veggies (including plantains and crystafiend – unsure of the spelling there but will get back to you on it – squash and little twists of squash and beets). T got a kick out of me asking the lady what all the veggies were because when I didn’t ask about the potatoes, she pointed at them and said, “Those are potatoes.” Which tickled T. Also, he was gloating because I told him the squash was sweet potato and he disagreed and I said, “I’m not sure you really know what a sweet potato tastes like when it isn’t covered in butter and cinnamon…” He was right, and I was wrong. T had a sweet pork loin stuffed with plantains and bacon…it was also very tasty. He had the same sides as me.

After dinner, we looked for a cab. Ironically, we had to walk a little ways to find one when all week we couldn’t take two steps without someone yelling “taxi” at us. When we found the drivers the hostess had directed us to, they were asleep in chairs. We shuffled around a bit to wake one up and said , “Are you a taxi driver?” He said yes, but then woke up the guy who was still sleeping next to him and said, “They need a ride.” Eyes barely open, he shuffled to the cab and gestured for us to open our own doors and get in. We told him where we were going and he indicated, slightly, that he had heard us and knew where he was going. The drive was slow due to construction traffic about a mile from our hotel, but on the road we needed to take to get there. At one point, we were stopped at the light they’d rigged to regulate the traffic flow there and the driver nodded off. I looked to T and mouthed, “He’s asleep.” T couldn’t hear me, so I mouthed again, “He.Is.Asleep. His.Eyes.Are.Closed.” He still couldn’t understand what I was saying, so he said, “This is when it would be great if you spoke Spanish so we could talk and he couldn’t understand.” I said, “Los ojos no es…open.” T laughed and nodded, then said, “No son abierto.” I repeated, “No son abierto.” T said, “No es bueno.” Then I practiced saying “eyes” and “open” and hoping the guy couldn’t speak Spanish, but, if he could, I doubt he would have been listening because he was basically asleep. 🙂

We arrived, thankfully, back at the hotel, stopped by the desk to sign our bill and schedule our checkout time and shuttle pick up. Good thing we did that because they had us scheduled for 6:45 pick up (which probably would have been fine, but we wanted to be safer than sorrier) and asked them to change it to 5:15. The driver originally scheduled decided he didn’t want to pick us up then (who can blame him) so they had to find us another. It worked out fine though.

We finished packing what we could when we got back up to the room and fell into bed.

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