My wife and I just returned from our 20th wedding anniversary trip to the island of Antigua. We expected it to be a romantic and relaxing and all time memorable trip … and it exceeded those lofty expectations and then some.
Rather than write up a summary of the trip and potentially bore you to tears, I decided to write up the highlights in list form for ease of consumption.
If you are interested, and why the hell wouldn’t you be, we stayed here.
And had the anniversary drinks/dinner here. Yes, on a daybed and on the side of a cliff while watching the sunset.
We’re still reveling in it all.
On to the list.
In no particular order:
- Driving on the wrong side of the road (the left, sorry Brit friends) is challenging and fun. As is navigating around wild dogs and crater sized potholes. I found if I talked aloud about my next driving move, I was OK. “I’m making a left turn, don’t have to worry about oncoming traffic and will stay to the left after the turn.”
- I understand that vacation is a mirage and an escape from everyday life, but I like to think it removes all of life’s distractions and exposes the core of what brought you together as a couple in the first place. Our core is killer. Beyond what I ever imagined was possible as a wee young lad. I will not take that for granted. Ever.
- Pineapple juice wins over orange juice every time. Why did it take me so long to recognize this? Oh, the quality of the pineapple makes all the difference you say? Got it.
- My wife living in the upper northern hemisphere is akin to me growing bamboo in rural New Jersey. Neither resides in their native habitat and while we are knee deep in the native plant movement, maybe I need to initiate a move to get her back to her Mediterranean roots. Warm weather calls us. I just need to come up with a title for this movement.
- The men in Antigua appeared to be way more friendly and engaging than the women. I wonder if that is cultural?
- I am in the process of commissioning an artist to create a mural on our bedroom ceiling that simulates the view we had from our bed each morning.
- I reluctantly joined the fashion trend in wearing a shorter bathing suit and while I looked phenomenal and fit right in, I burned the shit out of my upper thigh which hadn’t seen the sun in decades.
- Magical is an overused term and should be reserved for those moments that are truly magical by definition. Having said that, we experienced many of those magical times.
- I am by nature, a non-explorer, so the day spent meandering through the windy and rainy and oft times terrifying roads of Antigua was a reach for me. An exciting and hilarious reach on a day we will never forget. Vasco de Markowski.
- She’ll never admit it, but my wife could be a travel agent and vacation planner solely off the top of her head. Her ability to research is off the charts. From packing to flying to driving to meal planning to excursions to best local options to you name it, she had it covered. Her hourly rate is reasonable. I did zero.
- $32.00 for a hamburger. You read that right. I’m not sure if that price included cheese or not.
- I may or may not have flashed my passport like an international man of mystery while walking through the airport. And I did get giddy each time it was stamped.
- Afternoon tea must be incorporated into the Markowski household. With clotted cream and scones. And a British accent.
- I had no idea that an Eastern Caribbean time zone existed. I still can’t grasp that we were operating at an hour later than NJ time. I’m so sheltered.
- I may need to revisit my self-imposed ban on bathrobes. Holy comfort.
- Give me Tetris and Bejeweled on the headrest TV screen on the plane and I can be entertained for hours.
- I’m convinced that I could be the social media lead for a resort and be kick ass at it. The scenery sells itself and there is no excuse for not posting at least 5 Instagram photos per day. It is free advertising.
- Tropical plants are a foreign concept to me and someday I’d love to invest a significant amount of time in learning all about them.
- I think it is a good sign that we both had tears in our eyes as we exited the resort.
- I think it is important that the kids observe their parents enjoying time alone as a husband and wife. They should know that we missed them and didn’t miss them at all.
- At the same time, it was fun to virtually share our experience with them via Snapchat and Instagram.
- One of the things I miss most already was the walk to breakfast each morning. Holding hands while walking through a palm tree lined path that lead to our eating feet from the beach with the entire day still in front of us. It was intoxicating.
- Holding hands is way underrated.
- Our idea of “water sports” consisted of trying to pick up shells before they were washed away from shore and giddily chasing crabs before they descended back into their holes.
- Traveling the day after Thanksgiving is fantastic. No crowds at all. Getting to JFK airport was a dream and that has never been uttered before in the history of declarations.
- I dog eared a book for the first time in my life while we were away. I am going to define myself as writer from this day forward. You can read more about it here. “What do you do for a living John? I’m a writer.” That feels fucking great.