Long ago - before I started working for Starbucks and my income dropped to 25% of what it had been - I liked to take my Spring vacations in the Caribbean. Back then I had a plan (a life's goal, if you will) of seeing every Caribbean island at least once. And I was doing pretty well with it, too. In the months before I quit my old job, I had even made plans to make my next vacation a trip to Nevis, which seemed somewhat remote and less accessible.
But then I quit my job (and just to be fair, I'm not trying to blame Starbucks for my financial predicament; I made the leap out of corporate life knowing that it would be less money and challenging. Not quite that challenging, but still), and vacation plans became, literally, a luxury I couldn't aford. For several years I took almost no vaccations involving considerable travel (Maine, Canada, that sort of thing), and indeed, almost no vacations at all.
Then I moved back home, and between her financial support (I can't pretend it's not there) and my own mildly improved fortunes, vacations to further off places resumed. There was our lovely trip to Tucson and Sedona in Arizona. We took several cruises (qhich is a quick way to up one's island total, I found).
And this year, I managed to convince her to join my island hopping quest directly.
And oddly enough, here we are, on St. Kitts.
St. Kitts and Nevis are one nation, St. Kitts lying slightly north and east of Nevis, the islands separated by a two mile strait (a moment where the Atalntic meets the Caribbean). Yesterday, spur of the moment, we took a ferry from Bassaterre, the capital, over to Charlestown, the capital of Nevis. Two islands, one vacation.
We have shopped and explored and eaten wonderful food and laid in the sun. Well, technically I have laid in the sun while mom sits in the shade or under an umbrella, rrading a book (the latest Sara Paretsky, on her way to capturing my newest Elizabeth George). My face is red and a little sore, but otherwise, it is a typical tanning adventure. Already in just a few hours over a couple of days, I am several shades darker.
St. Kitts is marvelous, less developed than some of the islands (Nassau, Aruba), not too expensive, with some nice opportunities to eat well, pick up a few duty free items (a watch, some perfume, and my boss's cigarettes), and generally relax. Nevis, as I suspected, is somewhat less developed, but even more pleasantly low key and easy going. And we even managed to shoehorn in some history, seeing the birthplace of Alexander Hamilton (which, for this graduate of Hamilton College, was a treat).
It's the change of pace that I notice the most, not surprising for your average impatient New Yorker... but somehow the cheerfulness and friendliness of most Kittians makes the slow pace tolerable. Our dinner the first night (at a local legendary beachside "shack") took 45 minutes to arrive, what with the crowds on hand for the bonfire and the fire eater (he was quite remarkable). Somehow the wait was just fine. And the food was worth the wait.
Being here, on island time, made getting to writing this post an effort; I have had it in my head for tow days, but life, and wandering, intervened. We only have a couple more days to enjoy, but this trip is already one of the standout vacation choices I've ever had. Now it's off to my morning run and another great cup of coffee at the local coffee place, a cup every bit as satisfying as the ones I get at work.
I promise to poat pictures too.
Oh, and, Happy Easter. :)