Sunday, August 29

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Sunday, August 29 (but not posted until Tuesday!)

The sun was shining brightly through the window but it looks hazy out to sea so I'm not sure what kind of day it's going to be.

At least we know it's going to be quieter!

Last night when I went to bed I slathered on some nice-smelling lotion. This morning, while writing this, I had mosquitoes hovering all around me. I guess they were attracted to the lotion, too! Luckily, I have some Off! Towelettes here and I used those. Mosquitoes gone!

The haze seems to be lifting and it looks like its going to be a beautiful day. I can hear some waves coming in and that's unusual. Even though we're on the Atlantic side of the island, we don't usually get much wave activity here. Further north, in Bathsheba, they get good waves, good enough for surfing competitions in the “Soup Bowl”. I wonder if Earl or another hurricane is out to sea somewhere.

Just checked on and it looks like Earl is already north of us. He's become an actual hurricane with winds of 75 mph so that could affect our waves. I guess Fiona will be next up. Hopefully not too soon! I did read that article before we came that predicted a hurricane for here on August 30 so we'll see what happens tomorrow.

Throughout the day, the waves her got stronger and I noticed that planes flying into the airport had changed from a southern approach to a northern one. Something is brewing out there.

The rest of the day was spent in the usual routine – reading/napping/being in the pool. I started on my third book since I've been here. This one is Kane and Abel, recommended by my good friend Alice.

Tom went over to Reception to get beach towels again. Our were lost in the great flooding incident. Then, he convinced someone to exchange the gift red wine for white. I still may not drink it, but there's a better chance. I don't get any headaches from white wine.

Today was a nice, relaxing day. So much better than yesterday.

Today's pictures:

Paradise Lost / Paradise (Re)found

Sunday, August 29, 2010

More excitement. While I was finishing up yesterday's blog, I started hearing a dripping noise. I ignored it, then Tom got up and said that we had water leakage from the floor above. Those noisy people upstairs managed to flood something.

Tom went upstairs to see what was going on. One of them had left the toilet handle up and after it had flushed water kept coming out of the tank, onto their bathroom floor and bedroom, then down to our bedroom. When Tom got their, they were still asleep and didn't know this.

Maintenance came in with buckets and mops and we moved out a rug that was getting wet on the edge. Tom went and had a few choice words with the front desk and I guess we're going to move.

We went and looked at another apartment in another building. It's newer and on the fourth floor so I'll have to take an elevator or stairs to get to Reception and online. The view will be different, too but, hopefully, it will be MUCH quieter. The apartment and the pool is smaller, too.

I originally chose this place, 211, because of the larger apartment, best view and bigger pool. Now annoying people have changed our vacation and I'm pretty angry. I keep telling myself that it will be quieter and dryer.

Already I hear these people yelling back and forth to each other. I'm glad we're going...I'm glad we're will be fine. I hope.

I've packed up all my stuff already – it's 10:43 – and they just called to tell us our new place won't be ready until 3, even though they've made it a “priority”. Tom said if the water stops maybe we could stay. I told him to go outside for a minute and listen. He did and agreed that we should go. I still don't see why we should be inconvenienced like this because of other people. This day is completely wasted mopping, packing, waiting for the next place to be ready, unpacking.

At noon, we talk to someone else, Dwayne, at the front desk. I'm still PO'd, Tom thinks we could maybe stay here. He's concerned that I'm so angry and unhappy about all this. He points out to Dwayne at that these people made the noise, overflowed the water, are spending the day out at the pool/beach while we're sitting around, wasting the day waiting for another room to be available for us to move to.

At one, someone from Guest Relations, Korey, calls and says that the other people are leaving at 6. Hooray!

We decide to stay and start unpacking again. Korey sends us an apology along with a bottle of red wine. Eventually, someone from housekeeping will probably get the wine. Tom doesn't drink and red wine gives me headaches every time I try it. It was a nice thought, though.

Housekeeping came and cleared up the rest of the floor and removed the buckets, our pots and pans and pool towels that had been collecting water.

I resumed reading outside knowing that the noise would end at 6. A kid or kids from upstairs were in the pool and the father(?) was upstairs yelling at him/them from off their balcony. The kid yelled back. Doors slamming, yelling, the TV is a little quieter than last night. 6 is coming. Thank goodness!

At 5:30 the man yells to the kid(s) that it's time for them to come back to get ready to go. Hooray! They left at 5:59 and left the windows and door to their patio open.

The quiet is so nice. It's back to paradise after 30 hours of hell.

A couple got married over by the pool and we got some pictures of them. No rainbows today, though!

I took my laptop over to Reception to get done the things I couldn't do this morning during the packing/unpacking activities.

On the way back we stopped by the main/older pool. Years ago there had been a frog who stationed himself right outside the path to the pool. He was always there, like a guard on duty. We hadn't seen him for several years but tonight he (or one of his great-grandchildren) was there, back on duty. That was cool :)

We got back home and just before I started making dinner, it started to rain. I remembered the upstairs windows and called the main desk to let them know that it was probably raining in.

Those people probably did far more damage than they had paid to be here. As a fractional owner of this enterprise, this disturbs me. These people were being annoying to us (and to others around them), wasted a day of our vacation here AND cost us money due to their carelessness.

Let it go and not ruin the rest of our vacation, already!!!

Today's pictures: Remember about clicking to see them all?

Posted by Mary O at 8:15 PM 0 comments  

Friday August 27

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Click on above image to get today's pictures, if you want :)

Wow, our time here is nearly half over. I was sad when I thought about this this morning but then I remembered that most folks would be headed home tomorrow after a week here. When I get home, bells will start up right away, maybe children's choirs, piano teaching for sure, doctors appointments... Boggles the mind, how to transition from this to that.

One thing that I'm looking forward to – our son is supposed to be there when we get home. He was able to get a week off work, but it was Labor Day week, not one while were were here. It will be so nice to see him, whenever, wherever.

Something new and exciting! The fire alarm is going off in our building. I was impressed how quickly staff got here. I talked to one of the workers who said that someone cooking set off the smoke alarm. The sound is still going, though, so we'll see.

I had gotten a mystery from the book exchange a few days ago. It looked like something I'd like and there had been 17 previous books in the series so someone must like it. I just never got into it at all and ended up returning it today. I've found some really good books here in the past. Books from England or Canada that I can't normally get as easily in the states. Back to reading the books I brought on my Kindle.

>We ended going to L'Azure for lunch which is always nice. I had a chicken and roasted pepper wrap. I had assumed that the peppers would be the mild green or red ones like we have at home but they were the hot Bajan ones. Shoulda known! It was good though.

Sometime in the afternoon I was reading/napping when not one but two sets of noisy neighbors arrived. One set, to our right, was the yelling, slamming doors type and the other set arrived and started watching sports on TV at a high level. I tried listening to my iPod with headphones to block out the noise but it wasn't enough. Tom tried noise canceling headphones and those didn't really work, either.

We shut the doors, turned on the AC and headed to the pool to get some quiet. When we got back it was nice and cool and we couldn't hear the upstairs people...too much. Who goes on vacation in the tropics to watch daytime sports? Sheesh! Hopefully tomorrow, they'll all go out, go to the pool, something quieter.

I am really liking this new Mac. The only thing really missing is Windows LiveWriter which I use to write my blog posts. I like that because it's so easy to insert images and other formatting where I want and, if there's something that's good for two or more blogs, I can easily switch to the second without changing any formatting.

I installed the new Google Voice today although I'm not sure if I'll use it much. I have Skype and rarely use that. We do have a MagicJack that we're using here to give us a “local number”, even though it's in Massachusetts. It's still cheaper than calling/being called from the states. We were able to get a vanity number that ends in our last name, although that gives us quite a series of 6s!

Wednesday, August 25

Thursday, August 26, 2010

For some reason I didn't sleep well last night. The last time I remember checking the time was at 3:45 so I guess I slept well after that, at least until 9. Not enough! The sun streaming through the windows is just too inviting to resist, though.

So, another lazy day. A little reading, a little napping, a little online stuff. We went in the plunge pool here then went over to the pool complex and went in a couple different pools. I think I might have napped a bit there, too :)

We split a club sandwich – for some reason not a club cutter – then back into the pool even though my Mom always said I had to wait a half an hour before going in. She hasn't been here since 2001 so she probably won't find out, either!

There's a niggling thought in the back of my mind. In 1984 we were on vacation and I knew that as soon as we went back I had an appointment at NIH to see if I'd be accepted into a clinical trial for Cushing's. I was terrified that I would and terrified that I wouldn't. Now I'm reminded that as soon as we go back I have an appointment with a new specialist, a pulmonologist. I guess I'm thinking of this today especially because of the article I posted with info from Dr. Mary Lee Vance at UVA about growth hormone and cancer. I've already had cancer. I hope that the lung nodules and enlarged mediastinal lymph node aren't heralding either a metastasis or anything new.

Time to think those happy thoughts again!

It's time for the street fair over in the village. This is new this year so maybe I'll check it out. Or maybe next week. This chair is just too comfy to get out of right now.

About an hour later, I did get out of the chair and we went to the street fair. There were some interesting local arts and crafts and stuff. Tom got some stuff for people back home and a replacement magnetite bracelet for himself. I also got an ankle bracelet since I never found one at home before we came.

We stopped in the new Italian restaurant, D'Onofrio's, for dinner. Turns out Paul was there with his family and he had some good recommendations for us! I had chicken scallopini with lemon sauce and a rice with peppers. Tom had spaghetti carbonara.

Dessert was a weird thing for me – something called beehive ice cream and liqueur. Gloria, our server, said that beehive was a kind of liqueur but I'd never heard of it. I had assumed that anything called beehive would be made of honey or at least be sweet but it wasn't. Actually, I found it kind of bitter.

The dessert was the beehive ice cream in a pastry shell with the beehive liqueur, whipped cream, pirouette cookie and garnish of strawberries and blackberries. How that can't be sweet was beyond me. So, now I know that I won't be getting that again! Live and learn...

Tom had plain vanilla ice cream, an old standby for him.

Back at home we watched the movie Up and had some popcorn before bed.

Today's pictures. Click on the cover image to see the rest of them. Today Tom got hold of the camera so there are lots more pictures than usual!

Posted by Mary O at 1:01 PM 0 comments  

Thursday, August 26

Yet another lazy day. I'm turning into a sloth! More of the reading/napping stuff. Today's big news is that I finally got on Facebook. I got nearly through the identification of the avatars, mainly by guesswork, then I came to one that I got entirely by accident. Thank you Becky B for using your yearbook picture with the tiny name written underneath!

Sandy Boone, former assistant pastor at my church had gone out on a leap of faith to start a new waterfront ministry in Baltimore. She sent me a copy of her new website for review/critique and that made me feel good, to be trusted to have possibly-useful comments and thoughts. :) The new site is supposed to go live today or tomorrow. Sometimes these things take a while to propagate, though. In case it's today, the URL is . We miss Sandy terribly at Pender UMC but I'm sure that her Waters Edge Partnership will exceed all expectations. When I go to my doctor appointments at Johns Hopkins, I'll be able to check this out, too!

Tom came over to Reception while I was doing my daily online routine. He had sent me some PDF files that he couldn't open. They were all financial reports about The Crane, some sent by a new man named Mel. While we were reading, Mel came over and introduced himself.

On the way back, we stopped at the village branch of Cave Shepherd and got that bathing suit Tom had wanted from the first day but didn't come in his size. They had sent one in the right size from another branch.

We were out of some basic stuff again, so it's off to Emerald City for shopping. I always feel like my name should be Dorothy when I mention or write about this store. LOL

Back home I was reading (or napping) outside when suddenly a huge rain cloud rolled in from the ocean. I don't remember seeing if there was a hurricane at sea or not. I thought the next one wasn't supposed to be until the 30th but one could be sneaking up. I went to get my camera but by then, it was really coming down.

About 10 minutes later I got these great rainbow pictures. I don't know if it will show up but the rainbow goes all the way into the sea.

I have a special “thing” for rainbows. Way back, we were in Florida, on the beach. My dad was terminally ill with his second bout of colon cancer. I was feeling guilty being on the beach while my mom was taking care of him in their home. Tom and our son were in the water and I was on shore praying for my dad, that everything would work out ok. It was a beautiful sunny day but all of a sudden there was the most glorious rainbow. I called to Tom and Michael so they could see it, too, and to prove to myself that I wasn't seeing things that weren't there. They both saw it too. I really felt that this was an answer to my prayers, that things were going to be ok. Since then, I've always looked for rainbows :)

No surprise but Tom spent a lot of time at his local “office”.

We went over to the pool area and all the pool chairs were wet from the storm – just like they were at our place. We went in the jacuzzi instead of one of the pools. The jacuzzi is in special location. Way, way back, when this was a hotel, the jacuzzi area was a stable. When my friend was here in the 1990s we were exploring and the stable was abandoned, with all kinds of junk in it and overgrown weeds and stuff. Nowadays, thanks to Paul's vision, it has been expanded, the roof removed and it houses a huge open-air jacuzzi where you can sit out and gaze at the stars.

The expansion – it was about doubled – looks so natural that no one would know. There are 6 large open window cuts on the shorter sides and 6 plus doorways on the longer sides. I'm guessing that the coral stone removed to make these open areas are what was used to make the expanded section but I'm not sure. However it was done all the coral stone looks to be the same age.

Similarly, the old carriage house has a new incarnation as the Carriage House Bar and Grill where we had lunch the other day.

Immediately after dinner I feel asleep on the sofa again. I don't see how I can sleep so much when I'm not doing anything!

The weirdest thing happened. I had been needing a nail file since we got here but I always forget when I'm in the store. Just after we paid at Ganzee the other day, I noticed some with souvenir pictures right near the cash register but I didn't want to start a new transaction. Then, I remembered in the jacuzzi.

When I went to bed, there was a brand new one, not in any packaging or anything, on my side of the bed. Tom didn't put it there – I'd never even mentioned one to him. I supposed that housekeeping maybe found it somewhere and assumed it was mine but I would have thought that they might put it on the bedside table.

Cue Twilight Zone music...

Today's pictures.

Tuesday, Lazy Day

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Tuesday, August 24:

Another early rise for me, anyway. I woke up at 8 with the sun streaming in. Made some coffee, wrote a little bit. The gardeners cut down some of the foliage that I liked the other day. Tom likes it better – we can see the sea better again. I liked the jungle feel, though.

By the time Tom had finished his morning work we decided to go to breakfast at the new Italian restaurant here. The paperwork said that they were open until 11. Turned out, they were only open until 10, then at noon for lunch. We could have gone to L'Azure but I knew that their buffet ended at 11 and I didn't want to get all the left-overs so we decided to go shopping instead.

We headed out to Six Roads, near Emerald City and the Chefette from the other night. The highway we usually take had a roadworks sign up so we circled the roundabout again and got off at highway 5 instead. That way to go is a little longer but prettier and goes by the Four Square Rum Distillery. That's a great place to go for tours and info on the rum process. A bit easier to get to from here than Mount Gay!

We got out to the ABC highway – named for 3 important past politicians from here: Tom Adams, Errol Barrow and Gordon Cummings. Each has his own named section of the road.

Then, along the Spring Garden to Holetown where we were going to another Cave Shepherd for that ellusive bathing suit. They had one – hooray! We also went into a tshirt store where they had a cute dress. They showed both the LP (Local price) and the DF (Duty Free price). Big difference – $24 US DF and $43.50 US LP. Luckily we were able to get the DF price.

From there we headed back home. We tried to take the road that had been closed out of Six Roads and we got close but there was a long detour. Of course, there was just the one detour sign with no further instruction. We did find our way and went just past our place to a newish restaurant called Cutters. Cutter is the Bajan word for sandwich. This restaurant is owned and operated by the husband of someone we've known for a long time here at The Crane and its nice to see them doing well.

While waiting for our food, Tom took the opportunity to check his email (as usual!)

I had a flying fish cutter. Yummy! I've never heard of any other place in the world that has flying fish. It's an interesting phenomenon to see, a school of fish flying/gliding through the air, all shimmery. They have a wonderful hot sauce to put on things here, made with Scotch bonnet peppers. I used some – sparingly. Yum! We actually bought a bottle to take home once but I never used it. Nothing at home seemed like it was suited to the hot sauce like flying fish is.

Back home for a little nap. When I woke up, I started taking pictures of the newly trimmed gallery when I came upon a little rainbow. I took these pictures but within 2 minutes, according to the timestamp, the rainbow was gone.

(Click on the image to view all today's pictures, please. But only if you're interested!)

Off to Reception to update webpages, blog and so on then we sat outside for a bit and just talked.

This year is nice. No plans (yet), no people to show around, no place we have to be. Just relaxing and being calm. I like this! Usually by now we'd have plans drawn up for the whole time. Where to be on what day, things to do, scheduled conference calls. How nice to leave all that behind for a few weeks and just chill.

I think it's about time for a bit of “Kristine's” rum punch now!

Facebook Friends...

I still can't get on Facebook. If you've commented on anything that I've posted through my external sources like blogging and Twitter please forgive me for not responding!

FB doesn't recognize this location and wants me to identify people by their avatars. I don't know who currently has a picture of a mound of eggs or a young child with an Auntie tshirt. So, I get bounced out again. I'll try again today and there will be different images I probably won't identify correctly.

Some of the comments are coming through to my email.

Kristine, I'll have that rum punch for you tonight :)

Posted by Mary O at 11:26 AM 0 comments  

Rainy Days and Mondays...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Monday, August 24:

Rain! I got up about 8am and it wasn't long before there was a drenching rain. There had been families in the pool complex already and they got up to leave. I'm never sure about that. They were already wet, some playing under a waterfall but when the rain starts they leave.

After a while, the rain stopped and I took the laptop over to Reception where there's a better wifi connection. Several people were amazed that I was online since another area didn't have coverage. It rained again and people from the beach who'd come here just for that experience were trying to decide if they should leave or not. They finally took a taxi back to the west coast.

I tried to log into Facebook but couldn't since it didn't recognize my new location. I was supposed to identify a number of other members by their avatars. I can't remember all those and some people seem to change them daily. So, I was locked out for at least an hour. Maybe I'll take my phone over tomorrow and log on with that – I don't think I ever logged out.

I checked email, added some bios to updated some other pages, checked banking records to be sure that none of the debit card thieves had gotten our card numbers yet. Downloaded Picasa to organize pictures to add to this.

The rain stopped again and I went back to 211A. Did some reading, more rain. Napped a bit, more wet you-know-what. I'm thinking that this is fallout from a hurricane that's out to sea. Next time I go online I'll check my favorite weather source for here – – and see what's brewing out there. I remember reading before we came that we were supposed to get a cyclone on August 30. It hadn't even started raining yet but somehow the weather forecasters think that there will be a hurricane here on the 30th.

We've never had a hurricane here. They almost always veer to the north. I think the last one that came here was in the 1930s. One year, they thought that one would hit Barbados. We were out on a small cat (catamaran) and the owner was sure that a hurricane was coming so he took the cat to Trinidad and Tobago. Guess where the hurricane hit instead of here?

Others were pretty sure that wed get hit here, too, so housekeeping brought around emergency instructions, candles and so on. We already knew where the hurricane shelter was which was helpful. All the window shutters were closed and bolted down, the pool chairs sunk into the pool. We hunkered down and waited. We were in the historic hotel still at that time and we had the wonderful wrap-around second-floor deck. We sat out on that and so did our next-door neighbors. We watched the storm out to sea and waited.

The storm turned north for the cat's Appointment in Samarra...

I must be getting old with all these reminiscences and memories. It's sure nice to have them, though!

Tonight is the manager's welcome party but we've been welcomed in past years so we didn't go. I noticed on the invitation that the location had been changed to inside. They probably thought it might rain again. And it did.

Sunset on this coast is always amazing. It's light, light, light, dark! It seems like the whole sunset takes 15 minutes, like a shade dropping over the horizon. The moon right now is full, big and bright and in about an hour and a half a US telecom satellite will pass overhead.

It gets so dark here that we can see all kinds of constellations, which is pretty cool. We went out one time with an astronomer who brought telescopes and showed us all kinds of stuff. He had lots of information to share including that he was an alien from one of the planets he was showing us. When he invited us to the place he said he was living temporarily in Barbados, we politely declined...

It's so peaceful and relaxing here. No stress, no doctors, no deadlines to meet, no places to be and people to see. Very easy to take.

We decided to take a stroll down to the pool complex and sit there for a bit. Unfortunately, most of those chairs were still wet from the rain. We found some under a little roof that were dry enough and sat for a while enjoying the evening breeze, the stars and the tree frogs.

Back home we discovered we got the Game Show Network. Oh boy! More TV for me coming up! LOL

Barbados 22, 2010

Click the image for the rest of the photo gallery for today.

Posted by Mary O at 6:39 PM 0 comments  

We arrive!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Friday, August 20:

I had an early morning appointment to get the stitches out of my back, then I came home to await the UPS delivery. It arrived at 3:00. Whew! Then to start set-up and adding my favorite programs that I need for the trip. Installing applications is a bit different from Windows but I finally got that figured out ok.

Took Mimi to her sister's for her vacation then home to pack. Our flight was out of Reagan, further away from us than Dulles and it was at 7:10 AM so it was to be an early start. Got everything packed and got to bed sometime after midnight.

Then, I got up and repacked the backpack. I had been going to take a larger one, intended for the Gateway but I realized that the Macbook might fit into my favorite backpack – and it did. So, smaller and lighter all-around. YEA!

Saturday, August 21:

The taxi arrived at 5:00 am and we got to Reagan just about 5:45. Plenty of time. The one main suitcase was 40.5 pounds so we didn't have to pay for overweight luggage. The first flight to Miami was uneventful. Our connecting flight was the next terminal over and we had about 40 minutes to get there so we really hustled. Thank goodness for rolling bags and my lighter backpack!

Along the way, of course I lost my neck pillow. I seem to lose one per trip. I vowed that the next one would have a bungee cord or something to attach it to my bag. Luckily, the little news shop had one with a snap at the front so I could snap it onto my bag and around my neck on the plane.

The flight crew was coming from elsewhere and they were late clearing customs/immigration so we didn't board the plane until an hour late. We didn't have to hustle quite as fast to get there.

On flights I almost always get Mr. and Mrs T's Bloody Mary Mix to drink. It's like a spicy V-8 and most flight magazines list it as an available drink. Our stewardess seemed amazed that I wanted that. Then, my husband wanted one, too, and she acted like she'd never heard of people drinking the stuff. Oh, well. She gave him a can, anyway.

I watched a movie and promptly fell asleep. The flight from Miami is about 3.5 hours which is a long time to sit in an airplane seat. My legs kept falling asleep, too.

We arrived in Barbados an hour late, of course, but we got here! So did our luggage. A major plus. Cleared customs and immigration with no problem and headed over to Stoute for our rental car. We've been renting cars from them for 12 years or so so we might own one of them by now!

Got the car and headed out – remembering to drive on the left side – to The Crane, our home-away-from-home.

Everything keeps changing here and it's all for the good. When we first bought in 1998, we were staying up the coast at a place called Coral Point where we'd stayed since 1996. We had actually wanted to buy that place but we would have had to buy outright and have to rent it out for the times that we weren't here aka most of the year. That place was beautiful and private but really too big for us. There were 4 bedrooms which is normally 3 too many. Even with guests, it would be 2 too many. But we looked into it and it would cost quite a bit plus we'd have to pay someone (Stoute, again – they do lots of stuff here!) to manage the place when we weren't here. Tom had seen a lawyer about buying here and it is very hard for non-locals to buy property in Barbados.

We went to lunch at The Crane just up the beach, a beautiful old hotel and restaurant built in 1887. A Canadian man named Paul Doyle had bought The Crane and he had big plans. We looked over the site maps, the plans, talked to Paul, liked what we saw/heard and bought 4 weeks worth.

When we came back in 1999, we had to stay in the original hotel but it was on the second floor and had a wonderful wrap-around rooftop verandah. The only bad part was they were constructing the building which we had bought and those workers started up early in the morning!

Tom had some all-important work to do in the states so he left me alone in Barbados but I had friends come down for a week. I dropped Tom off at the airport and got the only flat tyre of my life. I drove the car back home and called Stoute. They brought me a replacement car within the hour. Great service! The next day I picked up my friends and we spent the week tooling around the island. Took them back to the airport and picked up Tom.

We also had other guests that year.

2000 rolled around and we decided that maybe 4 weeks was too long to stay so we sold off the 4 weeks of our lock-off apartment and used the proceeds to buy an additional 2 weeks at Thanksgiving. We use those 2 weeks plus the 2 weeks we don't stay in our apartment in the rental pool so our place makes us money all year long. Good deal!

In 2001 my mother and our son came for a week of the 2. Michael was attending college and he had to get back to Massachusetts. It was a complicated plan but it worked. He and my mother flew back home – he helped her navigate the airport and customs and all. Then my friend who had stayed with me in 1999 picked them up at the airport and took my mom home and him to our house, then took him to the airport for Massachusetts the next morning. A really good friend!

Tuesday of that year we were out on a 4x4 jeep tour with our favorite driver, Zario. He picked us up and them we got a couple from New York City. We started the tour and got to the first stop. He'd been listening to the radio and said something about the World Trade Center. He was always joking and we thought that this was another story he was going to tell. As the day wore on, the news grew worse and worse. By the time we got to lunch, they had CNN on and all eyes were glued to it. No more funny stories, people laughing about their day. The NYC couple was worried about friends and family as was everyone.

The rest of the week was spent trying to call people at home, listening to news, reading the newspapers, emails, worrying. We didn't even know if we could get home. Paul said if we needed we could stay here. We were able to get out on Saturday to go to Puerto Rico. No one knew what would happen after that.

The airport at Puerto Rico was jammed with people who had no where else to go – the hotels were full, airports closed at home. We were very lucky. We got on the first American Airlines flight out, headed home. The crew came marching up the hallway with a huge American flag which they draped out the window on take-off and landing. It was so dramatic, with all the passengers cheering. They cheered, too, when we had a fighter plane escort into DC airspace. Most people seemed to think that they were there to protect us rather than shoot us down if we veered from our flight plan.

That was our most memorable year – hopefully there will never be another one similar to that!

Over the years we have shared Barbados with other friends and that has been nice but the nicest is that since we've sold the lock-off we are here by ourselves. Guests could sleep on the pull-out sofa but no one has done that yet.

This year when we arrived we got to see the new Crane Village. We'd seen the fences around the construction before and now, the real thing! As always, Paul did a fantastic job designing and building this to look like it's an old Bajan village. There's a town hall, Cave Shepherd (department store) , general store, Italian restaurant, beachwear store, jewelry store, gym and more. Reception is also in the Village so we checked in there and headed to our place.

The palm trees have really grown up outside the patio making it even more private – I like that! We can see some of the pool complex still and the ocean, of course. New pictures will be coming in a day or so to compare with the ones from past years.

We went out to the Emerald City grocery store to stock up on supplies for a few days. On the way we ran into Paul and we told him (again!) how pleased we were with the changes. He remembered us walking on the floorboards in the skeleton of this apartment while it was being built and that was cool.

We bought essentials including salt bread, tutti-fruiti milk, rum punch, coconut ice cream and other, more real, stuff.

By now I was exhausted. I'd missed a real nap for 2 days and hadn't slept well/long the night before. We stopped at Chefette for roti for dinner.

When we got home we had the roti and coleslaw. I was too tired to even finish my roti so I saved most of it. I fell asleep fully dressed on top of the bed and didn't wake up until housekeeping knocked on the door the next morning.

Sunday August 22:

At some point Tom told me he was headed out to meet some friends and that he'd made coffee. I'm sure I mumbled something in return before going back to sleep.

The next thing I knew housekeeping was here so I got some of that coffee and sat out on the deck. That's when I learned that there's wireless when the wind is blowing my way. We have a cable connection at the desk and wireless is better there but who wants to sit at a desk all day? I'm very familiar with taking computers over to Reception and using the wifi there but it will be even better if I get it here. Supposedly, at some point the whole place will be wireless and that will be nice but I'm not holding my breath! Everything that was promised to be done has been so I'm sure that this will come, too.

Tom got back and we got his computer and our internet phone set up then we went out to explore the new Village more. We bought the required t-shirts but Tom couldn't find a bathing suit in his size. Then we went down the glass elevator (new since we've been coming here – we used t have to take stairs down the cliff) to the beach. After walking on the sand and in the water a bit we came back for much-needed naptime.

And I started writing and writing...

Heading back "home" to Barbados, 2010

Thursday, August 19:

I had my annual visit to my kidney cancer surgeon. He said that things are looking good and reminded me that chances of a recurrence are getting smaller each year as are probabilities of a metastasis. Whew! However. He asked me about the CT scans I'd had last year. I had lung nodules at that time as well as an enlarged mediastinal lymph node.

I was supposed to get those scanned fairly regularly and my PCP was supposed to order the scans. I did a couple of those then we (PCP and I) thought that maybe the radiation risk was worse than the possible findings since there was no change. So he stopped ordering the scans and I forgot all about it. Until today.

So my kidney cancer surgeon said that my PCP would no longer be in charge of these scans. He referred me to a pulmonologist. The KCS thinks there will probably be a biopsy. Yuck.

I called the hospital at 11:00am and said that I needed a CD of my scans and they said they'd be ready when I got there. I got to the hospital at 11:20 and their machine had broken. So, I waited while they made a manual copy.

I got home about noon and, of course, the pulmonologist's staff was out to lunch. I left a message for them to ca back but of course they didn't. When I called them back I got an appointment for September 8. I hope that this doesn't signal the beginning of a new medical journey.

Like Scarlet O'Hara I'll think about this...tomorrow.

I finally did it! I've been looking at Macs for a while now. I'm so tired of the Windows constant security updates. On tuesday night there were 35. Egads! I've had 5 different Macs in my shopping card trying to decide what to get for a long time. Today I made the decision.

We leave on Saturday for our annual trip to Barbados and I'll be carrying my laptop in my backpack. Since I just had a bit of surgery on my mid-back, I want to keep things as light as possible. My Gateway weighs 7.5 pounds and the battery lasts maybe 3 hours. The Mac weighs 4.5 pounds with a 10-hour battery.

On some kind of whim, I looked at again and they said that I could get next day shipping if I ordered by 7:30 pm. I assumed that the shipping costs would be prohibitive but I looked anyway – only $3.99. So, I ordered it and hoped that they were right about next day delivery. I hated the thought of this Macbook sitting on my front porch for 2 weeks if I missed the delivery.

Posted by MaryO at 11:37 AM 0 comments