Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Island Tempo

The tempo of the islands stuck with me yesterday as I moved slowly about the business of getting back to real life. I began making a to-do list first thing in the morning (some things never change), which normally sets my shoulders into their tense, lifted posture, but by the afternoon, as I continued to leisurely tick things off my list, I couldn't be bothered to stress about how many things I hadn't done yet. If you know me personally, or you've been following the blog long, you'll know I do nothing if not stress well. Clearly I got too much sun in Punta Cana. Vivas la vida bien.

Ah, Punta Cana. It was lovely. White sand, aquamarine water, swaying palm trees laden with coconuts. Crystal clear pools with swim up bars and singing, dancing Dominicanas. Peacocks, flamingos, and sipping coffee on our porch overlooking palms and pathways dotted with orchids. The food was delicious, and even more importantly in great abundance, though of course there was the small issue of keeping it down, or rather, up, after catching the usual 'third-world' food illness mid-week, which we were made unhappily familiar with on our honeymoon in Mexico. No matter how careful we are, it seems to be unavoidable. There was also a small misunderstanding over sunscreen. Apparently it expires after seven years. Who knew? As my husband would point out on the second day with his shiny beet-red sunburn, obviously not me. With my Italian heritage, I managed to come out unscathed with only a slightly pink tinge, but poor husband, with his clear green eyes and Danish skin, had to hide under the palm umbrellas for two days, though he didn't mind too much since the view was fantastic and the beer was free.

The goal of this trip was sheer relaxation. Usually when we go on vacation, I drag husband around to see as many sights as is humanly possible. We arrive home battered and more tired than when we left. Since husband started his new job, he has worked long hours and deserved a break away from it all. This trip was spent lounging by the beach and the pool, reading and relaxing, and eating lots of tasty food and drinking lots of yummy drinks, just like he wanted.

I managed to polish off a few books in my TBR pile. I finally finished Practical Magic, which I began months ago--though technically speaking I did not actually finish it because when I read the last word, I realized I was still mid-sentence and there were no more pages! This week I'm visiting the bookstore and demanding a new copy since mine was so incomplete. I also finished Petite Anglaise, of blogging fame, and adored it. It made me hungry for sidewalk crepes and bakery croissants and thirsty for bowls of cafe au lait, though I'm not sure that was intended. I also read a book by another blogger I admire, Lucy Diamond's Any Way You Want Me, which was a fun, sassy read unlike anything I've read for quite some time, and which made me feel slightly naughty while reading on the plane home and a little red hoping no one was reading over my shoulder. ("Is it hot in here, or is it just me?") For my birthday, I ordered a book by another lovely blogger, Caroline Smailes' In Search of Adam. Even though I already found my Adam, I was excited to arrive home to find my book had finally winged its way here, just in time for me to need a new book to read, so I began last night and can't wait to dig in deeper.

The tempo of the islands still beats in my mind, thump thumping, beckoning for me to dance, calling for me to sing out loud, teaching me to slow down and enjoy each moment. As I shift gears and slip back into my routine, I will use my recharged batteries to meet real life con mucho gusto.


Kristen said...

Reading this post makes me even more eager to commence my own tropical vacation! Sounds like you had a fab time and managed to get a fair amount of reading accomplished, too. :-) Always nice to have time for that when on vacation. Welcome home!

Alix said...

Oh it sounds amazing, what a lovely holiday.

I tagged you for the 6 word meme, if you feel like playing.

SueG said...

con mucho gusto. Love that. And love that it applies not only to your fabulous holiday, but to your "nprmal" life too. Welcome back!

JJ said...

Angie, how wonderful that you both managed to relax so well. It sounds perfect. My husband made the mistake of checking his Blackberry on Day 4 and started worrying all over again!

Angie said...

Kristen, glad it got you excited for your upcoming trip!
The reading time was fabulous. I haven't been reading nearly enough lately.

Alix, it was amazing.
Thanks for the tag. I think I can come up with 6 things. Did you change your blog settings to private? I can't view it. :(

Thank you, Sue, I'm glad you picked up on the double reference there. I was trying to have fun playing with words, but I never know what comes across.

JJ, oh dear, I had to hide Husband's Treo until the last day, but he managed to stress when he did turn it on at the airport.
I haven't relaxed that much in a *long* time, it was nice.

Lane said...

I need to sigh just reading this post:-). It sounds like absolute heaven!

Angie said...

Lane, it was heaven. I'm sighing now thinking about it.