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  • jeff2604

I'm On A Mission

It’s cloudy and breezy, but here I am at 5AM on the beach. I’m on a mission. In a few hours I’ll be packed like a sardine in an airplane taking me away from this paradise back to our Bengals Molly and Midas. They’ll be shameless as they tell us in their not so subtle ways how much they didn’t appreciate being left behind, even though they were well looked after by a caring neighbor. I'm sure they'll be jealous when they catch a whiff of the cats of Sandals that Janet always seems to find and bond with, this trip being no exception. I’ll deal with that when I get home later today but for now, I’m on a mission.

Janet loves sunsets on the beach, but each day of our stay here in Barbados she has pledged to get up early to catch the sunrise. Just one…that would be enough. Today was her last chance, and this was going to be the day. Yet when the time came, she decided to sleep in. Not me. I’m on a mission. I’ll capture the sunrise on my iPhone to share with her over breakfast. The things we do for those we love. She deserves to sleep in. The travel business has kept us...well, busy, which is a good thing. And though we’ve been almost as busy on this trip as we are in our offices we have enjoyed time relaxing by and in the pool, and on the beach. And for Janet, sleeping in. It is a small indulgence she’s earned.

I have the beach to myself, armed with a double shot espresso and a robust Nicaraguan cigar. It is an indulgence…the cigar. The espresso is a necessity. Sunrise was a bust so I’m glad Janet slept in. The sky was cloudy, and the breeze was brisk. I dutifully watched as the horizon passed through shades of grey, from dark to light as they obscured the rising sun. There were no spectacular colors this morning, just a rooster crowing every few minutes to remind me how early it was. The sunsets during our time in Barbados have been beautiful…this sunrise not so much, but at least yesterday’s rain has passed.

Barbados is a spectacular destination, one that we explored more on a previous trip. This visit was all about the Sandals resorts, and I’ll write more about that for our newsletter. For now, I’ll share a few random thoughts.

I averaged just under 10,000 steps per day on my fitbit which is below average when I travel. Still, between us Janet and I have managed to cover every inch of this resort and the Sandals sister property next to ours. When you stay at a Sandals resort you get to enjoy almost all of the facilities and amenities of other Sandals resorts in the area. In this case the two resorts are connected which meant fewer steps, and no time waiting for transportation to take us from place to place, but it was still a good bit of walking. And eating. We like to experience as much of the variety a resort has to offer our clients when we visit, so we eat. We’ll pay the price when we step on the scale tomorrow morning and then redouble our daily exercise routines to make up for it.

My most lasting impression of this resort will be the well-manicured landscaping and attention to detail the staff gives it. I posted a few pictures of the many flowering plants we encountered, but they don’t do it justice. What I didn’t capture was all the work that goes into maintaining it. The job is never ending, but the staff is cheerful and unobtrusive as they prune, water and feed each specimen. The night blooming jasmine placed at just the right spot along a walkway treated us to the most alluring scent each night as we walked to dinner. You have to pass it to get to the donut shop, but most people do that in the morning after the blooms have closed up, holding in the thing that makes them most treasured. Few have the experience we enjoyed as we made a point to walk past every night after the delicate blossoms open up and share their subtle beauty and not so subtle aroma.

Sandals resorts are geared toward couples…you can’t get a room with two beds here. We’ve met several newlywed couples, some young and some our age, all quick to ask our secret once they discover we’ll be celebrating our 39th anniversary in a few months. There is the occasional group participating in a destination wedding, but they are nothing like the groups we’ve encountered at other resort brands that cater more to the partying crowd. This is an all-inclusive so of course alcohol flowed freely. And though we encountered the occasional guest out to make the most of that, we didn’t have to deal with the drunken Americans as we have at other properties. I didn’t miss that. The clientele during our stay was a pleasant mix, a large percentage of Brits with a welcome sample of continental Europeans and well-behaved Americans. These are people who know how to enjoy themselves without taking the pleasure out it for everyone else.

The weather was pleasant the entire trip. It was a welcome escape from our typical Maryland spring, which before we left was true to form…cool sometimes cold, windy, and rainy. As we enjoyed our last dinner here in paradise, we noticed social media posts from friends back home talking about the hail and high winds they were experiencing. I’m glad we missed that. It drizzled here on occasion, liquid sunshine that passed as quickly as it arrived. Yesterday was the only true wash out with showers off and on much of the day, but even with the rain we managed to sit out by our private pool between showers. When the air temperature is in the mid-80s you don’t mind the rain so much.

And now breakfast is calling me. The best part about it is that I didn’t have to cook it, and I’m going to enjoy it all the more. My mission is complete, the sun has risen, and by now I’m sure so has Janet, so I’ll post this and try to squeeze in a few more hours of enjoying this tropical wonderland. And then Janet and I will be back at work, not that we weren’t working on this trip, but somehow the office views here are so much more pleasant.

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