Tuesday, March 01, 2005

The Week of Firsts

I've had absolutely no time to blog since our houseguest arrived. I've managed to steal about 10 minutes to check email between driving J. to work and when our guest awakens. Of course, that means I have to remember to take the laptop into the bedroom the night before. (She's sleeping on an airbed in the living room.) Sunday we went to the beach and St. John, so that was shot. And yesterday, when our guest and I arrived home after running errands in town, boyfriend was on the computer...and he stayed there until bedtime. Grrrrr. I took the laptop to bed with us last night. Boyfriend immediately conked out. I set it on my lap and got ready to catch up on all of my favorite sites. Two minutes later, I was struggling to keep my eyes open. I'm only managing to post this because I woke up to use the bathroom and forced myself to wake all the way up so I could sit here under my little pillow fort (to keep the light from waking the boyfriend) and do it.

After we grabbed our guest at the airport on Saturday afternoon, we dropped the boyfriend at home and she and I went for a walk on the beach. He had a gig that night; we stayed home to make dinner and catch up.

Sunday was GLORIOUS--a postcard-perfect day. When the boyfriend arrived home from his brief stint at work, we packed up the sand chairs and made a beeline for the beach. We had breakfast sitting at one of the picnic tables. Then boyfriend took a nap and we went for a swim. I hadn't been in the water in a long time; it felt wonderful to be back in the bay. Our guest continued to swim and I went for a brisk walk up and down the beach. Then we dashed home to change clothes and found our landlord in our bedroom when we got there. He was installing a new celing fan. YAY! We'll finally be able to get some uninterrupted sleep without having to battle mosquitoes all night. And it's so quiet--the fan, I mean. I hadn't realized the other one wasn't. That poor old thing was the original fan--it had to be at least 25 years old. Boyfriend quickly helped the landlord finish the installation, and then we all changed clothes and piled back into the car to head to the ferry.

It was a perfect day for a ferry ride to St. John. On arrival, boyfriend got his drums set up at the bar. Then we walked a few doors down to the pizza joint for a couple of slices. He went back to start playing and I took our guest on a tour of St. John's shopping district (all three blocks of it...ha!) We picked up a few things. I grabbed some Spanish passionfruit-flavored lip gloss, this CD and a St. John t-shirt (since I don't own one) and a tan and black canvas bucket hat, since I can always use another hat. I picked up the t-shirt and hat at Big Planet, which will always be remembered as the place where my visiting parents had their lone USVI celebrity sighting when they saw this guy paying for his purchase there. I have a hard time finding hats that fit my big-ass head. It's embarrassing to try on hats in stores--they all just sit on top of my head. I don't know how such a skinny gal can have such a BIG head, but I do.

After our shopping spree, we headed back to the bar and caught part of the boyfriend's middle set. There was a steel pan player sitting in because the keyboard player had lost her gear. When the keyboard player boarded the ferry on St. Thomas, she allowed one of the porters to load her dolly carrying her gear (keyboard, amp, etc.) BUT she didn't watch him load it. The result? It was put on a ferry to Tortola, not to St. John. She didn't discover the mistake until she arrived on St. John. She made three critical mistakes: 1) she let a porter transport her gear (boyfriend never lets them load his gear and after months of refusing their service they don't hassle him about it anymore--he loads it himself); 2) she didn't watch where the porter was taking it (I would have been accompanying him and watching to make sure it was loaded safely); and 3) she didn't look when she boarded the ferry to see if her gear was in the cargo area (which is on the lower deck right next to the gangplank). By the time we boarded the ferry to return home, she still hadn't tracked it down. The folks at the Tortola ferry terminal were claiming no one there had seen it. We felt horrible for her. I hope she managed to get it all back, but it wasn't looking good.

On boyfriend's last break, the three of us walked across the street to my favorite St. John gift store and got decaf lattes. We sat at their little outdoor counter. When he walked back across the street to play his final set, we stayed right where we were, since we could see the stage from there. We finished our drinks and enjoyed the last set girl-talking. Then we went back across the street while he loaded his gear and walked the one block to the ferry terminal.

On the ride back to St. Thomas, we sat on the upper deck of the ferry on a bench next to the wheelhouse. At night, they turn on a huge floodlight on the upper deck. It shines right in your face, which can be pretty annoying. They turn it off once you're in open water, but then flip it back on before arrival. But the bench where we were sitting was forward of the floodlight. so we got to enjoy the ride back sitting in darkness and gasping over the fantastic display of stars. It's a pretty special thing--to be riding on a darkened ferry across Pillsbury Sound on a warm night with the night sky looking like a planetarium.

When we got home, we piled into our respective beds with bowls of mango sherbet and over-sized snickerdoodles our guest had brought from Portland, and turned on the Oscars. Boyfriend didn't make it much past the opening monologue. I dozed off at one point and missed the middle of the telecast, but I did wake up in time to see Hillary Swank get her award. And when Best Actor came up, I woke the boyfriend because I knew he'd want to see Jamie Foxx's acceptance speech. Once it was over, I had a hard time getting to sleep (it was after 1:00 here), so I didn't have much poop yesterday.

I spent yesteday morning helping our guest set up a Yahoo account. She's never had her own private email account. (She just retired from her job, so will no longer have access to her work account and she shares a home email address with her husband.) We downloaded all of the pictures I'd taken of her thus far, and she had fun sending emails and photos to friends back home. Then we went into town and had lunch on the patio of a restaurant at the cruise ship dock, went to the post office so she could mail her postcards, did some grocery shopping, hit K-Mart for a few things and came home. We thought about going for a walk on the beach, but we just felt like sitting. And that's what we did the rest of the afternoon and evening--just hung out at home with the boyfriend. He was on the laptop doing golf-related stuff. Our guest made us a dinner of penne tossed with olive oil, sauteed spinach, diced tomatoes and feta (yum)...we watched Oprah's post-Oscars special (our guest had never seen Oprah's show before--she enjoyed it)...I popped in my DVD of Albert Brook's "Mother" (she'd never seen it and I thought she might like it--she did)...and then we went to bed. Day 3 of my 'vacation'...over.

Our guest (I think) is having a fabulous, memorable time. She's already had several new moments in her first few days: her first time traveling alone (ever!), her first trip to the Caribbean, her first experience of Magens Bay, her first trip to St. John, her first private email account, her first time watching an "Oprah" show and I've almost got her convinced to buy her first digital camera. I'm having fun watching her expand her horizons.


Blogger Katherine said...

you are a strongerr kinder woman thaan me . . . I'd be saying: I need a little quiet time. And then I'd run off for some solitude. Dang girl, is sainthood looming on the horizon??? :)

10:16 AM  
Anonymous Samantha said...

you are such a marvelous, fun hostess. And I love how you conspired to find some blogging time!

1:21 PM  
Anonymous shelagh said...

Wow, Can I come and have a vacation with you? YOur friend sounds like she is having a wonderful time. It will be so different for you living back in the states again. Will you miss the Island life? -Shelagh
I got my raffle up.
Here is the address http://www.livejournal.com/userinfo.bml?user=blueberrymoon
I have it on my journal but I am going to leave it on my profile until April 19th.

2:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh marilyn!!! you are the hostess with the mostess--- funny how even when you are doing all those gorgeous things the laptop calls . .hahaha we are addicts, non?

Reminds me I have two things I want to share with you but will have to send when I get home-- a bientot. ~bluepoppy

5:08 PM  
Blogger Dawn Falcone said...

You have so much going on. Moving can be very stressful so take some breaks & relax whenever you can.

I read about your family tree & got very excited about it. I would love to trace mine, but have no idea where to begin. Let me know how it turns out & good luck with everything!!!

6:13 PM  

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