Monday, June 23, 2014

No. I am NOT on vacation.

I should probably start this blog by apologizing for completely neglecting my blog for the last several months.  Between buying a new house, traveling back and forth to the states (it’s wedding season!) and moving, I’ve been busier these last 3 months than a one armed bricklayer in Baghdad.

Of course, with all that’s been going on, there are numerous topics that I could blog about right now. 

However, what I really want to blog about has to do with the conversations I’ve had with people during all of my visits back to the states.  These exchanges are usually the same.  When people find out that I live in the Caribbean, they love asking me a plethora of dreamy questions.  Honestly, this doesn’t bother me.  I’m happy to talk about what it’s like to live down here, and I’d probably do the same thing if I was living in the states and came across an islander. 

But, it does get to be a bit extreme sometimes.  In fact, my friend Julie (You can read her blog here for proof that I’m not the only one doing unconventional things with my life.), who was at most of the same destinations as me these last few months, and therefore has experienced this conversation with me first-hand, jokingly recommended that I print a flyer or brochure of sorts, including answers to the most common ‘island’ questions.  I won’t go that far, but I will address the most common question that I get from people, which is…

“Does living in the islands make you feel like you’re on vacation all the time?” 


I understand that I live at a tourist destination, but I think people romanticize living in the islands a bit.  I hate to disappoint you, but life down here can be very similar on a day-to-day basis as it is up in the states.  Yes, I have a gorgeous view right outside my window, and it is warm here 365 days a year.  In fact, right now there is a tropical breeze blowing right through my office.  But, people here work full-time jobs, have bills to pay, raise families, go to the grocery store, visit the movie theater, get take-out pizza, etc. 

If you think about it, this question is kind of reminiscent of those silly pages in US Weekly that show pictures of famous people doing ordinary things.  I mean, really...THIS is what we pay to read?  Oh…there’s Jennifer Aniston getting a traffic ticket! Or, here’s Lindsay Lohan feeding a parking meter. Or, isn’t that Gwenth Paltrow reading the back of a food label? Or, Heidi Klum picking up her kids from school!

Why is this interesting to people?  Folks, reality is reality.  You cannot run and hide from it whether you’re rich and famous, or living in the Caribbean.  I’m sorry to be the one to shatter these fantasies.

To better illustrate what my life is like, I will walk you through what I did last weekend…

Friday after work I had some girlfriends over to my house for pizza and wine.  We gossiped and got a good buzz on while my dogs freaked out that we had visitors over.  We then proceeded to go over to another friend’s house to hang out with a few more ladies.  This is where we continued to eat a significant amount of junk, talked a lot and drank more wine.  I was home by 11:30 pm. 

Saturday I was up at about 7:30.  I had a cup of coffee, then did an hour of yoga while Kevin went to Home Depot – yes, there’s a Home Depot here (but, no Bed Bath and Beyond).  After that Kevin and I worked in the yard until the late afternoon.  What can I say, we have some serious yard work to do!  We then took a nap, had dinner and closed out the evening by watching several episodes of Newsroom.  Side note, Newsroom is one of those shows that you want to like, but it’s really not that good.  I think I fell asleep at about 9:00 pm (could have been earlier, but I’m kind of embarrassed to admit that). 

Sunday, I woke up at 5:45, had a cup of coffee then was out the door by 6:30 for a run.  We had a lazy morning because Kevin has been battling a virus, but since it was our anniversary, he rallied and we ventured out by noon for brunch, where I had some delicious French toast and 2 mimosas.  We then went to the beach for a few hours.  I read and snorkeled around a bit.  After the beach, we stopped for ice cream on our way to the grocery store where we got some chicken to throw on the grill.  We ate dinner in front of the TV, while watching the USA vs. Portugal World Cup game, which proved to be gut-wrenching for us and traumatic for our dogs, who couldn’t figure out why I kept screaming.  We wrapped up the weekend with a thrilling episode of 60 Minutes.  I was asleep by 9:00 pm. 

How boring are we?

Of course, we do have weekends that are a lot more fun, and less like the ones we had when we were back in the states.  Mainly, when we go boating around the islands with friends, that is when I feel like I’m in paradise the most.  Those types of weekends are even more treasured when it’s January and sub-arctic in Chicago.  However, to my chagrin, I have to admit that more times than not, our lives are very similar to the lives we led when we lived in the Midwest.  It’s just that when we get the chance to enjoy ourselves, we can do so to a greater degree (to us) than we did when we had free time in Chicago.

Does that help? 

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