Thursday, December 20, 2007

A Series of Unfortunate Events

To recap, I returned from a weeklong Caribbean cruise on Sunday. I came back more relaxed than I can ever remember being as an adult. It was heaven. I went back to work on Tuesday determined to stay relaxed as long as possible, but I've been tested.

On Monday I discovered my car wouldn't start. The battery was dead. I used Dave's SUV to run errands. When I stopped for gas I tried to run my credit card through the reader at the gas pump, but it cracked and almost split into 2 pieces. I believe the card cracked from the cold. Nancy suggested it might be due to fatigue from over use.

This morning I discovered my hair dryer was dead. I tried multiple outlets to no avail. I briefly considered calling in sick because this was going to be a bad hair day, but I carried on.


This afternoon Fran assured me that bad things come in threes, and my streak was over.

Then my son called to tell me he'd spilled hot chocolate on my library book.

He said it was drying, and assured me I'd definitely be able to finish reading it, but the library was going to want to replace it.

I'm still determined to maintain a state of calm and relaxation for as long as possible. It's time to go to my happy place and focus on the positive.

1. None of these events were catastrophies. Every one of them were merely minor annoyances. While it sucks to spend money on car repairs instead of fun stuff - especially at this time of year - I'm grateful that this doesn't create a financial hardship.

2. My sons are home for part of their winter breaks. Brian studied abroad this semester, and I haven't seen him since the end of August. It is such a joy to spend time with both of them.

3. I just got home from a fabulous cruise.

Vacation memories are a pleasant distraction, so let me tell you about St. Martin. Half the island is a French colony. The other half is part of the Netherland Antillies. The French spell the name of the island: St. Martin. The Dutch spell it: St. Martaan. There are other differences, including the languages children are required to learn in school. Each side of the island has it's own cell phone system, and they are not compatible. I'm not kidding. Cabbies have to carry 2 cell phones - 1 for each side. On one side of the island the electrical current is 220, on the other side it's 110. Seriously. People who live on the French side pay signicantly higher taxes, but residents can't just pick up and move to the other country. Thankfully, the Dutch and the French signed a treaty several centuries ago whereby residents and guests can travel freely across the border. The only way you know you've passed from one country to the other is the quality of the roads. The roads are much better on the French side of the island.

In spite of all of that complexity, St. Martin was the most beautiful of the islands we visited. In the morning we took an art tour and visited 5 artists in their homes/studios. In the afternoon, we took a taxi from the Dutch harbor to Marigot, the French capital. Somehow we did not take photos of many of the sweeping views. Sorry about that. You'll just have to take my word for it that St. Martin has beautiful beaches and sensational views.

However, since we are sailors, we did get the obligatory harbor shot...

and another harbor shot, closer up.

This is a shot of downtown Marigot near the flea market next to the ocean. Note the fort on top of the hill. Every island we visited had a fort. Wars have been fought over these islands.

Here is another street shot of Marigot. The streets are really narrow, and four wheel all terrain vehicles are a common means of transportation there.

By now you must be getting sick of vacation pictures. Don't worry. St. Martin was the last island we visited. However, I'm saving the best part of the trip for last. In my next post I'll tell you about the people we met.

1 comment:

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