Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Bon bini!

What a fabulous week! For those who didn’t know, I’ve spent the last week on the fabulous island of Curaçao, and I actually have a tan! I joined my cohorts J*&P & Mr Pants and also Jenskoot (our first vacation together!), we spent the week lounging, swimming, snorkelling, imbibing, shopping and even learning to scuba dive. Life? Sweet.

Jenskoot came over on Saturday night, so The Boy could drive us to the airport together at stupid-o’clock — the plan had been to just stay awake and sleep on the plane, so I finished my packing while we watched some Dr Who episodes. Plans went astray, however, as she totally passed out on my incredibly comfortable couch. I think I might have got about 40 minutes of sleep total.

We got to the airport at 3:50am, The Boy took our coats and we bid him farewell. We got in line, were joined by J*&P & Mr Pants shortly thereafter, and got through security and all pretty quickly. As I suspected, my suitcase was .4kg overweight, but they let me though anyway. Lots of liquids in there, I always overpack!

Our flight was delayed by about an hour while they de-iced the wings of the plane. The flight was mostly good other than the 30 seconds of terror as we hit major turbulence (the freakout was brief) — Mr Popper’s Penguins was our movie, I watched the second half. Jim Carrey is really starting to show his age. 4-1/2 hour flight, good landing, quick trip through customs, collected luggage and got on the bus to the resort, another quick trip and we were there! Greeted with yummy punch, we took our luggage to our room (which was awesomely placed, right on the freaking beach!) and went to the beach bar for snacks. Swimming to follow, then dinner at the buffet (Jimmy’s Buffet, haha). Turned out it had been a long couple of days, I started doing the head-bobbing thing around 8pm, right there in the buffet, so embarrassing! And that set the tone for the rest of the week — early to bed, early to rise!

Monday J*&P started their PADI certification course, and until Friday we wouldn’t really see them between 8:30am and 5pm, which was sad. Mr Pants spent every day in the Kids Club, which he completely loved — Jenskoot and I would try to fetch him for lunch every day, but he didn’t always want to join us. I’ve never seen a six-year-old so eager to NOT go into the ocean! Our days were spent having breakfast with J*&P & Mr Pants, sunblocking-up, snorkelling, reapplying sunblock, grabbing a couple of drinks, basking in the rays, grabbing lunch and another drink or two (Baby Love made the best ones), snorkelling again, reapplying sunblock again, getting another drink, basking a bit more, showering, meeting J*&P & Mr Pants for dinner at either the buffet or one of the three restaurants (all were amazing, especially the Japanese one), relaxing with another drink or two, playing air hockey and parting ways for the evening — at which point Jennskoot and I would retire early and watch Friends and Law & Order SVU as we drifted off.

This routine was broken on the Tuesday morning by Jelli and his Intro To Scuba Diving course Jennskoot and I took, which was awesome! Due to super strong currents that day I didn’t get to do my proper dive until Friday morning, but that was cool ’cos when I came back I was the only one going down with the instructor so I got to be down for 25 minutes, so amazing — I must get my PADI certification next!

After Thursday morning J*&P were certified divers so we all got to hang together for the rest of the vacation, and on Saturday morning we went into Willemstad to do a bit of shopping — I got my obligatory Caribbean topaz ring, a new Swatch, some touristy stuff and some interesting perfume for next to nothing, and we all wandered and shopped, so nice. One last swim and one last night of sleep and it was almost all over.

Sunday morning we made sure we were all packed, hugged our lovely cleaning lady tightly, had our last buffet breakfast, watched two massive iguanas get it on by a tree, checked out — and had one last drink from Baby Love before boarding the bus back to the airport.

Checked our luggage — and even though I tossed two empty sunblock containers and two small conditioner containers (which were all full on the way down), and asked Jennskoot to take a freezer bag full of some of my other heavier liquids (her suitcase was tiny), I was still over 2kg heavier coming back! The only explanation had to be the humidity, everything always felt damp, but I never thought it could soak up that much! Anyway, they weighed my case and Jennskoot’s case together so I wouldn’t have to pay a fee (thank you thank you thank you!), we were sent on a crazy wandering trip all over the security area, met up again and bought trinkets (mmm, Ponche Diva…). Flight was awesome. In-flight movie was hilarious (apparently I was getting stares for laughing so loud — screw you random plane strangers, it’s a comedy, there’s going to be laughter! btw, I want Crazy, Stupid, Love. on DVD now). A little bittersweet when we landed, but The Boy met us and returned our coats, and we all went to dinner together before we drove Jennskoot home.

Jenskoot and I were both smart and booked the next day off to decompress and readjust, smartest thing ever.

And now I’m brown! Seriously, so tanned! Well, compared to usual. I think this was actually the first time since I was maybe 18 that I’ve deliberately laid out in the sun to get tanned. And so glad I did.

Anyway, there are tons of pictures and a number of videos over on my Flickr pages, you should check them out! If you don’t care about gorgeous fish, you’ll have to skip a lot — I’m telling you right now, the waterproof case I bought for my camera several years ago is one of my all-time favourite purchases.

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