Monday, June 06, 2005

The Best (and only) Reported Vacation From Hell

Huricane Mitch

I opened the gates of Hell, and only one womyn had the guts to step in..(that is other than a certain blog-princess who selflesly offered her helpful techno-advice yet unitelligible to those so unwisened.)

Mad Props to Portia for taking us on her semi/doomed vacation with a damned fine piece of writing:
Tortola, November 1998. After an unending stretch of billable hours, and too many missed couplings, we booked ourselves on a trip to the tiny unplugged-island of Tortola in the BVI. No TV, no internet--heck, no phones--no newspapers, just beach, bikinis, Ban de-Soleil and booze. We flew early one morning by puddle-jumper from Puerto Rico with nary a care, discarding our clothes, shoes and the faraway rumblings of Hurricane Mitch that was heading for Central America as the plane meandered its way to the brief yawn Tortola called a runway. That first afternoon on Tortola, we swam, snorkeled, took the ferry/delivery boat aptly named "Whenever" to the even tinier barefoot island of Jost Van Dyke: home to pirates, buried treasure and the famous Pusser's Painkillers We couldn't have asked for a more spectacular first day. We found our heaven.

Our mistake: We thought heaven lasted more than a day. That night, the first fury of Mitch's punch arrived. Our romantic, beachfront cabana--on stilts in Long Neck Bay-- creaked, heaved and listed across the pounding waves through the night. It withstood the assault barely. The next morning, seasick and battered, we were evacuated--Thanks, Mon-- and moved to a cabin up in the hills, which coincidentally, came with a family of goats--yes Spd[sic], goats--living and nee-hawing under the front porch. No matter...what's a few goats when we were no longer at the water's mercy. The downpour continued- without pause for did the goats. (Who knew they were so noisy?) Oh Lord, a goat to the rain Gods in excahnge for the beloved (dry) mystery piles on my desk. By the 4th day-- our serene sailing trip to the atolls cancelled--we evacuated ourselves because of the now flowing mud slides raging past our front door, ah... make that, windows, and moved to a hotel in town (sans the family of goats who weren't happy to see us leave with the stash of their new-found rum nectar.)

There we stayed waiting for Mitch to move his god d*mn tail out to some other sea, watching the constant downpour, drinking, reading books, reading each other's books, drinking, reading each other's book backwards, drinking, waiting impatiently for the daily incoming fax from Puerto Rico with the day's weather forecast--remember there was no TV-- arguing, laughing, whining, drinking some more, playing strip poker--playing strip Scrabble, playin strip Monoploy-- until it became too treacherous for either of us to get totally naked because the mosquitos who had descended on the islands to feast on pasty New Yorkers were now the size of crickets and seemingly impervious to the bug repellant spray we took to wetting each other with hourly. By the 5th day, Mitch was still flapping his seemingly unflappable tail over the islands without pause, and we caved...we raised our mosquito nets in a sign of surrender and booked ourselves out of paradise, and into the casinos of the "very plugged in" San Juan, where for the next two days the sun still didn't shine but we didn't care...who needed the sun when we were on a winning streak at the crap table, and the mosquitos, well...the mosquitos weren't welcome in the casinos, nor were the goats. So much for our unplugged moment.

Maybe someday we'll get back there, maybe someday one day we'll sail to Anegada but not during Hurricane season...not unless one of brings some new board games.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is clear proof that, given enough liqour and games of chance, everyone can be a winner in the vacation game.
Me? I am rolling it all on the Outer Banks, hurricane central, mid-August. Can I get a witness?
The rest of you lugs must either be blessed...or homebound.


Masked Menace© said...

Mostly homebound. Growing up a vacation for us was a day at the lake at the local state park. Since we both finally got out of school (three and a half years ago) we've only been on 3 vacations. The worse thing so far was our last vacation where our car's clutch melted 10 miles from the condo at 2 in the morning. But all in all, being holed up at the beach, not able to go anywhere wasn't that big of a deal since we went to the beach to hole ourselves up and not go anywhere.

Masked Menace© said...

And speaking of taking your chances with huricanes. The beach we go to is Orange Beach/Gulf Shores, near Mobile, AL.

Hurricane #3 hit Talahassee (only a couple hundred miles away) the day we left, and Hurricane #4 made a direct hit just a week or two later. We'll see how much they've fixed when we go back the week before Labor Day.

There's a fine line between bravery and stupidity.

And no, I don't know which side we're on.

spd rdr said...

I've been to the Orange Beach area many times Menace. Singing sand and Sand Dollars abound! I am wary of hurricanes, having been through a few, so I get "vacation insurance" every year. Ain't used it yet.

Masked Menace© said...

Hadn't seen many sand dollars down there, but I understand beach erosion has been a big problem.

They're using the huricane damage as an excuse to jumpstart a big renovation of the area beaches.

KJ said...

Not much of a gambler myself. So I get my thrill be never ever buying vacation insurance. Never lost a dime buying it yet.