Friday, April 22, 2011

Sometimes You Have to Do That

Marriage is an alliance entered into by a man who can't sleep with the window shut, and a woman who can't sleep with the window open.
George Bernard Shaw
I recently began a story of a trip my husband and I took to Turks and Caicos in March. It was a celebration launch of a new life together as Empty Nesters (even though some of them are still home.) A "loll and bask" on the beach for rest. No movement, just relaxation. Alas, with my husband, little time to laze exists. See here to catch up.

Meanwhile, back at the beach...

After two days of adventure and bumping along dirt roads, I had hopes I could return to the beach outside my motel room door for a day's rest. I knew better. The evening before, we had met a retired couple from Cleveland. While her husband wandered off to snorkel, walk, or whatever, she laid on the beach with her carton of books declaring that for the next three weeks, she was there to read and "rotiss." Her husband could do whatever he wanted.

As I shared my woes of yet another adventure ahead, she nodded, said she'd done that for years. "That sometimes you just have to do that."

I looked at her with envy, wondering if I could leap ahead and join the ranks of the rotisserie vacationers. Then she looked at me and winked. "I don't do that crap anymore. I suggest getting yours trained earlier."

Wish I'd thought of that two days before.

Day Three of Relaxing Vacation brought us to my next chariot. Destination? North and Middle Caicos - reachable only by boat.

I relaxed and enjoyed the ride. A reef surrounds the islands so the ocean is rather calm, rendering a smooth ride through waters like this...

and this...

But I should have known there'd be a catch.

We walked up the plank after landing and passed $75 cash to a Belonger who pointed to a Toyota Corolla with beat to death tires and 175,000 miles. He handed us a map and said to leave the car with the keys in it when we came back to catch the boat. Then he pointed, "Go to the end of this dirt road, take a right on the next dirt road and then a left. That's the main road."
Which was, guess what, another dirt road.

I would have taken photos of the harrier roads, but I was too busy trying to control my heartbeat. That and throw back out the window the debris from the flora that came through as we weaved around craters. (Note to the next traveler - call a few days ahead and reserve a jeep!)

Notice guy below - in hog heaven.

The fun began. Of course we drove, and drove, and drove. Middle Caicos has 200 residents, but the only people we saw were the occasional car filled with a couple or small group from the boat we rode in on. We'd wave.

A shipwrecked Toyota Corolla

I'm not being fair, there were portions of the road that had blacktop. And that road that connects North to Middle Caicos? Yes, there is a road or was a road, before the hurricane took it out a few years back. But no matter, we had a Toyota Corolla with 175,000 miles on it and as long as we didn't go over 5 miles an hour, no problem.

The first beach was easy to find, sort of.

But, you know, can't stay in one place too long. Back in the car and after a few hours of this road and that, I wanted to shoot myself. As beautiful as the place was, I wanted out of the car. No more bumpy roads. I was hungry. I was out of patience. When we followed a dirt road that had a sign that said "To Beach" and we were still on the dirt road after 20 minutes, no beach in site, I spoke.

"I've had enough. I'm done. Take me back the other way."

(Sometimes I think men, or my husband at least, need someone else to give in. They might want to give in, maybe even before the other, but can't until someone else says it.)

My husband's response? "Had enough adventure, have you?" He immediately turned around and headed back across the islands. I choose to believe he shared my pain. On the long ride back to the boat landing, we came across some lovely things like these flamingos.

We turned a corner on a dirt road and came across this incredible restaurant where we ate a lobster sandwich and had warm bread pudding, right out of the oven.
We had two of the local beers and the full attention of the waiter and owner. We were the only ones there.
Of course, we did have to find one more dirt road
Please note even though that looks like a two-lane, it is one, with big rocks in that middle section. I had no idea what we would do if we came across a vehicle coming from the other direction. The gods were with us -- we didn't.

And we found this gorgeous place...

Three Mary Cays

before getting back on the road to catch the boat back to Providenciales.

At days end, we gathered under a shelter to await the arrival of the return boat. Waiting also were several other dusty, travel worn faces. Rejuvenated by the fact that I had declared myself done with adventures and that on the morrow would rotiss in front of our motel and not move, I greeted the weary explorers with a new found zest. "How was everyone's day on the beaten path?" The travel worn group of Canadians and French perked up a bit.

I could tell the difference between those that led the show, like my husband, and those that had chugged along, like myself. I wanted to take their names so I could hook my husband up with the leaders on future trips.

While watching the sun set, we shared tales of what we'd found, or didn't find.

Next day, here I was. Bob had taken the car to find a snorkel place down the road. I'll be damned if only an hour later, I heard the chink of ice in a cooler as it landed beside my chair. Guess who? The perky adventurer found his way back, complete with a six pack of beer. Spent the afternoon sitting next to me. Go figure.

Even though this was a trip to launch our empty nest life together, I'm thinking we're older now. We both have different ideas on how we want to spend our time. Next vacation, like five years from now, I might look into organizing a relaxation trip with about four other people. Surely out of that cluster someone will want to tour dirt roads with Bob.

And I will rotiss.


  1. You can even make dirt roads sound so glad you had your day in the sun and with Bob. Happy Easter my friend...:-)Hugs

  2. Well, if you have read some of my marriage posts you will see that I also have had to navigate the bumpy road of retirement.

  3. So glad you didn't just lie on the beach, you have given us such a lovely tour round. Super pictures.

  4. Shipwrecked Toyota Corolla. THAT was worth the trip here by itself. At least you got some beer out of the deal. Hoping your next adventure is with your toes in the sand....EFH

  5. Adorable story. Read EVERY word. Love the word, "rotiss"

  6. Pretty funny! Hubby and I are pretty compatible on vacations, but we never take more than a week. Some day, when he's retired, I suspect we will, and I'll remember your anecdotes!

  7. I think this trilogy is the only thing I've missed in your blog since I've gone underground, but as always, you make me laugh. I'm glad the two of you took some time to get away and relax... even if you have differing definitions of the term!

    If I could, I'd be a professional vacationer, too! Unfortunately, I believe the term for that is "travel writer" and that would be too much like work (if someone else already made that joke on one of the other two posts, mea culpa!).

  8. Cool trip; nice photos. Mebbe you're on to something when you suggest a trip with a small group, so the like-minded can go do things together.

    Also ... just read Half Broke Horses myself -- great book.

  9. My goodness.. I could jump in that gorgeous aqua ocean right now!!!..winter heading my way .. so this post is tough!! hehe.. so beautiful.. thanks for sharing this delightful place with me.. my other love .. the sea...

    That restaurant looks fabulous.. love the colourful stairs welcoming it's visitors..

    Well.. thanks so much for stopping by my way and your kind comments.. I hope you are having a lovely easter.. ciao xxx Julie

  10. I could probably come up with some old-married wisdom, but all I can think of is: What the hell good is a beach if you just travel to look at it, and don't get to laze on it?

  11. On vacation, I home we take adventures!! LOL

  12. Love the pictures...although they were rather "dragged" out of you! Lobster and warm bread pudding -- almost worth it!

    Thanks for teaching us a new word. I had never heard of "rotiss". Sounds like a charming French word to toss at your husband with a wave of your hand - next time.

  13. Those photos are absolutely, drop-dead gorgeous. And the story about the Toyota with 175,000 miles sounds like soething we would do.

  14. A Happy Easter to you.

    Thanks for visiting my blog. I now have blue sea and sky envy!

  15. The last photo is my favorite! The way you tell a story puts me smack in the middle of the car, feeling a bit woozy from the dirt roads. I would love the exploring and adventuring, but would also be really happy soaking up the day on the beach.

  16. These photos are GORGEOUS! - makes me want to put my feet in the sand and listen to the waves ...oh!

  17. Looks absolutely idyllic -- the beach part, anyway.
    I never really understood why you would want to go on holiday with other people, but it's clear to me now.
    Thanks for an entertaining and enviably tropical post. Our last snowfall here was only 2 weeks ago...

  18. It was worth it for the scenery but I know exactly what you mean.

    Happy Easter to you!

  19. I'm so envious! Not of the dirt road adventures, but of the rotiss! Gosh, what incredible beaches! And I so want a lobster sammy right now!!! With warm bread pudding - omg! *drool*

    But nothing, and I mean NOTHING, beats your feet up on the sand with that blue ocean view!

  20. The best part of the whole awesome story is when you heard the ice cooler thump down next to you. YES!

  21. I love the photographs! I've never been to place like that.

    My husband would want to bump around too, and I would go with him, but sometimes, ya just got to turn around!

    You cheered me up this cloudy day. Thank you!


  22. Absolutely wonderful!
    Oh, I want to take a trip! I want to take a trip!

  23. Everything looks gorgeous! Must have been a fantastic holiday. Thanks for dropping by my blog. It's my first time at yours.

  24. Beauty and bumps, not so bad! Better than just bumppy! ;)

  25. I came across your blog today - it made me realize how much I love being in my 50s and single. Beautiful pictures.

  26. GORGEOUS pictures and I am so jealous. The weather looked perfect! :O)

  27. LOL! I loved this - I can definitely see you and I would travel well together and our husbands would be happy to drive, drive, drive.

    Now I want to go to the Turks and Caicos!

  28. What a gorgeous place and breathtaking photos! I am an adventurer, so maybe you should take me along on your next trip! lol Love that Shaw quote.

  29. I think that between the two of you, you have the best of both worlds. I'd be happy to bake in the sunshine after an adventure. Maybe with fewer dirt roads. ;)

    Funny tales, well told.

  30. Thanks for sharing some sun and sand shots with us poor cold and wet Northeasterners.

  31. Glad to see that you at least got one day to rotiss!! Mine likes to "find treasures" as well. Sigh!!
    Next time you and I will meet up. Me with a pitcher of Mojitos and books!!!!
    Congrats on your POTW

  32. I can relate to wanting to see everything while there.

  33. What wonderful pictures and fun editiorial about marriage and travel. Thanks...very fun read!

  34. Congrats on your POTW. What a Saga.

    I have to say that JP and I sussed our 'needs' out at an early stage in our long life together. I did my thing and he did his, joining together at the end of the day for a lovely meal. It worked then and still does 56 years later.

  35. Congrats on your POTW. What a Saga.

    I have to say that JP and I sussed our 'needs' out at an early stage in our long life together. I did my thing and he did his, joining together at the end of the day for a lovely meal. It worked then and still does 56 years later.

  36. Gorgeous photos! Thanks for the laugh.

  37. Oh my, but that was entertaining! This could most certainly be a piece in a travel mag, my dear! Love, love, love! I'm of the rotiss camp as well. Leave the touring, adventures and excursions to someone else!

  38. oh I loved it! and the photo with your pretty pink toes at the end was perfect :)

  39. I loved tagging along on this adventure. I'll have to train mine early without him noticing.

  40. Oh my goodness, what a delightful post! I so empathise regards that spousal thing - mine is far too energetic for my own good.. I've mostly tamed him into climbing his own bloomin' mountains, and leaving me to happily laze, read and potter about to my own content. But wow, what a life you lead, it looks pretty idyllic from my end!

  41. I was certain I'd commented here some time ago, but apparently it didn't take!

    I love these pictures. I can see you two scooting around the island, and you being the rotiss. :-))

    Maybe in five years, I'll have a lovely man who'd want to go dirt-roading with Bob. I'd like nothing more than to rotiss on the beach. :-))

  42. Yep, I'm there. Count me in for that future rotiss vacay. :)


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