The Redemption Tour
When we put St John in our collective rear-view mirror in 2008, I honestly didn’t know if we’d ever set foot there again. The trip had been a major downer and I was starting to think the cute backwater feel of the island was really just a cute way of saying that it was a hole.
I’ll admit. I looked at other islands. But, I kept getting drawn back to St John. The Sirens were calling me back. I needed to give the island another chance. I needed to give it a chance to redeem itself.
The planning for this trip was made that much more interesting when we introduced Shmuppie to the travel party.
My parents gave me shit for a while about my fear in bringing her.
“You’re being an ass. She’ll be fine”
Yea…they’ve never been with her when she decided to act her age and pout for hours because there are no Doritos. They weren’t with us in Myrtle Beach 2 years ago when JewelrySlut was reduced to tears because of her behavior. They weren’t there in the DR when I was reduced to tears by her behavior. JewelrySlut and I had experienced the worst that this kid could offer and we feared it. In her defense, we’ve also experienced the best that she has to offer. Shmuppie has a travel bug. And, she’s being taught to be a traveler and not a tourist.
But, St John is different. There are no arcades, no kids clubs, no mini golf, no go karts. There’s just an island. You go there to chill.
So, was I concerned she’d make us miserable? Am I happy I was wrong? Happier than you can imagine.
The trip turned out to be everything I had hoped for.
The bad weather that plagued people the week before left as we arrived.
Our house was perfect.
We all got along.
My connection to St John got stronger. I like recognizing faces in the stores, at the bars, and out and about. It feels good to belong.
I got to meet several of my internet buddies. That’s always a lot of fun; and it’s always better when done at The Beach Bar.
But, above all, we got to see our little girl fall in love. She’s hooked. St John has taken hold of her. I’m waiting for her to ask if we can skip Disney in 2011 so we can go back. She may just love it that much.
“St John…it’s better than Disney!”
JewelrySlut and I have talked about it before and, after the trip, we’re convinced that, down the road, we’ll talk about deferring that freshman year for a year. She’s gonna go live there at some point. And, know what, she should. Every kid should have that time to be a dumb kid. Why rush into adulthood when there’s an island to live on for a year?
The trip just felt good. I’m at a loss for words. Hell, you would be too after nearly 18,000 words about a week’s trip.
It’s hard to describe what it’s like to see your daughter jump off a boat into the ocean and simply explode with joy upon seeing what lives underwater.
How do you put a Caribbean sunset into words?
How do you put this into words?
What about being able to spend a perfect week in a perfect place with 4 of your 5 favorite people on Earth?
This time, all the planning, the fretting, the packing, the worrying paid off.
I’ll let Zac Brown take us home…
It takes away all your big problems
You got worries you can drop them in the blue ocean
But you gotta get away to where the boat leaves from
Take one part sand, and one part sea, one part shade of a banana tree
The drinks they’re cold and the reggae is hot
And I know this is the place for me