Day 8 – A place you’ve traveled to
I’ve done my fair share of traveling in life pre children. Whenever an adventure presented itself to get out of my hometown or out of NYC, this guy right here, was always up for it. I usually still am, but my wife has to gently (and sometimes not so gently) remind me that a) we have 3 children now b) we don’t have the funds and c) Mary can’t leave the state without permission from mom, making our time for travel really limited, and usually pretty local.
Of all of the places that I’ve traveled to, there are two favorites. I’ll leave my favorite favorite favorite trip for Day #23 of this challenge. My second favorite place that I’ve traveled to is a small island off the coast of Haiti called Labadee. It is a port privately owned by Royal Caribbean Cruises. Callie won an award at work (She was in the top 1% of revenue for the company winning her “The Diamond Director” Award in 2010, which means that she made over 1 million dollars worth of revenue for the year) and her prize was a 5 night Caribbean cruise for two, with an extra $600 spending money for excursions or whatever else we wanted to do on the trip. We had only been dating about a month and a half when she asked me if I wanted to go with her. I thought to myself, well, if I can live with her for 6 days and she hasn’t thrown me overboard yet, I’m pretty sure we can make it work!
When we saw the ships itinerary, we had no idea where the hell Labadee was, and decided to do a bit of research in order to make better decisions about what we wanted to do there. Turns out, the month that we were traveling, there was a Cholera outbreak in Haiti, so we were a little concerned that it may make it’s way to the island, where about 200 of the mainlanders pay a small fee to work at the outdoor flea market. But we went anyway, because, free trip. And I’m so glad that we did, because I have never been on an island as beautiful, and I’ve been on a few pretty bad ass islands. The water was so clear that in 5+ feet of water I could still see the black nail polish on my toes. Where almost every 2 trees had some type of hammock or swing hanging from it’s trunk or branches so you could laze about the island all day if you so pleased. Where the locals were so friendly and so talented that you could have a reggae band serenading you while braiding you hair, fixing you a cocktail inside of a coconut and making you a string bracelet simultaneously! Where you could hold hands with your girlfriend and that gesture would be greeted with “awwws” and “so cute” and “isn’t that just lovely!” (No seriously, the locals were incredible!) So many times (even on this same cruise) we have been treated not so great, especially that one time we went to Jamaica and a guy helping me off the boat, told me that he would give my girlfriend “a big bamboo!” because that’s what she needed! First of all, do they even have bamboo in Jamaica? And second, AS IF!!!
Labadee is a place where I realized that Callie and I make a great team. There was this adult water playground that was IMPOSSIBLE to navigate. If you weigh more than 140lbs, can’t do a pull up, have weak abs, or any type of general “wimpyness”, DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY! Despite the fact that the only thing on our side was a great ability to swim, we spent most of the afternoon doing our best to hoist each other up onto these inflated slides. We were climbing over each other, feet on shoulders and ears and foreheads, kicking furiously trying to keep our heads above the 25 ft of water that we were floating in. Lots of ass pushing and hand holding. Tons of choking on sea water and finally, FINALLY, success!!! One slide down and we were done. But we had done it, and worked together, and struggled and were victorious and in sync.
That trip really cemented what we already knew…that we were made for each other, and that nothing, not even a ridiculously over priced, seemingly impossible to conquer, adult inflatable water playground would tear us apart. In fact, the harder it got to beat, the harder we worked together to crush it!