07-21-18 Patricia Sargeant

Friday, April 25, 2014


By Linda Lovely
By the time you’re eligible for Medicare, you’ve hopefully treated yourself to dozens of vacations. I know I have, and I can’t recall a bad one. That should make it tough to pick a favorite vacation for this month’s blog theme. Right? Wrong.
     My all-time best vacation is the first one I took with my husband.
     It was April. We flew from snowy Rochester, New York, where we lived at the time, to a Club Med resort in the Caribbean on the island of Martinique. We traded highways edged with piles of dirty snow to roads lined with palm trees, sand, and blue ocean. We shucked winter coats and wore swimsuits to breakfast. We toasted in bright sunshine. Frolicked in warm water.  We tasted fruits we’d never seen before. We dined at eight-person tables with strangers from France and the Bronx, England and Chicago. We laughed with new friends. We learned to sail. We strolled on a nude beach. We drank large quantities of wine. We snorkeled and waterskied. We applauded the nightly entertainment. We danced under a starry sky. We never once opened our wallets or thought about what anything cost—food, wine, and any sport you were game to try were included in the flat price.
     It was enchanting, invigorating, freeing.  
All-female sailing crew for finale regatta. I'm standing center.
     Those memories remain vivid. Of course, new love weighs heavily in this vacation’s favor. I’m sure it made me more open to new experiences, to adventures we could share.  The many firsts also made it special. I’d never been to the Caribbean. Sailing and snorkeling in the ocean were new, exhilarating experiences. And Martinique is the only place I’ve ever happened upon a nude beach.
     One European fellow told me he could always tell who the Americans on a nude beach were. When they engaged in conversation, they always stared into the other person’s eyes in an attempt to censor the automatic tendency for their gaze to roam. He was right.
My husband at helm.
     At Club Med, I remember sitting at a table occupied by four English speakers and four French speakers, and I was the only person silly enough to admit to some knowledge of the other language. So an American gentleman prompted me to inquire of the Frenchman how he would ask a lady to sleep with him.
     His answer? “Ah, but a Frenchman doesn’t need to ask.”
     This wasn’t the only Club Med vacation my husband and I enjoyed, but it will always be the best. New love makes anyplace magical.

     Do you remember your first vacation with a new love?  


Robin Weaver, Author of Blue Ridge Fear said...

Awesome pics, Linda!

Judith Ashley said...

Linda, what a wonderful experience! and such great memories. I agree with Robin "Awesome pics".

BTW: Love the Frenchman's response!


Linda Lovely said...

Thanks, Robin and Judith. I couldn't find my absolute favorite picture. It's one of my husband and me TOGETHER. It was in a frame with a bunch of other pictures and the frame sort of fell apart. I'm sure I still have it but will need to do a thorough search.

Ashantay said...

Love the story and sounds like a fabulous vacation!

Linda Lovely said...

Thanks, Ashantay. My English-French translation skills provided our French-speaking friends with plenty of giggles. I remember one American wanted me to inquire if there was still cock fighting on the island. I asked about "chickens at war." The French speakers understood instantly, and they answered after they picked their laughing bodies off the floor.

Diana McCollum said...

Love your pictures, and what a great vacation! I guess my favorite vacation with my husband was ten days we spent in Wash. D.C. My son was in the Marines and stationed there. He and his buddies showed us the night life and great restaurants off the beaten track. My husband and I spent all day everyday walling the mile down to the national mall and enjoying different museums. I think there were nine humungous museums back then, there are more now. There is such an energy about D.C. We'd buy lunch and sit on a bench near the Washington Monument and watch all the federal workers, even senators with their tennis shoes on walking at their lunch hour.

Linda Lovely said...

Diana, I've enjoyed our visits to DC, too. There are never enough days to visit all the museums. Having your son and his buddies as nightlife guides had to make it extra special.

Cindy Sample said...

You've made me nostalgic for the Caribbean. I think my favorite vacation was when I took my mother and my kids through the south (your neck of the woods). We golfed in Asheville, rode a carriage in Charleston, walked on the beach at Hilton Head and played billiards at our B&B in Savannah. And my mother who had never played before was the big winner! Her favorite memory was being carded to get the senior rate on our Easter brunch. Wonderful memories.

Pippa Jay said...

Wonderful post! And you reminded me of my first holiday away with the man who became my husband. Nowhere exotic, but it was a gloriously hot summer, and we stayed in this cozy little B&B right next to a huge golden beach and ate too much. It was heaven!