It was an eventful day in Antigua.  It wasn’t a typical vacation day, but would you expect any less?

We started the day with a trip to the nurse’s station.  The Beetle’s ear was worse, and I was afraid to let it go any longer since he has to be able to fly home on Monday.  It seems that apple cider vinegar doesn’t cure everything.  Who knew?  The Beetle said it hurt his ear to move, smile or talk.  I figured those were just excuses.  However, when he said it hurt too bad to eat, I knew something was wrong.

We found the nurse’s station and went inside.  The room was the color of every mental hospital you’ve ever seen on a movie.  The lighting was the same, too.  It was drab and dull, and there were no windows.  There was a lone nurse sitting there, waiting for the occasional tourist to stop by.  I wouldn’t say she was friendly.  She was quiet and strange, but not friendly.  I guess sitting alone in a mint green room for too long will cause anyone to become contemplative and taciturn.  I tried to joke with her, but that didn’t work.  The Beetle just rolled his eyes at me.  He loves it when I joke with people.  The nurse asked what was wrong, and I told her it was swimmer’s ear.  She asked how I knew that, and I resisted the strong urge to say that I knew because I was the mother.  Instead, I explained that we had been down this road many times and that it was always swimmer’s ear.  She did not even look in his ear or touch him.  She just asked him if it hurt to pull his ear.  He said yes.  She said it was swimmer’s ear.  Go figure.  She said he would need to be seen by a doctor to get prescription drops.  I could hear my bank account being siphoned in my mind as she spoke.

An hour later, the doctor arrived.  Much to the Beetle’s disappointment, he was not carrying a staff and a voodoo doll.  He wasn't even wearing a robe or a shrunken head hanging from his belt.  He actually looked like he might know what he was talking about.  He came with prescription ear drops in hand, and they were the same drops we always get in the states.  That made me feel like he might have a clue what he was doing.  $220 later, we were good to go.  We got back to the room, and I put the drops in the Beetle’s ear.  Five minutes later, he was ready to go eat, because his ear felt magically better.  It was a modern day miracle.

We went and found Mr. Everything and the Goose, who were shooting pool.  We decided to go to the barbecue place called “The Outhouse.”  Apparently, “outhouse” does not mean the same thing in Antigua as it does in the states.  The Outhouse was at the very top of a very steep hill.  We climbed and climbed and climbed to get there.  By the time we got there, I was winded and sweaty.  It’s embarrassing how easily I get winded.  I really should work out more.

While we were eating, the Beetle dared rub his feet in the gravel below our feet.  The Goose started freaking out because he was bothering her with the noise of his feet.  This little irritation developed into a full blown temper tantrum.  We’re going to blame that on the remaining lack of sleep leftover from yesterday’s adventures.  Apparently 11 hours of sleep last night was not enough to get her caught up.  That sounds like a better excuse than the fact that my child is a brat, don’t you think?  Mr. E ended up taking the Goose back to the room so she could finish her hissy fit without people staring at us.  There’s just nothing like a 12 year old fussing and yelling to draw unwanted attention in public.

As the Beetle and I sat there finishing our food, I saw movement behind me.  I thought it was a squirrel and turned around to see it.  My response was, “Ah!  What IS that?!?”  It looked like an overgrown ferret with a sort-of bushy tail.  I asked the employees what it was, and they said it was a mongoose.  They asked if I had ever seen one before and were surprised that I hadn’t.  They said they are everywhere.  I said, “Oh, so it’s sort of like a squirrel,” and one of the employees said, “What’s a squirrel?”  Different worlds, I guess.

The Beetle and I headed back to the room to make sure Mr. E had not done permanent damage to the Goose.  Two hours and many tears later, both kids had been fussed at several times.  It was a very frustrating afternoon.  That was when I decided that I was on vacation and I was going to the beach.  Mr. Everything asked where I was going, and I told him to join me if he wanted.  He decided that sounded like a good idea.  The kids looked at us like we had lost our minds, and the Goose said, “But you’re leaving us?  Where are you going??”  We told her that we were leaving to have fun and that they could do what they wanted to.  “Can we leave the room?”  she said.  “Don’t care.”  “Can we go get ice cream?”  “Whatever floats your boat.”  “Can we come with you?”  “Nope.”  And away we went.

We sat on the beach for a long time.  We watched a few potential drug deals with a guy who was approaching people.  He approached Mr. Everything and asked if he wanted to go fishing.  We are still wondering if that’s code for something.  We are so out of touch.  Finally, a security guard came over near us and stood casually, as though he was going to blend in with his polo shirt, slacks, heavy shoes and two-way radio at the beach.  He was a regular chameleon.  He followed the guy and then disappeared.  Soon, a police officer showed up.  We were hoping we would see a take down, Antigua Vice style.  Instead, we saw them walk the man back to an ‘employees only’ section.  They didn’t even dive on him or anything.  We were so disappointed.

Tonight, we proved that we know absolutely nothing about music trivia.  I think we managed to answer one question right.  In our defense, most of the questions were about #1 hits in the UK.  The tourists all knew the answers, because they are all here from England.  You would think the fact that we are the only American family with children here would be a dead give-away that we are the mystery shoppers, but apparently, the staff members aren’t that observant.

I have been taking photos and want to post some, but I can’t so far.  I have a new phone and haven’t figured out how to get the pictures from it.  So, close your eyes, picture the prettiest sand and water you’ve ever seen.  See that umbrella?  No, not the red one.  The blue one right over there.  That's me under it.  Life is good.  -Al



04/16/2013 11:38pm

I am sure you are pleased to know that the mongoose is a great snake killer. I don't think our squirrels can do that without a weapon.

04/17/2013 12:19am

Like Rikki Tikki Tavi!

04/17/2013 10:12am

Denise, Yes. I was happy to find that out!

Lola, That's what Mr. E said. I don't remember Riki Tikki Tavi. (I remember the name, but I don't remember the actual movie.)

07/07/2016 6:37am

Your holiday adventure in Antigua is really good and funny. You have written every situation in detail. I am really enjoyed to read your blog. Keep posting more experiences.


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