First, we went on an excursion to see the island. We opted for a tour that would show us the island and teach us some of the history. The kids were not happy about this choice, but it fell within our reimbursement budget. If we had chosen the zipline, only two of us could have gone. Mr. E and I considered leaving the kids at the resort and going to have fun on an excursion without them. However, I just couldn’t do it. What if something happened to us? My kids would be orphans on a tropical island. (I’m sorry…I worry about these things!) If figured, if we were going to die, we’d die together. (That’s a cheerful thought, isn’t it?) Therefore, we went for the cheap history trip.
So, we headed out on the history excursion. My kids were not exactly excited, but I told them they could count it as history for the week. That was when the Goose reminded me that we hadn’t done history in over a month, and I told her to hush. In theory, the idea of a history tour sounded interesting to me. In reality, it wasn’t quite so great.
The tour led us through many winding streets of shacks and scrub. The prettiest part of Antigua is definitely the water. Even the natural flora isn’t that pretty. (See…there’s a good science word…flora. I do teach my kids stuff occasionally.) The plants are thorny and not flowery. There aren’t hummingbirds flittering around hibiscus plants as you might imagine.
The tour included a viewing of the island’s water source. This is, in essence, a big mud puddle. I’m not kidding. They rely solely on rain water for survival. I asked if the water had ever dried up, and the tour guide said yes. He said they had to bring in water from other islands. Is it just me, or does that sound like a bad idea? Maybe I’m just a paranoid American, but I’m not relying on another country for anything, especially my water!
We also visited a boat yard built in the 1700’s. That was cool for about 10 minutes. Unfortunately, we were there for an hour and a half.
We went to a fort. The fort was built to protect the island from enemy attacks in 1779. Who were the enemies? Well, the Americans, of course. Antigua was a British colony at that time, and they grew and processed sugar cane. During the American Revolutionary War, the British cut off our supply of sugar from the islands. Little did they know that the Americans didn’t care. We didn’t attack as they expected us to. I’m pretty sure that was the beginning of the Sugar-Busters Diet. We’re Americans. We don’t need your stinkin’ sugar.
Basically, we saw a bunch of old brick buildings that were in ruins. Nothing ever happened at these buildings because the Americans didn’t attack. It’s not much fun to learn history when no history actually happened.
The tour was supposed to last 4 hours. The Beetle and the Goose started asking if it was almost over when we made our first stop at the giant mud puddle. The tour ended up going late, and we got back to the resort after 4 hours, 40 minutes. I can’t be positive, but I think I saw the Beetle kiss his remote control when we got back to the room.
In the afternoon, I went to have a massage. My reimbursement was enough for a 50 minute massage. I considered paying extra and getting an 80 minute massage, but I decided not to. In hindsight, I am so very glad I made that decision. The massage was the Antiguan version of torture. It was awful.
First, I was given a narrow little strip of a towel to cover myself with. Have I ever mentioned that I am extremely modest? Really, I am. I had been told that when I had my babies, I wouldn’t care who saw what. However, I was the one, even in the depths of labor, who was covering myself and making sure I stayed covered. I just really don’t want people looking at certain areas. So, when I saw that there was no top sheet to cover up for the massage, I was not thrilled. I placed the towel over me, but I’m a big girl! They might as well have given me a scarf to cover with. I decided just to close my eyes and to remember that I never had to see this person again. Of course, it was just my luck, that I saw her later when walking to dinner.
The massage included a white sand exfoliation of my feet. That sounds nice, right? Well, I’ll give you instructions so you can try it for yourself.
Step 1 – Take dry white sand.
Step 2 – Rub it on your dry skin until you feel as though you are on fire.
Step 3 – Pour cold water on top.
There you go. Congratulations. You’ve had a luxurious spa exfoliation.
When the therapist was going to exfoliate my feet, she pulled the pillow out from under my legs. This caused me to be flat on my back on the table. Well, “flat” is not really accurate, because it is impossible to be flat on your back when you have a big butt. Instead, I was more arched on the table. I felt like a turtle on my back. At this point, the massage therapist had my eyes covered with a cloth. I kept smiling and having to fight off a giggle because all I could think of was what I would write in my blog. She kept asking me if I was okay. I think she thought I had lost my mind.
The denouement of my massage was the final scalp massage. (See…”denouement.” There’s another school-ish word I can teach my kids!) Normally, I absolutely love to have my scalp massaged. In fact, I drive Mr. Everything crazy because I constantly say, “Rub my neck. Rub my hair. Scratch my head.” If he could massage my head for me 24 hours a day, I would be happy. However, this scalp massage was nothing like that.
As the therapist rubbed my scalp, her fingers kept getting tangled in my hair. She was pulling my hair so hard that I had tears in my eyes. Before booking my appointment, I had also considered having the 35 minute head massage because I normally love that so much. However, as she ripped my hair out follicle by follicle, I thanked my lucky stars that I had opted out of that one.
I sent the Goose to buy a crab for our family. It was supposed to be for her and for the Beetle. However, as usual, it worked out that the Goose was the one who participated. It amazes me how everyone knows the Goose. The few staff members who are friendly enough to speak are now calling her by name, and other guests are greeting her with hugs and smiles every time we walk through the pool area. Meanwhile, no one speaks to the Beetle, or, if they do, they ask if he just got to the resort. Bless his heart. It's a good thing he doesn't care, or it would be a hard life living in the shadow of the Goose.
So, what started as the Beetle and the Goose's crab turned into the Goose's crab, and of course, she won the race. (That seems to be how her life works.) Here is the photo finish of the big event. It was quite a spectacle. Before the race, they put sand buckets on top of the crabs to keep them in place. My favorite part was when the crabs kept crawling away while the buckets were over them. That looked pretty funny to see sand buckets sliding away on their own.
The victory in Crab Lane topped off a good day in Paradise. Last night, I went to bed aching and sore. I have never felt that way after a massage before, but I guess, really, I have never had a massage, Antigua style, before. I think if we visit this location again, next time I’ll be generous. I’ll sacrifice and let Mr. Everything have the luxury of the spa visit. Or maybe I'll send the Goose. I'm sure the massage therapist will already know her name and will give her the best massage ever. -Al