December 09, 2006

Only in the Caribbean...

I am way too low-class to deserve the kind of fantastic treatment I'm getting at the Ritz-Carlton Club in St. Thomas (U.S. Virgin Islands). We were supposed to stay in the regular resort but because of a mix-up, we were placed in the residential wing, which means I'm in a huge 2 BR suite, and have keycard access to a club room where there is free food 3x a day. And good food. And amazing service. And everybody says, "My pleasure," and somehow I think they mean it.

And what do I do? Play a game of Asshole, drink straight rum and get so drunk that I lose my room key.

I keep suspecting that I'm supposed to be tipping everybody but mostly people are just being nice. And letting me into my room @ 3 a.m.

And even though the beach here is small, the ocean is gorgeous and warm and the sky is clear with these huge white puffy clouds that turn dark gray when the moon shines behind them.

Before I came here, I kept saying how I'm not a lay-on-the-beach kind of person, but that's pretty much all I want to do. I can't really think of a reason to leave the resort, it's so nice (though I think we are going to take a weird ski lift tomorrow to see some mountaintop views of the island). Today I got a "Tranquility Massage" at the spa from Michelle, a Texas-born mom who moved to USVI when she sent her son off to college. I'd been getting massages so much @ the gym that I forgot how nice a spa can be.

So far, though, I'm not very interested in St. Thomas itself. The taxi ride from the airport was harrowing along a winding road with tons of hairpin turns, and everything we drove by looked pretty shitty. People like to shop here but honestly, they're all giving away so much free Cruzan rum (at the airport, at the hotel check-in....) that I don't need to buy booze, and I really don't want any beads or jewelry.

As nice as the weather is, it's really strange being here now because the hotel is decorated for Christmas and they're piping in all this Caribbean-flavored xmas music. It's really weirding me out. But at the spa today, I did think their evergreen branch/seashell decor was quite nice. And sparkly.

I'm still absorbing it all. I'm having a hard time adjusting. But for my first trip to the Caribbean, this is a pretty nice way to go....

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