This was the sisters’ first time going to an all-inclusive resort. Blonde feared obese tourists having food fights at an all-you-can-eat buffet and no one caring that she was currently on what she referred to as her Drinking Mormon Vegan Diet. Brunette feared her sister whining about the aforementioned and also that the included-in-the-price house wine would be lousy. It shouldn’t be surprising to learn that we were wrong on both counts. The food selection was very good as was the freebie wine. Here’s the amazing thing about the wine – the more you drank the better it got.
B&B rent cars virtually everywhere we go. There’s an old quote from Samuel Johnson that ” A second marriage is the triumph of hope over experience”. Our continuing to rent cars in countries with poor signage, where they drive on “the wrong side” of the road and we don’t have a GPS is a similar “triumph”. On the way from the airport to the Verandah we got lost several times on the same stretch of road and it took us an hour and a half to reach the property. Amazingly, on the day we departed, the airport had been moved to a mere 20 minutes from The Verandah. How did they do that?
On Day Two at the Verandah it was time for some B&B exploring of the rumored 365 beaches on Antigua. (There are a lot of lovely small beaches but the claim of 365 may be stretching the truth as much Kim Kardashian wearing a white wedding gown. Although there definitely are more beaches than there were days she was married.)
We managed to turn the correct way when exiting the property because even B&B know that if we drive into the ocean something may be amiss. Blonde drove in her usual rocketing-the-clutch-style merrily off in pursuit of the day’s designated beach. Predictably, we promptly became lost on that same damned stretch of road that had been so cruel on the trip from the airport. Finally a Fed-Ex van was spotted up ahead on the road. Blonde executed an automotive assault to catch up with the van and ask the driver how to get to the target beach. The driver nicely explained that he was delivering a package to The Earl of Wessex who was on some swanky boat in the harbor visiting Antigua as part of the Diamond Jubilee. If we followed him (the driver, not the Earl ,who probably has considerably fewer practical skills ) he would take us in the direction we needed to go then signal when we should turn. WTF? Delivering a package to The Earl of Wessex? Whatever.
After executing, more or less, on that plan B&B found a lovely beach with a small island-style restaurant (nice way of saying rundown, smelled like beer and had wrinkly old men inside smoking) and settled in for a swim and a snack.
At the conclusion of the beach outing we got in our impressive, dusty Yaris to head back to The Verandah. Predictably, we were soon lost and no matter which way we turned we ended up at the Antigua Donkey Sanctuary. The first time we went past it we thought its program of rescuing donkeys was laudable and the donkeys “ah” inspiring. The second time we thought of turning in the Yaris for a donkey. The third time we were taking out our frustration on the poor donkeys and considering turning them into donkey burgers, except those weren’t on Blonde’s Drinking Mormon Vegan Diet.
Once again some strangers (note: people are nice in Antigua which can be rare on an island) helped us get to the correct road. A storm was heading in our direction so we were trying to get back to The Verandah before the inevitable downpour. Suddenly Blonde drove through a pothole that could more accurately be called a crater. Minutes later Brunette asked “what’s that hissing sound?”. The hissing sound was the air coming out of a tire.
Suddenly B&B were the maidens tied to the train tracks by the villain (pothole) and the train (storm) was bearing down on us. Neither of us know how to change a tire. (And we thought The Earl of Wessex would be useless?) Brunette opened the trunk of the car and pulled a white T-shirt of Blonde’s out and announced that she was going to tie it to the car’s antenna. Blonde yelled “Don’t you dare! That’s an Eileen Fisher T-shirt”. When had her sister turned into a surrender monkey anyhow?
Blonde took control and showed Brunette how you get a tire changed. This process has always worked:
- Let your blonde hair loose – the more the better and it doesn’t matter how ratty it looks
- Take some object related to changing the tire out of the trunk
- Place or hold that object near the tire and look at it as adorably helplessly and quizzically as you can manage
- Wait for a man to stop and change the tire.
Within minutes a very nice man stopped and changed the tire. He was such a proficient tire-changer he didn’t even get dirty, which was a good thing as he looked quite spiffy.
The man was thanked profusely, the T-shirt didn’t end up with antenna rust all over it and, just like in the movies, the handsome stranger had untied the maidens moments before the train would have hit them. Or something like that.