Been home almost as long as I was there. Pretty sure most of the rum is out of my system but thereís still a little bit of the taste of the island in my mouth. As it turns out, once a year is just not going to suffice for me anymore. Managed to find a free Friday and headed down to join the gang. Probably one of the most extravagant things Iíve ever done and totally and completely worth it! 54 hours of pure heaven. . .
Worked until the last possible minute Thursday and drove to LAX. Took the TACA redeye and landed at BZE just before 10 am Friday morning. Quick stop at Jetís, hopped on a Tropic flight and landed in San Pedro before 11. Met by a couple of OLD
friends at the airstrip. I needed a shower, pair of shorts and sandals, drink and food - and not necessarily in that order. Got checked in at Banana Beach, headed off to Papiís for lunch. First visit during Conch season - had the best seafood salad - yum. Drove over the bridge, saw the ferry still sitting in the water, sign of times gone by - mixed emotions. Stopped at Palapa - the usual fantastic view of the reef, signed in at the regular spot. It was very windy and the water was pretty stirred up so no view of fishes below.
Headed back to Banana Beach and finally got that shower. Made dinner reservations at Casa Picasso. Popped into the bar and found Roxie - big hug and the traditional rum punch - thankfully, some things never change and Banana Beach still makes the best. Chatted for a while, the limo and drivers await and itís off to BCís for more drinks. Saw Reynolds on the way out - another big hug. Itís like coming home to family! Someone wanted to stop in at Pedroís Bar. Met some guy who claimed to be the owner - highly unlikely as this guy was almost a gentleman.
Dinner at Casa Picasso - absolute perfection, as always. Big hugs from Chris and Jen - After all the chatting had to have the crab cakes - and the roasted garlic, and the paella and probably way too many other things, topped off of course with the cracked coconut. Headed for home - way too full to sleep, so off on a nice long walk on the beach and wonderful conversation with good friend.
Up early, coffee, then off to Georgeís Kitchen for breakfast. Electricity out - gotta experience that at least once a trip - so no coffee, forced to drink Belikin with breakfast. Dropped off a few supplies at the library. Hung out at the pool for a while with the old friends. Had to change rooms at Banana Beach, guess thatís what ya get for planning a last minute trip during busy season, I was just glad Tim could fit me in!
Shower, back to BCís. Met a couple of boarders, saw a few others and just lurked, watching & listening. . . . Dinner at Carumbaís - conch ceviche, coconut fish, way tasty! Another stop at Pedroís, more of the same. Headed over to the Political rally/celebration. Watched the dancers for a bit, watched the locals celebrating the $1 bz beers for a bit, said hi to Steve, fought the crowd to get back to the street - that was some celebration! More rum, finally off to sleep.
Up very early Sunday - saw the sun rise. Coffee, back to Banana Beach for breakfast. Theyíve changed the Banana Beach breakfast for Sundays and it was quite yummy. Pack up the luggage, drop it off and head into town to pick up a couple of requests from home. Stroll downtown for a bit, stop by the cemetery to look for that certain grave. Coconut ice cream from Manillyís is an automatic must. Back to BCís. The locals and tourists are gathering - place is quite crowded. The chairs are there, along with the other auction goodies. The band is setting up and the Calendar Girls are starting to arrive - gorgeous, every one of them. Knew I wouldnít get to stay for the auction so left my bid in capable hands. Had the last of my rum punches. Left for one last walk on the beach and gathered the shells to add to my little shrine at home. Back to pick up the luggage, one last look at BCís - said bye to the auctioneer and headed for the airport.
Two very crowded Tropic planes back to BZE, ended up in the jump seat. Did miss the water taxi, my preferred transportation method between mainland and island. Last stop at Jetís - ladies, little advice: backs to the wall! Nice chats with those coming and going. Board TACA and homeward bound. Made it into the office Monday morning and dodged questions about the tan.
The island has a very different feel in March from the usual September visits. More people everywhere - no empty streets, crowded restaurants, full beaches - not bad, just different. As far as I am concerned, any time in San Pedro is good time. It was a short visit, but will tide me over til the next time. It was good to catch up with old friends, meet some new people and soak up the island. Still a little bit of the taste in my mouth, still a little bit of the song in my ear . . . til next time . . .