Our first full day in paradise begins with a tropical fruit breakfast, served on the porch. The arrangement is garnished with a paper umbrella—one of many that Natasha brought along for the specific purpose of adorning our piña coladas... because she's awesome and dorky like that. I haven't eaten papaya since we were in Thailand, and oh how I've missed it!
The porch of our rental house is pretty amazing. I cannot get over the fact that we can hang out outside right now. There's sun, blue sky, and a turquoise Caribbean sea that seems to stretch to infinity (meanwhile, back in Vermont, there are three feet of snow on the ground…). Sailboats bob gently from their moorings, while here and there I can see the occasional snorkel poking out of the lapping sea. The view is breathtaking.
After breakfast, we head to the beach and then walk north, towards "West End," our closest little town. It's a twenty minute amble along the beach; we scrabble over rocky outcroppings, and stop often to take pictures. It's so nice to take photographs of things that aren't related to construction!
Arriving in West End, we meander around the quaint main street; it's replete with dive shops, gift shops, and fruit stands galore. We befriend some stray cats and dogs (Tyler and Natasha especially seem to be magnets for them), and I rejoice in the random chickens I see pecking around on sandy side streets. I've missed being in a place full of adorably laid-back strays and meandering livestock!
Finally, we reach our destination: Sun Divers, the shop we'll be working with to achieve our Open Water Scuba Certifications. We meet Mal, one of the owners, who helps us get sized for the gear we'll be renting, and then we meet Ellie, a friendly woman who will be our dive instructor. Once we're sorted, we ask for recommendations for places to grab lunch. Thus we find ourselves at a beachside picnic table, being served some truly fantastic barbecued chicken.
When lunch is over, we stock up at groceries at the local mini-market, and then we walk home slowly along the beach. And with that, our jobs for the day are over. There is nothing to do and nothing to see and nowhere we have to be except on our porch at 6:00pm with piña coladas in hand to watch the sun set.