Mango Manor aka "Cloudreach" aka Paradise
When my eyes unexpectedly scan over the word--if it pops up suddenly in a novel or a magazine article--automatically and involuntarily it evokes a sense of intrigue, fantasy, and unfamiliarity. After a split second, of course, it registers that I've actually been living on this island for the past two years, but during that brief moment before all of the connotations I've come to associate with Barbados rush into my head, I'm still inherently drawn to the idea of the word.
The past two weeks, however, actually have been filled with the stuff Caribbean dreams are made of. Because the past two weeks have found me nestled in a luxury hillside tree fort, sitting atop four acres of mango orchard and just beyond, a sweeping view of southern Barbados--rolling pastures, sugar plantations, Caribbean Sea, and all. Time stood still. It was as if I had been absorbed into my own private bubble, only to be spit out two weeks later to find the rest of the world had proceeded as normal.
The home we are housesitting, rivaling any featured in the glossy pages of Architectural Digest, is the masterpiece of Phil's brother, an artistic landscaping genius, and sister-in-law, a brilliant interior designer. Every corner of this home, every detail, from the trickle of the koi pond's waterfall to the smooth pebbles lining the outdoor shower, quietly resonates with serenity drawn from an organic, natural palate. Even the pets, we joked, match the earthy decor.
Days were spent absorbing the sights and sounds of this undisturbed paradise:
Walks through the orchard with the dogs.
Mango daquiri. Mangos, rum, and ice--no sugar needed.
Nights were spent doing exactly the same thing:
Four dogs, three cats, two hamsters, plenty of koi fish. Everyone got along famously, most especially the two kittens:
Oh, and did I forget to mention that the mangos grown on their property are out-of-this-world delicious? It became common practice on my walks through the orchard to pick a ripe mango (or two, or three...), tear back the tough skin, bite into the bright yellow flesh, and slurp up the juice that instantly pooled in the cavity left behind. I ate mangos with breakfast, lunch, and dinner...
That's all...just wanted to share where I've been with all of you... wish you were there...