What in the Where?!
It's actually quite unbelievable that it is December. I tried not to grimace this morning when I thought with glee of the beautiful vintage travel poster desk calendar I recently bought that I will finally get to break out in the new year, only to realize that a) the calendar is a 2010 calendar, b) I bought it in October of last year, and c) I actually have no idea where it is OR where this year went. I do a double-take every time I glance at the date on my phone. So much so that I've just put on my Christmas music playlist here on the beach to remind myself what time of year it is - it's the most wonderful time of the year! (As an aside, thank you Mary for the many fabulous instrumental tracks on that one Christmas CD you made us back in college. In the past, I always skipped over those tracks, but today they are proving quite well suited for the beach. In fact, the whimsical horns of the crazy taxi drivers here work in surprisingly appropriately at random interludes. Why all their horns are the first few notes of the Americana song "Dixie", I haven't a clue. But they do sound a bit like trumpets.)
I reasonably concurred that my bafflement with the date was due to the fact I am in Barbados, where I never know what time of the year it is, and often find myself thinking for four or five seconds about what month it is (which is a long time to think about that particular fact).
Back the truck up. Beach? Barbados? Oh yeah, did I forget to mention I'm back here?
Well, the job hunt continues, and after a couple of disappointments, an opportunity to interview with a PR firm in Miami arose. The timing and price was right so I took the interview and then carpe diem'ed my way from Miami to Barbados, justified, of course, by the fact I was combining work efforts with leisure. And it was over Thanksgiving so no potential employers would really be getting back to me around then anyway. Plus it was the same price roundtrip JFK-MIA as it was JFK-BGI via MIA. And...and...have I provided enough reasons(excuses)?
Who wouldn't want to come here? It's gorgeous. It's almost painfully gorgeous. I'm not trying to reinvent the wheel here, but I mean...it's a color splash surprise at every corner. Ordinary walks are puncuated with accents of scarlet, coral, fuschia, wisteria, and every other dreamy color in the Crayola crayon box. See rudimentary exhibits A-D, all snapped on my phone during my standard outing, the three block walk from the house to the sea:
And while these visual delights are in abundance all year round, it IS in fact "the most wonderful time of the year" in Barbados, too (seriously - the Christmas breeze is a real thing and it is divine - hehe, no pun intended), and there are plenty of decorations to remind me at every turn (literally - the roundabouts on the highway are some of the best displays).
I chuckle at the fact that a country that cannot get their act together to process a visitor's visa extension in under four months can somehow source beautiful Christmas decorations and hang five-foot stockings and giant wrapped presents from the ceilings. You can even get a Christmas tree in Barbados - the real deal shipped down in crates from Canada (fun fact: the trees are imported duty free because they're classified as lumber) - if somehow the thought of decorating a palm tree just doesn't cut it. I remember stepping out of the car in a supermarket's parking lot and immediately inhaling that unmistakeable pine scent, spinning my head around to decipher where exactly it could possibly be coming from. And there's no hoighty toighty political correctness here, either - it's Christmas all the way, baby, and they're shouting it from the rooftops (again, literally).
Regrettably, I did not have my camera on hand to capture the stunning Parliament buildings and the Careenage in Bridgetown during holiday evenings (an excuse for a visit over Christmas next year?), all aglow in signature Barbados blue and yellow (the island's Independence Day falls on Nov. 30, so it's a double-whammy of holiday lights), or the most breathtaking sight of all - the 25 or so 100 ft. palm trees lining both sides of the long driveway to the Fairmont Royal Pavilion, whose soaring trunks are entirely illuminated in white lights, but if you happen to be there during this period, do not miss it. And bring your camera.
Christmas display at Sheraton Mall:
...and at Champers Restaurant:
...and even at Chefette, the fast-food chain! Can McDonald's compete? I doubt they are even allowed to!