Half the fun of planning a dream vacation is “looking forward to it” & “looking back on it”. What happens on the actual vacation…that’s the other half. Sometimes the best planning can’t avoid the unexpected pitfalls…..
True story – My husband, Frank, and I planned our Dream vacation for our 10th Anniversary. As big fans of St Marten (Orient Bay) we meticulously planned our 3 week Anniversary trip like we were producing the perfect Feature film…
Location – Villa Coccinelle , Orient Bay . A luxury 4 bedroom Villa with a breathtaking infinity pool overlooking Orient Bay.
Cast – Our family of 7 + 14 (Names have been changed to protect “hurt feelings!)
- Frank and I would arrive 5 days ahead to “set up ” Villa Coccinelle & play house! (HEY, it was our Anniversary!)
- Our 5 children, sisters family & Grandma would arrive for Christmas (family time)
- Extended family & friends arrive for New Years
It was a dream. Everything was even better then we thought it could be. Christmas Eve at Cherri’s, Christmas day on the beach. Every night, Frank and I would go to bed thinking “This is so awesome! We did such a great job planning this!” and then…..
The day after Christmas, while on a family morning jog (sounds nerdy, but true!) Frank rolled his ankle. A moment in time that he wishes he could take back…but as his ankle ballooned to elephant proportions, he realized he was screwed! And he was in PAIN! We could have ended it right there and returned home…but with so many family and friends depending on us, Frank decided to make the best of it. Alot of ice, a pair of crutches & an endless supply of Grey Goose and Frank could make it through! (Let’s toast to that!)
Just when we all got used to the “altered state” of our vacation, a one in a million event occurred (NO, we did not hit the St Marten Lotto!)…..
His sisters family, returning to their resort one evening, encountered a crazy patch of mosquitos. Unfortunately as they entered the buzzing fog they realized the windows were down. 6 humans versus a million mosquitos. Who wins? The 1 little bug that bit “Ann”. And a few days later, it was confirmed…she had Dengue Fever. Yes, she contracted a third world country disease. (R U KIDDING ME!!)
Again, we made the best of it. How could we not? We were in beautiful Villa Coccinelle, lunching at our favorite “Cocos” on the beach (with Sophie) everyday, dinner at our favorite “La Cigale” with Olivier and “Marios Bistro“, we had great weather and were with our closest friends and family. Life was good. But what we didn’t count on was the occasional “clash of the idiosyncrasies” amongst our guests…
“Can’t we go to a different restaurant tonight?” “I went to the store yesterday, why should I go today?” “How did your 4 Pina Coladas end up on my bill?” “THEY LEFT FOR THE BEACH WITHOUT ME!!” “It’s your turn to buy the next bottle of Grey Goose!” “Who gets Grandmas Bedroom when she leaves?” “Who left the mess on the counter?” “Can’t Frank go to the doctor on his own? He is infringing on our beach time!” And when “Sam” said to “Carol” – “Why do you take so freaking long to do your hair when it looks the same as it did an hour ago!!” … I sensed the tension (okay, so that is an understatement!)
We asked ourselves, was it worth it? And the answer is a resounding YES! In fact, those moments of disaster seem to bring about the best memories. We crack up when we think about night the boys almost ran out of gas, when Doug served Champagne like a Chippendale dancer on NY Eve, when we imagine “Carol’s” face after we left her (tired of waiting), when our 6 foot tall sons jumped on the bed petrified of an island spider, watching Frank struggle in the waves after thinking he could body surf with one foot! And yes, we even laugh hysterically when we picture “Ann” with bruises all over like she had been poked by a thousand people!
If you ask my kids, they will tell you it was the best vacation they ever took. If you ask my friends, they would go again in a heartbeat. Even “Ann” & her hubby got an extended vacation (Doctors wouldn’t let her fly) when Grandma flew home with her kids! And us…of course Frank would have preferred to have had both feet working, but in our heads, we are always planning another dream trip to Villa Coccinelle.
So have fun “looking forward” to your dream vacation. Laugh your head off sharing memories afterwards. And in the middle…make the best out of it, and remember, those unexpected moments can end up being the best memories!
For more info on Villa Coccinelle CLICK HERE.