staggered out to the terrace. One of the glass-topped tables was set for breakfast, complete with carafes of coffee at the ready. We filled our cups and sat in one of the conversation areas on the terrace just taking in the beauty of it all.
When breakfast was ready, the little bell rang and called us to the table. On a sideboard were assorted cereals and fresh-squeezed orange juice. Rhon came out and served us delicious, chewy French toast with maple syrup, and a stunning platter of fruits, including drop-dead succulent juicy mango. As if this weren't enough, a second course arrived, consisting of an omelette with sweet peppers and a platter of bacon and Canadian bacon. This made two consecutive meals featuring pork products, a very good start to the vacation.
We spent the morning on the beach, sunning and chatting, reading books and swimming in the crystal clear, warm water. Anne and I spent some quality time out on one of the giant trampoline-floats, talking and jumping around.
And then it was time to eat again!
Lunch on the terrace was chicken club sandwiches, very well seasoned, with a big bowl of perfectly crispy French fries, and a pitcher of very strong iced tea served with lime. This prepared us for our next taxing activity: massages out on the terrace of the villa's west wing, overlooking the turquoise water. We went in twos, and those of us not being massaged at that moment enjoyed another platter of fresh fruit.
Following my massage I spent one of the most blissed-out hours of my life. I threw on a sundress and plunked myself on a chaise under a tree at the back of the villa, steps away from the water. With Great Big Sea singing drinking songs and sea chanteys (Newfoundland Celtic folk-rock is a strangely nice fit in the Caribbean, and less obvious than the incessant Bob Marley, not that there's anything wrong with that) on my iPod, and a Red Stripe in my hand, the waves gently lapping on the shore, the afternoon sun on my legs and the warm breeze flowing over me, my mind was perfectly at peace, my body felt like jelly, and I could have stayed like that forever.
But forever is a long time, and we had drinking to do! So we put ourselves together (we clean up nice!) and headed in the golf cart up to the Great House for cocktails. Hors d'oeuvres were advertised, but this turned out to be a few pieces of sausage bites. Not to worry, we enjoyed our drinks (I had a dark rum with ginger beer and lime) and the sunset, and then headed back to the villa for dinner.
We began with pea (bean) soup, then a salad with balsamic vinaigrette. The main course, served buffet style, was a chicken breast stuffed with tropical vegetables and fruits -- probably callalloo, plantains, papaya, and mango, with a nicely spiced citrus sauce, and served with mashed potatoes and fresh vegetables. Of course we had wine, and of course we brought the rest of the bottle out to the living room, where we chit chatted and gossiped until bedtime.
Just another day in Jamaica.