It puts the lotion on the skin, and then it hits the beach again

Last week Wife Kay and I celebrated our first anniversary as a married couple, and the week before that, we went on our honeymoon. Since the honeymoon happened before our anniversary, technically it wasn’t even belated. I’m not sure why anybody would want to hear about our honeymoon, since it, like almost every other honeymoon anyone has ever been on, mostly just involved drinking fruity cocktails and slime time, but obviously I’m going to tell you about it anyway.

Our trip started, naturally enough, with a last minute shopping spree. Wife Kay needed some travel essentials, like new luggage even though she already had luggage, and new clothes even though she already had clothes, and new jewelry even though she already had jewelry, and new travel-sized toiletries, even though she already had travel-sized toiletries. I’ve been wearing the same six outfits since I stopped growing my sophomore year of high-school, so I was all set for clothes, and I generally pack for my travels by fashioning a hobo bindle from a red handkerchief tied to the end of a stick, so all I splurged on was some sunscreen, and a tub of body powder to keep my gentleman plums minty fresh in the tropical heat.

That’s right, tropical heat. For our honeymoon we fled the cold, dead winter, and traveled to the mysterious and exotic Caribbean. Specifically, to the lovely paired islands of St. Kitts (and Nevis). If you’re not familiar with St. Kitts (and Nevis), you’re an idiot, because I’ve totally known about them for years and definitely didn’t just learn about them for the first time right when we booked our honeymoon. If you want the whole history of the islands, go ahead and look it up yourself, this is a humor blog written by a dumb guy, not a Wikipedia article.

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Our first flight, from Connecticut to Miami, Florida, was notable only for its turbulence. That, or the pilot was reenacting his favorite dogfight scenes from disc number three of the History Channel’s Dogfights: The Complete Series DVD Megaset. Our second flight, from Miami to St. Kitts (and Nevis), was equally turbulent, but we were distracted from both the constant jostling, creaking, and groaning of the aerial Pringles can we were strapped within, and the ominous wailing and prayers emanating from the cockpit, by the hilarious amount of dogs on board.  I counted at least fifteen fuzzy pals patrolling the economy cabin on our overcrowded flight.

I assumed that there were so many dogs on the plane because we were actually traveling to the macabre Island of Dr. Moreau, where we would all be surgically vivisected and turned into chimeric abominations; half-man, half-beast monstrosities doomed to live out our few remaining pain-filled days bowing to the capricious whims of a deranged madman. My seatmate informed me that it was actually because St. Kitts has a renowned veterinary college, and many of the international students who were returning from their winter break were traveling with their “service” animals on that flight. I will be honest, I’m pretty sure I was right, and they were wrong, because once we landed I never saw those people or those animals ever again, not a likely feat on an island approximately the size of a suburban backyard. I must also be honest, I didn’t realize that pets could travel in the cabin with their owners on airplanes now, so I felt bad for leaving Wife Kay in a crate in the cargo hold.

After what can only generously be called a landing, and more accurately be called a partially controlled crash onto the tarmac at the St. Kitts (and Nevis) airport, located just north of Basseterre, the capital city of St. Kitts (but not Nevis), Wife Kay and I were sweaty, less than gruntled, and more than ready for the short taxi ride to our accommodations for the week. The accommodations in question were a townhouse style villa right on the beach at the Marriot vacation resort, which dominates Frigate Bay, a touristy locale on the Atlantic side of the island. The villa was…exemplary. It had a lovely view of the ocean from the balcony, a full kitchen and laundry room, two large bedrooms, two full bathrooms, a normal sized shower, a “friends welcome” sized shower, and a “close friends welcome” sized jacuzzi tub. It took us longer to explore the villa, designate which bathroom would be the pooping bathroom, which bedroom would be the farting bedroom, and which bedroom we would actually stay in than it took to drive from the airport to the resort. Truthfully, the villa was better equipped and actually had more square footage than our entire house back in CT. It also cost more per night than our house’s monthly mortgage, but we were able to stay there for free because we are Instagram influencers with almost dozens of followers, and because I run this wildly popular blog site, which averages nearly a visitor a week. Also, and more truthfully, because we are incredibly lucky to have rich and generous friends who graciously offered to let us use some of their Marriott club points and sample a small taste of the bourgeois lifestyle before we had to return to our leaky peasant hovel and toils in their potato fields.

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The Marriott resort on St. Kitts (and Nevis), was in some way a microcosm of the islands themselves. It was beautiful, it was welcoming, it was expensive, and it was strangely empty. St. Kitts (and Nevis) are not cheap places to visit. They are both tiny islands, each with total populations smaller than most mainland towns,  and after shutting down sugar production in 2005, they really don’t export anything, and have to import quite a bit, so prices are pretty high for even the most basic food and drinks, with a 12% sales tax added on top for an extra kick in the nads. I’m not sure where the locals go to eat, but it wasn’t any of the restaurants we tried out, which rarely cost us less than $200 USD for our meal (Plus drinks. Like a lot of drinks. Jeez that’s a lot of drinks). The restaurants at the resort were, as a general rule of thumb, the most “crowded”, the most expensive, and had the least impressive food. I say “crowded” because even on the resort, nothing was actually full to capacity, making me wonder about the long term sustainability of tourism on the island. We were there during the “busy” season and it was in no way busy. Not that we were complaining, we enjoyed the solitude, it gave us plenty of time for day drinking and nighttime slime based activities. The further we traveled from the resort, even though it was never inexpensive, the cheaper and better the food became – with fresh seafood and produce making up a large part of the menus – and the emptier the restaurants were, a hard and fast rule that remained so immutable that at the best restaurant we ate at by far, Poinciana, we were actually the only patrons, and the skilled French chef who crafted our meal spent the evening lurking in the shadows near our table chain smoking cigarettes and sobbing into his apron.

 

The first night we arrived on St Kitts (and Nevis), after settling in to our villa we had a subpar dinner at the resort steakhouse, polished off a bottle of wine, clapped some cheeks, and passed the fuck out. The next day we got up bright and early at the crack of 11:30, enjoyed a morning coffee on the balcony and a healthy bm (not on the balcony), and then made our first big decision of the trip – whether to go to the pool or the beach. We ultimately chose the pool, lured in by the siren song of a swim up bar serving colorful rum cocktails. Drinks in hand, we claimed some comfortable lounge chairs, fired up our kindles, equipped our mirrored sunglasses so we could scope out booty cuties, and then… that’s it. That’s what we did all day. Soaked up some sun, rum, and bums, and lived our best lives. In the evening after a desultory 36 seconds of booze-soaked sliming we summoned the ambition to leave the resort for the first time, but only made it to a brewery and sports bar across the street where we really enjoyed some of the local craft beer selection and did not really enjoy our plate of over-priced uninspired nachos, which had that crappy orange liquid cheese they serve at ballparks and bowling alleys but still somehow cost like $20 USD.

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Day two started much like day one had, but this time we chose the beach instead of the pool. We liberally doused our still translucent winter skin in high SPF sunscreen, grabbed a couple of lounge chairs and a cabana, and sprawled out for another day of sun, sloth, and scoping for snipes, with frequent breaks to cool off in the ocean, and diligent hydration from the bottles of piss warm wine we had stashed in our beach bag. That evening, we traveled slightly further afield from the Resort for dinner, ultimately stopping at The Rock Lobster, a Frigate Bay landmark and obvious tourist trap that I simply could not resist because the name made me chuckle. After that, naturally, came the slime.

Day three, we chose not to mess with success, and returned to the resort pool. We had enjoyed our first day there, the fruity cocktails at the swim up bar were looking good again, and our complexion had finally begun transitioning from sickly Victorian orphan child, to supple, bronzed and beautiful, plus, this being our honeymoon, we didn’t feel compelled to actually achieve anything of note on the trip besides lounging about like a couple of well fed harbor seals napping on a pier. Everything was going well with that plan too, until we saw her.

Bonnie McMurray. Her name wasn’t actually Bonnie McMurray, nor was she the lovely actress who plays the character Bonnie McMurray on the Canadian television show Letterkenny, that’s just a code name Wife Kay and I use for any beautiful woman who is probably a little too young for us to be ogling without feeling slightly guilty about it.  The young woman who will heretofore be referred to as Bonnie McMurray appeared to be in her early to mid-twenties, was slender, shapely, barely dressed, and had an abundance of the type of tattoos that scream either hipster barista, or hipster bartender, or I don’t know, hipster florist or something.

This lass had actually already caught our eye the first day we were at the pool, since she was lovely, possibly close to our age, and appeared to be enjoying the comforts of the resort alone, but we failed to introduce ourselves at that time, an oversight I resolved to correct immediately. Luckily, if there is ONE THING I know about unaccompanied young women vacationing far from home, wearing ear buds and sitting by themselves at a resort pool, it’s that they CRAVE being approached by a slightly sun-burned, slightly drunken, slightly older man, so being the agreeable and generous fellow I am, I was happy to oblige, and the next time I COMPLETELY COINCIDENTALLY happened to walk by her lounge chair and catch her eye, I hit her with this beauty of a line – “I like your tattoos.”

I know, with lines that smooth, it almost wasn’t even fair, the poor girl didn’t have a chance. We struck up a friendly conversation, and were shortly joined by Wife Kay, who was either being the greatest wing woman of all time, trying to box me out and shoot her own shot, or simply preparing to roll me into the pool if I caught a face full of pepper spray. Thanks to my polished delivery of irresistible pick up lines, and Wife Kay’s intervention, codename Bonnie McMurray was actually quite happy to chat with us, so we spent a pleasant afternoon bonding with our newest friend. It turns out she, like us, was from the United States, but unlike us old hags, was a youthful 23 years old, was a florist/bartender (called it!) from a Western state we have a passing familiarity with, and was actually a frequent visitor to St. Kitts (and Nevis), since her parents owned a house there. While her parents were puttering around doing home ownership things, Bonnie would slip into a bikini and wander to the nearby resort for a lounge and a drink or three, an activity I guarantee nobody has ever complained about. After parting ways, Wife Kay and I washed up, napped a bit, and then hiked out to the previously mentioned Poinciana restaurant, an excellent end to an excellent day.

Day four, we began to get adventurous. Well, we left the resort anyway. We took a taxi down some twisty turny cliff-side mountain roads until we reached Cockleshell Beach, a popular destination on the Caribbean side of the island. Filled with casual beach bars and shacks, and frequented by day visitors from the nearby cruise ship dock, this was the first place we went on the island that was actually crowded. For a few hours. Then the cruise ship passengers all left at once in one huge exodus, relinquishing to us the quiet and peaceful island we had grown to know and love. Around late afternoon Wife Kay and I grew hungry, so we took a stroll further down the beach searching for a tempting looking beach restaurant for food. What we ultimately saw at the end of the beach looked very tempting, but it wasn’t a restaurant.

Ohhhh Bonnie McMurray. She must have missed us, because who do we find frolicking in the playful surf, none other than our new best friend, and we were happily reunited beside the aptly named Cockleshell Beach Bar. Our dalliance was not to last on this day however, as Bonnie’s parents were at the beach as well, and they did not seem interested in waiting around while their daughter got day drunk with a strange older couple. Their loss, we’re fun. Our budding romance quashed by unreasonable elders who didn’t understand our love, Wife Kay and I once again parted ways with the ever delightful Bonnie McMurray, and after an only slightly scary open-aired bus ride on the curvy mountain road back to the resort, we once again completed our now well-established routine of washing up, shooting ropes, and wandering around to find food. Ultimately we just got sushi at the resort that night, we wanted an early evening, because for the first time on our trip, we had actual plans for the morning.

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Day five was ATV day. With help from the tours desk we had booked a shared shuttle to cross the island and head up into the hills with a handful of other guests from the resort who also wanted to rent ATVs, so we needed to be up and ready at the unreasonably early time of 10:30.  The drive to the abandoned sugar plantation where we would be riding took about 40 minutes, and reminded Wife Kay and I of how happy we were that the island wasn’t crowded. Our companions on the trip consisted of:

  • The stoically silent local driver, who maybe thought he was trying out for a Formula one race team because he drove way too fast.
  • A gangly middle-aged Canadian man, replete with polo shirt, jean shorts, white knee-socks, and belt-clip Blackberry PDA, accompanied by his slightly overweight, leathery-skinned, possibly mail-order, participation trophy wife.
  •  A Pennsylvanian family consisting of a boisterous fat-bellied salesman of some sort who had clearly been working for commission for so long that he didn’t know how to turn it off anymore, his openly racist, let me speak to the manager haircut, total Karen of a housewife, their surprisingly pleasant if a bit flighty college-aged daughter, and their daughter’s best friend, who also seemed like a sweet girl, but was probably a nefarious smuggler of some sort.

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Once we got to the ATV rental place, we met our guide Ivan, a wonderfully friendly and professional young man who had grown up right near the property we would be riding on, and was a bottomless font of knowledge about the plantation, the rain forest, the local wild-life, and who could also rip sick wheelies on the tired old Suzuki quadbikes we were all using. Ivan was a figure-it-out-as-you-go kind of fellow, because no sooner had we plopped some helmets on our heads and chosen our machines and he was blasting off down a muddy path into the woods, with the rest of us scrambling to catch up. This method actually worked out well because it allowed us to find a natural order to where we were placed in the single-file line which we were forced to take on the narrow trails. Ivan would race ahead, and we would try to follow. This resulted in the two experienced riders, myself and Canada man, staying right with Ivan, and the typically fearless and naturally talented Wife Kay soon keeping pace as well, while the rest of the group somewhat awkwardly bumbled along behind at whatever speed they were comfortable with. We spent all morning and into the afternoon exploring the property, a huge estate with crumbling old plantation ruins, rolling fields of grass and cane, thick rainforest, and various free roaming animals including cows, goats, chickens, turkeys, birds, mongooses, and my personal favorite, monkeys. 10/10, would rip sick wheelies with Ivan again. Once the ATVs were returned, and our driver came back to pick us up, we suffered through the somehow more harrowing shuttle ride back to the Marriott, grabbed a bite of lunch, and rushed back to the resort pool.

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Wife Kay enjoying the pool. Max Tyson enjoying Wife Kay.

We had to rush. Bonnie McMurray was there. Visibly excited by our return, Bonnie was more than happy to join us for drinks at the pool bar, so we spent the next few hours bonding further, although at one point we were momentarily interrupted by some drunk lady coming up to tell Bonnie she liked her tattoos. I know, right? Some people are so desperate, it’s downright embarrassing. Once the sun went down and the pool emptied out, we bade our dear friend adieu, paid our painfully hefty bar tab, and freshened up for dinner, which was spent at a hibachi place down the road from the resort which Bonnie had recommended. It was, in keeping with the trend to date, basically empty. We chose to get sushi at the bar, I’m not about to make a hibachi chef do his whole song and dance for just two people, no matter how much I like the onion volcano and the little toy man who shoots sake from his tiny plastic peepee. With dinner wrapped up we stumbled back to the resort for some Blitzkrieg bop and the night sweats.

Day Six was another early morning, this time because we had a boat to catch. We were going to Nevis.

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Nevis is St. Kitts’ smaller, wealthier, more creepily Christian partner island. In order to get over there we caught the ferry, a fairly small water taxi from Basseterre, an 11 mile aquatic commute that I’m sure several people take every single day. My stepfather was a commercial fisherman, and as a child I had the intense displeasure of being brought along a few times when he went open water fishing even though he knew I would get wildly seasick, so although I don’t love ocean boating, I am reasonably experienced at it, and a steady diet of Dramamine pills keeps me comfortable. The trip had some surface chop but nothing really out of the ordinary, certainly nothing to be concerned about, but Wife Kay as it turns out had never been in open water on such a small vessel before, so even though she does not suffer from motion sickness at all, she surprisingly was the uncomfortable one on the trip. By that I mean every time we bumped through a particularly aggressive wave, or listed heavily, or water splashed up into the cabin, especially on the three mile stretch directly in between the two islands, where there was no protection at all from the wind and waves, she really thought we were going to die, and I could see her calculating whether her odds would be better if she killed me before we sank so that she could get a spare life jacket. Die we did not however, and when we got off at the dock in Nevis we joined an island tour that brought us to such notable landmarks as the house where Alexander Hamilton was born, as well as a natural hot springs upon which the first hotel in the Caribbean was built, the very first Christian church in the Caribbean, the freshwater spring Admiral Nelson would use to refill his ships water barrels, the posh old Nisbet plantation beach club, and the picturesque Pinney beach, where we enjoyed a refreshing lunch and drinks at a place called the Lime Bar before lounging in the sand until we had to hitch a ride back to the dock and catch the ferry for an enjoyable (for me) and terrifying (for Wife Kay) float back to St. Kitts. That night we braved a rain squall to find yet another excellent and incomprehensibly empty restaurant for dinner, this time a mostly open air venue called JamRock that had a massively well-stocked bar and literally no walls so like, how do they not get robbed all the time? Well, nobody robbed them while we were there, which is good because if somebody tried I would have totally stood up, and ran away as fast as my soggy flip flops would allow. With a few liberated bottles of my own naturally.

That night, Wife Kay and I took our final soak in the tub, drank our final bottle of wine, and washed our dirty drawers. Alas, all good things must eventually come to an end, and day seven was our final day in paradise. Our flight was in the late afternoon, so we had one more lazy morning by the pool before trundling to the airport for our return to winter sadness. There was a brief hiccup at the airport where I was temporarily apprehended by the St. Kitts customs and border security for “random screening”. My first thought was JamRock! How did they know I was thinking about stealing their booze? My second thought was oh hey, they nabbed that girl from the ATV trip too. That’s right, one of the Pennsylvania girls was also stuck in security limbo, looking lost and afraid, and if there’s ONE THING I know about scared young women being hassled by airport security in a foreign country, it’s that they CRAVE also being bothered by some guy they met once who is probably closer to their dad’s age than their own, so I happily sat down beside her and started loudly asking her if she was smuggling again and why she hadn’t learned her lesson the first few times. The bad news is, for some reason neither her, nor the well armed security personnel surrounding us enjoyed my jokes as much as I thought they would. The good news is I got a personal security escort and got to board the plane early. So I had that going for me, which is nice.

All in all, I had a wonderful honeymoon trip with Queen Kay. I read like ten books on my kindle, relaxed and unwound for a week full of sun, laughs, good booze, great food, and the slimiest time with my dearly beloved. 11/10, best honeymoon ever, would do again.

 

 

Oh, and don’t worry. We got Bonnie McMurray’s number.

 

About Max T Kramer

Max has been better than you at writing since the third grade. He currently lives in Connecticut, but will someday return to the desert.
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