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Destination Tropic

Destination-Day One

I step off the plane and descend down the stairway. The sun’s rays are beating down upon me. I set my foot upon land and shift my carry-on bag from shoulder to shoulder. A parade of airport staff and locals greet us with warm welcomes. I then continue on through the sliding doors into the airport. I meander through the crowd to retrieve my lone luggage. I arrive at the revolving turn-about, and patiently await the arrival of my belongings. I locate a familiar bag with dozens of tags slip through the conveyor system, and rush over to retrieve it. The announcement for the hotel shuttle comes on overhead, and I barely hear it over the crowd. I push my way through the masses, and hustle over to the curb to aboard the shuttle van. I climb aboard, find my seat, and then we wait for the last two travelers to climb aboard before taking off to the hotel. The shuttle van soon pulls away from the curb and heads towards the hotel. The journey to the hotel was fairly smooth except for one memorable bump in the road which jarred the passengers, and started conversation amongst them. We arrive at the hotel, tired and happy, and pile out of the shuttle van. I shift my belongings around and meander over to the main desk to check into my room. The hotel clerk welcomes me, and hands over the keycard to my room. He directs me in the direction of my room. Wearily, I carry myself and my belongings down the hall, and eventually make it to my room. I insert the keycard, push open the door with my foot, and slide my belongings off my arms onto the floor. I, then, walk over to the window, push the curtains way back, and admire the view of the water. 

Destination-Day Two

I roll over and notice out of the corner of my eye sunlight peeking under the bottom hem of the curtains. I slowly arise from the bed, and meander over to the window. Bright morning light floods the room. I tilt my head down a little, crack the casement window so I can hear the roar of the ocean, and pull the curtains closed some. After I yawn and stretch, I adorn myself in a sundress and slip on a pair of sandals so I can venture down towards the banquet room where a delicious brunch awaits. Fruits, grains, and local cuisines, along with juices and coffee, are laid out for the hotel guests. I quickly discover that my eyes are bigger than my stomach as I struggle to finish my plate. I gently push my plate aside, and rest a bit before going back to my room, possibly for a mid-morning siesta. After acquiring some motivation to rise from the table, I carry myself back to my room. I collapse onto the bed, and rest my eyes for what seems to be an hour. About twenty minutes later, I awaken from my cat nap and get a second wind of energy to go down to the beach. I change into my beach attire, and throw my hair up into a messy bun. Off I go down to the beach with a small bag that contains items such as a lighthearted book and a towel. I arrive down at the front desk. The hotel provides guests with lounge chairs to drag onto the beach. I start to reach for a lounge chair when the front desk sends a tanned, fit assistant, to carry a chair to the beach for me. I make small talk as both of us meander down to the beach. I choose a spot along the water’s edge, and he sets up the chair for me. Then instead of leaving, he sits down on the sand beside me.

Destination-Day Three

Am I dreaming? I wake up by the sunlight peeking under the curtains. I arise from the bed and draw the curtains back slightly. I adorn myself in a sundress, slip on some sandals, and throw my hair up in a ponytail. I grab my purse and sunglasses off of the dresser, and head down to the front desk. I inquire about island activities, and the front desk mentions several tours. I decide to join the historical tour group, which is waiting on the side of the hotel near the cabana. The five of us, and the driver, pile into the van. We drive along the coastal highway that overlooks various ports and villages. Then the highway veers off and winds down the hill to the last village on the island. This village is the most important one out of all of the villages on the island due to its location and history. Ships and boats still dock here for trading purposes. Island shanties and multi-family dwellings mostly line up the hillside, leaving the mansions to govern over the port city. The tour van cruises into what is known as the marketplace. The driver announces our one and only stop, and arranges for us to meet back at the van in 2 hours. We pile out of the van, and go our separate ways. I, unlike, the others who ran into every single tourist shop, chose to walk along the open market vendors. I refrained from taking many pictures. Instead, I took in the sights of daily commerce and hand made goods. I make a loop around the block, heading back towards the van. I arrive at the van a little early so I peek in a tourist shop in search of postcards. While I’m at the checkout counter, I notice some “authentic” merchandise behind the clerk. Older photos of the port city and decals were strewn up on the wall. I glance out the storefront window and notice that the others were waiting at the van. I pay for my goodies and dash out to the van. The driver tells me to slow down and that I won’t be forgotten. We all pile into the van and head on back to the hotel. Halfway down the highway, the driver pulls onto an overlook. He directs our attention to church ruins composed of weathered stone and oyster shells.  This church happens to be the oldest one on the island. The driver steers back onto the highway towards the hotel.      

Destination-Day Four

The next day, I adorn myself in my beach attire, slip on some flip flops, and head out the door to my next activity. I arrive at the pier that is located to the right of the hotel for my snorkeling lesson. Fortunately, it’s not a deep diving lesson or otherwise my ears would implode. A similar fit, tanned individual greets me and hands me some flippers and goggles. I remove my flip flops, slip on the flippers, and commence to fit the goggles around my head. The instructor flips the goggle strap on the back of my head so it’s not twisted around. He then hands me a mouthpiece and instructs me how to breathe. We both wade out waist deep into the clear water and then he tells me to take a deep breath. I do so and hunch down into the water. My heart’s beating rapidly, but instinct tells me to kick up my legs and pull myself along with my arms. I pray that a bird doesn’t land on my air pipe as I’m snorkeling. The underwater world is amazing! Schools of brightly colored fish swarm past me. My instructor takes my hand and pulls me along. He then points to an old rescue boat that never made it to shore. The boat had a bite mark on the side. I grew nervous and motion back the way we came. We turn around and pull ourselves back to the shore. I stand up when my feet drag the sandy ocean bottom. I remove the mouthpiece and walk up onto the beach. My instructor follows me and sits down beside me. We begin to talk and watch the waves wash upon the shore.  

Destination-Night time

I arrive back to my room much later in the day. I hop in the shower to rinse off before adorning myself in my new dress I purchased for going out and about. I slip into a pair of platform sandals before heading out the door. I hear joyful noises coming from the cabana even before I arrive. I’m graciously escorted to my table and order a margarita. What island getaway wouldn’t be complete without hearing a steel drum solo before turning over to a reggae classic “Could You Be Loved”? Halfway through my drink, the tanned instructor comes over to my table and I scoot over to allow him to sit down. He orders two margaritas and a coconut shrimp platter. With the combination of the drink and company, I am giddy and very relaxed. We are busy talking that I accidently dip a shrimp into my margarita. He fishes the shrimp out of my glass with a fork, and slides it into my mouth. The second margarita has a salted rim so I grab a straw, put it into the glass, and take a sip. A second buzz overwhelms me and I slyly ask my date to walk me back down the hall towards my room. We nonchalantly meander down the hall and he expresses a little concern, making sure I make it to my room safely. After a quick peck, I slip into my room and close the door.

Destination-Day Five

The next morning, I roll over and bury my head into the neighboring pillow. The sweet, tangy flavor of margaritas are just too good to pass up. A couple of hours pass by before I stir about in my room. I seriously consider meandering down to the beach only to walk along the water’s edge. I throw on a cotton sundress, slip into a pair of flip flops, and wander down to the lobby. I reach the sand and remove my flip flops. The sand feels great between my toes as I continue to walk down to the water. The water is just the right temperature for my bare feet as I splish-splash along. I take a relaxing stroll down to the next beach access before turning around. I come across some shell deposits made by the waves that previously crashed upon the shore. I glance down to see if I can find any treasures but the shells are mostly broken remnants. I continue onto the next beach access.

What is your LEAST favorite movie of all time, and why?

The movie Fargo . . .the only funny part was when one of the main characters stuck a small red shovel to mark his spot during a blizzard.
If you could rule any country, which country would you choose, and why?

If I could rule a country. . .whew! Talk about some serious delegating. . .I would have to choose my peeps wisely because I would certainly need assistance along with security strategically placed throughout.  A country with natural wonders would be my preference so I could "sneak" away for a moment.

Writer's Block: Happy birthday, savvy?

Which film starring birthday boy Johnny Depp is your favorite, and why?

Torn between 21 Jumpstreet and Pirates of the Caribbean

Writer's Block: Good morning, star shine

On spaceflights, astronauts are awakened by songs of their choosing. What song would you pick?

either "Magic Fly" or "Fantasya" by Robert Miles

Down at the harbor

It was a crisp fall day down at the inner harbor. A tinge of warm air brushed by as well as a wrapper from one of the street vendors. People propped themselves upon the steps leading to the water. The autumn sun filtered through the clouds. The water remained mostly calm with a few ripples from the breeze and far off boats. Other took advantage of such a spectacular fall day to exercise their boats before winter came aboard.

Around the block, kids played street hockey and jumped rope. Their guardians stooped themselves on the front steps and conversed amongst themselves. A hockey puck suddenly bounced off the side of a nearby car, and a curmudgeonly character who happened to be peering from the window came out to investigate. The kids fought back as hard as they possibly could, while the curmudgeonly character waved a hand and mumbled.

The inner harbor is its own special place where people flock to get away from the hustle of the business district. Also it’s far enough from the beltway so noise pollution is not too great.

There is an abandoned warehouse across from the business district and before the water starts. All but one of the levels have broken windows. Level number four appears to be in good shape for some reason. The warehouse used to house a computer repair facility. The main entrance is chained up to deter vagrants from breaking in and possibly starting a fire to keep warm. The old coal chute around the side of the warehouse had also been welded shut for the same reason.

The computer repair facility stayed in business for a year or two. High turnover rates and a dwindling economy forced the facility to close down. Two weeks later, spectators saw smoke billow out of the ground level. The fire marshall prompted an investigation which lead to the discovery of used canvases and old oil rags. This former art studio had not been occupied in a while, but some of the old oil rags spontaneously combusted. There was quite a bit of smoke damage so a condemned sign was posted on the main entrance along with the chains for added security.

But what went on inside level four?

A progressive real estate company from Manhattan acquired this building to fix and flip. Four representatives from the real estate company travelled down to the inner harbor to examine the condemned building. The brick shell was in fair condition but most of the windows would need replacing. Level four caught their attention because for its apparent pristine condition compared to the rest. The crew of four business men used a saw and blow torch to cut through the chains and padlock. The chains fell down on the ground and then the crew of four took turns kicking the door in. The door bangs against the wall. The ground level showed definite signs of smoke and water damage. Structural integrity of the warehouse created concern since it was the ground level. The crew continued investigating the warehouse. They came across a narrow interior stairwell. This stairwell led only to the fourth level. 

The remaining five levels must have been added on at a later date. But why was level four well-preserved?

Once the crew flipped the latch to level four’s entrance, they came across a discovery. An interior layer of concrete block built up the brick shell. A second layer of seeded glass was mounted into the block wall. Could level four been a top secret hideout? The crew continues to browse the space. Restrooms, a cargo elevator, and a small room huddled in the center of level four.

The upper levels could have only been accessed by way of the elevator since there was no longer an exterior fire escape, only the remaining brackets mounted on the shell. The elevator still worked so two crew members went up in the elevator while the other two stayed put.

Two of the four realtors climbed aboard the elevator and shut the gate. The elevator began to ascend to the fifth level. The pulleys strained and the two realtors prayed that the elevator would at least make it to the fifth level. The elevator stopped at the fifth level, and the two realtors raised the gate and walked out onto the floor. Sunlight filtered through the seeded glass windows, illuminating the dust particles floating in the air. Objects covered in drop cloths adorned the interior. Wooden crates and pallets created a maze that made the realtors meander through the space. Curiosity got to one of the realtors regarding the drop cloths. He went over toward the series of windows so he could have some light on the subject as he removed a drop cloth. He uncovered a framed mirror that had the slightest bit of tarnish around the edges but remained in good condition.   Both realtors roamed the space and began to remove the drop cloths. They uncovered mirror after mirror. The fifth level soon looked like a funhouse. Both realtors walked carefully around the space so no mirror would get broken, fearing the multiple years of bad luck to follow. One of the realtors stumbled upon a crate and the lid slid off. Amber bottles of some sort of liquid sat in the crate. One of the realtors unscrewed a bottle and sniffed. This liquid clearly was an ammonia-based liquid.  The realtor screwed the cap back on and set the bottle down. The two realtors climbed aboard the elevator and descended to the fourth level where the other two realtors stayed.   

The Storm

The window seat overlooked waves crashing upon the rocks. Some days the wind blew by, making a whiffling sound. This certain seat was the only intriguing spot within the this mansion perched on a cliff in California. Tile floors and a neutral palette of color adorned this mansion. However, the windows told another story.

The next day, clouds billowed in the sky, increasing its mass as hours went by. Surfers took this opportunity to catch a ride before all broke loose. The ocean was a playground. As the wind whistled around the mansion, the remaining sunlight flickered through the clouds until darkness fell.

Now it was like sitting on the front row at an IMAX theater. Lighting danced in the sky and thunder roared immensely. The wind howled like a pack of wolves. 

The next morning, day broke and everything was running on an even keel.