Jamaica, Day 2

Adjusting to the Vacation Life, Mon

This is the lobby at the hotel.

My husband Mike’s family, 20 strong, is vacationing together. Mike, his sisters Cathy, Betsy and Judy and their husbands and kids as well as Pop Pop and his girlfriend and a couple of the kids’ friends are staying together at the RIU Palace here in Negril. We eat together and play together. I always look forward to vacationing with these people. Mike’s family has been part of my life since I’m sixteen years old, when I first started dating Mike. He and his siblings have a great time together. They love the surf and sand; beach destinations are their vacations of choice.

We have a ground floor unit in one of the many buildings here at the hotel.

We’re relaxed and having fun. We’re playing beach volleyball. We’re yakking at the beach, pool and in the restaurants and bars. We’re floating in the ocean and catching up on each other’s lives. The teens are jet skiing, sailing, and banana boat riding. They are laughing and talking and catching up too, just like the adults.

This family is a competitive bunch. Watch one of their pool volleyball games and you’ll get the picture. Whew! Strangers sidle up to watch along the sides of the pool and some ask to join the game. All are welcome and everyone leaves a friend. Yesterday, it was a dozen people playing; today, the game, set for 2 pm, attracted 16 players before the thunder chased us out of the pool. Who knows how many will show up tomorrow.

A few of the players on day one of pool volleyball competition. The numbers are swelling by day.

Decisions. Decisions.

Our hotel is an open-air affair: the lobby, bars, restaurants and theater. It’s great when the weather is good. In fact, it’s marvelous. Every day at about 3 pm, however, we get a dose of reality as the clouds rolls in, thunder rumbles in the distance and then the rain begins, a veritable deluge.

Everyone, too busy having fun, waits until the last minute to run for cover. The sunning at the beach stops. The floating in the ocean stops. The volleyball games stop. Yes, everything stops and we run for cover. Many of us take naps, but a goodly portion of us skitter into a nearby restaurant/bar to people watch, have a drink and a snack or read. The sun comes out after 30 minutes to 3 hours, depending on the day, and our vacation life resumes.

My view, Day 2, during the afternoon downpour.

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