In Which Jane Nearly Ruins a Family’s Barbados Vacation and Then Recovers, ahem, Magnificently, Learning in the Process the Important Difference Between a ‘y’ and an ‘r.’

In Which Jane Nearly Ruins a Family’s Barbados Vacation and Then Recovers, ahem, Magnificently, Learning in the Process the Important Difference Between a ‘y’ and an ‘r.’

Six months ago, a gentleman from St Louis contacted me about a holiday rental here at St Lawrence Beach Condos for his family of four.  He wrote, “I need a place Mar 14-21.”

I wrote back, “No problem, I have a terrific place for you May 14-21.”

He wrote back, “I’ll take it.”

I sent him a rental agreement confirming the price and the dates, May 14-21.  He printed it out, signed it, and faxed it back. A few days later he needed to make a change in the reservation and so I sent him a second contract for May 14-21.  He signed that one and faxed it back.

Then, the evening of Wednesday, March 11, the night my husband Greg and I arrived home from our aborted cruise, I received a call from this gentleman.  He was having trouble breathing …

Gasping for air, he croaked, “Jane, big problem.  We’re coming MARCH 14-21 and I think you think we’re coming MAY 14-21.  WE’LL BE THERE IN TWO DAYS.”

Suddenly, I, too, labored for breath.

Going through my head: A family of four.  Planning for six months.  Airplane tickets paid for.  Time taken off work.  Two young children excited. The overworked mom, wanting nothing more in life than to relax in a chair by the sea for a week.  And .. the loving family man who took charge and put the holiday together.

Alas, I had nowhere to accommodate them.  We’re booked solid.  I called the Hilton; they offered a single bedroom with two beds.  At the discounted locals’ rate of $300US a night.

No way was I going to put this family into a room at the Hilton.  Not when they were expecting and contracted for our two-bedroom, two-bathroom, full-kitchen rental condo 20 feet from the edge of the Caribbean Sea — at the same price!

The only thing I could do was what I did: I promised him our place. Our condo is the same layout as the rental property we own one floor below.

He was nervous about this.  He asked, hopefully, “So your place .. it’s a nice place?”

“Um,” I say looking around at our piles of stuff, “sure.  It was featured in Living Barbados magazine, even,” I assure him lamely.

Of course, being in a magazine and accommodating a family of four are two different things.

Our place was well-lived-in and looked it.

On Thursday morning, with my crackerjack housekeeper Monica’s help, I started moving Greg’s and my personal effects, including all our clothing, into Apt #8.

Now, #8 is just a shell, really … it has running water in both bathrooms (but not the roughed-in kitchen).  But it has no AC, no appliances, no drapes, no furniture, and, as Greg and I discovered later, no hot water.

To prepare our own place for the family, I ordered a queen bed from Dwellings for our second bedroom and a mattress from Slumberest, asking if they could offer me next-day delivery.  Both could, and did.

Monica returned on Saturday to help me finish preparing our place … fresh linens, every corner cleaned, the place was perfect.  With her final spritz of air freshener, the family pulled into our parking lot. A weary group of four emerged from the car.

They’re lovely folks and love the place. I’m so happy!

Of course, Greg and I were essentially homeless.  He suggested we stay at the Hilton.  Why do that, I asked?  “Let’s make this debacle work for us.” I figured, hey, here’s revenue we weren’t expecting AND I had had the chance to deep-clean and organize our place.

I suggested we stay in #8.  There was an extra king bed in storage we could set up.

He hadn’t seen #8.  I let him know the place was pretty rough … no appliances …

He said, “Jane, you don’t use appliances.” (Everyone thinks they’re a comedian, huh?)

We’re camping in #8.  Camping with a view.  Ordered a bento box from Josef’s next door and ate with chopsticks cross-legged on the bed set up in the living room.  Then, we slept like babies. This morn, we walked down to Southern Palms for breakfast on the beach, then went to Big B grocery and bought a Styrofoam ice chest and two bags of ice for the essentials of life – milk, diet Coke, and apple juice.

Our home at St Lawrence Beach Condos, spiffed up

Our home at St Lawrence Beach Condos, spiffed up

Yep, all the comforts of home

Yep, all the comforts of (our) home …

Greg keeps asking, "Janie, when can we go home?"

Greg keeps asking, "Janie, when can we go home?"

"Soon, darling, soon."  We do miss hot water ...

"Soon, darling, soon." We do miss hot water …

Thruout this ordeal it’s occurred to me repeatedly, What if we hadn’t left the cruise?????  I had no working phone on the ship, I could only check e-mail when on shore, and no one would have been here on a Saturday to help these folks out … !  It would have been an unmitigated disaster.  Thank goodness I hated that cruise!

And, really, we’re very happy camping in #8 for a week.  At least that’s my story.  All that’s missing is the s’mores.

Greg might feel otherwise.  He’s been working this morning on his computer. He’s sitting on a box pulled up to the bed like a desk.

Greg at work. He just looked up at me and said, "I'm thinking it's rum punch time." It's only 11:30 this Sunday morn .. But you know what? I've put my guy through enough already. Bring on the rum!

He just looked up at me and said, "I'm thinking it's rum punch time." It's only 11:30 this Sunday morn .. But you know what? I've put my guy through enough already. Bring on the rum!



6 Responses to “In Which Jane Nearly Ruins a Family’s Barbados Vacation and Then Recovers, ahem, Magnificently, Learning in the Process the Important Difference Between a ‘y’ and an ‘r.’”

  1. edie says:

    Jane you must horse-shoes up your ying yang.
    cheers

  2. planetbarbados says:

    Edie, here’s where our cultures diverge. What the hell you talkin’ about, girl?? xo

  3. edie says:

    BFF it means you must have horse-shoes up your ass.
    Never heard that before?
    BFF now stands for Barbados friend forever.
    cheers
    edie

  4. Juliana says:

    oh Jane this is tooooo hilarious! talk about a close call! it sounds like you and Greg are having quite the adventure though :-) … a little spice in life never hurt!!

  5. planetbarbados says:

    It’s been romantic, actually, to ‘live’ on a king-sized bed in the middle of a living room. Not a stick of other furniture in the room. And no TV, no music, no AC, no appliances. Just us and the sound of the gentle waves hitting the beach outside.

    Having said this, I think Greg’s ready to stop the camping already!

  6. planetbarbados says:

    Love it! Especially the new definition of BFF … ! Now when I see this expression in “Hello!” magazine referring to Lindsay Lohan or Britney Spears et al, I’ll smile at this new definition!

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