We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Photo: This German lass was with us on a hike to the hot springs waterfall. She's a zoo manager from outside Hamburg, was visiting with her grandparents.
Many of our readers travel far more than we do, for business, recreation, adventure, or relaxation.
The BD family tries to strike a good balance of around 3 weeks of vacation per year plus some number of long weekends and as much work time at the Farm as we can do. Brit acquaintances think that is insane workaholism, but I just laugh. Work is good for the soul, I tell them. Man's Fall, and all that. We Maggie's Farmers tend to be self-employed, so there is no such thing as "paid vacation time." (No "sick days" either, which remarkably means that one is never too sick to work.)
Mrs. BD and I will admit that we are a sort of travel snobs. We like boutique places, tenudos, etc., with local flavor and no commercial feeling - eg no Sandals or chain hotels like Four Seasons - and have only stayed in a high-rise hotel once (the Southampton Princess, on our honeymoon).
Here's today's travel tip: Always pack a few plastic trash bags. They're good for stashing dirty clothes and wet clothes, and I always stick one in my pocket when hiking to protect the camera if it rains.
St. Lucia gets direct flights - not necessarily daily - from NYC, Miami, Atlanta, Toronto, London, Manchester, and Hamburg. Our little resort, (Anse Chastenet), far from the mass market area around Castries is in southern St. Lucia, has only 35 suites/cabins, and there were Americans, Canucks, Germans, and lots of Brits. One Swedish family. There were a few obvious honeymooners (Anse Chastenet is on many lists of most romantic destinations), and a few families with kids. A few more pics and random info below the fold -
This Bullfinch wanted my croissant. I shared.
A jungle stream on one of our hikes. I bloodied my shin getting this pic, so appreciate it.
Our beach dining room. Food was a mix of Creole, Indian, and Brit (eg steamed puddings). My best meal? Pickled Goat Vindaloo.
Nice sailboat passing our beach
Our beach at its busiest. That sand is part black-volcanic, and part coral.
What did we do all day? One hike per day, around an hour of swimming beach laps or lolling in the water, some kayaking, excellent snorkeling a few times, a little beach reading and snoozing under the grass huts because you're supposed to do that, some birding, some live music at night, and Mrs. BD got herself a deep muscle massage which she enjoyed.
Most Americans we know don't have limited vacation days because they don't work for salaries any more (even if we wanted to). Asked a friend how he was doing and I got a great smile: "I go from being self-employed to being unemployed on a day-to-day basis, depending on the weather that morning!" I figger Bird Dog is prolly self-employed during his bad days...