Phew

Welllll . . . it’s been a coupla weeks, let me tell YOU.

My notice at work was two weeks long, as is typical. The first week of it, I tried to stick to billing 7 or less hours a day (my typical day is 9-10 billed, plus a bit of nonbillable). We have to bill 5 hours each workday, or else use a vacation day (so if you bill 4.9 hours, you have to use a full 8 hours of vacation that day. Obvs nobody ever does that, but it’s the rule.) So, I carefully plotted out all of my final assignments and case transitioning, in order to get everything done with the minimal amount of hours-at-work. After five full years in practice, with a billables requirement of about 2000, I’m weary and I wanted to maximize my chill before starting at a tougher firm. I was under-billing these last two weeks but what are they gonna do – fire me? Amirite? I exercised, I played guitar, I hung out with Craiggers. One morning I actually ran Craig to school in the stroller – a mistake actually, as what I thought would be 4.5 miles turned out to be 7.5. The distance was fine but it took way longer than I’d planned, so I didn’t get to work til 10:30. Other days I’d get up and run with him at 6:30 for about an hour, which after shower and daycare drop-off would put me at work at about 9:15 or so, and WHO CARES!! WEEEEE!! I’d leave every day at 5 to pick him up, and it was very freeing to have a 9-5 schedule, however briefly.

WELL. Thursday Craig woke up a little listless with a very mild fever, so I kept him home. I billed a bit from home, and didn’t worry about missing that day too much, given my status. Friday he seemed fine, so I dropped him off at daycare and headed in. The partner I work for most asked me to go to a lunch with him, and so I billed a few hours and then we went and had some really good sushi and talked about case transitions and it was overall very nice. (Side note – I did a really dumb thing and somehow put my SUNGLASSES on to look at the menu, instead of my regular glasses, and didn’t notice somehow, which tells you how non-strong my prescription is. In any case, once I realized how dumb I looked, I mumbled a lie that they were prescription sunglasses even though they clearly weren’t, and I will be blushing about that minor dumb moment for a while!)

So we’re eating and chatting and it’s going really well and then I get a text – Craig threw up. Ugh. So the partner drops me back at my car and says “have a good weekend” and I go get Craig, dose him with Tylenol, and settle in for a long weekend of just me and sick baby.

He wakes Saturday feeling fine, and we head to a birthday party, thinking the worst has passed, but he will not let go of me and clings to me throughout, so we leave early. An hour later, he has a 102 fever, which lasts all day Saturday. He has a 102 fever all day Sunday (I bring it down with meds, but as soon as they wear off it’s right back up). He wakes up drenched in sweat at night, as the fever cycles in and out, breaking and then returning. Every day it continues, I get a little more anxious and nervous, and first thing Monday morning when he wakes up still at 102, I call his ped and make a sick child appointment.  I won’t be going to work Monday, but manage to get some things done from home til his late morning appointment.

At our appointment, the doc checks his ears, throat, and does a strep test – no problems, so the doc sends us to the hospital to draw some labs. Feverish and clingy, Craig weeps pitifully through the blood draw but screams in fury and terror through the mono test (which is a swab shoved way down the nose). He leaves smothered in stickers, and the fever continues. The doctor calls me later that afternoon and says the labs don’t show anything worrying, and we should hang out another day or two and see if he improves. Tuesday the fever goes in and out, he seems to be feeling a little better and the fever is lower, but still there. I take him to work for a couple of hours because Good Lord, this is my last week and there goes my carefully plotted timeline for transitioning my 30+ cases. This is what happens when a mom tries to relax and not work ahead, for ONCE IN HER LIFE. I’ll never do it again, God, I promise.

Tuesday night he’s feverish all night, and wakes Wednesday at 102. Back to the ped we go, who sends us to the hospital again for a chest xray and urinalysis. All of this takes hours, of course, and I’m running out of time go do what I have to do to get closed out at work by Friday. I have to pack up the office, write three briefs, have transition meetings, etc., and Craig doesn’t look like he’s going to get better anytime soon. Oh, and meanwhile, Tropical Storm Cindy is bearing down on us, and everything (daycare, camps, many stores) closes in anticipation. (Although it turns out to be mostly a dud, I do have to drive through some wild-ish wind and flooded streets to get him to the hospital Wednesday.)

So Wednesday after his x-ray, he gets diagnosed, at last, with pneumonia. The doc prescribes an antibiotic, Craig takes his first dose Wednesday night and goes to bed with a fever, but wakes up Thursday without one. He’s been fever free since then – coughing terribly, but that’s to be expected. The doc said that as long as the fever is gone, that means the antibiotic is working, so hurrah. You’ll note that by this point we are up to the last Thursday of my two week notice, and I’ve managed to work only 4 full days in that whole time.

I got a sitter (expensive, good Lord) to watch him half day Thursday and half day Friday, and I just . . . crammed absolutely every thing in that I could, into those two half days. I threw all my personal stuff into boxes (I filled 10 of those boxes that the reams of paper come in – I’m a nester).  I skimmed through the crap on my computer to make sure I emailed myself all of my personal documents. I spooled out some draft briefs like it was my job – two replies (only 10 pages each and not so hard), plus finishing up one motion for summary judgment, some initial disclosures, some discovery responses . . . I was a machine, getting everything done and pushed out so my clients wouldn’t be screwed – since I carry the water on the bulk of these cases and frankly, no one else knows what’s happening with them.  It was a tremendously stressful way to close out that job – anxious about my baby’s health, barely able to work at all given his illness, people wondering where the hell I was – no vacation time to spend on these last few days and so forced to try to bill 5 hours every day in between hospital visits, etc. Just awful. I walked away Friday afternoon thoroughly exhausted, and I’m still not fully recovered. The house is kind of a wreck, as I’ve been trying to work from home so much with Craig in my hair and thus he’s kind of had his way with toys, etc. Nevertheless I could not face dealing with it today. Craig has barely eaten due to his illness, so I haven’t eaten much either, and I don’t feel like making a real dinner. I just need to flop, to process this transition, to rest, and to binge on Orange is the New Black for a day or two, before I tackle the house. We’ve been grazing on fruit and peanut butter and crackers, except one memorable evening, when Craig asked for “menge-tables” to make his tummy feel better, which I made for him (just frozen mixed veg).

We survived, but it was awful – mostly the worrying about what the heck was wrong with him. It caused a draining low grade anxiety that made everything harder – as did our total lack of sleep, as he was needy through those hot feverish nights. But the fever’s gone, he’s feeling and looking perky, he’s sleeping extremely well, and I’ll be right as rain tomorrow.

I’ve made plans for us to go to a friend’s house for dinner tomorrow night, another friend is coming over for porch wine Monday night, and I’m doing lunch with a friend Tuesday. Filling up the social calendar, trying to enjoy a couple days where I don’t have to check email every five seconds.

When the boys come back I’ll go back to making dinners – I definitely miss eating them – but for now Craig and I are making do with what’s in the back of the pantry. I’ve had Craig basically 24/7, with only a few interruptions, for ten days in a row now. Looking forward to some kid-free time next week, in my own house, to rest and recharge for the next adventure.

 

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Two of Us

Craig is lying, shirtless, spread-eagle on the couch, watching the 2015 Goosebumps movie – which is, as tween movies go, not the absolute worst I will say. Craig is watching it because Jack is suddenly into tween entertainment, and he has watched this movie with Craig already at least ten times. Craig basically skipped all the baby media stuff and has leapt straight into terrible, unfunny young teenage sitcoms, which is odd but at least the boy aren’t fighting over what to watch.

Jack is not here of course – he and Liam spent an epic day yesterday flying to Dublin for their month long adventure. So I’m letting Craig watch his big brother’s favorite movie, at the end of a long fun day, our first day as just the two of us. *cue Will Smith song

Flash back to yesterday. No, let’s go the day before – last Thursday. My conflict check finally cleared, and I planned to give my notice on Friday. But my main partner I work with came into my office, sat down, and started to hand over a bunch of new cases – so I stopped him and just spit out my news all in a rush, so he would know to give them to someone else. He started shaking – he’s a sensitive soul, for a law partner, and he was very emotional (hurt, not angry). It made it worse than if he’d been yelling at me. It was fairly raw and crummy. He told me that they’d just had a big meeting about me and I was on track for partner in a few years, etc. etc. I’d sensed that anyway, but it did make it sting a bit more.

Then he weirdly sent an email to everyone else, so I didn’t get to tell them myself. Meaning it was just a weird, WEIRD couple of days – I’m meeting each person individually anyway, but until I get through them all, it’s pretty intense and awkward as I’m not sure how everyone feels. (For the record, so far all of the women have been great – non-emotional, happy for me, understanding.)

After that crummy day, I kipped out of there early and headed to Target to load up on dollar spot items for the boys’ carry-on bags, as they were flying out the next morning. I bought some snacks, flash cards, Goosebumps books (they’ve been DESPERATE for them, since seeing this movie I’m currently watching for the frillionth time) – and I bought them each a cheap spiral bound lined notebook, and instructed them to write something in it every day about their days, so I can hear all about it when I get back. I also bought them each a book about New Orleans, so they can carry it to their after school program and show the Irish kids a little about where they live.

I came home loaded down with bags and packed each of their backpack carry ons full of treats, a surprise for the plane. We finalized all the last minute details, and then put the boys to bed. It was a long, fraught day, and Friday wasn’t much better. I really had the shakes in the morning – I told work I’d be late as I had to drop them at the airport, and the anxiety of their trip plus work-notice-weirdness was really working on my nerves. I hit the grocery to grab some milk and other things for Craig and I, and I was sort of listlessly weeping my way through the aisles. It was a rough morning, but I got the boys, their buzzcuts, their backpacks, and their three rolling carry on bags all to the airport on time. (They seriously were like Russian nesting doll triplets – same haircut, same rolling bag but in three different sizes, same backpacks. Cute.) I gave them kisses and hugs and off they went – landing in Ireland 8 am the next day Irish time (2 am our time – troopers).

I went straight to work from there and my emotional boss called with a quick assignment and seemed to have recovered, although he told me he can’t see me face to face yet, so we discussed it all by phone throughout the day. I met a few more individuals and shared my news (which they already knew, but hell this is the only way I know how to clear the air), and ended up billing a pretty decent day all told. Still I was READY TO GET OUTTA DODGE by 4:30 pm – I stuck it out til 5, and then left to pick up Craig. It takes an hour to drive about 6 miles across the city, the traffic at that time is so bad, and I picked up him at 5 minutes til 6 (daycare closes at 6). That’s going to be a pain for the next month . . . so much time in the car.

I’d made plans with some friends to help me through the anxious night, as I was basically holding up the boys’ plane with the power of my mind, and I needed some distraction. Craig and I dawdled on the levee near his school for half an hour before picking up the babysitter (who lived a block away from there), and then heading home. She’s a favorite, he knows her well, and I think it was easier for her to put him to bed alone for the first night, than it would have been for me. (All three boys share a room, basically a bunk room, and Craiggy does not like being alone in there.) I, meanwhile, threw on some skinny jeans and a black tank and headed out to meet some girlfriends at a stunning rooftop bar near downtown. We drank margaritas and talked for hours, but I headed home before 11, as fifteen bucks an hour for a sitter ain’t cheap. I called the babysitter a Lyft, then poured a glass of wine and fretted for a couple hours before finally falling asleep. The Prof sent a text shortly after 2 am (as instructed) telling me they were safe on land, and I slept better after that.

I woke at 6am to a distraught baby, sitting at the top of the stairs wailing for his Brudders and his Daddy and “I don’t want YOOOOUUUUU!!” He’s in a Daddy Only phase right now, but that’s not gonna last this month, I don’t reckon. I gathered him up and distracted him with something, and he watched a movie for an hour while I did some laundry and other futzing around the house, then I decided to put him in our Phil and Ted’s stroller and jog two miles to the park so he could play and I could get my run in. A tire was flat, so I got out the funky weird new bicycle pump the Prof just bought. It’s adjustable and works with the two main different kinds of valves, which meant it was complicated. I had no success blowing up that tire, and it took me wayyyy too long (like almost an hour) to figure out that I’m not dumb and unable to figure out the pump, but the tire wouldn’t inflate because there was a giant hole in the innertube.

I called a local bike shop to confirm they had the right size tube, then we drove over there to get it. I came home, changed the tire, and two hours after I’d had the idea, we were finally on the way to the park. (It was much hotter by that point, ERG, but I was not abandoning the plan.) Roundtrip I jogged 5 miles pushing my giant child, which is only going to make me faster in the long run but which is really annoying, especially on these terrible streets where hoisting him over giant potholes is a huge interruption in my jogging “flow.” He had a great time playing on the playground, and although it was warm, it’s definitely a mild June for New Orleans, so we didn’t overheat at all.

Unsurprisingly he fell asleep in the stroller on the return trip, so I put him in his bed and then did some stretching and lifting at home in front of Orange is the New Black, which is the show I’ve decided I’m going to binge while the Prof is out of town. I took a shower, picked around on the guitar, and overall enjoyed a Saturday where I didn’t have the pressure of catching up on billing, or entertaining two older boys. Craig eventually wandered downstairs and we got on our swimsuits and headed to the pool at the campus rec center – it’s an extremely small outdoor pool, but since most of the students are gone at this point, it usually isn’t too crowded and it’s always full of little families like mine. We didn’t have Craig’s floaties, meaning he tried very hard to drown himself numerous times (“I’m swimming mom!” SPLASH “Dear, that’s not swimming, that’s drowning, but nice try.”) We worked on learning how to swim and he had a great time jumping in and climbing out. Eventually the sun went behind a cloud and it got chilly, so we got some hot showers in the brand new renovated locker room (soooo swanky), then came home and made some pizzas for dinner. Now he’s watching a bit more tv, and I’m about to put him to bed. All in all it was a good day for the two of us, and I understand through text chats with the husband that the other three members of the family had a good day, too. The boys love their apartment and put all their stuff away, which is about all the update I got, but apparently they did great on the flight and are not at all phased by being in a different country.

So all is well. I’m trying not to think about two more weeks of awkward work awkwardness, but hopefully I’ll be able to fill it with transitioning my cases and other important work. Then I have a week off, and then I’ll start at the new firm, and then the boys will be back!

Time to put the littlest to bed. Hope your weekends are going well, too!

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Summer 2017

The boys just had their last day of school. They had a little graduation that neither of us went to, and Jack was pretty peeved about that, but too bad. I’ll go when he actually graduates from the school, but there’s no need for graduation every darn year. I love their school but this last week of school had about a million parent events, which always crimp us working parents.

They’re spending the first week of summer at Vacation Bible School, and then the two big boys head to Ireland for a whole month with their father. He is teaching a class over there, and so lodging, food, and intra-Ireland travel is covered. All we have to pay for are the boys’ plane tickets, plus the govt-subsidized Irish daycare they’ll attend while the Prof is in class. Truthfully, those costs combined are probably less than we would have paid for (non-govt-subsidized) child care here for that month. So it was a no-brainer to give them this opportunity. Craig and I will stay home. I have to work – as always – and he would not get much out of the trip and would struggle with the change in routine. So he’ll be my little bestie through the four weeks that the biggest boys will be gone.

Meanwhile, through this same month, I will be transitioning to a new job. It’s still at a law firm. We are basically settled here in New Orleans – I have no intention of leaving anytime soon. We own our house and would lose a lot to sell it, I’m tired of moving, I want the boys to have a hometown and not be forced to move a lot like I did as a kid, and we have a great social circle here which I value highly. However, we also pay a lot for private school here, meaning I’m stuck in a law firm job unless and until that changes. I’ve resigned myself to this. I certainly have lost interest in working for this shit-show federal government, not only because they have hiring freezes, vacancies in leadership positions (no head of FEMA yet, godsake, and here come the hurricanes), and the fact that any budget shutdown stops the paychecks. It’s no longer a stable, good solution right now, besides which the prosecutorial direction does not comport with my worldview (to put it oh-so mildly), so my options for a career move are more limited anyhow.

My new firm is New York based, so my hourly bill rate is much higher. This allows them to pay me much, much more than my current firm, which will give us better cash flow and allow us to hire a maid, and let me buy myself a new dress or go out to dinner once in a while without nervously checking the bank account.  I will no longer have to carefully schedule when we can afford to get my hair cut or drop off the dry cleaning – we can just take it when we need to take it. No more coupon clipping for groceries. I’ll be able to breathe. As one associate at the new firm put it – if I’m going to work every weekend of my life, I want top dollar for it. Hopefully this will relieve some of the financial pressure we’ve been feeling, due to the elevated school and housing costs here.

I haven’t given notice yet – this post is a tiny bit risky but the chance of anyone at the current firm having any connection to this blog is slim. I plan to do so as soon as my conflicts check clears – hopefully by the end of next week, it’s taking forever – and then give a two week notice and take a full week off before starting at the new place. The boys will be in Ireland still during all of this, so I’ll have a glorious week absolutely off, alone during the days while Craig is at daycare. I plan to do a few things around the house, like switch the boys’ clothes over and possibly paint some rocking chairs, and I’m also seeing a bunch of doctors (dermatologist, dentist, ladydoc) for routine appointments that I haven’t had since we moved here, because you can’t bill those hours and I’m just barely keeping up on billing. But for the most part I’m planning on relaxing, working out a ton, perhaps taking myself out to a leisurely lunch, reading a book for pleasure. (I can finish Swing Time!) Just what I need to rest and re-charge before launching into a new job, which will have more travel, more stress, needier clients, and (slightly) longer hours.

Meanwhile, the boys will get back from Ireland and then take a few more trips without me. It’s going to be a largely solo-me summer, which is good in the sense that I can bill a lot of time and hopefully impress the new firm, and also not bad for self-care. Since I no longer care how much I bill at my current firm, I’ve been working more normal days and not billing on weekends, and I’ve picked back up my guitar, been playing new stuff on the piano, and running 4-5 miles a day every day (just bought some new kicks, too!) I feel a little bit like I’m coming out of a fog that I basically entered in 2008 when Jack was born. It used to be complete self immolation in service of the children and the job, but lately I’ve been making time for other pursuits, like I used to do before Jack came along. And it’s pretty rad to find that old stuff again. Also, in the intervening 10ish years, the rise of google and the internet and youtube videos makes teaching myself guitar a lot easier. I’m thinking of re-stringing it myself, because the old strings don’t sound so great, and I can just look up how to do it online!!

So that’s spring so far. It’s been stressful with the job transition – I had to go through about a million interviews while hiding it from the current job and keeping up with billing, and then another coworker quit and they didn’t replace her yet, meaning when I leave they are going to be UP A CREEK and that’s made me feel lots of anxiety. But they treated her badly when she left (after TEN YEARS), which made me feel bad for her but less bad for leaving them. Still, I’ll be happy when August 1 comes along, because I know for sure it will all be settled by then, and we’ll have our extra $$$$ and I am buying a new handbag, possibly this one, which will be my only treat but I am super exciting about treating myself after all this impossibly hard work.

OK, off to make this for dinner.  Hopefully I’ll check in again soon, now that my billables don’t matter!!

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Back Home

We have fewer airline troubles coming home (I don’t think I wrote about how we had to board our flight to T&C three times – same plane – had to disembark and re-board three times.) We stayed with an Atlanta friend that night, going to get beer and pizza at his pretty awesome brewery (Slice and Pint – if you’re in Atlanta, you should try it. Next level food, really comprehensive bar list.)

Slice and Pint!

Slice and Pint!

Then we got up very early the next morning and headed over to Nashville to pick up the kids, before turning right around and heading out to go back to NOLA. I had to go to work the next day – all in all, that 14 hours of travel essentially wiped away any relaxation I had stored up.

Reunited with our three kings

Reunited with our three kings – plus the canine in the back

The next week was Jack’s birthday week. For his actual birthday night, my firm was holding a baseball game marketing event, and they gave me tickets for the whole family. So we had a fun baseball night with the boys.

Stair steps

Stair steps

Remove that sticker from his glasses at your peril

Remove that sticker from his glasses at your peril

The boys

The boys

Green Wave won!

Green Wave won!

Nine years old

Nine years old

We staggered through that week – it’s so hard when you have no weekend to get you set up, but at least I’d frozen some pre-made meals, so we had something to eat. That weekend, Jack had a slumber party birthday party. We had just a few boys over, and it went smoothly. Of course, I had to bill 22 hours writing some last minute briefs, so that was chaos.

Making their own pizzas

Making their own pizzas

Mine. I'm no food blogger, this isn't a great pic, but it was a great pizza!

Mine. I’m no food blogger, this isn’t a great pic, but it was a great pizza!

Movies and popcorn

Movies and popcorn

Writing briefs in between time. THREE. Three briefs. 15 pages each. Started Friday, due Monday.

Writing briefs in between time. THREE. Three briefs. 15 pages each. Started Friday, due Monday.

My little bat

My little bat

All Jack wanted for his birthday was a ouija board and one of those blow up dino costumes. So that’s what he got!

Dino

Dino

They set up a Dino-Man Lemonade stand. Sold very little. I told them $2  a glass was too steep.

They set up a Dino-Man Lemonade stand. Sold very little. I told them $2 a glass was too steep.

While we’re here, I’ll put up a couple of more pictures. Then I’d better go make dinner! Happy Saturday!

It's cool, girl. That dead squirrel is all yours.

Saw this hawk in the middle of the city randomly while running the other day. It’s cool, girl. That dead squirrel is all yours.

Morning commute

Morning commute

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Last Full Morning

 

Hot, bitter coffee, espresso. I finish The Secret Chord this morning, on the settee on the porch. I feel rinsed, wrung. I have to be dragged back here, to this tropical island, from the scrubby, brutal, bloodwashed Israel I have occupied. I immediately download Swing Time, by Zadie Smith. Only a few more days to read for pleasure.

Last night we played cards on the little wooden table on the back deck – Spit, and Rummy, in the fading light. Then we headed over to the open air bar for a quick drink – eighteen dollars apiece, these drinks, and we have limited ourselves each day to just one. I got an espresso martini – it tasted like iced coffee, truly, although it was beautifully presented with a head of cool foam and five diagonal perfectly placed coffee beans. Above us we saw at last the stars, which have been hidden by clouds the past two nights. The lighting was low – they make a point to minimize light pollution here – so we saw more than we would at home, in the city. I settled into a long, low couch full of pillows, the Prof across from me in a low wicker chair. Behind us, at the bar, four people lined up on stools and enjoy whiskey, cigars. Across from us were several employees on a night off, enjoying a drink, dressed up. Above us was a pergola with no vines – the bar is new, I don’t know if they will plant anything here and train it up the sturdy poles or not, but it seems a little funny to build a roof that is not a roof – slatted, keeping off neither rain nor sun.

Back to the room, I read some more. I skimmed through a few work emails, nothing substantive, but enough to note that we lost a big appeal. I put it out of my mind. Then I slept, in the four poster bed, surrounded by sheer net curtains. They turn down the bed each day and untie the curtains, then tie them back up in the morning.

Four poster

Four poster

Now it is morning on our last full day, and the wind is gone at last, the sky seems clearer. Perhaps we can go to the beach without being sandblasted today. My muscles are somewhat sore so I do some yoga on the damp wood of the porch. Breakfast soon.

Last Morning

Yesterday was a fairly lazy day. After breakfast – over easy eggs, sausages, bacon – we started the day with pooltime. Relaxing – still windy, but still enough today that we can open an umbrella and not be fully cooked under the sun. Some trailing through the water, I swim a few laps. There are children this morning, noisy and splashing.

I read a little of Swing Time, stare out over the ocean, doze.

Midday, after a quick and very hot run through the plantation path, we move to the beach. I kayak once more. We lounge. We walk out to the shallow sandbar area – the tide is in, and the water comes up to our waists, but no higher. I see someone taking instagram pix on the shore – I see lots of this, posed pix. I mean I’m taking pictures, don’t get me wrong, but it’s funny to see women (always women) splaying their limbs and looking dramatic, all over the place. They are all very pretty.

That afternoon, we retreat to the room and I watch a show on Netflix, taking a break from the hot sun. We have afternoon tea – peanut butter and chocolate cakes, passionfruit macaroons, Darjeeling tea. Then a bit of snoozing before drinks and dinner. They serve complimentary drinks and appetizers at the beachfront bar – a “Drink with the Manager” type thing. We have oceans of wine and lots of delicious bites, then head over for our dinner reservations. We share a bottle of Spanish red wine, a salad, basil and mozzarella pizza and a lamb ragu with pappardelle pasta. Nothing stunning here but good, just the right amount. Then to bed.

This morning, we go to breakfast, then take another walk along the plantation path and run into an Earth Day celebration of sorts. We hadn’t intended to participate in this, but are greeted so warmly that we pretend we meant to join them all along. Some staff have gathered a few guests and we are planting trees – except we are permitted to do the bare minimum of work. Someone else dug the hole, unwrapped the coconut sapling, piled dirt – we literally pick the little tree up, put it in the hole, and then kick some dirt in. It all felt a little silly, but we were good sports I think.

Such hard work

Such hard work

Breaking a sweat here

Breaking a sweat here

Get that angle just right

Get that angle just right

Finished product

Finished product

After this, we walk down the path behind one of the plantation workers, and he takes us to a little table where he uses a machete to cut a hole in some coconuts so we can drink.

Our hero

Our hero

These trees have been sponsored by local school children

These trees have been sponsored by local school children

With our coconut cups

With our coconut cups

Fully grown tree

Fully grown tree

Our little group leaves the plantation

Our little group leaves the plantation

Then he carves me a little spoon out of a coconut hull, so I can scoop out some of the flesh. It’s lovely. The staff tell us some ways that coconut can be prepared – a way to make a sort of peanut brittle out of it, in a skillet. After enjoying some coconut delicacies, we head off down the path and say good-bye to the group, and I show the Prof the stream I ran by the other day.

Traipse

Traipse

This is a slutty scarlet whore of a flower, and I love it

This is a slutty scarlet whore of a flower, and I love it

More NSFW vegetation

More NSFW vegetation

Striped bark

Striped bark

Then it’s time to go back and pack up, take the ferry boat back to the main Cay where the airport is. It will be good to see the boys, but tough to leave paradise.

Brill

Brill

Path

Path

Nook

Nook

Poolside

Poolside

Patio - where we had daily breakfast

Patio – where we had daily breakfast

Bar in the round

Bar in the round

Panorama

Panorama

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