Wait a minute… Isn’t that supposed to be “Prodigal Son?” I’m not a prodigy, but the word prodigal certainly applies to me. After all, if I remember correctly, “prodigal” means extravagant, self-indulgent, reckless, and wanton. (God knows, I love wanton soup!) In any case, I have finally returned from my latest ocean-going voyage to the Caribbean. After two short, but sunny weeks, I am back in lovely Austin! Back in Texas! Back among sober people! Be it ever so humble, there is no place like home.
In case you’re wondering, I was sailing around the Caribbean on my latest book tour/rum tasting cruise, spreading enlightenment to the sun-tanned natives (and pale tourists) of the Leeward Islands. (Those islands are not as wild as the Wayward Islands, but just as gorgeous.) Our venture began in San Juan, Puerto Rico, which has fully recovered from last year’s devastating hurricane and looks just wonderful. We spent two days at the Marriott Resort Hotel and then boarded our vessel for a ten day jaunt to the lovely tropical islands south of Puerto Rico.
Just for the record, you can now purchase my books (both the mysteries and the histories) at the following literary locations… Tortola, Antigua, St. Lucia, Barbados, Dominica, St. Kitts, St. Martin, and St. Thomas. We visited at least one book store at each port, and after sharing a rum & coke with the proprietor, my books were prominently displayed in the window. (Until we sailed away!) Actually, the book stuff was pre-arranged, so you can probably pick up some books until the next hurricane arrives. (After that, you’ll be forced to read “Gone With The Wind!”)
Lest you think that this was some sort of working vacation, allow me to remind you of my legendary work ethic. (When I had a job, I did the work of three men: Moe, Larry, and Curly!) I don’t take life too seriously because I have a feeling that I’m not going to get out alive when my time comes. Just saying.
So, how was I able to ingratiate myself to the locals so quickly? Good question. I’ve found that if you tuck one part of your pant leg into your sock, people expect less of you and are willing to give you directions. (Even if you don’t need directions.) On this particular voyage, I also observed that women spend more time thinking about what men are thinking than men actually spend thinking. Just saying.
My best one-liner of the entire two-week hiatus was delivered at the Jolly Beach Resort on Antigua. As we were entering the lobby, I spotted a donkey crossing the road. Amazingly, the animal looked both ways before crossing. I turned to my travel-mates and said, “Smart ass!” (Everyone laughed except the local gendarme)
As usual, the best part of the trip was meeting and making friends with folks from across the globe. We made many new friends, but I would be remiss not to single out a very special couple from Wales… Sir Emlyn and Dame Gwyneth Jones. These whacky Welsh wonders were thoroughly delightful and enlivened many of our dinners with their brilliant repartee. (Dame Gwyneth loves her white wine and frequently giggles before, during, and after sips!) Another tip of the hat to Roger and Jo, and also to Steve & Edith, Scott & Martha, and Dr. and Mrs. Bali Rangpoor of Sri Lanka. Thanks for making this such a memorable voyage!
And speaking of remembering things… Today just happens to be Judge Susan’s 39th birthday. (again) Allow me to wish her “Happy Birthday” and ask her forgiveness for drinking her birthday rum on the way home from the airport. (Hey, man does not survive by bread alone!)
By the way, have you ever locked yourself out of your hotel room and wondered how long it would be before your spouse came looking for you? (The answer is 37 minutes.) I shall elaborate on this fascinating bit of trivia at a later date! Incidentally, while I was wandering around the Marriott (at five o’clock in the morning) I saw several guests leaving the hotel in shorts and sneakers. I suddenly realized that some people do this on purpose to exercise! Dear God, what is wrong with humanity?
For the record, I was up at that ungodly hour playing poker. (I was not, as the San Juan papers suggested, up to “no good.”) At my age, “getting lucky” is finding my car in the parking lot at the mall. (Or an extra set of room keys!) Just saying.
I will eat a slice of birthday cake in Judge Susan’s honor later tonight. (Don’t repeat this, but I eat a slice of cake almost every day because somewhere, it is someone’s birthday.) I know what you’re thinking. They don’t make men like me any more. How true, how true.
As I frequently remind Judge Susan, “judge not, lest ye be judged.” (I didn’t make that up.) I can tell when people are judgmental. (Just by looking at them) What can I say, folks? These jokes might be old, but very few of them have made their way to Wales. (I hope!)
Next week we shall return to our novel-in-progress, titled, GULLIBLE TRAVELERS. Our last chapter dealt with Mykonos, and next week’s tale will take place in the wondrous city of Kusadasi, Turkey! Please join me for another enthralling (and mostly true) adventure. Until then, have a safe and smile-filled week….. Love to all,
***P.S. If you scroll down you will see me in all my glory (partially clad) on the shores of glorious St. Bart’s. (Please feel free to copy and enlarge if you need a wall poster for your dorm room)