After browsing all the local shops on Front Street and finding gifts for each of the loved ones back home, we decided to spend the last day of our honeymoon taking a day trip to a neighboring island. Truth be told, my head was still spinning over the short courtship and whirlwind wedding. I so wanted a real wedding (eloped at 8 months pregnant the first time) and Steve was happy to oblige (it's his first marriage afterall). He insisted on a honeymoon (why shouldn't he?) but I was worried about spending so much money (as a single mom of two I never had a dime).
Even though I was certain he was the one, I'm not usually good at changes so it was out of character for me to make such a life change in this short period of time. Engaged after one date and married within months. If you're wondering how I got to a place emotionally that I was ready to marry again... well, that's another story. I was thrilled, overflowing with joy! It was right!! But it was fast. A day of relaxing on the boat and strolling the beach was probably what I needed before going back to reality.
I'd never been on a boat before except to water ski on the Lake near home, which I wasn't very good at and since I didn't enjoy water up the nose and various other places, I hadn't water skied much either. This was a small boat with about 5 or 6 rows of bench seats, a canopy to block the sun and a loud motor in the back. We left the dock and the breeze felt good because it so steamy hot and it was still early morning. I was sunburned (redhead!) from the previous afternoon at the pool and hours of shopping outdoors. It was uncomfortably hot. After awhile, I looked around and didn't see any land except the land that we'd pulled away from. Something didn't seem right, I could feel it in my stomach. Aside from the driver there was only one other "employee". When she was available, I asked her, "How far away is the island?" "It's going to take about an hour... Um... Are you ok? Do you feel sick?" She told Steve and I to move to the back where there would be more fresh air. I didn't think I was sick. I just didn't realize the island was so far away. I was panic stricken.
I have no idea what happened in between that moment and stepping on shore. You would think that being off the water the "seasickness" would cease but no. In fact, I wasn't really even sick on the boat from what I was told. I just froze up like I was in shock or something but once on land, I could definitely feel my stomach turning. Actually, everything was turning. I stood rather wobbly on the pier, leaning against a slat-board fence while Steve talked to the boat employees. They pointed up the mountainous hill beyond the beach. "She can't get back on that boat!" I heard Steve say, nearly yelling. He turned and took me by the waist, leading me to the beach. I couldn't even think straight. When he asked me if I wanted to sit down, I didn't know how to answer.
The island was slightly (very slightly) inhabited. There was a bar of sorts just off the beach so we found a seat. The place was empty. The barkeeper came over and sat with us for a while. She kept shoving lemon halves at me, making me sniff them. Steve kept getting up to use the phone. I remember being surprised that there was a phone! Apparently, there were a scarce few on the entire island. We sat there for hours. I wasn't throwing up even though everything was spinning. I couldn't process things very well. After a good long time, and I didn't really understand how, the lemons were helping and my head was starting to clear. A tiny little car with an unusual looking driver appeared and took us through winding, bumpy "streets", up (way up) the hill and away from the other passengers from the boat.
Still feeling very confused, Steve held my hand and pulled me out of the midget car. We were in a little market area. "Up windward side... Around that way", a lady was saying to Steve. Walking and walking and it was so hot! Booby Hill the sign read and they had a phone. They took me to a little room with a mattress on the floor. I think I fell asleep.
When I opened my eyes, I had no idea how long I'd been there or if I'd been sleeping BUT I wasn't in a fog anymore! I was a bit woozy but pretty much back to myself. Steve was laying beside me, leaned up on his elbow watching me. I asked him what time it was. "Don't worry about it. Just rest." He said. "But we'll miss our boat. We need to start heading back to the beach." He shushed me and said, "I've taken care of it. Do you feel better?" "I must. I'm hungry", I said trying to smile. "When you're ready, we'll go eat."
I grabbed all our stuff and opened the door to the room... to be met with blue sky and the tops of palm trees. In every direction all I could see was ocean but it was way, way below us. It was breathtaking. I stood for a moment taking it all in, wondering how we got to this place. "I have to take a picture!" I said. Steve took the camera and walked down to a clearing, away from the tree tops. He turned around and snapped a picture of me - silly man.
On our walk to find something to eat he explained that the boat had left and that he was able charter a small plane to pick us up but the pilot was not available until later tomorrow. "But we're supposed to flying back home tomorrow!" I said. "I changed all the flights and I talked to your dad. The boys are fine. Your parents said they can stay as long as we need. Everyone just wants to make sure that you're ok so we'll have to call home again later to let them know."
It was one of those life changing moments. After all the years of struggle, I stood there in that moment, squinting from the late afternoon sun and I knew this: The man who just days ago promised to take care of me, really did!
...So we were staying the night on the island. Thankfully, that little room with a mattress on the floor was a darling one room cottage. There weren't any screens on the windows and it felt like a shed. The outdoor shower was freezing bags of water with a fast drip. There wasn't really much civilization around and the bugs were unusually loud. But when would I ever again be able to spend my honeymoon stranded on a island?!
(p.s. Oh yeah, years later I was diagnosed with a condition that causes sudden vertigo. LOL!)