Well, everyone – this blog is a little different from our usual entries. Today is my (Stacy’s) 40th birthday, so please indulge me for a bit! We all know that benchmark birthdays bring different emotions to different people. It’s a chance to reflect on our lives so far, and to wonder what our future will bring. What have I done with my life? Am I happy with where I am now? What might be next? A lot of people have asked how I felt about turning 40, and I can honestly say, not only do I have no problem with turning 40, I’ve even been excited about it. I’ve been so incredibly lucky to get to spend every day of the past two years with my hubby and best friend, Rene, in some mind-blowingly beautiful places…often surrounded by great friends. How can I not get excited about that?
My morning started off with a fantastic surprise from Rene: he got me a card and a gift! Now before you (or he) thinks I’m slamming him, think about our situation: we literally spend nearly every waking moment together and have done so for two years. Our running count of hours apart since March 2009 is somewhere between ten and twelve hours now, but that’s it. We’re never out of each other’s presence long enough to buy a card or present without the other knowing about it, so surprises are a HUGE accomplishment on this boat. Thanks to a problem we’re currently having with our dinghy’s outboard engine ("dinghy" equals "car" to the rest of you), Rene spent a good part of Saturday in town and managed to do a little surprise shopping. I adore this man!
Our next stop of the day was breakfast with LA and Susan aboard Genesis. As many of you know, we’ve been traveling with them for the past five months, and have seen them practically every day for that time. We’ve laughed, cried, told stories, had debates, explored new places, eaten fantastic meals, and drunk plenty of wine together, and they’ve become more important to us than we can even say. (Sadly, we’re getting ready to go our separate ways in a few days; don’t even get me started blubbering about THAT.) They invited us over for one of Susan’s yummy breakfasts of eggs, sausage, and biscuits, complimented – of course – by mimosas. Talk about a warm and fuzzy start to the day! (Of course, we forgot to bring a camera...) We really appreciated getting to spend some time together before they head for Florida, and will keep trying to convince them to join us on our southward venture. Denial is a beautiful thing, right?
After a much-needed nap (champagne seriously kicks my butt!), we got ready for the big party. Deana and Troy from Storyville, LA and Susan from Genesis, and Barbara and Gary from Pa’La O’La arranged a beach BBQ and bonfire in a gorgeous cove. The cove is apparently the home of a nudist camp during peak season – we didn’t go quite that far, but we sure enjoyed the thatched-roof palapa and bar they left behind! The ladies coordinated all the food (Barbara even made a chocolate birthday cake in her solar oven), Gary manned the grill, and Troy played guitar. We took a swim after dinner and got a fire going on the beach as the sun set. As if the great friends, food, and setting weren’t enough, there were even presents: LA and Susan gave me a terrific herbs & spices cookbook that should make shopping in the Caribbean a real adventure; Deana showed off her (very talented) artistic streak with a “Deana Jones Original” painted sea bean; and Barbara made a bookmark from a heart-shaped piece of coral found on one of her and Gary's many beach hunts. It really was the perfect day, and I have to thank each and every one of our great friends for giving me the best birthday ever. Cheers!!