Island Life

Another of life’s perfect moments.  There are palm trees full of coconuts waving long fronds over an ocean so blue that it make the sky turn pale.  My children are playing with their Dad, splashing in a pool tiled with rustic stones and lava rocks, alternating games of Sharks and Minerals (we still don’t have the heart to tell them it’s Minnows), and Throw Daddy In The Pool.  I was swimming too, doing the Mom Swim to keep my hair out of the water, and accepting that Mike affectionately calls me “grandma,” which the boys think is very funny.

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Right now, I’m in a hammock.  One of those huge, luxurious ones with the bars at both ends, wide enough to lay flat without buckling you in the middle or making you feel like you need to grips the sides to stay on.  Fishermen, seafood, mangoes, rum, and a refrigerator full of steaks, red wine, Boursin cheese, and Pringles.  I think we’ve found vacation!  I think being with my family is the best place on earth.

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Things I hear:

“Emile, can I write you a book?  Maybe about cooking or soup?”  (Eli, as Remy in Ratatouille)

“Hey brother, are you okay?”

“I’m a baby turtle!  I’m from Zanzibar!”  Apparently, turtles wear jet packs.  Or at least Eli thinks so.

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The grandma comments are sort of funny, sort of not, for the grains of truth embedded in those words.  I’ve reached the stage of wrinkled-ness where I now slather my whole body in sunscreen and wear a hat everywhere, even in the pool.  I see myself in a swimsuit and acknowledge that gravity is going to win.  There is a subtle awareness that each of my telomeres is on a steady march toward senescence.  Sigh.  But there are beautifully unexpected parts to this 40 business too.  It’s no longer torture to sit on a airplane for 24+ hours, who could complain about some dull time to just sit and watch a movie?  I care less about what people think about what I say, because I realize nobody is really listening anyway.  My liver has figured out what to do with a third glass of wine.  My kids sleep through the night, and we can take take them out to late dinners until 10pm without anyone having a meltdown.  These are things I wouldn’t trade for 30.

“Mom, how do you spell Paris?”

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Eli is drawing next to me, still working on a cookbook cover for Jake, who will be the Head Waiter.  A boat full of scuba divers is sailing by, and I hear a group of Chinese ladies posing for wedding pictures in front of the church.

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We tried to be quiet while skulking up under the windows to hear the wedding music.  Mike got the boys laughing:

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“Mom, what are those leaves you put in the soup?”  (Bay Leaves)

“Remy is making a cookbook for his brother, so his brother knows how to cook!”

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Mauritius is definitely an interesting melting pot.

These pictures were all taken during our 10 minute drive into town today for ice cream:

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Oh, and this one too…

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The ice cream we found was AMAZING, I guess thanks to the Italians?  We had breakfast one morning at this little place, run by an Italian whose father was part of the Diplomatic Corps in Ethiopia.  It was lovely, and maybe the only place open for breakfast in the whole city?  Breakfast is certainly an American thing.  The store sold cheese, champagne, and Italian wine.

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To add to the eclectic cultural mix, a group of South Africans is living upstairs, and did we mention that everyone we meet, no matter what their cultural background (Indian, Creole, Italian, African, Chinese) speaks French?

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What a nice surprise Mauritius has been!  We are still trying to figure it out.

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