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Calm

Playing Jazz on the Beach

by Laura Preble
(La Mesa, California, US)

Laura and Chris playing jazz

Laura and Chris playing jazz

Laura and Chris playing jazz
Posing action figures at the aquarium
Pretending to snorkel, sans gear
Our nicknames...really.

The golden-pink glow of the Caribbean sunrise washes through the room as turquoise waves roll ashore mere yards from my window. A lovely, warm breeze billows the white curtains in my Carimar room, carrying the scent of the sea and sand to my waking senses. It is June 28th, my final day, my only day, in Anguilla. I'm going to eat, drink, play jazz music, swim, and pose actions figures for photos.

I’ve just finished teaching the semester at high school, and I’m here for a desperately needed day of relaxation and peace. I wake to the sound of nature, wind, waves, with my husband Chris beside me, still sleeping. I quietly get out of bed, stretch, and walk onto the balcony, where a fresh pot of coffee is waiting for me.

Wrapping my new terry robe around me, I pour a cup, curl up in my chair, and watch the waves as they lap against the cashmere sands. This time alone is precious; my soul craves the fresh air, the open ocean, the serenity. Sipping coffee, I reach for a book, and begin to read as the sun comes up.

When Chris awakens, we head to the shore for a morning swim before breakfast. We splash and play like we’re teenagers, kissing as the salt-tinged water caresses our legs.

After washing up, we head down to Deon’s Overlook (if it’s open…not sure since it was closed temporarily?) for a balcony breakfast with fantastic fresh-brewed coffee. I’m thinking pancakes…but French toast is always an option, and I do love bacon. I don’t know. I may have so much to eat that I won’t be able to move for an hour or two.

We’ll bring the card game Frog Juice that we played on our honeymoon, before we had kids, and get in a few hands as we nosh on our wonderful yummies and play guess-the-cloud shape games. The clouds over the ocean there are unreal…like a painting God would have in his (or her) living room. We also have to bring our two Phineas and Ferb action figures, because we take pictures of them on every vacation. I've included a couple of pix from vacations past.

Once we’ve cleaned up at cards (no betting, just fun), horseback riding is on the agenda. I’ve never done this, but desperately want to. The idea of riding a gorgeous horse from somewhere like Seaside Stables along the coast is a dream come true. I would pretend I was a pirate princess, hair blowing behind me, and once we’d ridden for a bit, we would stop and share a bottle of wine beneath a beach umbrella as our horses rested.

I love to eat, so next stop would be food again. Cote Mer, with a lovely seafood lunch and wine. After we eat our leisurely meal, my husband would get his clarinet, and we would find a secluded spot on the beach to play jazz, and I would sing.

We are musicians, and playing for each other is one of the rare pleasures we share when we have time (almost never). I have a dream of us playing our favorite standards under a palm tree or two as waves roll in and breezes cool us. If no one else hears, who cares? We’re doing it for each other. Later in the evening we’ll find a spot to play for someone else over cocktails and colored lights.

After we’ve played to our hearts’ content, we’ll need to go back to the hotel to pack away the instruments and prepare for the afternoon. This will necessitate a nap… something I never get to do.

After that, we put our suits on and head for the beach again for some splashing and reading under a beach umbrella.

After that, we head over for some snorkeling lessons (although I love the beach, I am not an expert under the water, so I need some help with even something simple like snorkeling), and dive in under the gorgeous waves to see how many colorful fish we can photograph (underwater camera…). Another great opportunity to get some pix of Phineas and Ferb diving in the ocean. But we can't lose them!

We’d leave the beach to go and get cleaned up for dinner, which we would have at da’Vida. Not sure what we’d order… depends on the offerings and how we feel. Definitely I’d have a lovely rum drink as the sun goes down, (my husband doesn’t drink, so he’d probably have a diet coke). I’m thinking something not too heavy, because we have to leave room for dessert, as Chris loves dessert, especially anything with chocolate.

After dinner, we’d find a place where we could play and sing for anyone who would care to listen, and I’d continue to enjoy cool, refreshing rum drinks.

After that, we’d take one last walk on the beach before turning in for the night.

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