Island hopping around the territories and a few off the grid. A vehicle full of beautifully uniformed lady officers (US) picked us up... their hair wound tightly into neatly pinned buns under their pulled-low hats. Seattle, Kansas, Miami, and San Diego birthplaces for each of them, and all smart as whips and as tough as nails. I love women who can qualify with a .50 caliber.
A seaplane functions as a commuter craft and remains out of the scope of inspection and supervision of the FAA, making the out-of-market gypsy flights fun and forehead sweat-inducing.
Seashell hunting in the late afternoon with Jr., who found me a nice paperweight for my (temporary) tropical office. The air conditioning has been left in the OFF position, and the humid salty air swirls across the desk and fills the sun-lit office. All bedroom windows and doors stay open throughout the night as well. Mojitos made with mint and basil leaf, and lightly sweetened with brown sugar make me question human existence as I once understood it.
We ran into some friends from Boston, and the children played together for the day. When we dumped the bucket of collected shells out for a poolside examination, two shells began quickly scurrying away, making the children squeal with laughter.
Mrs. had a custom made hat in a tiny child's size to keep Jr.'s head protected from the heavy sun. Under $40, and some complimentary coconut candy.
A bucket of slowly collected shells were threaded onto dental floss to make a necklace for a favorite teacher back in Boston. Patience, son.
Tan and summer-weight checked suits all around, and in the old cities, everyone (but the tourists) dresses well. Elsewhere (and far off the grid) roadside barbecued pork on a skewer runs me $1 from a wood-fired grill, and my sailing knife stays nervously on my belt when I venture to the beaches sporatically prowled by neglected ribby dogs. In some areas, the pristine and deserted beaches should be approached skeptically as local desperation has recently made them occasionally unsafe. The best restaurants have ugly cheap plastic furniture, florescent lighting, open walls, and fantastic food. You are also likely to find well-dressed theater goers, politicians, laborers, and locals of all sorts elbow to elbow, enjoying themselves and their neighbors. Mojito. Mojito. Mojito.