Today was the day we had been dreaming about. Although we love Hilda and we were getting used to the humidity, the thought of spending 4 nights in an air conditioned apartment with a real bed was so exciting! What was even more exciting was that Gemma and Kieran were arriving tonight and after Christmas we would be starting out adventure down the East coast together. We had just one more thing to do before we could check in and we were hoping that it would be different from doing it at home. The people here are so chilled out that we were sure it would be. - we were soooo wrong! I now know that it doesn’t matter what side of the world you are on Christmas shopping is a nightmare and it turns even the most chilled out people into monsters. Finally, 5 hours, 4 supermarkets and a bottleshop later we were pulling into the carpark of our apartment. Now all we had to do was drag the shopping and all the things we needed up a flight of stairs. Another hour later we were sat on the veranda enjoying a well deserved bottle of cider. We could only
have one though as we were due to pick Gemma and Kieran up from the airport at midnight. Well it would have been midnight had it not been for the airline delaying the flight. The finally arrived at 2.30am. On the way back from the airport we got lost - if you ask Andy he will tell you a different story, probably involving the words guided tour, but take it from me we were lost! Anyway none of that mattered as we were all soon sat on the veranda with a cold drink.
It was the day before Christmas and all through the house not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse - well not quite true. Me and Andy had been up for a long time. But after a long day yesterday Gemma and Kieran didn’t appear till 2pm. While they ate their cereal on the veranda me and Andy cracked open out first drink of the day. Our plan was to have a few drinks at the appartment and then venture into town to enjoy some festive spirit. Cyclone Tasha had other ideas though. We soon had to come inside as the rain
was being blown sideways onto our veranda. Large branches that were as thick as some tree trunks were bending like twigs with the force of the wind. The news said that although Cyclone Tasha may not arrive we would be getting strong wind and rain. We were unsure what to do about going out but Gemma looked out onto the veranda and said she thought it would stop - that was good enough for us so we all jumped in a taxi and made our way to the pier bars. We arrived just in time. It was happy hour so 2 beers and 2 vodkas came to just $12 (£7.50) what a bargain. The rain poured down all night, but we were dry and cosy watching it run by the bucket load from the roof of the veranda. Around midnight we decided to go back to the apartment. None of us wanted to feel rough on Christmas day, plus Andy had cooked Thai curry earlier in the day and we were all starving. On the way to find a taxi we got soaked. Gemma and I reasoned that since we were already drenched it was a good idea to go
for a swim in the lagoon. Andy and Kieran were not keen on the idea, but Gem and I made a run for it. We paddled and splashed about at first, but when we were just about to jump in we heard a man shouting though a loudspeaker - “ you two ladies, the lagoon is closed, please get out of the lagoon, I repeat please get out of the lagoon ladies” I turned to see a security guard in a bright yellow mac racing towards us. We quickly picked up our soggy belongings and ran to find Andy and Kieran. We now only had one problem… would we find a taxi driver who would be prepared to take home two respectable looking gents and their rather less respectable looking dripping fiancées!! As we approached the taxi rank me and Gemma hid behind Andy and Kieran. When they jumped in a taxi, we quickly jumped in the back and did our best impressions of dry people. Luckily the taxi had leather seats, so when we got out we didn’t leave wet marks behind.
We were all full after curry - which was scrummy as always. An early night was
what we all needed - well we all know that Santa doesn’t come if your awake!
At 8am I woke up and peered round the living room door. With a huge grin I turned to Andy, “he’s been!” I said. After waking Gem and Kieran up we all sat around the table to open our presents “can we start” said Kieran excitedly. “Oh let me just make a cup of tea” said gem. Kieran looked like if he had to wait any more he would burst! Gem returned with her cuppa and we all took it in turns to open our presents - Kieran first. After a couple of presents it soon became apparent that both men had a new Christmas outfit. Andy in his new surf shirt and Kieran looked like the elf that Santa had left behind!
Presents all opened we all sat down to a cooked breakfast with the traditional accompaniment of bucks fizz. The weather of yesterday was a distant memory, the sky was blue and it was approaching 30 °. Afeter breakfast we got into our swimming costumes, jumped into Hilda and went to the lagoon - which I have
to say looked much different in daylight. It was clearly a popular choice for Christmas entertainment. There were kid splashing about and families with picnics. We swam, played and sunbathed (all in Christmas hats) for and hour and a half before heading back to the apartment to sit around the pool with a few beers. It was all feeling a little strange for Christmas day, but things got even stranger when the lads disappeared to bbq Christmas dinner while the girls prepared the veg and set the table. BBQ done we sat down to T-bone steak, chicken, veg, roast potatoes and even Yorkshire puds - all done with no oven - a very British menu with a Auz twist. After dinner there was more fun and games in the pool in the rain, then back the more traditional UK Christmas activity we all sat on the sofa eating chocolate while watching a Christmas film. We then took our over indulged selves off to bed.
After checking out the sales and having a drink in the converted courthouse boxing day was filled with much of the same. BBQing around the pool and playing in the pool like
kids till we were too tired to stand up.
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