There is something to be said about being on vacation. Being away from the regular routine and not feeling that sense of urgency that one gets when you wake and prepare to get out there and earn your living. Knowing that today you must succeed in order to feed your family, that today the hunt must be successful. Waking on vacation does not come with that sense of urgency and being on vacation on a Caribbean island just reinforces that lack of intensity. So what is to be said about being on vacation? YA-FREAKIN’-HOO!!!
Last night I was introduced to the ‘Espresso Martini’, compliments of Ginger. It is a concoction of Vodka, Kahlua, caramel rum, ice and coffee, shaken, not stirred, in a martini mixer and served in martini glasses. We don’t have martini glasses here at Pirate beach so we improvised and used wine glasses. It is a smooth drink that goes down far too easy as this morning my head will attest to.
Being on vacation should be about trying new things, things that are out of your norm. Some people go zip lining or scuba diving or some other such activity. I’m not that kind of adventurer and prefer a more sedate vacation lifestyle, so for years now my adventuring has usually come in a glass or on a plate. Vacation should be about breaking routine and enjoying life the way it comes without the intensity. Vacation should be fun and stress free. Vacation should include a few pitchers of espresso martini’s.
Even though I am waking hours later than I normally would I am still the first of our merry band to rise. Out onto my cabana deck I go and light the first cigarette of too many I will smoke that day. It doesn’t seem to matter what time I go to bed I rise before the sun and being so far away from civilization it is very dark, the only light coming from the end of my smoke. But it is that small ember that gets the day started here at the Playa Magante.
Within moments of its lighting a switch is turned on in the nearby restaurant and there is activity. I’m not paying any attention to it and might not have even noticed it if it had not been so dark everywhere around me. Minutes later, out of the darkness, comes my main man Carmelo with a tray loaded with cups, sugar, cream and the all important center piece… a thermos of fresh coffee.
Even though I have been away from the playa for two years some things have not changed and Carmelo is one of them. He has been keeping watch since I first came to this place and has been making me my morning coffee the entire time. If they had an employee of the month I would nominate him. He gets my day started on the right foot.
There are little things that make a place memorable, for me Carmelo and the coffee is one of those things. He’s been bringing me coffee for six years now. It all began when Honey and I first booked a stay at Los Gringos. Not knowing what to expect since we had never stayed at anything but an all-inclusive, we contacted Patrick (the proprietor) and asked whether or not we should bring a coffee maker with us. I explained that I was an early riser and would be climbing the walls in need of caffeine by the time the restaurant opened at seven, so bringing a coffee maker would be my solution unless one was available.
Absolutely not, I was told. There was a night guard and Patrick would make sure that the guard brought me coffee regardless of what time I arose. True to his word the first morning I stumbled out onto my cabana’s deck and lit a cigarette, out of the darkness tray in hand, arrived Carmelo. It’s a small thing but as I have said, it is those small things that matter most.
Patrick has been gone for two years now and there is a new proprietor in place. Los Gringos is no more, it has been replaced by Playa de los Piratas and still out of the darkness comes Carmelo.