As promised many months ago, I am keeping my readers abreast of an annual vacation that my sisters and I take, along with a whole string of other fun-loving people from across the US and Canada that we’ve met along the way. Most of us agree that it is the best vacation ever. Martinique will be the likely destination this year. For a preview: http://tinyurl.com/aoupvwl
Looks good, huh? It is. It seems that no matter what your idea of a ‘great vacation’ is, Club Med offers it up. For starters, it’s an all-inclusive, which in my book, is the only way to go, and Club Med has the edge on the ‘all-inclusive’ vacation. For me, being on vacation means that I don’t have to make choices based on affordability; I think about finances all year long but please, not when I’m on vacation. I also want to play, eat, drink, relax, socialize, dance, and try new things without compromising quality.
I work hard at my job and I want to arrive home feeling rejuvenated . . . . not exhausted, needing a ‘vacation from my vacation’. My ideal get-away is without a schedule. I like to be spontaneous every day, doing what I want, when I want. I like to wake up to no alarm clock, indulging in ‘absurdly long’ breakfasts by the water. I want to sun on the beach or read a book under a shady palm during the mid-day hours with the ocean as my backdrop. I like to meander barefoot to the beach bar for a Peña Colada whenever the urge arises, taking in the salty breeze as the sand squishes between my toes. I like having an endless supply of food and wine at my meals.
I love the individual theme of each club and the way they’re laid out; usually on 40 acres or more. There is a central ‘hub’, in an area that consists of a pool, the largest bar, the largest restaurant, reception, a boutique, a place to schedule excursions, massages, diving, deep sea fishing . . . this is where you’ll find the people who like to be in the middle of things. . . . water aerobics, pool games, music, table tennis, billiards, and a multitude of fun other things to participate in; or you might just want relax by the pool to observe the other vacationers exerting energy. And then of course, there are the more remote places to spend your day without all the action; just the harmonious sounds of the breaking waves and swaying palm fronds in the tropical breeze. There are a few things that cost extra such as an excursion or a massage, but I have to have a massage in one of those cute little huts on the beach; have to . . . . reaffirms that life is indeed, good.
I love hopping on the snorkeling boat which goes out twice a day. I’m not a diver but snorkeling makes me feel like I am, with a lot less commitment of course. It’s always nice to grab a drink after the twenty minute boat ride back to land; I feel that I genuinely need it after exhausting myself like that; floating on the water, spying on the colorful marine life.
Some years I’m more adventurous than others. There have been times that I couldn’t be pried from my beach chair, period. And yet other times when I wanted to do more than watch the ‘brave ones’ (see video) http://youtu.be/BnOqiLBvG7M.
Everyone is different and everyone has a different idea of what kindles their spirit when they take time off to nurture their soul. Club Med offers it up. Want to learn how to sail, scuba dive, snorkel, windsurf, water ski, play tennis, shoot a bow and arrow, fly on a full size trapeze (not all clubs have the latter), or do you prefer to jump into a game of beach volleyball or play pool or table tennis at your leisure? After a lesson, you can spend the remainder of the week learning how to perfect your new sport. It’s all included in the price.
But there is one thing that always remains the same, year after year, no matter the Club Med location: we laugh . . . . and laugh . . . . and laugh . . . . frequently into the wee hours of the morning . . . and we dance like nobody’s watching. Life is indeed, good.
Do I come home feeling rested? It literally takes me a couple of days to get off ‘island time’ and back in the swing of things. I’m so relaxed that I can barely kick it into high gear, and that is always the sign of a good vacation. Something we all agree on (my favorite, by the way): time s l o w s d o w n. The week doesn’t fly by in the blink of an eye, but rather, feels like you’ve been there for a long time, savoring every blissful detail of paradise.
For those of you, who like the idea of this vacation, but not sure about going with a group, let me assure you of this: you’re on your own. It’s comforting for some to know there are others there with whom you can immediately connect with, but for others, they might want a romantic get-away, or they need the solitude. No worries, we’ll wave at you from across the path on your way to lunch; that will be your biggest commitment to this group. Or if you prefer, have lunch, dinner or a cocktail with us and share some stories from the day. We’re all here to do what we want, when we want, with whoever we want.
I extend this offer to all of you, my readers: jump on board with us this March or April; the week is still undecided. It is likely that we’re going to Martinique, but even the location isn’t solid just yet; no matter, they’re all wonderful. My husband lovingly gives me this gift of a ‘girl trip’ each year. You too can make it a girl or guy trip or you can bring your loved one and indulge in a romantic get-away. Price is based on double occupancy and although a private room can be had, it’s usually an additional $300.00. Last year it cost us $699, excluding air, because we had a group of over twenty . . . . seven days, everything included, even tips. This trip is well-worth twice that price, I assure you. I’m holding off, hoping to get a rate close to last year and then we’ll book it with 10% down ($69.00). Sixty days before departure they take a bit more, and the balance 30 days before we hop on the plane.
So there you have it. If you’re interested, email me privately at PMerker@TampaBay.rr.com and I’ll put you on the list to keep you updated. And ask me any questions as well. I’m telling you about this in advance so that you can get prepared. When I get that anticipated email, we have to be ready. Sometimes we only have three days to reserve at that price. If you book it and then change your mind, there is a still lots of time to cancel without a penalty. We’d love to have you join us. If you’re a parent who hasn’t had an adult vacation in a long time, you will come home a better parent. You won’t be sorry and most likely; you’ll join us on many future trips. There are probably lots of reasons you shouldn’t go, but as Grand Master would say, “Life is meant to be lived, little master, take some time for YOU.”
In love and light,