They arrived safely and registered at Castaways Bungalows, where Meadow had stayed years ago. They had a bungalow built just for two with its own patch of beach. Immediately upon arrival Meadow called home and gave their room number to Brian's mother and then spoke for a moment to both of the older kids. She didn't want to confuse Willow by letting her hear her mommy's voice over the phone when she would not be near for a few days.
Brian had worn his usual "dressed up" look of jeans, turtle neck and sport jacket on the plane. Once at their bungalow he changed--it was very hot out--into a muscle shirt and jeans. Both of these "looks" were ones he wore at home when he wasn't wearing his "uniform" of jeans, boots, t-shirt and leather vest.
The first place Meadow wanted to go was to the Twikkii Beach Boardwalk. She left Brian to shop for trinkets and souvenirs to bring back to the children while she went down to watch the Fire Dance.
It was not too long before Brian came down to join her and, after observing the the show, paid to learn the basics of the dance. He seemed to be a natural. Meadow went upstairs then to shop for native clothing for Brian and herself. That night they slept well in the small bedroom with amazing views of the beach.
Doing the tourist bit at Jumbok was the the plan for the next day, where they could also sample the mineral springs. Meadow was truly amazed when Brian wore one of the lightweight light-colored shirts and cargo pants she'd bought him. Even when she purchased these things she figured he would not veer from his usual attire. He felt best in those and usually wore dark colors as well. But she wanted to have them available just in case. After a day of heat he was evidently ready to dress in this relaxed fashion even if it was not the style he usually wore. She was afraid to even tease him about it right now in case he got self-conscious and reverted to leather, studs and denim. After Jumbok Brian checked with a guide to find out what else might be interesting and he mentioned a few tours that were available. The couple decided on the glass bottom boat tour and the guide summoned a shuttle to take them to the dock.
They went back to Castaway's and as they crossed the beach Meadow sighed and said,
"Wouldn't the kids love staying here--I mean with the beach so close?"
"I know," Brian agreed, "We have to come back again and bring them with us."
The sun was still shining and they decided to spend some time on the beach, swimming and sunning. Brian even got into making a sandcastle.
Brian definitely had to watch it in the sun--he was very fair even though his hair was so dark. Meadow asked him once about his black hair (which no one else in his family had except his twin sister, Bridget) and he suddenly frowned a moment, looking down. Then he recovered his good-nature and said,
"Ahhh, m'darlin', that's the "black Irish" in me."
"Wait, 'black Irish'? What does that mean?"
"There is a certain coloring among some Irish peoples; coal black hair, light blue or gray eyes and very fair skin that is referred to as "black Irish". Of course, it's mainly people outside Ireland who refer to it that way. My mother's maiden name was Duffy, you know."
"Actually, I didn't know. Anyway, I love your coloring, babe."
So that day Brian wore heavy protection sunblock. Meadow had naturally dark skin and usually used some sort of Hawaiian Tropic oil with a SPF of 6 or 8. She was very perturbed and somewhat embarrassed, not to mention uncomfortable, when it was she who sported the sunburn that night.
"I just don't understand it--I never burn, never."
Brian just shrugged and kept smoothing aloe gel on her back.
After supper a strange phenomenon occurred. As they were getting ready for bed a hotel employee walked through the door--which Brian could have sworn he'd locked--and was about to use their shower. Brian put an end to that and evicted him, but as he was leaving someone else came through the door, they couldn't tell if it was an employee or a guest, then suddenly there were three strange people in the living room of the bungalow. They went to the front desk to complain and two of the people followed them. Brian didn't even say "leave us alone"--it seemed obvious these people were a little out of their minds.
"Look, I don't know if they used a passkey or jimmied the lock when we weren't looking but you need to do something about it," Brian told the guy there.
"Yes, well, we've had complaints, but we don't know what is wrong," he said helplessly, "So we don't know what to do about it."
"That's it, then? You don't know what to do so you aren't going to do anything? Okay, then we're gone," easy-going Brian was furious, "This is the most ridiculous thing I've ever encountered. Meanwhile I suggest you start out by calling the police."
Using the desk phone, Brian called another hotel and miraculously was able to get a room at the last moment.They went back to their room and packed as fast as possible since there were still two unknown people in their room watching the TV, then left for the new hotel.
They checked in at the Royal Palm where they had a nice big room on the first floor with a large balcony. It was definitely a balcony rather than a deck because the first floor was raised up about ten feet above the beach).
They were so keyed up that, even though they'd been about to go to bed when all this happened at Castaways, Meadow turned on the TV for a bit so they could just relax and calm down. They did relax but this led to other things...
The next morning while Meadow showered and dressed, Brian was on the floor working out to the TV. Breakfast was out on the balcony and featured a Polynesian style omelet, with a sweet and spicy filling. They they discussed plans for the day which would include the Whitesands Mineral Spa. Meanwhile they enjoyed the sights and sounds of the surf pounding the beach, the sea gulls squawking and diving and the scent of the sea.
Next update: Brian Ottomas Ch. 7 Twikkii Island Pt. 2