Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘luxury

Luxury

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luxury
simple luxury abounds
surrounds
confounds
in abundance
to the point
of being overlooked
an electric outlet
a grocery store
zippers!
socks
broadcast radio
books filled with pages
words
language!
and love
what a luxury
to love

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Written by johnwhays

October 21, 2018 at 6:00 am

Fiftieth Anniversary

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The big five-oh. It is a milestone that deserved the biggest family trip yet. To celebrate 50 years of marriage, Fred and Marie found a way to include all of their children and grandchildren into one awesome week of vacation. They rented a mansion that could house all of us on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.

Spending a week at Hilton Head together was so much more than just a vacation to the beach. We weren’t staying in hotel rooms. We had an entire house. Granted, it was a mansion large enough that we could retreat to our own rooms, just as if it were a hotel.

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A significant difference was that family prepared the meals right there in the kitchen. Cousins had some extended quality time to develop greater bonds. Kids all got a dose of supervision and play from aunts and uncles that gave parents occasional breaks and expanded everyone’s understanding of the rest of their family.

Staying together in one house was the big key that set this trip apart from all the others. It was like a week at Wildwood, except on the ocean with an expansive sandy beach.

And, well, it was extravagantly luxurious, too. It felt like a dose of what being rich and famous might be like.

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Those stairs. So big, it was hard to capture in a picture. Walking up them inspired feelings of royalty.

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It’s comical, really, that part of the regal impression was created by the simple fact you could choose to walk to the left or right. They both lead to the very same place.

Having a pool right outside the back door was rather plush, given the Pacific Ocean was just a stone’s throw beyond.

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We played games beside the pool, we made castles in the sand.

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It was an absolutely grand time. I believe it set the stage for what might be possible a decade later.

When it came time to celebrate a sixtieth anniversary, how would they ever top that week at Hilton Head?

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Written by johnwhays

December 28, 2017 at 7:00 am

Luxurious Relaxation

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It felt great to sleep a long night. On Thursday, we woke leisurely and then gathered with people around the table where the coffee drinkers enjoyed their morning treat. Once everybody was fueled up, Cyndie joined Dunia and her mother for a walk on the beach before the sun got too hot, and Marco invited me to join him on a trip to the vegetable market to buy fresh produce. There wasn’t space in the Land Cruiser to pick up anything when we passed by the day before.

Even though I already had pictures of this place from my first visit, I couldn’t stop myself from taking a few more shots of the wonderful array of colorful fruit and vegetables.

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DSCN3265eOn our way back to the beach house, we stopped to buy fresh mangos from a street vendor selling out of their front yard. Marco said he didn’t buy them from the market because these would be better. Marco is a very skilled chef and he added some flavor enhancements to the fresh-cut mango that were a particularly special treat for my taste buds.

Dunia’s brother and family arrived with contributions to a brunch meal. While preparations were underway, I played cards with Jose and then programmed a music playlist before the food was served. Marco’s fresh salsa was an outstanding addition to the scrambled eggs. Dunia’s mother made a dessert of chocolate covered plantains that I’ll remember for a long time, too.

After brunch, I played ping-pong with Jose and Marco, enjoying many ferocious battles, where the winner stayed on the table in a rotating series of games to 7 points.  We got drenched in sweat by our effort, which led to some relaxing time in the pool.

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After a break for lunch, for which Marco had slaved over the hot, hot heat to grill ribs, the boys wanted to play some soccer. Bill & Karin’s son, Anthony, wasn’t around to make it 2v2, so Dunia’s brother volunteered to play. I was having so much fun that I tried a little too hard and strained my calf muscle stepping quickly forward to steal the ball. I got the steal, but paid the price. I tried limping along to continue play, but further sporting activity was dramatically curtailed.

We jumped in the pool after soccer and eventually Cyndie, Marco, & Dunia joined us for a relaxing soak until dusk threatened an onslaught of mosquitos. After a shower, I climbed the new spiral stairs to their TV room to play some cards with the boys before calling it a day. While we were up there, it started to lightning outside and we heard a few good rumbles of thunder. When I came down, I stepped out from under the roof to check the weather and enjoy some of the lightning activity. Bill had stepped out from next door to look, as well, and he described the usual storm activity. If it comes from the ocean, as this one appeared to be doing, it is usually a pretty good storm.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t going to be awake to see it.

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Written by johnwhays

April 21, 2015 at 6:00 am