Well, it's that time of year to prepare for another trip to our adopted paradise island. We are always at some stage of preparedness. Right now, we are 83 days from returning. We aren't at the "jumping up and down" stage. That will come later. For the time being the only thing that needs to be taken of is booking the flight. That in its self is reason enough to celebrate. It's one of the positive actions that reminds us, our trip can't be to far off.

While I was outside shoveling another 10-12 inches of freshly fallen snow, Syl was here at the computer making the necessary arrangements for our silver chariot ride to the far away island in the Caribbean. We had been doing the ground work for quite some time.Checking out the current rates, times of departure and any new restrictions that may have been placed on our magic carpet ride to nirvana.
We have been collecting frequent flier miles for some time. Until now, we didn't have enough to use for both of us. If we had combined the miles, perhaps one of us could have flown for far less money than we are accustomed to pay. But that would leave one of us in coach and the other in first class.
I can hear you saying, "You fly first class? that's much more expensive". You're right it is. One reason for this is that we can pack 70 pounds in each suitcase, rather than the normal 50 pounds. We need the extra allotment in order to bring all the "stuff" for our many friends at the resort. Clothes, sneakers, cell phones, chocolate, just to mention some of it. One year I managed to get a small plastic gas tank for a mope head into the baggage. Another time, I packed an electric drill, drill bits and other attachments. That alone weighed in at around seven pounds. Then of course there are the frogs, turtles and dinosaurs to play with on the island. There's the "silly hats" for "silly hat day". And, oh yes, the designer nail painting kits for the women that do pedicures and paint your toes.
We usually shop for this stuff throughout the year and store them upstairs with our two trusted traveling companions, Mr. Black and Mr. Green. Our two suitcases.

So there is always some task to take care of that lets us know we will soon be on our way. With the plane tickets secured, it often puts a little skip in our steps. We know that it won't be long now.

After I cane in from the frigid frozen frostbitten outside, pulled off my boots, hung up my heavy winter coat, and tried to get the feeling back in my fingers, Syl called to me and said, "Well,
we're all booked".My response was less than enthusiastic. All I could mutter was "Great". I was still in the process of trying to warm up. The news didn't really register in my cold cold head. But after I had begun to thaw out, I came to the computer and saw a huge smile on Syl's face. "Really? Are we really all set"? She assured me that we were.That's when I could feel the corners of my mouth turning up and a very broad smile filled my face as well. The more her words resonated in my head, all of the old feelings for vacation began to have the usual affect. I could feel the very early stages of ecstatic was beginning to set in. And while it may have been way to early for all the tingly feelings, the jumping up and down, the "Ya mon" and the rest, her words did more to warm the cockles of my heart than holding my frigid fingers over the flame on the gas stove. The hours of shoveling was suddenly worth oll the aggravation. We were booked. Hooray.

I would imagine that each couple that makes the journey that we were about to embark on, has their own magic moments that just come bubbling up from deep inside. It is like lighting a fuse on fireworks. Soon it will burst
into millions of brightly colored illuminations. A breathtaking display of happiness and joy.

I remember reading a post on the MB that said this couple was about to explode just thinking about their first trip. You could tell from reading it that they were "freaking out" with all the unanswered questions of what to do, where to go and who they will meet. For couples taking their very first vacation in many years, it's understandable that they would have trouble containing their overwhelming excitement. We were exactly the same way for our very first adventure. But now, for us, fifteen years after our "first time" we were returning for our 32 visit to Couples. Thirty one to CTI and one to CSS. Whether it's your first or your thirty first, the wonderfulness of the journey continues to give these two travelers indescribable deliciousness.

Now that the plane has been signed, sealed and soon to deliver us to the sunny, sandy, scintillating shores of tropical breezes, hibiscus flowers, laughter and love, the next 83 days will continue to simmer. Each day that passes will grow in intensity. Each day that gets checked off on the calendar will bring us that much closer to our place in the sun.

There is no time limit as to when someone should start to get excited. No rule that tells you when you should begin to let your emotions loose. It is up to each couple to decide when and how much joy they should feel.
That's what makes every trip so super. If you are 100 days out, or down to double digits, or even just a matter of hours before you leave. It's all part of the experience that comes under the heading of "Couples". A simple two syllable but elegant word that has a million different meanings to hundreds of different people. A word synonymous with pure relaxation, unbridled playfulness and the epitome of luxurious living. Even if it's only for seven day, two weeks or whatever time span you can imagine.

"We're booked". A term that begins the excitement of the trip long before you actually are ready to leave. It sets the stage for what is to come. If it's your first time, there will be new discoveries, new friends to meet, new food to savor. If it's your 32 trip, as it is for us, the excitement is just as vivid and just as rewarding. We're going home. A most satisfying thought.

Some may say that 83 days is a long time away. Perhaps it is. But for us, it is as close as we can be long before we arrive. Each night will bring sweet dreams and pleasant comfort. Each new day that dawns will bring us that much closer to this fabled resort. As they say in Jamaica, "Soon come mon. Soon come"