Once again, this sums it up. WOW! For us trip 35 to CTI was all that it is supposed to be. Wonderful. It was great to see old friends and made plenty of new friends too. Weather was sunny every single day, no rain at all. The winds were just a little to breezy, around 20-25 mph out of the east. But there were days when even a heavy breeze felt good, almost offsetting the sun's very hot rays.

A couple of things. First, the pier at TI. The underside, cement pillars and supports, are done. Actually, that was done in February. The top is covered in plywood sheeting, because they have not yet put down the big planks on top. But there is no problem in getting into or out of the pontoon. No worries mon.

We had dinner with Mr. Henry, GM, and he told us that the island has to be closed for two days, in order for the work to be completed. I hope none of you are there when that happens.

There were a number of days when the island opened at 8 and closed at 3, due to weddings that evening. One night, we stayed opened until 6. Yea. There's always trading spaces day to help ease the changing schedule.

IMPORTANT NOTE ! The morning after an evening wedding, one must be extra vigilant for broken glass. If you make the first boat in the morning, before the clean up crew, just be aware that may be glass on the long pier on the beach, the pier on the island, and all walking areas on the island. We made Mr. Henry aware of this situation and he said that he would make sure everything got cleaned up before any of us set foot on the island.

The Saturday night gala that used to be set up around the old pool area and then they moved it inside the main dining room, has moved once again. This time for the better. It is now held on the front lawn. It looks beautiful, and there is plenty of room for everything. The tables, stage, lights and all the serving stations. This is what I would call a gala. In some ways, similar to CSS Friday night gala. I think you will like the new setting.
One note on footwear for women attending the gala. I do not recommend that women wear high heals. Being that there is lawn everywhere, we saw more than one woman with heels stuck in the ground. Very uneven and difficult to walk on. They may add that info to "dress for Saturday night".

In talking to most of the staff and many of the guests, we didn't hear very much grumbling about anything. Staff seemed okay with things at the moment, and most of the guests only had positive feedback. As usual. You really have to look hard to find anything worthwhile to complain about. Lots of people just overlook any minor inconveniences or annoyances.

There were a number of very large groups down for weddings. Between 30-60 couples. Other than some loud bursts of laughter from the groups, there were no loud, drunk or otherwise disorderly individuals. I did hear that there is a group of almost 100, yes, that's correct, 100 couples coming soon for a wedding, but I'm sorry I don't remember when that will be.

Because CTI was filled, actually they were overfilled, they had asked some guests that were coming in April if they wouldn't mind staying at CSS for a few days, then coming back to CTI. They were offering a number of free days for next year as an incentive. We know a number of guests that took them up on their offer.
So as a result of all those people being at CTI, there were some mornings, right at 7:30 when breakfast starts, there was a small line, from 10-20 people. It was no inconvenience to have to stand there for an extra 2-3 minutes.

Right now, in my somewhat rum soaked brain, I can't think of any other important info to pass on.

The peace and tranquility, the sharing of laughter and friendship, great food and drink, and a play land that is filled with lush tropical vegetation, warm sunlit days and sultry star filled nights, makes for wonderful relaxation, and interaction with others on a level we seldom achieve in our daily lives.

We are all the same. We all have dreams and hopes for each new day, striving to cope with all that is shoved on a plate in front of us. We all struggle with ourselves, our families , our co-workers and others. We can all get ill, depressed, lonely,scared, unsure of what our next move should be. Sometimes, we think that we are the only ones in any given situation, and that adds to our confusion.

But remember. We really are, all the same. Take away religion, race, country and everything else that marks us as "different", and what you have left is any day at a Couples resort. Think about it. While we are there, we meet and greet each other as though we had been friends or acquaintances for a long time. And while we were there, we were really all the same. Men and women enjoying life. Speaking and interacting with each other with marvelous results. We learned from each other and gave back to each other simple humanity. Kindness, courteous, polite, compassionate, sympathetic human beings, being human beings.

It should not take a tragedy, such as the recent bombing in Boston, or Sept. 11 or any other crisis that has faced people since we began
, before we turn to each other and say, "What can I do"? "How can I help"?

If we all became the you and me that we see at Couples, there may still be many "differences" in our physical looks and sounds, but behind that southern drawl, that "Bahstin" sound, an accent from Russia, Paris, East Podunk, or where ever, we are still just a man and woman. We are all the same. Young or old, We all need each other. We can all help each other.

Thank you Couples for all that you do, so that we can visit there and do all that we can do too.

A new countdown is now underway for November of this year, 202 and April 2014, well let's just say, it's a long way off.

To all who met the Crabracer, I am extremely humbled by your kindness and admiration for some of what I write. It was nice to put faces to MB handles. I hope to see more of you the next time around. If there is anything I can do for you or help you in some way,please don't hesitate to get in touch with me. crabracers@yahoo.com