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  1. #1

    Default A special place.

    I have seen many others sitting there. The look on their faces speaks volumes. One look, and you could tell that they weren't thinking about where to have dinner that night or what the evenings entertainment was. You could see the emptiness in their eyes, the absence of any facial expressions, their overall body language told any seasoned traveler to CTI, as well as the other three fine resorts, this couple was going back to the world of reality. Their allotted time had expired. Someone else was already on the bus from the airport to fill the vacancy now being created.

    This couple was sitting on that black couch in front of the sliding glass doors that leads out to the patio. Despite the inspiring view all around them their gaze was fixed and they really weren't focusing on anything. Just empty space appeared before them.

    The place is the CTI lobby. Bright. Beautiful and full of guests coming and going in many different directions at the same time. Happy people. People that were taking advantage of all that this historic resort has to offer. All throughout the day and night, from one day to the next, smiling happy couples, holding hands and enjoying their surroundings and themselves. Saying hello to other blissfully happy couples that they meet.

    The lobby is the center- piece of the resort. The staff at the front desk and guest services are always ready to assist you with what- ever situation you may have. From greeting the next busload of unsuspecting couples that really has no idea what's in store for them, replacing a lost door key card, or something of a more serious nature, such as, providing care and comfort to a guest who fell and injured their ankle and required transportation to the hospital. In that incident, the nurse went with the patient and was great helping to keep the patient calm and also getting some food while they were there. There is always a lot going on in and around the lobby and there is a lot of positive energy flowing everywhere and affecting everyone. Life at its finest.

    The wall of glass windows and sliding glass doors look out towards that magic little volcanic outcropping, better known as Tower Isle, the rock or just plain, the island. All that glass brings in brilliant bright light that gives the lobby a wonderfully warm glow. One might think that this special place could never have any sorrow. No negative emotions of any kind. After all, this is CTI I'm talking about. Sorry. But one would be wrong.

    My fellow Couples devotees, as we all go about out daily activities and enjoying just about everything, there is a place at each of the four resorts where you will find a couple or two that have solace written all over their faces. Not happy. Quite the contrary. These couples are not singing, "every little ting gonna be awright". No indeed. These guys were singing, well mumbling, "oh woman don't cry". These down in the dumps folk are leaving.

    At CTI, as I am sure that there are similar places at the other three resorts, there is a long bench in front of the large glass window to the left of the lobby. In front of the two sliding glass doors there are some chairs and that black couch I mentioned. To the right of the lobby, there is more furniture in front of the other large glass panel.
    There is almost always someone sitting in some of those chairs. We probably don't even give it a second thought. Just some happy campers enjoying the marvelous and captivating view spread out before them. The gorgeous robin's egg blue sky with just a few big puffy white clouds drifting by. The majestic Caribbean with cobalt blue and turquoise waters glistening under the blistering Jamaican sun. It takes your breath away. Even if you have seen it time and time again. It makes you smile. Not just a little smile while you are thinking, "mmm nice". No. I'm talking about a smile that starts deep down inside of you that reaches that little kid that hardly ever gets to play like this. You face is wide-eyed and bright. Your eyes sparkle like the tops of the watery waves.Deep down, you feel things you haven't felt since, well, let's just say, you haven't felt this happy and content for a very long time.
    Sometimes you just want to shout, "HEY WORLD. LOOK HOW HAPPY I AM. YIPPIE. HOORAY.". Okay, maybe you don't want to shout, but you're still really really happy.

    Remember that black couch I mentioned? Not everyone that sits there is just there for the view. Not everyone was as happy as those around them. Not everyone felt like shouting anything. Except perhaps, "I DON'T WANT TO GO". Sometimes, that black couch has people waiting for the "good-bye bus" to pull up and they would hear one of the bellmen announce in a loud clear voice, "AIRPORT".It makes your heart sink. You're thinking, "We shouldn't be going home yet. We just got here". Sadness fills your recently happy heart with despondency. Head hanging low. Non-verbal. Silently, each couple will board the same vehicle that delivered them to all this wonderment in the first place. What a difference a few days can make.

    This time, I am on the couch. I and the one with my shoulders slouched down, legs out in front of me front, head hanging very low. Eyes fixed with that distant gaze of nothingness. Starting out at a scene that has thrilled countless thousands. How could something so beautiful and uplifting yesterday, be so filled with melancholy and an indescribable flood of emotions today. Inside my heart is crying. But outside, real tears stream down my face as I sit there. Unnoticed by those heading for breakfast the beach or the island. Just as I have not noticed others in my haste to play. An emptiness that will only grow as more time goes by. Being away from paradise is painful.
    There is no recourse. No extension that I could apply for. And even if there were some truly magical gift, I have no money left to buy more happiness. No friend that I can call for more lives. I've ;had my fun, now I must run.

    The next time I see a couple stretched out on the lobby furniture, I will take a second look. Do they have on long pants, shoes? Do they have that resort questionnaire you get on check-out? Do they look dumbfounded and confused? Is there that glazed over look hanging on their faces? Do they show signs of trauma? These characteristics, along with a huge variety of others, will be a definite giveaway. Their sand has run out of the hourglass. Empty. Good-bye.
    I will stop next time I see such a person. I will offer my hand in solidarity. I will wish them a safe journey. Share their sorrow. Let them know that they are not alone. I know only too well the pain of separation.

    As I was sitting in that soulful place, even without turning my head, I could hear the rumble of the GBB pull up and stop under the portico. Slowly, I turned my head to confirm what my heart already knows. My shoulders fall even lower. The driver shuts off the engine, then goes to the back of the bus. He and Byron begin to load the luggage. With a voice that cut the warm tropical air with a stabbing cold icicle, I heard Byron say, "AIRPORT". It sends shivers down my spine.
    Hesitantly, I rise from my almost horizontal position and move towards the door opening. Stepping outside onto the top stair, I wipe the tears from my face and yell, rather quietly and with deep sorrowful emotion, "I don't want to go. I really don't want to go".

    And then it was over. I joined Syl near the bus and we gave each other a hug. "It was wonderful again", I whispered. "It sure was ", she said. It's been that way for twenty-one years and forty visits.How could anyone else feel any less? The physical beauty. For the great times with old friends and new. For warm sunshine and warm waters. And for the staff that has brightened and enriched our lives beyond our wildest imagination. Yes, it was great. And with this November's trip and next April's trip already booked, it will be great again and again.
    I miss it already.

  2. #2

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    Now that you have read my story, I would like to know if anyone found it depressing. And just so you know, this story is a complete fabrication. The initial idea came when I saw a couple sitting on that couch and they were getting ready to leave. After I got home, I put myself on that couch and made up the story. I did so because I inow that many people that leave feel the very same way. Nobody ever wants to leave. Many of my stories have a grain of truth, the rest is pure imagination.

  3. #3

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    ....yes just reading that made a few tears come to my eyes. It is a desolate time so we have found a cure. Now when we leave CTI instead of heading for the airport we get the bus to CSS. Much better than the sad GBB. Of course we still have to catch one from CCS in due course and that is not too much fun but somehow easier than leaving from that black couch.

  4. #4

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    I hate packing up the night before getting kicked out. I hate sitting out in the lobby waiting on the bus. But once I am on the bus, I am anxious to get the trip back to reality behind me.

    After getting home I then start looking at booking the next trip back to CN usually just within the 330 days when airlines start posting the flights.

  5. #5

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    I never like leaving, but I always say "you have to leave before you come back again." I feel that puts a positive spin on going home. (it never makes me feel any better about leaving, but it sure gets me excited about coming back home )

  6. #6

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    Ohh Ritchie, you've captured that so eloquently. I'm all misty eyed reliving the feeling of being the ones in the lobby saying 'I don't want to go'...although we still have 9 days to go before our arrival!
    CSS 2010, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018

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