After my fun day exploring Friday and active day Saturday, I settled into a vacation routine on Sunday. Early that morning, we walked to an Anglican service at the oldest church on the island, which was made of beautiful white stone. I wore the only dress I had brought with sleeves, the denim swing dress I had been wearing as a cover-up.
After church, I was ready to savor our second-to-last day at the beach. I spent the rest of the day in my favorite floral bikini sunning, reading, and paddleboarding. We went to a casual Bajan restaurant that night and I wore my second denim dress of the day, this one with spaghetti straps and a row of buttons up the front.
On Monday, our last day, we were all out on the beach early. I wanted to go waterskiing, and I had to go before we left for our scheduled afternoon tea. My dad and brother started giving me lessons after lunch, and the watersports guy driving the boat gave me some tips as well, but sitting in the water in the “ready position” I still felt totally unprepared. On my first try, I came up to a crouch but then tumbled into the water almost immediately, overwhelmed by the water roaring in my face. On my second try, I skied for a few seconds, which was my most successful run. I was glad I stood up at all—we saw a woman earlier that week try and fail to waterski for her whole time slot.
After waterskiing, I had to hustle to get ready for our tea at Sandy Lane, a hotel down the road from ours. The hotel was open to the ocean with huge terraces and staircases made of striking white marble. My favorite part was that everything—the beach umbrellas, the place settings, and the dining room chairs—was signature Sandy Lane pink. Even the dress I wore to tea, a more structured version of the off-the-shoulder dress I wore Saturday night, was pink-and-white striped.
We sat on a terrace where we could see the ocean and ate our tea sandwiches, scones, and, best of all, Great British Baking Show-level desserts, like strawberries dipped in meringue and chocolate petit fours topped with gold leaf. After we finished tea, we walked around enjoying the dazzling golden light that filled the hotel at sunset. We had an early flight the next morning, but still stayed up late playing cards and eating our tea leftovers.
The next morning, we were up way before dawn to catch our flight, then moved quickly through Barbados, Miami, and Charlotte, finally arriving in Lynchburg. I wore the casual clothes that I had brought for the trip but not used at all: a collared gingham shirt, navy shorts, and a pink cable-knit sweater with Sperries. The flights went smoothly, although I was desperate on our last flight for a warm pair of socks and some fresh reading material.
This trip was a combination of a lot of great things. I love the Caribbean, especially Barbados, and I’ve been there enough times that I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything if I choose to, say, spend the day on the beach instead of going into town. When I got there I realized I had missed the food, scenery, culture, and relaxed pace of the Caribbean. Six days with my family was great, too—we could relax and enjoy each other’s company.