Destination: Axim Beach Hotel

The signs for Axim Beach Hotel pointed us in the direction of a bumpy dirt road which Nana navigated with skill. Out of nowhere, a pair of columns fashioned in the architectural style peculiar to the North greeted us. I was impressed, but Nana was disappointed in the new structure, which was in the process of being painted.

“I wish he had chosen his own design,” she muttered.

“He” was Jonas, the owner and manager of the resort, and a personal friend of Nana’s.

As she made her way to the reception area to get our keys, a young man in a button down shirt came out of the office and lumbered towards our car.

“Isn’t anyone going to come and help us with our bags?” Portia said with a frown.

“Yes, I think that guy right there will.”

The porter seemed very shy, and not at all comfortable with his duties. Still, he managed to carry three of our suitcases at once before having to come back and gather the rest. He quietly showed us the way to our chalet and set the bags down in the foyer. The view was mind blowing.

IMG_1645Our chalet sat not too far from the precipice of a fairly steep slope that led straight down to the ocean below. There were coconut trees, various palms and strategically planted bushes in the landscape. Our veranda was perfectly placed to take advantage of the picturesque view. There was little time to appreciate it though. Nana had starved us (well, me really – since I need to graze every 2 hours) for the duration of the trip and we (meaning I) were famished. We all changed out of our clothes and went up for lunch.

IMG_1607 Restaurant sits on the highest peak of the resort, and allows you to get a true appreciation for how large the resort really is. Below us, beachcombers walked along and frightened off native seaside birds, which included egrets, crows and vultures.  I know; vultures at the beach.

Although most of us were not well acquainted, we were getting on very well. The cynical part of me wondered how long it would last, but my apprehensions soon faded. Mariel came walking down the stairs of the restaurant after we had been seated and produced an enormous straw hat which she settled on her tiny head. She was grinning like a child who had unearthed a mysterious treasure.

IMG_1602“Look I found!” she squealed.

“Awww! It’s so nice/cute/funny”, the table chorused.

She wore the hat for the entirety of our lunch.

After I gorged myself on everything that was available at the buffet, I sat back and waited for someone to suggest that we head down to the beach.  Eventually, Nana, Portia, or some other chick with an authoritative voice did and I sprung out of my chair. I hadn’t been to the ocean in a year, and although I wanted to dive right in, the more sensible adults among us insisted that we all wait 30 minutes before entering the water. I had a full belly, ocean breeze tickling my face and the sun filtering through my sunglasses. My fat behind went right to sleep.

IMG_1767 I shan’t bore you with the details of the frolicking, playing, hysterical laughter and tumbles through the crashing waves. I know that most of you are in winter right now. Just enjoy the pictures and imagine yourself here!