Limbo is defined as a state of transition, or state of uncertainty…it is also a dance, but that definition is not in any dictionary that I own…it also best describes the weather for most of the country during the next month. For some, 70 degrees one day and 30 degrees the next, driving rain reminiscent of Scotland, late snow for our friends to the north and the start of tornado season for others. The fluctuations, for the most part, are frustrating as seasons seem to shift by the hour for many of us. From past entries you know that I am about temperate – 80 and sunny, all day, every day. However, living in the Midwest I am somewhat cursed with four full seasons of Mother Nature. On a side note for those of us who experience the ravages of winter, don’t you hate when your friends in Florida or Arizona call to say that they wish they had snow as it is in their words “beautiful.” As a child, yes it was beautiful and fun, but as an adult, shoveling, accidents, dressing in layers, more shoveling, not being able to go outside because it is minus 4, without the wind chill – not much fun, or that beautiful if I were to take a quick poll.
This month, the Rubber Meets the Road is all about blowing off the winter blues and jump starting the season with some of the world’s biggest parties. Now in the U.S., we have Mardi Gras, but for most it is short lived and typically not remembered due to a concoction known as a hurricane. My advice this month is to break from the mold, let your hair down and experience life.
First stop – St. Maarten – Carnival
This island knows how to relax as this festival happens in two parts…and this is not a large island. The French side dials it up during Lent, but the party kicks into high gear on the Dutch side mid April for a 17-day festival that brings the island to a standstill. Parades, festivals, dancing in the street, bands, local food, plenty to drink and a country full of friends…did I mention that it lasts 17 days. Definitely worth the trip, but I don’t recommend trying to brave the entire Carnival, as after all, we are all not 21 anymore.
Next stop – Barbados – Cricket
This tournament goes on for months, and while I have witnessed a match, and am quite sports-savvy, I still have no idea what is going on, but that is alright – all I know is that these fans really take their teams and this sport seriously. If you think Cubs fans are die hards, you haven’t seen anything. We love to see the likes of Pujols or A Rod knock one out of the park, but imagine if they hit all day. Saw an afternoon match where the same guy was batting all afternoon, went to the bar that night…still up to bat. Imagine the feeling of the Super Bowl every game and you will understand the attraction to the sport…plus the weather is always perfect.
Final stop – St. Lucia – Jazz
We have done sports and party, so now is the time to unwind and relax under the stars at the annual St. Lucia Jazz Festival. Local talent abounds on some of the smaller stages and this music is true to the geography and really has a heart and soul. Or you could opt to hit the main stages and see the likes of Wyclef, David Sanchez, Ledisi and I am afraid to say Michael Bolton. I wouldn’t make a trip across the street to hear him play, but hey, if that is what you like, he is also playing in St. Lucia.
With our whirlwind tour complete after a few weeks on the road, the headache still lingering from Carnival, the mind still confused from cricket and the soul soothed with the sounds of jazz, we should all be recharged to face whatever Mother Nature can throw at us.
Keep on keeping on, and we’ll see you on the other side…