“Wastin away again in Margaritaville,
Searching for my lost shaker of salt…”
Who doesn’t love to sing along with Jimmy Buffet’s “Margaritaville” when it’s playing over the airways? And who wouldn’t love to waste a few hours camped out in one of Jimmy B’s aptly named “Margaritaville” restaurants, sipping a cold drink in a tall glass rimmed with salt? I know I would!
So when the cruise ship I was on docked at the beautiful Caribbean island of Grand Turk one recent Friday afternoon I made sure to add a restaurant visit to my list of ‘things to do’ on that tropical island.
As the ship approached Grand Turk I saw white sand beaches, blue striped chaise lounges and colorful blue and terracotta colored buildings from my port-side balcony. The sun was hot, the water surrounding the island was a color of turquoise that certainly doesn’t exist in any eastern Canadian port I’ve seen, and the palm trees lining the shore waved a welcome to everyone on the ship. The island sparkled like a Caribbean jewel.
We waited to disembark until the first rush of passengers had left the ship and made their way to beaches and shops and organized tours. Then a short walk along the cement pier and through a security building/gift shop led us into a central courtyard surrounded by shops and outdoor kiosks selling jewelry, wooden masks, marble turtles and brightly printed t shirts and sun dresses.
We browsed the shops, bought a few souvenirs to take home and wiped the sweat from our brows. Each time we came out of a shop I felt as if the sun’s power had increased tenfold, and finally I had enough of the heat and the crowded stores. It was time to visit Margaritaville, a restaurant nestled behind its own gift shop and between a large pool on one side and a white-sand beach on the other side.
I ventured inside while the others in my little group of four searched for more treasures. A smiling hostess showed me to a table on the balcony upstairs that overlooked both the pool and the beach and handed me a large menu. The restaurant didn’t have air conditioning but luckily the balcony had a roof for shade and I quickly realized that the large menu also doubled as a great fan.
Once I cooled down a little bit I studied the menu and was pleased to see that it offered a good selection of appetizers and entrées and of course, a variety of refreshing drinks. I decided to order the “Premium” Margarita that claimed to be the perfect choice for a “Margarita Aficionado” and waited for my server to take my order.
“Which size margarita would you like,” she said, “the regular one or the large one that includes a souvenir glass we’ll wrap up for you to take home.”
“How big is the large one?”
“Twenty ounces,” she said, and of course I was thirsty so I said, “sure. Why not?”
By the time my drink arrived my daughter had found her way to the table, and she wanted a souvenir glass to take home, so she ordered a large margarita too. I also ordered a plate of nachos for the four of us to share when our remaining two co-travelers arrived. And there we sat, sipping our icy drinks, nibbling on nachos, snapping pictures of the scenery and each other, and enjoying our afternoon together.
Our entire restaurant experience was great: the atmosphere, the songs playing in the background, the chatter of other patrons at nearby tables, the laughter of us four women, the sun, the breeze, the beach and palm trees…I could go on and on and could have sat at the table for several more hours, soaking up the Caribbean hospitality and enjoying another margarita or two. But I knew that I had to walk back to the ship and I may not have been able to had I lingered longer in the restaurant. So I paid my bill and went back out into the scorching heat.
When I arrived back on board and before I headed to the pool for a cooling dip, I snapped a few more pictures of Grand Turk from my balcony. “Margaritaville” was clearly visible among the other buildings and I zoomed in on it for a couple of shots.