Carol and I first met in 2000 at the Greenhouse restaurant in St. Maarten. We were introduced by Travis McGarry, and a great friendship followed. We were in a tight group of expat friends that hung out all the time.
It wasn't till a couple of years later that we both found ourselves single. Our friendship took a turn when Carol seduced me, and the best years began. 5 and a bit later I popped the question and Carol gave a begrudging yes.
In January 2000 I had moved to the island of St Maarten in the Caribbean to live with my brother Don as I awaited my Art Therapy schooling to start in September. My brother as he always looks after me, had arranged a job for me as a hostess at The Greenhouse restaurant where I always enjoyed sharing dessert with Conan after my shift. I had made friends immediately with all of the ex-pats; Canadians, South Africans and Brits alike, and especially some sailors.
My friend MacG was so excited as his best mate was on his way to joining him on our little island of SXM. I'll never forget meeting Skinner on his first night of the island... 6 months later I left the island to do my masters in Art Therapy in Toronto and Skinner left to spend some time Down Under.
2 years later, I missed SXM so much I had to return, and guess who was waiting. The good news was that now we were both single, unfortunately it was a bad time for Skinner as his back was slowly declining, it was difficult to watch him in so much pain, but an amazing thing happened. Thanks to Jeff Ward and many others our island community pulled together and hosted many events to help pay for Travis to fly home to South Africa and have back surgery. Yours truly bartended during the Intwine Concert (In Travis's Honour) and I have never made so many tips in all my life. Little did I know that my donation was going to my future husband!
When Travis was laid up in SA I didn't forget him and sent packages including letters written by my Learning Unlimited students and pictures of the island for him to know that we were thinking of him.
As fate would have it, the surgery was successful and Skinner returned all patched up and back to his old self.
After witnessing the funniest thing in my life known as the "Wooden Spoon Game" between Travis and his roommate Jeff, hosted by Lizzie & Matt (I wish I had video!) I knew I had fallen deep.
Travis and I spent 5 years together dating in an island paradise where we adopted our kitties Nemo & Dory. Eventually we decided it was time to further our careers and had to wrench ourselves away.
We moved to Ottawa where Travis is a Cordon Bleu Chef at the Brookstreet Hotel and I was able to fulfill the career of my dreams, as an Art Therapist at the Canadian Mental Health Association.
And of course...adopted another kitty (Buddy).