The next day my eyes popped open early, no jet lag and no hangover from the Don Julio 1942- clearly the excitement had taken over. I could hear Sam was awake in the next room, so I splashed some water on my face, got the sleep out of my eyes, brushed my hair, curled my eyelashes and put on a little lip gloss for good measure then casually strolled into the living room. You know, the whole ‘I woke up like this’ look.
I walked into the living room to find him watching the news sitting at a dining room table full of food. “Would you like some coffee? Eggs? Pancakes? Muffin? Fruit?” He asked. “I wasn’t sure what you liked for breakfast, so I ordered a variety,” he continued. “More like you ordered the entire menu,” I said as I stood looking at the spread, “let’s just start with coffee.”
As I sipped my coffee I noticed that Sam seemed anxious, soon he was almost pacing around the room. “I am so excited for today, you are going to love it- first up we shop, where should we go?” He asked. I was a bit taken back, but smiled; it was adorable that he was so excited to take me shopping.
I decided to forgo the salon appointment for a couple of reasons; one, I didn’t want to waste the time and two, I could never cheat on Gareth. We had been in a three-year hair relationship, and I was not about to start cheating on him- he nor my hair would ever forgive me! I realized this is something that men don’t really understand so I said it to Sam gently.
“You decide where we should go first, I need to get dressed,” I said as I turned to go back into my room. Soon we were in his rental car, top down, and heading toward Bal Harbour. As a stylist and professional shopper I, of course, had heard of Bal Harbour and knew it was one of the most prestige shopping malls in the country but I had never been.
As we entered the outdoor mall my mouth gaped open, all of the top designer stores in one place. Stella McCartney was our first stop and I left with my first pair of Stella shoes and a beautiful electric blue top. Next up was Prada, where I found myself standing in the most amazing pair of sky blue and kelly green python heels that I had ever seen, Sam agreed and soon they were mine. I kept telling Sam that he didn’t have to buy me something in every store, but it wasn’t sinking in for him. In JamesPerse and Calypso we picked up piles of white linen, flip-flops, swimsuit cover-ups, and accessories- things I might actually wear on the island. Hermes I found the newly released (at that time) xtra-large H cuff, Jimmy Choo was an excellent shoe stop, and we ended our day at Neiman Marcus. Sam needed to pick up a few things and while he was making a purchase at the Jack Black counter, I fell in love with the most amazing Diane von Furstenberg flowing green gown that was on a mannequin. It looked like something that would have walked down a Halston runway in the 70’s. I had no idea where I would ever wear it and I was almost certain I wouldn’t need it on an island, but I would have worn this dress grocery shopping it was so beautiful. Sam saw the look on my face and insisted on buying it. Not wanting to offend him and being the polite lady that my mother raised, I said yes.
We could barely fit all the packages in the back seat of the car; it literally looked like a cheesy advertisement for the shopping center. It was over the top, ridiculous and absolutely fantastic! We soon realized the time and knew we had hurry back to the hotel so we could catch our flight, not to mention that I had now had an entire suitcase full of new clothes I would need to try and accommodate, aka shove in my bag that was already full.
As I was packing up I suddenly thought, why? Why was Sam spoiling me like this? My husband showered me with gifts, but in the end, I discovered it was only to cover up his guilt and time with other women. I couldn’t help but think that Sam was trying to cover something up as well. I hated that those thoughts even entered my mind, but I couldn’t deny that they did. I didn’t know the answer but I realized that it didn’t matter, we just started dating. This was technically our first date and I didn’t have time to think about as I zipped up my overstuffed suitcase and said my thanks that we were flying first class so I would be allowed to have a 70lb bag!
Soon we were on our flight and headed Turks and Caicos. By the time we were in the air it was getting dark and by the time we landed at the tiny open-air rundown airport, it was pitch dark. A driver was waiting for us once we cleared immigration and after he loaded our bags we took a short drive to a building by the water. It was not the resort, but it was where we would get on the boat to go to the resort. A beautiful woman, with olive skin, wearing a white polo and tan skirt met us at the door with cold towels that smelled of tropical flowers and food menus. “When you arrive on the island the restaurant will already be closed,” she informed us, “if you would like to put your order in now then we will have your dinner waiting when you arrive at your villa.” Villa? I smiled and told her I would have a piece of fish with veggies. I was starving but the excitement, and nerves, kept my mind occupied!
“When you arrive on the island the restaurant will already be closed,” she informed us, “if you would like to look over these menus and put your order in now I will have your dinner waiting when you arrive at your villa.” Villa? I smiled and told her I would have a piece of fish with veggies. I was starving but the excitement, and nerves, kept my mind occupied until she mentioned food!
The air was warm and thick, and the boat ride was calming, the wind mixed with the hum of the engine and gentle rocking of the boat as we sped across the water was hypnotizing. It was pitch black with only the moon lighting our path and the stars; the stars were brilliant! I don’t think we have that many stars in LA, I only saw stars like this growing up on our ranch in Kansas. After about 30 minutes on the boat, we arrived at the islands’ dock. My hair was windblown, my shoes were off, I was with a great guy and I was smiling from ear to ear; I could feel myself starting to relax. The best part was that our weekend was just beginning!
The island has a no car policy, so a golf cart picked us up and after a short drive, we arrived at our villa. It was just as you would picture a villa on an island would be; white linen-covered furniture, doors leading to a patio with a private pool and beach access, a bedroom, a small kitchen, and huge ceiling fans hanging from the wood covered vaulted ceilings in every room. I immediately wanted to dip my toes in the ocean!
As the bellman unloaded our suitcases and room service was setting up our dinner Sam, and I went off our deck and walked to the ocean- about 50 feet. The water was warm like bathwater, perfectly calm, and the moonlight bounced off the water like it was dancing. If I had to pick my top 5 most romantic moments in life, this would be one of them. Sam was holding my hand as we stood there with our toes in the water. I made mention of how beautiful it all was, just as he pulled me into him. “Thank you for saying yes,” he said and before I could say anything back, he kissed me. This was not just a peck on the lips as we had done before; it was a slow, passionate, and very romantic kiss. As my toes sunk into the sand I couldn’t help but think about how I never wanted to forget this moment.
We walked back to our room to eat dinner and Sam opened a bottle of wine; I think we both finally felt a bit settled in and started to talk. Sam and I had always had great conversation, and this was no exception. Soon the day, the excitement and the wine caught up to us, and we realized how exhausted we were. I wanted to unpack and get some sleep. This would be the first time Sam and I ever stayed together and I won’t deny that it was a touch awkward. We had worked together and been friends for ten years, we never crossed this line. Before we even got into bed I was unpacking, Sam came up behind me and started kissing my neck soon we were kissing again- we found out that we were really good at it- go us! I stopped us before things got too heated, I needed to set some boundaries so I flat out said, “we are not having sex!” He started to laugh, “I was only kissing you, I haven’t tried anything- of course we are not,” he said as if he should be earning a gold star or something. I went back to unpacking.
Then he kissed me again……. I have to admit, boundaries were never my strong point!