Ching Lee was waiting in the helicopter when we stepped in the opened door. Two things hit me; first, Ching Lee was big, in the week at East Water Cay she had grown a lot and it looked like the baby had dropped. If I was betting, she was going to deliver first.
The next thing was the helicopter; it was better than I expected. Lorrie had said it was four years old with low hours. You would not have known it sitting on the leather seats. The interior was as immaculate as the exterior, but that was not the only surprise.
As we were coming in to land at the tarmac by the dirt strip, I was surprised by grass on the tarmac with a large white x painted on it as the spot for the helicopter to land on. Ching Lee answered my question.
“It’s commercial grade AstroTurf that they use on the golf courses here,” Ching Lee said.
“Just how in the heck did they anchor it down so the rotor wash does not lift it up?” I asked.
“The maintenance men dug in a wooden framework made out of big beams then filled it level with gravel. Under the X are solid beams. Then they poured some kind of super sticky tar over it to stick it all together. After that, they rolled the turf on it and finished it off by nailing it to the framework with big roofing nails,” Ching Lee said.
“There is a lot of stuff in the warehouse leftover from when they were building all of this and for repairing storm damage. The only thing they had to buy was the AstroTurf,” Ching Lee added.
“The maintenance group here is talented and they know people on the island to find what they need. All that equipment we bought with this place that looked bad actually works; the continuous exposure to the salt air just plays havoc on the appearance,“ she said.
I watched out the window as the gear touched the green; nothing fluttered or moved. I gave Ching lee a pat on the back and Marcy and Lorrie for the helicopter purchase. It was a nice one and would satisfy the needs of the operation here. I knew it was a much more enjoyable ride than going across Grand Isle in the van.
The first order of business after stowing our gear in the guest house we were using was to talk with the guests who had been here all week looking for happy customers. Actually, they all were happy!
There were some that were disappointed; they were the four models we had sent from the office. Mary Ann, Kathy, Andrea and Wendy called us off to the side; they wanted to stay until we went back on Sunday evening. They and their men even volunteered to sleep on cots if necessary.
Ching Lee was able to find two rooms; they were going to have to double bunk.
At 1200 we were on the beach with a picnic basket of food and a cooler of drinks. There was a steady warm ocean breeze that compared very well to the cold winds of home.
We spent time on the lounge and blankets, walking the beach and of course building sand castles with the boys and swimming. We had to watch the boys all the time.
Last time we were here they were afraid of the water and barely got their feet wet. Now they were losing the fear of the water and wanted to play in the gentle surf; at times they were up to their waist.
All of us girls were working on our no tan line tans. We were jealous of Ching Lee; apparently she had spent every day on the beach. Even her back was dark tanned. I wondered how she did that. I knew there was no way she could lay on her stomach.
Today – because of all the guests – I was wearing a string bikini. It was just three small patches of fabric and strings; just enough to say I was wearing something.
The other guests were scattered along the beach or snorkeling the coral beds that were between the island cays and bone fishing.
It was 1630 when my phone rang; I was on the lounge chair watching the boys play with Lorrie. I had just opened the second Budweiser of the day. I placed it between my legs to hold it so I could use both hands on the phone.
“What are you doing?” It was Troy requesting a video call.
I flipped the button to accept the video call, “I’m very busy; what’s up?” I asked.
“I thought you were on a mini vacation,” Troy replied.
“I am and I’m working hard at it,” I replied.
I turned the phone around and did a sweep of the beach in both directions, showing the boys and the beer between my legs. I picked up the beer and placed it back between my legs with a lot less in it.
“I am working hard at relaxing,” I added as I was looking back at Troy.
“Looks like it; if you need any help I will volunteer to be your helper next time you go there. What I called for is to tell you that the President had scheduled a cabinet meeting Monday afternoon. He wants to meet with you before the meeting and he wants you to attend the cabinet meeting,” Troy said.
“I will be there, I have a meeting with the full task force in the morning to clear up some lose ends,” I replied.
Saturday morning all of us went snorkeling; the models that had been here all week had things they wanted to show us they had found that was interesting. We took one of the flat bottom boats made for just that. We even took the boys along so they could watch. I had fun as did everyone else! We took turns staying in the boat with the boys so everyone could spend time in the water.
Saturday evening started with the big buffet style supper in the common cafeteria in the community center and then a bonfire on the beach. It had started with just us girls and soon nearly every guest was sitting in the sand on the beach. The beach party lasted till midnight. As the fire died down, couples left. Sunday was more of the same sand, sun, ocean until 1600. The G5 was on its way to carry us home; by the time we made the ten minute helicopter ride and our way through customs, it was parked at the general aviation terminal waiting on us.
The G5 had unloaded passengers from Morton who were coming there to spent the next seven days. Those guests were taking the rooms we had vacated. Other guests were flying in on Monday for a week stay and a few were booked for two weeks.
The response to the ad campaign Ching Lee and Lorrie started on Monday had been far better than expected. East Water Cay was booked full for the next month. As soon as the arrangements could be made there were going to be three new cottages built on the three lots Tug had been able to buy back and some of the others, if the bookings stayed productive.
The flight back was quiet. The next few weeks were going to be busy; first with things at 1600 Penn Avenue and then with Lorrie and Ching Lee. All of us thought that the babies would be arriving soon. Jenny believed that Ching Lee would deliver this week.
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Bob W.