Denny Pasternak

This trip report will be rather different from others. I met a lot of internet people this trip and I'll leave it to them to fill in the details based on their experiences, rather than to reiterate things I may have said in past trip reports. The other stuff is important, and people do want to know about it - but what follows is even more important.

I was sitting on the nude beach all alone about 5:30 a.m. Saturday morning. I had been up all night with friends in the disco, piano bar, hot tub, and wherever else we were. Being the last day, I didn't want to sleep - I wanted to squeeze out as much Hedonism II time as I could. I knew I had plenty of time for sleeping on the planes. As I lay there, looking at the glow of the Jamaican sunrise and listening to the sounds of the animals, I realized something. I don't know if it was a result of the buzz from the drinking, the excitement of the dancing, the invigorating feeling from the nude volleyball game in the prude pool, or the closeness of good friends sharing feelings in the hot tub on our last day that triggered the awakening.

Here's what I concluded. When I leave Hedonism II it's not really the resort I miss. It’s not the nude beach, it's not the bars, it's not the nude hot tub, it's not the disco, it's not the entertainment, it's not the food. It's the people that I miss. Many times I've said that the people are what make Hedonism II so different and special. Now I realize that the aching I experience when I leave my Caribbean home is not a burning caused by having to make my own drinks, or by having to wear clothes for more than a few hours or by having to go to bed at a decent hour (or any hour for that matter). None of that matters. I miss the people - the other guests and the staff. I miss the instant friendships. I miss the laughing. I miss the singing. I miss the dancing. I miss the insults (I really do). I miss that warm inner feeling when a staff member remembers your name and gives you a hearty "welcome home". When a dining room waitress remembers when and how you want your coffee. When a bartender starts making your drink as soon as he sees you coming from 50 feet away. When new friends that you've known for just days start sharing their inner feelings with you. When these friends don't laugh too much when you sing at the piano bar. When these friends stop you as you walk by and introduce themselves and in two minutes you are bosom buddies. When after just a short time together, people want to start planning the next trip. That, ladies and gentlemen, is my Hedonism II.

I went into this trip with a little trepidation and uneasiness since my wife, Ann, couldn't be with me. She just got a new job and had to be in training last week. I was expecting some awkward situations, being the lone male or the odd man out. Having been married for 23 years and having a majority of our friends as married couples - I've been away from the hangin' with the guys scene for a while. Please don't misunderstand - there is nothing wrong with hangin' with the guys. I still do that on occasions. And for those in a different situation, it's right for them. And that's great. But I wasn't predisposed to deal with that for a week.

My fears were unfounded. I met and spent time with many wonderful couples who were very warm and friendly. If I try to name them all, I'll miss someone and might offend them. But they all know who they are. Thank's for being there and thanks for being you. I hope your love for each other was strengthened through the week. Thanks for letting a little of that togetherness spill into my cup. I couldn't figure out how that bunch of gorgeous women could be with that bunch of guys <g>! I also met some fine singles. Chatting and spending time with them, too, was very enjoyable. I can honestly say I hope you all will consider me a friend always. I learned a lot about people. I learned a lot about myself during the times I was alone and had a chance to reflect on the day and the week.

As I finish this report with some tear-filled eyes, reggae playing in my head, and a fire glowing inside - I can't forget to mention two other people. They happen to be the special women in my life. Most important and dearest to my heart is my beautiful wife Ann. Only an outstanding woman would put up with me for 23 years and cheerfully let me visit my other home without her while she stayed behind and worked and took care of our house and teenagers. I'm sure the payback is going to be big for that one. Absence does make the heart grow fonder. I did miss her - very much. The other woman was my soulmate for the week - my best bud, my frequent dance and dinner partner, my insult giver and taker, the perfect volleyball partner and opponent, the mermaid of the prude pool, and my friend forever. Keep smiling……..

Respect to all.
-Denny Omaha, NE