Although the medicine undoubtedly played its part, to this day I credit that beautiful palm grove at Playa Grande with my recovery.
By Wednesday, I was fit enough to wade out into the water and sit in the shallows. I gathered shells and ocean glass and got a sunburned nose.
By Thursday night, I was game for dinner on the town.
And at sunset that night we were on our way to the Inn on the Blue Horizon, heartily recommended by almost everyone we’d met during our relatively solitary week, including the emergency room doctor who had engineered my slow recovery.
After six alcohol-free days, my very being ached for a martini. If they’d told me there was no gin in the house, I would have wept openly and torn my hair.
But no such tragic thing occurred, and when my martini finally did arrive it was a thing of beauty—enormous, icy, and anchored by two of the plumpest olives in captivity.
Our table faced the ocean. There was a warm, teasing breeze. Jazz snaked in from the tiki-hut-style bar.
“I’m sorry you got sick,” Michael said, sipping a glass of Shiraz. What a rock he was, spending his vacation caring for a whimpering semi-invalid, and never a word of complaint.
“Me too.” I swizzled the olives around in my drink. “I was thinking as I got dressed tonight—if I enjoyed Vieques this much feeling this lousy, imagine how much I’ll like it next time.”
He sat up straight in his chair. “You mean you’d come back?”
I took a long sip of my drink and looked out across the water.
“In a heartbeat.”