This year was my first Fourth of July not in the good old United States of America in as long as I can remember. Blame my friend Vanessa, who invited me to stay at the famed hotel, the Cotton House, on the Caribbean island of Mustique – land of Mick Jagger, Bryan “Everything I do, I do it for you” Adams and Tommy Hilfiger. Obviously, I said yes. I mean — who doesn’t love Bryan Adams? That, and it’s a fricking secluded small island that just smells like somewhere a James Bond villain would have their lair.
I mean, come on. Who’s gonna say no to that? Not me.
"What would you like to do while you’re there?" Vanessa asked.
"Um, nothing?" I said. "Swim. Eat. You know. hang."
And then she told me you could horseback ride. In the ocean.
You have to understand, I was obsessed with The Black Stallion as a kid, so when I heard I could ride a horse in the ocean and swim with it, just like young Alec and The Black, I was like “HECK YES!”
Related: Swimming with Manatees in Mexico
I had visions of me riding gracefully atop a horse swimming in the ocean, kicking aside sharks as my hair flowed in the wind while the theme music to “Chariots of Fire” played in the background. In my mind I looked I should be on the cover of a romance novel. Kind of like this:
Or something like this:
Photo: Mustique Island.
In reality, even though I wasn’t in the States, it was still the Fourth of July so I was representin’, if you will, with my Stars and Stripes bathing suit (there went the romance novel cover). And, due to the Mustique Equestrian Center's safety regulations and insistence that I wear a helmet, pants and rubber wellies, and the fact that it was hot as heck and thus my hair was up in a bun, I looked like this:
Photo of Paula and Pi the Lazy: Paula Froelich.