"Our 20th Wedding Anniversary

Was a Nightmare"

But a silver lining as well

By Rica Ruiz

Thankfully, we made it through the night

The resort doctor arrived the next morning. Prednisone and prescriptions for antihistamines and calamine lotion offered some relief. Rob, consumed by itching, longed for a shower.

Unfortunately, our "experience" came only with an outdoor shower which was prone to more bugs. Despite it being our anniversary, all I wanted was to cut our losses, get Rob some relief and go home.

Determined to find a better solution, I secured reservations at a different resort. While not beachfront, it offered an indoor shower--

a godsend!

The Lord really made a way for us to work things

out without any hassle. The original resort, remorseful about our ordeal, covered the medication, taxi fare, and refunded the remainder of our stay without prompting.

Our planned excursions were canceled and reimbursed seamlessly. God orchestrated the meeting of the new resorts general manager,

Mr. G. who was visiting our particular resort

that day.

After finding out about our story, he secured reservations at the resort's "best restaurant," and informed the staff of our anniversary. He was incredibly gracious! Shortly after checking into our room, Rob was ready to go home.

As fate (and God) would have it, we, again, ran

into Mr. G, and explained our current situation and

he graciously offered to waive our second night's stay.

Though the trip wasn't what we envisioned, it unfolded exactly as it needed to. We returned home safe, Rob recovered fully and our appreciation for each other and nearby beach destinations


While it wasn't the idyllic getaway we planned, it turned into a journey of self-discovery and a deeper appreciation for my husband.

The warmth of the Antiguan people: Despite our

last-minute cancellations due to Rob's allergic reaction, the Antiguans impressed us with their remarkable grace and generosity. Every accommodation and excursion provider readily accommodated us and offered full refunds.

A glimpse into Antiguan life

We witnessed a unique aspect of local life

–goats roaming freely. Apparently, they're let loose

for grazing and return home when thirsty (although some never return home).

The island's past was revealed in the remnants of sugar mills, once the backbone of the economy. Interestingly, locals often vacation on nearby islands.

Also, we discovered that their water supply is often turned off without notice. They are very resourceful people, many homes housed huge cylinders of water on their property in anticipation of the water stoppage.

Reevaluating priorities

The trip's cost prompted us to question our travel motives. Why did we choose the Caribbean over Mexico or Hawaii?

Mexico and Hawaii would have been significantly more cost effective and shorter flight destinations. More importantly, it served as a wake-up call to solidify our life plan.

We're working on ensuring we both have access to

all financial accounts, passwords secured in one place for easy access and addressing other crucial matters that aren’t always easy to talk about. Like sharing our last wishes with each other so we know how to handle things when each of us pass away.

A Holistic life audit

We're taking a comprehensive look at our lives

--business, health, finances and our relationship. Regular communication and planning will ensure

we support each other's goals and navigate challenges together.

Grateful for life's lessons

Though not the planned anniversary trip, it brought

us closer. We're more grateful than ever for life, another year together and the fresh perspective this experience has given us.

When we married, Rob and I dreamed of adventure, family and shared experiences. While we've had that, the reality is that marriage is hard.

There have been unexpected challenges and moments when showing up for each other felt difficult. This trip, with its disappointments and Rob's allergic reaction, reminded me why he’s my person.

He’s accepted me with all my flaws and past trauma-- and hurts--and I’m still amazed that his love for me is unwavering.

Still an adventurer at heart,

Rica Ruiz

To reach her, email: [email protected]

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