Restlessness descended on the Sample household. Perhaps it was inevitable for a well-to-do family where nobody had a steady job.
It was late in the morning, and two young adults without steady jobs were engaged in a vicious table tennis championship.
Dear old Connery’s food bowl was almost empty, and he wanted everyone to know.
Victoria came downstairs after loosing to Winston in 3 games out of 5 and launched into a snippy conversation with Edmund about the noise he made casting spells at night while she was trying to sleep.
In the middle of all of the drama, Dylan brought in the newspaper
and found the only quiet spot to read it.
At noon, and still in her nightgown, Victoria was struck by inspiration.
“I know just the thing we need!” she declared. “A vacation! Tickets to Sunlit Tides are on sale. We should jump on it while they’re still cheap.”
“Another tropical vacation?” Edmund said. “There are other places we could visit, you know.”
“If you have a better idea, you can make the travel arrangements yourself,” Victoria said.
“Hmmm,” Edmund said, “I think there might actually be some research I could do in Sunlit Tides.”
“You don’t mind if we sit this out?” Dylan asked his daughter. “These old bones just don’t enjoy airline travel as much as they used to.”
“Sure, Daddy,” Victoria said. “You take care of yourself!”
Once they were gone, Dylan and Andria let on their real plans. “The whole house to ourselves!” Dylan said.
Andria gave him a sultry look. “Whatever will we do with ourselves all alone?”
Victoria’s discount vacation package was good for a suite at the Holiday Village Resort.
“Quirky,” Winston said as he surveyed the outside.
“What’s wrong with quirky?” Victoria demanded.
“I didn’t say there was anything wrong, did I?” Winston said.
There certainly wasn’t anything wrong for Winston. The receptionist walked into the room to check them in, and it was clear she liked what she saw.
“Room for three!” Victoria said. “Under Sample.”
“Sample,” the receptionist said, looking over Victoria’s shoulder at her brothers standing behind. “You’re siblings, right? Not a romantic getaway? Just asking so we… give you the right experience. Right.”
Victoria got the room key and eagerly headed upstairs to see their suite.
Winston, on the other hand, was caught with the sudden need to show off his physique.
After all, now he had an audience.
In the morning, Winston was still flirting.
And his audience was almost too appreciative.
Edmund spent his time at the buffet, trying to pretend that he and Winston were not related.
Winston wasn’t the only one who turned heads, though. He was just the only one who was excited by it.
“What are we going to do with our first day?” Victoria said, trying to ignore the stares from the tourist who had sat down, uninvited, at their breakfast table.
To her relief, he finally took the hint.
“So guess, what?” Winston said, “There’s a culinary school here that specializes in Asian and Polynesian cuisine. I’m going to take a cooking class!”
Victoria’s face lit up.
“You know, Winston, that gives me a great idea!”
“Both of you have fun,” Edmund said. “I have some books to read.”
Winston rolled his eyes. “You know how to have a good time, brother.”
Edmund was indeed off to read books. The Fae Council had turned him on to an archive of the arcane arts hidden in Sunlit Tides. Such things were always hidden unless you were taught to look for them.
He had to plead with the proprietor to convince him that he was qualified to access the collection. The names of the Fae Council of Avalon didn’t hold much power out here. But Edmund was persistent.
He wasn’t disappointed.
There was information here on vampires that he’d never guessed at.
But he also found himself… lonely. It was an unfamiliar feeling. He wondered what Joy thought of him, if she thought anything at all.
The sky opened up in a tropical downpour, but Victoria was undaunted.
She enrolled in a sailing class at the marina.
She hoped it wasn’t too touristy.
She wanted to learn some serious sailing.
She wasn’t too disappointed in the class, but she had exceeded all they could teach her by the time it was half over. She was a natural.
It was just her, the ocean, and the wind. It was like a dream come true.
But the best part was the unlimited boat rental that came with the class.
Now she could go anywhere on the island, not just the parts reserved for tourists.
True to his word, Winston enrolled in a Teppanyaki class.
It was like someone had designed a culinary tradition with Winston in mind.
And plenty of excuse to relax with a resort massage.
All three returned, exhausted, to their suite at night.
Tired or not, Winston had plenty of time to spend texting his admirer before bed.
While Winston was absorbed in his phone, Victoria and Edmund drifted out to the balcony to look out at the ocean.
After a while, Victoria turned to watch Edmund watching her. “You want to ask me an uncomfortable question about talking to people, don’t you?” she said.
“Not this time, really,” Edmund said. “I’m try to ask myself instead.”
Victoria smiled at him. “You’ll do better that way. You can’t get that girl out of your head, huh? The one you want to help?”
“Actually,” Edmund admitted. “I was thinking of someone else.”
Victoria raised her eyebrows. “Wow, two girls in your life. You’re turning into a social butterfly.”
Edmund chuckled. “What about you? Whenever I see you in public, you have at least one man following you. Why is it you haven’t found true love by now?”
Victoria sighed. “That’s just the problem, isn’t it? I don’t even know what they like so much about me.”
“That’s because you can’t see yourself,” Edmund said.
In the morning, when his brother and sister headed down to breakfast, Edmund found a private room to write.
He wasn’t sure how to express to Joy the way he felt about her, but he hoped that if practiced writing them out, he could get better at it.
Victoria made good use of her freedom of the sea.
To find the treasures hidden under the surface.
Sunlit Tides was home to some awe-inspiring aquatic antiquities sites off the beaten path.
And in the dark depths of old ruins,
she was sure she saw someone watching her intently.
She tried to wave, but the figure swam away.
Winston discovered his admirer worked evenings at the resort bar.
So he took a sudden interest in exotic drinks.
“I’ve never had a drink that smoked before!”
“Wow, it’s pretty good!”
“I was sure you wouldn’t lead me wrong!”
At that, even his captive audience had to roll her eyes.
“Ok, sorry, that was laying it on a little think, even for me.”
She had to laugh at that.
One evening, Victoria came down to see what the fuss was about.
“How are you doing, brother dear? I wanted to know where you’ve been disappearing to all this time.”
“Enjoying some great drinks! Try something. I didn’t know you could do such crazy things with juice!”
“OK, I do have to try. Make me something.”
“Do you have a favorite drink?” the bartender asked.
“Not really. Surprise me.”
She was surprised all right.
She sneaked off to pour the rest of the drink in a planter and headed to bed.
Winston didn’t come up to the room until after Victoria and Edmund were sound asleep. He seemed to be doing just fine with his vacation romance.
They spent their last day together, lounging at the boardwalk.
Enjoying each other’s company.
And playing in the ocean.
Winston even tested out some new moves.
Which went over very well.
After the afternoon on the boardwalk, they took in dinner and a show at a tiki bar near the resort.
The performer turned out a be an acrobat, which Winston seemed to find complicated — he wasn’t sure if he felt threatened or wanted to take this as an educational opportunity.
But someone unexpected caught the acrobat’s eye, even as she performed on the stage.
Edmund couldn’t have been more surprised.
The show was popular, and the waitstaff seated a solo guest at the table with the Sample trio. That turned out to be unfortunate.
Victoria wasn’t quite sure what she’d said wrong, but apparently her smalltalk wasn’t up to snuff.
The stranger was incredibly insulted.
“Hey, I didn’t mean it,” Victoria said awkwardly. “No harm no foul?
“You can stop kicking me under the table any time now.”
“Get your hand out of my face!”
The whole thing could have been a whole lot more fun if it had been just the three of them.
After the show, Winston went over to introduce himself to the performer. It was always good to network in his profession. Plus, she was cute, and Winston always noticed cute.
“It’s so nice to meet you!” she said. “But isn’t that your sister in a fistfight over there?”
As a matter-of-fact, it was.
“Get her, Vickie!” Edmund shouted. “Don’t let her push you around!”
He never knew he had it in him.
Vickie didn’t start the fight, but she knew how to finish it.
And she couldn’t resist the parting shot.
“Eeek! What did you do to me??”
“Just a little cold shoulder,” Victoria said.
“Come on guys. I’m tired. Let’s go home.”
Ha! This one was hard to write. I took WAY too many pictures of a vacation that wasn’t terribly plotty to begin with, and then they ended up all mixed up and hard to sort out. I didn’t bother to track the names of the walk-on characters, and I’m afraid I’ll never publish this if I make myself go back to look.
The lovely resort was “The Village” Holiday Resort.
On the first night, I saw a Showtime performance at one of the venues I’d dropped in Sunlit Tides, but then I had the class problem of no performer on the stage. So then I went back to NRaas and figured out to get some performers so that it would work properly. It’s a mod interaction with something in the NRaas suite such that there are no Showtime performers assigned. It annoys me that this is default behavior. Sure, Showtime recruits way too many performers, but I do like a few!
This doesn’t advance much in the way of plot, but Vickie has a dive-based LTW, and I can’t bring myself to have her do all her diving in the one dive lot I’ve managed to plant on Avalon. So, more vacations in store! I did love some of the autonomous adventures the characters got themselves into. The fight on the final day was classic.
Also, Edmund has it bad for Joy. He rolled a wish to send her a love letter :).