I am now back in NYC after a near one month vacation. That was the purpose of the trip: to spend the holidays with my family, who all live far away, and go down to St. Lucia where my father now works. Sweet.
However, since there was/is still filming to do for the documentary, I once again had to tag that on to the trip, which is quite a mammoth thing to just "tag" on to an already hectic trip. Not only does it mean that on top of traveling with Christmas presents and clothes for weather from 0°-100° F, my laptop and my dog, (yes, I travel with my 5lb dog Cosmo,) I also had to carry a twenty lb tripod and a camera and a mic stand and cassettes. Which was fine, sure, I live in NYC and am used to lugging all sorts of things around in transport. I didn't even mind the fact that the mic stand (a metal disk and foot long pole that screws on) apparently looked like some sort of explosive device because I got asked to step aside so they could swab all of the stuff down with gun-powder-detector-wipes.
The main difficulty was the fact that I was supposed to interview my family but both them and I were supposed to be on vacation. So lets just say it was hard to get them to cooperate, especially since I had to get ALL of them to cooperate simultaneously. We had a full house with brothers, sisters, parents and grandparents and three small dogs, so even if I got one person to agree to be interviewed, all the others had to agree to not be present, not use the dishwasher, toilet, air conditioner or washing machine, all of which were in pretty constant use that week. And finding the time to do these interviews, which all in all took over an hour each, was a challenge when there was Xmas shopping to do, gifts to wrap, restaurants to dine in, dogs to take out, and family members to chill with.
I lugged the equipment down to St Lucia for new years, with all my good intentions, and did not film a thing. Yikes! By then I was pooped, I wanted to also enjoy being in this new Caribbean country I had never been in, and I also had the task to re-decorate and re-upholster all of my parents' house there. My dad was also constantly working, and there was always either non-stop rain (which clanged loudly on the tin roof), or farmers using a weed-wacker to mow the substantial lawn. There just didn't seem ever to be a good time, and before I knew it, it was time to go.
I was able to get interviews from my sister (on Christmas day,) my grandfather (the day before he left,) and my mother (yesterday, the day before we both parted ways.)