Some people have wine journals. Liz James told me about beer journals. Mine will double as a travel journal. More than wine, when I travel, I find beer. Not haute beer. Everyman beer. Beer I can order in any restaurant. And these stories are not the stories of the most amazing places I’ve seen. They are about the times when I had a beer, and the people I was with.
This is Red Stripe. It’s a Jamaican beer.
Red Stripe is my favorite bottle of all beers. And it’s a lager, so I can drink quite a few of them before I feel like I’ve swallowed a loaf of bread (by contrast, I can only drink half of a Guinness before that happens…)
This particular Red Stripe was imbibed in the back seat of a van, upon arrival in Jamaica, my first really big trip with the Walkers. Both sets of grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles. The works. The fun had begun.
I nannied for the Walkers for 1.5 years. After that I lived with them for another year. I went with them on numerous trips. California, Jamaica, Chicago, Anguilla, Mexico, and a cruise; but living in the house was by far the best adventure.
There are too many stories to recount, but there was always always some sort of beverage served. And the fact that the Walkers let me paddle off in a kayak with their one-year-old on my lap, or snorkel with their five-year-old, and met me upon return with a cold beer in hand tells you something about just how great of a time we had.
I would share the ups and downs of life in more ways than I ever could have imagined when drinking this Red Stripe in 2008. We would live “in community” in that idealistic way that rarely works in real life, but I think it worked for us. It was the Walkers who taught me that family can be something you choose.