If You've Never Slept In An Island Treehouse...

My whole life I've wanted a treehouse, a solitary refuge between the in and outside worlds. And now our jeep is inching down the steep driveway toward it. Lights glow from behind the dense canopy, and I glimpse slivers of sharp edges in the dark. My heart races as if on a first date. I'm dropped off at two-bedroom Zing-Zing, and as my attendant, Maggie, gives me the tour, pointing out pristine appliances, a book collection and Dominican red-cedar furniture, I mouth "Oh my God!" over and over. I breathe in the fragrance of Guyanese greenheart, and contentment washes over me. And later, when I perch my pinot grigio on the wood-encased bathtub, slip in and gaze blissfully through floor-to-ceiling windows into Dominican jungle, I feel complete peace. Windows at the foot of the bed and in the shower slide open to welcome the balmy air. The staff reads my mind, appearing only when needed and knowing exactly what I want. Best of all, there are no intrusions. OK, maybe one: the crash of waves on Tibay Beach 30 feet below. The crude structure of my childhood dreams is all grown up. And it surpasses anything I ever imagined. secretbay.dm