I just returned from some vacation time near the beach, down the coast from where we live. I’m bad at taking vacations, in every way a person can be bad at an activity.
For example, I never have the right attitude going into a vacation. I am told that the correct thoughts should be something along the lines of “This will be fun!” My thought process involves making a mental list of all the ways I could get killed, while duct taping my credit cards to my torso.
The list of vacation death traps is long. The aquatic possibilities alone are nearly endless, especially near the beach. This week I had a chance to die by boat, rip tide, parasailing, tsunami, and dolphin. And those are just the quick options.
I opted for the slow but certain death of sun exposure. My skin is just thick enough to keep my organs from forming a pile around my ankles. It can’t handle much sun. I had so much sunscreen on that all I needed was a tiny model of a bride and groom on my head and I would have looked like a wedding cake. But I still kept checking my pulse to see if the sun had killed me yet. It was nearly 80 degrees on the beach, and about 120 degrees inside my hard shell of sun screen.
And don’t get me started about the sand. Some beaches have soft sand that feels delightful between your toes. This particular beach was made entirely of clam shells and ground glass. Normally, the hardest thing I do with my feet is pet the cat when I’m too lazy to bend over. Half way across this beach I was willing to give up the location of Osama Bin Laden. By three-quarters of the way, I was willing to join him.
The hotel where we stayed was “all inclusive.” That means you can eat at the buffet almost all day long and pay nothing extra. If you have not experienced a buffet at an all-inclusive resort filled with hungry Americans, let me paint a picture for you. Imagine a table filled with a wide variety of delicious foods. That’s what I was doing too – imagining it – because by the time I reached for anything, some porker from Kansas snatched it away and had it half pooped before my brain could register it was gone. I have fond memories of the food I almost got to touch.
By the third day, I loosened up enough to have a great time. And I discovered that if you hung out on the beach with the stray dogs, directly beneath the buffet area, people would sometimes throw you French fries just to watch you act happy. As soon as my bites heal, I plan to generate some excellent false memories of the food in Mexico.