Saturday: It started with the car. The dodgy facility should have tipped us off. As our Mustang drove away and we settled for the sedan, he might have been happy with how things worked out. But that didn’t stop us from begging and pleading for the Volkswagen. He obliged. Things like that…sometime I wonder how much he’d let us get away with.
We try on hats and forget how long and how far we have still to go. We dally with time because that’s what you do on vacation. I can’t believe that he agrees to the hideous matching sunglasses. We’ll wear them the whole trip and it will be great.
Sunday: We wake early to leave for the beach. Perhaps we were overly ambitious, because we forgot about breakfast and have to stop at the French cafe where they forget the cappuccino and the breakfast croissant. But they remember the mimosa and my coffee, the one irresistibly boozy, the other delightfully caffeinated. We talk about Cinderella’s slipper and listen to the accents and foreign words drifting from the kitchen.
We sit in sun and sand. The wind plays on the branches of the palm trees and carries the smells of salt and sand mixed with sunscreen and Old Spice. We settle on not making plans, and we lie there for hours upon unscheduled hours.
Our stomachs call for action, so we get pie. Acres of pie. Really it was only three, but what luxury to have the best pie of your life and to know that there are second and third pieces waiting for you!
Southernmost Super Bowl party. We make guacamole and salsa and spaghetti in the poorly equipped kitchen. I pause and note with glee that all four burners on the stove are functional. We drink and shout at the screen as is expected, and outside the sun sets on the palm trees.
Monday: Lucky Charms and more pie. There is shuffling and reluctant packing, but departure is delayed by tourism. Though we’ve mocked the camera-carrying, fanny-pack clad masses, we charge ahead and take the usual pictures, documenting the fact that we’ve done something noteworthy, albeit stereotypical.
And then we drive. Bridges and islands fly past us under the beating sun. The turquoise water pleads us to stay, just a little longer. We heed the waves long enough to park by an unfamiliar beach. We sit on the shores with our pie and eat with spoons we snitched from Subway. Fat and happy, we take selfies on the shore before we move on.
The pointless and countless decisions that take too much time. The jokes that carry over days. The time spent wandering aimlessly. The grocery shopping and the restaurant hunting. None of it was unusual. Eating. Talking. Laughing. He said we could have done all of this back home, and we could have. But the setting forces us to soak in the moments and notice the details, to look more closely at the tiny building blocks of friendship that stack so small and significant.