Another Day in Paradise

Feb 26th adventures

The little maids thought they had me today. When I got up, late and sore from horseback riding and ziplining, they had soaked the entire floor from my door to the elevator. Ah, clever but I am clever too and saw the sheen on the floor and gingerly walked to the elevator and didn’t fall. But they weren’t done yet. So clever were they that they knew where I would go, coffee, and had sabotaged the floor there as well.

Ha! I saw the slippery sign and walked with care. They would not get me, those little she-devils. No they wouldn’t.

Even though I got up at 8, I was still sleepy. Last night there was a huge fight that sounded like it was outside my door. Yelling and screaming and stomping. Not revelry, there is always plenty of that, but a good old fashioned couple’s fight. Ugly and loud. Last thing I really needed.

So, in the morning, got my coffee and started to work on catching up on the blog. Feeling not as overcome today as yesterday so I hoped it would be a good day for writing and reading. Nothing else planned.

After catching up, I went to sit in the sun. Without anything else to write about, I thought I would explain my beach experience.

I come from my room with towel under my arm, a book in my hand, sunglasses covering my eyes and I smell vaguely of suntan lotion. I go to the beach, pull out a chair to better take advantage of the sun and set myself up. Shoes off. Shirt off. lay back.

I dip my hand in the sand. The sand is very fine. It is sand colored and twinkles in the sun. It sticks to everything. It gets into everything. Sand is not my friend. I avoid the sand by lying on a lounge chair. I take my hand out of the sand (and spend the next 20 min getting every grain out of my knuckle wrinkles.)

My favourite place is not far from the volleyball sand-court and even closer to a little self-serve drink station they have set up. Not many people hang around my area, most of them are in the pool on the other side of the beach, drinking or splashing or just sunning.

I can close my eyes and listen to the music from the speaker near the pool as it drifts with the wind. I can hear the grind of the waves in and out, in and out. the sound is ever present and tranquil. Not far off, kids shout in glee, splash in the pool, giggle when being chased by mom or dad.

I open my eyes. Overhead, I see pelicans or gulls soar in the blue sky. Under the cover of shade, deep blue colored birds cry out and search for bugs. Along the surf, sandpipers race back and forth. Nearer the food tables, sparrows hop from chair to chair, keeping an eye out for crumbs.

Soon I feel the heat of the skin on my sun. With the wined, it takes a while for me to heat up. Oh sure the temperature has been high since last Friday but with the wind constantly blowing, it seems quite mild. An illusion as the sun still beats down and can burns my skin if I am not careful. But never does it feel nasty, sweaty hot. Good me for, might be bad for others.

Today, as most days, the vendors roam the beachline that has been roped off. My guess would be the rope defines private property vs state property. These poor buggers work from dawn to dusk, carrying their suitcases full of silver or wandering around with mountains of hats on their heads or heaps of blankets on their shoulders. There is one guy who sells sunglasses from a board. Another sells lace. A woman hawks handfuls of beads and ‘local’ jewellery.

None of them cross the rope barrier. They do, however, shout or whistle at anyone who even remotely comes near or looks their way. It works too. People do come, they do buy and so the vendors come back day after day. My guess is that they can make an ok living out in the scorching sun.

Behind the beach vendors are the walkers and swimmers. Every day, early in the morning, the local pats can be seen marching up and down the beach, tanned to a dark mocha and often walking dogs. It wouldn’t be a bad place to be though I can’t imagine finding enough people with which I shared common interests for me to stay in such a location. I might find a writer or two, even the odd travel nut but I suspect it’s really a community based on the sun and drinking and that isn’t quite my scene.

As for the swimmers, a few of them dare the going beyond their hips, but not many. A few surf the waves. Some ride boogie boards. Some use full length boards. None of them are any good, however and it’s painful to watch them crash time and time again.

As with any day, there are great people watching opportunities.

Yesterday, I watched a family set up a tent for their child with a good half dozen chairs. They used blankets and towels and built quite an effective little home. Both parents could fit inside, lying down and they had set up drinks outside. Very cool. I thought it would be great to come to such a place like this with young kids. I would have taken a picture but the mom was dressed in a very skimpy bikini and my picture taking might have been misinterpreted.

I have to say, I like the beach. Sun or no sun. Full of people or half empty. It is a good place to spend a few hours and not have to worry about anything more than getting a little too burned or sand in strange places.

Not much else to report today. Started the next Brad Thor novel and this one is far superior to the one I read earlier. Ate nice burritos in the lunch restaurant. Blogged more. Snoozed in room. Then went down to supper at my usual grandpa time of 6.

I was sat at my yes-for-one-table and ate some very lovely lamb. I hope to explain more tomorrow about the buffet they had set up. However, tonight, I had a different experience from my normal one.

An older couple was seated a table away from me, and another gentleman beside them. I thought they were part of the same group but no, it turned out the single gentleman was, like me, all by himself. It wasn’t the first person I’d seen dine alone but so far, they had all been woman. Not this guy. He looked about 80, rumbled and dishevelled, his hair thin and white, his skin pale and untanned and sagging on his frame. He wore white shorts far too big for his legs and a blue polo shirt frayed at the neck.

The older couple asked if he was alone and he said yes. They asked if his wife was upstairs and he said no, she had passed away last spring. They had been married for 52 years.

52 years? Fuck me.

A year ago, I would have turned to Margot and said, that’s sad. Margot might have shed a tear, she often did when she heard that kind of stuff, but I would have just acknowledged the sadness of it and moved on. Now his loss, a wife of 52 years, seeped into me and I couldn’t shake it. Big fat wet tears rolled down my face. It was like I had heard the saddest thing in the world.

Was that why his shirt was a little frayed, his hair dishevelled? Had she made sure he looked his best before she passed? Did he miss her as much as I miss Margot? Did 52 years mean he could look back and say, hey, we had a good life or was 52 years, like 30, not enough?

I actually had to leave or really lose it. Stupid ass emotions. Stupid ass old guy who looked completely lost without his wife.

Went up to my writing area in the internet zone, blew my nose, wiped away the tears and finished my blog up to the end of yesterday. Finished more when I went back to my room.

Wrote a good 25 pages today. Felt good to get caught up and, despite the old guy at supper, the day could be well declared a success. No great adventures but then every day cannot be a wild ride.

Tomorrow, it’s likely to be another slow day.

(picture is of a vendor selling lace table-clothes by the look of it.)

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