The Rare Land Shoe Shark

This week has been a tough week. Not a horrible news, events that change your life kind of tough. But the nothing goes as planned, little fire drills everywhere, super busy but feeling like nothing got accomplished kind of tough.

So it seemed like a good Friday evening to spend at the beach.

The pups and I had been chasing sticks, splashing in the water and having a generally fabulous time for about 5 minutes or so, when we were joined by an older gentleman and his pup. I had met this guy a few times on our beach trips and always exchanged a few words, and then we both continued on our way, so I was hoping that’s what would happen this time. Not because I was especially anti social, but I had done enough talking to people for the week and really just wanted to throw sticks.

But he had other plans for the evening.

We started out just chit chatting about this and that, but soon he was sharing about all the time he had spent in the South Pacific, India and Asia back in the 80s. Ok, kind of a cool story and great adventure, so I was engaged. Pavi was slightly perturbed that my stick throwing was lagging somewhat with this interruption of conversation, but Ember was perfectly happy romping around with the new pup friend and annoying her brother.

And then suddenly the conversation shifted to aliens and UFOs and I found myself listening to his account of his up close and personal encounter with these beings while in Thailand.

I have to admit I was having a little trouble following the whole story, but I do know it entailed several people telling him he needed to put clothes back on, that he couldn’t be naked on he beach, him getting arrested while naked, aliens visiting him in jail and a gigantic white creature glowing with blue light appearing at the end of the pier

Apparently he made no connection between those events and the bag of whacky tobacky he had purchased from some random guy on the side of the road or the magic pills he apparently kept finding in his pocket and taking throughout this ordeal, but one has to wonder….

During this fascinating story, a group of 6, who I assumed was a family with older teen/ young adult children, had wandered down to the beach and were clustered just next to us. After a slight invitation from the daughter, my social Ember decided to act as the beach welcoming committee and pranced over to say hello to her new friends. They were delighted to meet her, and she ate up the attention. She even came back to grab a stick and returned to show them the quality of stick specimens our beach has to offer. Then it was back to romping with her brother and her new four legged friend.

My companion had wrapped up his alien story, but suddenly, as I just finish throwing a stick, he says “can I see your hand?” as he simultaneously grabs said hand.

Which is how I find myself getting my palm read on the beach.

While this is rather awkward, he seems harmless enough, if maybe a little lonely and maybe more than a little affected by the long term effects of whacky tobacky, so I decide to just let him stare at my palm lines for a minute or two and let him come up with whatever he thinks he sees.

Meanwhile, the family has decided to shed their footwear and go wading in the ocean.

If there is one thing my sweet little Ember cannot resist, it’s an abandoned shoe. More times than I can count, I have had to go in chase of a shoe, often into the yard with no shoes on. Even the split second they are left unattended while putting them on or taking them off, is too much for her to bear, and she feels the need to rescue the poor shoe from a life of abandonment.

And now there is a whole pile of unattended shoes just lying on the beach calling her name.

Just as I am about to find out about the 2 real loves of my life reflected in my palm, I see Ember streak past us straight into the pile of shoes.

Luckily, we’ve had lots of practice with “drop it!” and “bring it!”, so I was able to disengage my hand, while yelling these to her, and she dropped the shoe right on the water line before plunging into the ocean.

I returned the shoe to the pile while offering my apologies, but the family found the whole thing quite hilarious and were quite entertained by the whole ordeal. Just to be sure, Ember ran over to the dad, whose shoe I’m guessing it was, and offered a wet nose in his palm as an apology.

And now that family has a good story to write in their vacation blog.

And I will have to find another opportunity for a random beach palm reading to find out how long my lifeline is.

Lost In Paradise

We just got back from an amazing week on the beaches in Belize. One of those vacations that you don’t want to end. Sun, sand and sea. Can’t think of a much better combo.

But of course, even Paradise has stories.

On our first full day, after spending the morning soaking up as many sun rays as possible, we decided to take the paddle boards out for a spin. We get the paddle boards in the water, get on our feet and start slowly paddling out to sea. We had just cleared the end of the pier, enjoying the starfish the size of dinner plates hanging out on the bottom of the ocean, when yours truly tries to adjust her footing…. and promptly loses her balance and finds herself swimming with the starfish.

I break the surface, flailing like a fish out of water, recover my paddle board, finish hacking half the Pacific out of lungs and start towing my board back in so I can get back on top of it, since the view was better than from underneath.

I go a couple feet when I realize my sunglasses, that I had just pushed up on my head prior to deciding to take a swim, are no longer there.

Of course.

I do a quick look around to see if any of those starfish are sporting a new pair of shades, but no luck.

J-man, who was still comfortably on his board starts paddling around in circles close to where I tumbled to see if he can locate them. Even with the crystal clear water he wasn’t having much luck, so I towed my board back to shore,  grabbed a snorkel mask instead and decided to extend my swim and see if I could enjoy some tropical fish who hopefully had found my glasses.

Finally, after about 10 minutes, of J-man scouting from his perch, and me swimming around with my face in the water, he finally located them.

And patiently paddled in place until I decided to come up from below and could actually hear him trying to tell me that I was heading in the wrong direction and the sunglasses were right in front of him.

The important thing is the sunglasses were rescued.

Fast forward to our last evening on the island. We walked back to our cabana after dinner, which was the very last one on the end of the island.

Believe me when I tell you that it gets dark on the island at night. Which is great for watching the stars from the hammock. But not so great for what was coming next.

The wind had been picking up through dinner and we were watching lightening over the water on our walk back, so I decided I would collect all our various swim gear and towels we had hanging out on the deck to dry.

I collect everything hanging in various places, and realize half of one of my bathing suits was missing.

Luckily, using the flashlight on my phone, I quickly find it. Bobbing in place in the water, about 10 feet from our cabana.

We have an overwater cabana, with a ladder directly into the water.

Except the bathing suit is bobbing on the “bad side” of the cabana. Remember I said we were on the end? One side was clearer and swimmable.

The other side was seaweed laden and not so clear.

And it is dark.

But the suit is bobbing not too far from shore, and J-man is like “you can totally just wade out and get it.”

But I can’t see without my flashlight.

So I decide to wade out with my phone in my hand and try to reach it.

I make my way down to the edge of the water, where there is a water break I have to climb over with lots of seaweed jammed up against it.

I take one step over the water break and into the water,

And sink up to my knees in muck.

It literally sucked one of my flip flops off my foot (thank goodness I hadn’t taken those off) and I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to extract the other from the salty quicksand.

As I’m trying to extract my one foot without putting my other back in the muck and not losing my balance and dropping my phone in, my child is laughing from the deck.

Very helpful.

I finally get free of the sink hole and safely back on shore.

Justin says “Just go around the other side and wade under the cabana to it”

Except it’s dark. And I’m definitely not doing that with my phone in hand. I’m not real keen on going for a night swim and  running into one of the stingrays, nurse sharks or barracuda’s  we’ve been sharing the water with, when I can’t see a thing.

I didn’t like that bathing suit that much anyway.

And now I am covered from toe to hip in nasty, black muck.

So much for bed, I need a decontaminator.

I finally go to bed, assuming my bathing suit bottom with peacefully float out to sea over night to it’s forever resting place.

Except it doesn’t.

It’s still bobbing there in the morning.

I can’t just leave it there to be the welcoming sight to the next guest walking up the ramp to their cabana.

And if I don’t retrieve it, that means one of the workers is going to have to.

And although they are probably much better equipped with long poles and the such, my conscience gets the better of me and I find myself ready to wade back in.

The good news is, Justin was right. It was relatively easy going in from the other side and wading under the cabana.

Especially in the daylight, when I could watch for predators.

The good news is the bathing suit bottom was rescued.

And I leave the island with everything I arrived with.

And a great tan.