Monday, December 21, 2009

Sea Side Stories

The sea pronounces something, over and over, in a hoarse whisper; I cannot quite make it out.
~Annie Dillard

It is a good day when:

  • Your littlest brother returns from India and you get to see him after six months.
  • Your first act of parliament as a newly reunited family is to order a large hot and spicy chicken pizza from Pizza Hut. This brand of pizza does not exist anywhere else on the globe and this, simply put, is a shame because it is terrific.
  • You see the Indian Ocean after two and a half years…and get to swim in it.
  • It is 95 degrees outside and the said ocean is at your disposal at any given moment of the day.

Indeed friends, Nicky is here. He has magically grown like the fabled beanstalk on crack and now towers roughly a foot above me. Wonderful. Gangly and goofy, he saunters about at 6’2”, so is pretty much the same except stretched out. Boarding school food is not helping this effect much in the skinniness department, and so the goal of this Christmas break is to fatten him up from status of spliced toothpick to status of pencil, at least.

Hebron is proving to be a little bit of a challenge for him. He misses his friends at home a lot and the freedom factor gets a little old. There is, however, light at the end of the tunnel…the sky seems to be showing signs of clearing.

“I got into the play Steph!” he excitedly told me on the drive to the beach and the theatre major in me was ecstatic.

“That’s so great! Tell me about it! Are you excited about the part?” I gushed as any big sister is supposed to.

“Well yea…” and then with increasing enthusiasm, “and I have a hot wife! Half French, half English…yea…”


What the heck happened to the kid whose most afeared punishment was to be sat next to a girl during math class?

...that, apparently. Handsome, yes?

Two little boys just ran by me in matching sponge bob outfits. Remarkable.

After that smooth little segway, I am going to carry on describing for you the joy that is the Sri Lankan coast.

We have been down here about three days now and it is baking hot…with just enough sea breeze to keep one from feeling like one has been unceremoniously shoved into a pizza oven. My ipod has chosen to play for me “Baby its cold outside” which is humoring me just a little. The ocean is about the temperature of perfectly balanced bath, the pool a strategically placed oasis located right between hotel lawn and beach, so one can sit in its refreshing expanse and keep an eye on the goings-on on both sides of the spectrum. People-watching at such places offers endless opportunities for entertainment.

I have made significant progress on creating for myself a virtual swimsuit….should I choose to run around in the buff at any time, the worst people could say from a distance would be “white’s really not her color...” That said, I have no immediate plans to test this theory out. Especially seeing as the beach is positively festooned with beach boys who have not a care in the world but surfing, making snide remarks about tourist women and volleyball. If anyone is in the need for an ego fix, here is the place to make an appearance. I don’t think I’ve ever been called “a nice lady” so many times in my life. I found this particularly congenial when they took it upon themselves to inform me of this after a two mile run along the beach. Nothing like being called “a nice lady” when one resembles an over ripe tomato next in line for the puree machine.

Along that stream of thought, allow me to issue a small piece of advice…if you have not run in a significant while and are then struck with the romanticized idea that a run along the beach in the setting sun would make a picturesque re-entry to your work-out regime, stop yourself if you value a pain-free existence. Experience is a harsh teacher and a bow-legged cowboy stomp does not compliment a bikini very well.

Three extensive buffets a day are also not overly complementary to a bikini, but here is where we decide we don’t really care as much as we previously had thought, and that’s what sarongs are for anyway. Bottomless chocolate mousse is not a thing to be taken lightly. Thank goodness they have water aerobics scheduled at 11 AM every morning for those who have adopted this concept a tad too eagerly. This session always ends with an animated interpretive dance to “The roof is on fire” which involves a significant amount of clapping and hollering and waving about. It is sure to get the blood moving, no doubt.

On that note, I’m going to go see about getting my own blood moving…whether that’ll be accomplished via swim in the sea or pina colada, I have yet to decide. Maybe ocean followed by pina colada. Decision made.


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