Sunday, July 8, 2012

Doing things.

I went to the movies yesterday.

This may not seem like an epic event to most of you, but I have been to exactly three movies since Lucien was born, so it's kind of a big deal.

My sister and her husband came to visit, and movies are their thing.  They throw an Oscar party every year, and see pretty much everything worth seeing.  I almost didn't go with them yesterday, because it was hot as hell outside, and I was reluctant to leave my air-conditioned cocoon.  But then I thought, Jesus, Maria.  Get off your ass.  You never get to go to the movies, and more importantly you never get to hang out with your sister.


About five years ago I went on vacation with my friend Tina.  We were roommates at the time, had both had a particularly hard year, and decided we needed a break.  We chose Vieques, Puerto Rico.

Actual photo from our trip.  Not taken with Instagram.  You used to have to do some pretty involved stuff to get this effect.  This picture was taken by shooting slide film, over developing, and processing it as if it was regular film.

Vieques is the perfect place to go if you like to vacation the way I do.  By that I mean, lay on a beach all day, take a break for a beer, go back to the beach, eat something, have another drink, and go to bed. We spent four days doing this, and it was awesome.  On day five, Tina revealed that she had bought tickets to the bio luminescent bay tour.  I was not thrilled.

You did what?  You know I hate tours.
Don't worry.  It sounds incredible.  You'll like it.

We drive through a dark creepy mangrove forest, and arrive at our destination.  The air is so thick with mosquitoes you can hardly breath without inhaling a few.  There are kayaks and life preservers lined up next to them.  Someone hands us a communal bottle of Skin so Soft, because apparently it helps deflect the swarms of bloodsuckers that are surrounding us.

This is gross.  And what the hell are those?  Kayaks?  You're kidding.
It's gonna be fun!
This better change my fucking life.

They line up the kayaks, and ask for an expedition leader.  I raise my hand.  Don't ask.  I have a weird habit of doing things like that.  So we kayak off in sets of two, onto this mosquito infested bay, surrounded by a creepy mangrove forest, in the middle of the island of Vieques.

As soon as we get away from the shore, the mosquitoes diminish, and it's actually really beautiful.  The water is still, dark and quiet.  We get to the middle of the bay, and our guide ties our kayaks together, and implores us all to touch the water in some way.   I dip my arm in the water and circle it around.  The movement of my hand has caused a reaction with the bio luminescent organisms, and the water begins to glow.  I take a handful of water and pour it over my arm.  Now my arm is glowing.  People start jumping in the water, and the space around them is glowing.  They look like swimming fairies, or something.

It was one of the most beautiful things I have ever experienced.  Thanks Tina, it did change my fucking life.


Yesterday we saw Safety Not Guaranteed.  I won't give any of it away, because you really should see it yourself.  But I will tell you that it is one of those rare movies where you can see a piece of yourself in every character.  Or, at least I could.  The movie made me feel things.  Think about things.  I really almost burst into tears at the end because I thought it was so beautiful.  And to think I almost didn't go.

The moral of the story is, it's never too hot for a movie.  Also, if you are ever near a mangrove forest and kayaks, travel out onto the bay.  But really, if you ever have a choice between doing things, and not doing things - it's a no-brainer.  Definitely do things.

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  1. Ugh. This is something I know I need to hear, but that I often pretend that I don't. I'm very much a homebody and if given the choice between an exotic vacation and a week at home without anyone else bothering me, I would probably choose the latter. (Other than work trips that don't count, I haven't been on vacation in 12 years.) There are certain things I like doing, but the "extras" seem like so much more work.

    But you're so right. Once I force myself to go and do whatever it is I was invited to do, 9 times out of 10 I'm so glad that I did. Comfort and routine have their time and place, but so does adventure--even if it's just going to the damn movies. Great post.

    1. Comfort and routine are starting to drive me a little crazy. Something drastic will probably be happening soon...

  2. We build our lives around routine at my house, and sometimes the idea of change is terrifying. But now I want to go buy a damn kayak!

  3. So very, very true! What an amazing experience times 2!I saw Brave and cried, so I can only imagine what a heart touching movie would do to me.

  4. "This better change my fucking life."
    And I am so glad that it did!
    I love when people tell stories about getting out of their comfort zones! I especially like when it turns out to be a positive experience.
    Thanks for sharing!

  5. Ah, doing is better than not. Doing lets us experience life, see and feel new things...

  6. We tried going to bio bay about 18 months ago, but it was raining so hard we couldn't go. Maybe next trip.