Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Just Relaxing

Two of my very close friends were laughing at me as I was telling them I couldn't wait to get to Aruba to relax.  They both gave me very knowing looks and let me know that they were certain that I don't know how to relax.  I protested greatly, and then came to the realization that my definition of relax might just be a little different from someone else's.  I did sit still long enough to read 3 books on the trip.   Shelley and I spent time every day sitting near a little shade hut reading, but we found lots of time to play too.
(This is the little boat that we rode in to get to where the jet skis were docked)
One day Jeff and I rented jet skis and zipped around the clear blue ocean.  It was so fun to follow behind the big boats and jump their wake.  The ocean seemed shallow for quite a ways out, and we saw great little reefs of coral with tons of fish and a sea turtle.  At one point there was a whole school of these silvery fish that were leaping out of the water and back in, again and again.  We were just a little ways behind them and we followed them for about 100 yards, it was like they were trying to get us to chase them.  It was an incredible thing to watch.
Another thing I wanted to see was Eagle Beach.  It was rated as one of the best beaches in the world by Traveler magazine a year or two ago.  We brought our books and wandered along the sand til we found just the right spot to dig in to the sand and soak up the breezy sunshine.
I laid there for all of about 2 minutes when I spotted a guy bouncing a volleyball around an empty sand court.  I hopped up and joined him.
We slowly recruited more and more players until we had enough for a 5 on 5 game.  It has been too many years since I have played volleyball and I LOVED every minute of it.  Jeff came out and joined us for the last two games we played.  He has a killer serve and I didn't want to be on the receiving end of it!  The games left me with a few bruises on my forearms and a smile that was hard to wipe off.
Another day as we were laying around at our little beach hut we decided to go do a little snorkeling.  We had seen several little beaches on our runs to the lighthouse and everyone said they were great for seeing all kinds of little ocean creatures.  We rented snorkel gear and set off to find the beach that was supposed to have a few turtles at it.  Just like the streets, the beaches don't have signs to let you know which one you are at, somehow you are just supposed to know.  The only landmark we had was the house with the infinity pool that we ran past each morning.
I was having a really hard time with my mask filling up with water and had to keep stopping to clear it.  At one of these little mask clearing stops I lost my balance and stumbled into a sea urchin.  The back of my calf hurt like something fierce!  A similar feeling would be to take the tip of a hot iron and leave it pressed to your leg.  That kinda cut the snorkel trip short...later that night after it had blistered and peeled we read that it would have been good for Jeff to pee on it.  Whoops, he totally missed out on that opportunity!
(Okay this was the next day and the layer of blisters had already come off but you can see the dark spot where it stung me. My skin is still itchy and discolored there, darn it!)

Friday was our last full day on the island and we had a few more places we wanted to see.  We opted to rent quads again to get us there.  All of us had so much fun buzzing around on those things.
We laughed at what we looked like in the helmets and the lack of padding on the inside of them.  While the men did do most of the driving Shelley and I both had our turns driving the quad with our men on the back.
It is such a blast climbing all over a mountain side with views of the ocean all around you.  It really was perfect!
So maybe it is a bit of a stretch to me to just sit for too long, but playing hard is definitely a release for me.  That counts as relaxing doesn't it?

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