Friday, July 17, 2009
That's what business travel is for - to have the opportunity to take good travel every once in a while - I am doing that now - good travel - the kids are wrapped up in their Hampton Inn bedcover (with the strategically placed pillow in betwixt them, lest they actually touch each other - eight and eleven, and they already need their own space...)and are getting much needed rest for the visit to the Itchetucknee River. They are nervously excited about it - I explained to them that the water was cold, and that it was a real river, and we were going to swim or float, or drift the entire thing - of course they asked about alligators and turtles, and Gabe instantly proclaimed that he had absolutely no problem catching a fish with his bare hands...( I did not have the heart to tell him that I did not have the money to pay the fine that the game wardens would charge, so I will just give him the luxury of chasing down fish, in fact, I am going to encourage it just to see him and swim and laugh and really try to catch a fish.)
The picture above sums up good travel - that was on the snorkel boat heading out of Stroud's Cay in the Bahamas - warm, sticky air, an island breeze (an overused cliche because it is true, the salt air cooling the sweat and tossing your hair around) - it was right before I jumped ten feet off the top of the boat into the water just above reef, and donned a goofy looking mask and snorkel and proceeded to duck dive and get more and more brave and a little more curious. That is what good travel is about - having eighty dollars in your checking account, more skymiles and reward points than you know what to do with, and a five day break filled with greasy cheap fried chicken (a note to everyone - when in Nassua, always eat at the Imperial, I recommend the Conch and Chicken Snack, the Steak Snack, and the Chicken Snack - don't be fooled by the word snack - each is a great meal - and tastes just as good in the morning cold...)
The Bahamas was a dream - the entire time. A blur of Kalik and Beaches and Soft Kisses and long talks, and the never ending feeling of doom when you know things are going to end and not going to last forever, they are just going to last a few more days - so you stay up until four am, you wake up at nine-thirty, and you try to live as quickly do as many things, and as little - as long as you are just there. Some people like to sleep away the good travel - take a break, I don't have that luxury - well, I do, but I choose not to take it - because most of my good travel involves the woman grinning in the Jackie O frames...time is always too short, and too limited, and there is always the pressure of what is happening in our real worlds for us to just enjoy it. Even with all of that, the Bahamas is still a dream.
I can't help but feel that there was a sad cloud of disappointment hanging over both of us - we were in paradise, surrounded by coconut palms, and people relaxing, and in a Country whose number one import is tourists from all over the world. There were island smells of roasting food, and the clatter of cruise ship passengers haggling their goods down. There were slot machines and ten million dollar escapes, and boats with more space than my apartment, and more people and distractions to void our minds of whatever we had filled them with - but I think there was still that disappointment. I could not get away from it, she seemed to do better in glimpses, but both of us, even though together, still wanted a few hours just to gather the thoughts that we had, and to try and answer the questions that bothered us. That, I suppose, is what the good travel is for - to be together long enough to hold each other, to taste each other, to see and talk and cry and laugh and swim and bury our heads in each others shoulders and just dance - and then to walk away for a few minutes and be able to feel again with that little piece of healing.
That was the good travel. There will be more, it may be holed up in a dive hotel, or at some conference, but there will, I hope, be more good travel.