Although this past winter was incredibly easy, with record low snowfall, it seemed interminable in other ways. Prior to my surgery Joe and I promised ourselves that once I was recovered we were going to go somewhere relaxing, where we could just sit, read books and de-stress. In reality, it doesn't work that way, a trip doesn't magically erase a difficult situation, nor does it make everything ok. It does, however, give you something to anticipate, look forward to, and is a wonderful escape from the realities of everyday life.
As a rule, when we travel, we like to do a lot of walking, sightseeing and soak in as much of the area as possible. While stimulating, trips like that can be exhausting. It felt odd to go somewhere and just relax, we both struggled with not cramming our days full of adventures other than picking a place to dine and taking a morning walk along the beach with our coffees.
The beaches were gorgeous; unlike New England's coastline, the beaches were white-sanded and stretched on for miles, circling the entire circumference of the island. No harbors, inlets or bays, just one continuous, shell-covered beach. The shells were spectacular: pinks, peaches, glistening white, conch shells (very difficult to find a good one that wasn't inhabited) and even a starfish.
The water was warm enough for swimming, feeling like bath water compared to our icy north Atlantic. Our first day on the beach we saw several people pointing to a spot in the water near the shore. A fin! To our shock and amazement people started swimming towards it- even running from the beach into the water! After a second we realized it was a dolphin- up north when someone sees a fin there is a mass exodus from the waves and plenty of screaming, for it's a shark.
We were fortunate enough to be able to see a snowy egret, a little blue heron, which we were told would most likely be extinct by the end of our generation, pelicans, as well as ospreys. An experienced birder pointed out a little screech owl in the bushes, which we were lucky to see.
The sunsets were spectacular. We dined at a spot called the Sunset Grille one evening, which was delicious. After the meal we were able to walk across the street and watch the sun sink below the line of the horizon.
No, a vacation can't erase experiences we view as negative, but it can provide a welcome diversion and some unforgettable sights. How very lucky we are to have so many beautiful places in the world.