Standing on the beach approaching something that we will call dry, a single firework jets into the air. It is midnight 2014. The firework was just set off by one of the hotel staff of the Lagunita, who moments before had been bored out of his mind. This was not the New Year’s party anyone assembled had expected at the beginning of the night, but in that moment, it was as good as anyone could have hoped for.
This moment marks the beginning of the year, and for narrative purposes, it seemed a very good place to start this Blog. In starting this thing there is a lot we want to do and a lot we want to share. There is this big looming thing in the future*, that we want to have a forum to talk about. Some place to make the before, during, and after. But there is also a lot of more to life then that thing and the prep to get us there. I really want to create a full picture of this experience for myself and for anyone reading this, and how we approach talking about it in context matters.
Which brings us back to the hotel at midnight and fireworks. All told, five were lit and three were wow worthy, if only for the proximity to my head. It had been raining an hour before, and for 2 days before that. We had been wet and trapped in our jungle cabana for much of that time, but it was not cold, and we had plenty to read, so I was trying very hard not to hold that against the weather. Double fortunately, someone had left a copy of Neil Gaiman’s most recent book, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, on the take-one-leave-one shelf at our place. It was a fine hard bound edition that I can only guess was abandoned do to the utter destruction of its pristine edges by the relentless humidity of coastal Mexico. Even at my pace, given nothing else to do, it was a only day’s read, and got me through a the roughest patches of rain.
January 31st had brought with it a reprieve from the downpour, and we tried to take full advantage, ceviche on the beach, taking more time in our explorations of the village yielded a waterfall, and tacos! The new year was to be filled with tacos and beer!**
At the end of our final meal at the last food stop of the night, we discovered that the reprieve was over and the rain was coming down. Torn between waiting it out and getting to our side of the cove for midnight we left the warm and welcoming embrace of Abuela’s Taqueria and headed into the downpour. When traveling between town and the beach bars butted against the jungle where our casa is nestled, there are two options. A river runs through the middle of the cove that is Yelapa, and you can either ford it close to its mouth near the beach, or hike an extra mile or so into the jungle to a cement bridge and back out to the beach. We opted for the bridge, and were rewarded at the end of the drenching 30+ minute trek with the rain ceasing the second we reemerged on the beach.
Looking at the scene that greeted us, I was a little disappointed that all the bars were closed, save the Lagunita, and for that matter, the denizens of the Lagunita must have been a little disappointed that so few had decided to bring in the New Year there. The decorations were set, every table had noise makers and party hats, the music was playing, and counting us, there were under 25 people including at least 10 staff.
Still, we sat and got our Pacificos and drank and waited for midnight. I was trying really hard to be positive about all this (and failing) until one of the bar backs came to me with a huge smile and excitement on her voice and simply said, “fireworks” and pointed to the beach. We marched down with the few others on this side of the bay and looked out to the water. I had imagined that the blasts would come from one or two of the boats a little ways off shore, when bang! It’s Midnight, and the guys from the bar, standing five feet from me, are lighting fireworks off the beach. The circular plumes are so close you can feel the heat, and everyone shrieks with delight.
It’s 2014. I am standing on a beach with fireworks over head. I am with Katie. I am full of tacos and beer and happy for the walk to get us home and that we have another few days of no internet and no alarms, and reading, and swimming, and sex, and eating, and hiking, and sleep.
I don’t know exactly what this blog is going to be about, or that anyone will be all that interested, but hope that it is good and that they will be.
Until next time!
* In case you skipped the about us page, Katie and are now one year out from one year of travel.
** I am not superstitious in general, but this was very important to me. On December 31st, 2012, having imbibed a little more than was necessary, I found myself arguing the merits of the designated hitter in American League Baseball, an argument everyone knows is un-winnable, you will never change anyone’s mind, ever. Still, it happened, and a topic I rarely ever brought up, found its way into my life over and over again in 2013. Coincidence? Probably, but if not, I much rather a year filled with beer and tacos to one arguing one of the lest interesting things you can argue about in baseball.