Wednesday, May 15, 2013

It was “Totes” a Good Time on Culebra

Our trip to Culebra last weekend was great because of the people who were there.  I look back on my pictures from the weekend (and I took a lot of them), and although there are some that really showcase how beautiful the beaches were, most of them are of people.  People laughing, talking, making funny faces.  My friends and I having a truly good time. 

We spent Friday, Saturday, and Sunday on the little island of Culebra because we had a 3 day weekend (so why not?).  Robert and Sonja flew over with the cooler, and the other four of us took the early ferry and met them by 11:00am on Friday.  We had one hotel room that slept six and one Jeep (which seated 5, but one person sat in the back on a beach chair).  Our days consisted of a grocery stop, the afternoon on a breathtaking beach, showers and relaxing at the hotel before dinner, dinner and drinks and laughter until nightfall.  Repeat. 

But of course there were stories.  Here are some of the highlights. 

On Friday morning at about 8:20am, we took our place in line to board the 9am ferry.  (We’d purchased tickets in advance). Then, we went in shifts to go the bathroom before boarding.  Kelsey and Jenni went first, and came back maybe 20 minutes later, coffee in hand.  “You probably think the coffee is what took so long, but really there was a huuuuge line for the bathroom,” Jenni explained.  Sure enough, when Scott and I took our turn, I found a line of perhaps 10 women outside of the bathroom.  Who knows how much longer the line was inside the door.  Scott went into the men’s room, and when he came out, I hadn’t moved an inch.  But luck was on my side!  A moment later, the woman behind me in line turned to me and said, “This is ridiculous.  Can we just use the men’s?”  I shrugged and told her I would if she would.  She took the lead, poking her head into the men’s room and communicating with one of the guys in there who told us how many people were currently inside (and I think afterwards guarded the door for us as we went in and used the one functional stall).  It wasn’t the most pleasant bathroom experience I’ve ever had, but it was WAY quicker than waiting in that crazy long line! 

Then there was the making of lunch on Saturday, which was a true adventure.   The girls had decided they wanted to grill pinchos and had purchased chicken and barbeque sauce that morning.  Well…we didn’t QUITE think through all of the logistics.  Things like napkins, plates (the things to keep raw chicken a bit sanitary and out of the sand…those would be good things).  We also didn’t really consider how long it takes raw chicken to cook (as opposed to heating up hot dogs, for example).  So, we assembled the pinchos on the skewers, and Sonja got the grill started, but in the end it fell to Robert to act as grill master and make sure the chicken turned out well.  In the process, our wooden skewers caught fire and burned.  Of course we didn’t have forks, or plates, so that made the prospect of eating the pinchos an interesting one.  Thankfully we had extra skewers and used them to pick up the chicken.  I found a board/leaf from a coconut tree to use as a tray, and we delivered the chicken from the grill to our circle.  It was a bit primitive, and we felt a little like we were at a tribal meeting on Survivor, but it worked.  And in my opinion, our pinchos were as delicious as any I have ever had at a roadside stand. 

Lunch.  Tribal style.

Zoni Beach.
"But how do the turtles know to lay their eggs in that square?"

Our evenings included impromptu dance parties, jelly bean fights, and lots and lots of laughing and relaxing.  When we went to Mamacita’s restaurant on Saturday night, the bartender let Sonja plug her ipod into the stereo system, so we jammed out to her music most of the evening.  The restaurant was right on the canal, so we sat on the end dangling our feet and watching the fish swim by as we waited for our food.  (Talk about casual dining…who needs to be seated at a table until the food comes?) 
Because Culebra is so small (and I'm sure because our group includes some very outgoing, friendly people), by the end of our second night, as we left for the hotel, we actually had to make the rounds and say good-bye to what seemed like a lot of people before leaving.  It was like we were regulars and already knew all the other patrons. 

Relaxing before our food came.

Jamming out.

Weekends like this past one sometimes leave me with this inexplicable feeling.  It’s happiness…but so much euphoric glee and appreciation for my life that I don’t feel quite able to contain it.  I fully understand why “tears of happiness” are possible.  That emotion needs to go SOMEWHERE—because if I just sit there grinning, I feel like I might burst. 

Flamenco Beach

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