Thursday, March 27, 2008

…if You Know What I Mean.

I think that, with time, yesterday is going to rank up there as one of the best days of my life. Not the best, of course, having given birth and gotten married, but pretty freaking amazing.


We started the day with what has already become a routine: breakfast at the buffet, time wading and sitting out by the water. I’m still sunburned like crazy, so there’s no more lie-in-the-sun time for me, but I’m perfectly content with some good lie-near-the-sun time.


Then around 11:00 we met in the lobby for our scheduled trip into Montego Bay – MoBay, to locals – for parasailing. Which is an amazing, mind-blowing, quiet, peaceful, exciting, fun time, and I’d go again in a heartbeat if someone let me. It was gentle enough that Mary was able to do it; you get the big harness on and just sit on the deck, and they let the rope out slowly so you float up into the air. We were on a 400-foot line, which could have been anywhere from 20 to 2,000 feet for all my holy-crap brain was able to judge. Turns out my height perception is not very good. This figures prominently in my day later on.



The four of us spent an hour or so parasailing, and our tour guides were Bruce and Miguel. Bruce is a dancing man who wears shorts and nothing else – really, nothing else – to work. Miguel is quieter and owns at least one white t-shirt. The Jamaicans are, in vast majority, a friendly and helpful bunch. I’m sure some of that is because their primary source of revenue is tourism and only the French seem to be able to get away with a successful tourism industry founded on disdain and poor service. I’m sure it’s also because they live in an incredibly gorgeous place, so even if it’s a bit in disrepair and falling apart at certain seams, the ocean is always just a few miles away.


We went directly from the pier to the airport, to pick up the rental car. I haven’t yet had the pleasure of driving on the left side of the road, since my mother did the driving yesterday, but I tell you what: sitting on the left side without a steering wheel is weird, weird stuff. It’s almost like being in a Disney ride all over again, except without the sense that they won’t kill you midway through.




After my mother and Sarah got their massages on the beach, we packed up and piled into the car for a two-hour drive around to Negril, where Rick’s Café is located. Rick’s is famous for its laid-back bar scene, its Plantars Punch and Sex with Rick (a bit like sex on the beach, but so much better), and its cliffs. That you jump off. And land in the ocean.


Rather than letting ourselves get psyched up about it any more, spending too much time thinking and talking ourselves out of it, Sarah and I immediately stripped to our bathing suits and, well, jumped.

Sarah was almost smart enough to back out of it, graciously allowing Kate to go first.

Forty feet is a long, long way to fall. Four stories. You have time to think:







Sarah answers the age-old question, "If your sister jumped off a cliff, would you do it to?" Affirmative.

And when you hit the water, it’s hard and cold and you are instantly ten feet under. You’re deep enough that the water actually looks blue, not like looking up from the bottom of a swimming pool where it’s clear because the blue color comes from the nice, safe, civilized pool liner. The first instinct is, “Ow.” Because you get a wedgie with your bathing suit so fierce that you’ve effectively removed the need to go to the dentist for the rest of the year, seeing as how you just flossed your back teeth from the bottom up. The second instinct is, “Up,” because it takes a while to find air again. Then you have to battle that ongoing “Ow” instinct to get to the narrow and steep ladder to get out of the water, but you have to smile and act like you don’t have an increasing agony spreading outward from your rear end because of the cameras and traveling companions.



The remainder of our trip will be punctuated by Sarah and me making whimpers and moans because we have dark purple bruises in various large areas from the back of the knee to the lower back. My tailbone is also sending out sharp pain, and I’m fairly sure I chipped it in some way. Ah, well. The price for awesomeness; I will not do it again, but I’m thrilled to bits that I made it all the way to Jamaica, survived a hair-raising and goat-intensive drive there (which quickly devolved into an ongoing game of inserting the word “goat” into proverbs and sayings, such as, “I regret that I have but one goat to give for my country,” “Carpe goat,” and “Another one bites the goat,” and then occasionally throwing in a pithy little, “If you know what I mean,” and somehow this was the height of hilarity for hours yesterday), and then threw myself off a cliff.


Would I do it again? All but that last bit, in a heartbeat. And even though I won’t be jumping off a cliff again, I made the right choice in the moment yesterday. No matter what my butt says.


Lisa said...

I'm happy to hear you're having (you had) a good time. This blog is like time travel.

I'm usually not one to brag, but oh well, I will anyway.

That cliff you jumped off? When I did it in '97, it didn't have the "built" look to it. When I did it there was no railing and only the natural outcropping of rock to inch your way out onto.

(I also used to walk through five feet of snow to get to school every day, and I made my own shoes out of potato sacks, for the record.)

And, I dove, if you can even fathom it.

Of course I was 22 when I did that and didn't have kids and thus much more immortal than I am now.

Patty said...

Sounds lovely! Sorry about the bumps and bruises though, ouch....