In the first, I jetted off to a tropical paradise for a weekend, meeting up with a friend. We snorkeled and dined on fish fresh-caught from the nearby ocean in a boathouse on a gorgeous African table overlooking a canal. We woke in the morning and kayaked on a lagoon, drinking our coffee and watching the shore birds. We swam in the ocean and drove through the jungle to explore caves.
In the other, I nabbed a fantastic deal on a flight that literally meant that I was paying the same price to fly to Belize City as I would have paid to fly to Detroit. I then hopped on a 10-seat, wobbly commuter plane where I could have touched the controls, the pilot was wearing a Ford Motor Company baseball cap and a passenger sat in the co-pilot seat. I met up with my friend as her furniture and all her belongings were just being delivered from the shipping container in which they lived and traveled the world for the last 15 months. We opened boxes and talked and laughed.
We snorkeled and created inside jokes about the one-upmanship that happens when listening to tourists who have more time on their hands than common sense in their heads. We returned home and unwrapped layers upon layers of cardboard from furniture and slid pieces back and forth across the tile floor of her home, trying to figure out where everything went. We made two trips to the town dump over the course of the weekend, speaking to people of unknown authority in Spanglish about where to drop our carloads of packing supplies... and never really being sure if we got it right.
|View from the snorkel boat|
We stopped on our drive and hiked through the jungle to water features and into caves where underground rivers ran through, and we were allowed to explore them without a guide and with optional flashlight. We returned to Belize City and worked to find and load anything and everything that you can't buy anywhere but the biggest city (3 hours from home by road that can only be travelled in daylight) into the car for the return trip.
Both tellings are true. I just happen to like the second one a bit better. The weekend was an indulgent jump to Central America, certainly. However, more than just a flight-of-fancy weekend on the beach, the second telling is a little closer to the heart. I went to see a friend I deeply care for, for the purposes of spending time with her. Anything we did or didn't do was fine, from snorkeling to setting up house. We did both, but more important than any activity, we got a weekend to just be with each other, and be real and honest and silly and not-have-to-know-all-the-answers-but-consider-the-questions.
And it was good.
|Breakfast in the boathouse|
And that's how I prefer to tell the story.
|Canal that leads to the lagoon|
|We set this up!|
|St. Herman Cave|
|View from the abyss|