The topic of the return from an international trip wouldn’t usually be sufficient to warrent it’s own missive, but this one was adventure enough to justify it.
Why an adventure? Simple: Tracy and I both had wicked sun burns from our surfing, highly specialized to the back side from all that face down paddling about. The burns were bad enough and the day was long enough (19 hours hotel to home) that our journey was an exercise in meta-physic:s a game in mind over matter, practice at the transformational distinction between pain (what is) and suffering (a possible interpretation about what is).
Without that sort of mental fitness we would have been quite that sad and suffering pair. Instead we came up with the following:
- Confidence that we’ll be fit travelers together for at least 40 more years, because we were just fine walking around with the stature and gait of retirees. Knees buckled, shoulders hunched, slooooooow, small steps: turns out we can travel under these conditions.
- Elaborate strategies for minimizing the number of times we would need to sit down and stand up, including waiting around extra long before boarding the plane (to ensure our window seat neighbor had gotten settled before we took our middle and aisle seats). (Though some strategies did backfire, like sitting around at Chile’s Too for long innings drinking tall beers.)
- Delight in popping pills together, when we decided to splurge on Airport Advil and have what is probably the closest experience to being junkies that we’ll ever come to.
- A deep and profound respect for one another as hardcore and jovial human beings, able to have substantial fun in the face of substantial discomfort.
The best was when we got back to Denver: it was cold, but with the backs of my knees as red as they were I had no interest in trading out shorts for jeans. So it was socks, sandals, shorts, and hooded sweatshirt (and don’t forget my hobbling stride). I looked like absolute hell. And it was funny, too. Just ask the lady at the King Sooper’s (grocery store) who openly giggled at me when we stopped in for some late night food. I’m one major step closer to understanding the mentality of older people who couldn’t care less for fashion, save for perhaps what others think about their fashion.
It’s kind of liberating. :)