Adventure Bound & Other Horror Stories.
Posted on August 27th, 2012
I like to think of myself as a bold adventuresome woman, but in reality I am a paranoid ninny. Well, the actual truth may be somewhere where in between. After I hit thirty, I realized I just don’t bounce back as fast as I used to. And besides, being reckless past the age of thirty isn’t cute anymore; it’s kind of scary. Add to that the fact that I am mother and the term “fly by the seat of your pants” now describes leaving the house with only one diaper and change of clothes, and no longer means drinking too much Soju with a handsome stranger. So, in short, I like to have fun, I’m just a lot more careful about my fun now.
Clearly, my husband is more fun than I am. Some may argue that he is too much fun. Once, while dressed in a pink bunny suit and standing outside a Tiki bar, he got into a wrestling match with a friend and came home with a black eye. That was before I married him.
Needless to say, when we chose our honeymoon spot these things came into consideration. We wanted to go somewhere we could have adventures and fun, but we also wanted to relax. If I had a show on the Travel Channel it would probably be called: The Cautious Explorer. Riveting, I know. I also thought it wise to keep Husband away from Tiki bars since they just seem to have a strange effect on him. So, after much research we chose the U.S Virgin Island of St. John.
On our second day in St. John we booked a trip on a sail boat called the Kekoa. We were all set for a day of high seas adventure and rum punch. Being the cautious explorer that I am, upon arriving at the dock, the first thing I did was whip out the sunscreen. A beautiful and bronzed crew member stops me to explain that our sunscreen, the aerosol spray kind, is a not allowed on the ship. Apparently the spray causes the deck to be slippery which is not good considering the vast amount of rum punch this charter has promised us. She explains that we are welcome to use the “approved” sunscreen they will provide on board.
Once boarded and settled in with our beach towels and first round of rum, we go in search of the approved sunscreen.
“All Natural?” I ask.
“SPF 30?” Husband wonders.
Punch, sunshine and the glory of the high seas are calling our names, so we slather up and head for the deck, putting the pesky thought of sun protection behind us.
What follows is an amazing day of sailing, punch, snorkeling and more punch. We anchor off the coast of a British Virgin Island called Jost Van Dyke. This place is spectacular. JVD is like something off the cover of a travel magazine you glance at and think to yourself, “My God, anyone who gets to go there is one lucky asshole.” There I was, the luckiest asshole of all, squinting my eyes in disbelief. There is no dock, so you have to swim through aqua blue water, zigzagging through million dollar yachts, to a shore dotted with nothing but a few beach bars and hammocks. We went to a bar appropriately called “The Soggy Dollar.” Here is where they created a drink that is delicious, notorious and in hindsight, telling. It’s called the “Pain Killer.” I spend hours here, soaking up the sun and rum, playing horse shoes with millionaires and wondering: How I will ever manage to live another day that does not consist of just this?
Back in St. John, I am regaining my land legs and some level of sobriety; I look closely at my husband who is now pink like a shrimp.
“Uh- Oh.” I say. “I think you got a little too much sun, baby.”
I stretch out my arm and admire my bronze glow.
“Poor thing,” I think to myself, “he got it so much worse than me.”
The next morning I wake up to find my husband staring at me with a horrified look on his face.
Suddenly, without all the rum to dull my senses, I can sense what feel like a thousand hot needles pressing into my skin. My head feels like a balloon which someone is slowly inflating and on the verge of popping at any moment. My hands reach for my face.
“Oh. My. God.” I cry.
“Is it as swollen as it feels??”
Husband only looks at me with remorse and shakes he had saying, “Damn all natural sunscreen. We need chemicals in the Caribbean.”
I slowly drag myself in front of the mirror.
“Holy. Shit. My face!” I sob.
My tears sting my raw face, which only makes me cry harder.
My second day as a wife and I looked like a blow fish on steroids. We spent the entire day in bed reading The Hunger Games on our Kindles. Occasionally, Husband would apply a thick layer of aloe to my body while I winced in pain. Talk about a sexy and adventuresome honeymoon.
The next day I was well enough to go out under a huge hat and sunglasses. I just imagined I was some Hollywood starlet hiding away on St. John, and continued to drink rum. The day after I had resumed to normal except I had these slightly swollen lips, which I told myself looked kinda hot in an Angelina Jolie way.
Thankfully, I recovered just in time to head out on our next adventure: snorkeling in a remote corner of the island while tropical storms loom in the distance. First, I am stung by a Portuguese man ‘o war. Husband says it was only a jelly fish, but what does he know? Then, once the monsoon begins, we were stranded in the only structure we could find: a fly and poop infested out house. I stood in the stench, while the whole left side of my body felt like it was on fire, with my nose sticking out a crack in the door, muttering under my breath, “I am fun! See, I am adventurous!”
Ah, the life of the restrained wanderer. Makes me think, what I would get into if I really just threw caution to the wind.