10) The Matinee
Ya gotta love the ritual of it: The planning. The reading of reviews. The fact that you must always wear a sweatshirt even in the middle of summer because the air condioning is so luxuriously strong. The "let's not eat for 3 hours before the movie so we can really LOOOOOVE that popcorn!" The post movie breakdown and discussion. I realize there will be movie theaters in other countries -- and I imagine we'll see the names "Brad Pitt," Reese Witherspoon," and "Ryan Gostling" up on the marquis. But do they even serve popcorn at the movies in Mexico or Tonga? And will Meryl Streep's latest impassioned role be just as powerful badly dubbed in Spanish? Don't answer that... :-/
9) Christmas Cards
In these wireless times, there are few things in modern life which are as tactile a reminder of my youth as Christmas cards. They are nostalgia personified. May they never go out of style (and may the Post Office never go bankrupt! :-/). Don't even try to send us one during our travels. It will never arrive...
OK. I'll admit it. I'll miss my car -- and the freedom she provides me. When Chris and I arrive in a new port, we'll be strapping on our backpacks and walking to the market. Or we might take the bus, with the ubiquitous chickens running up and down the aisle. Our plan is to return to the states in the best physical condition of our lives. This will all be good. But there's something about your own wheels...
Even in the year 2011, something as simple as ice remains a modern pleasure out of the financial reach of many around the world. And they say it's not safe to partake of it in Mexico. Lord knows when I'll have it again after November 1st. Our best shot is to befriend a couple in a really super-phat megayacht anchored in Cabo and hope they invite us aboard to wet our whistle with a chilled Diet Pepsi and fresh cubes from their sub-zero. But then, I guess we'd actually have to TALK to them (sorry, my prejudice against ultra rich, ultra-snobby megayacht owners just flashed its ugly head...).
6) The Local Hangout
Jerry, George, Elaine and Kramer had Monks. Ours currently is the Lighthouse Cafe in San Pedro. It's got everything: comfortable seating, really good food, a friendly staff, excellent prices. Of course we will encounter quality restaurants throughout our travels, but by the nature of travel, each place is a new find. The pleasure and comfort of The Local Hangout will be out of our reach, as long as we are away from home.
5) My Bathtub
Men, this is something you just won't understand. There is nothing like a bath. It is luxury personified. We will be showering (Boooooo!) either on the boat or as a guest in marinas. But now that I think about it, our plan once we get into the tropics will be to actually jump into the warm, clear water and bathe right in there with biodegradable soap. Which I suppose means the worlds oceans will BE my bathtub. You can't read a book in there, though...also, shaving my legs will be hard, not to mention dangerous, as I tread water...well, I guess we'll have to work out those details when we get there...
I know, I know. Crazy. By the very nature of the sailing/cruising life, we will be working. Always. Cleaning. Maintaining. Hauling water. Cooking. But I will miss the ritual -- the routine -- of going into my job every day, sitting at my desk, turning on my computer and DOING something. Being productive. Earning my keep. I'm hoping that within 48 hours of entering Mexican waters I will look back in shock and disbelief at the "old me" that was such a tool that she could have ever written these ridiculous words... :-)
Again, there is nothing like it. The past 7 winters at Green Valley Lake (elevation 7,000 feet -- or 2134 meters -- since we're leaving the US I need to leave behind our ridiculous system and join the civilized world with the metric system) have been magical. For whatever reason, we as humans are programmed to see white as pure and sacred. The great thing about walking in the forest after a fresh dumping is there is often no sound, except for your breathing and the crunch of your snowshoes digging into the twinkling drifts. This I will miss.
2) My Fireplace
I know, I know, burning wood is now politically incorrect (modern science proves it is just as toxic and polluting as my belching SUV, which is on my list to unload when we get back). But there is no denying its power to fascinate, comfort and entrance. It is even more packed with nostalgic meaning than those damn Christmas Cards -- but now that I think about it, is there any scene more symbolic of home and family than the burning hearth, with Christmas cards hanging from the fireplace? Which brings me to...
1) You People
Sigh. All of this talk of home and hearth and Christmas cards and bathtubs is making me miss you guys already. What am I going to do without you? Your hugs, your smiles, your laughter? Your irritated calls after I've gone to bed to complain about something I haven't done? (LOL -- kidding. KIDDING!) The gift you can give me, for me to have the trip of a lifetime, is for you to treat each other well and with kindness while I'm gone. Be nice to each other. Take a bath together. Well, maybe not that. Go for a walk in the snow together, then take in a matinee, then enjoy an icy drink around the fireplace for me, OK?