It’s been a long, cold winter. So when I had a chance to go somewhere warm, I took it eagerly. It was just a quick weekend trip, but still a couple days of sun can make all the difference in the world.
The best part was Sunday afternoon, which we spent on a little beach in the islands. It wasn’t a very sandy beach, but the water was warm and shallow, and the beach wasn’t very crowded at all: just a handful of locals. A big family had taken over some picnic benches and were barbecuing food. They spoke Spanish, and at too fast a pace for me to keep up, but even with the language barrier, I could read the family dynamics. That old man and woman, clearly they were the grandparents. Two sisters lounged against the fence, talking rapidly, while their toddlers played. Teenage cousins, too cool to be with the rest of the family, brought their food over to the edge of the parking lot.
One little girl came down to the water’s edge, intent on making a sand castle. She had these plastic molds that didn’t work very well and a bucket that she kept filling up with water. She gave me a big smile, and soon I was helping her with the sand castle. We dug moats, and piled wet sand into cool shapes, and decorated the whole thing with seaweed. It was utterly relaxing to spend a sunny afternoon scooping up wet sand, wading to find seashells, and poking sticks into mounds of sand. As I left, reluctantly, to go back to my hotel, I was wet and sandy and utterly relaxed.