Put 5 women in a condo on the beach, add Jello-O shots and Pina Coladas and what do you get? One helluva good time. We laughed so hard our sides hurt, watched old Saturday Night Live episodes, talked about husbands and kids, and ate lots of good seafood. I had forgotten just how much fun women are. No wonder men like us so much and well they should.
We all flew off to Tampa, St. Pete and drove over to Indian Shores Beach. I liked it much better than the beach at South Padre Island here in Texas. On Padre the water is 80 thousand miles from the start of the sand. By the time you get down to the water you have a heat stroke, then you have to slog 80 thousand miles back to the Tiki bar for treatment.
The Indian shores beach is nice and short. You walk out of the Condo, stagger a few steps and BAM, there’s the water. Throw down a towel and a couple of shots and you’re good to go.
Being a snow queen, I rented a cabana chair the first day. I knew I was going to cook like a lobster if I didn’t. It worked out great. Didn’t even mess with my iPod much because listening to the waves was so relaxing and hypnotic.
Early May is a good time to go. The spring break insanity is over and done with and kids are still in school. Don’t want to traumatize the young ones with images of old ladies in 2 piece bathing suits drinking and telling tales not for under aged ears.
We all dutifully brought along our respectable one piece granny suits. But after one day of watching bodies waddling down the shore and the beached human whales in the sand, this plan went out the window. We went shopping! No shortage of inexpensive bathing suits in Florida.
The second day found us all in our cute little 2 pieces with our oiled up fish white bellies gleaming in the sun. Of course we all burned our bellies. Mine still itches a bit, but it looks better than it did before the trip. Walking the beach while sucking in your gut is great exercise it turns out. Much more fun than ab crunches or sit ups too.
One of our crew had to go to an urgent care office to get some steroid shots and assorted meds. She had an allergic reaction to soy and woke up the next morning with a red face and Mick Jagger lips. We laughed until we realized that this wasn’t her usual morning look. OK, we still laughed and so did she. We were sympathetic, I swear! But all went well. By that afternoon she was back in the saddle and walking the beach.
So a good time was had by all. We decided that this needs to be an annual trip. Girls only, with 3 rules; 1) no men, 2) no kids and 3) no pets. I suggested a 4th rule: no texting your significant other every 5 minutes, but got voted down. Oh well, maybe that is just one too many rules. All in all it was paradise on earth.
Recipe for Peach Jell-O shots:
1 package peach jell-o
1 cup water
1 cup Peach Schnapps
Put in shot cups, put cups in fridge, drink shots
Now that I have your attention…this is a book review. Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven is a memoir written by Susan Jane Gilman. A New York Times best-selling author of Hypocrite in a Pouffy White Dress.
Right out of an ivy league college, she and a friend decided to backpack around the world starting in the People’s Republic of China. In 1986, before Tiananmen Square. Two fresh-faced girls with no life experience. One a leggy blond, pampered from birth, the author sporting 36 double Ds. Both pining for boyfriends left behind.
They arrive in Hong Kong and proceed to have a meltdown. Culture shock, strange foods, soul stealing heat and a language barrier ended up being the least of their problems. From the comfort of my recliner it’s easy to say “oh my God woman, you need to learn the words of that old song. You gotta know when to hold em, know when to fold em. Know when to walk away, know when to run.” Not so easy when you are smack in the middle of the situation and it’s all so crazy to begin with, that it is extremely difficult to sort out what it just too crazy. The only spoiler I’m going to give away is that they lived, of course. The book is not a posthumous memoir.
It got me thinking. You never really know someone and how much intestinal fortitude, pardon my pun, they have or do not have until you travel with them. I tested Mr. Husband on this point by going along with him on a decision to stay at a hotel on South Padre Island when a tropical storm was rolling in, instead of evacuating. Duh!
I have been through hurricanes and typhoons so I take full and complete blame for the stupidity of this particular adventure. During the night the tropical storm turned into category 3 Hurricane Dolly that slammed into the Texas gulf coast a few years back. We lived and are still married so he passed the test. It was an epic intelligence fail for me because I knew full well what we might be in for and did it anyway. As we were using the garbage can from the room to scoop water out of a puddle behind the building to flush the toilet, it began to dawn on him too.
There have been times during travel that I have looked at my companion and thought “I don’t know you, I don’t want to know you, and if I ever see your face again it will be too soon!” But I usually back down later on when the situation is better and I’m sipping a cold beer. Such is the nature of adventure.