Saturday March 8, 2014
“Hi. You don’t know me, but my name is Jessica. I’m trying to get in touch with Jessica G., I think you know her? Could you send me her phone number, because I need to get in touch with her asap. Thanks, I hope we get the chance to meet someday.” That was my introduction to Melody P. of s/v Vacilando, as I sat at the Ft. Lauderdale airport back in September, realizing I needed to get my package from Jessica G. but had never bothered to get her phone number. Everyone is always on Facebook nowadays, right? Needless to say, at the time, Melody thought I might be some kind of crazy stalker and was not ready to give out personal information for one of her best friends. Of course she is a sweet girl that’s always willing to help out though, so instead she put through a message herself to Jessica G., informing her that I was trying to get in touch with her. Long story short, everything worked out with the package and I now had one more friend that I now talked to online and had the chance to meet up with in person. It’s a good thing my neurotic brain memorizes other people’s blog posts the same way it does other mostly useless information such as tv shows or movies, and I was able to pick out other members of Brittany’s crew from when she was here.
Getting picked up from Jessica at the marina (I’m going to start dropping the G now, you’ll have to manage on your own to keep us apart) we drove the few miles down the crowded beach side of A1A before making a few turns and getting just a little bit lost on the way to Melody’s boat. When we did find her, she was instant hugs and southern pleasure as she guided back from the road to her boat where I was given the full tour, as well as a chance to meet Chris and Jet, the other crew of Vacilando. We all enjoyed a few minutes out enjoying the late afternoon sun until we realized our stomachs were grumbling too loud to ignore any longer. Upon having overheard a conversation between the two about a really good sushi restaurant that opened up, but don’t let it’s strip mall exterior fool you, I began tossing out hints that I’d love to go there. Do you know how much I love sushi? A lot. Do you know how often I go to sushi restaurants. Never. Even more than his distaste for freshly caught, cooked but not deep fried fish, Matt won’t even look at sushi in any form. Back on land I was left to treating myself to California rolls from the deli counter at Meijer every couple of months as a little treat to myself.
Jet, the super dog.
As we walked into the restaurant and stood in front of walls and walls with photos and prices, I tried to pretend I was a pro at this, when in reality, I didn’t even know what went in a California roll. Some cream cheese, avocado..fish? All I knew was that it was on the wall and I was ready to order it. Getting closer to the register there was a menu laid out with actual descriptions and the fish in this California roll was eel. Um, no thanks. It’s not that I would never be so daring as to try this at some point, it’s just that tonight I wanted a meal I knew I would enjoy. Rainbow roll it was, I have no problem with imitation crab.
Learning a few other things from these sushi pros in front of me as we sat at our table with enough food to feed an army, was the proper way to enjoy wasabi. Left to my own devices I had always taken just a small smear of it directly onto my roll. As I watched on with wonder, and soon imitated, I saw that it was a mixture of wasabi and soy sauce that the roll gets dunked into before eating. Very smart. I’m still learning the ratios though, and was surprised a few times as I took bites of my food and a tingling and burning sensation would run all the way up to my nose. The carbonated Coca-Cola I was drinking? Didn’t really help out a whole lot. I think I missed out on a lot of conversation because I was too busy pinching my nose and making bizarre faces. The rolls though, were in fact delicious. I don’t know the difference between a strip mall restaurant and a decadent $25/roll one, but it tasted like perfection to me.
Pushing off for our main destination of the evening, we were going to be hanging poolside, or hut tub side I should say, at the Hyatt Regency, a hotel just off the marina where Jessica’s boyfriend works. I’d kept hearing about the pool and hot tub ever since we had arrived, but assuming it was at the marina and not the hotel, had never bothered to go in search for it. In the parking lot we actually did get a chance to run into G, Jessica’s boyfriend, and forced him into taking a few shots of us girls with my camera before we’d let him get back to work. Unbeknownst to us at the time, he had set us up in what we can only refer to as the ‘Tommy Hilfiger Prom Pose’, all of us girls lined up in red, white, and blue, the only thing missing was corsages from our wrists.
Do you know how many times I’ve been dreaming about hot tubs lately? Too many to comprehend since I don’t even live in that polar ice cap they refer to as Michigan anymore. But right next to our wishes of being able to stroll the streets of Manhattan again, soaking in a warm hot tub comes just after.
When Jessica led us out through the well manicured grounds and up to the hotel’s outdoor hot tub, I almost fell in it from shock. This wasn’t a hot tub, this was a mini pool! It took me all of .5 seconds to change into my suit and hop in. It was pure bliss. As Jessica said, we had the perfect trifecta going on. Hot water, working jets, and, hmmm, can’t remember that last one.
A little while later one of Jessica’s work friends joined us, and the four of us girls got lost in the hours of the evening as we sat under clear dark skies hidden by palm trees, warm water lapping against our legs, and the ability, for me at least, to get a little superficial girly talk in. Not getting an eye roll when I talk about the perfect layers for hair, or the best skin cream out there at the moment. These conversations are necessary for me every once in awhile.
We also talked about travel and my thoughts on a few of the places Matt and I had been to. I’m pretty sure that Melody is ready to throw off the lines on her boat and head off to Isla Mujeres after seeing my photos of the pristine beaches and seeing how low our cost of living was there. It seemed like all too soon that the beer had run dry and responsibilities were dragging everyone back to their homes. It was just a short walk back for me to the dinghy and then back to the ‘Dip where I had Matt waiting for me. The perfect man to come home to, but, it was kind of nice to ditch him for the girls for a few hours.