1. my earliest memory -- looking into the water in FLA from the boat 1965 or 6 with the sun on the back of my neck. (For the full effect you should know I was tied to the boat - I screamed bloody murder, apparently, if anyone tried to get me into a lifejacket so Dad simply tied some water ski rope around my waist and tied it to the boat - for some reason that didn't bother me)... Dad and Paul fishing, Mom home doing her Gulf Coast Community College homework for her teaching degree
2. Okinawa 1967-9, plastic raft tied to a rock (lots of tying up of Susie in our family now that I think of it!), my hated anti-sunburn shirt, jelly fish
3. The Belle Center (Ohio) farm, regularly from 1969-1979, hours and hours and hours at the creek which went thru our lower pasture (sizeable creek - we even had a pretty big bridge in our lane), tormenting crawdads, skipping rocks, wading, iceskating under the bridge in winter, digging clay out of the banks to process it like the Indians (non-PC alert, but what did I know at 10?) did according to my North American Indian Arts Golden Science Book, etc. etc. etc. What can I say? Nothing beats a farm upbringing, especially when you have a creek...
4. Walnut Grove, Ohio, now & again throughout the 1970's - fishing with Dad at our cousins' (the Cases) bluegill- and bass-stocked farm pond, one trip in particular when I was 8, I caught a 4 1/2 pound, 18-in. large mouth bass - got my picture in the teensy Belle Center paper! Maybe I'll scan it sometime for y'all.
5. Indian Lake with Dad and my brother Paul when I was in high school (around 1979 because I think we had just moved to Bellefontaine) in a smallish inboard which I think Paul owned but it might have been the two of them together - driving the boat for the two of them to water ski
6. Spain Two-Parter:
---Santiago de Compostela, March 1983, freezing on the beach but wading nonetheless because - heck - we're in Spain! for crying out loud!!- bonfire, college hi-jinks at 4am, active crushes on at least 3 of the guys in our group plus a couple of Spaniards
---Malaga y Torremolinos, July 1983, severe sun poisoning for which a Madrid pharmacist gave me scary fish-smelling cream when we got home (someone had heard that all the españolas used Nivea to lay out in the sun - roughly akin to our practice of using baby oil at that time - which, holy cow that seems scary now - anyway don't ever do this. Bad. Bad. Bad.), on the upside: my first churros yum yum yum
7. Panama City, March 1986, seeing who could legibly write "antidisestablishmentarianism" in the sand between waves, me, Vince, or Becky, and possibly Dave, if I remember correctly.
8. English Channel, Oct. 1986, unspeakably seasick with Dean as we crossed to the UK to continue our bike trip (that is, I was unspeakably seasick and was with Dean, he wasn't seasick :)
9. France Three-Parter:
---near St-Malo I think, Fall 1982, sitting on the ramparts overlooking Breton sea cliffs, Ronnie and I writing in our journals in the salt air...
---Marseilles et Nice, summer 1986 with Lisa from Germany (with whom I'm still in touch and have been able to see a few times over the years) and 2 Swedish women roughly our age (with whom I'm not but they were very nice). We all converged quite by accident at the Marseilles hostel and ended up hanging out together for a week or so. Holy cow we found the greatest couscous restaurant in the old section of Nice I just remembered - very fine evening repast to top-off the lazy Côte-d'Azur beach days
---English Channel, Aug. 1991, on the pebbly beaches near Caen with Véro and family, those crazy rocky beaches - none too comfy but you can't be choosy when you get beach time up there!
10. Arizona, Oct. 1993, camping on a Colorado river feeder creek in the Grand Canyon with Scott and family - the fact that I can look back on some of the times with my ex-husband as positive is nearly as miraculous as how beautiful it is in the Canyon
11. Waimea, Hawai'i, Christmas break 1997, with Dean - no matter how wonderful all the stuff about Hawai'i says it is, trust me, it exceeds anything you've heard/read. Christmas morning sunrise in a Waimea campground is just about as good as it gets.
12. Ibusuki, Japan, early spring 1998, southernmost tip of Kyushu, where Japan's version of Nessie supposedly resides - better than giant eels, tho, are the thermal sand baths where they bury you in the hot sand so you can relax and bake. Mmmmmmmm..... Seriously the sand is so hot that when the waves come up it steams as the cool water meets the hot sand. The best sand baths should be closely followed by a trip to the little ma-n-pa ramen resto where we scored tremendous garlic ramen, so we accidentally detoxed inside as well as out. Wonderful on all counts, right, t?
13. Tampa/St. Pete, Florida, Fall 2003, I think - (I'm going to have to check with Jess 'cause now I'm blanking...) Wonderful beach weekend in St. Pete. Highlights: collecting shells and laughing about the faux stingray scare...
One to grow on (I absolutely couldn't get it down to an even 13! nyernt nyernt)... Handful of summer outings 2003-2006 with the Powells at Lake Martin - warmest lake water ever, doing without plumbing, and fun pontoon rides (plus Mrs. Powell's yummy strawberry cake!)
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