He Couldn’t Last More Than 2 Minutes (2016) #TravelTuesday #puertorico

Afternoon heat on the Isla Verde Beach (2016)  Afternoon Heat On The Isla Verde Beach ©2016 Marquessa Matthews. All Rights Reserved.

“I’m telling you, you won’t last for more than 2 minutes. It’s too soon. Why not wait a while?”

I tried to convince him but I knew that he wouldn’t listen.

“I can handle it. I’ll be fine.”

“Suit yourself,” I told him as I flopped down onto the couch and turned on the tv.

I watched him slide the patio door open and step outside with his iced tea. Before the third commercial could air, the patio door slide open again and he was back in the room. I said nothing but I couldn’t help but laugh.

“Okay, you were right…” he said, showing me that all of his ice had instantaneously melted. He headed back to the fridge to pour himself a fresh glass.

Those are the kind of days in San Juan that I call “boricua” hot where it’s as if you are in a sauna and can’t escape. The kind of hot when there is absolutely no air movement and the sand feels like scorching hot coals under your soles. Those are the days when your best bet is to either stay in the ocean, grab lunch  somewhere with great A/C or stay indoors until the sun is less angry.

But I don’t mind.

I prefer it hot and a little angry…

Image and updated content ©2017 Marquessa Matthews. All Rights Reserved.

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Can’t Stop The Feeling #vacation #music

Like I said  in “All I Ask“, I’m answering questions I receive from time to time…this is question #4.

Dr. K.E. Garland, aka Kathy and I have a number of things in common, one of them being the love of vacationing. 

Kathy’s got a great book out, “The Unhappy Wife” that I would encourage you to get a copy of. Filled with many life lessons that also serve as “reminders” for others who have already dealt with similar challenges. The stories are more than read-worthy – they are group discussion-worthy.

Kathy asked me an easy but also hard question: What has been my favorite vacation?

If you follow my blog, you know that I love being anywhere near the ocean, preferably near the beach.

But I can’t say that I’ve had “a” favorite vacation.

I’ve had several “favorite” vacations for very different vacation-feeling-reasons like:

  • the time my cousins and I invited the cruise DJ to dinner with the sole purpose of supplying him with our playlists for the week. We had no shame and the poor guy didn’t stand a chance. We danced, laughed, and shut the cruise disco down each and every night;
  • my first solo vacation where I spent two weeks with a penthouse view of the ocean (a I’ll admit to using a smile), mainly bathing suits in my luggage and with “nothing” on my agenda. I did what I wanted, when I wanted, if I wanted to do it at all. No compromising and no competing interests. The simple pleasure of staying on the beach all day or in bed with the A/C cranked up watching Turner Classic movies and the Food Network because of the 40C degrees + outside…. It may sound boring to you but it was heaven to me;
  • “staycations” that get my “to-do” list handled – repairs, redecorating, trying out new recipes, going to the movies, hanging out at the bookstore or just puttering around in my own space is  “zen”. Again, boring for some but I’ve had some staycations that were more enjoyable than some “away” vacations .

Exotic destination vacations are great but a great vacation is really about the feeling you have inside and your state of mind.

What about you? What do you consider a great vacation?

All Rights Reserved ©2017 Marquessa Matthews

Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song and/or video and/or hyperlinks to songs and/or videos and/or gifs above. No copyright infringement intended.

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Dollars In The Sand #mindfulness #kindness

First Sand Dollar©2017 Marquessa Matthews

Early one morning I exchanged smiles with a young woman as our paths crossed on the beach.

When I bumped into her again the next day, she stopped me.

“Here, have this sand dollar I found,” she said, jogging in place just long enough to hand it to me, provide an explanation as to what a sand dollar was and how it came to be.

Then the woman disappeared down the beach and was gone.

A random act of 6:00am kindness from a stranger I never laid eyes on again.

The next morning, I found four more sand dollars without purposely seeking them out. They just appeared at my feet as I walked the beach because I now knew what they were.

Sometimes it takes a stranger to open up our eyes to the little things we never noticed before.

Dollar In The Sand©2017 Marquessa Matthews

Images and content ©2017 Marquessa Matthews. All Rights Reserved.

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“Just The Two Of Us” #TravelTuesday #Fiction #bloggersblast

*inspired by a true event – updated with new content and photo 

“Looking Up” video©2016 Marquessa Matthews. All Rights Reserved.

“It’s just the two of us left in this entire world now,” Jeanne** told me about thirty seconds after introducing herself and her sister Cassie** to me on the beach. “And we are going to enjoy this trip like it’s our last one together.”

I quickly realized that her words were more literal than figurative…

It was still quite early in the morning but these sisters had already gone all out and splurged by renting chairs, an umbrella, and little table for the day. The older sister’s name was Jeanne and her younger sister was Cassie, both in their fifties. We had crossed paths countless times, smiling and saying “Another beautiful day” to each other on the beach, at the pool and in the lobby. Jeanne and Cassie were always cheerful and pumped up for another day in the beautiful sun.

Jeanne stood out from the other beach regulars because of the beautiful head scarves she wore. Today’s head scarf was sky blue with silver edging. From the fragile wisps of her hair escaping from underneath it, it was obvious that though an illness had managed to steal her hair, it had not robbed her of bubbly and friendly spirit. Cassie had the same energy but spirit was dulled by a hint of sadness.

“You know, I was just telling Cassie that the next time we saw you, we should introduce ourselves. Why waste time just saying hello when we can get to know each other? Life is just too short to waste, don’t you agree?”

I definitely agreed.

And we spent the next few hours chatting under their umbrella. 

**names changed

2017 update : I saw them from a distance this year on the beach and was happy that it was still just the two of them…

Still Just The Two of Them ©2017 Marquessa Matthews.

Photos, video and content ©2017 Marquessa Matthews. All Rights Reserved.

 (originally posted on September 27, 2016)

 

 


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Willy Wonka And The Baby Factory

I’m minding my own business and doing my thing on the beach. But I can’t help overhearing a conversation between a small group of men sitting nearby having a “good old boys” time.

Like so many who fly down to PR just for the weekend, it’s clear that these “boys” are in town to party and that the Medalla drinking and cigar puffing is part of the pre-party festivities.

My ears perk up when one of the men starts talking about his latest baby momma. I try not to judge people but I can’t help myself with him.  It’s clear that the children he has are from multiple women and that he sees it as some kind of warped badge of honor.

I’m already rolling my eyes behind my sunglasses but my eyes bug out when he says, “I tell you man, these females are sooo tricky. Always getting themselves pregnant so that they can trap you into paying for them.”

Females?

Always getting themselves pregnant?

Paying for them?

I take a closer look at him and truly wonder what woman in her right mind would let him within 10 feet of her whooha but to each her own taste.

I text a friend to share my judgmental thoughts and almost die with laughter at her response:

“Total loser! If he chose not to cover his d*** before he did the deed, the only asshole to blame is himself. He probably Willy Wonka’ed some poor girl who was too young to know better.”

Me:

“Are you watching Charlie and the Chocolate Factory again?”

Friend:

“Yup. It’s part of a Johnny Depp movie marathon on tv. How did you know?”

Me:

“Just a good guess.”

All Rights Reserved ©2017 Marquessa Matthews

 

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#TravelTuesday: I Wear My Sunglasses At Light

I’m guilty.

The only time I wear sunglasses is when I’m on the beach and my reasons have nothing to do with the glare of the sun, UV rays and eye protection. Wearing sunglasses has everything to do with people watching.

I don’t mean in a creepy stalker kind of way like the guy in this post. I’m talking about the not-so-obvious, perfectly sneaky way to observe people’s interactions, body language and conversations that are within earshot. And no one is really the wiser if you do it the right way.

Sunglasses on, nose in book and ears wide open.

The kind of “observing” that gets your imagination going, leads you to make up stories about the people you see and try to decipher the relationships between them…the stuff begs questions like:

How is it that this mother and daughter have matching plastic surgery?

Mother and daughter with matching plastic surgery All Rights Reserved ©2017 Marquessa Matthews

What secrets are these two lovers keeping from each other?

What secrets are they keeping from each other? All Rights Reserved ©2017 Marquessa Matthews

What’s the story behind this woman’s back tattoo?

Why did she get that tattoo? All Rights Reserved ©2017 Marquessa Matthews

Who was sipping on this coconut before they abandoned it?

Whose coconut was this and how did it get here? All Rights Reserved ©2017 Marquessa Matthews

Yes, I am guilty of wearing my sunglasses to seek out ideas when I’m on the beach.

But as a writer, YOU are guilty too.

Whether it’s on the beach, while sitting in a coffeeshop, at the hair salon or on the train…

I know that you do it too because as writers, we observe, ponder, imagine and create tales.

The question is, “Who’s watching you?”

Images and content ©2017 Marquessa Matthews. All Rights Reserved.

Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song and/or video and/or hyperlinks to songs and/or videos and/or gifs above. No copyright infringement intended.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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#TravelTuesday: I’m Not In Kansas Anymore #travel

Photo credit: Here’s Kate via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

It’s always a rude awakening when I return to the real world after spending time in Puerto Rico or any place that is blessed with bright sun and gorgeous weather almost every day.

In hotter climates, I find the local people to be friendlier, more personable and laid-back than in my neck of the woods. Maybe it’s because they know that they are living in paradise.

It’s normal to pass a stranger on the street who smiles and says good morning or hello. It’s also not out of the ordinary for someone to strike up a conversation with you on the street, city bus, or the beach. It’s just part of what they seem to do.

So it’s like splashing cold water in my face when I get back home, step into an elevator, say hello (after getting into that habit while I was away) and get silence – the kind of silence that is accompanied by an awkward look that makes me think that I’ve suddenly grown a third eye.

And that’s when I remember that I’m not in Kansas anymore.

To me, the hotter the weather, the friendlier the people…

That’s my perspective but maybe I’m biased because of the South American blood running through my veins.

What do you think about my theory about hot weather people being friendlier people?

All Rights Reserved ©2017 Marquessa Matthews.

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