#TravelTuesday: Doing Your Thing On The Beach

I’ve spent a lot of time on Isla Verde Beach and I love it. Beach-goers are just “themselves” and the only important thing is to enjoy yourself.

There are also things that I see there that I’ve never experienced elsewhere and even during my last trip, another hotel guest told me that she had never seen full-out barbecues and pop gazebo tents set up on the beach.

I smiled because I had the very same thought over twenty four years ago when I first fell in love with the island.

If you take a trip down, here are a few things you’ll notice:

  • You might feel self-conscious about the extra pounds you think are spilling out of your bathing suit but believe me, no one is thinking about it because no one cares. If no one even gives a second look at that woman twice your size in the tankini or man in the teeny weeny Speedo that just walked by, you should stop sucking in your gut and relax. The only person judging you is YOU.

  • A variety of different sized speakers playing music on the beach ranging from mini-speakers to jumbo DJ-style playing salsa, reggaeton, Marc Anthony, La India and a little Ricky Martin mixed in for good measure.

  • “Real” barbecues and pop-up gazebos, especially on the weekend. Everyone spends the entire day at the beach with family and simply hang out. Don’t be surprised if the family gathering sitting next you offers you a burger and a Medalla (beer) to join in on their fun.

  • Dancing on the beach, either with others or simply by yourself. As you’ll see in the video above that I took from the 12th floor of the hotel, this “Dancing Man” was enjoying himself and feeling good (I added the music for fun). Tons of people walked by him, no one batted an eye and no one thought he was crazy. Zoom in…he’s got wireless earphones on. And the woman below used to stop and dance at intervals during her morning walks;

  • The smell of cigars.
  • Private hotel beach-parties spilling out onto the beach;

  • The “helado” (ice cream) or “piragua” (shaved ice) man walking up and down the beach yelling out the flavors of “pina, parcha, coco”.

I’m sure that there are plenty more but those are the ones that came to mind.

What do you love most about the beach?

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

Save

Save

Advertisements

“San Juan” (2015) #fiction #fictionfriday #love

credit to https://giphy.com/gifs/ocean-9iOXY191s2XrW

A week from now, all of this would feel like a dream. Like it never happened.

The knot in my stomach ached at the thought of leaving this place. From the moment I set foot out of the airport in San Juan, it had felt like “home”.

I buried myself a little deeper into the chaise and stared out into the darkness. Close enough to watch the white foamy crests of the waves as they lapped in time with their gentle whooshing onto the beach. The night sky was clear and always filled with so many stars, something I rarely noticed at home among a sea of concrete high-rise buildings.

Was this the same sky or had I been magically transported into another dimension?

One more week.

The constant moistness of humidity on my skin, the left-over grittiness of sand buried in crevices of my toes from my daily walks on the beach, the headiness of the salt air lingering in my chest that made me feel free and happy – I would miss it all. I had sat many evenings like this one, just curled up in a chair outside, enjoying the warm soothing breeze with a homemade coconut smoothie in hand. And every night, the ocean never failed to wash away the day and grant me a fresh new one after I closed my eyes for the night.

Who in their right mind could ever get tired of all of this?

But tonight was a little different. I wasn’t on my outdoor chaise. I was enjoying a better view from someone else’s chaise on a rooftop.

I took a last sip of my mint tea, unfolded myself out of my chair and went over to lean against the railing. Was it past 11:00 o’clock? Yes, it had to be past 11:00. Time crept so slowly down here in the Caribbean. I wasn’t sure of how long I had been out there. But I did know that I should have headed back to my place a long time ago, before I got myself into a situation I would probably not regret.

“Where did I leave my purse?”

I muttered to myself and almost immediately felt the warmth of his body behind me. His strong hands circled my waist and he nestled his lips into the oh-so sensitive spot of my neck. He had excused himself to take a phone call and from the dampness of his hair against my ear, he had also taken a shower.

“You aren’t working tomorrow so why not stay here tonight?”

I smiled. I had to hand it to Alejandro, he was smooth.

I turned around slow enough as to not lose contact, his chest just inches away from mine, his hands still around my waist. He smelled clean and fresh. I was just making a mental note to remember to ask him about the brand of soap he always used when I realized that the only thing between us were my workout clothes and a bath towel wrapped loosely around his waist. I felt a wave of heat spread from the top of my head all the way down to my toes. I wasn’t uncomfortable, I was just taken off guard enough for my mind to go completely blank.

Those dark eyes, that chiseled chest and such a wicked smile – I knew that he knew exactly what I was thinking. I had the urge to run my hands through the wet curls that dripped onto his forehead but I kept my hands to myself, unsure as to where else they may glide if I did reach out. He grinned even wider and I almost hated him for it.

“Don’t worry, you can stay in one of the guest rooms. We could watch a movie. Or I can take you back to your place. Your choice. Though you know what my preference would be.”

My mind searched for reasons to leave but my mind remained blank of excuses.

How many other women had stood in exactly this same position as I was tonight? Did I even care right now with one week left in paradise?

I pulled myself together and leaned in closer to him, which was already almost impossible. I inhaled deeply, trying not to think of what would happen if that bath towel accidentally fell to the ground.

“Okay,” I whispered into his ear.

He tilted his head and frowned, not sure of what I meant. He cupped my face his hands. “Okay, what?”

“Okay,” I repeated.

Content ©2016 Marquessa Matthews. All Rights Reserved.

Originally posted on April 7, 2015.

Note: Writing 101, Blogging U – Day 2:A Room with a View

Today’s Prompt: If you could zoom through space in the speed of light, what place would you go to right now?
Today’s twist: organize your post around the description of a setting.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

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.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

“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)

 

 


Save

Save

Save

Save

#TravelTuesday: “I Wear My Sunglasses At Light” #travel @mondayblogs

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

#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.

Save

Save

#TravelTuesday: Stories Under The Sun #beach #vacation

Carolina Beach, Puerto Rico ©2017 Marquessa Matthews. All Rights Reserved.

It boggles my mind when I hear people say that they don’t like the beach or vacationing.

What?! Who are these people?! 😉

If you happen to be one of those people, you may want to skip the next few #TravelTuesdays.

Not only will I likely post random vacation photos from my IG, I’ll probably post a few of my “vacation stories”.

In the meantime, close your eyes and don’t look at this video I posted last year… 🙂

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

Save

Save

Save