So, I’m what some people might call a planner… ok, yes, that’s probably an understatement! Thus, I’m already researching, planning, and preparing for our upcoming European adventure. I just downloaded Rick Steves’ Europe Through the Back Door and have been reading it on my Kindle. I don’t remember who told me about Rick Steves’ guide books when I studied abroad in college, but thank you, whoever you are! From there I learned about Rick’s radio shows, all of which are archived online here: http://www.ricksteves.com/radio/program-archives.cfm. So, I’ve been listening to interviews with Americans living abroad and to experts on the European Union these last few days!
Don’t worry, I haven’t neglected the fact that we won’t actually be on mainland Europe for the first several months. It’s just that I’ve already done most of that research: looking into cell phones, searching realtor’s website for potential apartments… Our flights have been booked by the school (flying out August 10th) and our initial apartment has been booked as well. By next week I hope to have signed a lease for our apartment! The next challenge is figuring out how to get our medical tests taken care of. Phew! It’s been a busy couple months, but I want to have as much prepared before we arrive home so we can enjoy our time with family and friends. Plus, I’m just like that!
I’ve also been keeping lists like crazy! There are lists of what to take from here, what to leave at home, what to take to Cyprus, what to buy while we’re at home, what to take for my classroom, questions to ask AISC teachers and the principal, etc.!
Last weekend though, we took a little break from our preparations to hit the beach on Sunday. I’d heard Beef Island was a good spot for SUPing, so we trekked across the island for the afternoon. Our friends Donald and Linda love Well Bay, so Tony and I decided to go there in hopes that they’d meet us later in the afternoon. The only problem with Well Bay is the people who own the fancy houses there put up a fence and private road. Walking that road with a SUP board, bag, and 2 chairs (we don’t travel light to the beach) didn’t sound like my idea of a good time. Instead, we parked by a boat ramp down the way and SUP boarded over. As we set off with the bag on my board (I’m less likely to fall in, so I took the stuff that couldn’t get wet.) and the chairs on Tony’s, he said, “This may be a really bad idea!”
It was slow going. The wind was blowing right at us, hard, and we were going against the current. Plus, since neither of us wanted to risk our cargo in the slightly rough water, we were both balanced on our knees instead of our feet. By the time I got into the little cove surrounding the beach, my thighs were screaming (which they were still doing two days later). It was at that point that I heard, “Oh crap!” and a splash behind me. The end of Tony’s paddle hit the chairs as he was switching sides, so he reached down to grab them. In reaching down, he threw off his own balance and went into the water! Nothing was lost, since he was already holding the chairs! Luckily, we were both laughing about our little adventure, and we made it the rest of the way to the beach without incident.
After tearing into our sandwiches and chips, we spent a couple hours leisurely swimming and reading until Donald and Linda came to join us. Linda is the art teacher at school, so she insisted on taking some photos! Thanks, Linda, for sharing them with me!
Here’s Donald and Linda’s beautiful daughter having a go on the board. She’s so light, she probably could have run from end to end on the thing without upsetting it!
After a couple more hours though, the bugs started coming out and a few dark clouds started rolling in. We packed our gear and set off.
It was much easier this time, since we were going with the current and the wind had died down. In fact, we reached the boat ramp, loaded the boards, and were driving away before Donald and Linda even made it to their car!