Saturday, December 27, 2008

How Do You Say "J" in Spanish?

Had some extra time today - so thought I would share one of my favorite photos.

Today's photo is from a cruise Hubby and I took in Mexico in March 2007. We were on the Vision of the Seas, with Royal Caribbean. Awesome cruise. (ALL cruises are awesome, though!)

We went to Cabo San Lucas, and then Mazatlan, and then Puerto Vallarta. It was in Puerto Vallarta that we went whale watching - and we captured this shot. However, I never saw the whales. I didn't see anything. It wasn't until I saw the photos that I saw what I had missed.

Before our stop in Puerto Vallarta, we stopped in Mazatlan...and that's where the problem lay. We went to a little beach with another couple from the ship, and discovered the joys of "boogie boarding." Wow - I had never been on a boogie board before, so in the beginning, I was a little hesitant to go out far, and played it pretty safe. We'd paddle out a little ways from the shore, and then wait for the killer waves to come in - and then lay on the board and ride the wave back to the shore. It was too much fun. As the afternoon went on, I discovered I had somewhat of a natural talent for this - I was pretty good at timing the waves, and being patient - letting a wave go on by that looked somewhat good, only to be followed by THE wave a minute later.

At one point, the four of us are out a ways in the ocean - and a pretty good-sized wave comes along. The other 3 (including Hubby) jump on their boards and ride the wave in to shore. I hadn't been paying attention, and didn't go in with them. I had missed the wave. So, I'm out there now, by myself, when I hear Hubby and friends yelling at me to turn around - and so I do - and I see a TSUNAMI coming right at me. I'm not kidding - it's a wall of water; the biggest wave I've ever seen; and it's coming right at me. I don't have a choice - I HAVE to ride this wave in - either that, or I drown. So, I do my best to time it when it hits me - I jump on my board - but the wave was too big, and I was too much of a novice. The next thing I know, I feel like I'm in a spin cycle of a washing machine - I'm tumbling, head over heels, in the water, as the wave rushes into shore. I feel my boogie board ripped from my arms, and now I'm on my own - struggling to figure out which way is top and which way is bottom, and holding my breath for all I'm worth.

The wave pushes me into shore, and Hubby had rushed over and literally plucks me up out of the water. The force of the wave had almost ripped my swim suit off - seriously. As I stand up, gagging out water, coughing, etc- I realize that my view of the world had changed. See - I have worn glasses since I was 9 years old. And at this point, I'm in bifocals. I had a super expensive, tricked-out pair of bifocals that had every bell and whistle on them - they were operating as sunglasses on this day. As I stood up from the water, I realize the glasses have been ripped off my head - gone - swimming with the fishes, now. OMG! I'm blind without those glasses!!!! Hubby immediately sizes up the situation, and begins an all-out intensive hunt for the glasses. He spends the next 2 hours, walking up and down the beach, trying to find the glasses - to no avail. They're gone - forever. Some little mermaid has taken them back to her lair for treasure.

Me and my tricked out glasses - the last photo taken before their untimely demise

So, I'm now blind - this was Wednesday - the cruise was not ending until Sunday. I literally couldn't see more than five feet in front of my face. That evening, back on board the cruise ship, I realized how vulnerable I felt - I couldn't see or perceive dangers or threats - I felt very exposed. People would wave at me from across the dining room, and I would snub them - as I couldn't see them. I wasn't trying to be rude - I was just being blind. We went to the evening show in the theater that night, but I couldn't see it. All I could do was enjoy the music. This sucked. What was I going to do for the rest of the cruise??

The next morning, we docked in Puerto Vallarta, where we had the whale-watching excursion booked. However, when we walked off the pier, I realized there is a God. RIGHT across the pier - not more than 100 yards away - sat a Sam's Club!!!! And Sam's Club has an optical department!!! You can hear the choirs of angels singing at this point as I run across the parking lot to Sam's. The optometrist at Sam's only spoke Spanish - no English - but I somehow could figure out that he could make me a basic pair of glasses in 8 hours - enough time before our ship left port - but no bifocals. That's okay - who needs stinkin' bifocals in Mexico??!! The doctor has to give me an eye test so he can figure out my prescription - what a hoot - imagine doing an eye test when you and the doctor don't speak the same language! I'm trying to say the alphabet (on the eye chart) in Spanish - but the "J" has me stumped. "J, J - how the heck do you say 'j' in Spanish??!!!" (Hota, by the way). Anyway, I'm cracking up laughing at the absurdity of the situation - the doctor is getting frustrated - but we got it all worked out.

We went on our whale watching excursion - while we waited for my glasses to be made. I used the telefoto on my camera to see a little bit of the whales - but it was pretty much a non-excursion for me. Oh well. I was just thrilled to stop by Sam's Club on the way back to the ship - I never treasured a pair of glasses more than those Mexican glasses! Thank GOD for Sam Walton and Sam's Club!!!! They saved my life!

Lesson learned - don't wear glasses while boogie boarding. And always take a spare pair of glasses along with you on vacation. And learn how to say "J" in Spanish so you can read an eye chart in a Mexican eye doctor's office. You just never know.


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