Friday, August 05, 2011

Truth or Dare
Have you ever had a nightmare where you are walking around a midst swarms of people in your underclothes and you are late to an exam that you didn't study for and you can't understand a word anyone is saying? If so, you understand a phenomenon we like to call AQUALAND: Bahia di Cadiz.

I promised the girls that I would dare myself to do something adventurous that I wouldn't normally do during the vacation and then made them guess over the course of several days what it might be. They had it down to my sky-diving into rapids where I would raft my way through the wilderness and bungee jump off a waterfall.  They were almost right.  I was going to go to a crazy Spanish water amusement park and take no prisoners. Unless you count F.

I spent the whole night tossing and turning and startling awake with thoughts like: What if the passports get wet or stolen? What if I didn't understand the complicated ticket information and I mistook the date of availability? What if we can't find the place? What if we go too early and Greta gets a sunburn? What if we go too late and the lines are enormous? Whenever I worry this much, it is, sadly, usually for a good reason.

By the time we were about to undertake our first ride I was already pretty tense.  My zen-like alter ego fantasy self couldn't even pretend to show up after having lived through four days of blazing ear pain from the same sinus centered virus that Greta had been taking antibiotics for and for which there is nothing anyone can do but wait it out.

The girls and I were waving people past us on line in the blazing sun where we spied the sea lions dancing to Brittney Spears' womanizer song and then ducked into a cave to cool off. F had to run back to the locker to get his passport so he could run back to the raft rental line where he had to rent two enormous innertubes "a dos" that were required for the first ride appropriately titled "The devil's Tail/cola de diablo"  I sent the girls down the dark, windy tube with a wink and a prayer and got on board with F.  "I hope that Spanish sign didn't say 'Don't undertake this ride if you have neck problems,' " was the last thought I had as we took off down the tunnel.  Of course I am a linguistical genius all of the sudden so that is exactly what the sign said. This was confirmed when I laterally flipped mid-tunnel and my neck wrenched while my white knuckled fingers gripped the raft handles with such fierceness that I had a hard time letting go after the ride was over.  That was it. Torcicollo: whipped neck syndrome and I was out of play for the rest of the burning hot day.

Okay so the cheap disposable film camera can't get developed right away...

As the girls rafted, slalomed, slid, skidded and glided down mountainous ride after twisty turny slide, I sat in the kiddy area with the animal statues, the clown umbrellas and the baby slides. Little, mostly chubby cherub like children kept mistaking me for their mami and hanging on to my legs with their toasty warm, softly padded little palms. The southern spain diet of fried fish, fried dough, white sugar, and an array of fatty meats mean that flab is a way of life here but it was nice and relaxing to see how nobody cared about it. People played with their rolls of belly and waddled happily from fast food stand to fast food stand, stopping in between to fry their brains out in the sun and smoke cigarettes. Not Greta, though. (Bridget, are you reading this?) She ate whole wheat and protein, wore tons of sun protection and hair conditioner and a UV shirt and didn't even stub a toe. And I am gonna have me an advil and a really large pitcher of sangria.

Arrivederci, Brooklyn!

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