Woke at 7, and tried to stay in bed as long as possible for two reasons:
- 1. Bas Melech thought it was sacrilegious to get up before 10 and
- 2. between the hospital-cornered sheets, the inches-thick bedspread, and the numerous pillows, staying in was simpler than getting out
However, I had to get up eventually. I’m not very good at lolling in bed doing nothing. And it was already 7:30!!! I got up, showered, dressed, and davened on our veranda. We did have a view of the beach, it turned out, it was just behind a few parking lots.
I stood there, the sun glinting off the water warm on my skin, the light breeze caressing my face, the low, white city spread before me, and suddenly I felt like it was a crime, not a kindness, to let Bas Melech keep sleeping. I’ve never understood the point in going to a new location with many attractions just to sleep. So I gave her a ten-second warning that I was going to crash-land on her bed and that I am no Captain Chesley Sullenberger, and then I did it. She was entirely unimpressed with my attempt at chesed. I couldn’t budge her, even with a beautiful rendition of “modeh ani.”
With a sigh, I went out without her.
I discovered that a line is not the shortest distance between two points when there are parking lots involved. At one point, getting to the beach would have involved diving over a parking lot wall and into another hotel’s swimming pool (occupied by two old ladies gently stirring the water like soup), and then over the pool wall into the sand. I decided to go around.
The beach was deserted. Clearly, most of the world goes on vacation to sleep. I took off my sneakers and socks, left them on the sand, and walked along the surf.
The water here is a beautiful translucent blue. It rushes up the heavy, grainy sand, touching as high as it can with its lacy edges, and then retreats back.
“In New York,” I explained to the fisherman who looked puzzled when I asked him if he’d eat what he caught, “The water is murky and green and I’d never eat anything that came out of it.” He waxed lyrical on the fish he caught and how delicious they tasted.
I could have stayed there all day. But I thought it would be nice to share with my friend, so I headed back to the hotel, sneakers in hand. It seemed easier than trying to brush sand off my toes, but somehow, walking around barefoot looks less natural when you’re standing at the edge of a highway waiting for a chance to cross, with a gaggle of young men in blue shirts carrying tefillin bags on the other side studiously ignoring you.
I briefly wonder if I should have packed for a singles event, instead of cramming my junkiest stuff into a knapsack.
As we waited for the light to change, a female running posse exited and started jogging up the block. It was a mother, teenage daughter, and tweenager, all running together. How cute! But how on earth did they manage to raise all that money?!
“Hey Bas Melech! Let’s go skinny dipping motzai Shobbos! Nobody will be on the beach and there’s no lights! It’s 100% kosher!” I said as I burst into the room.
A groan from her bed.
“So can we go?” I asked. Her head turned left, then right, eyes firmly shut.
“Aw…” There are some distinct disadvantages to vacationing with a Bas Melech. I am avenging my disappointment by putting up yet another post without her. Take that, sleepyhead.