Friday, August 11, 2006

The Beach and Liquor, A Match Made in Heaven...

Way back when I was in Greece, back before the turbulent times filled with crazy (and by crazy, I mean psychotic/bonkers-crazy, not fun/wildly-amusing-crazy) roommates, genuine worry over what my life was to become, and LONG before I joined the faceless masses of the "real world" which has since proceeded to drain my soul of all that was once good and pure... But I digress. Back when I was Greece, mere days after I finished high school, I discovered the joys of mixing the beach and booze. After touring the neighboring countries for a few weeks, we landed in a tiny little hotel, nestled on the far northwest edge of a small tourist-y village known as Tolo, which is nestled in a little bay on the Agean Sea.

Tolo being a tiny little town, we could easily walk the few blocks to the one little night club or any number of adorable little shops that lined the streets, but those of us who were smart took a different approach. (Please refer to this very loose aerial view of our location as a handy visual aid for your consideration.)

We had a customarily late dinner at the hotel, (the turquoise rectangle,) and as the sun went down we called our parents from the international pay phone, (the red dot,) and after the sun set we walked across the street to the little cafe, (the maroon rectangle) that just so happened to be open particularly late... I think it stayed open largely because the owner saw that we were migrating to the cafe to purchase alcoholic beverages to be consumed on the beach repeatedly over a stretch of many hours, and that staying open was in his best financial interest... As was his choice to fire up the oven and sell pizzas to our drunk asses at the end of the night... but you see where this is going... (See all those little black dots? That's us! We're drinking, and bull-shitting, and having a grand time!) Those green dots are two VILE Armenian guys with appallingly bad oral hygiene who repeatedly propositioned every female in our little group, asking us if we would like some "company." But it was there, on that beach, at the tender age of 18 that I learned the joys of mixing a perfect night on the beach with alcohol to turn everything from picture perfect to GODDAMN SPECTACULAR. (Go easy on me for not figuring this out before the age of 18... I grew up in southern Indiana where there are no REAL beaches.)

And this evening was a different kind of goddamn spectacular. I had only one or two cocktails around happy hour, and as the sun went down I decided to venture to my own little piece of heaven in the sand. I strolled along the shoreline in the 75 degree perfection of the evening, enjoying the strong breeze blowing in off the lake, and the sounds of the waves crashing and rolling in, and it was, in a word, exquisite... Transcendently exquisite.

After the sun set over the city, and the last of the sunlit penumbra began to fade to that deep blue, I sauntered home, and fixed myself an iced cafe au lait and reflected on things. It's been a lovely night. Now if you'll excuse me, I think I'm going to go flip through my photo album of that European vacation and reminisce about simpler times.

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