There's something both beautiful and disconcerting about being on a on a sailboat while lightning is striking all around you. Bright sky and sunshine above, dark clouds and blinding flashes of lightning to the left, right and straight ahead.
"Cerveza o margarita?"
My attention was diverted from the ominous weather to the plastic, sweaty cups of liquid sunshine in front of me.
"Margarita. Gracias," I said to the hispanic man behind the bar on deck.
I titled my head back and let the sun sting my cheeks as I swallowed the cold, tangy drink.
"I need to drink until my body stops hurting," Courtney said. We all nodded in agreement.
All six of us had woken up that morning with bruises, scrapes and body aches in our shoulders, arms and hips. Courtney and Vicky had burns on their hip bones. My hipbones came away unscathed thanks to "curves." Turns out, the pool slide was no match for drunken twenty-somethings.
"Let's buy that one," I said, pointing across the water to what looked like an abandoned resort. The colorful walls were closing in on each other and the grass roof had deteriorated in parts, leaving gaps for sunshine, rain and anything else that wanted in.
"Yeah, we can fix it up and call it..." Cayden said, struggling to come up with a name that combined all of our last names.
"It can't be that expensive, right?" Vicky asked.
Surely not, I thought to myself. I leaned into Cayden as I pictured the six living right there on the beach. Instead of cars we'd have scooters, jet skis and stand-up paddle boards. We'd have hammocks everywhere. And maybe we'd even have a slide that goes into the ocean. A padded slide. And, of course, we'd have to hire a full-time bartender. That would be the life.
"Secure your life vests and grab your snorkel gear!"
I tightened the strap around my waist and look curiously at the strap dangling between my legs. Surely that's not supposed to go up my butt, right? A quick glance around proved me wrong. I chugged the rest of my margarita and reached down to secure the strap in its awkward position.
"How ridiculous do I look?" I asked after pressing my goggles against my face until my eyes bulged. The snorkel dangled next to my right ear.
Cayden turned around with the snorkel already in his mouth, making his lips bulge out worse than his eyes. I couldn't stop myself from laughing. We both looked ridiculous.
The lightning died down by the time the boat stopped at our first snorkel site. Good thing. I wasn't in the mood to be electrocuted on my honeymoon.
Cayden and I held hands as we jumped off the side of the boat and into the crystal blue water. Beneath me, colorful fish and plant life drifted about as if we weren't there, flailing and kicking around in their peaceful home. A giant crab poked out of a crevice in the reef.
"Cayden, look!" I mumbled into my snorkel. I looked to my right. Then my left. Cayden was nowhere to be seen. I came up from the water and removed my foggy goggles. Way behind me, I spotted Cayden. Actually, I heard him before I saw him. He was coughing up salt water and struggling with his face mask.
"Babe, are you OK?" I asked as I got closer.
"I keep breathing in water," he said. His eyes were bloodshot and his nose was red.
I tried not to laugh, but I couldn't hide it.
"How are you breathing in water? Your nose is in your mask and your mouth is attached to a snorkel. Are you putting the snorkel under water?"
"No," he said, shaking his head and draining his snorkel. "I just put my head under and try to breath."
He dipped under water for a demonstration and came up hacking and coughing, which caused me to nearly die of laughter. Big, bad Cayden couldn't figure out how to use a snorkel.
"Poor thing," I said between laughs.
While he struggled with the snorkel, I struggled with the life vest straps. Whose idea was it to put a strap between your legs that yanks UP when you jump in the water. I felt molested.
"Hey, babe," I said, clinging onto Cayden to relieve some of the pressure in my life vest (i.e. crotch). "Isn't there some kind of rule about getting married in international waters? Aren't boat captains prepared to do that?"
I was basing my theory off an episode of How I Met Your Mother.
"I think you might be onto something," Cayden said, but I was pretty sure he was also basing his answer on the same episode.
Suddenly, getting married was all I wanted to do. Even with a strap up my ass and Cayden choking and blowing snot bubbles, I wanted to say I do.