At the resort we all started drinking the good stuff. I was into Johnny Walker Black Label at the time, so a few of those went down the hatch. By the time we actually arrived at our room I was half drunk and the pool was calling. A quick change a phone call to get my laundry started, and I was in the swim-up bar drinking.
To give you an idea of how strange that night got, I remember waking up to my roomie (Lilly) asking me what I was doing. When I came to, I was packing my clothes. Lilly told me, calmly, that we were there for a wedding – that I should go back to sleep. I did, all was well again in the world.
I woke up the next morning and wasn’t quite feeling like getting out of bed. So I didn’t. I laid in a very, very comfortable bed and watched movies and read until my room service got there. Best decision I made on the trip – trying out the room service. Everyone else was out at the pool before lunch drinking and getting sunburned. I viewed this as a rookie mistake. I rested, ate, relaxed.
At 2PM I was out at the pool, drink in hand. Several people were already plastered, which was certainly the goal, but it was a little early. They weren’t going to make it to dinner. I was right about that, we carried them upstairs a couple of hours before dinner. But me? I was great. Late starts allow late nights. The sun and alcohol and swim-up bars take their toll quickly, count on it.
Everything blurred together. But we managed to get a diving/fishing trip booked. Then I began being harassed by the local female population. You see, winter was ending in The States. That means very few people are: in shape, tanned, and have sun-bleached hair. And there is, apparently, something about the man-bun. According to my research in Costa Rica, girls really like the man-bun. Really like it.
As time progressed I found out about a flip-cup competition. Among many participants from many states and a couple of countries – I found myself placing second. Which is to say that I had to drink all of the alcohol the winner did, but I got no prize.
There was dinner. Then we went to resort-bar-thing. Then we went to a resort-club-thing.
We did this for a few days – drinking, eating, relaxing. Then we had a fishing/diving trip booked. Fun stuff. We caught what they were calling Spanish Mackerel. It wasn’t what I call Spanish Mackerel, but it was delicious. Sashimi on the boat was lunch. We did a bit of diving, but the water was cold, dark, and full of particulate. And our guides were fisherman, meaning they didn’t know any decent diving spots. After a few jellyfish stings, we abandoned diving and took to drinking and bullshitting and pulling lines with lures on them.
Then we were back at the resort and the resort chef was cooking our fish. I could get used to this. Coming from 30 second cold showers, waking up in a pool of my own sweat, and generally having to work twice as hard to do anything onboard NOMAD – this resort stuff was fun and easy.
The fish was excellent and we had enough that the guys from the wedding party went recruiting to find some talent to help us consume our meal. Then it was pool volleyball, flip cup, and more shenanigans.
Suddenly it was time for the wedding. I had no clothes, the bride-to-be had brought them for me from the States. I had no shoes. I had no socks. I had only board shorts and flip-flops and hair conditioner; the necessities. Although, I was running low on hair conditioner because my roomie, Lilly, had found out how good it was and was making a daily habit of stealing it and then telling me she had stolen it.
I was supposed to make a speech. I had no idea what I was going to say. But I’d been using it as leverage to try to get the groom, down to Colombia post-wedding. I thought if I threatened enough embarrassment, I’d get the green-light (from his bride-to-be) to have him down for a week of foolishness. It kinda worked, but I didn’t have a speech and it was wedding time.
As a matter of fact, I didn’t have socks and only 30 minutes before the wedding did I actually possess the clothing I was supposed to wear. Still no socks, but I borrowed some from my roomie. No practice, no mind-numbing rehearsal dinner, and a legitimate open-bar. This is how weddings are supposed to be. We were all winging it, and that’s how you have a wedding where nothing goes wrong – you don’t make it complex and you don’t choreograph it. If no one knows exactly what they are supposed to do, nobody can screw it up.
Now that I’ve seen a wedding done right, let’s riff on that.
The wedding was quick. We were taking shots until we actually walked down the isle and I had a couple mini-bar bottles of Red Label, for emergencies, tucked into my tux. Pictures were taken, a very quick speech was given, vows were exchanged, and we went back to drinking and celebrating. I can’t tell you what a relief that kind of wedding is, after sitting through twenty or so long, drawn out celebrations in overly elaborate churches or sweating profusely under a pecan tree. Why don’t we just party and call that a wedding and have everyone happy?
So, here are a Nomad’s wedding tips – I know you’re dying for them:
The priest/preacher can be quick – he has plenty of time to convert and preach his silliness on Sundays. There is no need for extravagance, save that money and do something worthwhile with it – like travel, start a business, change your life. I promise that having an expensive wedding won’t make you less likely to get divorced. Statistics tell you it actually works the opposite. So if you have a big, elaborate wedding, where everyone is sitting around uncomfortably for your special day – there are just going to be that many more people who witness your wedding turn into a divorce. Destination weddings are cool, and if you arrange it to have people there for a couple of days beforehand, everyone gets to know each other before the wedding – which makes it much more enjoyable. There needs to be an open bar – not having an open bar is like saying, “Please kill a weekend, spend a bunch of money on clothing, and drive/fly to come and hang out with a couple of your friends and a bunch of people you don’t know for too long. PS – I’m not going to even buy you a drink.” Don’t be those people. Small, quick, short, and then get back to why everyone is there: a celebration of a life-event.
Back to the story: we did the wedding, there were speeches, there was even some singing. Then we began removing clothing (it was very, very hot) and started dancing. Then we jumped in the pool. Then it became public knowledge that I was wearing green socks with my tux. Then it all got blurry for everyone and we went dancing at the resort-club-thing.
The next morning was another one of the usual: room-service, in the A/C, in the comfy bed until the afternoon.
After the wedding I was getting The Itch. It was time to get back to my boat. I missed her. Time to start boat work again. Time to wander around CTG with some cold beer and people-watch. Time to be back on the water. After a hellish travel day, I was back. And Disneyland and Amanda were still in CTG, despite threatening to leave for Panama, so that’s where I stayed my first night back. It was great coming back to familiar faces.