lfb: strap in, it’s speedo time

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So this week LFB says: write a commentary about your best summer vacation.

Best summer vacation.


I am here to tell you, I haven’t had a summer vacation since high school. So I’m sitting here, trying to think about my best summer ever (vacation or not), and I’m remembering the time I went camping with my church group when I was a kid and then camped in the back yard when I got back because I liked it so much, or the time this year when we went to Florida, or last year when the summer seemed to stretch from April to September and we went on No N’s boat practically every day.

Those were good times, but I mean, I already blogged about Florida, and who wants to hear about me camping in my back yard and frying a pound of hamburger over a campfire?

I think instead I will tell you about my first real vacation ever, which was when I went with my grandparents, cousins, aunt, uncle, sister, and my dad and his girlfriend to Hawaii. My first time (that I could remember) on a plane. We stayed in this chintzy hotel but, hey, it was Hawaii and it was beautiful.

The best (or worst, depending on your point of view) part of it was the glass-bottom boat ride out to a nearby island for an afternoon of snorkeling. I had imagined the glass bottom stretching from stem to stern and all across the bottom of the boat but disappointingly, it turned out to be a small three by three square cut into the bottom of the boat where the water was so dark and murky that we couldn’t see anything. It was still gorgeous. I mentioned it was Hawaii, right?

So about this time in my life, I’m starting to notice the members of the opposite sex, and I had targeted a much older man (I was twelve or so, he must have been about seventeen) to be my cruise-time crush. I am sure he was just being polite to a skinny, gangly kid with calf eyes, but I was convinced we were really hitting it off.

We (I) chatted the whole way out to the snorkeling island, where the ship anchored and we all snorkeled around feeding the fish. I remember being underwater passing out peas from my netting bag, when one of the women on board dived off the boat. Being underwater, I had a unique view of her hitting the water and her bikini top coming clean off. For the record, I can still blush underwater.

So we snorkel for a while, then when it’s time to head back we all troop back on board the boat and get dressed. The boat folks cook us up some barbecue, and I once again corner my crush while we’re stuffing our faces full of barbecued hamburgers.

About halfway back to shore, my dad’s slighty ditzy girlfriend wanders over, wondering if I’ve seen my dad lately. Now, let me take a time out to describe my dad for you:


Now, this picture is about five years old, but eighteen years ago he didn’t look much different. You can’t really see it but his hair is about halfway down his back. I believe that at the time we went to Hawaii, he actually had a perm. Oh, and he liked to wear Speedos. Bright, electric blue Speedos. Which, incidentally, he’d happened to wear snorkeling. In case you were wondering.

So back to the story. Dad’s girlfriend, we’ll call her Becky, was wandering around looking for Dad, and I was way too interested in talking to my crush (who may or may not have been looking distinctly harried by this time, I may have chosen to block that out) and it transpires that no one can find him.

Our captain gets on the phone or ship to ship walkie talkie thing with some of the other boat captains that had taken their ships to the same place we were, and it turns out that my dad had gotten on the wrong boat when it was time to leave.

So because the boat he was on was heading further down the coast than we were, both our ships turned back to meet at the island where we’d spent the afternoon snorkeling. Dad swam from one boat to the other, and I swear to you I was never so embarrassed as when my dad clambered back on board the ship, wringing out his permed, gloriously butt-rock-ish hair, grinning from ear to ear and exclaiming to all of us over how he had gotten on the wrong boat (at the top of his lungs, of course). Clad only in his skimpy, electric blue Speedos amongst a crowd of dry, fed, and clothed passengers. Passengers who were looking at me in amusement. My crush included.

I think I spent the rest of the trip belowdecks.

But still, it was fun. Hawaii, right?

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