In Which I Consider The Wisdom of the Ancients

As we walked down the Miami jet bridge to our waiting airplane, a wave of heat brushed my face, reminding me that I wouldn’t need my jacket for another week, and leaving me wondering why I hadn’t thought of this already. I stepped to my first row seat and pulled the coat off, unceremoniously stuffing it into the overhead bin. I was ready.

This, my friends, has been a weird winter in Michigan. The cold seemed to arrive early, with none of the usual respite we have come to expect from an Indian Summer to ease the transition as the days grew shorter and cooler.

As the autumn moved on and the calendar moved to December, the weather had yet to deteriorate, and temperatures remained unseasonably warm, with highs in the mid-30’s, and sometimes even higher. Christmas came and went, and we welcomed the New Year with moderate weather still. Heck, even in the last week we have had temperatures in the 50’s.

When the weather remains at the warmer end of the spectrum, the real winter, when it finally arrives, feels brutal. And this is the case today, for in the last few days the truly wintry weather has at long last settled into the Great Lakes State. In past years it wouldn’t have seemed so chilly, because in all honesty it isn’t anywhere near the coldest that we have seen, but we really haven’t been acclimatized this year, so it feels downright frigid. Which makes this is a perfect time to flee to Southern climes and warmer weather.

Two years in a row, now, I have flown south in January, enjoying a scuba trip to the Caribbean. According to Jewish tradition, doing something three times makes it a law (or something of the sort), and this is now my third annual January trip for scuba diving. I don’t know that Talmudic traditions apply to vacation planning, but this isn’t one to which I’ll likely hold objections.

This trip is different from all other trips, however, for this time I’m going with my brother, M (yes – there have been many “M’s” on the blog). And I’m really hopeful that it’s going to be awesome.

We are going to another dive resort. In general, my readers know that I’m not much of a resort person, with the canned activities, and the sedentary hours. Somehow in my mind, however, a dive resort, where the activities are … active … is different.

Despite waking at 3 am to go to the airport, the flight down was great, with a painless two-hour layover in Miami. M and I were therefore well rested when we arrived in Bonaire, our plane touching down on a tiny airstrip on a tiny island in the Netherlands Antilles. Customs and immigration was some of the easiest I’ve encountered, after which we gathered together our belongings and waited for our van driver to transport us to the resort.

We weren’t expecting an ocean-view room, but we will take it.

After checking in we headed out to the grocery store to purchase a few snacks. The sun set while we were in the store, signaling to us that it was at last time for dinner, which we took at the hotel restaurant (and it was pretty great).

We walked around the grounds briefly afterward, as I did my best to explain a few of the things we were finding, because M hasn’t been on a dive trip before.

And at long last the hours had caught up with us and we retired to our rooms.

So far this trip that has had just a bit of angst, as two days ago I got a root canal, which could throw a wrench into the plans. But right now, I’m anticipating some amazing sibling time, some spectacular diving, and maybe even some decent food and drink.

Whatever happens, I hope you will join me for the next week, because I plan do my best to keep things interesting.

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