Friday, February 11, 2011

Vacation Days 9 & 10 - Ode to Film

So! Four months later and the details of this vacation are growing hazy.

Go ahead. Breathe a sigh of relief.

I'll do my best to bore you anyway.

Day 9 was fantastic because we met up with our friends the Lindsay's.

Ryan Lindsay was in my MPH cohort (for those of you who have followed a while, you know this has nothing to do with defensive driving) and is now completing a PhD at the University of California at San Diego. He and his wife have two adorable little girls, one just older and one just younger than Bridgette.

My memory being hazy and all, I may no longer have my vacation days in order. But I know we *did* meet up with them, so I'm going to pretend it was on Day 9. They were kind enough to agree to watch Bridgette while Jeff and I headed out to do something by ourselves -- a vacation within a vacation, if you will.

Jeff and I were supposed to go sea-kayaking in the morning and spend the afternoon at a spa, both courtesy of Groupon coupons I had picked up earlier in the year. Scheduling the two to occur on the same day was nearly impossible and required more frustrating phone calls than I cared to count.

Okay. There were seven.

In the end, scheduling was one thing and reality was another. We started Day 9 with a message from the kayak guides telling us it was too choppy to kayak that day. I was really sad.

But we got to spend more time with the Lindsay's who then turned into martyrs/heroes and agreed to watch Bridgette *again* on Day 10 while we kayaked in better weather.

So Jeff and I monkeyed around for an afternoon, sans toddler, in shops that were so expensive we felt dishonest going inside (knowing in advance the hopeful salespeople would be left flat and disappointed, but ultimately not poor, assuming lots of people with lots of money shopped after us). Then we headed to the spa where we were pampered in tandem in delicately balanced rooms where the ch'i flowed with wafting scents of honey & lavender.

After we were washed and oiled and sauna'd, we drove back (rather later than we intended) to the Lindsay's feeling thoroughly refreshed. Kristen had made a delicious meal, and we were pleased to dine with them, chatting (rather later than we intended) about kids, people we know, public health, and stuff in general.

Now that I think about it, I do feel like I'm missing a day. I wonder where it went?

Day 10 = Kayak Day = Best Day = An Ode to Film

Film . . . not cinema fare . . . but a sheet of plastic coated with an emulsion containing light-sensitive silver halide salts bonded by gelatin with variable crystal sizes that determine the contrast and resolution of the developed photos.

You know. That stuff we used before digital cameras.

We were so very happy that Day 10 dawned bright and clear and relatively warm (though still cold).

We met the Lindsay's at the beach in La Jolla, and they dealt with our toddler's sand-infused hair, lips, eyes, diapers, and juice bottles while Jeff and I got all dressed up to go kayaking.

The problem? Well, I couldn't (wouldn't) take my luscious Canon Rebel XSi with us because they assured us that we, and everything in the kayak, were going to get soaked heading out through the waves. They were right. (And it was *really* cold then.)

So I was optioned into buying a cheap (though not inexpensive) disposable waterproof camera from the kayak shop.

Enter photos, stage left.

Remember the days when your resolution was low and you didn't feel the need to edit *anything* in Photoshop because it was all kind of blurry anyway? Oh yeah. Those were the good ol' days.

(As a group tour, we were forced to dress in a way that would prevent us from taking legal action in case of accident. Say . . . if we were to paddle our kayak at such a high rate of speed that an inadvertent collision with sea lions caused us to be hurdled head-first into a freak petrel made of iron. Point being, we both felt a little silly. Also, per usual, Jeff's helmet didn't fit despite being the largest helmet they owned.)

Glad I didn't give my nice camera a bath in ocean water. Thus the word "disposable." (See following photographic examples.)

I can't really explain how much I love the ocean, by the way. This was my favorite day by far. I *love* the ocean. I LOVE the ocean. I could live, eat, breathe ocean. I miss it at all times, except when I'm there. When I'm there I forget about time and trouble and become one with the brine.

Jeff, on the other hand, thinks the ocean is okay. :)

Remember the days when you waited around for your film to be developed? And you just *knew* that ONE shot . . . you know THAT one . . . was going to be *perfect.* The anticipation! The excitement! The . . .

Aw. Bummer.

Remember the days when the photographer said, "Let me take one more, just in case," without being able to review anything on the LCD display first? It really was "just in case." And thank goodness.

Remember having no flash inside the magical cave of halos?

Remember when there were no buttons at all except for wind and click (I know, we're still talking disposable cameras though people), and you couldn't control a single setting? No shutter speed, aperture, ISO, auto-stabilizer? So easy.

So's you know, the house under that blob of sunlight belonged to Theodor Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss.

This was also about the spot where we saw a billion tiger sharks. Or at least a lot. They were swimming all around/under our kayak.

Remember how excited you were when you got your first digital camera and you could take almost limitless photos of first events, like, the first time your first child touched the ocean?

But then remember how you used to have to ration your photos, balancing "firsts" with a maximum of 26 shots?

Though I'm sure you remember how exciting it was to relive those moments, two whole WEEKS after vacation, when your film was finally developed.

And finally, remember when you captured that one moment, the one perfect instance, the photo you wanted to display proudly on the mantel for everyone to see?

Only someone blinked.

Or, in this case, snarled . . .

Here's to all the memories! Cheers!


Lore said...

Oh, for sure I remember those days, since it was most of my life and I loved taking photos.

So what if there's a snarl, you got a flying seagull! Now, how often does that happen? And certainly, it's hard to plan to have it happen. And to catch it on "film," well, congratulations!

Looks like Bridgette thought the water was "okay." I hope that is the case. Can't have someone related to me who doesn't like the ocean. If they don't like the ocean, I'm afraid it is my duty to remedy the situation. Like, oh, maybe,...more trips to the beach? It would be alright with me.

Kel said...

Actually, Mom, it is my opinion that she loved the ocean... but that it was freezing cold.

Jeff was the one who led her to the water, and she went right in with no hesitation. I've never seen a kid do that. She stayed long enough to jump some waves with me (note my hands around her middle in two of the photos) which she enjoyed very much. She actually smiled quite a bit in those few minutes, but... film being what it is...

I think she'll be a water baby like me. I mean like you. I mean like your mom. :) Natural genetic instinct, I guess.

Heidi said...

Regardless of what the photos were "imprinted" by, they still turned out fun. :)

Anonymous said...

Yay!! A new blog!! Looks like you had a fun fun time!