Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The Surprising Surprise Party

It was official. I was old. But I'd have to dwell on that later. Somewhere in Hvar was a boat waiting to be captained. By me. 

We set out to find our boat and I was so excited I could barely contain it. I was equally as nervous, so it was a tad conflicting. 

The sea was looking a bit on the rough side...extra chop. But I was getting ahead of myself. Would they even let me drive a boat? It was my birthday after all...

We located a stand and inquired about renting a boat, using a buttery sweet voice; whilst trying to pull off the confident captain look (whatever that means). 

The stand guy looked at us, then at the choppy ass sea, then at us again. 

"Let me talk to my boss."

It wasn't looking good.

He returned to us a few minutes later.

"Ok, it's okay. You drive the boat, but I give you lesson first."

Thought #1:
WHEW! They were actually going to let me do it! 

Thought #2: 
SHIT! They're actually going to let me do it!

"My mom said to say three Hail Mary's before we leave the dock" KJ shared. 

So we did.

And we were off. Sort of. First came the quick lesson, literally. He showed me what was what, and had me drive us in a circle around an anchored boat that I was sure I'd damage. Somehow I didn't. I blinked and the guy was hopping off the boat...and we were on our own. Well crap. 

We rocked aggressively back and forth. The wind blew and the whitecaps were persistent.

"Let's do this thing then." I said as I grabbed the motor. 

I turned the gas delicately so as to not vault us across the sea. Turns out I needn't worry about taking off at a breakneck velocity, seeing as the fastest our vessel would go was a crawling speed at best. I prayed we needn’t hit the gas to get out of the way of any large boats later on. 

About 892643982734 minutes later, we puttered into a calmer cove. 

"This looks good." We agreed. 

We just needed to anchor up and then we could relax! We could swim in the sea! Bask in the sun! Eat snacks whilst perched upon the bow!

The "I can't believe they let us drive a boat" selfie.
So, with lovely promises of the glories of boating ahead, we dropped the anchor. But it wouldn't catch. I maneuvered the boat around a bit, pretending I knew what I was doing. 

It finally caught. We were anchored. Boy, were we.

But we didn't know that yet. So we relaxed, we swam in the sea, we snacked on the bow. 

I jumped off the boat into the glorious looking water, only after realizing the boat sides were a bit higher up than I had anticipated. 

Getting back in was, I’m sure, an extremely entertaining sight to watch. And as there were loads of boats bobbing in the bay, I had a multitude of viewers. I hauled myself half-way up; slithering and flopping into the boat much like a wet seal.

Sometime later we reckoned it might be time to check out another spot, seeing as we had the whole day to play captain.

So we pulled the anchor up. Sorry, attempted to pull the anchor up. But that shit was stuck. Gorilla glue stuck. KJ and I pulled with all our might. Shockingly, despite our large muscles, it didn’t budge. Nor did it move 287346823 attempts later.

Just then our boat’s twin trolled slowly by with two guys aboard who looked like they might speak English.

I took my chances, “HEY. Do you guys know what you’re doing?” I yell inquired through the wind, which was probably highly unnecessary seeing as they were mere feet from us.

“No!” erupted from the twin boat in a Scottish accent.

“Oh, we’re stuck!”

“Pull the anchor up.” Scot #1 so cleverly suggested.

Scot #2 shrugged his shoulders in response.

“We tried. It’s stuck on something.” We said. (obviously).

They pulled up rather close and dropped their anchor. Well at least now we had company.

We chatted with the Scots for a few when I realized they were drifting just a tad and by a tad I mean around our boat, seemingly several times given that our anchor ropes were now twisted around each other like a pretzel.

“Well now we’ve done it.”

It was amusing watching them try to untangle our lines, all while slightly alarming seeing as none of us had a clue as to what to do to free ourselves.

Then, quite possibly just to avoid being boating friends with us any longer, Scot #1 de-shirted and dove into the sparkling turquoise blue water.

“Do you think he’ll free ours while he’s down there?” I inquired to Scot #2.

He shrugged per usual. Classic Scot #2.

Scot #1 resurfaced, claiming he freed an anchor. But which one? No one knew, so we pulled on our rope. 


“You freed us! Thank you!” And with our newly found freedom we sputtered away waving to our Scottish heros.

The rest of my captaining career was riddled with anchoring fails, beautiful scenery, and wind, lots of wind. Captaining was as thrilling as it was exhausting.

KJ and I agreed to call it a day and I put in for an early retirement. At least from the Adriatic Sea. Plus, we had a celebration to get ready for.

Birthday plan:
Part 1- join an organized bar crawl
Part 2- ditch the bar crawl if everyone looked 18 years old at the meetup spot.
Part 3- if said ditching occurs, go to a bar where we spotted gigantic drinks with huge sparklers coming out of them the previous night.

With a solid plan in place we primped.

It was the moment of truth. We arrived at the bar crawl meetup spot, looking around creepily so as to not make ourselves known. Just. Act. Casual.

When the large group of rambunctious 18-20 year olds arrived we took our cue to walk away, casually of course. We were never going to be part of the bar crawl, nooo, we were just loitering for fun.

“Now I feel really old.” I sulked.

“Let’s go get one of those giant sparkly drinks.” KJ answered.

“You always know just what to say.” I perked up.

With that we made our way over to the big sparkly drink bar and found a packed outdoor patio with no free tables.

“There’s two seats at the end of that table over there,” the waiter overheard us say. He promptly took it upon himself to get us those seats.

“I will ask them for you” he explained.

“No, no really, it’s ok, we can--“ KJ and I chorused.

But he was already over there, asking away. He returned a millisecond later with great news. The table with the two guys would have us as tablemates, no problem.

First things first, I had to pee like a racehorse.

“I’ll order drinks.” KJ said.

I met her at the now communal table, where our tablemates, P & L, awaited us.

“Thank you for letting us share your table!”

“No problem.” They said.

But what they didn’t know is what they had gotten themselves into. Because just seconds later a ginormous carafe of drink with fireworks spurting out of it and our chivalrous waiter belting the lyrics to 'Happy Birthday' arrived at our shared table.

I looked at KJ in surprise.
P & L looked at me in surprise.
KJ looked at all of us, laughing.

When the singing was done, the sparkler raged on and the waiter came in for the perfunctory double cheek kiss, and it was at that exact moment that KJ snapped the only picture of the production. 

Although it does in fact appear that the waiter and I shared a magical kiss, resulting in fireworks, it is in fact not true. Sorry to disappoint.

As the sparkles fizzled and the rest of the bar patrons went about their regularly scheduled programming, I turned my attention back to KJ who couldn’t contain her laughter.

“I ordered it when you were in the bathroom!” KJ revealed.

“It’s your birthday?” P & L asked simultaneously with smirks decorating their faces.

“Glad you could make it to my birthday party.” 

The drink was delicious. The company was fun, chatty, and best of all, didn’t smoke; a rarity around these parts.

“Bet you didn’t know you’d be attending a surprise birthday party tonight.” I stated as the waiter brought out complimentary bday shots.

“It was definitely a surprise” P agreed.

I was sure they were sick of our birthday shenanigans and would peace out after a drink or two, but two drinks turned into more and then a group of bar crawl peeps strolled in. They looked familiar. It was the crawling youngins we abandoned just a few hours earlier! Which had clearly turned out to be the right choice.

“That could’ve been us!” we discussed.

We learned about P & L, and their three week holiday via camper van. They’d be heading back to Switzerland later that week.

We had in depth conversations:

“What do you guys eat in the camper van?”

“For breakfast I like to eat Smacks.”

“The cereal with the frog on it?”

“Yeah it’s very good.”

Every once in a while they’d switch to German. KJ felt left out so she inserted “Neine” every so often. That made them laugh.

The waiter brought out more shots and we were in fact, kind of drunk. But it was my birthday, so it was okay, I rationalized. What wouldn’t be okay was the massive hangover I was bound to have the next day when we needed to travel to Split via Ferry. But I’d think about that later.

As we wrapped up the night and said farewells to the birthday party guests, I felt relieved that my birthday was over.

“That was a fun surprise party.” I concluded.

“Yeah you should’ve checked off 'go skinny dipping somewhere foreign,' It would’ve been the perfect opportunity!”

“Well shit KJ, I should have. When you’re right, you’re right.”

Birthday beer ponderings