One of our fellow travelers is an avid hiker on the Appalachian trail. He explained that as he plans his hiking trips, he allocates the number of miles to travel according to the terrain. An uphill climb may limit him to eight miles, a flatter spot may raise his goal to twelve. Hiking the trail carrying your bedding and food is hard work. Every so often he adds a zero day to the hiking plan. No miles are to be hiked that day. Time to rest those aching muscles and smell the flowers. Every trip needs at least one zero day. Today was ours.
I never met a beach I didn't like. We have spent a lot of time on this trip along the coast, but the pace has been so frenetic, I haven't been in the water or gotten sand between my toes nearly enough. Our campground is right on the gulf and no one is on the beach, but us. Since nothing was planned for today, I had the opportunity to sit under the palapa with my Ipod, listen to "This American Life" and watch the waves. For Ken ten minutes at the beach generally will suffice, so he could leave when he had enough sun, sand, and waves, and finish the video of this trip that he has made to share with our fellow travelers.
We have enjoyed many dinners together as a group, but there was something special about the meal we had today at our campground's new restaurant. It was so new the sign painter was still applying its name as we walked into the place. The owner and his staff buzzed around, casting anxious looks at us as we began to taste what they had prepared for us. It was food obviously cooked with love and care and we gave them an ovation as we struggled to rise from our chairs at the end of a delicious feast of local dishes, not foods prepared with an American tourist in mind..
A zero day. A perfect day.