Saturday, October 8, 2011

One Year On

Home, sweet home.
Can it be true?  The Papillon crew has been living aboard for one full year.  And no one has murdered anyone else!  We've done so many things and visited so many places, it is hard even to remember those early days: adjusting to 15.5 square feet of floor space down from 2,000; running young Indy down the dock to the loo as we fought to free ourselves from diapers; learning to hear small noises and react to them immediately.  Where did the time go?

I refuse to let this post become a sappy reminiscence - well, okay, I’m likely temperamentally incapable of it - but I think I can manage a brief recap without going all gooey, don’t you?

Some Lessons I’ve Learned From A Year Aboard
  • Once you reach the tropics, you cannot buy any food product packaged in cardboard.  No, really.  Don’t do it.
  • Modesty and hot weather are almost wholly incompatible.
  • If you give them the chance, people are delightfully nice anywhere you go, up to and including riot police waving and blowing kisses to our grinning girls in Cartagena.
  • Markers are just as bad an idea with the under-6 set on a boat as they are in a house.
Nicest surprise 
  • Guatemala.  We almost didn’t go, and I’m so glad we did.
Biggest regret
  • Not getting a photo of the world's best perfume box.  This gem was sitting in a corner store display case in Guanaja: an oversized box with a dreamy, 70s-style airbrushed photo of a woman in purples and blues, and the words JUICE OF LOVE flowing across the front.  I curse leaving my camera behind that day.  Google Images was no help, so it looks like this bit of excellence will remain hidden from the world a while longer.
    Papillon Trivia

    • We have travelled more than 6,000 km so far, visiting the USA, Bahamas, Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and Colombia.
    • The Best Visitor Award goes to my mother, bunny9, who as of Monday will have visited Papillon a record four times.
    • Indy has named her feet.  Formerly Bagel and English Muffin, they are both now named Rubber Biscuit.  I swear she came up with this on her own.  She has reluctantly allowed us to distinguish them, but I remain glad for the language barrier here when I say, “Indy, give me your starboard rubber biscuit.”  I am considering producing a translation guide for future teachers. 
    I am a red race-car-loving, loud-opinion-having, literal-minded original.
    • Erik sunburns faster and more regularly than anyone else on board. [insert joke about Erik’s hot temper here.]

    I can fix anything and my head makes an excellent pillow.
    • Stylish likes to deliver notes via Zhu Zhu pet.  She ties paper and pencil to the back of these hamster-like electronic pets using an endless supply of purple wool (provenance unknown).  I’ll hear whirring gears and frantic animal sounds , then feel the thing bounce off my foot.  Replies are expected to be returned in the same manner.

    I am a book-reading, princess-drawing, mermaid-aspiring delight.
    • Despite your kind words, I am singularly unfunny.  Your correspondent is the straight man in this operation, a dour, suspicious personage better suited to a drizzly moor than a palm-laden isle.

    I am a crabby person who likes to write.  And yes, that is a cut on my hand.

    I’d go on, but I am making pizza dough and the timer is about to go off.  Later, maybe we’ll kick back, have a beer, and peer at the USS Spruance anchored off to port.  Nothing says happy anniversary like a guided missile destroyer parked next door.

    All the best to you all on this fine occasion!  I hope you'll join us to see what Year Two will bring.


    Anonymous said...

    Happy Anniversary Amy, Erik and Girls
    Please don't ever give up on the writing. We look forward to all your adventures with great expectations. PS. Happy Thanksgiving too.

    Ruth and Carl

    Tamara said...

    I can't believe that it's been a year. I never miss a post. Your adventures and stories are inspiring, scary, incredible, generous, and always entertaining.

    I'm so grateful to you for sharing so openly!

    Anonymous said...

    I can't wait!