Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Playing Hide-and-Seek in San Pedro

We stand and watch as the water taxi glides away. We missed it by mere minutes. Now we must wait an hour-and-a-half for the next taxi. 

We settle down under a palm tree on the beach and put things into perceptive. 

An hour-and-a-half sitting on a beach beats an hour-and-a-half in a cubicle any day. 

We people watch, stare at the water, and Shannon does a little artwork.

"Hi, what's your name?" asks the pint sized girl who appears before us. "My name's Gabby." 

We exchange a few more words, Gabby skips away, then returns with one of the most adorable little boys I have ever seen. Gabby introduces the boy as her brother. I very much regret never asking him his name, so hence forth he will be known as Gabby's brother. 

"Let's play," exclaims Gabby, "let's play hide-and-seek." I look at Shannon and shrug. I stand up, brushing the sand off of my pants. Shannon follows. Gabby is the activities director. She decides we should play boys against girls. The boys hide first and the girls search, then we switch, then we do it all over again. 

There aren't a lot of places to hide on the beach. Fortunately Gabby and her brother aren't competitive. It's more about being silly, and having fun. 

Next they want us to swing them around. After a few swings, they deem me a bad swinger, so Shannon becomes the main swing guy. 

When Shannon's arms get tired, they want to try on our sunglasses. It's too hard to say no to their cute little faces.

They offer us some of their snack, plums covered in chili powder. We politely decline. Sticky hands, sand, and a soon to catch water taxi do not go together, otherwise, I probably would have tried one. 

The time passes quickly, and it's finally time to go. We say good-bye, turn away, and make our way towards the taxi dock.

"Wait, wait," yells Gabby. We turn. She blows us kisses. Gabby's brother copies his sister's movements. My heart melts. "Good-bye!" They wave furiously, then skip off down the beach. 

Now I'd like to think that we were special, but I have a feeling Gabby and Gabby's brother frequently coerce visitors into playing on the beach. And just in case you were feeling concerned, though Gabby's mother never interacted with us, she kept a close eye on the playful duo.

It's fun to plan adventurous activities like ziplining and cavetubing, but there is something equally special about the little, unexpected, unplanned moments, like playing hide-and-seek on the beach with Gabby and her brother. No matter what adventures we have in the future, that hour-and-a-half will always hold a special place in our hearts. 

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