Sunday, June 5, 2011

Fish Out of Water Rule #7 Part One: Don't Leave Home Without Earplugs!

I always try to be prepared when packing for a trip. After all I was a good Girl Scout. But after quite a few years of traveling, I never thought to pack something that should have been indispensable — earplugs!  This is especially surprising when you consider I’m a light sleeper.  Sleep is virtually impossible for me when I travel because I’m so excited to discover new places. I never think to take earplugs. This changed after two memorable trips.

The first was my dream honeymoon to Tahiti.  In newlywed heaven I wasn’t particularly worried about packing much but several bikinis and a few tubes of suntan lotion.  I’d read up on the islands we were going to visit, Moorea, Bora Bora and Huahine, and practically drooled over the amazing photographs.  I looked forward to enjoying the incredible beaches, azure waters, and the beautiful tropical flowers and birds.

Our honeymoon turned out to be everything I’d ever dreamed of. On Moorea, we stayed in a wonderful over ocean bungalow. Nothing like jumping off your front porch and straight into the ocean. At night I loved dangling my feet in the water and letting the fish nibble at my toes. On Bora Bora, we luck out with a beachfront bungalow in a lovely bay. The turquoise water was our front yard for three wonderful days. Nothing like strolling out into the ocean and going for a swim in 80 degree water. We just had to keep an eye out for sharks who also liked to swim in the bay. Huahine, is actually two islands joined together by a sand bar and is quite remote. We could swim from our bungalow right out to several tiny private islands that lie in the bay. Just my husband, me and the palm trees. Sounds like complete paradise right? Not!

Every morning on the wonderful island of Huahine we were awoken at the crack of dawn by the islands natural alarm clock: ROOSTERS! Sleeping in for me was out. I yearned for a pair of much needed earplugs.

When my wonderful newlywed disposition quickly deteriorated my husband asked me, “Is the honeymoon over already?”

I looked at him as if he was from another planet. “What are you talking about?”

“Well, you’ve been a bit touchy lately.”

“Blame those darn roosters. They wake me up at sunrise every morning. You know how much I like to sleep late. Especially on vacation.”

He shrugged his well-tanned shoulders. “I think its kind of fun.”

“Fun? What’s fun about roosters holding a crowing competition outside my bedroom window at 6:00AM?”

He gave me one of his cute little boy smiles. “Just stuff some tissue in your ears and go back to sleep.”

This spoken by a guy who could sleep through earthquakes.  “If only it was that easy.” Grabbing a beach towel I said, “Come on, let’s go out and enjoy paradise.”

We had another amazing day of sun bathing and strolling along the white sand beach my mood had improved considerably. That night we dinned on a wonderful French meal and had chocolate mousse for dessert.  My heavenly honeymoon glow was returning. Then my husband presented me with a small box. “Here, something I think you’ll really like.”

Visions of a black Tahitian pearl ring I had admired popped into my head. I tore open the box and there sitting on a fluffy piece of cotton was something I had been dreaming about. A pair of bright pink earplugs.

I looked into my husband’s eyes and said, “I knew I married the right guy.”

Moral of the story, always follow Fish Out Of Water Rule #7, Don’t Leave Home Without Ear Plugs! Be sure to throw a pair of earplugs in your bag before you hop on the plane. Your travel companion will thank you.