This one is a long time coming. Just came across my journal from my week with Miles during freshman year spring break in ’22, so decided to post my entries from our adventures.
When we made our bookings, Covid was still rampant and a deterrent for many travels. While most see the Galapagos via a cruise, I worried about getting confined to a cabin if either of us fell ill, as well as the logistics if we needed hospitalization. Instead, we opted for land-based stay on the island of Santa Cruz, with daily cruises to other islands that our hotel, Semilla Verde, arranged.
Honestly, as an introvert worried about confinement with a group for several days, I was very happy with this plan. As a bonus, it was a much more affordable option as well. If money no object or if this is your trip of a lifetime adventure than definitely go for the National Geographic tour. For our purposes, we were VERY pleased with our lodging and tours.
I included the flight there on Jet Blue — a vastly different from the Singapore Suites experience a couple months later — as well as our first day in Guayaquil, so if you prefer only the Galapagos portion, skip to Monday, March 14.
Saturday, March 12, 2022, JFK to Guayaquil, Ecuador
Miles and I arrived to Ecuador close to midnight, several hours after our scheduled arrival. Our Jet Blue flight had sat at the gate at JFK for over four hours, initially due to an excess weight issue. They needed 25 volunteers to deplane, but only found 20, all who received a $1000 voucher for future travel plus a seat on a flight Sunday. But it wasn’t enough to lighten the load, so they next announced that they would be removing 130 pieces of checked bags to compensate for the weight. We squeezed everything into our carry-ons so no worries there. The family behind were VERY vocally worried — they all checked everything AND had a cruise the following day from the Galapagos so they had no idea if or when they might receive their luggage. (note: Honestly, padding a day before a cruise to allow for flight disruptions AND any jet lag is always a good idea.)
While time was spent coordinating the weight issue, a blizzard arrived… yay… so then we waited to be de-iced. Sigh. Our 3 pm flight finally took off around 7. Once the plane was up, we attempt to buy one of their boxed meals, but, “No ma’am… they were not loaded on this flight… here’s some cookies, chips, and a bottle of wine for your trouble!!” Another sigh… at least we had opted for lunch at the TWA Hotel prior to the flight.
After landing, we disembarked and made our way to immigration/customs, showed our vaccine info and were soon in a van to the Hilton Colon Guayaquil, only a 7 minute ride away. Dinner no longer an option, we opted for sleep.
Sunday, March 13, 2022, Guayaquil
Sunday morning we made our way to the executive lounge, signed in and made our plates of eggs and fruit. Coffee as well… college Miles now drinks coffee! We make plans for our day in Guayaquil… Iguana park by a church followed by a walk along the river. I apply massive amounts of sunscreen. Miles does not, assuring me that he is good, smiling while ignoring me drone on about the equatorial sun. The doorman procures a taxi and we head to Parque Seminario known for it’s plentitude of iguanas.
The taxi circles the park and then disembarks us nowhere near the entrance. We make our way back around to the other side, finding iguanas who are more entertaining than initially imagined, including several in the trees who drop pee and poop bombs all around us. We both laugh and photograph and film the gazillion mini-godzillas, making our way all around the park. Miles wants to see them all before we leave. I am in awe of him and his enthusiasm. I count my blessings and drink it all in.
After the park we check out the cathedral across the street. It is beautiful and serene: we are both respectful and absorb the peacefulness found inside. Afterwards we make our way towards the river and the park running alongside it. It is about a billion degrees out, sunny and oh so humid. There are lots of things to take in, mimes who make balloon things for kids and speak in balloon high pitched voices and the multitude of water vendors who sing a little ditty to entice buyers — “Aqua-wa-wa-wa-WA!”
After a way too long hot walk, we made our way to Las Penas, a historic pedestrian neighborhood which transverses up 440 steps to a lighthouse, church, and grand view. At 130 steps we were exhausted and way too hot for comfort. I spotted a bar nearby and suggested we stop but we were a bit worried that it looked empty. Plus we were both shy about speaking any Spanish. But the owner saw us look and immediately insisted we come over. We complied as we could see some shade. But decided to head inside the place — La Taberna, an appropriate name — no air-conditioning BUT nice and dark which helps provide the illusion of a cool respite. Soon enough we both had cold beers in our hand, refreshed and admiring the maximalist decor of the place: floor to ceiling covered with vintage photos, musical instruments, old cameras, and more. There was a lot to take in. A Spanish singer was croning away and the owner told us it was the Ecuadorian version of Elvis Presley. I am fully aware of how precious this moment is, with my son in this place at this time.
This moment like all wonderful moments eventually wears out its welcome and we move on, making our way upward in the shade as much as possible. At the top is the cutest yellow church and a turquoise and white striped lighthouse. Dear God, how is it possible to be this HOT?!! We need cold drinks asap. And probably lunch as it is now almost 2 pm. We make our way down. Well here is a welcoming cafe… let’s stop here! In we go, but it is about a million degrees and no spots on the balcony so we make our way up another floor. We order a beer and peruse the menu. The music is loud and awful. Also, it smells here. And… what is that?? A rat just darted behind a table behind us. Check please.
New plan — return to the hotel and dine there! We find a taxi — he is super speedy and gets us back in about 5 minutes. We sit down at the only restaurant in the Hilton that is open. Expensive fancy buffet lunch place, the kind I generally avoid. No matter… we are hungry and tired. As then as we are eating, surrounded by families donning their Sunday best, probably fresh from church, Miles suddenly lets out the deepest longest belch I’ve ever heard from anyone in public or actually anywhere for that matter. I am stunned into silence. Conversation around us has stopped. People are staring. Miles begins to laugh hysterically, like really hysterically like a crazy person might laugh, clearly he cannot believe how loud it was either. I say, “Oh. My. God.” He continues to laugh. I find it both hilarious and mortifying. This is life, sometimes we burp too loudly as it turns out… I let go of my inhibition and laugh along with him as well. Many, many apologies to those around us who found it disruptive… and possibly a bit disturbing.
We head back to our room. I get on my suit and head for the pool. Miles says he wants to nap in the room and I can’t convince him otherwise. The pool is lively and the sun is strong. I slather myself with sunscreen, put on some tunes, and drift in and out of sleep for a bit.
We reconvene in a couple hours, and get ready for dinner which we ask for advice from the concierge. He recommends a steak restaurant, El Corte, in Plaza Lagos about 15 minute drive from the hotel, a pretty gated community with shopping and restaurants… it sounds great… and safe, a concern in this city. Our taxi driver is no Sir Rapido, we get passed by everyone including delivery boys on scooters. But the restaurant is perfect and the area is safe and lovely with a little man-made lagoon. We both start with empanadas and a yummy chorizo and potato appetizer, then fabulous steaks with choice of side sauces — I pick chimichurri. Good wine list. Dinner is followed by a walk around the lagoon and community while we wait for our return taxi. And then bed, setting our alarms for an early breakfast before we head to the airport. Galapagos tomorrow!
Monday, March 14, 2022, Guayaquil to Isla Baltra and Santa Cruz Island
Our Uber to Guayaquil airport only takes 5 minutes! Jamie alerts me that there are several things we need to accomplish at airport that I was unaware of. Of course he would have researched it. Big oops on my part. But we quickly accomplish all the extra tasks — get bag tags printed out for our rollerboards which we think are not allowed on board, get a ticket for our vaccine requirements, purchase the $20 ticket necessary for visiting the Galapagos which I was not aware of, x-ray our bags for single use plastic items which are not allowed in the Galapagos, and then back to the LATAM check-in area with our now completed task list to check our bags which we later discover could have been carried onboard as we did on the return flight with no problem. At security, I panicked as I had forgotten to dump the water out of my water bottle — the guard shrugged and indicated that it was fine to go through with liquid. Interesting.
Our flight to Baltra is an easy 1.5 hour flight on Latam, row 1, on an A319. We are both super excited. Lunch served is a mediocre sandwich, chips, and cookies. When we land, it is a hard stop so Miles helps carry my bag down the steps. It is hot and dry. We make our way towards the terminal, not inciting the wrath of the airport employee who yells at the passengers not following the straight lines but cutting the path by making a diagonal move for the building. We see our bags but there are several signs noting to WAIT until the bags have been searched by the K9 unit. We wait and wait, no K9s in sight. Eventually everyone is done with waiting and we all make a move, freeing the bags from captivity.
Outside I look for my name among the drivers… no name BUT I find someone holding a sign from our hotel. He takes our bags, we board a bus — our driver, Paul, has already purchased our bus tickets, others need to go wait in line to purchase their $5 bus ticket to the port. It is a 5-10 minute ride to the port where we will board a boat for a quick 3 minute ride across a canal to Santa Cruz island. Sleepy sea lions provide entertainment for us while we wait to board.
Once we disembark at Santa Cruz, we climb into Paul’s white pick-up truck taxi. And we are off!! Zoom, zoom, zoom… Paul refuses to drive behind anyone and we pass each and every vehicle, be it a bus, truck, motorcycle or taxi. It is bumpy and beautiful, the green landscape flies by outside the windows — we are very happy with the ride but I’m certain others might feel differently.
Thirty minutes later we pull into a long driveway — we have arrived at Semilla Verde, our hotel home for the next 5 nights. It is simple but homey and beautiful. The manager greets us and gives us to lowdown on the resort, our rooms, our itinerary, etc. We also meet Saba, her friendly yellow lab who honestly displays a smile each and every time we see her. Lunch in the dining room alone consists of chicken, rice, and fried plantains. Delicious.
After lunch we explore the resort with Saba as our tour guide. She leads us to one Giant Tortoise after another along the path circumnavigating the property. We are delighted by each one, taking many photographs and videos to document our walk. Saba wades into a small pond to go inspect a lone duck. The duck is none too pleased by this invasion of her space, quacks angrily at Saba before flapping up and away.
We relax in our room and terrace before heading into Punta Ayora town late afternoon to explore and have dinner later that evening. Paul is once again our driver, zip and zoom and we arrive in town by a pier 15 minutes later. We walk down the pier, delighted to find sea lions napping everywhere, including on top of benches along the wooden structure. They are so silly, and a bit stinky, several showing signs of dreams as they twitch and snore. We love it all.
After leaving the pier, we find more sea lions along the water, as well as these small black lizards, looking like mini godzillas, which we learn are marine iguanas. They are EVERYWHERE, camouflaged slightly with the black lava rock lining the shore. One lone sea lion has us in stitches as he is trying to sleep but clearly has an itch or something bothering him so he cannot get comfortable, moving around and around trying to find a better position. The marine iguanas seem to be cuddling in groups but the more we watch them, we discover that some of them are spitting at others. It is all completely fascinating… I knew we would see wildlife but had no idea that it would be so rampant AND that the animals would not be nervous around humans. We can get so close to them and feel part of it all. It is absolutely amazing.
After a bit, we make our way further into the town on Avenue Charles Darwin which is basically one souvenir shop followed by a bar or restaurant for several blocks on end. We get in line at a bank a few blocks later to use the ATM. The ATM is in Spanish only so we do trial by error to eventually retrieve some cash from my account… I really should have taken Spanish instead of German in high school.
We continue on, checking on menus at restaurants to determine where to dine later. Eventually we reach the end of commerce, arriving a white cemetery across the street from an helados (ice-cream) shop. There is a lovely cafe called Art Coffee above the helados shop, with two windows with small balconies and tables. We make our way up the steps to the cafe — inside is a small space with art and an area for live music. We take the unoccupied table in the far balcony and order our drinks — passionfruit margarita for Miles, tequila and seltzer for me. The passionfruit drink is made from fresh juice and is both beautiful and delicious. We enjoy the drinks and conversation… the temperature is perfect, the light fading, and we are happy to be so far away from the world in the middle of nowhere with all the excitement of the week ahead of us. Art Coffee isn’t even marked on Google Maps but it was a wonderful little place. Do check it out if you find yourself in Santa Cruz. I did find them on instagram — @art_coffee_galapagos
Dinner is at Midori, a sushi restaurant on Avenue Charles Darwin with a lovely front garden with tables. We order, a tuna poke bowl and sake for me, steak and mojito for Miles. We notice a family of five — 2 children, a mom, dad, and grandfather — at a table near us has what appears to be a picture frame facing them at an empty seat. We cannot see what is in the frame but we are so curious what it could be. Eventually we decide that it must be a photo of the grandma who probably died recently so was unable to join them on their long-planned trip to the Galapagos. But wait, now the staff is at their table with cake and a birthday song for the dad. Our theory remains solid… clearly they have brought a photo of their dear grandmother to enjoy the trip and this birthday celebration. Dessert finishes and the dad and kids leave the table. The mom and grandfather remain, quiet, obviously taking it all in and missing their wife/mom who should have been with them on this monumental excursion. Finally they leave. We pat ourselves on the back for solving this mystery and being part of this shared moment in time. But wait… they forgot to take the picture frame with them! Oh no! Should we intervene??!! But now the staff is clearing the table, including the frame which we finally see as they carry it off to the kitchen… “Happy Birthday, Steve!” letter board frame. Oh. Wow. Oopsie poopsie. We are not the excellent sleuths we imagined ourselves to be. Luckily we were happily entertained and the food was good as well. I text Paul via WhatsApp and soon we are on our way back to the hotel and prepping our day-trip bags for the morning.
Tuesday, March 15, 2022 South Plaza Island
Up and at em. Our tour guides from the Sea Finch yacht will be picking us up at 8:30 am so we join the rest of the hotel guests in the dining room for a communal breakfast. Fruit, strong coffee, bread, and eggs which I requested over-easy but receive them fried through and through… no matter. It is protein and will keep us going strong this morning. We head out at 8:20, making our way to the bus stop outside the driveway along the road as instructed by our host who told us to be out there by 8:25. The bus should pick us up between 8:25 and 8:35. At 8:35 Miles is convinced we missed them. At 8:45 I start to worry as well. We have NO cell service to call and it is a 5 minute walk back to the hotel where we have wi-fi. What to do?? Miles suddenly has a bit of 3G so we call the tour company and get through. They say they will call the bus and find out. At 8:55 the bus finally pulls up. Hooray!
We climb aboard the fully occupied vehicle and immediately an 11 year old girl questions me as to whether we will join them snorkeling. “Absolutely!!” We find a couple empty seats as the bus heads towards the port where the Sea Finch yacht which will take us to South Plaza island. Steph, our lovely, young, and patient naturalist guide gives us all the low-down on what we will do and see today, including the possibility of swimming with sharks — the black-tip reef shark. But she assures us all that there is nothing to fear about this as they are “vegetarian” sharks — she admits her white lie to Miles and I later… one member of the group was completely terrified of sharks.
There are 16 of us in the tour group, 10 of them an extended family with 3 kids, and a group of 4 — 2 women, 2 kids traveling together for spring break. The extended family is loud, gregarious, friendly, and extremely high-maintenance, with nonstop questions and demands. We secretly refer to them as HM.
The yacht is nothing fancy but quite clean and spacious. We head out and the ride is smooth, sunny, and beautiful. We stop for snorkeling on our way to South Plaza island — several members of HM family have never snorkeled so Steph helped them ease into it in a very shallow lagoon before heading into deeper open water. Miles and I, the 2 mom/2 kid group, and Drew, a gregarious dad from HM quickly bored of the lagoon and we made our way out to see more in open water. Drew kept close to Miles to solicit advice from him in using his new GoPro… Miles was happy to provide him with tips. We saw a lot, including a ray, shark, and sea turtle. The water isn’t super clear but there are tons of fish to view. I’m very happy I ordered prescription lens snorkel masks for both of us — they worked SOooo very well. If you are interested, they are from the online shop — Get Wet Store — and delivery is within 1-4 days. I chose 1 day shipping and they shipped out within 1-2 hours from my order.
Lunch followed snorkeling. The tables in the dining room of yacht were covered in white tablecloths. Buffet included fish in a coconut sauce, rice, boiled potatoes, beans, broccoli and cauliflower. Actually very delicious! Miles would NOT even try the fish, though. Dessert a very dry cake according to others. We passed and headed to the upper deck for some time in sun before we arrived at South Plaza. Highly enjoyable BUT a big mistake as we discovered later that day when Miles skin turned a bright hot red anywhere sunscreen or clothing had not covered him. The intense equatorial sun is NO joke. A frigate bird positioned itself right above us and escorted us all the way to South Plaza.
South Plaza was a treat!! A large pod — is that the word? — of sea lions greeted us as we disembarked the dinghy. We all watched them for a bit as Steph told us about their culture. The alpha male —let’s call him Big Daddy — made a LOT of noise. We even got to see him in action when a shark appeared ready to dine on one of the youngsters — Big Daddy quickly dashed the shark’s hopes for an easy lunch.
After all the excitements with the sea lions, we started on our hike across the small arid island — what a change from the humid lush island of Santa Cruz! We saw iguanas and interesting white birds with red ringed eyes who nest on the ground. We also saw a blue-footed booby bird but it was too far away down a cliff to really get a good look at it. Members of the HM family were too hot to continue on so they made their way back to the dinghy but Steph stayed with the rest of us as we slowly made our return, taking in all the amazing flora and fauna. We came across a lone sea lion injured by one of those “vegetarian” sharks. VERY sad to witness though the injuries did not appear to be life-threatening.
We returned to Santa Cruz and met Nick… or was it Rick?, let’s just call him NRick… on the pier. He explained to us that the hotel manager had to return to mainland Ecuador due to a death in the family so he was taking over her responsibilities as a courtesy to the owner, a good friend of his. Aussie NRick was a wealth of information on the Galapagos — both its culture and history —over the next few days. Apparently no one really lived on Santa Cruz island until the 1940s when several German families left their country to get away from the war. Even our tour guide Steph was a descendant from one of the families — her grandparents emigrated from Munich in 1951.
Poor Miles, dinner was fish again. I let NRick know that he did not really eat fish, much to Miles dismay — he prefers to not make waves. But there was plenty of potatoes, rice, and dessert for him to enjoy and going forward there was no fish on the menu for him at hotel.
Poor Miles AGAIN due to extreme sunburn on arms, back of knees and on back where the sunscreen didn’t fully cover his pale skin. The staff was wonderful about getting him cold aloe vera gel to help soothe it. That plus advil, cortisone, and aquaphor saved his night of sleep. That pesky equatorial sun… maybe mom does know a thing or two after all.
Wednesday, March 16, 2022 North Seymour Island
Another cruise today… this one to North Seymour island. And a different company —Santa Fe yacht — which we will soon discover is not nearly as nice as the Sea Finch in terms of boat size, amenities, lunch, and guides.
While waiting for the bus to arrive, I found a giant tortoise waiting directly under hanging bananas at the resort… appeared he was using his mind-power to will them down for his breakfast. The bus arrived and we joined the group and headed towards the port.
Once on the yacht, Miles and I stayed indoors for the cruise to the first stop on North Seymour — we were NOT going to mess around with the sun today. We also brought an umbrella for the hike as well as better sunscreen coverage. The sun intensity here is NO joke.
North Seymour was amazing. Another arid island this one filled with Frigate birds, Magnificent Frigate birds, Blue-Footed Booby birds, iguanas, and more. Birds were nesting in trees, on the ground, flying overhead… it was a different world and felt Jurassic Parkesque. Steph from yesterday told us that several Blue-Footed Booby nests should be hatching soon, and she was right… we were lucky to see one baby up close. Proud but rather moronic-looking Papa was guarding the baby AND also another egg, one blue foot on each of them. I could not get over, yet again, how unafraid the wildlife is of all the humans surrounding them. It is absolutely incredibly how much one can observe up close and without the aid of telescoping lenses!
Snorkeling was the next stop and this time we were snorkeling with sea lions! Miles got some great footage on the GoPro but then he free-dived (dove?) to see a ray and something happened with one of his ears causing him immense pain so he returned to the boat. The pain did subside fairly quickly but he was too nervous to do anymore diving the rest of the week. I continued to snorkel for another 30 minutes — our group separated quite a bit so I felt a bit nervous when I was by myself and came across a large male sea lion, but luckily all was fine.
Lunch consisted of fish, rice, potatoes, and vegetables. This fish was unfortunately fishy-tasting so I actually didn’t eat much of it. And of course Miles avoided it altogether. All told, our time on the Santa Fe tour was a totally different experience from the Sea Finch yacht, even though the wildlife sightings were spectacular.
Back at the resort, after showers, we relaxed. I procured a chilled glass of white wine from my purchased bottle in the kitchen downstairs and sat on our terrace. Soon our neighbors came outside, and wine was flowing on their half of the terrace as well. We ended up chatting together, Miles came out and joined in as well. Nice couple from Newbury Park, CA, and their friend Flo from Baltimore who was in a single in the other building at the resort. We had fun discussing travel — Flo has been to over 60 countries so she is truly quite the traveler. I ended up counting my countries and only came up with 47 — but we keep going back to the same places!! So now I want to increase that number! South Africa and Morocco this year will help.
We sat next to our new friends — whose names I cannot remember EXCEPT for Flo — at dinner and discussed more travel stories. They were impressed by the number of times Miles has been to Bali — 8 at this count. Dinner tonight was lasagna — everyone was thrilled! Sleep came easily and well.
Thursday, March 17, 2022 Santa Cruz Highlands
Today we will not be taking a boat. Instead we spend the morning on a tour of Santa Cruz highlands to see the forest, craters, and giant tortoises. Our naturalist guide was Peter with the always excellent driver Paul getting us where we needed to go.
First stop was to do a hike through the forest. Peter told us about all the different Galapagos finches and then made a lot of bird calls for us to see the different ones. We found it a bit funny when we discussed later as we were not his ideal audience appreciative of the variety of finches found there. But we still highly enjoyed the hike. The craters were immense and interesting to see.
Our second stop was El Chato Ranch, a reserve where guests can visit to see many giant tortoises and explore inside lava tunnels. Highlight was watching a tortoise eat a guava and later seeing him hiss at some other tourists coming near him. The lava tunnel was interesting and yet thankfully short as I never really enjoy going into caves.
We had a free afternoon so following lunch at Semilla Verde, we relaxed and later ventured into town to explore, buy some souvenirs, a rash guard and sunscreen for Miles, and then dinner. We found some great items at the excellent boutique, Darwin and Wolf — kind of pricey but good quality and nice designs. Sort of wish I had bought some more shirts or rash guards from them now. Miles got a rash guard and swimming trunks — his old Vineyard Vines trunks were from at least 8th grade lol! The new ones were a much better look for him.
Dinner was at Bahia Mare on the water. My fish was great but Miles’ order of medium rare steak was well-done. Our first night’s cocktail and dinner surpassed this evenings fare. Still the company was great and the view nice. We walked to the pier which seems to be the best place to find a taxi… it took a few minutes to find one but we were happy the driver seemed to know our hotel. Soon we were back at Semilla Verde and cozy in bed.
Friday, March 18, 2022 Bartolome Island
Our final full day in the Galapagos. Both of us felt a little sad about this. The week was full, we did and saw a lot, but it went by too quickly as well! Today we were going out on the Sea Finch yacht again… yay! This time to Bartolome island with an early pick-up time of 7:20 am. We were told to wait on the road once again, at the bus stop and as we were walking down the driveway, a bus pulled in and passed us. We continued to the bus stop but soon the bus came back out and asked our names. It was the Sea Finch lol. This time a family of four from Semilla Verde was also on board — they were from NYC. Three friendly 20-something men from Florida but Ecuadorian lineage, rounded out our group.
Once on board the yacht and Miles and I headed to the upper deck. Miles was safely covered with a rashguard and a new floppy large hat, plus a towel to cover his legs. The cruise to the first stop was almost two hours. The sun was high and the skies a gorgeous blue. Miles napped. I considered it but there was just too much to see. I put on my excellent Spotify playlist “If we don’t have it, you don’t need it” and enjoyed the ride, watching groups of small birds who skimmed the water, then floated on top or a bit before taking off again. Skimming, floating, soaring. No idea what they were, never seen any like that. Ok, so just writing this made me curious, so I looked them up. They are called Galapagos Petrel, small black and white birds which glide over the open seas, feeding on squid, fish, and crustaceans along the way. Endangered. I feel grateful and blessed to have seen them in action.
Our first stop included a dinghy ride to a black volcanic island with little to no flora. We climbed the extensive staircase up, up, up the side of the volcano. Hot, extremely dry, steep, with no shade in sight. Amazing how much the environments change from island to island here, Santa Cruz so tropical and humid compared to this volcanic island. Gorgeous views of the surrounding islands greeted us at the peak.
Back on the dinghy, we headed along the edge of rocky Bortolome, rounding it and eventually spotting two penguins. Yay!! Never seen a penguin in the wild. Soooooo amazing, soooo cute!! Our captain turned the dinghy around so the other side of the boat — us — could get a closer look AND unimpeded views for photos. We continued on and stopped for our snorkeling outing. I stuck close to Miles as he is quite adept at finding wildlife. He did not disappoint — we came across sea lions, penguins, sharks, rays, and more. The second sighting of penguins was amazing… five penguins swimming, or rather flying through the sea. I tried to keep up with them — body don’t fail me now! — and actually stayed with them quite awhile, until I lost them near the shore. So exhilarating!! Worth the entire trip and more to see and swim with them and my baby boy. Something I’ll never EVER forget.
After our epic snorkel adventure, we all climbed back on board and sat down to another fantastic lunch by the Sea Finch crew. This time it is chicken — Miles was thrilled. Rice, potatoes, and veggies as per usual. Passionfruit or blackberry juice. Both yum. And an apple cake which I passed on for no other reason than to save some caloric intake for wine in the evening. Following lunch we all headed to the front of the boat to soak in the views and rays and catch some z’s as well. This time with hats and rash guards. Life at the moment is quite good… and beautiful… never ever take these moments for granted. Take it all in and practice some gratitude.
Back to Santa Cruz, the bus, and the resort. We showered and organized for our departure in the morning. Before dinner, we were presented the most beautiful sunset of the week. Our neighbors had checked out so we enjoyed photographing and videotaping the spectacle from their side of the terrace. One truly transcendental day.
Dinner… hmm… I cannot remember… I shall see if I photographed it. Nope. Oh well! No matter. We did each drink a glass of wine, and now I remember I failed to toast to our extraordinary week together.