Tropical Ski Area

It sorta confused me to find out that the Olympics were being held in Sochi, a city that Wikipedia says is a “subtropical resort town” – it even has palm trees. How can you have the Olympics at a sub-tropical resort?

But then, given the weather we’ve been having lately – RAIN? in the Wasatch Mountains in FEBRUARY? 50 Fahrenheit?– I’m starting to think that maybe Park City is the new “sub-tropical”.

Still, that didn’t prepare me for the juxtaposition of Tom Hanks’ “Cast Away” on the big screen with a snow-covered hill behind it, during my morning bike ride.

snowcastI was only going to do about 45 minutes on the bike, but right around minute 43, Tom knocked out his own tooth with an ice skate, so, if he can do that, I can do another fifteen minutes.

Okay, I know that living on a desert island is no fun – that Tom’s tooth troubles would only be a small part of the various hardships that one would have to go through. Still, dadgummit, I have to admit that it seems like – once you got past the initial transitions and adjustments – that it sure would be nice to not have anything to do but sit on the beach and eat coconuts and nap.

Every now and then, vary the diet with fish or crab.

Watching this movie, it sort of rekindled the desire for us to have a beach place – either Hawaii or San Jose Del Cabo, or maybe Isla Mujeres – warm and tropical. I’m not the SCUBA enthusiast that Ethel is, so it doesn’t matter that much to me if there is good diving nearby; I like snorkeling or diving under the sea and staring at the funny critters as much as most folks, but there’s an upper limit to that; a point of diminishing returns.

But I’m not sure, right now, that there is a point of diminishing returns on beach naps. Under the palm trees.

This has, no doubt, much to do with my current levels of fatigue and stress; I’m six months into my new job, and this is the steepest learning curve I’ve ever heard of. The last year has been stressful enough, but I’ve also been trying to train for a half-Ironman that will take place in three more months. My general health and fitness are at their lowest levels in years, and right now the skiing is poor.

It’s strange – I was never a beach person, until our first trip to Hawaii back in 2002. After that I could still take it or leave it, but we then went back to Hawaii in 2009, and since then we’ve made three extended trips to Mexican beaches – two to Isla Mujeres, one to San Jose del Cabo – and I find that the idea itself has grown on me. And although the ancillary themes play well – local foods, the aforementioned snorkeling and SCUBA, surfing, cultural activities – at the center of it all is the joy and draw of just plain laziness. Laying on the beach with nothing to do.

Right now – at this very moment, while I’m trying to get an extended test case to run and hitting blockers in all directions – right now, if Ethel walked in and said “We’re selling it all and moving to a small beach house in a third-world country” it wouldn’t take me more than ten minutes to pack up my Nelson DeMille novels and running shorts.

But she’s not going to do that. So, now that that run has finished (Error – verify failed) I reckon I’ll get back to work.

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