Sad, but not tragic. A forced opportunity. Maybe even a fortunate adaptation…fuck it. Let's make taco salad.

The Best Day Ever [Croatia]

Dear Mom,

Today was the best day ever and I just had to write and tell you all about it.  Yesterday, I rented a car in Ljubljana and drove down to the coast of the Adriatic Sea in Croatia.  After spending the night on Rab Island and wandering through the old Roman encampment there, I drove south along the shore and caught another ferry to Pag Island.  Where I stood on the pier talking to myself out loud.  “Fuck.  Holy fuck!”  Amazing is not even close to the right word to describe what I am seeing.  Island hopping is going to become a new hobby…after I acquire a boat.

The sea is so clear that you lose all sense of depth.  And so warm that you could stay forever.  I drove my sweet Renault right up to the edge and stepped out into the water and just stood for what seemed like an hour trying to let my mind catch up with my eyes.  (I don’t think they ever did.)  Of all the unfathomable places I have seen in the past 18 months, this one is without peer.  The Romans had it right:  this is paradise.  “Holy fucking shit!”  (Sorry Mom, but even you might be tempted…)

After racing across Pag, I made a quick stop in Zadar, which has another incredible ancient Roman inner city.  They also have a beautiful pier with a “sea organ,” a set of holes in the concrete pier that play notes in harmony as the sea comes in and out.  Mesmerizing.

After Zadar, I drove further south to Split where I met up with my good friend Bostian whom I spent time with last year in Patagonia, Mendoza, and Uruguay.  We had a very romantic dinner at a sea front restaurant and then he and I took a stroll through yet one more old city.

“Wow, that’s kind of nice.  We should take a picture.”

“I suppose so.”

(The next day we discovered it was a Diocletian palace from 235 AD.  This is the risk/reward of traveling without a guidebook.  “Okay, I’m here.  Why am I here?”)

My brain is so hyper-caffinated from what I saw and experienced today that I can’t get to sleep.  So I wanted to write you a quick note.

Dear Mom,

I was mistaken.  Today is the greatest day I have ever known.  Bostian and I made friends at breakfast and invited them to come along with us in the sweet Renault to Hvar Island.  We stopped in a beautiful little port town called Stari Grad for lunch. (I assure you that nothing is more romantic than a ham & cheese sandwich with your feet dangling in the Adriatic.)  Then we drove across the island toward Hvar Town where we found a locals-only beach.

I do believe this is the first time I have ever been to a nude beach where there are people there who actually should be nude.  There was also a 300 pound woman with only one breast.  Distracting.

We stopped for a quick swim and 8 hours later we were still there; we couldn’t bear to leave.  Hours and hours of silence, broken by the occasional, “I don’t think I’m supposed to be here.  Am I really here?”  After watching the sun set over the sea, we finally wandered into town.

The girls had a reservation at the most gorgeous hostel the world has ever known, so we went with them.  We have a fucking jacuzzi in our room.  Which Bostian promptly jumped into and it exploded like a stage prop.  Oops.

We had another incredible seafood dinner near the pier and now I am again buzzing from the wonder of the day instead of sleeping.  So I thought I’d write you a quick note.

Dear Mom,

I know I’ve said this before, but this time I really really mean it:  TODAY was absolutely the best day ever.  I got up early and told the hostel owner, “I think I need a boat.”

He said, “Yes.  I have boat for you.”

Well, that was easy.

When everyone else got up, I told them about my brilliant plan and soon others were on board as well.  By the time we left, there were 9 people.  We rented two small boats in the harbor and set out for the chain of small islands just off the coast of Hvar.

There are places you can visit that immediately cause you to begin re-crafting your life script.  This is one of those places.

We swam, we splashed, we giggled.  We cruised to the next island and did it again.

“This project may require a bigger boat,” I kept saying to myself.

On our third stop, we were approached by a tiny inflatable boat carrying six rather large men all wearing matching baby blue polo shirts.  Suspicious.  We passed them the bottle of rakia anyway. (We had begun drinking straight out of the bottle at 10 am…Yes, Mom, I know.  A bit aggressive.)  At which point we discovered they were Slovenians and were the crew of a large sailboat with a near endless supply of booze and a bangin’ stereo where we danced and sang and partied for the next 4 hours.  (God bless the Slovenians.)

Somehow, we made our way back to the harbor.  I am still a bit confused as to how that happened.  After cleaning up in the hostel, we stumbled into town for dinner, more drinks, more dancing, and more Slovenians.  Actually, the same Slovenians in the same ridiculous baby blue matching polo shirts, but now bearing champagne and walking a little sideways.

Speaking of walking sideways, I did have a bit of a car accident on the way home, but you shouldn’t worry.  The car was parked.  And then I ran right into it and fell over backwards.  No damage.  To the car, anyway.  There was also the diving-on-my-face-incident in the central plaza, the near-death experience on the sea wall, and the little trip down the stairs of the hostel, but these are all things that will heal with time.  (My face isn’t nearly as black and blue today as it was yesterday, even.)  The point is that the islands of Croatia are exceptional and you really must see them.  Just, maybe, stay away from the rakia.  Or avoid Slovenians in matching polo shirts.

3 Responses to “The Best Day Ever [Croatia]”

  1. Stu!! says:

    Yayayayaya!!! Also filed under ” the best day ever” in my books. I’m dying to see all the pictures so I can re-live this day. Or perhaps discouver new parts I don’t remember.

    Today is the greatest….

  2. JimK says:

    santa is clearly following you

  3. Dayna says:

    This cracked me up, I showed it to Kurt and we busted up laughing. We get to Croatia in two weeks!

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