Early Christmas card from the Balynker-Glooms

Perfect form!
Originally uploaded by shorterstory.

Hi Everyone! Happy It’s-Virtually-Christmas!

Day by day, sunlight recedes, flowers droop, tans fade, and hurricanes gear up to wallop our fair cities. Last year at this time the RNC introduced Sarah Palin and the NYT introduced Unigo! (Now that we all have some perspective, the question to ask is, Which flopped harder?)

I always get down in the dumps in September, but the fact that this summer was disappointingly unsweaty makes me even more morose.

To mark and improve these waning days, some of us decamped to Splish Splash, the water park of kings. The journey was not for the faint of heart: we had to travel into the depths of Long Island via a subway, two trains, and a shuttle bus. Ultimately, though, we arrived at a haven as splish-splashy as promised, and as removed from our daily lives as we could hope.

Even that, as it turned out, was a mere teaser for Mr. Ben’s and my more extended vacation in glorious Costa Rica.

We took a puddle-jumper from San Jose to the remote Oso Pennisula, where we stayed in a hacienda owned by a family friend. He visits his mountain-top paradise four or five times a year, usually with as many guests as he can entice to join him.

Together, we explored jungles, beaches, and tropical fruits that required Inglorious Basterds-type methods to get to the insides. He took us out to eat, to hike, to meet his ex-pat friends, to fly through the air with the greatest of ease, and to fish.



Once, while relaxing on his shaded porch, with fans whirring overhead and fresh-fruit smoothies in hand, birds quarreling faintly in the trees and the sun dipping into the Pacific on the horizon, I said, “I feel like a colonialist.” Turns out that’s a Think, Don’t Say in the developing world.

Awkward realizations aside, it really was a fantastic experience from beginning to end. Except for the back of my leg.


More pictures TK. Hope you’re all well!

Ben & Ester

5 thoughts on “Early Christmas card from the Balynker-Glooms”

  1. isn't the "zing!" implied? 🙂

    as for the fish, i dragged it out of the water, where it was safe and happy and could breathe, onto the land where it flopped about and then died. i watched the life flicker out of the eye that later appeared on my plate, coated in delicious batter. (then i caught two more fish. the guy made me!)

    i was feeling many complex things at that lunch table — pity, hunger, pride. eating a fish head would only have made my belly as jumbled as my mind.

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