Several years ago Blonde and Brunette’s parents passed away within 15 months of each other. It had been a sad and very stressful time for the entire family and, as the only offspring, especially so for B&B. It made a strong impression on B&B that both parents, in their last months, spoke of their fond memories of travel. We inherited a few things we didn’t want- big thighs on Blonde and no butt on Brunette – but we were happy to have inherited the love of travel.
Brunette, being both the good daughter and the one who lived near our parents, was the unlucky recipient of all of the estate settling work. We are not talking about having art appraisers come in, Sotheby’s begging to list the house and men wanting us for our money (or much of anything else). We’re talking about selling a house in a declining steel town in Pennsylvania, an old Hyundai and a smattering of assorted possessions.
One task that Brunette was particularly not looking forward to was selling our mother’s old Hyundai. Of course, even in the midst of mourning, we were still interested in future travels. Blonde had a massive trip-Jones to go to the Galapagos Islands. Brunette also wanted to go but is annoyingly financially responsible and kept pointing out the prohibitively high costs of such a trip.
Then we hit on the idea of trying to sell the Hyundai for enough money to fund a trip to the Galapagos. Brunette began to refer to the car as “the Galapagos tortoise” and developed a never before displayed ruthless drive to get top dollar for the less than stellar car.
Blonde knew someone who knew someone who had been to the Galapagos and who had reportedly had a wonderful experience so she tracked down the name of the company the person used to book the trip: Myths and Mountains (http://www.mythsandmountains.com/).
Blonde also mentioned the upcoming trip to two friends, both actuaries, famously some of the most fun people on earth, and they decided to accompany Blonde and Brunette on the Galapagos trip. The friends, Suki and Russ, were not particular fans of boating or swimming and were generally clad in Armani and Prada not RashGuard and wetsuits, but WTF.
So unaccustomed to adventure travel were Suki and Russ that Blonde had to take Suki to the local REI and tell her what types of clothing and gear to buy. For someone accustomed to designer clothing the apparel at REI seemed to be practically free and Suki filled two huge bags with gear and clothing. She bought the same things for Russ as she purchased for herself. Russ, besotted more with Suki than Tom Cruise is with Scientology, serenely wore women’s water shoes, hats, and Rash Guard apparel for the entire trip, to the astonishment of B&B. The answer to the song “What’s Love Got To Do With It” is apparently “everything”.