Saturday, May 19, 2012

the upside of being an introvert.

if you're an introvert like me then there's good news. according to an article by time magazine there are lots of benefits to being introverted. not only do i fit their description of a typical "introvert" but i am also shy, albeit not quiet. {which is why i am not all that fond of the college student lifestyle- too much stimuli and too many shallow relationships}. the article adresses benefits to work productivity, relationships, and making decisions. i am the prime example right now. my parents are in washington d.c. for the weekend and i love the alone time. {although, i have been using it to watch romance films and bawl my eyes out, instead of reading like i planned}. 

and to end, a quote by the ever wonderful and wise audrey hepburn:
“I'm an introvert...I love being by myself, love being outdoors, love taking a long walk with my dogs and looking at the trees, flowers, the sky.” 

ps- isn't that photograph beautiful? it's in oregon. my dream state and the location of our family reunion this summer. the beach is great and all but i have been wanting to wander about in the woods. 
if only i lived a little farther north...

Sunday, May 13, 2012

key west.

this weekend we headed down to my mom's hometown for mother's day weekend. she's a born and raised conch, so we thought she'd enjoy personal interest in the matter whatsoever of course...
the keys were HOT and humid, as usual, but also lovely. we did everything my mom wanted to do, ate lots of cuban food, snorkeled, and of course did a ton of bike-riding. there is something about the tropics at night, riding a bike in the warm breeze that is just so right. while snorkeling we saw the biggest blowfish i have ever seen, lotsa colorful fish, two stingrays {told ya!}, a huge hermit crab, and a five foot barracuda {according to my dad, but we all know men exaggerate the size of fish}. i really need to get that underwater iphone case...oh and highlight of the trip for me: a rooster jumping out from under the car squawking as i opened the door. talk about a surprise. i think i laughed for about five minutes {although the rooster was not quite so amused}.

here is the trip via my instagram {@andreabelle}:

 tacky and famous lobster landmark of course.

the truman annex is my favorite place to bike ride hands down.

hemingway's house and six-toed cats. 

key west: where the roosters, chickens, and cats roam free. 

 the key west cat man. as crazy as ever.

snorkel site.

 key lime pie dipped in dark chocolate? i'm always on board. 

 best cuban food you'll ever eat in america. if you are ever down this way, seriously eat at El Siboney. it's a thompson family must.
 on momma's day.
broken-down old bahia honda bridge.

 old & new seven-mile bridge. 

and guess what? next month i am going back to the keys to help out with girls' camp as one of the leaders on high adventure! they are doing a three-day snorkeling trip to key largo! it'll be hot and fun. and i'm in the process of convincing my parents to take us back to key west again in july...after all, when will i be back this way again?! and then maybe i'll actually use the film cameras i brought with me instead of keeping them in my bag...until then,

happy mother's day!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

little victories.

i have a fear of touching sea creatures. {except dolphins and sea turtles}, and it is low tide right now. i was walking down the beach after sunset tonight and i saw live conchs washed up, scattered along the shore. i stopped at the first one i saw and decided to do something i have never done before- i picked it up. before i could freak out i threw the little creature into the ocean. i continued to pick up four more, carefully, making sure i did not come anywhere near to the inside walls of the shell, tossing them into the ocean as i went. stressed though it made me, i felt good about this. i was making a difference in each one of their little lives, postponing death a little bit longer. then i came to the sixth one. it was already moving before i could pick it up, trying to dig itself back into the sand, away from the open air. pinched between  my thumb and forefinger, i tenderly picked it up. exposed to the air, the little muscle inside the conch started to come out, writhing and struggling. surprised and afraid i dropped it, stepped back, took a breath and tried again. second time, the same thing happened, but this time when it dropped the shell it landed upside down and i watched as it flipped itself back over. 

 this was too much for me. the thought of the little animal touching me made my stomach do backflips. i did try...i decided to keep walking, abandoning it to the fate of the world. after all, i was doing pretty well, even throwing back a handful of them was an accomplishment for me. baby steps, you know. but after a few paces i started to feel guilty- that conch was trying harder than all the others, and it most of all deserved to make it back into the sea. so i stood from afar, debating the dilemma i found myself in, staring at it. then, another woman walked up and threw it quickly and simply into the water. no thought. no fear. and she continued to walk down the beach doing it over and over again. and i noticed a couple of more people doing the same exact thing. even if i couldn't accomplish the small task of saving that particular conch's life, there was another person who would fill in and do it for me. today, my faith in humanity is a little bit restored. 

do something that requires courage. be brave. it's scary, but you will feel good afterwards. 

and maybe one day i will be able to touch a stingray, they are somehow always cropping up, presenting themselves for me to pet and feed. i am going to key west this weekend, and i won't be surprised if i come into contact with one there too. but i'm not ready for that kind of commitment. not yet anyway.