Ringing in the Year of the Snake with Far from the Fireworks

All my bags are packed, I’m ready to go.

Thankfully, my bags aren’t filled with the regret and longing of John Denver’s. Rather, my packing list included much lighter items, like three swimsuits (a girl needs choices when she is willingly-marooned on a minuscule island, soaking up sunshine after a dreary Chengdu winter!) and an array of sundresses that haven’t been out of the closet in nearly a year.

Now, as I gingerly type this post with drying nails (hot pink sandal-worthy toes and glittery, UV-activated red polish on my 8/10 fingers), I can almost feel the sunshine soaking into my skin (I’m already prepared for the possibility of nursing a sunburn the following week, but it is a price I am willing to pay), smell the salty breeze wafting off the ocean, taste the fruity, umbrella bedecked drinks and picture the turtles and manta rays swimming beneath my stilted hut.

Maldives, I’m ready for you!

I’ve got new books downloaded to my Nook and several magazines that I stashed away for this occasion while I was home in the States. (I downloaded this year’s Newberry award-winning book, The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate a few days ago, meaning to take it with me and read while lounging on my private deck, but made the mistake of starting it last night. Needless to say, I couldn’t put it down and ended up finishing it this morning, before packing commenced. READ IT! I don’t have time to write a review before heading out tomorrow, but this book is beautiful and should be read by all, young and old. Trust me.)

Bathing suits- check. Sundresses-check. Sunscreen-check. Reading materials-check. Now, it is just a matter of watching the clock slowly tick down the next twenty-four hours.

Needless to say, I will be totally (and contentedly) unplugged from the virtual world for the next week, so there will be no blog posts or Facebook updates.  Until then, I leave you with this mental image of my time on a tiny island in the Indian Ocean :

beach

(I found this picture online last month and saved it. I wish I had had the foresight to take note of the site where I stumbled across it. It is citation-less and this English teacher feels terrible about it!)