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Chapter 39 - I wanted to soak in the sunshine...

#spillthebeansonlove – Chapter 39

I had just a few more days with Guapo before I had to leave the sunshine and head back to the reality of winter in the northeast. It was the end of December, and it was just the beginning of a long, cold winter in Pennsylvania, so I wanted to soak in the sunshine and squeeze every last drop of vitamin D out of this trip. Luckily Guapo had some nice things planned for us and they pretty much all involved sunshine.

The next morning, we woke up early and went for a jog on Miami beach. Granted it was more of a jog, stop take a picture, jog, but it was perfect. The water was pristine and the palm trees were beautiful as they swayed in the warm tropical wind. When we reached a couple miles, we stopped so I could do some yoga stretches and a brief meditation. Sometimes in moments where my gratitude cup overfloweth, I must pause and meditate. Otherwise, I don’t know how to fully process and soak in all of the goodness. I needed a moment of stillness to capture all of my buzzing energy. As I sat on a boulder overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, I became overwhelmed with emotion in one of those ‘pinch me, is this real?’ moments. I thought about how far I had come in one year. How much my life had dramatically changed for the better since meeting Guapo.

Exactly one year prior I went on a solo trip to an island resort because I had no one to go with. I invited a few friends, and everyone had other engagements, not surprising, considering it was Christmas and New Year’s. Yet for my sanity I desperately needed to get out of the PA winter, so alone I went.

I don’t mind solo travel, in fact I find it quite exhilarating and I always make friends along the way, but truth be told, I wanted to be on a couple’s trip that year. I was over the party of one. Unfortunately my cards had been dealt. One Queen. Not one Queen and her King. And thankfully not one Queen and her joker. Been there…and I have no interest in that.

I woke up from my meditation and looked up at him. There he was; the most beautiful man I’d ever seen. Calm, confident, crushingly hot…just staring at the ocean. I wonder what he’s thinking about, I thought. He noticed me looking at him and he flashed his perfectly imperfect smile. I stood up, we hugged, and I said, ‘I can’t believe this.’ He didn’t understand. ‘I can’t believe that last year at this exact same time I went on a solo holiday trip where I came home with food poisoning, and this year, poof, I get to be here with you. It’s just so wild how radically life can change because of one chance encounter.’

Guapo seemed confused. Often times he would tell me that if I wanted to be with someone I could. Or if I wanted to travel with someone, I would have plenty of options. But you see, even though he was probably right, that wasn’t the point. I didn’t want just anyone…I only wanted to be with someone, and travel with someone whom I felt connected to on a mind level, heart level, and soul level. Too much to ask? Well, I didn’t think so, and until I met that person, I was OK traveling with platonic friends or alone. After all, some of my biggest personal growth moments came from my solo experiences. Except for the one time I stayed in a 12 room resort in Palm Springs and I was the only person in the entire resort who wasn’t on my honeymoon. That meant that there were 23 people there and I was number 23 aka the one without number 24. I’m not sure how much personal growth happened as I drank 4 poolside margaritas a day.

Then he said, ‘we better jog back, we have a big day ahead of us.’ As we jogged back, we saw the perfect photo op in front of the clock on Miami Beach. Naturally we stopped and enjoyed getting a snapshot of our relationship history in the making.

Per usual, Guapo had the whole day planned out. We drove to a fabulous restaurant on the water, ate brunch and sipped on champagne. We figured we’d get a head start on the new year’s celebrations. Next we meandered through the streets of Miami picking up a few souvenirs for Milo, my 6 lb. yorkie who thinks he’s a 100 lb. shepherd.

Guapo and Milo had an instant male bond (this needs its own chapter), and Guapo was adamant about getting Milo the perfect guyabera (Cuban shirt). We laughed as Guapo explained that he felt this was the proper attire for Milo to meet Guapo's family.

As I watched Guapo sift through scores of shirts to pick out the perfect one for Milo I could feel my heart begin to swell and beat outside of my chest. It’s one thing for someone to think Milo is cute, it’s another for someone to love him the way I do as his mom.

Eventually we made our way onto a boat for a beautiful tour around the surrounding islands. We were sailing by all of the beautiful homes and yachts, each one trying to outdo their neighbor. Between the ocean, the mansions, the manicured landscaping, and the magnificent yachts, eye candy was in abundance and also just so happened to be right in front of me. About halfway through the tour, I realized I had not heard one word the guide had said because I was so focused on Guapo and bouncing around in my own little fantasy world. We held each other as we sailed, occasionally sneaking in a little kiss and of course a few selfies to document the moment. Gosh he looks great in sunlight, I thought. Like, how is his skin so smooth and his hair not getting messed up by the wind? How come his cologne is still on point and he doesn’t have a bead of sweat on his brow? Sunburn? Nope, just perfectly bronzed. Who is this guy?

Guapo knew I would love this tour. He remembered how much I loved the boat tour in Chicago and how much I enjoy reminiscing about my cruise ship days. I suppose subtlety is not my strong suit and I suppose listening is his.

Miami Beach was gorgeous, brunch was delicious, and the boat tour was fabulous. What more did I need to ring (nah, too soon) in the New Year? Well, Guapo had one more surprise up his sleeve. It was time to get dressed up, Miami style, for a New Year’s Eve dinner.

I love an excuse to dress up! Pre trip, I had run my outfit by my ever so trusted beauty bestie, so I was fashionably prepared for a fun night out but what was to come was magical, memorable and downright Guapo style…

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