Yesterday, my wife and I went to the Bahamas for the afternoon -- all for less than 10 bucks.
I swear this is not some kind of shady deal like the car dealership direct mail pieces I've gotten this year telling me that I've "won" a car -- although perhaps I should add in the fine print that this was a quotation marks trip, as in we went to the "Bahamas" in our backyard.
No, we don't live in Bimini. Or on Bimini. Or even around Bimini. But we found that with $9.97 and the right frame of mind, you can go about anywhere you want.
It all started when my wife decided she wanted a pool -- not the kind that costs thousands of dollars and gives you grief all year long but the kind that you inflate and put in the backyard. In fact, it was even smaller than most inflatable pools at just 65 inches in diameter and about 10 inches deep.
Never miss a local story.
We pumped up this pink pool, tossed it in the backyard, filled it with cool water from the garden hose and jumped in. Note, we did not dive into the 10-inch deep pink inflatable pool because there is a very clear warning on the pool that diving into the pool could cause neck injury, paralysis, death or explosive diarrhea -- any one of which could ruin your day at the pool.
Of course, before jumping into the pool, I got my "island" playlist going on Spotify and fired up the frozen margarita maker. We found that with the water, music, drinks, sunshine and warm breeze, it was exactly like the Bahamas -- at least the times we've spent in the Bahamas with our eyes closed while lying on Junkanoo Beach.
Normally, folks look at you weird when you're an adult sitting in a 10-inch deep pink pool drinking a margarita while the reggae lines of "I jump up, my monkey do, too" blasts from your stereo. But not our neighbors. They barely gave it a second thought as they glanced only for a moment and then went back to hammering in their "For Sale By Owner" signs.
While we'd have preferred to be on an actual Caribbean island, there are a few advantages to going to the "Bahamas" in your backyard. We didn't have to drive to Jacksonville or Tampa to hop on a cruise ship,
nor did we have to sit through that mandatory half-hour safety lecture on the ship. Nor did anyone pretend to be nice to us so that they would get a good tip. And no crazy taxi drivers tried to run us over.
In this world that's gone crazy and this America that has become an oligarchy, you've just got to get away every now and then. America perpetuates this image that success is working your tail off until you drop dead. Success to me is just being happy -- happy with who you are, happy with what you've got and happy with where you are. And if that means you've got to close your eyes and take a little vacation from the chaos around you, so be it.
I suggest everyone go out and buy themselves a little pink pool and soak up the "Bahamian" sun before the summer's over. But a few words of warning:
Don't dive in!
-- Connect with Chris Johnson at Facebook.com/KudzuKidWriting or on Twitter @kudzukid88.