st maarten and anguilla

Well, I just got back last night from a great trip to St. Maarten. I was visiting my brother Andy, who is in med school down there, for a good 5 days / 4 nights. It was easily the best time I’ve ever had (or close to it), the most beautiful place I’ve been to in terms of look & feel, and certainly a much needed getaway from the states.

Our days consisted of drinking piña coladas in the AM and some heinekens in the PM, lounging at the beaches, touring the island, eating ribs, listening to music, traveling to Anguilla, playing beach volleyball, smoking great cigars, going to some good bars/clubs/restaurants, and taking our time to do everything. We were always full, sunny, warm, sandy, relaxed, and happy.

Considering it was pretty simple to get down there (flew through Charlotte, 1.5 and 3.5 hr flights – see SXM airplane landing here) I may just go back pretty soon. It’s really all about taking the step. I’m sure glad my brother took the step to get away and live/learn down there. I feel like a lot of people just can’t take that step, even if it’s just for the visit. Sure there are financial and other personal considerations/obligations that make that step seem too big to take, but trust that happiness and fulfillment will come with taking that step. If they don’t, then maybe try another staircase.

a view from above

How can you not love the sky? I just took this picture from seat 15F on my flight to Chicago O’Hare. I always get a window seat when I fly because I need to see what’s out there below me and above us. This one shows some good cumulus puffs with the most awesome contrast of the clear blue sky. For loving science, and despite having multiple science classes devoted to clouds, weather, the atmosphere, and meteorology, clouds will always amaze me beyond the grasps of physical properties for some reason.

Some people are afraid of flying. I can understand why, as turbulence still makes me jittery and the ear-popping is less than comfortable. However, I can’t forgive others for not finding inspiration in flying 30,000 feet up in the air. It’s a world for imagination and reflection, not to mention a natural artistic wonder unique only to that altitude.

Perhaps the most fun parts of flying are the takeoff and approach, or in other words, zoom out and zoom in. It’s neat to see the houses get smaller and smaller as you zoom out. It’s fun to begin to recognize specific neighborhoods, buildings, or characteristics of the land as you zoom in. Swimming pools become stand outs in the summer. Snow truly looks like a blanket in the winter.

I like to think about history when I’m up in the sky. Scientists, astronomers, philosophers, and the rest of the general population never had the luxury to see above the clouds like I can. I wonder if science and discovery would have taken place differently had the Greeks been able to see down on the earth and up into the sky from 30,000 ft up in the air. I wonder if they’d serve grape leaves on their flights?

Either way, that was a good nap. Time to zoom in now.

“Above the cloud with its shadow is the star with its light. Above all things reverence thyself.”
–  Pythagoras