Partying in Paraty

I once partied on a flat-top boat in the crystal clear waters of the same location where Edward and Bella from Twilight honeymooned. I felt like a Kardashian – minus the expensive diamond earring lost in the ocean never to be seen again, of course. And my swimsuit was from Target, not Chanel. But it still felt like a day of absolute luxury.

I had a 360 degree view of beautiful scenery – pure blue water, lush islands dotted with palm trees and soft sand beaches. Sun pouring down, a salty breeze flapping the Brazilian flag tied to the mast of our boat, a group of friends smiling and laughing, caipirinhas in hand. Not even just that, but the ship’s captain, Thiago – a muscled, tattooed, tanned Brazilian man with a winning smile – played tunes that made us sing and dance.

I remember doing a group macarena on top of the boat’s flat roof as other passersby laughed and pointed. I remember watching a long pike fish swim past. I remember summoning the courage to jump off and plunge into the ocean (a place most terrifying in my mind). I remember shooting an underwater video, and I remember swimming to a beach and laughing with my friends. We stopped on an island for lunch, and I remember squealing at the sight of all the little legs on my shrimp while a friend peeled them for me. I remember reveling in the taste of a cold can of Guaraná before being literally lifted back onto the boat by Thiago so we could keep going.

For this one afternoon, I felt like I was in a movie. Was this some version of “Mamma Mia?” Our fun in the sun was a blur, like some video montage that would have feel good music playing in the background. My mood couldn’t be dampened, even when I tripped and injured my toe. Man, did it hurt later – but in the moment nothing was going to take that perfect day away from me.

It was bliss, it was peace, the warmth in my soul just as warm as the sun on my skin. I remember looking around at all of the smiling faces of the people I had only met a few months before, who I now called my great friends. I’m so glad that I got to know them and have this perfect memory of the day we shared out on the water. I’ll carry it with me forever.

Also, my toe has never been the same. It was worth it all anyway.