Valencia Spain, 2009 America’s Cup
When I reminisce about my travels, my mind always seems to travel back to where I started this journey. I go back to a building and the America’s Cup 2009. When I think of the America’s Cup – I wasn’t traveling for work anymore. I was traveling for me, to have fun and to enjoy my travel experience. This year 2017 America’s Cup was held in the Bermuda. The Americans lost to New Zealand. I am not there for the first time in 12 years. I feel a little nostalgic because one of my fondest memories happened at the America’s Cup and at Veles e Vents in Valencia, Spain.
It’s the first time I recall taking a picture of my shadow.
Veles e Vents – Valencia Spain
Reminiscing about a building might seem kind of strange, but this is a unique building. The Veles e Vents Pavilion was built for America’s Cup competition at the Port of Valence in 2007. This particular building reminds me of my personal journey and Spain. It was my first solo trip after my divorce and I took the trip to recapture something I lost. I felt it was a new beginning. My trip lasted six weeks and I made two friends, Maria and Jason. We became inseparable and were each others’ shadow. Below are Maria and me and our shadows.
The memory that stands from this fantastic trip wasn’t the magnificent yachts, location or the fact that I lost my job when I returned home. Arguably, this was the greatest America’s Cup racing of all time. But, for me, the most memorable moment happened one inconspicuous night.
This trip was full of the dramatic stories like who invited me to the America’s Cup. Or how a person like me became a photographer and writer for this great sporting event. After all, I am the queen of typos, misspellings, and grammar faux pas. But this trip was about the people I met and spent my time with.
One evening, after a day on the water on the media boat, Maria and I walked home. We had been in the sun all day, so we were clammy and sticky. The air was still warm. Exhausted, we softly chatted. Then we heard Jason call out to us. He asked us to wait up. Jason quickly caught up. Without skipping a beat, Jason started recapping the days racing and what he expected would happen next.
Pre-occupied, we didn’t notice the moon and stars. We didn’t notice the smell of flowers. But, we did see the bright strobe lights dancing on the wall of the Veles e Vents Pavilion. Maria and I stopped to watch the light show while Jason continued recapping the day’s racing.
Then we noticed some people and their shadows. Like voyeurs, we both smiled. I motioned to her camera. Maria took her camera off of her shoulder. Without hesitation, she started taking photos.
Do you see what I see?
We watched as an intense discussion unfolded. One person, the observer, stole a kiss. The other woman was upset. The argument grew. It was a standoff with more kissing in the background. The situation was confusing to observe.
Dancing In the Lights
Will You Dance
Then Jason asked me to dance. Yes in the middle of the square, in the midst of the argument, he invited me to dance. Maria laughed and said, Go on! So we did. We laughed, giggled and danced. Maria watched. We decided just to dance!
Jason, ever the British gentlemen, whirls me around. I had no idea he could dance. Then he sways me as if an orchestra is playing rather than the outdoor sound system. Even our exhaustion couldn’t keep us from dancing. Suddenly, the argument – moved down the street. As fast as it started, it was over.
Maria, said in her Bulgarian accent, Go – Go! Dance!
Jason is a man from a time gone by era. He is, above everything else, an obsessed sportsman. Work isn’t his favorite pastime. Golf is his preferred occupation. In his youth, he sailed in the America’s Cup on one of the British yachts. And it just so happens, he raced the same year that my former husband did.
As we danced, we created our ballet. I followed. It’s unlike me to dance in the street. It is even more unlike me to follow. I always seem to take the lead. Even worse, I sometimes step on toes. Dancing is so much fun when you don’t care what you look like. It’s so much fun to follow. Tonight, I didn’t care. We didn’t have a care in the world. With Maria’s encouragement, we continued to dance. We didn’t care who was watching. Not caring is also unlike me because I hate to bring attention to myself. I embarrass easily.
We watched our shadows as if they were our puppets. Sometimes, shadows are deceiving. They look one way – but are another.
Maria documented every movement, encouraging us not to stop. We continued to dance. Spinning and moving in the strangest ways. Jason quickly pulled me back. I was off balance.
As Jason raised my hand, to spin me around, he stopped and stared at something. The paced picked up, and his movement pulled me close to him. The dance ended with a kiss.
Maria asked, “Will you dance?” I said, “Yes, Let’s dance.” We danced until the awkward moment passed, and the music stopped. Without another word, we all walked home and barely spoke.
Me and My Shadow
My shadow cheers me up and is good company when I am sad. It reminds me of a splendid memory with my friends and that night in Spain. It’s funny what I take away from my trips. From this journey, I experienced Spain, watched the finest sailboat racing, and danced with my shadow. I gained two dear friends. Maria and I danced that night. Jason and I danced, and we are all still friends today.
Here is a little more about me and my shadow.
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