In the interest of full disclosure

Lest people start thinking that I am always right and that I only make good choices (an easy assumption to make) I feel I should tell you a story.

A few years ago I helped chaperon a group of high-schoolers (including coolboy, yay!) on a 2-week trip of Europe. We went all over the place--the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, France, and England. It was basically 2 weeks on a bus but we had fun. One stop included Venice, which ranks up there with Paris in my books as one of the most romantic places ever. We stayed in a hotel right on the beach.

After we were in for the night, our group leader knocked on my door. You should know that this girl is very responsible and smart, but she's also a big kid. Her question: "Wanna go skinny-dipping after the kids are in bed?"

Now, I'd never skinny-dipped before. And really, what better place to start than the Adriatic Sea, right? I should point out here that Amyjane, who was also a chaperon, sensibly declined. At midnight 4 of us (all chaperones) slunk down to the deserted beach and got in the water. Because we're all demure modest people we waited until we got in the water to strip off.

And friends, it was lovely. I don't know why being completely nude makes such a difference, but it does. The water felt cool and fabulous and soothing and wonderful. It was the most glorious and tranquil 35 seconds of my life. On the 36th second, the first jellyfish smacked into me. And then the second. And then the third.

All the other girls started getting stung, too. We shrieked and yelped while frantically trying to run for shore and climb back into our swimsuits simultaneously. Some achieved this more successfully than others. One girl looked a bit like a panic-stricken Venus flailing her way from the foam. I'll be carrying that picture with me always.

Next morning the kids asked about the red welts we all had on our arms and legs (and other places they couldn't see). Of course we couldn't tell them what really happened.

Moral of the story: Don't skinny-dip in the ocean unless you're sure there are no jellyfish. And you shouldn't be swimming at night or at sunrise or sunset anyway, because that's when the sharks come out. Thing is, now that I have a taste of it I know I'll want to do it again. My sights are set on the Caribbean of the Rockies, even Bear Lake. Let's just hope the Bear Lake Monster doesn't decide to make an appearance. I don't think I could really deal with that.


Edgy said... [reply]

So what you're saying is that I should have gone skinny dipping in Norway when I had the chance? Dang.

abby said... [reply]

wouldn't Bear Lake be ummmm cold?

Tiffany said... [reply]

That's just awesome. I have not yet skinny dipped and I fear that, by the time I do, the cold water that is certain to be involved will complicate any wrinkles that I have acquired.

Th. said... [reply]


I grew up with the Bear Lake Monster and once even saw a segment on it in the nightly news that had some really creepy music.

Most people imagine it's a Nessie-type beast, but actually, the BLM is not like Nessie at all. It was captured, oh, 140 years ago? in St. Charles and was basically a giant seal. It was on display for a couple weeks before it escaped and there are dozens of contemporary eye-witness accounts. We're these seals have been since is a good-sized mystery. There certainly don't seem to be any around today.

Also, you will freeze to death.

So ask yourself: do you want your beautiful corpse to be a beautiful blue corpse?

Nemesis said... [reply]

Okay, maybe it was a really hot day the last time I went swimming in Bear Lake but it was fine that day. Also it's not like I'm going to go in March or something. I'm thinking mid-September after an unusually hot summer.

Jimmy said... [reply]

When I think of the times I've been jelly-fish chow here on the east coast, I think I'd rather take my chances with the Bear Monster...

That trip sounded awesome. I've never been anywhere near Europe. It's funny, though, I'll always think of this story if I'm tempted to night-swim in any oceans.

amyjane said... [reply]

Nem, honey. It snows in September in Bear Lake. Often. As in, most years. I have NEVER trick or treated in less than a snowsuit. Your best bet for warm is going to be early August. And it will still be very, very cold, especially is you go under the cloak of darkness.

Also, I've never been happier to have turned down one of Kristy's escapades. Good thing I was exhausted that night and just wanted to sleep for about 34 hours straight.

Lindsay said... [reply]

Yeah...those jellyfish. They'll get ya every time.

Azúcar said... [reply]

Year ago I was walking in the surf and sand in Mexico at sunset. It was lovely, romantic, all pinks and purples against a stark landscape. It was also the time the surf washed up and swirled jellyfish around my legs.


Usually Happy said... [reply]

Oh you crack me up! You just posted on the World Wide Web that you're thinking of going skinny dipping at Bear Lake. Now all you have to do is post the date and time and wait to see who shows up.

Kristeee said... [reply]

I thought Venice was cool, but too stinky to be truly romantic. I was there in mid-July and everything reeked of fish, rotting cheese and sweat.

Skinny dipping, nutella-lovin' . . . wow, Nem. I'm impressed. :)

Kelly said... [reply]

Skinny dipping is lovely. Hee.

Abi-g said... [reply]

Eh the mighty power of the skinny dip!!! I believe it brings out the goddess in all of us, when done in complete privacy or with a trusted few.
Might I suggest you try the eastern beaches of New Zealand next time (my homeland) there are no jellyfish to worry about and the thrill is incredible - or so I've heard.

daltongirl said... [reply]

I've been skinny dipping in Bear Lake. And while I agree with you that the experience of being naked in the water is lovely, and disagree that you will freeze (if you pick the right time of year), that whole thing is about at the top of the list of dumb things I've done.

Fortunately, the boy who saw me is getting married (to a girl, even) in a couple of weeks, and I'm still invited to the wedding. All is not lost. Still, I cringe in shame every time I think of it. And the memory of skinny dipping should be a pleasant one, is what I always say.

Sarita said... [reply]

I'm so jealous. I've never even been to Europe let along nude in the Adriatic sea.

I will have you know that I have never been, but suddenly have this strange desire to go skinny dipping.

I guess thats just what stories of being stung by jelly does for me.

Tusk said... [reply]

Well, I always thought it'd be a cool thing to do, but since yesterday or the day before I have developed a paranoia that a seasnake might bite my scrotum should I attempt it.
I guess it's a good thing for the public at large though! ;)

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