Thursday, November 18, 2010

How I Met Your Father, Part 3

So there he was in the front seat.  The man I would one day marry.  Only at the time I had no idea.  I just thought of him as the super good-looking tour guide who was probably really full of himself and a big jerk who was in love with his own accent.

I could not have been more wrong.

Except about the accent.  I was dead-on with that one.  ;-)

But I went on ignoring him for the first few days of our tour.

Pondering the mind-boggling beauty of Oz
Oh, and by the way, a cyclone was hitting the coast and so it was dumping rain on us this whole time.  But it's Australia!  And they don't let you care about that kind of thing!  You just keep on going- and so you get wet?  Who cares?!?!  Well... me.  I care.  But there was no way I was going to let on.  I just sucked it up and made everyone think I was a super-outdoorsy-kind-of-gal.  (probably, in hindsight, that was a big mistake and a big let-down-waiting-to-happen for Mick.)

On day 3 of this tour the guides told us that usually at this point they have their groups hike about a kilometer and a half (no idea what that is in REAL measurement ;) to these really amazing waterfalls.  But now, because of all the rain, that hike was completely underwater and was a flood plain... but the waterfalls would be just incredible.  They thought it was still pretty shallow so we were just gonna hike through water.

Like you do.

And so off we went.
In a river.
And did I mention that Alexis went to college on a SWIM scholarship???

Does this look stupid to you?  Yeah.  Me too. NUTS!
The first thing I ever said to Mick was, "Um, excuse me.  Are there crocodiles in this river that I am standing in up to my waist like an idiot?"  His answer?  "Crocodiles aren't very good swimmers, so if there are they will just float past you.  They can't swim against the current."


I said (trying to laugh and be cool...), "Well, could a crocodile grab me and then keep floating? Ha ha ha ha ha!"  He gave me a 'look' and a fake courtesy laugh and looked away.

I guess he felt sorry for me b/c a few minutes later he said, "Actually there are two kinds of crocodiles: salt water and fresh water.  'Salties' are dinosaurs- they will hunt you and eat you.  'Freshies' are all that are around here and 'Freshies' are just like fish."  And I said back to him, "You know what else is 'just like a fish'?  A SHARK.  In fact, a shark IS a fish!  You know what else is 'just like a fish'?  A PIRANHA!  A piranha IS ALSO a fish!  YOU ARE NOT MAKING ME FEEL ANY BETTER!!!"

And again... the 'look' and the courtesy laugh and the looking away.

Obviously we were not off to a running start, so destiny had to step in and lend us a hand.

In the form of me drowning.

I'm not joking.

So we come to these places where it is too deep to keep walking.  Remember- WE ARE IN A RIVER, FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE.  So one of the guides swims a bit upstream and grabs a tree trunk and all the tourists swim to him as he helps them onto the next "bank".  Well, Lex is gone.  Swimmer, remember?  And apparently all the Europeans were stellar swimmers too.  And then there's me.  I can swim.  IN A POOL!!!  But apparently NOT upstream in a CROC-INFESTED RIVER!!!  But, like a huge dummy, I just try.  And I find myself floating the wrong way.  But my head is above water and I'm trying to play it cool.  But inside I'm thinking, "so THIS is how I'm going to die..." The guide helping the swimmers yells, "Hey MICK!  Go help that girl!!!"  Which meant ME.  So now the entire group is watching me as Mick swims out to RESCUE me and drag me up on to the next bank.  It sounds very romantic, but everyone CLAPPED when we made it to shore, which meant that they thought they were going to see a DEATH and were relieved that they didn't have to watch me drown nor get eaten by a crocodile- so relieved that they had to CHEER.  So I'm thinking it wasn't quite as romantic as it sounds.

But then??? I was smitten.  I mean- good grief!!!  He had saved my life!!!  And he wasn't a jerk after all!  And when I started drifting down stream again (two more times on the way to the falls!) he made sure HE was the one who was nearby so he could jump in and help me!  Aaaaaahhhhh....

Alexis asked me if I was faking it.  And I said, "Yes.  I'm faking my death so that I can meet a guy.  What?  NO!  I'm literally going to drown here and YOU are going to have to call my parents and tell them that I died b/c the handsome Aussie didn't rescue me one last time!!!" ;-)

So that was 3 rescues on the way to the waterfalls... and then we had to go back the way we came.  So that's 3 more rescues.  By the return trip I was just telling people, "You can go ahead and go in front of me.  Apparently I need to wait for THAT guy."  :-)  And he told me later that he was strategically placing himself so that no one else would be near me when I needed help.  We even joked with each other and the other tourists and guides, "Well, I guess this will make a good story to tell the grand-kids!"

And that, Jack, Ben and Avé, is How I Met Your Father.

Now, how I convinced him to leave Australia and come live in America... well... that will just have to wait for NaBloPoMo 2011.  ;-)


Christie said...

Oh my goodness- I enjoyed reading this VERY much!!! :) You had me laughing! :) I love all of your little asides. So funny! I'm so glad you had multiple near drowning events! Sounds like it was worth it in the end!

Karenkool said...

GREAT GREAT STORY! But I want to know more.

That last picture of you and Mick--cute! Ben looks exactly like his dad there.

Sohailah said...

It's amazing how you look the same as in that last picture, but he looks a lot older now.

Lindsey said...

I absolutely ADORE you! What an amazing story for you guys to share with your grandkids!

Deena / TEAM MARQUIS said...

What a cool story! I wish I had such an interesting story about how I met my husband... Funny to think that when your two continents collided, you had no idea that a third continent would be in the plans! (at least I don't think you knew about Ethiopia back then:))

Justine said...

Now THAT is a great story!

Courtney said...

Love, love, LOVE your story. I was laughing out loud. :) What a sweet love story!

JenRene Owens said...

Your'e a GREAT storyteller.. wow so funny. hiking in a flood! unbelieveable the thigs people do in other countries! Lol

Selam! G'day! Hello!