Ziplining to Marital Harmony
By Lynn Schnurnberger
Couples face many challenges when they're on vacation. In this monthly column, Two For The Road, best-selling author Lynn Schnurnberger reveals how she and her husband cope with these inevitable conflicts.
Luckily for my husband Martin, when we met and fell in love, it was the end of summer. This is an important detail because, had we met earlier--say, June or July--we might never have passed the Beach Test. On vacation, he’s a Type A personality--he wants to go snorkeling, paddling and mountain biking all before noon. I’m a Type ZZZZ--I want to laze around.
Over our fifteen years of marriage, we’ve managed to compromise. Still, while I’m contentedly reading the latest Anne Tyler novel, I’ll spy Martin on the beach beside me, sitting bolt upright in his lounge chair, sneaking longing peeks at windsurfers. So when we rented a house on a recent trip to Cabo San Lucas on Mexico’s Baja Peninsula, and Mr. Adventure Man--who’d already been swimming and ATV riding--implored me to join him in some athletic activity, I said okay. I’d been to Cabo before--we could take a glass-bottom boat ride past the area’s famous rock Arch and have a seaside picnic--we might even see sea lions; I’d even be game for a leisurely sunset horseback ride single-file down a flat stretch of beach. If only Martin hadn’t been flashing his big-dimpled smile and giving me a neck massage, I might have paid closer attention. But apparently I agreed to go ziplining.
“Ziplining?” I repeated incredulously as we boarded a bus for a bumpy ride out of town to the Boca de Sierra Biosphere Preserve. I was still repeating it an hour later--mantra-like--as an instructor helped me into a harness attached to a pulley suspended hundreds of feet over desert canyons. I could hear Martin cheering me on in the background, but I wasn’t going to risk looking anywhere but straight ahead. Holding on and hoisting my legs straight out in front of me, I focused on the clump of trees at the end of the zipline that I’d momentarily be careening into. Except, somehow, miraculously, I didn’t. I sailed along the zipline without a hitch! I sighed with relief, until I realized that this zipline was just the first of about a dozen--and that I’d have to climb up steep craggy mountains and trek along rickety suspension bridges for three hours to get through them. At the end of the arduous tour I closed my eyes and hung on for dear life as I transversed a half-mile line going about fifty miles an hour.
Later that day we went into the nearby town of San Jose del Cabo. We watched the sunset from a bench in the town square as children chased each other around a gazebo.
“I was really proud of you today, even if you did opt out of rappelling,” Martin said, kissing my cheek lightly.
“Shut up,” I answered with a laugh. I was tired. I felt like my arms would never stop aching. But even if I’m not very good at sports, at least I proved I can be a good sport. Then I reached into my pocket and spread out a few dozen tiles and challenged my husband to a game I was sure of winning.
“Banagrams?” I asked, as Martin nervously agreed.
Lynn Schnurnberger is the author and co-author of five books, including the best-selling novels, The Botox Diaries and Mine Are Spectacular. Her most recent book, The Best Laid Plans was just published in January 2011.
Photo Credits: Courtesy of Cabo Adventures