“I promise, the size doesn’t matter, babe.” She says to me in that sweet, almost undetectable Canadian accent as we pack our vehicle.
“Of course you say that now, but just wait, I promise you will like this smaller one better. You won’t have to cram it in like the one you’re used to.”
Over the past few months she had become accustomed to handling a massive heavy black skillet and I just wasn’t packing that much. What I had known for years, she quickly became aware of the first time she used it. In the same spot that that bulky black cast iron skillet used to sit, she easily removed the Sea to Summit X-Pot, two X-bowls, and two X-mugs from the back compartment of our old Dodge van which we have been living in while traveling from Alaska to southern South America. Space is a premium when two adults with five hobbies each occupy 38 square feet of luxury. Our kitchen area pulls out from the back and makes up four of those thirty eight square feet.
My initial thought in pitching the skillet, large pot and mid size pan in favor of the collapsable silicon alternative was solely for the sake of saving space. However, I learned quickly that Sea to Summit gear tend to have myriad of features beyond their evident space saving attributes.
“Ohh look at this!” She said excitedly, pointing out the cleverly attenuated measuring cup marks on the inside of the X-cups. “I can measure out the paasta.”
“Ha, you mean, pasta?”
“That’s what I said.”
“You Canadians are so freaking weird.”
I play it off like I knew about the measuring marks the whole time. “That’s why I got them, babe, to make your life easier. I remember you saying you could use a measuring cup in the van but we didn’t have the space for it.” That was a lie. I was just trying to make myself seem both knowledgable and caring. It worked. She gave me a kiss and told me how thoughtful I can be.
Just minutes later, as she searched for a utensil to strain the now slightly al dente macaroni noodles from the boiling water she made her second discovery. “Ohh wow! This is so cool, there is a strainer right here in the lid!”
Once again, I play coy, “Oh for sure, they make really kick ass stuff.”
“Did you know this was here?” She questioned my previous knowledge. This could bring into jeopardy my previous fabrication. “Pffft.” And eyes back on the book. Disaster averted.
After a long day of surfing and general beach exploration, the makeshift tailgate cuisine matches in perfect harmony with a frosty cold beer and smell of sea salt swirling and hanging in the evening air.
The palm trees sway and playfully tag one another as an occasional coconut frees itself and drops to the sand below. After dinner we sit and watch the sun caress the ocean as it breaths in a calm ebb and flow, until both have succumb to the brilliant evening stars. Amid an infinite darkness they take their turns winking at us, as if to show approval of our detachment from the city lights that once shielded our eyes from their lustrous luminous love.
In the morning we awake and decide to move on, further south, another mystic beach removed from the clamor of tourist’s umbrellas and signs restricting us from camping or making a fire or any other in the long list of “dont’s” we had both grown up following.
Before leaving we do a quick CrossFit workout on the beach. The sand sticks to our skin mixing with the sweat from an uncounted number of burpees. Running barefoot across the hot sand like playing the lava game as kids, we dart toward the river mouth two hundred meters from the packed up van and douse ourselves using our Sea to Summit Folding Bucket.
It only took a day, but she’s a believer. It’s not always the size that matters!