Wow! I don't really even know where to bring, I have so much to tell you guys! I appologize if this is jumbly and sporadic. I'll try to hit the major points...hopefully I'll have time to fill in the holes this week.
I've been out of the country for a week, so I must rewind to Friday Feb 1st.
SURPRISE! We threw a surprise going away part for M&S. The surprise actually happened, and we even got to surprise both M & S seperately (since S was stuck in traffic). It was a really great night - friends, drinks, food, karokie. Both M&S's families stayed late into the night, I think everyone had a really great time. And I hope that M&S see just how much we are all going to miss then...although (and I think I speak for all of us), it will be a very amazing and great experience for them! I'm so proud of the two of them for embarking upon this great endeavor. Cheers & well wishes, my friends.
Saturday morning I was scheduled to head south for vacation - a week in the caribbean. With a very early flight, I didn't have much time to sleep. After helping cleanup the party, I headed home to grab my luggage and drove down to my sister's house (so we could all ride to the airport together). I arrived at my sisters just before 2am (and was going to be woken at 3am), but the door from the garage to the house was locked! Alright, now what? I debated - I can call and waked my sister (j) and brother-in-law (r)both up to let me in, but then I risk us all being up for the next hour. I could go to my parents house, which is close by, but most likely scare the crap out of them. Or, take the 3rd option, which i did...sleep in my car for an hour. Yep, awesome! I am not sure if I sle0pt during that hour at all, but it's a good thing I was going on vacation and was revved up for that, because my body was sure pissed about the lack of rest friday night! I managed to sleep some on the flight down to puerto rico. My family was ready to set sail on a 7 day cruise through the caribbean. the weather in puerto rico wasn't super warm, but sure beat the MN cold!
Our first day we spent in St Thomas (USVI), this was my third time being on the island of st thomas. my sister got married there 3 years ago, almost to the day. we did some shoping before heading over to Megans Bay, one of the top 10 beaches in the world. it is an amazingly blue and beautiful beach, surrounded by tall-mountainous land on thre sides, keeping the water calm.
Monday was spent on the island of St Maarten. amazing! it was beautiful, warm, friendly. we spent the majority of our day shopping - I bought a pair of sapphire earings. our intentions were to head to Oriental Beach in the afternoon, but we ran out of time after all of our shipping. Oriental beach is 1/2 regular and 1/2 nude beach (the boys were really interested in the 1/2 nude side). Instead of traveling across the island, we stayed at a beach that was closer to the port. The water was again that lovely green-blue clean that you dream about. the sand was pretty coarse, but the sun was warm. r & i rented a jet ski for cheap and crashed along the water, with the sea spray and wind in our faces. it was a really great ride! r didn't even throw me off, which is very surprising!
tuesday was a fabulous day! catamaran day-trip on Antigua. We spent the day touring the islan by sea, snorkeling, sunning, beaching and drinking. my family even put together a sand volleyball game, that was top-notch. i dove (and/or fell) resulting in a very sandy bathing suite. even my mom played! antigua was another amazingly beautiful island.
Wednesday was certainly an adventure! my sister is pregnant, so she wasn't able to join us, but the rest of the family went zip-lining (even my mom, who is very afraid of heights). we took a 45 minute drive through antigua learning about their culture and banana growing way of life. we took 7 zip-line rides through the trees that were jungle-thick. it was exhilarating. the last zip was about 800 feet, and we started from a platform that was actually above the tree-tops. amazing. i would recommend zip-lining to anyone that wants a new perspective on the world around them. antiguans make the most of their resources and land around them. they grow a great amount of bananas on the island, and use them for many purposes (including exports). One of the things our guide recommended to us was banana catsup. so i bought some at the local market. i haven't tried it yet, but i'll let you know what i think when i do. i also tasted fresh cocnut, which wasn't as pungent as the processed stuff i'm usued to. but, fresh cocoa, now that's a treat. the cocoa pid is a cyclindrical pod-shape, bright yellow when it's ripe. you crack the pod open to fine gooey white bulbs inside. sucking on these bulbs provides a sweet, mild chocolate flavor. inside the bub is the coca seed, mine was purple - biting into the cocoa seed was very bitter because it's 100% pure cocoa...not your processed hershey's favorites.
thursday was our last island-adventure day...barbados. we went back to the same beach we visited the time before, called the boatyard. in my opinion, top beach i've ever been on. sand so fine and soft, you can't help but dig your toes in. water so blue and clear, you want to drink it up. the sun glistens off the water and shines like glitter. absolutely. breathtaking.
friday we spent on the boat, spaying and recovering from all the running and discovering. saturday morning, back in puerto rico, i was pleasantly surprised to receive a text message from rk, asking if i was back yet (yay!). and here i am.
I have missed out on telling you so many things - about the ship, the amazing wood carvings, the super bowl party, the food...but i feel as if i have already writen too much. more later, friends.