Jun 13, 2009

Collins Go Caribbean

I'm going to be a little out of order here. I got married to my wonderful husband on June 6th and just got back from our honeymoon. The post about the wedding's going to be on hiatus until I get pictures from the photographer, so we'll skip ahead to the fun part.

We flew out of Boston on June 8th and we greeted by our lovely landlady for the week, Mary. She was so helpful and inviting all week that I felt quite guilty for being so strongly reminded of Mrs. Castevet! She gave us a tour of the town, took us grocery shopping and got us home in time to finish the day with a mojito at Morgan's Mango and a stroll around the downtown area.

The next day we picked up some snorkel equipment and take a dip in Frank bay, the beach mere yards from our place. Unfortunately, we didn't get a prescription mask for Nick, so he was unable to see anything, which I would imagine is quite daunting. I saw a lot of neat fish and underwater landscapes but we won't have the underwater camera pictures developed for a while.

We also walked the Lind Trail to Honeymoon Bay, which is a beautiful beach. The trail was also fun and very easy. We finished up with drinks at I-Scream, which I contend makes the best Mango Daiquiri's on the Island!

This is Frank bay. This picture also showcases my new obsession. I was so chuffed with myself for figuring out how to do this. Thanks to the unsecured network provided by our Caribbean neighbours, the Linksys's, I was able to download Windows Live Photo Gallery, which has a neat little "Make Panoramic Picture" feature.

The next day, we picked up a prescription mask for Nick and went to Trunk bay. As the snorkelling went, this was probably my favourite. There is an island in the bay with a massive coral reef trail. The snorkelling fun continued the next day in Cinnamon bay, which was as beautiful as Jessica made it out to be, maybe even more so. That evening, we treated ourselves to dinner at Woody's during their happy hour.

On the Friday, we took a break from snorkelling to visit St. Thomas. We saw a lot of the historic sites, alas from the outside, as nothing seems to open on days when the cruise ships aren't in town. The differences between St. Thomas and St. John reminded me of the parallel universe episodes of Star Trek. Two-thirds of the island of St. John is national park. The population is much smaller than that of St. Thomas and in general, there is a very laid back and easy-going atmosphere. Even the-seemingly lone-homeless person we saw on the island was too laid back to ever approach us. On the other hand, the city of Charlotte Amalia on St. Thomas is much more developed and face-paced. There were far more loud noises, police cars, fast-talking street vendors and other typical features of a city. That's not to say that St. Thomas isn't also beautiful and we enjoyed climbing the 99 steps to Blackbeard's castle, from where we got a great view of the city.

We also met this little guy on the way down.

Then, Nick noticed a ski-lift in the remote distance, and decided that we just had to walk all the way around the harbour to get to it. It was so hot that day and it was torture walking in flip-flops over a mile to get to the ski-lift only to find the thing wasn't in use (which I had predicted before we left).
Even my panoramic photo trick can't fully illustrate just how far we walked.

On a happier note, I spotted a yarn store on the way back to the ferry. While the yarn selection was limited to some bins of Red Heart yarn and the store owner was quite frankly the least friendly person I met on the entire vacation, I did manage to pick up some US 3 double points. This was especially serendipitous as I had tragically packed yarn but no needles for the vacation! I immediately started on a project during the homeward ferry ride (of course I had yarn with me) and had to improvise a pattern, as I obviously didn't have my laptop. (Pattern to come!)

We took this picture of the store on our last day.

Rice-a-Roni, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love My Husband...
Saturday the 13th started out reasonably well. Nick and I went on the insanely steep hike of Caneel Hill. While it kicked our posteriors, we had a great sense of achievement when we reached the all of 700-foot summit (it felt like much more on the way up), and the view was breathtaking.

Our descent, however, wasn't nearly as idyllic. We couldn't find a signpost to any beach, our intended reward for making it the top of Caneel. We did find what Nick thought was an unmarked trail to the beach, but looked to me more like a ditch, and argued for a little while as to whether we should take it. I, through my powers of whining, prevailed and we stayed on the original trail only to come to a fork. One route would take us up a higher hill, while the other was unmarked. We were exhausted and so, we took the unmarked trail, as it appeared to be a descent, hopefully to a beach! Halfway down the mystery trail we were confronted by a huge spider who had marked his territory by spinning a massive web across our path. We were obviously so scared that we couldn't even use the focus function properly!

We decided to get by him by going through the trees and shrubs to the left of our little arachnid obstacle, only to be stung by a patch of nettles. Worse still, once beyond what I now believed to be a point of no return, we found ourselves in someone's backyard. We trekked what must have been a couple of miles back to town, complete with winding steep roads and a couple of wrong turns.

When we finally got back to town, we decided to pick up some groceries and have a quiet dinner at home. I got some chicken to barbecue on the outdoor grill and a packet of Rice-a-Roni, which could be served as a side without taking my focus off barbecuing. I warmed some oil and stirred in the rice and noodles and then ran outside to deal with the chicken. After a few minutes, I went back inside to stir the browned noodles and rice, only to find what will be etched into my memory forever. Like something out of a horror movie, there were hundreds of little black insects pouring out of the saucepan. I froze in horror, and screamed to Nick to come help me. Like a knight in shining armour, he took the saucepan outside and dealt with it. Ugh, I am getting goose-bumps while typing this. It turns out that these were grain weevils and it's not as uncommon an occurrence as you might hope!

Nick put the browned rice and evil invaders in a trash bag. I wasn't willing to open it for the sake of a photo-op, but maybe you can see some of them through the plastic!


The next day we went snorkelling again. We bought an underwater camera and headed back to honeymoon bay. We took a couple of photos and moved on to Salomon Bay.

Despite snorkelling for a number of hours in two beaches, we didn't come across a single stingray; the one thing I really wanted a picture of. I was all but giving up on the idea when we were packed and ready to head back to our rental home when I noticed something right up by the shore. I grabbed the underwater camera from Nick and dove into the water fully dressed. But I think it was worth it!

Every Breath You Take
The next day we went home. We travelled to St. Thomas by boat and took a cab to the airport after picking up some last minute odds and ends. When we boarded our flight to Charlotte NC, we couldn't believe it but we had managed to bookmark our trip in a rather unusual manner.

On our way to St. John, we met a extremely nice couple from Cape Cod. They were in St. John to celebrate their 30th anniversary; St. John being their original honeymoon destination. We shared a cab with them to the ferry and parted ways when we arrived at St. John. Or so we thought. When we went to Honeymoon bay, who did we run into? Again, when we went to Cinnamon Bay they were there. Every single time we saw them, they were already there when we arrived. We joked that we were stalking them and, thankfully, they had a good sense of humour.

By the time we were leaving, it had been a few days since we'd bumped into them. Before the plane was due to board, I ran to get a drink. When I got back, Nick said, "Look who's here!" I decided we had to get a photo with them. Evidently, honeymoon-based stalking is a very common activity for members of the South Bend Knitwork (you know who you are)!

So, that was our honeymoon. I'm glad to be home, or at least I keep telling myself that. I definitely want to go back there. Nick and I have said that, like our stalking victims, we'll go there for our 30th anniversary too. I can't wait!

1 comment:

Carly said...

YAY!! Your trip looked amazing! I'm so glad you had a wonderful time :) Welcome back to the real world.

10 Things in 1000 days

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