What a trip! We just got back from a week in the Caribbean with my parents and brother. It was a fun week. I wish I had taken my journal, but in retrospect I was far too busy to write anything down! Here goes a synopsis:
Friday night: We flew out of Seattle on a red eye (ug, I am not a fan of flying anymore).
Saturday morning: 5 sleepy uncomfortable Washingtonians got off the plane in San Juan, Puerto Rico and were greeted by warm tropical air. We changed into flip flops and shorts and grabbed a taxi to the ship.
Saturday: Ate lunch on the ship, unpacked, explored the boat, went to bed. Yes, we were exhausted. Troy, Matt and I had a stateroom next to mom and dad’s. It was pretty packed but worked out well.
Sunday: ST. CROIX!!!!! It was so exciting to visit the island I grew up on. We rented a car (which took an hour longer than it should have to collect) then drove around the island in the 4 person (yes, 4 person although we have 5) convertible. It was fun riding around with the top down, even though we almost got soaked when a rain storm opened up on top of us! We saw the whole island, driving out to Point Udall and then through Christiansted. I was really disappointed that the bracelet shops that I was planning to shop at were closed. I had been looking forward to new bracelets since we left last time! Oh well, I guess we need to go back. We went to our friends Van and Kitsy’s house. They had built a beautiful estate overlooking their sugar mill ruins and the ocean. Beautiful. It was a stunning house and grounds that was fun to explore. I loved showing Matt my island. We ended the day at Carambola, our favorite beach, before heading back to the ship. It was a lovely day.
Monday: St. Kitts was another rental car day where we drove too far but saw some neat things. A really old fort (awesome) and then finally made our way to a fantastic wavy deserted beach on the south end. We played in the crystal clear waves and had an awesome time getting pummeled. I tried to meet up with my friend Kate from Zanzibar who is attending vet school down there, but our paths did not cross. Too bad.
Tuesday: Dominica was our favorite island. We went to a stunning waterfall and hiked in with a guide named Kelvin. He was a great guide, showing us all the plants and interesting things along the way. Most people stop at the view point, but we hiked all the way up to the falls and swam in the pool at it’s base. Awesome! Matt had never swum in a waterfall before and was so excited. Afterwards we hiked over to some hot springs to warm up before we walked back for the next adventure. The next stop was caverns in the rainforest that you swim through to get to a waterfall. Some of the Pirates of the Caribbean was filmed here, and it was really neat to see. Now I need to watch the movies and find the right scene! Dominica was so beautiful and lush. I cannot wait to go back and visit that island and do some more hiking.
Wednesday: Grenada – the spice island. We hired a driver that was less than personable (very disappointing) and drove around the island to see the volcanic lake, and then a waterfall and snorkel at the Champagne Reef. It is a natural hot springs in the ocean that seeps hot gasses into the water that look like champagne bubbles. It was pretty cool. After snorkeling we changed on the ship really fast and then Matt and I explored town. We found some spices and hot chocolate and vanilla to buy as gifts. It is hard to find variety since every stand it identical, and you want to support multiple people. Our stateroom smelled very nutmeggy after out shopping trip!
Thursday: Our final port was Tobago. This was supposed to be our snorkeling/beach day, but it ended up being lots of time in the car. The water was really murky from all the rain runoff the previous few days so snorkeling was out. Dad found a geocache in some sugar ruins. They were some cool ruins! We hiked to Pirate’s Bay for swimming, but then had to drive all the way back the same way we had come when we discovered that the road was washed out. Beach was over for the day. Really disappointing. Matt and I wandered town for some more gifts (unsuccessfully, boo) but bought a roti, the local wrap as a snack and ate it by the water. It was a nice end to a lackluster day.
Friday: Day at Sea. We got to SLEEP IN!!! Woohoo! Then it was eating and lazing on deck, taking a swing lesson, playing Settlers and then going to dinner. Nice relaxing day.
Saturday: We got off the ship at 8am, dropped our luggage at the hotel, and took a bus to Old San Juan to explore around El Morro, the really old fort. I love this fort, and we had stunning views and great weather. After the fort we had lunch at a local place and then went to the beach. It was nice laying on the sand, but the water was so churned up you got drenched in sand when you swam in the waves. Not my favorite, but Matt and Troy had a blast. I liked watching all the kite boarders playing out on the reef. Dinner was fantastic. Cuban and Puerto Rican food. We ordered WAY too much and could not finish it all. Amazing cuisine though. I will go back to that place for sure!
Sunday: fly home. Long flying time. When we got back to Seattle we all went to Matt’s parent’s house for dinner. It was really good and lots of fun to tell them about the trip. Good end to the week of vacation!
Now I need to think about Christmas shopping and getting some work done….welcome back to life!