Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Lesson Learned

I have heard of this happening before, but me being the optimist I am and well lets just say that I don't always think things through, I didn't think that it would/could happen to me. Bring brand new sunblock with you on any vacation to the Sun.

Before I finished college and living in Ellensburg (December 2007), I thought I would use up all of my "food card money" on things that I could take with me. That entailed of cases of Starbucks Double Shots, cases of bottled water, and a butt-load of sunblock lotion SPF 15. It was a great idea as I had many plans of sitting out in the sun all summer (I was getting married and needed to be tan!) and with two trips to Mexico I was going to be stocked up! Needless to say, I didn't use all of it up. And as my life has been hectic since we came home from our Honeymoon to Cancun that stockpile of lotion has been sitting in our linen closet in our bathroom just waiting to be used.

On our recent vacation to the Caribbean, we brought our stockpile of sunblock. I knew that it was old, but it had worked last summer for the 30 min I spent outside on one of those hot days, just that one time. On our first day in the sun I wanted to make sure that my face was protected and my shoulders since they always seem to get burned, the rest of my body I thought would be just fine. Plus I wasn't planning on being in the sun too long and I rarely get burned at home (in Washington). Well the Caribbean is a lot closer to the sun, I fell asleep and just plumb stayed out in the sun a lot longer than planned. And guess what happened? Yep. You guessed it. I. Got. Burnt. Bad. I had the worst and strangest looking burn marks on my shoulders from the little bit of protection I got from the sunblock. Embarrassing. My body hurt so bad, we still had one more day at sea before our first stop to get more sunblock (it was going to be a lot cheaper off the boat). Not to mention that my backside was just as white as when I arrived, though it looked even more so with the comparison to the chile red pepper sunburned front side of my body. So the subsequent days of our trip I tried to even it out a little, using brand new sunblock that we got in St. Thomas and laid on my stomach to tan my backside. Even still by the last day of our trip my front side was still darker (and more red) than my backside could even hope to be...Oh well.

Lesson Learned. If you are going somewhere sunny for vacation and you haven't purchased sunblock in the last 3 months. You. Have. To. Buy. New. Sunblock. For. Your. Trip.

Has this ever happened to you? What is your worst burn story? Become a follower and leave a comment!!


Friday, April 22, 2011

Ode To The Caribbean 2

Our last stop on our cruise vacation was to the island of Saint Martin or Sint Maarten depending on what half of the island you are on. The island is divided 60/40 between France and the Netherlands. On the French side you would be in Saint Martin and the capital is Marigot, on the Dutch side you would be in Sint Maarten and the capital is Philipsburg. This island is unique as it has been owned by two countries who have been able to carry out a treaty to share the island, there is no border between the two ownerships so no need to bring your passport with you as you travel around the island. The most populated city is Marigot but the Dutch side has more people than the French. They have two different currencies used on the island, but like most countries I have traveled to they accept the US Dollar as well.

This is a beautiful island full of great people! Thomas and I chose to spend most of our time in Marigot, it was about a 20 minute taxi ride ($7/person) from Philipsburg to Marigot. We walked their street market, ate a delicious restaurant La Vie En Rose and visited Fort Louis. While the Fort is not well preserved with crumbling walls, you can tell that it was a great vantage point to help defend the island from attacks. The French side of the island is known for clothing optional beaches, we didn't go to any because probably those who choose the clothing optional option are not those that you want to see. We did spend time on the beach in Philipsburg and were offered many times to rent lounge chairs and umbrellas, we denied each offer and in one beach mans dire attempts to get some money out of us he asked "well if no loungers how about some weed, its legal here"! The water was so salty that Thomas was able to float on his back for almost 10 minutes without have to kick or wave his arms. This island was very different from Dominica as it was very urban. We had a wonderful time and are looking forward to our next trip back to Dominica and St. Maarten.

Teaser Pics from our Vacation


St. Thomas

St. Thomas

St. Thomas

Enjoy!! more info and pics to come!!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Ode to the Caribbean part 1

What an eventful 3 weeks! Thomas and I were blessed to join my family on a Caribbean Cruise on the Celebrity Equinox. We got to travel to 5 different Islands in the Southern Caribbean. Our favorites were Dominica and St. Maarten. The other islands we visited were, St. Thomas, Barbados, and St Kitts. I will post about our trip on a few different posts since there is a lot to cover. I will start out with our favorite, Roseau Dominica (Dom-ih-nee-ka).

Dominica is a beautiful Rain Forrest island getting over 250 inches of rain a year!! Luckily it did not rain while we were there. We went on an excursion to visit the Trafalgar Falls and the Emerald Pool. Our tour guide Cynthia was wonderful and she gave us such interesting information regarding Dominica and its people. We learned the long process to roasting cashews takes up to 6 months! and we learned that as soon as your child can walk, talk and use the toilet they are old enough to go to school. Most of their children are potty-trained by 7 months to 1 year and begin school at age 2, which is hard to imagine since children in the US don't start potty training until they are close to 2 years old! Along our tour we got to go through the Botanical Gardens and saw many new and interesting plants and trees. There was even a tree that looked like it was growing giant peanuts the size of two Volleyballs stacked on top of each other!! We went to Mont Bruce which is a lookout point high above in the city of Roseau, giving us a wonderful view of the city and ocean. Cynthia also told us that most people on the island only eat red meat 3 times a year, at Christmas, Weddings and Birthdays, their diet mainly consists of fruits, vegetables and fish with some chicken. Most everything is grown on the island and their main export is Bananas. We learned about their unique health care on the island. Each resident gets one free visit to the health clinic each week and if they need to go to the hospital they must pay about $100 for their visit. Dominican's do not really believe in Western Medicine, if they have an ailment then they make a tea out of their natural resources. The other really cool thing about Dominica is that they filmed Pirates of the Caribbean there. We had such a fabulous time at this island, we now know where we are going to retire to...if only that were to happen in the next couple of years.

On another note, Cooper loves the sun. He follows the sun in our house when he takes naps. This afternoon it got a little chilly so I turned on the heat. I looked around for the puppies and Cooper was laying next to the slider door, odd because it is on the wrong side of the house for the sun...then I realized that he was laying next to our floor vent and enjoying the warm air blowing out. What a cutie!!

May your pockets be heavy -
Your hearts be light
And may good luck pursue you
Each morning and night.