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Honeymoon Recap-Part VI

6 Aug

We woke up at Cooper and started working. Actually, I wasn’t allowed to help (seeing as how it was my first time on the boat), so I tried to stay out of the way as everyone else was cleaning. We had to throw out all of the provisions that we had opened but didn’t finish, so as we were motoring back to the Footloose dock we had fun throwing everything overboard.

After getting everything off the boat and onto the docks, we had a great lunch at a cute little place by the water. I had the most amazing bleu cheese burger ever, and we enjoyed the last of our time in paradise. After lunch, we took a cab back to the Tortola airport for our flight back. The best part was Jason getting called back into security, because we had a ziplock of bug spray and sunscreen that they didn’t like (mind you, we flew in with that bag). Oh, and the fact that, since its one of the few places in the Islands that has air conditioning, they USE it, so Kelli and I got to bust our our Snuggies (yes, I am a loud, proud, and bright pink wearin’ Snuggie supporter!) and made Jason shame me.

We took our prop plane back to Puerto Rico, where we were spending the night. It was awesome to see the Spanish influence in a country that technically belongs to America. It is very similar to Miami, but since most of their economy rests on tourism, they also speak English.

Puerto Rico Airport

The hotel we stayed at was right near the airport in San Juan, so we had a short drive over. Jason and I’s hotel room had a lovely view of a Cockfighting arena, which I was very happy didn’t have any events there during our stay (I probably would have staged a protest. Been arrested. Thrown in jail. Tried to escape. Or cried, a lot. Typical me fashion). We walked a few blocks to dinner (we played it safe with food and went to Chili’s), and got to experience some of the beautiful city (Jason and his dad experienced a little more when they walked to CVS, but I took a looooooooooooooong shower, which was amazing after so many days on the boat….and used half a bottle of conditioner on my hair!).

The hotel was fun because, like most of Puerto Rico, they have a very laid back and carefree attitude, and there was a HUGE party at the hotel pool that included a swim up bar.

All in all, I loved Puerto Rico, and I wish we would have had some more time to spend while we were there. Flying over it was just a tease! It is an absolutely beautiful island full of amazing views and beautiful beaches.

The next morning, we headed out to the airport mid-morning, and spent the day flying back through Miami, and finally home to Houston. I must say, it was so hard to come back, even if we were excited to start our “real” life together. The views we saw, and the things we did will always be on my heart. I can’t wait until our next trip, and to have our children grow up feeling right at home on a big boat on the water, and livin’ on Island Time.

Honeymoon Recap-Part V

26 Jul

We woke up Saturday with a little bit of sadness, since it was our last day on the boat. After getting around a little, we powered over to a little marina to get ice and water called Marina Cay. You could see Marina Cay from where we were moored in Trellis, so it was a very small go.

I really like pictures of the islands from the air…there is so much beauty hidden under the water that you can’t see in our pictures!

After Marina Cay, we sailed over to a really neat island called Salt Island. The island is cratered with salt ponds that they fill with sea water, then let evaporate. As of now it seems that the island continues this practice as a tourist draw, but at one time it was a major part of the Islander’s economy. The salt pond itself was actually kind of nasty looking, I guess years of stagnant water will do that. The cool thing was walking around the massive pond and seeing all of the things that had been washed in with the water and then left ashore as it evaporated. There were tons and tons of seashells (which I collected a big portion of them), a LOT of broken glass (besides some being sea glass, I have the feeling it might be a party place), there was an old abandoned hut, and a rickety old boat that was definitely not seaworthy. I believe that Jason’s mom refereed to it as a “tetanus minefield”. The sand on salt island was incredible….it was so soft and silky. I loved sinking my feet into it!

This island was really really neat. And we found a ton of seaglass on the soft sand beach!

Very, very nearby is Salt Island is The Wreck of the Rhone, a Royal Mail Steam Packet Ship that sank off the coast of Salt Island in October of 1867 during a hurricane. The only regret I have about the whole sailing trip is not being SCUBA certified so we could go dive at the Wreck. It is one of the most intact dive sites in the entire world, including a teaspoon that is still visible stuck in the coral! I told Jason that the next time we go we HAVE to have our cert, because there is no way I can leave without seeing it!

Here are some pictures from online from The Wreck…seriously…how cool is this?!

Piece of tile floor, still intact…wikipedia

Another from wiki…look at how intact it is after so many years!

After walking around the island for a while, we headed back to have lunch on the boat, and then moved on to our last island, Cooper Island. We went ashore that night and had an AH-MAZ-ING dinner…Jason had a really good chicken alfredo, and I had mussels steamed in coconut milk curry. I seriously crave this so often its not even funny, but its just not as good without fresh coconut milk!

We went to a little store on Cooper where I got a really pretty black coral bracelet…Jason was so sweet to encourage me to buy things like that. I stress about spending money, so I will see things I like but not pick them up. He is such a blessing to me!

We went back to the boat that night and sat on the tramp looking at the stars. In College Station I feel like we barely see stars, so I used to think going to Missouri was amazing. The midwest has nothing on the Caribbean though! There were millions of stars! It was so beautiful! Our last night on the boat was so peaceful and amazing, it was one of those soul satisfying moments that will be with me forever. The glory and power of the Lord is so evident there, in everything.

The next day was packing up and heading back to land, which was an experience all in itself!

Honeymoon Recap-Part IV

21 Jul

Friday we headed out to a really neat place called Monkey Point. Its well known in the BVI for being some of the best snorkeling around. I had never snorkeled before, so it took me a little convincing. I hate putting my face underwater (read: I refuse to put my face underwater), and get really bad panic attacks when I feel closed in, so snorkeling took me a bit (b-t-dubbs: when you have a slight panic attack through the mouthpiece of snorkeling gear it makes a really funny sound).

We were able to see schools of thousands (I’m not making that number up!) of little silver fish, some beautiful blue teng (Dory fish…as I kept yelling when I saw them), and so many other amazing sea fishes. Jason’s dad found this cool spiney lobestery thingy in a cave near the shore. I loved swimming and moving your hand and watching the schools dart to avoid you; it was seriously one of the most amazing experiences.

Monkey Point is tied to be my favorite place in the BVI. I love snorkeling!!!!!!!

After convincing me to get out of the water…yes, I had to be convinced…we sailed over to a really cool (and busy) place called Trellis Bay. Trellis was fun because there was a really neat pirate-looking ship moored right in front of us, so we spent a lot of time trying to figure our where it was from (Dover, DL and a very Eastern European looking flag…let us know if this sounds familiar). Kelli and Bill also went on shore and managed to find Dr. Pepper, so that was also amusing to us.

Trellis is also neat because it is surrounded by a giant reef, so dinghy’s have to be really careful going in to shore. And, its just honestly super neat to see THAT many ships moored in one place. We saw so many different ones, its amazing to look at how personalized they are. We even saw a lady catch a ball BY HERSELF on a monohull. Very very impressive, even for someone like me who doesn’t know much about sailing!

We spent the night in Trellis Bay, and slowly got up and around the next morning for our last day on The Duchess.

Honeymoon Recap-Part III

15 Jul

Thursday morning we got up and slowly got around. Life on the boat is so nice because you don’t have to worry about a schedule, a clock, anything but the sun, wind, and being able to catch a ball (you do this instead of anchoring) at popular locations.

We went a little ways over to an area of islands which contains Green Cay and Sandy Spit (there is also a Sandy Cay…I get them so confused!). Sandy Spit is where the  famous rumored Kenny Chesney tree is located (for those who don’t know…like I didn’t until I met Jason’s family, the BVI is frequent hangout spot for Kenny Chesney and Jimmy Buffet). The Cay was a lot of fun because Jason’s parents went snorkeling, while Jason and I took the dinghy in and hiked the little trail that went to the top of the hill. It would have been amazing, except there were quite a few mosquitoes attacking, and there were a few too many lizards. I loved getting to the top and seeing the incredible view, and the gorgeous shiny black rocks that were at the bottom. Next time we’re on that island I plan to have bug spray and be able to take our time exploring.

Aerial picture, because the cool stuff is under the water!

That afternoon we sailed over to Cane Garden Bay, made famous in the song “Manana” by Jimmy Buffett. Cane Garden was really fun because we were able to watch a dog on the island. He was so funny, he had stolen a piece of pizza and buried it. He came back a little later and found his prize, and got so excited and frolicked so much that he dropped it and it got covered in sand. It was so fun to see that no matter where they are, or what conditions they live in, a dog is still a dog. The next morning everyone got up and went on a tour of the Callawood Distillery except Jason and I.

Our first full day on the boat was amazing, and I was so thankful that since the first day I had no motion sickness! The next day on the boat was probably my favorite…more on it later!

Honeymoon-Part II

12 Jul

Wednesday (after a rather difficult morning of packing and dealing with breakfast being on “island-time”), Jason’s parents picked us up at the Peter Island Resort. All week I had been asking Jason about every boat we’d see in the harbour “does that one look like ours?”;being from Missouri, I had no idea what a catamaran really looked like. When we got to the dock, I was amazed at the size! It was huge! My mental image of being in a space the size of a closet was banished!

This is identical to the boat we were on, The Duchess

This is what our kitchen/galley area looked like. Behind is a table for sitting. We were so lucky that it never rained, so we didn’t use this for much but storage and making dinner some nights on the boat.

I could go on and on about the boat. Sailing is so amazing. I thought that being on the boat would be hard, and I would be begging to go on shore at every opportunity, but that was so far from the truth. I was always so sad to leave, and I’m not going to lie and say that the dinghy and I were good friends. I’ve never felt so ungraceful as I did getting in and out of that thing.

After a little round of motion sickness and becoming familiar with using the head (meaning pump your own potty!), we were off to a little marina called Soper’s Hole. It is a perfect picture of what I imagined a Caribbean Island to look like. There were lots of little shops painted an array of bright colors, all selling goods made on the island. We had lunch at Pusser’s and walked around for a while.We also went into the dive shop, where I got my snorkel gear and a pair of water socks. (Fun side fact, everyone the whole trip teased me about my fins, because the only ones that would fit on my feet were little kid ones…curse my small feet!)

Is that not too cute?

After a while at Soper’s, we headed back out to the boat, and took off for what would be tied for my favorite island…Great Harbour on Jost van Dyke. Jost is really amazing because it is so pure. When you are sitting on your boat deck, you can look up the amazing hills and see only one long, thin, winding, probably pee-your-pants inducing road. Then you can start to hear the adorable goats that inhabit the island baaaaahing at each other. I seriously believe there may be more goats than people on the island…and that’s my kind of place.

Jost was really neat because of the traveling salesmen. You would be hanging out on the deck, or down below getting ready for dinner, and someone in a dinghy would come cruising up to sell something (including Nippy the traveling salesman. You can google him. No, I’m not kidding…try it). That night was dinner at an awesome place I had heard so much about, Sydney’s Peace and Love. They had amazing lobster, and drinks from the bar are poured on the honor system. Tradition at Sydney’s is that you sign a t-shirt and hang it up. It was fun walking around and seeing the t-shirts from the other trips Jason’s family had taken, and I was very excited to sign the TCU shirt that would be hanging there the next time we go!

We spent that night in Great Harbour, and I fell in love with sleeping on the boat. The gentle rocking motion, the sound of the water lapping against the side, the breeze blowing against you…utter perfection. Waking up to the sound of the goats calling each other across the rocks of the island…perfection again.When I “go to my happy place”, I am laying in our bed in the harbour of Jost van Dyke, listening to goat calls and wondering what a new day will hold.

Honeymoon Recap-Part I

8 Jul

Our honeymoon started our very early on the Sunday after the wedding. It was amazing how much stuff we had with us, and how the few hours at the hotel we had spread it everywhere. We did a few last minute checks that we had no illegal items (lipgloss, toothpaste….you know, the deadly stuff), and were off!

We flew to Miami and spent several hours because one of our flight attendants didn’t show up. We had only 30 minutes to catch our connection in San Juan, and if we missed it we had to wait until the morning to get to Tortola. We finally got on our flight when the reserve flight attendant came on duty, and Jason and I prayed and prayed during the flight that we’d make it in time. Before we even got off the plane I had my flip-flops off, and we mad-dashed it across the airport. After we skidded to a stop in front of our ticket counter, we were so thankful to find that the last flight to the island had been delayed, and we had a while to wait. Praise the Lord, He is so good!

The flight to Tortola was…interesting. I’m not an experienced flyer, by any means, and flying in a small propeller plane, over open ocean, at night, is not my idea of fun. We met the Peter Island Taxi after getting through immigration, and began another “experience”. The British Virgin Islands are an interesting mix between US and England. The major being they drive American cars (steering wheel on the left), but drive on the opposite side of the road (also on the left). They also don’t like using headlights, and prefer to drive the winding, mountainous roads by….I guess spidey senses. I’m still not sure, and I actually prefer not to think about it.

We arrived very late to Peter Island (around 11pm, but we had left here at 7am!), and heard the best phrase anyone could ever say from the concierge…”We have delivered dinner to you room”.

The picture above is not of our room, but ours was the identical mirror of that. So beautiful. The Peter Island Resort is seriously Heaven on Earth. We got to spend our days playing in the sun, relaxing on the sand, and swimming in the amazingly beautiful water. We spent several hours out in Deadman’s Harbour on a Hobi sailboat. We ate amazing food, and got to feed the sweet little island kitties that were always begging, but would turn their noses up at bread. During the warmer afternoons I took long naps while Jason read and watched movies. It was so great to get to spend that quiet time together, just us, winding down after the crazy wedding.

I thought that nothing could get better…until I set foot on The Dutchess.