Friday, September 28, 2012

St. Lucia - part VII

LAST post about St. Lucia, I swear.  I will be glad to have these later though when I want to remember our trip!!

So, our last day was another relax at the resort day.  We spent the morning poolside reading and drinking dirty bananas.  (OMG they were so good.)

After our morning at the pool, we decided to hit the beach for a little bit.  The waves were really rough that day for whatever reason ... this picture doesn't really do it justice but it was fun to watch. 

Ben pretended to be a surfer-boy. This picture cracks me up.

Then he did the karate kid pose

I proved that white women actually CAN jump.  (Believe it or not, this was my first attempt at a jumping picture!) 

We did one last footprint picture of course. 

And we did get one more beach photo of the two of us.  Lighting is terrible though.  Another reason I need to clone myself to take my own pictures -- other people just don't really do a good job most of the time.

I had a little standoff with this guy.  Pinchy.

Annnnnd, we did manage to get one last sunset picture!

It was a wonderful trip, and I've had so much fun re-living it via pictures.  Thanks for hanging with me (if you actually did)  And a huge thanks again to our parents for keeping W so entertained and happy while we were gone! 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

St. Lucia - part VI

We decided to take advantage of one of the sister resorts for the day/evening on Thursday.  We got up early, ate breakfast and caught the shuttle over to another part of the island.  I'm glad we did this because it just gave us a whole different perspective.  This resort was on a flatter part of the island, so the views and beach were totally different. 

We relaxed in these awesome floating devices in the water for quite a while.  (Until I got cold -- it was a little overcast that day as you can kinda tell).  I've never seen those things before, but they were like baby pools (with mesh on bottom so water came in) and were tethered to the ocean floor so you really could relax without getting too hot or floating away! 

After a quick beach-side lunch we went back down to the beach for some pictures.  I had realized that we didn't really have any pictures of the two of us on the beach.  We found these sweet (and also probably drunk) ladies to take our picture.  They were all drinking Pitons and insisted that we borrow their beers to pose for the picture! 

We spent the afternoon split between the beach and pool just relaxing.  The only downside was the overcast weather and we were worried all day that it was going to rain.  It eventually did, but not until late in the afternoon. 

Once the rain came in, we decided to go inside and get ready for dinner.  I told Ben that I really thought I should be on some kind of reality survivalist show because all I brought was a change of clothes, a sample-sized tooth paste, shampoo, and a tiny bit of makeup.  I really was roughing it!

We had a great dinner at their little Italian restaurant.  The food was excellent, service sucked.  It was very obvious that they were trying to shuffle people in and out quickly. 

By the time we got dessert, Ben had asked our waitress and 2 others for another glass of wine.  It never came.  So we occupied Toscanini's until they finally did come to refill our glasses. 

It was a great day .... and I've got one last day full of photos for you tomorrow! 

Monday, September 24, 2012

St. Lucia - part V

This was probably both Ben's and my favorite day in St. Lucia by far.  I know it was mine, at least.  We'd picked out this tour early in the week because it sounded like we'd get to see a good bit of the island and as we talked to other people who had already gone they just raved about it. 

Bear with me on the pictures.  I've got lots!

We were picked up by bus, and taken to the harbor in the nearby capital of Castries where we got on a speed boat for a cruise along the western coast.  Almost immediatley they bust out the rum punch.  I normally don't even like rum punch but omg ... this stuff was divine.  It was semi-frozen, so all slushy and mango-y and just good.  We zipped along the coastline enjoying the scenery.

Stopped in the famous Marigot Bay for a look at the gorgeous houses and yachts.
Then we stopped in front of the Pitons for some quick photos.  They say these are the 9th wonder of the world.  (Guess they skipped over #8??  I thought there were only 7)  Wonder of the world or not, they're gorgeous and kinda the 'landmark' for St. Lucia.

After that quick stop, we went to a little reef for some snorkeling.  We actually saw lots of pretty fish and coral -- sometimes those snorkeling trips aren't so great but this stop was fantastic.  Also, don't we look pretty in all our gear?

After this, we pulled up to a little beach in the town of Soufriere and got off the boat.  There were some pretty aggressive locals trying to get money from us, so I probably shouldn't have stopped for this photo but I just think its so pretty!

We got in a van, and traveled up to Sulphur Springs National Park.  Posed for a quick photo.

Then we took a look at the water.  It was a cool 120 degrees.  I kid you not. 

We all kinda stood there dipping our feet in tenatively while our tour guide walked through it (like it was nothing) and got these big buckets of mud.  We slathered that mud all over ourselves.

I had a friend in college who dressed up as Sambo for halloween.  He literally painted himself black.  Not his finest hour (I'm sure even he would agree with that statement), but I couldn't help but remember that costume after I saw this picture of Ben and I.

There was actually a little pool where you could get into the water to wash off.  Remember, it was ONE HUNDRED TWENTY degrees in that pool.  I just kinda splashed myself but Ben did get in up to his shoulders.  Nuts! 

I can't even describe how soft this mud made our skin feel.  It has zinc, and all these awesome minerals that high-end skincare products have in it so its really a very healthful thing for your skin.  We did wash it off and then got in the van to go up the volcano a bit to a gorgeous waterfall.

Stopped quickly outside the park for a picture.  (our tour guide was awesome - took all 7 couples' cameras and patiently took photos of all of us at each stop)

Then we went into the water.  It was pretty strange going into 65 degree waterfall pools having just come from a hot sulphur spring, but just awesome.  I love this picture.

Oh and this one.  You get a better idea of how shocked we were in that water! 

We met The Most Interesting Man in the World.  He doesn't always drink beer, but when he does ... he drinks Piton.

From there, we dried off and they took back to the town for a litle local creole lunch.  It was delicious. 

After lunch, we boarded the boat again and headed back towards our resort.  We stopped for a little show that the locals gave us.  Can you believe these kids?? They were jumping right in front of our boat.

Drove through this cave Jack Sparrow style.  (i think some pirate carribbean thing was filmed there or something)

And they dropped us off right on the beach at our resort.  It was such a fun and exhilarating day ... words don't really do it justice.  Definitely something I would do all over again.  

We relaxed by the pool and on the beach for the remainder of the afternoon.  After we were dressed for the evening and relaxing with a glass of champagne ben looked at me and (very seriously) said "Katie, I just don't think I can vacate any harder than this".  I laughed. 

Then went to the fancy-pants 5-course French resturant for dinner.  I had to splain' to Ben what an amuse-bouche was!  Anyway, this meal was the perfect end to a great day!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

St. Lucia - part IV

We had planned 2 excursions during our week and figured we'd space them out a bit with beach/pool days.  That means today is another resort day!  I'll let the photos do most of the talking. 


We started out with our 3-mimosa breakfast cliffside then hit up the pool.  It is super hot so we pretty much spent the morning in the water on floats. 

We hit up the good ole' pizza place again.  Except this time I changed it up with some sort of BBQ hot dog.  It was gross.  Should have stuck with the pizza!

We had had a pretty lazy morning, so after lunch we decided to get a kayak and go out for a little while in that.  We did the ziploc baggie camera thing again and fortunately there was no falling out of the kayak.

We didn't stay out long, but we just took a quick little ride across the bay where our resort was located and then went back. 

Of course we had to do our foot print pictures on the beach.  (We did our first one of these in Hawaii in 2009 and it is now prominently hung in our house)

After all our kayaking and taking footprint pictures we were kinda exhausted.  Vacation can do that to you, you know.  (on a serious note, these sand pictures took no less than 127 tries - its all very technical.  seriously.  and now that i look at this one, i realize the cropping is all janky so I'll have to fix it again)  So, we spent the afternoon at the pool.

We did manage to get the coveted sunset picture this evening!  (6:15 is the magic time.  this one was taken at 6:20 and by 6:25 you are just plain SOL) Probably my favorite photo from our trip.  At least top 5. 

We had dinner at the most popular (I think) restaurant at our resort -- and it was amazing.  I had the best jerk chicken ever.  Ben had Mahi Mahi and loved it as well.

We also had these fun cocktails -- called a Kiss Kiss.  Very sweet and coconut-y. 

We discovered a whole new 'area' of our resort this evening -- they have this great piano bar area which we enjoyed for quite a while.

Ben even got up and sang with the guy.  Walking in Memphis!  Ben isn't your typical karaoke singer.  I mean, don't get me wrong he LOVES to sing, but the difference is he's actually good. 

Tomorrow's installment was my very FAVORITE day of the whole trip.  Stay tuned so as not to miss any gratuitous vacation pictures! 

St. Lucia - part III

I hope yall aren't getting sick of this yet because I still have 4 more days to go ....

So, when we were initially planning our trip we were very close to going to Costa Rica.  We've actually wanted to go to Costa Rica for several years, really for many reasons.  One of those reasons is for the zip lines.  So, when we found out that St. Lucia also has some excellent zip lines we were all for it.  I have to admit that this is probably one of the things i was most looking forward to about this trip.

So, the day starts early with a bus ride into the rain forest.  Everywhere you go in St. Lucia takes quite a while because the middle of the country is all rain forest and there really aren't many roads (if any) through the middle of the island. 

We arrived in the rain forest, took a few 'before' pictures (that gear isn't terribly flattering to anyone)

Then got suited up

We got a quick lesson on technique.  Not sure if you can tell or not, but I didn't quite get it right on my first try -- you're supposed to be facing forward the entire time and right after takeoff I'm sideways. 
Ben had the camera for the first few lines, but you'll just have to take my word for it that he got it right from the beginning.  (I, on the other hand, ended up having to muscle myself in on the first line or two)

I eventually got it right!

We had a blast.  Really, just such a cool experience. 

There was quite a bit of hiking involved, and I of course kept my eyes peeled for snakes and bugs and such.  Didn't see any though :)  We paused for a little self-portrait.

We had a fantastic time and I think we both agreed that this is something we would definitley do again! 

This was our tour guide, Simple.  He was hilarious .... and also insane because if you look closely there is a tarantula on his head. 

I actually didn't take any pictures the rest of the afternoon, but we went back to the resort for lunch (more grilled pizzas ... yum) and spent the remainder of the day at the pool and beach.

That evening we got fancied up, but not quite in time for a sunset picture.  We had a lovely dinner at the Japanese resturant and then took it back to the pub for more Pitons and Football!