Farewell February

Greetings loved ones,

Well I totally lied about the island being starved for rain! As it turns out, that durn polar vortex blah blah has brought us sporadic rain since my last update for which our cisterns are quite thankful 🙂

Fat Tuesday on island ended up being quite the unexpected event! The resort that DJ and I work at had a Mardi Gras feast in the restaurant where one of our fellow native Louisianians designed a menu of fried alligator and shrimp po’boys and even made homemade king cake! It was BEYOND delicious, nostalgic, PERFECT! After work DJ and I went to visit our friends’ Ted and Tamara (Tamara is from Louisiana) who invited us over for a Mardi Gras dinner. Tamara made crawfish etouffee which was incredible (and shared where I can find crawfish tails on island) and Ted made king cake! It was so nice to reminisce and have fellow islanders join us in homegrown tradition!

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Ted, Tamara, and Wells (because we foolishly did not take any pics on Mardi Gras night)

As promised, here are some photos of our new entertainment center and photo wall. We’ve received so many compliments on our photo wall, and I am so happy to share that we got all of our prints from nationsphotolab.com. They have done an amazing job! When we finally open our Etsy shop, they will be our supplier for sure!

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Here’s a before shot of the living room just to show you how far we’ve come!

wpid-IMG_20131002_102459.jpg The guest bedroom is our latest project. We tried to get some updates going before our next guest of honor arrives (my mom!!) So far we have purchased new bedding which I love, love! Thomas Kinkade Disney puzzles have become our new obsession! We have completed 5 of them and have more on the way. We’ve framed them as fabulous works of art for the guestroom 😉 Our next project in the room is to build an eclectic book shelf out of the same crates we ordered for the entertainment center and a Pinterest project for the wall that involves washi tape. I can’t wait!

IMG_0104 IMG_0101 Last Wednesday night we had the young adults bible study hop across to St. Thomas to have a Louie Giglio and pizza night where we visited for 2 hours with no power (ahhh island life)! We finally had Pizza Amore which is amazing, and I’ve since had it 3 times. We finally watched Indescribable when the power was restored, had an awesome discussion, and even made a new friend/addition, Catherine 🙂
For our fabulous Valentine’s date, we went to Thirteen which is one of the nicer dining establishments on St. Thomas. It was our first time going there. We went around 6pm, and the view was spectacular! The food was delicious, but the best part was the dessert! It was a perfect belated Valentine’s with my hubby, and we will definitely be going back!

IMG_0053IMG_0046Last Sunday we had a grill-out at the house with a group of friends in honor of Trevor and Sharon (our good friends who haven’t made it to the blog yet)! The occasion was that we were all available (ahhhh island party planning) 🙂 It was a perfect Sunday evening, and DJ’s burgers were fantastic! Wilson made peanut butter and banana beignets which were out of this world!!

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Sharon and me on left; Trevor, Trey, and DJ on right
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From left: Wilson, Kelly, Catherine, and Claudia

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Blasting to the past, our second stop on our cruise was the island of Barbados.

IMG_0088I could not wait to go to Barbados because we planned to go to Welchman Hall Gully which is a beautiful preserved gully that is open for tours and that has MONKEYS! If you don’t already know this, one of my best moments in life was getting kissed by a monkey through a fence at a wildlife preserve in Maya Key, Honduras, and these monkeys in Barbados would be roaming free! I was so excited about this I was shaking with anticipation from the moment I woke up, even more excited than about the Pumpkin Spice Latte!! When we got off the cruise port, we had a little trouble finding a taxi to take us to the gully because it was not one of the popular tourist spots that the taxis from the cruise port usually go to. Barbados is roughly 5 times the size of St. Thomas, so it’s more difficult to get to further parts of the island. We found a crazy, middle-aged pirate-of-a-man who would bring us named Sydney. I say pirate because the Barbadian accent is different from the West Indians’. It’s got a hint of British influence that makes most of the men sound like pirates, delightful! It was about a 25 minute drive to the gully, and it was even more beautiful than I had anticipated!

IMG_0091 IMG_0094 IMG_0092 IMG_0089OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA The tour is self-guided, and the flora are labeled with a number so that you can read about the history and uniqueness of their presence. When you reach the end, you turn around and view the opposite side of the path. When we reached the end, all I could think was “where are the MONKEYS!” I was so anxious, and they should have come by now! I will never forget the moment when I saw the slight rustling of a bush, and a green monkey runs 10 feet in front of me to cross the path. I was freaking out with excitement! Slowly another monkey creeps out to chase the other, and then a mother comes with her baby wrapped around her! Soon there were more monkeys than I could count, and I was crying!! This was one of the best excursions and adventures that we have experienced!

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAfter the gullies, Sydney brought us to Carlisle Bay where we snorkeled and saw tons of huge starfish, sea turtles, a sea robin (the craziest fish I have ever seen!), and two wrecks! That was our first wrecks, and the snorkeling was incredible!

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Sea Robin (a fish with claws and wings)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA IMG_0106Our day in Barbados was amazing! However inexplicably, we just didn’t feel it there. The people were friendly, the island was beautiful, but I don’t think we’ll go back (probably a little surprising to hear after my fantastic reviews). It may just be our adaptation to the West Indian culture and the fact that we weren’t expecting it to be so different from what we’re used to. I wouldn’t discourage anyone from going to Barbados, but there are a list of islands that I’d recommend before it based on my own comfort and experience.

To come: (I’m taking a Blogging 101 course, so I may be blogging more than usual based on the assignments) recaps of the rest of the cruise, and of course my mom’s visit!! (March 6)

Cheerio,

Megs

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