Monday, February 15, 2010

St. Thomas Recap

Had a great time and nothing more needs to be said, but since this is like my journal, here's how the trip went.

Friday, left the kids with Brooke and headed for the airport at 10:30am. Arrived in Houston in time for dinner (their time) and was there unil midnight. Flew into Puerto Rico, and was there as the sun rose and we waited for a few more hours. All these delays were because we were trying to escape the snow in the east, but it was a little long. We finally arrived at the resort in St. Thomas at 9:00am Saturday, and they were surprised that we wanted to check in so early! We actually ate, then checked in, showered and hit the beach. Amy and Bob got back from their dive in time to have lunch with us and we kicked around (snorkled) until our scuba refresher class that afternoon. For dinner I had my first one pound lobster tail and we had a little get together with all Amy's family that night before finally going to bed.
Sunday we woke in time for breakfast with all the other divers and headed out on the boat for our first dive in open water in 8+ years. It was as fantastic as I remembered, but I had some challenges with bouyancy. Alvin buddied with Bob and I with Amy and we saw some amazing things. I've been told you can see the same things snorkeling that you can diving, but that is not at all accurate! Amy loves looking at the little things and when you can't really communicate it's hard to understand what you are seeing. Amy had told me about Pederson shrimp that will give you a little manicure and she kept trying to get me to rest my hand down and wait for it to get down to business, but I just couldn't do it. Our room was being made up when we got back, so we went to lunch in our bathing suits (weird for me). We headed into town, thinking we could do some souvenier shopping, but the cruise ships were heading out and the vendors were closing shop. We returned in time for dinner, more lobster and super bowl party on the beach. Actually, I watched a few minutes of the game and went to put pictures on here for the boys and chat with Amy.
Monday, more diving! Amy brought her camera and let me take some pictures (can't seem to load them on here because they are TIFF files and can't change them to JPEG). On the boat, there are talk of eels, and how they have curved teeth that don't let go if they bite you. Down in the water, we see an eel and I'm up close trying to get a picture, but feeling too close and uneasy, when Alvin comes and grabs my leg. Well, Amy said he touched me, but I was so afraid of that little eel, that I screamed and jumped toward the eel. Nothing happened, but I was terrified. Can't recall the day activities, but we had dinner with 16 people that lasted forever and I ate Lobster, again!
Tuesday, was our day to sleep in and opted not to go diving. We went to breakfast and took out a kayak into the bay. We got called back by one of the resort guys, who I swear, was just looking for an excuse to go out on the jet ski! We went out for our first ever night dive...and it was fascinating. Keep in mind it's dark and the only lights come from our flashlights, so Amy points to something and all the sudden, I'm brave and I think, "I'll go for that shrimp mani now," and I put my hand down in front of what she is pointing at. She is an amazing friend...she smacks my hand away when she realizes what I am thinking, because that is an arrowhead crab (again, can't get pictures) that can apparently draw blood with it's sharp pointy claws! We saw the red eyes of shrimp, all kinds of fish and Bioluminescence (but you had to turn off your light for that -I was scared at first). We saw a few little sting rays which scared me, but as we were coming up to the surface, we saw 2 of these.


And this one was bigger than my dining room table! I couldn't get to a safe spot fast enough. When we got to the surface, it was pitch black with more stars visible in the sky than I'd ever imagined! Of course, there were 2 cruise ships lit up like cities floating off on the horizon so we could see where the water ended and the sky began. Back to shore, had a late dinner and that night I didn't have lobster.

Wednesday was Amy's big day. Alvin went out diving and I slept in again! Alvin said it was the best day of diving he had (so I missed out!). Instead, I got to have breakfast with my dear friend and her mother and grandmother. We then headed out on the water on an aqua trike for a little fun time before she had to start getting ready! I had lunch with Alvin and Bob while fetching lunch for Amy (service was pretty slow). I got ready and hung out with Amy while she finished getting ready. The wedding was on the beach and it was beautiful! After the wedding, the couple had rented the catamaran and took all the wedding guests out for a sunset cruise! It was amazing, but my camera batteries had died! (I'm waiting for Amy to return and compile everyone's pictures on a CD for me). We all had dinner at the beach bar, which was celebrating Carnival that night, and laughed as Amy, the good sport that she is, stood on a table and sang "Take me out to the Ball Game" in front of 200 plus guest that came for the Resorts Festivities!

Thursday, it came to an end, after breakfast and packing, we departed for the airport at 11am and prayed for snow in Newark the entire way to the airport. We finally arrived back home at midnight local time. And it took me 4 days to not feel jet lagged anymore!

It was a great trip and made better by good friends and new friends! Today, I spent the day looking for tropical family trips...not that we will be able to afford them for a few years!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

More vacation pictures!

So, I really want to be with Amy right now, partly because she had a freak accident on day 2 of her honeymoon but mostly because she is still in the Caribbean! Somehow, she had a full scuba tank, connected to weights and gear dropped on her head and she ended up with stitches and can't dive: sad, because their honeymoon was planned around diving.

So, we made it home about midnight on Thursday and picked up the kids from my parents on Friday morning...all was well with them, except they seem to have picked up a cold! I have a bit of jet lag and don't have much patience so here are some pictures to take me back! I haven't done wash yet, so I could still go stimulate another sense to take me there.

Me and AlvinMe in a swim through, basically swimming through short tunnels (it was a first for me and I just wished I had 2 gloves)On the dive boat, going on our night dive (no pictures from that yet)FishDive boat and hottie dive masterAlvin's uninvited lunch guest...the iguanas were really pests, because guests feed them when they shouldn't.Amy and Bobs wedding!What is she thinking?It really was a lovely ceremony and spot. Funny enough, the dive boat came in from a dive in the middle of it.Amy's shoes, just like mine with different ribbons...sorry Jeanette, no picture of me in my shoes.Not a great one of me, but none were! That the problem with taking off my sunglasses.At the airport and time to go home...I was crossing my fingers for a snow delay of a few days! We had a great time and met some new friends and saw old friends. And no sunburn thanks to spf 85! Of course, that means no tan either.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

St. Thomas

Can't seem to get the pictures in order, so bear with me.

Paxton, Quincy & Finn,

We arrived in St. Thomas and WOW, it is beautiful here. Eighty degrees and about 81 degree water. The resort we are staying at has several iguanas living here, not really as guests, but they are always around. We took this picture so you could see what an iguana looks like.
This is the resort...Our room is right on the beach and you can hear the waves all night long.

We arrived at the resort at 9am, much earlier than check in, but they let us get our room and then we spent the day snorkeling and re-learning to scuba dive. Here's dad at the surface in the bay.
We rode from Puerto Rico to St, Thomas on this little tiny plane. The runway here is right next to the ocean. This is what I saw when we were going down for the landing.
Dad said he really wanted to see a turtle and we saw one while snorkeling...and that is really rare according to the dive shop. It was eating grass about 30 feet away from the shore.

And just a few minutes later we saw this eagle ray: It was probably 8 feet long from the nose to the end of his tail.
Today, we went out on the dive boat and did 2 scuba dives. We saw some parrot fish, trumpet fish, sea pearls, Pederson shrimp, spotted eel, and tons of other fish. We are going to go again tomorrow morning and Tuesday night.
We are having a fantastic time. Amy says hello and sends kisses. We miss you and love you lots! Hope you are haing a great time with Bubba and Jacob. We will see you in a fae days. Please be good.
Love Mommy!




Thursday, February 4, 2010

St. Thomas Bound

Okay, I really am leaving! In fact I am leaving EARLY!

First, I have to question why I have had so many road blocks with this trip. I booked the trip in July, and in November, my mom scheduled a trip for the same weekend and I was stuck scrambling for a sitter. We finally patched together arrangements, with Grandpa, Uncles and friends and I was good to go again.

Then came finding a dress to wear to the wedding. Seriously, have you ever looked for a dress appropriate for a beach wedding in January? Finally found one online and when it arrived, IT FIT! It's a little June Cleaver/Lucille Ball like, but I really like it and it matches the super cute green shoes I bought before the dress.

Then came the snow! Well, not yet, but there's supposed to be a HUGE storm on the east coast, starting when we are en route to Newark. I asked people to pray, namely a priest in NJ, who suggested it might be easier to just call the airlines and ask to be rerouted. It worked, but I think the real kicker was when I told the woman on the phone who suggested I call and why (she laughed and laughed) and she gladly changed our flights, to one leaving earlier. No Problem.

Wait! Problem. BIG PROBLEM! Mimi's out of town, Bubba's working, and I have at least 2 kids that have nothing to do all day long. I kid you not, I called a bunch of people, starting at 5:pm and either people weren't home or were busy. I cried, then served dinner, made a few more calls, cried some more...you get the idea. Finally, I called Brooke to see if her son was available...nope, but she was! I'm a boob...I cried. No, I really cried! I am so lucky! And I am detemined to go and have fun on this trip because I know my boys are in good hands (and I'd be perfectly fine if my little nail biter comes home with orange nails).

So all my good friends, farewell. AND Thank you Brooke for the huge favor!

School day #2

Quincy came home from school yesterday happy! And he was excited to go again "tomorrow." But when the bus came for him today, he screamed and stuck to my leg...as I was walking on the bus, carrying his large car seat. The bus has car seats for it's riders, but today was a field trip and he had to have a car seat. As I buckled him into his seat, I noticed the 3 other kids plugging their ears. According to David, the driver, he screamed for a little and then calmed down, but sulked the rest of the way to school.

The field trip was to the dentist. Quincy was so excited to show us all the things they got to bring home: a toothbrush, some flossers, a timer and a dental mirror. And he was happy when he got home, again.

The other day, I came out and found the boys playing on my bike...they do this often but never before with sun glasses. And they were playing happily!

And then last weekend, or was it the week before, I made crumpets. I LOVE those crumpets they sell at Trader Joes, but it was like $3 for a pack of 6. So I attempted and they tasted wonderful...but they didn't have the holes that real crumpets have. I'm going to work to perfect these, because I bought the rings to make them and I should use them.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Quincy Goes To School

Yesterday Quincy started preschool! If you could leave a little message for Quincy, he would love to hear your excitement for him!
He was incredibly nervous but posed for a few pictures (only after I let him take mine).
He knows the letter Q so he looked around the room for his "name" and found it.
He was "velcro baby" when I was at the school with him, but after 30 minutes I peeled him off, handed him to Teacher Kathy, and when I picked him up all the teachers said he had a GREAT day.

Today the little bus picked him up at our house and he wasn't happy about leaving. Luckily, the bus driver that picks him up to go to school is the driver of Finn's bus, so he knows us (the same bus driver from the dump truck incident last year) and we like him. And he didn't seem bothered by Quincy's screaming.

Why isn't Paxton going? Well, Quincy is a little hyper and we had him tested and his social skills are a bit delayed and that qualifies him for a developmental preschool. Pax goes to speech therapy and we're trying to get him into swim lessons while his brother is in school.