Sunday, January 30, 2011

Art Festival

This last week Carith, the boys and our neighbor Alexi and I went to a local art festival.  It was really close to our neighborhood in Porto Cupecoy - plus it was free - so we thought it would be a good idea to take advantage of the opportunity.  It turned out to be alot of fun.

OK - so here is the story - we arrived at the art festival which was at the marina next to our little grocery store.  When we walked up the boys noticed a red carpet - "we get to walk the red carpet mom" - then there were two "women" handing out the schedule for the evening - well - 1 was a women the other was a drag queen that was probably 6'5" at least.  The boys were a little nervous to walk by at this point.  On the other hand Alexi and I were like we have to get a photo - so we did - as you can see

Once the boys made it past the ladies they had a good time going down the red carpet

Some of the artwork that was on display

It was a great chance to browse at different pieces of art we may want to bring home from our adventure on St.Maarten

there was art of all kinds - there were 2 women with painted bodies that stood on display in white boxes - the painting on their bodies was amazing

The sax player of the Jazz band playing while we were there

The sign down by all the boats at the marina

This was the outline of the jazz band from the back of the tent

the interesting ladies of the evening

Working the red carpet

Nice, you got it

Ro's turn

I think we all had a fun evening - even though there was some extra added flavor that we would not have had at home - which is why you travel and do things in other places.  Thank you Alexi for the photos - it was great to go out and do something local on the island.  It was these experiences that we came here to enjoy.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Saying Good Bye to Friends

Sadly very early on Weds morning Mike and I helped to take the Tiffee family to the airport.  They are moving back to the states to finish the clinical part of med school.  They were a very important and solid part of the student and spouses community here on the Island.  They made everyone feel at home and welcome.  They are very missed already - we wish them the best of luck as they continue the journey we have all begun.

Hmmmm and how is this all going to fit - and yes it did require multiple vehicles to get the whole family to the airport.  I kind of had a picture in my mind of, dogs, luggage

Not sure if Arden was quite ready for the trip....

taking Iva and Rainey for their last walk on the island

As the sun began to rise the luggage train began.....

Steve doing a great job manuevering the loaded cart off the curb

The Tiffee wagon train (minus Steves car)

What can I say Tiffee's we miss you lots, thanks for all the memories and it would not have (and it wont be)  been the same without you..  The best of luck to you and on your next adventure.

Bai Long

Hard to believe we are already in the second block of the semester.  Last monday Mike had his first block exams of his second semester of med school.  He did well and passed all his exams - he had 3 this time.  As all his exams were in the morning we were able to take him to the beach for the afternoon.  The hard part was trying to decide what beach to go to that would keep everyone happy - mostly waves for the boys.  After seeing how busy Bai Rouge was we settled on Bai Long - we had actually never been there and thought it would be fun to try a new beach with Dad and Carith.  We don't have many pics because I forgot my camera and soon after we arrived Carith had some technical difficulties with hers.

We all had fun playing in the water - the shore was rocky and there was some reef and rocks that we could snorkel around and look at some pretty fish.  The observation was made that it appeared to the left of the beach entrance was a nude bathing area (all though this is not always - just the day we were there of course).  Ronan made the comment - "mom every beach here is a nude beach - look there are 5 nude people here".  I had to agree with him, from our experience it appears it is possible to see nude bathers at every beach.  The benefit - the boys have become very accustomed to seeing this and it is not to bothersome.  Except maybe when a male nude bather goes running down the beach to rescue our umbrella while we are all swimming and watching from the water.  OH a sight to be seen - then you add Ronan saying "Dad I am going to help get our umbrella" and Mikes response "oh no you just stay right here in the water  - it is just fine".  I would say time for Mike to have another beer.

The boys enjoying the water

We all had a nice time enjoying this new beach and we will be back I am sure.  It is quiet and has some fun shoreline for the boys to explore.

After the beach we went to the Greenhouse in Simpson Bay for some food and drinks.  They have a really good happy hour - drinks for 2 for 1 and 3 dollars off of appetizers.  The boys could play in the sand and we could watch the sunset over the bay and the boats getting ready to make it back into the lagoon for the evening.  It was a fun afternoon and evening with Dad and we look forward to the next one.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Plum Bay

A couple of days ago we headed over to Plum Bay - we love this beach as it is only a couple of minutes from our house and when it is "busy" it is still not busy.  There are usually some good size waves for the boys to play in and we have seen some surfers off the point.  We brought our neighbor Alexi along this time.  Well, well - we arrived and the water was flat - Dillon was absolutely completely disappointed and basically pissed.  He has not quite wanted to embrace the concept that we do not have control over the ocean or that any of the beaches on the island are consistent.  After a few minutes he concocted a plan - well if there are not any waves here on the beach I will paddle to them. HMMMMM - yeah you will see in the pics that the wave off the point is a weeee little bit out there - although both boys are completely capable - did I think it would be alot of fun?  The boys had their boogie boards and I had, well, me - no board.  I agreed (I knew there was no wave breaking out there today either) just so Dillon could have the experience.  I was looking forward to swimming around the rocky edge to see what creatures we could find in the decently clear water - there has not been any good clarity or snorkeling lately.  So enjoy the photos of what ended up being another fun beach adventure - we think we found a hole that had a small octopus in it - we have no photos of that but it probably would have been great to have a photo of all our butts in the air like ducks in a pond trying to see the hole.

This boat was passing the bay out near where we paddled to - ya - it was far and I was constantly wondering what was under my feet.  There was also a current that was pulling towards the middle of the bay - we had to make sure we stayed close to the shoreline.

This picture gives you a little more perspective of distance from the beach - we were a little to the right - in between the boat and the shore at the beginning of the dark blue out there.  The boys did a great job swimming/paddling.  They actually raced in - they have gotten very strong in the ocean while here.

Ronan and Carith playing in the calm waters

one of cariths favorite activities - floating in the ocean

Dill hung out on the beach with me long enough for some nice photos

A fun photo - these two could stay in the water alllllllll day

Playing with the fun fish-eye macro

These cool little guys were hanging out on the rocks

This cool slimy stuff was hanging over the water

two wild boys

A dead crab we found

A live crab the boys found

Another fun photo with the fish eye - thanks carith

so many things to find and see

an extreme but fun way to use the fish eye

another great one - thanks again carith

alexi joined us on our little walk down the rocks

I think I can say that we all had fun at the beach, regardless of the size of the waves.  Thanks everyone for the fun times.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Some Fun Tidbits

Well, well we have had some fun little stuff in the last few days.  Thursday night at approximately 11:37 we had an earthquake on the island - unbeknownst to some of us.  Although the picture in the bathroom was sideways in the morning.  Supposedly the epicenter was about 50 miles away.  Our neighbor Alexi said she really felt it - the rest of us - we were either sleeping or laying in bed and had no clue.  Maybe next time - the cool thing is Ronan can now claim an earthquake and a hurricane, the little weather boy he is.

Last night was a full moon (if there had been no cloud cover) and Alexi (my new workout partner) and I decided to do a running race that was at night over on the French side.  It has been a long time since I had run a race, and I think a first with a headlamp on as it was really dark without the moon.  My body does not like working out at night and the humidity was really high - so I was happy to complete the race in one piece and it felt good.  It was Alexi's first race ever and she did amazing.  I wish we had some pics to add but we just looked like we came out of a shower we were so sweaty, so noone is missing anything special there.  The best part of the race - well to help re-hydrate from all that sweating they provide you with beer.  Only on an island I tell was alot of fun - glad I did it.

We are in the middle of Block Weekend (the weekend before all the med students have all their exams on Monday) so the power is going out a fair amount - everyone inside with air conditioning on feverishly studying.  This means it is a good time to get out and explore the island.  Look for some fun posts to come as I experiment with my new toys for my camera - with the help of my sister while she is here.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Afternoon Play Time

My sister Carith arrived on Tuesday evening - the boys and I have anxiously been awaiting her arrival.  Fortunately this time she will be able to spend a few weeks - last time she was only on the island enough time to enjoy the hurricane.  We headed down to Mullet (the beach that is a couple of blocks from our house) for an afternoon in the waves.

Dillon paddling hard - the boys added fins to help them catch the waves when on their boogy boards - they have learned you have to paddle alot harder on a boogy board than a surf board

Two boys who absolutely love the water

Scoping out the waves with auntie carith

Carith and Ro linning up to catch a wave

A bird that was doing fly by's looking for dinner

One of the many sailboats enjoying the sunset

A little dude hanging out by our stuff

We had a really fun day in the waves and are looking forward to many more