Thursday, November 29, 2007

Rocking on the Island, Literately!

OK, so I knew that I would maybe have to endure the occasional tropical storm, maybe a hurricane, while living here, but an earthquake? Around 3 today Tyson and I were over at Laura's having a play date and all of the sudden her couches started to shake. I just thought it was a low flying airplane, but NO! It was an earthquake, and we didn't realize it until her house moved. Then it was grab the boys and sprint down the hall way to the door and then it stopped. My little heart was beating out of my chest. Just a little bit scary!!! I told you this island knows I am leaving and is just trying to give me grief! (I later found out that the earthquake happened somewhere down in between Dominique and Martinique and that it was a 7.4. We just got the after shocks. Hopefully we don't get anymore)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Trying To Get In A Few Last Beaches Before We Leave

(An old picture of us at Pelican Key, but I forgot to take a new one today. ARG!)The title pretty much says it all. It has been a rough two days, since learning about my dad's cancer situation, and so today I needed to go to the beach and relax just a bit. It was nice. The waves were small, but the water was frigid. Laura stood in it for a while and said that once your legs were numb you could stand the water. She was right. After a bit you didn't notice the cold that much. Ashley also came to hang out. It was nice to just talk about random stuff. We are down to the 8 days mark. One week from today we will move out of Palm Court and into the Sonesta Hotel for a few days and then it is off to the USA! Everyone tells me that I will miss this place, and granted there are things and people that I will miss very much, and the experience has been just awesome, but I am ready for home and family for a while.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Flat Tires, Power and Water Outages, What Could Be Better?

I am beginning to think that this island knows I am going to leave it forever and so it has decided to leave its mark on me one last time. Sounds crazy I know, but I truly believe that something else is going to happen.
Last week my tire blew at Food Express. I thought it wasn't too bad, and tried to drive on it, DUH!! It was bad, and so bad that I only went as far as the La Terrace Hotel and had to stop. The hotel guard/rent-a-cop had to come over and tell me that I couldn't park there. Who was parking? I quickly explained my predicament and he ushered me into the parking place of the hotel, where he proceeded to HELP me fix the tire. Now look, I am no rocket scientist, but I have changed several tires before and know what I am doing, but the rent-a-cop had other plans. What would have taken me about 20 minutes took him 40 and then the snot wanted me to pay him for the help. (Only on St. Maarten) I did, drove off, and got home safely. (Thank heavens)
The next day Laura took me to the tire place to buy a new tire, and not only did I GET to purchase a new tire, but I got hit on by some drunk islander. Geez! I did not let them put the new tire on, partly because I didn't want to have to pay extra, and partly because I don't fully trust people here. So I took it back home and did it!
Now to the power, water situation. Luckily for me I was ready when the power and water turned off this morning, but it was out for over an hour, and so............ church was nice a warm. Plus no power, meant no music, since our piano is an electric one. AWESOME! So I had to lead the congregation in a song without the music. I did fine on the first and last songs, but the middle one I was a pitch higher than everyone else and didn't realize it till the second verse. HOW EMBARRASSING!
Not finished................. then tonight as I went for a walk with Laura the power goes out again. And this time my gate is shut tight. I couldn't get out to go and walk. Luckily, again, all those years of watching McGuyver paid off, I took out my keys and jimmied the lock and POOF.....I got out.
Only 11 more days on the fun filled rock. Can't wait to see what happens next.....

Saturday, November 17, 2007

20 Days Until We Go Home To The USA!

If you can't tell from the title, I have the count down on. In fact, I have had this count down for the past 3 months, and I am so excited that it is almost into the "teens" YAHOO!! But on the flip side of things, even though I am so ready to go home to be with family again, I will miss the beauty of this place, and my friends. The above picture was taken at Tortuga Beach Bar. The color of the water is so beautiful here. I will miss seeing this gorgeous sight. But I have missed my family and Vaughn's so much that it would take a hurricane to keep me here. (Hopefully I didn't just jinx myself). I will miss all my friends I have made here and the closeness we share. They have been my home away from home. Love you all.

Let the countdown continue......19....18....17.......16.....15......

Friday, November 16, 2007

The Kabonics Leave St. Maarten

It has been a blast having Paul, Wendy and the kids here with us on St. Maarten. We have had our own mini vacation with them. We took them to Ric's for one last good meal before they hit the long plane ride home. (Which I just learned took them 2 days to get home because of plane problems. So sorry about that one guys) But we really loved having you all here. See you in Utah in one month.Cooper, Paul, Wendy and Avery. Such a cute family! Thanks for coming to see us! We miss you already.

One last hang out for the boys of "K-town".

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Sunset Beach Bar Fun (a little off the time line)

There is nothing cooler than watching the planes come in over the beach at Sunset Beach Bar. We took the Kabonics there to witness this sight, and to see the crazy tourists stand up against the fence as the big planes leave the island and get pelted with sand and blown into the ocean. This is a comical and fun sight to see as well.
Cooper was digging on the planes flying in. Tyson was more interested in drinking his sprite.Paul and Vaughn sporting the "cool look" in the heat of Sunset. It was really hot that day, wouldn't ya know that would be the day I take them there.Lunch was great and watching the planes fly in was an added bonus. We even got lucky to see the insect family of cockroaches around the beach bar. In fact one of them flew up on top of Cooper's fries and onto another man's shirt. YUCK!!! I never will get used to those nasty things.Paul decided to pull a "Jackass" move. He nearly went out with the ocean while trying to find a crab that hid itself in the rocks below the bar. Wendy caught it all on film. Good stuff!This is a portion of the island that I will miss. The sunsets are absolutely so gorgeous.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Time with Friends

The Kabonics and the Jacksons took a little time to go to Mullet Bay Beach. It was an eventful time filled with crying, naked men and sun and fun. First off the fun and sun. The kids all enjoyed the beach and water. Avery and Cooper have become little fishes since they got here. Wendy and I went snorkeling towards the right side of the beach. During this time the chaos began.Here is Wendy and I preparing for the snorkeling. We snorkeled about 1/2 way towards the other side of the beach and came up to see where we were, lo and behold there he was. This white naked man, laying on his front. So all we saw was this huge white butt. Wendy about choked on the ocean from laughing through her snorkel. That gave us a chuckle. Then we kept going towards the snorkel spot. We had a great time snorkeling and saw some beautiful fish. Then came the eventful walk back. We opted not to snorkel back and decided to walk. we came upon the naked butt man, he flipped over and we saw his twig and berries. It was disgusting. Wendy and I just giggled and walked fast towards the boys to tell them what we saw. As we came upon the rest of the family, we learned that they had all three kids crying at one point in time and then 2 minutes later, Tyson had a melt down and that was it. It was time to leave the beach. During the evening we trecked down to Maho to watch the casino dancers. As you can see the boys, both big and small, were into the dancing. They were so into it, that the dancers came over and gave them all necklaces, and then picked up Cooper and danced with him. They were all smiles. It was a good time.Wendy and Paul enjoying the night life in Maho.The Jackons just hanging out in Maho. We have had such a great time with the Kabonics here on St. Maarten. We have been able to be on a mini vacation with them and have loved every minute of it.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

St. Barts

(I am back blogging again. Just been too busy having fun to keep up. So this all took place on Saturday the 10th.)
We got up early Saturday morning and rushed to get ready. We decided at the last minute to try and catch the ferry to St. Bartholemy for the day. We weren't sure if we could even get passage because we didn't call and make reservations, but Wendy and I decided "what the heck" let's go. So with 3 car seats, 4 adults, 3 kids and a lot of carry ons, we rushed over to Pelican Key to the ferry dock and low and behold, they still had room. We were on our way to St. Barts, the expensive island of the Caribbean, or so I have been told. The above picture is just a small view at how beautiful it was. Our captain of the ferry told us that they have strict housing codes on the island and about 6000 people live there. They also don't advertise the island to tourists because it is meant to be for just the rich and famous, plus they told us that the locals don't want a lot of people around.
Vaughn and Paul rented us the cream of the crop van, it was a piece of hud, and we loaded up to tour the island. (BTW, when they pulled up in this contraption, they had the windows down and the song "OPP" was playing. I wish I would have gotten it on film. It was a comical sight.) The captain also told us that they shut down all shops from 12-3 or 1-4, so the first order of business was to get lunch. That was a pretty expensive lunch and took us about 2 hours to get. So that gave us a little over 3 hours to sight see.
This is one of the many beautiful beaches on St. Barts. I couldn't believe how pretty it was. It was a clean island, no trash along side the road like in St. Maarten. And the houses all had red, white or yellow roofs, and were well kept. Even the little shacks, looked nice and well mannered. You could tell that they took care of the island. There was also a lot of vegetation around with beautiful sights.
Vaughn was willing to pose for this shot by another beach. Now don't just think our ride was a boring one, we had quite a few funny things happen. First off the van, like I said it was a piece of crap, and it had absolutely no shocks, so we felt everything, and there were no seat belts. Paul hit this huge speed bump and all of us went flying. The poor kids were strapped to their car seats but not to the actual seat, so they all flew forward and cried. All we could do was laugh. Paul and Vaughn jammed out in the front seat to old Snoop Dogg and Ice T songs. HA HA. Wendy and I were busying keeping the kids from rocking all over the place and laughing the entire way. We also looked like a bunch of tourists with our arms hanging out the windows holding camera and snapping photos of the island and the locals. Some of the locals just laughed at us. We probably looked like a band of gypsies to them.
This is their airstrip. It was a drop off down a hillside and then a small strip of asphalt. The planes came right over your heads and about knocked you down. It was neat to watch them take off and come in. Another picture of this beautiful island. It was a long day but well worth the trip. I really felt like I was on a "real" lush island. Not that St. Maarten isn't beautiful, but this place just feels like you have placed yourself in the Caribbean before all the modernization came about.
The Jackson family on the beach at St. Barts. It was a great day.

Friday, November 9, 2007

The Kabonic Family Came to Visit

Our friends from home, the Kabonics, came to visit us for the week. We have been anxiously awaiting their arrival ever since they told us they were coming, which was about 6 months ago. We haven't seen them since we left on this adventure, so it is great to get a chance to catch up and see how much their kids have grown. We have taken them all over the place. I had them make the hike up to both forts, drug them around the French side for pictures, and then today took them to Pinel. We are hoping to go to another island tomorrow, maybe, if we can get tickets. It has been a fun time hanging out with them.
This is Wendy with her two kids, Cooper and Avery. This was at their beach in Divi Bay. The kids weren't too sure about the water at first, but now they are both little fishes.Vaughn and Paul "Skinny" hanging out at Pinel beach. They were the chillin dads.They caught lobsters while we were there at Pinel. Here is Avery getting a close up look at one of them.