Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Change is good

Not that I haven't had plenty of change in my life, in the last 5 months, but I've always been a believer that change is good.  Don't get too comfortable and set in your ways.  There is always opportunity for change and improvement!

The last couple of weeks, and the coming couple too, I'll be sampling and testing changes to my blog.  I would love your input, as my step mom has already offered a suggestion to go back to the old font.  It's a bit trying on the eyes though.  I want all of my readers to relax and feel at ease when visiting my page.

Another thing I'd like to ask of you, is that if you are a regular reader, please take a second to sign up as a 'follower' of my blog.  This will allow myself, and others, to see who out there reads my silly little updates!

Thank you so much for your support!

And, you know I can't post without a picture.  It's like sailing the ocean without a sail.  Here you go ;)

Stromboli night with friends. 
Torri, from PA/AZ
Gary is a gypsy with a British accent
Nick from Montreal & Anna from Milan.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Ah Ha!

Seems like just a couple of days ago we were gazing up at fireworks on the beach, dancing in the sand and cheers-ing one another to the start of a fresh new year.  Now here we are, almost finished with the first month, creeping right into the 2nd.

The start to the new year has been a little tricky for me; as you may have noticed in my last post.  Spider bites, jelly fish, skin disorders, sinus infections, broken refrigerators and broken hearts. 

On the other hand, I've gotten to see and do lots of new things, which have helped me to stay positive and focus on the good things in life, (even if they do bites). 

My friend Krystal picked me up last Sunday, and we snuck over to another part of the island, called French Key.  It's a beautiful and relaxing little island with lots of interesting decor, amongst endless places to sit back and relax.  There's even lounge chairs in the lagoon!  We had a great day, tuning up our tans and chatting about love and life.

The week prior, another friend of mine, Dane, introduced me to an aquaintance from El Salvador whom she works with on a development project on the island.  The 3 of us ventured out to a new little Peruvian restaurant on the island.  It was my first experience trying Peruvian food, and let me tell you, I am a huge fan!  The cuisine was wonderful, with so many flavors and spices, all blended together perfectly, leaving my tastebuds quite content.

I've also been testing out a new camera that I brought back from the states.  The camera has an underwater dive housing, so I can take it everywhere with me, including 70 feet below the sea!  It has been a lot of fun testing all its functions and snapping silly pics underwater of friends, fish, turtles and other sea life.  Someday I hope to get enough experience to work as an underwater photographer for divers.  I've got some work to do, but I'm sure having fun 'working' on it!

I call these 'Ah Ha' moments. 
When things get tough, and I'm fed up with bugs and breaks, taxis and power outages; When the reasons I sacrificed and gave up everything to live on this island begin to fade; Out of the blue, comes an 'Ah Ha' moment.  I'm reminded of all the reasons why I am here.  Beauty, simplicity, peace and tranquility.  Opportunity for new adventures, friends and a chance to make lasting memories.  Improving my quality of life, and who I am, and am not.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Friendly Reminder...

Dear Sarah,

In case you have forgotten, you live in the jungle.  Spider bites and unexplained skin pigment changes are typical.  I'm sorry you caught a nasty sinus cold in the midst of of it all.  I hope the antibiotics and Selsun Blue shampoo the doctor prescribed for you help with a speedy recovery. 

I know it seems like the bugs have recently become immune to any kind of repllant spray you put on, and even at times attack you in your sleep.  I'm sure this is very frustrating.  Again, you live in the jungle my dear.

In time, with diligence and will power in not drinking while taking this round of antibiotics, you will feel better; provided you don't go crazy first.


Mother Nature

P.S.  Those weren't jelly fish stings you got all over your leg yesterday.  Their jelly fish 'kisses' my dear. They just love you bunches!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Brad Pitt, A Happy New Year & Dolphins?

While purchasing a ticket for a water taxi ride from West Bay last week, I met a couple of fellas who were in line to do the same.  Sean and Jason were visiting from California, separately with each's respective families.  On the airplane, their moms were seated next to each other, as strangers.  The 2 women quickly became friends, and eventually discovered they had rented houses on the beach NEXT DOOR TO EACH OTHER!  Both mothers were traveling with their sons, and a few other family members.  The families quick became friends, and spent most of their stay together, fishing, snorkeling, cooking and drinking. 

Sean and Jason were headed to check out the night life in the West End of the island (which is near West Bay, but too far to walk at night)  We all began chatting, and decided to head out together, in addition my friend Dane joined us as well.   Right away we had a ball, cracking jokes and telling stories.  In fact, Dane and Sean planned their future children's names out that night.  Their future dog has a name too.  Bronco O'Brien.

Sean & Dane's Family Planning Notes

Dane & Sean @ The Buena Vida

We happened to bump into the guys and their mothers the next morning, and their moms knew ALL about us from the night prior.  They were ready to take us home and start naming grandchildren I think!  It's obvious why we all had so much fun the night prior, their families were wonderful as well.

I couldn't help but notice how much Sean looked like Brad Pitt!  The next day, while flipping through pictures, I decided to post his profile pic on my Facebook page, and see if I got any takers.  This was really fun, and caused a bit of a stir.  My step mom even prepared a side by side comparison of Brad Pitt and Sean.  See below! 
              SEAN                                 vs.                       BRAD

After a couple of days of suspense, and some rather sincere begging from my father, I let a few people down easy.  It was not Brad Pitt.  (Sean was actually more handsome anyway!)  Fun was had by all; and my dad swears there were no wagers set between him and his wife...

New Year's Eve celebration was one to remember!  Infinity Bay hosted a fabulous beach party, full of people, live music, dancing, fire show and fireworks.  We had a fabulous time laughing, talking, dancing and carrying on.  The pictures speak for themselves...  Happy New Year Everyone!!! 

Dane and I celebrating New Year's @ Infinity Bay Resort

Palm Tree Fireworks

A & I ~ Happy New Year!

Livvy (short for Livingston), whom I met through friends at Infinity Bay Resort the same night as Sean & Jason, is a dolphin trainer here in the Caribbean.  Currently working with the dolphins here on the island at Anthony's Key Resort.  He made arrangements for myself, Dane and Karolina to join the excursion this afternoon and swim with dolphins!!!

It was such a fantastic experience, we couldn't wipe the smiles off our faces.  They have such personality and intelligence, it's amazing to see.  After we were introduced to the dolphins and learned a little bit about them, and have our picture taken, we got to swim with them for awhile.  It was great fun, they're very interactive and love to play and tease.  There were 4 babies in the swim area, that were about 4 1/4' long.  The full grown dolphins ranged from 6-8' long.  Wow!

Karolina, me and Dane.  Oh, and Dixon!

Dixon giving kisses

At one point while swimming with them, a little baby and I made eye contact.  She swam by me slowly, watching to see my next move.  I turned on my side, and kept eye contact with her, and she turned and swam on her side.  We mimicked each other for a minute, swiming in a circle on our sides, then I switched, so she switched, and we circled together the other way before her mama called and she had to go!  It was such a precious experience.

The trainers warned us that sometimes the dolphins will test you, to see if they can get a reaction out of you.  If you respond 'well', they try harder.  I kept this in mind as it was time to leave the swim area, and the largest dolphin in the pen approached me, with his mouth wide open!  Soon, my calf was in its mouth; though the teeth were soft and his touch was gentle.  Soon it was just above my knee he decided to try next.  The trainers laughed and said they weren't ready for us to leave ;)  The rest of the pod came rushing by, like Tom Cruise in Top Gun, attempting to buzz the tower one last time.  Ha ha ha!

I'm so thankful for yet another amazing experience on the island.  I am so blessed.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Goodbye knee high boots, beanies and sheep lined slippers

Helloooooo Sunshine!!!

Although my trip wasn't really all that long, I feel like a tourist again! I've sort of forgotten little things like how to charge my internet account, and what days the little market closes. Other things I've fallen right back into, no problem, like where to find the best Beermosa and how to sleep in, errr, get a good night's rest I mean. (well, jet lag is to blame for this one really)

Alex picked me up at the airport, and as always, was astounded by my luggage. He wants to know why rocks are so valuable in Oregon, and what I'm going to do with them all now that I've imported them to the island. I will say, I brought a lot of strange things back with me, but after being here for a few months and getting a feel for what's available, what's expensive, etc. I took advantage of my trip to the states. I returned with strange things, like a smoothie blender, almonds and bug spray.

My bags of 'rocks'  (there's one more not pictured)


I still haven’t unpacked all the way, I’m not sure where to unpack to!  Storage in my place is a little hard to find.  I’m debating getting creative and obtaining a dresser, or relocating to possibly a more ‘domestic’ home.  Until then, today is the day I plan to try and figure out an order to the madness.

Yesterday, New Year’s Eve, I went for my first swim back in the big pond out front.  It was a a little murky from the rain and a little wind that kicked up in the morning, but it didn’t matter much.  The water is a bit cooler right now, probably 79 or 80.  It feels like you’re swimming in a swimming pool!  I swam out to the sail boat anchored in the bay, back to shore and back out again.  Before heading back this time, I stopped to clear my mask (I swim with my mask and snorkel, which is much more helpful swimming in the ocean than goggles I think), and took a minute to gaze around.  The group of children, mostly boys, planning their next rope swing competition off of the sailboat to see who can ‘fly’ the farthest.  The strange submarine docked just above the water, waiting its turn to take out the next visitor.  Kayakers playing in the reef break near the point, and dive boats headed in from the 1 o’clock dive.  The shoreline in the distance, dotted with bright yellow and blue beach chairs and vibrant green and yellow palms, contrasting against the clear blue sky.  All the while, I’m treading water in this beautiful blue ocean, taking it all in.  I am home.
This isn't from yesterday, but to give you and idea of the view from the water