Monday, December 29, 2014

An Island Holiday -- (part 2)-- St. Lucia

Continuing the photo review of our Caribbean "Island holiday"--
            this time we are traveling to the
                                beautiful island of St. Lucia~ 

                                           It's miserable, cold and rainy 
here today as I post these photos ---
 sure makes me wish we were back 
where the sun was shinning 
and the breezes were 

of all the Caribbean islands
that we have visited~
St. Lucia has one of the most
 picturesque harbor views.

sailing into St.Lucia
is truly beautiful --
it's one of those places
that makes you want to go
snap, snap, snap 
with your camera~

~we almost always have our island day activities
planned in advance,
but a necessary last minute change of plans
found us "seeking new adventures"...

our amazing day in
Pigeon Island National Park
we told our taxi driver-- "take us to a lovely beach,
someplace NOT crowded, someplace where all the other
cruise ship folks WON'T be" ~

Pigeon island is not really an "island"--
located at the tip of St. Lucia
it has the distinction of being unique in that
the rough and turbulent Atlantic ocean is on one side,
while the calm Caribbean ocean is on the other~
(click here for more info about 

Pigeon Island)

 There is a small entrance fee to the park--
(about $7 US)-- once you are inside you can walk
the grounds, visiting the incredible
ruins, walk along the beach,
snorkel, dive, and--
climb the hill to the fort
for the most amazing views ever!

 Just saying the word "ruins" 
makes my heart beat 
these ruins dating back to the 1700's
are definitely worth
are few hours of your time~

 there were some 
amazing "Kodak" moments
everywhere you looked~

we spent about 2 hours walking around the ruins
and along the coastal road that leads
to the tip of the "island"

lots of history here in this little

just another"Kodak" moment!

I was so happy to be here among
this amazing history and stunning scenery ---
sometimes, things just work out for the best.
Our last minute change of plans 
had brought us to a wonderful new place.

doesn't everyone take "silly selfies"?
that's the fort in the background --
come on,
we are going UP! 

it's a bit of a climb--
and I'm wearing a sarong and flip flops--
should be interesting!

we'll start our climb here~

the climb gets steeper and steeper
and then---

we gotta climb that ladder.
in. my. flip flops.
it's an adventure -- right?

THIS-- is the view from the top!
worth the climb,
don't you think?

~and another beautiful view

just in case you want
to read a little history of
Fort Rodney~

we're smiling because
this has been THE most awesome day!
a little lesson in gravity--
"what goes up, must come down"
so, back down the ladder  I go--
in. my. flip flops. 

my reward for being such a good sport--

this quaint little restaurant
is at the very end of the beach
inside the National Park~
(just in case you are wondering--
I had the tomato lentil soup AND
the black cherry cream cake:)
and -- I earned every single bite
climbing up that ladder!

 the view from our table~

after lunch--
a little beach time~
the water was crystal clear, and calm and
so warm!

and of course~
the pina colada boat
(2 for $5 -- just in case you want one!)

we were in port from 8 am-5 pm--
plenty of time to walk around the ruins,
climb to the fort, have a nice little lunch,
and finish the day off at the beach~
we are back on the ship
enjoying a beautiful sunset sail away~

  a little glass of wine for the
beautiful sail away~
(don't laugh at our wine glasses--
its the best we could do!!)

my favorite sunset sail away picture~
and so ends our lovely, unplanned,
but totally wonderful,
day in St. Lucia

Next up--the final post for the "Island holiday" series --- I'm taking you to beautiful St.Kitts. If you missed the first post in this series -- (Bonaire)-- you can find it here

Some updates~
The deadline has passed and all the donations have been given for the "Josephine's" children charity project. Once again -- you have totally given of yourselves and exceeded every estimation that I had for this project.  Here are YOUR totals --- $2011 in cash collected for these needy children.  Almost all of the donations were small amounts --less than $10.  That should give you an idea of how many wonderful generous folks donated to this amazing cause. Your Walmart gift card donations totaled just over $200.  Add that to the already amazing totals!

Your craft donations -- OMG --- they just kept coming and coming and coming!  Our plan was to fill one box -- now we are going to fill 3! My friend Sue is starting to make purchases for supplies and clothing for the children with your donated cash and Walmart gift cards.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all that you have done for these children --- sometime later this year, I will share photos of the children opening their gifts.  Josephine has promised to take photos the minute the gifts and supplies arrive in Uganda.    My heart is so full of gratitude for the generous way that you have responded to the needs of these little ones ---  bless you all for your kindness and generosity.

Love, love,love,

 ~~ Don't forget ---- if you want to participate in the BIG party, the deadline to enter your blog is January 15. You can find all the info here.


Monday, December 15, 2014

An Island Holiday--(part 1) -- Bonaire

I had almost forgotten the smell of the sea,
                                    the complexity of salted air.....

...... we've just returned from an island holiday~
a cruise to warm places, white sand beaches, and
 turquoise waters...

 the beautiful island of

the Gardener took off on a
snorkel trip-
(the crystal clear waters of Bonaire
are the best in the Caribbean for snorkeling)

My lazy day was spent here...
a quiet little place, just minutes from the cruise ship pier

 all those folks on the cruise ship went somewhere-
but they did not come here...

that's my chair over there...
                  the one with the pink sarong~

I'm (almost) ashamed to admit that my day
was so totally lazy...
my afternoon was spent watching
 a little bird building her nest
 under the thatched roof
of this cabana.
(sometimes I gave her bits of my yarn to add to
her nesting) 

 just a few steps from my beach chair
was this beautiful pool~

and just a short walk away
was the beach bar ...
(they make awesome mango smoothies here!)

in the afternoon,
I took a little walk along the beach~


after his snorkel trip was over,
the Gardener joined me here for a few
hours in the sun~

even lazy days have to end sometime.
So in the late afternoon,
we walked back to our temporary home
on the ship~

waiting for the sail away~

the view from our balcony
 just before sunset~

I'm sharing our island holiday
in a 3 part series over these 
next few weeks...
(after that, I'll be taking you on our amazing tour
of the Gaspe Penninsula in Canada)
Did you know that you were
going to travel so much this winter??

A few notes about our island travels~

All these photos were taken with my Iphone 5 camera.
What I read -- "The Glassblower Trilogy", book one.  What a wonderful story! I cannot wait until the second book in the series comes out in March!

this is the third in the Maggie Hope mystery series.  I love, love these books...

What I started reading, but have not finished yet--
 "Fall of Giants", book one of the Century Trilogy.  Why have I not read this book before now??  OMG --- I can not wait to read the entire series.  My husband read books one and two while we were on the cruise,...he was totally captivated by the stories. 

~~~~While the rest of you are wrapping your trees in tinsel and colored lights, I'm here to tell you that coming home from vacation in the middle of December-- with the holiday just 2 short weeks away--- is madness!  I thought I was being so organized, ordered all my gifts before we left on vacation ---- and came home to a house full of boxes!!  Spending the Thanksgiving holiday in the Caribbean was nothing short of marvelous, but---- if I ever do this again, I will have all my packages bought and WRAPPED before I leave. I'll be back in a few days with the second in this series----we did so many new and wonderful things, went places we've never been before,...
But first, I have some wrapping to do!!  


the winners were published today for those who participated in the "Josephine's Children" project. You can find the complete list of winners at the end of the post here 
 I'll share the final updates to this amazing project at the end of my next blog post.Your generosity has been amazing -- as always.  I can't wait to share with you all the details!
Don't forget-- the deadline in nearing to sign up for participation in the next "Grow Your Blog" party.  You have until January 15 to enter. We have just over 200 participants so far!  If you want to make new friends and increase the readership of your blog --- you can find all the info here