Sunday, December 23, 2012

Laundry Day

We just got our laundry done.  Yes, we get our laundry done (not because we are lazy), but because we work a lot and we would rather spend our time in other ways.  Without a washer and dryer we have had to use a laundromat while living here.   At first we had this very nice man named Sammy who would pick up our bag of laundry right from our dinghy, taking it to his laundromat and finishing it before the day was over, then returning it right back to us.  It was quite nice, but quite expensive.  Jake was able to find another laundromat where we could drop off our laundry, and they charge per load instead of per pound like Sammy.  So we are hooked.  We don't have to worry about quarters, laundry soap or folding.  It is like magic.  We drop a bag off and at the end of the day when we pick it up it is all clean and folded.  The last bag was full of blankets, towels, sheets, and various clothes.  With a bag like that I expect it to be a bit expensive.  We were pleasantly surprised that for all that it was only $28.
Well worth my time and money.  Thank You Amir!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

The New Addition To Our Fleet

We bought a boat. Another boat.  This is boat #3.  We still haven't decided on a name for it, but we are very excited about it.  It is a 10' Hunter Excite.  It is a small sailing dinghy.  We bought it so that I can improve on my sailing and get more confident with my abilities.  
A company that runs water sports here on island was selling a bunch of their equipment for a great deal! We had to jump on the opportunity.  
Jake was like a kid in a candy store, begging me to buy it.  After we talked to his uncle about storing it, we decided to go for it. So Jake now has about 4.5 hrs of sailing on it, and we are brainstorming names. 
We are going to have to sell it before we leave but we plan to purchase something of the sort for our future children as soon as we get to our settling destination. 
We are very excited to have some fun times on it, and I am excited to be brave enough to sail it by myself and become a pro. 
So any suggestions on names for boat #3? Comment and give us your opinion.
Here is the addition to our new fleet!

Jake taking our friend Robin out for a sail from the beach.
Dozer was excited too!

Friday, December 14, 2012

First Time To Annaberg, St. John

Our new friends Robin and Levi had the day off and so did we! 
We decided to head over to St. John for the day and have some fun as a group. 
St. John is one of the U.S. Virgin Islands, about 2 miles away from St. Thomas.
We took the car barge over, got lunch then decided to hit up a popular hiking trail.
Annaberg is a very simple hike, yet quite interesting to see.   It consists of the ruins of an old sugar cane mill with slave huts and all. 
We explored the ruins for a bit taking pictures documenting our time there then found the trail head to the beach.
We walked to the beach and had a wonderful snorkel featuring turtles, barracudas, rays, and a bunch of large bright orange starfish.
We had a great day, here are some pictures to document just a small portion of our adventure.

Our new friend Robin.  I am so excited to have some much needed girl time, even if the guys come along.

Jake and I at the ruins.

A very cool spider and its very cool web.

Levi and Jake exploring.

My hiking shoes.

Coral in the walls

My favorite flower! LOVE LOVE LOVE!

The trail to a great snorkeling spot.

A beautiful anchorage, definitely on our list of spots to bring the boat.

Land crab

Catching the car barge before the sun sets.

These lines are GIANT compared to ours.

This beautiful boat passed by on our ferry ride back to St. Thomas. I was in AW!

The name of our car barge TUG LIFE.  Interesting how it is a car barge with a bar… promoting drinking and driving… not a good idea.

The view through my shades

Saturday, December 8, 2012

The Things We Do For A Little Christmas Spirit

In a previous post I mentioned that Jake and I are going to be better about celebrating holidays even though we work most of them. 
Thanksgiving we both worked and then had a wonderful dinner at Jake's aunt and uncle's house. It was just four of us, but it was nice to be with some family and celebrate.  The day before Thanksgiving a guest asked me, "Are they making you work tomorrow?"  I replied, "Yes, but I am happy to be working because I am Thankful for my job."  Kind of a lame answer but it kept me positive while I worked through the busy holiday.
Now… It is Christmas time. 
I brought a small (1ft. tall) Christmas tree home from Hawaii. 
It is white, and it fits perfect in the corner of our settee.  
Jake and I were trying to decide what to use for ornaments because it is such a small tree.  All the small bulbs we found were made of glass and we didn't want that on the boat, so we started to get creative.
I looked up ideas on Pinterest and I wasn't able to customize the ornaments to the size I needed. 
Jake's Aunt Peggy gave us an idea of using the paint swatches that you can get at Home Depot.
So Jake and I went and picked out some of our favorite colors, and pretended we were looking for actual paint. 
Our favorites were "Sea Glass Green", Pineapple Soda", "Caribe", and Tropical Coral.
The tropical ones were nice because it brought a little bit of Hawaii into this island Christmas that we will be celebrating. 
So our ornaments are created out of paint swatches, super glue, hole punch, and brass fasteners.  Some are better than other, and I really need to shop for traditional ones, but these will do for now. 
 Here are some pictures.

Here it is with all of our ornaments. You are probably chuckling, but this is bringing our Christmas Spirit.
The Star is even made out of origami!
This is my favorite one that Jake made.  
This is supposed to be a candle and represent light.  It is one of my favorites because it reminds me of Jesus.
This is my favorite one that I made because it reminds me of Hawaii, if you look close you can see a bird that I accidentally cut out, but turned out perfectly. 

Friday, November 30, 2012

Trash. There Could Be A Lot Less Of It.

Glass broken down by the sea that I like to reuse as art.

Did you know that St. Thomas doesn't have the resources to recycle plastic?  They do have resources to recycle aluminum, but I am skeptical on how much of it truly gets renewed.  Trash was the topic of our conversation tonight as we left a Chinese restaurant.
A local man had come into the restaurant and ordered his meals to-go.  Assuming it is traveling the food is packed accordingly to prevent spills before it reaches its destination.  The man received his to-go bag and sat down at the sushi bar.   He opened the plastic bag that held a paper bag which held three to-go cartons.  He then opened the plastic to-go silverware and started to eat his food with the trash from his order spread across the counter next to him. 
We watched all this happen, I looked at Jake and saw that cartoon moment he looked like one of those cartoon characters who you see become so furious that steam shoots out their ears.  He preceded to vent to me about how wasteful that is, and how disrespectful the man was for doing something like that.  We are assuming he ordered to-go so that he could avoid the tip, and here he was wasting the restaurants product as well as creating more trash for this island that doesn't have resources to use the trash productively. 
Jake is very passionate about the environment.  He wants to preserve its beauty and resources and with wastefulness like this it can't be preserved.  Before meeting Jake I wasn't as knowledgeable about the subject.  Each day I learn something new about ways I can do my part to preserve the beauty and resources on this earth.  I used to call Jake my hippie, poking fun at his awareness and teasing him.   I am thankful for him, and his passion for the awareness and share the same feelings with him.  Now it is both him and I who are known as "NO BAG" at the grocery store, because that is the phrase we are constantly using to avoid wasting another plastic bag. 
It is frustrating watching situations like tonight's.  Jake mentioned, if it was his restaurant and someone did that he would ask them to leave, and I definitely agree. 
Though we aren't 100% about wasting, we do strive to be better.  I wish that the people of St. Thomas could humble themselves, be informed and avoid all of this ignorance.
Hopefully some of the awareness catches on before it is too late.


Help spread the word.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Going Home To Say Goodbye

"It feels like home to me... feels like I'm on my way back where I come from
Feels like home to I'm on my way back where I belong."
-Song sung by Chantal Kreviazuk

My two sisters and I arrived in Hawaii about 10 days ago.
Grandma wasn't doing very well and it had been 3 1/2 years since I had visited her in Hawaii, 
which is too long. 
This trip was emotionally and physically draining. 
Seeing Grandma for the first time was hard.
This didn't look like the Grandma I know. 
She was so frail and weak.  
Our days were spent sitting with her as she rested. 
We sat together, sharing memories, reading to her, and creating 
play lists with Frank Sinatra, Christmas Music,soft spa music 
and other tunes she enjoyed. 
We watched for signs that she could hear us 
that she enjoyed us being there. 
I found myself reading a children's book to her. Dr. Seuss "Oh
The Places You'll Go" I love children's books and I could see
Grandma's spirit perk up as I read. 
Giving her time to rest we took long walks/jogs on the beach, 
visited Grandpa's grave and enjoying some of our favorite 
Hawaiian memories. 
Grandma passed away Monday Nov.12th.
That morning we knew the time was near.  We were overwhelmed,
sad, frustrated, but felt the feelings of comfort and relief.
Grandpa was ready for her to be with him in heaven and she had
done what she needed to do here on this earth. 
It was an experience that I am very thankful for. 
I feel blessed to be able to have said my goodbyes 
and been there for those 
last moments that were so sacred. 
Mourning the loss of Grandma includes 
mourning the loss of a home where we have so many memories, a 
street where we played, a 
beach where we explored.
Saying goodbye to a place we call home. My eyes fill with tears 
when I think about the reality. 
I'm sad to leave Hawaii.
I'm sad to say goodbye to Grandma.
I am full of gratitude for such a beautiful land and so many 
memories with those I love.
Here are some pictures from some of our favorite Hawaiian
This is the Grandma I remember. Such a beautiful smile.
Grandma in Her Youth. Such a classy lady 
Arriving at the beautiful Honolulu Airport.
Aloha everywhere you look
Including culture in every aspect they can. 
People ready to catch a wave.
Grandma's Plumeria trees in her yard are breath taking.

Walking along a little piece of heaven.
Feeling the soft sand in my toes as the water washes over my feet.

Eating delicious food.
Catching a glimpse of the beautiful island from places like these.

Documenting those moments.
Unique trees.
Holding our breath through tunnels
Visiting those we love.
The Beautiful Koolau Mountain Range. 
Smiling among the beauty even though our eyes are tired and sore from the emotional days.
Grandma and Grandpa's view from their resting place. What a beautiful spot.

View from the back yard.

Searching for Sea Glass

Drawing in the sand.
Island Snow Shave Ice.

Hiking up steep KoKo Head and a light house.

Celebrating Grandma's life

Spending time with those we love.