Latitude 17N

Sunday, April 30, 2006

The rest of the vacation

On Thursday we did some shopping in town. Molly had a chance to spend some of her money on some souvenirs. We had so many leftovers from the dinner the night before so we ate lunch at the villa. After that we headed over to Oualie to rent some kayaks. Winston showed up shortly after we got there and we got three kayaks and headed out into the ocean. We paddled over to the point by the Hurricane Cove bungaloes then turned around and headed back the other way. We stopped on the beach by Cliff Dwellers and combed the beach. I found TONS of sand glass over there and lots of shells. After a little bit we got back in and headed back. At this point we were going against the current which made it a lot harder to paddle but we got back ok. It was a lot of fun and I am going to be sure to spend more time out there paddling. That night we went back to Young's Restaurant and had another great meal. This time the chef carved two amazing dragons for the kids. They were really cool but I didn't get a picture. The next day we we had lunch at the deli, stopped at Cades Bay but decided it was not where we wanted to stay so we headed over to Paradise Beach instead. We spend the afternoon there and then headed back to the villa to watch the monkeys. We had a lot of monkey visitors every day. One day we got some pictures of a bunch of them. One of them was drinking out of the water spigot out by the gate. It was so funny. At this point they had been without water since the previous afternoon. A man had come over to turn on the pump for the cistern so they could use the toilets and shower with the trickle that you get with the cistern pump. By Friday afternoon the cistern was empty and the pump was running constantly so we had to turn it off. At that point they had no water. They jumped in the pool to get clean and we headed over to Oualie for dinner. That was an excellent meal. I had rack of lamb that was cooked perfectly. The kids had burgers and the others had an asian style grouper dish. Everyone loved their meals and it was a nice meal to end the trip. Saturday morning came early and we went over to bring them to the airport. The security confiscated all of their conch shells and coral but other than that they had an easy time at the airport. Their flight home was perfect and they got all of their luggage. We will miss having them around. It was great for us to have them here for a while.

Nisbett Plantation

On Wednesday we headed over to Nisbett Plantation to play in the sun and have lunch. Lunch was great and we spent the afternoon on the beach with the Conway family. Jaime cut open a coconut for us all to munch on. He used only a rock to do this! Lunch was really good. I had a hamburger, the kids had pizza, Julie had a chicken sandwich and my mother had a grilled shrimp salad. It was all yummy. That afternoon I headed out for a run which was a very hot time of day for that. That night we had a bunch of people come over for a catered dinner from Deli by Wendy. As usual her food was very good. We have spent a lot of time there this vacation. The party was fun. The kids all played pretty well together and we all ate lots of food.

Life at the villa

The villa was really fun. We spent a lot of time there electricity or not! There were a lot of power outages this week. The kids found a way to fill up a tupperware container with water put it upside down on their heads and as it is emptying out it looks like the water is boiling! It is really funny.

Snorkeling and Coconut Grove

On Tuesday we spent the morning at Oualie Beach where we did some snorkeling. Molly was really excited about that. It was slow getting into the water but once she got in she was so excited. We saw some blue and yellow fish, black fish with blue stripes, starfish, sea urchins and lots of other stuff. After about an hour we headed in and enjoyed the beach for a while. That night we went to Coconut Grove for dinner. As expected it was very good. We started out with baby camenbert, plantain rolls that had a shrimp filling and seared tuna. For dinner Julie and Mom had the seafood napoleon, Jaime had the pork and I had a chicken stuffed with pistachio nuts that was very good. For dessert I had bread pudding, Julie and Molly shared brownies and Jaime and my Mom had creme brule. The picture of the kids on the tree is in back of the restaurant.

Monday, April 24, 2006

End of Round the Island Tour

Today we finished up our round the island tour. We started out mailing a couple of post cards in town. We headed up to tour some of the plantation inns on the other side of the island. First stop was Montpelier Plantation Inn which is way out in the middle of nowhere. My poor mother was in the back seat being decapitated by her seatbelt that kept engaging each time we found a bump in the road (which was about every foot!). It's not easy to get to but it's a really neat place. After that we toured the Botanical Gardens which was not in the best lush shape being that it has been so dry here. But it was still fun and interesting for them to see. By the time we got done there we were all starving so we headed over to Golden Rock Plantation for lunch. Lunch at any restaurant on Nevis is pretty slow so we settled in for a while. The kids ran around and played for a bit while we waited on our food. Jaime was at the chiropractor and came by later to join us. The food was good and the views were nice too and after we finally got our bill and paid we went over to Windward Beach. Julian's favorite. The water was pretty choppy as usual and Julie lost her prescription sunglasses in the water. It was impossible to find them because the water stirs up all the sand and makes it all cloudy. The kids played in the sand for a while before we head out and back to the villa. Once we got back there Jaime noticed that he lost his wedding ring also at Windward Beach so he went back over there with his friend Topher to look for it. The kids and us girls stayed at the villa and made dinner. Tonight we had a stir-fry dish that Jen made us when she was here visiting. It is very good. Jaime came back empty handed and has plans to go back over there tomorrow morning to look again. We are going to go over to Oualie and rent some kayaks and maybe do some snorkeling before heading over to Coconut Grove for dinner!

Sunday, April 23, 2006


Saturday my mother, sister Julie and niece Molly arrived. Julian and I made them a nice welcome sign and hung out at the airport and waited for them to clear customs. Their flight was uneventful and they didn't get charged any duty on all that stuff they brought us. We brought them up to the villa and got them settled in. The villa is just beautiful. The colors they used to decorate it are really bright and cheery and they have all kinds of decorations and paintings that keep your eyes busy. Some of it is really weird and eccentric but I really enjoy being up there and looking around. The kids spent the afternoon in the pool and we also made a trip down to the beach. I made taquitos for dinner with my home made salsa which was a big hit. On Saturday we went to the Nevis History Museum and the Bocane Pottery Studio. We stopped at the store for a few things and the deli on the way home. Then we enjoyed a lunch at the villa. We spent some time at Oualie Beach and watched Jaime get started on his 40k bike race. He came in last but had a good time anyway. That night we had dinner at a new Chinese food restaurant called Young's Restaurant. It has been being built for over 2 years and we have been watching the progress and waiting for it to get finished. The place is very fancy and the food is excellent. And the prices are reasonable also. We were told that on Sunday nights they offer 20% off so we are thinking that we will be eating out on Sundays from now on! The chef carves carrots into amazing little sculptures. You can see them in the picture. The kids thought that was really neat! Julian slept at the villa that night and today we took an around the island tour and had lunch at Sunshines. On our tour we checked out the Coconut Walk Sugar Mill ruins and the Lime Kiln. We also combed the beach and found lots of treasures including a bunch of sea urchins in really good shape. Lunch at Sunshines is always a treat. The Conways met us there too. We had grilled ribs, chicken and shrimp which came with salad and rice and beans. It was very good. Heidi and Julie enjoyed a killer bee before lunch too which they liked. I had to decline on the killer be since I was driving. We are now permanent at Sunshines with one of our company license plates nailed onto the bar. After that we came back home to get some steak for dinner and mom came over to call my Dad. For dinner the kids had chicken fingers and we had steak with gorgonzola cheese and sauteed mushrooms and a side of fresh tomatoes from our friend Reggie's garden. A meal that would have cost us at least 25.00 per person at any restaurant here on Nevis cost us about 25.00 total for all 4 of us. And it was as good if not better than any restaurant. The kids were tired tonight and will probably sleep really well. Tomorrow I think we will be finishing our round the island tour with a stop at a couple of the plantation inns and a visit to Windward Beach. Not sure what we'll be doing for dinner yet. On Tuesday we are going to Coconut Grove for dinner compliments of Bernier Corp and on Wednesday we are having some friends over for a catered dinner by Deli by Wendy. And those are all of our concrete plans for the moment. I think we have decided not to go to St. Kitts at all.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Kite Flying

Julian learned how to fly a kite by himself! He was so excited to get that thing up in the air. Nevis is the perfect place to fly a kite with all the open air and wind. We are now down to 4 days till Mom, Julie and Molly show up to entertain us. We're so excited!

Easter Egg Hunt

The other day at our beach outing we had an Easter Egg Hunt. The eggs and candy were hidden on the beach in little plastic baggies. We had a bit of a scare as a HUGE group on horses came through. We tried to stear them around them but some of those horses have minds of their own and stomped right through our stuff. There didn't appear to be too many casualties though. Julian got a bag of candy that was enough to feed the island! We ended up bringing most of it down to the Round Nevis Run yesterday. On Easter morning Julian woke up to find a scavenger hunt set up. He had about 6 clues to follow around in the house and outside before coming upon the grand prize! He got a new baseball glove and two balls. He was excited about that! And that was about the only Easter related thing we did that day. There is one picture here of Julian and one of his friend Harrison with his sister Hannah. Harrison looks very excited about what's in his bag!

Sunday, April 16, 2006

'Round Nevis Run

Today was the first annual 'Round Nevis Run. The Round Nevis Run is...just what it says...a run around Nevis. Completely...around Nevis. The run started at 6:00am this morning from Oualie Beach and ended at Oualie Beach Starting at 8:21am. That's right. The 1st place finisher took 2 hours and 21 minutes to run just under 20 miles. There are some major hills on this route too. Jaime finished in 3 hours and 4 minutes. An amazing time for someone who has been...his words...sitting on his a** for weeks! He has not trained at all and did that well. He was undecided about even entering until the day before. I had volunteered to be a water support vehicle. Now this is not as easy as it sounds. We TRIED to keep ahead of the runners to set up water stops. There were 4 vehicles assisting 17 runners. Sounds pretty simple right? Well the lead runner was a few minutes ahead of the rest from the start and then there was a pack of 3 behind him. These guys were FAST! After my second stop I was told that the front men needed some GU (energy gel) and that I was the only one with some left so I should go to the front. They also told me that they were way far away and had to "drive like Hell" to reach them. So I drove, and I drove and I drove and got half way around the island before I found them. I assisted them and from then on out I was going back and forth from front to back trying to keep people hydrated and fueled. There were a few people who kept getting stuck in holes in the support system. A couple of women had to go into a store to buy water! I wasn't proud of that but it was not an easy task to support these poor people. And they were all good sports in dealing with us novice race supporters. All in all it was a good day. There were a few that had to drop out due to cramping but at least they quit before they got dehydrated and sick. Everyone was healthy at the finish which is what we wanted. I wish I had done it but I still have several months to do it on my own if I want. Of course running with a race group is way more fun but it's still something I would like to do.

And then tonight my new friend Heidi colored and cut my hair and I have not looked so bouncy since last summer! Even my cut from the Marriott was not as good as this. I'm...Lllllovin' it!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Break Time!

Jaime is done with Med 3! His break started on Thursday. We kicked it off by picking up a new family at the airport and helping them out with their stuff. They shipped 29 big boxes of stuff so we had our work cut out for us. They are a lot of fun. Two little girls Jillian-4 and Julia-1. Julian hit it off with them and now they are great friends. We are all a bit tongue tied with all of those names being so similar but we're looking forward to Julie getting here so we can just call them J1, j2, j3 and j4. Haha. We brought them out to the grocery store the first day since we were told that everything would be closed for the weekend. Come to find out there were some things open on Saturday. But we broke them in with "downtown". They were a bit shocked at first but are settling in just fine. On Friday Jaime helped them get the rest of their stuff from the aiport and that night we took them to the Tea House for chinese food. We met Holly and Chad and Chad's parents who just got in. And Darci and her family including her parents and brother. It was quiet a group! They enjoyed meeting all the new people and liked the food which was good. Today we showed them some more stores in town and brought them to the drink depot to stock up on beverages. We also swung by Wendy's Deli and they loved that place as we all do! Maybe they think we're all crazy for going so nuts about the place but after being here for a long time without anything like that it is nice to have it open. Oh...maybe I haven't mentioned it yet. It is a deli that just opened. They have deli meats, cheeses and salads, a meat freezer with fish, marinated chicken, steak, lamb etc, desserts, breads, wines, chips, and lots of other stuff. It's great. The owners are an Irish couple who have been here for a long time. They have two kids who are around 11 and 8 or 9 maybe. They are also part of the cycle club which is how we met them. Tomorrow Jaime is doing the Round Nevis Run which is exactly as it says. A run around Nevis. It's about 22 miles! So wish him luck. Julian and I are going to be one of the roving water stops. We'll drive around and set up water stops for people. It will be interesting to see how many people enter. It starts at 6:00am tomorrow morning. Not sure what we have planned next week. We're going to play it by ear. The Conways (the new family) will need help getting their car title switched over and insurance so we'll help them out with that. Other than that we don't really have any concrete plans until Mom, Julie and Molly come on Friday! We're really excited about that!!!

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Hiking and stuff

Hey all! Another week down. I feel like I'm wishing my life away. Anyway, at the beach on Wednesday we ran into Leslie and her daughter and grandkids who are here visiting. Leslie is one of the women in my book club. She has been coming to Nevis for I think the past 30 years or so! Anyway, they have a hiking club that meets on Fridays so we met up with them to do a little hike out in Butlers Village. We hiked down to the water and then along the shoreline for a while. It was fun. The kids had a great time. Leslie's daughter Marti had her two kids Kyra 5 and Calson 10. Julian and Kyra had a great time collecting treasures like sea sponges, goat jaw bones and other miscellaneous skeleton pieces! Lovely. They even "played" the bones like they were instruments and called themselves The Tooth Bone Band. It was really cute.

The rest of the weekend was pretty low key. Julian and I went to town and got a couple of movies at a new movie rental place. Not new like Grand Opening new but new to us because we keep having problems with the movies at the other one. I have rented several movies that stall in the middle or near the end and I can't finish them. I still don't know how Weatherman or The Constant Gardner ended. So we found a new place. A lot of these movie rental places have copies and even pirated movies! So it is so different from where we are from. But so far so good from this place. I watched Two for the Money and The Family Stone. I liked them both. Julian rented Zathura and Harry Potter 4. Tonight he was re-watching it and I looked over to find him crying at one of the scenes. It was so funny. I heard him sniffling and looked over and he was wiping his nose and eyes with his shirt! So I asked him if it was sad and he looked over and kind of laughed and sobbed and told me yes. I gave him a tissue and a little hug and the scene finally passed. I told him that I cry at movies all the time. As a matter of fact I cried the night before watching The Family Stone. I have not seen Harry Potter 4 yet. I am waiting until after I read it. Right now Julian and I are on #3. I have seen parts of that one but I think I will like it better after I have read it. There seems to be a lot in the books that doesn't make it into the movie that if you don't know you get confused. So I'm going to wait it out. Maybe by the time the next movie comes out we will be up to that book. That is our goal. And also to be done with all 6 books before the next book comes out so we can do a midnight buy if we are lucky enough to be back in the states then. I'll keep my fingers crossed. I don't even have any idea when the next one is supposed to come out. Julian read about 1/3 of #2 so hopefully he will read a lot of this one too and eventually read one all by himself. Right now he is also reading a Bionicle book. It is a bunch of books all in one and it's like 400 and something pages long. He is getting close to page 200 so he's reading like mad!

Yesterday I made taquitos. I made my own corn tortillas with my tortilla press that I bought from someone who left. That is a hot item. I already have someone who wants to buy it when I leave! Anyway, the taquitos are so good! Especially with my home made salsa. Our friend Nick stopped by to drop off some goodies that his girlfriend brought for Julian when she came to visit so he stayed and ate with us too. We don't see him much anymore since he and Jaime are in different classes now and he and Jaime are not exercising together anymore. Nick had a medical issue and his doctor advised him to stay away from exercise for a while. It's usually the opposite I know. He is feeling better and hopefully will have a clean bill of health when he comes back from break.

Tomorrow I am going over to the 5th semester sale to sell of some stuff that our friends left with us. They left early and left all their leftover stuff with us to sell for them. I get a cut so I said SURE! I am also selling some books of mine and some books of Julian's and a few old toys that he doesn't play with anymore. And a pair of shorts that I have that make me look like a clown!

On Friday we went to Dr. Allerton's pre-med pizza party that he puts on every semester. That was fun. While we were there one of the new women in the SOS group made a comment about how hot it had gotten lately. She asked me if it got much hotter. I was sad to report to her that it will get hotter and much more humid. I tried to break it to her gently. I said "August is really hot and humid, well, July and August, well actually it's more like June...wellllll...from about May through September it will be really hot". She just laughed. So, one more full week for Jaime and then it's finals week. There is a new family coming that we have been in contact with. They are from Vermont and we have been emailing and talking with them for a couple of months. It will be fun to get to know them better and get a haircut! Heidi is a hairdresser and she's coming fully stocked with color for me! Isn't she nice! Then one week after that my mom, sister and niece come for a visit. We can't wait!