Sunday, August 26, 2007

Vacation in SLU

Welcome back to me. This is my first blog post in a few weeks because as mentioned in a previous post I went to St. Lucia for vacation. My girlfriends family is from there so this was also the first opportunity for me to actually meet them.


Now for the details of the trip...

We arrived in SLU on Saturday afternoon after a short 1hr layover in Charlotte and then a 5hr flight to St Lucia. I have no complaints about the flight and Nadeene's mother and younger brother were waiting there to pick us up from the airport. When we were landing and during the 1hr drive from the airport to our hotel I was able to get a pretty good look at the island. The last time I was in the Caribbean was when I went to Antigua when I was 12. So, it's been a full 15 years. I had forgotten how beautiful the islands can be. Everything is so plush and full of vegetation and life. It is very different than the concrete jungle that large north American cities have become.

We checked in at the hotel then went over to Nadeene's family's house. There I met the rest of her immediate family (father and younger sister). We stayed there for a few hours and then went back to the hotel.

Rest of the trip...

I have decided not to detail every single day and instead focus on the highlights and a few of the low lights of the vacation.


The Good....

The Pitons...

The pitons are two huge mountains located near to the coast line. We spent a good part of a day traveling out to see them. They are very pretty. We had to drive through several smaller towns to get near. Which was very nice because it gave me a chance to see people and more of the country


Sulphur springs.

The sulphur springs are basically a volcano that tourists can drive into. Nadeene's brother was nice enough to act as our tour guide and did all of our driving for us. It not like Mordor in LOTR. There is not lava running everyplace but it is definitely a volcano. And you can smell the sulphur. It's actually really cool.

Going to town...

Thankfully there was a bus route right near where our hotel was. Which meant we never had to pay for a taxi or consider renting a car. Two of our days there we just hopped on the bus and went into town. The city was always very busy and bustling with activities. We stopped by her moms workplace to say hello and we went to lunch with her once.

Nadeene's Family...

They were all very nice to me and went out of their way to make me feel at home. Her mother cooked multiple meals for us which obviously saved us plenty of money because our vacation package was not all inclusive. As mentioned above her brother gave up his time drive us around a lot including from her house to our hotel. Also her Aunt arranged for us to have a dinner at a near by hotel. The dinner was amazing with the biggest shrimps and tastiest lobsters I have ever had. Her whole family was very nice and made the trip very enjoyable.


The Bad...

Hotel staff...

The hotel staff were rude. I don't know any other way to say it. We found some ants in our room and they wouldn't switch our rooms. There was also a day when they didn't provide us with any wash cloths and there was one maintenance worker who was just plain rude.

Driving in St Lucia...

St Lucia has a lot of mountains. This means that to go anywhere means climbing quite a few hills. Also the roads are not all maintained well and the drivers are very discourteous. It may be the only place in the world where pedestrians do not have the right of way.

Hurricane Dean...

Our plan was to do sight seeing early in the trip and then hit the beach later in the trip. unfortunately Dean had different plans. By late Thursday the rain was coming hard and it would be far too dangerous to go to the beach. We stayed in our hotel room Thursday evening and Friday morning. Thankfully it was only a category 2 when it hit SLU or it could have done much more damage to the island in general.

Overall...

I had a good time and I'm looking forward to future trips there.

Nadeene took over 200 pictures but put the most useful ones are up:
Saint Lucia Vacation Aug 2007 Part 1
http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=46405&l=3b5f9&id=686010532

Saint Lucia Vacation Aug 2007 Part 2
http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=46425&l=9bfb4&id=686010532

Next week ...
Celebrities Girls

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Visiting Relatives - part 2/Caribana

So I know this post is supposed to be about "Reading" but to keep the blog topical to what is going on in my day to day life I am switching the topic. I should also point out that this will be a fairly short post this week.

So my cousins came into town this week, just for a little visit and to attend Caribana. My cousin Micheal and his wife Krystal have a birthday around this time so I am sure this is a nice get away for them. His brother Jason has come up for Caribana multiple times. So on Friday night my girlfriend and I went out to dinner with them. We went to the KEG. I have never been to the KEG before. It is a fairly nice restaurant. It has a similar feel to Kelseys but slightly more upscale. The portion size was decent also. They give you enough food to fill you up but not so much that you feel overly stuffed. Overall, a good time was had by all.

I decided that Caribana just wasn't going to be my thing this year. My girlfriend had to study for an upcoming exam and would not be able to make it. Generally speaking I am not a huge Caribana fan. I don't even remember the last time that I would have gone to the parade. I used to go down on Young street on the Friday and Saturday nights and just walk around. It was pretty crazy down there. But I was down there last year and I realized that I am quite a few years older than the majority of the people down there. In addition since I already have a girlfriend I am not going to go down there just to look at girls. Another options would be to go to a club. But many clubs jack up the cover charges at this time of year. I have ZERO interest in spending $50 dollars to get in to any night club anywhere. And god only knows what drinks will cost.

As someone of Caribbean decent part of me thinks I have some level of responsibility to attend an event like this. But the older I get the less interested in the party lifestyle I become. Honestly, I enjoy a quiet evening of hanging out with my girlfriend as much or more than getting hammered and hitting some club. The transition has been slow but i guess i am just getting old. :(

There will be no post for the next one or two weeks. I leave for vacation next Saturday and will not return until the following Sunday night. I am going to Saint Lucia with my girlfriend.

Next Post ... What happened on my Vacation