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My Bequia Vacation

If you pay attention to my Facebook yammerings at all, you’ve noticed I was off on some far-flung island, dumping piles of photos almost every evening for a week.

I visited a tiny island that’s part of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, called Bequia (it’s pronounced Beck-Way) which is in the next time zone over (1 hour ahead of Eastern Time).  It took essentially an entire day to travel there.  It involved three flights – from Richmond to Miami, from Miami to St. Lucia, and from St. Lucia to Bequia.


For the final flight, we took a very small plane, a type I had never been on.  I took a video of our takeoff.  Once we were there, we were treated to some beautiful views!

For most breakfasts and some dinners, we had a personal chef named Patrick prepare our meals.  He also manages the SeaGlass house that my husband’s mother and stepfather own.  He’s a classically trained chef from Jamaica, who moved to Bequia and does personal chef-ing for a few houses on the island.

Driving in Bequia is certainly interesting.  Everyone drives on the right-hand side, and the driver’s seat is on the right.  It is extremely hilly, and the roads are very narrow – most of the time cars can barely pass each other.  There are only maybe four or five hundred cars on the island, though.  Some roads are very steep, and some aren’t even paved – the ones that are are simply concrete.  The road to the home we stayed in was mostly dirt and rock, and the rain can really wreak havoc on the roads, shifting things around.  Chad’s stepfather plans to have portions of the road to their home paved and better gully systems created.  Gullys are deep trenches on either side of the towns’ roads, and most are pretty smelly.  The water there can’t be drunk, but it’s collected in tanks for pretty much everything else – showers, toilets, dishwashers, and cooking.

Shopping in Bequia can be tricky, especially for food.  There aren’t any Walmarts or Krogers or Whole Foods.  You have to stop at three or four different places to get everything you’d need, and you better plan your meals ahead because it takes a long time to get from your house in the hill down to the marketplace, and good luck trying to find ANYTHING open on a Sunday.  I did love going to Doris’ shop, she has frozen food in deep-freeze chests, and spices are weighed rather than just in jars on a shelf.  Fresh fruit and vegetables are mostly bought from stalls along the main road.

I got to check out a bookstore, which I got a bit of a laugh out of.  It’s about the size of a living room, but they had maps of the area, and a section called something like “Modern Novels,” but it mostly had all the Twilight series, Gone Girl, and the 50 Shades series, and other highly sold novels.

We went to all sorts of restaurants, but I tried not to be a total tourist and take photos of all my meals.  Here are the few I did take, from Nando’s, Papas, and Firefly Plantation.

Chad’s birthday was on Friday, and as a treat his mother & stepfather brought a steel band to our house for a while.  The band had a banjo player, an actual steel drum, and a set of steel can chimes that were originally paint cans the musician hammered out to tune them properly.  Afterward, our chef Patrick made dinner – pork loin – and they had a cake.

We visited friends of Lennart, Kurt and Ursula, at their Spring Hill pavilion where we enjoyed a pizza oven dinner with them and about 15 others who also own homes on Bequia.  It’s on one of the highest peaks of the island, at the end of a very long and surprisingly straight road.  You’ll see it in the album link.

Another day, we visited the Firefly Plantation for lunch and a tour.  The plantation was refurbished into a resort with a handful of rooms for vacationers.  They grow almonds, sugar cane, coconuts, bananas, pomegranates, lemons, limes, beans, tons of herbs, and they even make their own sea salt!!  The photos are in this album, with captions.

Afterward, we went to the Old Hegg Turtle sanctuary.  It was started when a young diver discovered that the sea turtle population was dwindling and the babies weren’t able to survive very well.  Photos and videos are here.  A picture of the explanation of the sanctuary is included, it has a better chance of explaining the sanctuary than I can.

I only regret being unable to go on the sailing trip that was planned.  One of us got a nervous, sea-sick tummy and we both went home.  It turned out to be probably a good thing after all, because the waters were very rough and if we had stayed, one of us would have been a complete puddle of disaster.

I loved our trip overall, despite the long travel days there and back.





I’m going to run in the Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10K on April 1st this year (no joke! haha) and in keeping with my personality, I’ve been planning ahead since November.  Researching what to run in, what shoes to wear, what the weather’s going to be (I checked the almanac) and what to carry with me while I’m out.  So I’ve made multiple purchases, and tested the products on short jaunts in an attempt to get my stamina up.  For this post, I’ll go over what I’ve decided to wear to run.

Sparkle Skirts

When clothes are amazing, they develop a cult following.  Rabid running women rave and rant and cheer about these Sparkle Skirts.  For fairly good reason.  I learned about them from my Hogwarts Running Club house and common room Facebook groups.  These are super cute running skirts with shorts (skorts – I hate that term, tbh) built in.  They can be worn front ways or back ways, depending on if you’d rather the waistband zipper in the front or behind you.  The running shorts have thigh pockets that keep everything secure.  I’ve only run with my phone in a pocket, but I seriously suggest you watch this video of a woman wearing a Sparkle Skirt and carries about 20 different things with her while she runs.  It’s almost 8 minutes long, but she’s actually whom I got a few ideas for things to carry with me while I run, which I’ll cover in another post.

I bought two Sparkle Skirts, one the “regular” length and one a longer hiker style.  I’ve been out in both, and don’t really notice a difference.  If anything, the pockets on the hiker style might be a little loose on me.  So women with larger thighs might find more room for them in a hiker style.  The shorts don’t move when I run, and aside from the waistband dropping down under my belly pooch when gravity has its wicked way with me when I jog, I’m super happy with how well these skirts work.

If not for the pretty high price-point ($65 at the low end), I would buy more.  As it is, I will have to become a much more avid runner to justify buying any more.

Nice Pipes

My other running-clothes investment is a cute little start-up I caught on Shark Tank.  The company’s called Nice Pipes, and she developed leg and arm warmers made out of a compression-style fabric that’s pretty much like yoga pants material.  I bought the thigh-high style, with the idea that yes, the First of April will likely be a bit chilly in the morning, and I will likely warm up midway through and want to remove any extra garments that I could to keep from overheating.

I regret I may have chosen poorly, as the portion of the Pipes above my knee slide down as I’m going on my merry way.  They did do the job, honestly, and kept my calves warm.  They also didn’t slide down much more than just bunching around the knee, so they stayed up enough that I didn’t feel I needed to tug on them constantly.  Removing them mid-10K would be tricky, I’d have to essentially take off my shoes to get them off.  I will have to make another attempt in them soon, because I now realize that according to the website photos I may have put them on upside down.

Again, the product’s a little pricey ($42 for knee-high, $46 for thigh-high) so I will likely never buy any more unless I become an avid runner.

Next time I write, it’ll be about the stuff I’ll be carrying with me on my 10K.

Oh hey, a blog!

I am nothing, if not inconsistent!

It’s been almost two years since I wrote anything here!!  I’ve gotten married, changed my name, and already had my one-year wedding anniversary.  I got a certificate in Paralegal Studies.  My husband quit his job – it really was killing him – and we hope to get him back out into the job market in the next few months.

I’ll be participating in my very first 10K in April, the Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10K, and I’m trying really hard to build up my stamina in the meantime.  I’ve found some really awesome products to encourage me to get moving despite the chilly weather, and I hope to share them with you in future posts.

Hopefully not as far apart as this and the last post were…

Wedding Dress Chaos

I had originally thought that I could schedule an appointment at a wedding dress shop, actually talk to the clerk, calmly discuss what styles and wants/don’t wants I have, and then pick out a handful of dresses that fit my answers.  Not so!!

When I walked in, I was overwhelmed by the crowd, the noise, and the chaos of it all.  Apparently today was a “slow day,” and that many weekends the place has double the occupants it had today.  Anybody that knows me will know that I can get distracted by crowds, being one of those weird people-watchers. Hehe.

The moment we began, I was told I was really cutting it close, and I should probably consider deciding today.  Also, what do I want in a dress?  She spoke a mile a minute.  The only really kind thing was that she promised that she wouldn’t choose dresses that were over my budget.  Snap decisions aren’t really my thing, especially for something as important to me as a wedding dress, so it was troubling when the clerk said I was essentially out of time.  Things like that have a tendency to shut me down, so I might have gotten really stoic and said “forget it” if it weren’t for Caroline and Brie there.  They helped me stay focused, they were known faces I could focus on and try to block out the crowd.  I still got distracted easily – every time a woman finds “the one,” they are given a bell to ring.  I don’t know why, it’s their schtick.  It happened three times while we were there, in four hours.  That’s a pretty good “THE dress” per hour average, I suppose.

She was at least impressed with my level of preparedness.  While I didn’t have my own strapless bra (I had tried to get one that morning, but the only store nearby didn’t have any), I did bring a slip, lower-body shapewear, a light robe, a bottle of water, low heels, a travel-sized bottle of baby powder, and a hand towel.  I only needed the heels and the hand towel, and chugged the water afterward.  Despite the time being brief, it was high-energy and exhausting, and I could feel myself breaking into a heavy sweat at the end of it all.

We only used a half hour of the hour-and-a-half time I was allotted for my appointment, but I tried on three dresses.  All three were very different. The first dress I tried on was what I called a Disney princess dress. It was nice, but there was something I didn’t really prefer about it. The third dress I tried on looked something like this.  This isn’t the exact dress, but I can’t seem to find it on their website.  Brie and Caroline immediately said “no,” and we didn’t even take photographs of it.  It was plain, it did nothing for my curves.  I was simply a column of white.  I suppose someone would look fabulous in that gown, but it wasn’t me.  We did get a nice laugh out of it though – I struck a pose and said “Dost mother know thou wearest her drapes??”  Iron Man quotes while trying on wedding dresses for the win!

You’ve probably noticed I’ve skipped describing the second dress.  That’s because I am 90% sure that that is “the one.”  I’ve already risked the wrath of the wedding gods by showing photos to my fiance, so I will not share it with the entire world just yet.

So I happen to be a bit of a stationery geek. Pens, papers, stamps, cards, stickers… The list goes on. I’m a huge fan of the dip pens, y’know, quill and ink style? I’ve got a beautiful pen holder with a glass inkwell, and I keep a nice blue feather quill pen in it. Ravenclaw, represent!

Anyway, when I received the pen/inkwell holder, I was working with the inkwell and without much provocation, the lid snapped off the hinge. I was devastated, as it was only the first day I’d had it. So I did what any respectable online shopper does: I wrote a review. I kept it short and light; I loved the product, but it had broken & I was disappointed. That’s all, I didn’t expect anything, I had done it to myself.

The next day, I receive an email from the company: We’re sorry, we’re sending you a replacement. I was thrilled!! That’s true customer service. Reading and responding to your customers, in any way you feel necessary. Even if it’s just, “hey, sorry about that, here’s like 45% off your next buy!”

The company’s called Nostalgic Impressions, and I suggest you visit them for any fancy stationery products you may want.

A New Year

Happy New Year, everybody!

This year’s been pretty epic, and sometimes not the best, but for the most part it’s been pretty decent. We’ve almost completed unpacking from our move in the summer. We’ve got a wonderful home, and plenty of room to stretch out & do our own things when we want to. We’re both healthy (for the most part) and we both have paying jobs. We make our bills on time & still have enough leftover to do things we enjoy.

I’m pretty pleased with my life right now. As always, a few bits and pieces I’d like to adjust for the better, but those are slow and steady things that need to be worked out slowly, not shot from the hip.

I’m fine taking my time.

My Post Pub-Crawl Day

1 – Breakfast at 2:45am after leaving the other pub crawlers

2 – Slept from 3:30 am to noon

3 – Coffee with cocoa powder

4 – Chipotle for lunch at 3 pm

5 – Video called my dad to wish him happy Father’s Day

6 – Rice cakes and vanilla chai while playing Animal Crossing: New Leaf with friends

7 – Contemplating bed at 9 pm

Today’s been…a day.

I’m nothing if not exactly that. Helps if one can remember her passwords.

So TweetDeck doesn’t support Facebook integration, & I’m pissed that I can no longer post to both Twitter & Facebook simultaneously. It means I have to pretty much dump TweetDeck and find another desktop FB/T program. 

Any suggestions are appreciated.


I was quite surprised to hear that Expendables 2 was to be released, I had thought for certain the first film hadn’t had enough draw to warrant a second. But there was the announcement, so I waited & when I saw the previews and trailers I was genuinely excited.

It has pretty much every action star you can think of. Schwarzenegger, Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Bruce Willis, Randy Couture, Terry Crews, Dolph Lundgren. Even Chuck Norris and Jean-Claude Van Damme were unpacked from their mothballed storage lockers and strapped in for an adrenaline ride.

One surprise was Liam Hemsworth, who I originally thought was Chris Hemsworth, his brother. Both extremely attractive, they definitely could write themselves off as twins.

The film leads in with a bang, lots of blood spilled, sprayed, and flung around. This time they (the team in the film, not the film itself) seemed to have more funding or whatever, with siege toys and all sorts of fancy equipment to get them into and out of sticky spots. The action only lulled for a short time, at which I had to leave for the restroom or struggle through the remainder of the film. I got back just before a new action scene started up, so I guess I have decent timing.

When I went to see it, I went alone on a Tuesday morning. The first viewing of the day, and I was in a theater with three other men. I was severely disappointed when I realized I was the only one laughing out loud to the jokes and quips the actors threw around that were reminiscent of their film careers past. I was happy to see that Chuck Norris actually told his own Chuck Norris joke.

I was sitting in the theater for the longest time trying to puzzle through who the bad guy was. He had a very odd accent, and I could swear I should know who this person was. Finally I realized it was Van Damme!! Once I finally figured out that Van Damme was the villain, I was amused to learn that his character’s name is Vilain. Pronounced vill-ayne, but still. Vilain. Somebody was at a loss for character names.

Fun fact: Norris hadn’t been in any films since 2005. He’s going to be in a film directed by his youngest brother to be released summer of next year.

While I had it in my head that Van Damme hasn’t been in anything since Street Fighter in 1995, he’s actually been steadily busy in various things that don’t make much publicity. He’s got a Universal Soldier series that will have its fourth installment released in November of this year.

Funny side story: one of the movie patrons brought in a half-gallon of milk, and something else he was eating. I couldn’t tell what it was, but I guess he had missed breakfast.

Back After A Year


It’s actually been over a year since I’ve written anything in this blog.

It’s not like there hasn’t been anything interesting to write about – on the contrary, lots of stuff’s happened.

  • July 2011, I lost my job.
  • November 2011, Thanksgiving.
  • December 2011, Christmas.
  • January 2012, New Years’.
  • February 2012, My birthday, my boyfriend’s birthday. He turned 30, I turned 29.
  • March 2012, I got a new job.
  • April 2012, I had my 2012 Ford Focus for a year. We filmed the second Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences book trailer.
  • May 2012, Balticon.
  • June 2012, I was asked to join RavenCon’s staff as their Social Media person. My boyfriend’s sister-in-law had a super-girly baby shower.
  • July 2012, We went on vacation to the Outer Banks.

This month, there’s another larger, more co-ed baby party for my boyfriend’s brother and sister-in-law. I’ve only gotten one of the four knitting projects completed that I wanted to give them, and I really have no excuse. I just haven’t been knitting. Knitting’s become a little more painful than I’d like it to be, particularly in my shoulders. I’ll just have to deal, if I want to finish anything else for the baby.

Maybe I can start writing more frequently. We’ll see.