I'm watching you. Yes, you.

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

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.

svg

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.

 

 

 

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.

Gushing on Customer Service

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.

Consistently Inconsistent 

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.

~Jett

Critical Mass

I enjoy letting my hair grow. It gets compliments every now and then, and it’s entertaining to see photos throughout a year’s time where my hair is different colors and lengths. But it is becoming increasingly difficult to deal with.

The heat has made it almost unbearable to wear down unless I’m at the office with extreme air conditioning. I’ve had to trim (read: butcher) my bangs every few months to keep them from jabbing my eyeballs. I typically do absolutely nothing with my hair, except brush it, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing – it’s wavy, so it doesn’t just lay limply around my skull.

So I’m considering a hair cut. At the risk of upsetting my boyfriend, who enjoys my hair long, I plan to go fairly short. Long enough to connect pieces at either side under my chin, potentially angled up towards the back so it stays off my neck. I’m hoping to find a photo for the stylist, & with that & my description, come away with a hairstyle I’m happy with and will keep me cool for the rest of this insanely hot season.