Sunday, December 28, 2008
We had decided that we would all be skating, even mom. She hasn't ice skated or rollerbladed in a long time so she was a little nervous. She hung on the the side for a few rounds and eventually made it to the middle. It was really nice to have a girls day, especially since it was something that I was really looking forward to! We each had a few falls and I'm not sure we stopped laughing the whole time we were there! We skated till our little hearts were content....
It was so nice--I really appreciate the small things that my family does to make our breaks back home so memorable!
Sunday, December 21, 2008
We did save a few cookies that we would ice after they cooked but knowing how well they would have turned out with the painting, we probably would have painted them all before we cooked them. The cookies wouldn't have taken so long but because they were stand up cookies, we had to cut out Santa and then we had to cut out his feet. Hours later, we had all the dough baked and all we had to do was ice, assemble, and serve to the boys.
By the end, we were starting to go crazy. The Christmas music blaring on the computer and all our hard work was breaking. We tried to ice together Santa's legs or the sleigh, but no such luck. The cookies ended up looking so good...we made a little scene of our hardwork. It was pretty painful passing out the Christmas cookies to the boys and seeing them eat the cookies in 3 bites...the cookies that took us all day to cook...in 3 bites! I'm not upset or anything, but it would have been nice if they would have savored the flavor a little longer and chewed the full 32 times before swallowing. Oh well--I'm guessing that means they were delicious! I had a great time baking Christmas cookies...so many great memories were created!
Thursday, December 18, 2008
It's hard to believe that 4 semesters ago we were just moving to St. Maarten and now we are almost ready to move back to the states. Time has definitely flown, especially when we look back on how far we've come. During the semester, it sometimes feels never ending!
Congratulations to all our friends that are another 4 months done! We're home for a few weeks on break--time for a little rest and relaxation.
Friday, December 12, 2008
I can't believe that the semester is already over and we've said our goodbyes. This time next semester we'll be the ones that say goodbye to the island and our island friends!!
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Sometimes when I'm at the grocery store, I will see some of the crew from these boats shopping. They have as many as 6-7 carts loaded with fresh fruit and vegetables, the best cuts of meat, wines, and anything else the owner's heart desires. I was always curious..."how could people afford this much food, especially here?" Then I see the boat(s) they own and realize that it's probably just chump change. The boats definitely are amazing! It's always fun to go and sit by the bridge and watch them come in and out of the harbor! High season can definitely have its frustrating moments, but seeing a huge yacht out in the sunset, makes it just a little bit better.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Sunday, December 7, 2008
At 7:00am, I got beside my running partner, Alicia, and headed to the back of the pack to start the race. I didn't want to get sucked into running at a faster pace than one I was used to. The race started off great--we had some adrenaline and some nice weather! When we got about 20 minutes into the race, I had decided that I was tired and needed to walk. I've never done 30 minutes straight...it is much harder than it sounds. Even as I sit here typing, 30 minutes is a show on TV or a meal if you are Rachel Ray, but it doesn't seem like a long time. Trust me...when you have to run, 30 minutes is a long time. Thanks to Alicia, I was motivated and encouraged to run it all the way out. We finished the race sprinting across the finish line at a time of 31 minutes. I felt a great sense of accomplishment as I crossed the finish line....I had accomplished my goal. I'm definitely not someone that enjoys a nice run...it's pretty much torture everytime. I love the feeling that I have when I'm finished running. Today was great! I was talking with some girls afterwards about being capable of running. I'm very fortunate to be a young, active woman that enjoys challenging myself. I don't need to take the small things like running a 5K on a beautiful island for granted...
Thursday, December 4, 2008
The holiday concert was great! It really got me in the Christmas spirit...I even caught myself humming some of the songs back in my apartment later that night.
The island is also starting to put up Christmas decorations...Jason's school has garland on the railing and a huge Christmas tree in the middle of the rotunda; my school has a tree outside by the pool; some houses are decorated... AND there are Christmas trees at the grocery store. There was a house that was decorated from top to bottom so I thought I'd get a few pictures.
I am now in full Christmas mode....I have a few Christmas parties coming up in the next two weeks and I have found a Christmas website that plays Christmas music 24/7. I'm already planning shopping days, cookie making days, and gift wrapping days for when we go back home. I LOVE CHRISTMAS!! I have realized the past couple of weeks that Christmas is what you make it, regarless of where you live.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
There is a point on Mullet Beach where a restaurant used to be built (before Hurricane Lewis-in 1995), so we walked out to the point to explore a little.
After exploring and playing in the waves at Mullet Beach, we decided we were getting hungry. Ana had already decided where she wanted to go for her first dinner on the island...The Stone. The Stone is a restaurant where the food comes out on a hot brick that has been baking in the oven for 15+ hours. Your food comes out raw on the brick and you get to cook the meal, just the way you like it. Ana said it was as good as she remembers...I'm not sure she left one thing on her plate!Thursday was Thanksgiving and diving day! Ana got scuba certified on their last vacation, so diving in St. Maarten was a MUST on her list. We woke up early, threw on our swimsuits, and drove to Grand Case. After we got all of our diving stuff and got to Creole Rock, the dive site, we realized that the water was pretty rough and the visibility might not be the best. We all fell in and headed down to 30 feet. The visibility was horrible--I could barely see everyone and the only way I knew where our dive instructor was because of his yellow flippers. We stayed down for about 5 minutes and after checking with everyone, swam up to the dive instructor and signaled that we wanted to surface. It was a little intimidating to be underwater and not know your surroundings or where you are going. We didn't have the best day for diving, but we realized that we can't control Mother Nature. Oh well...maybe another day!
After Sunset Beach, we decided to go home and get ready for dinner. We agreed on Cheri's Cafe in Maho. Cheri's Cafe is an outdoor restaurant that puts on a singing/comedy type show while you eat. We tried to stay as long as possible, but we were exhausted. We made it through a few songs and then decided to call it a night!
Saturday was Jason's designated day off! He decided that he would take Saturday off and we would hang out at the beach. He wanted to go and hang out at Orient, order lunch, sit in chairs, and act like tourist. We headed out early so we could get a full day of fun in the sun! Orient Beach is the most 'touristy' beach because there is parasailing, banana boats, tons of umbrellas and chairs, and a lot of little beach restaurants. We made ourselves comfy at 'Kokomarina' and decided to walk the beach a little bit.
Not only were there jellyfish that day, but we also had baby sea turtles. I don't know how many times I've been to the beach and been diving and I've never seen a baby sea turtle. Ana couldn't wait to go diving and see the sea turtles and because of the weather that didn't work out. She still got to see her sea turtles, just in a different way!
Orient was so much fun! We even swam out to the trampoline (it was free for the day) and jumped and just acted like kids again. We had a great day...besides getting a little sunburnt!