These are the ramblings of my new discoveries about food, crafts, fashion and nonsense.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Say Anything Brooke

Happy Birthday to Miss Brooke of Say Anything Brooke!
She blogs about nails, I love that she has this unique blog - it's something I'm very interested in.

Right now she's having a birthday bonanza giveaway! Check it out and enter to win some great things!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Day six & seven

I know, cheap of me to do two days in one post but the last two days not a whole lot happened. We decided to take it easy. On day 6 we had our spa day. We went and had massages on the beach. It was the most divine thing ever. Instead of a machine making wave sounds it was real. The breeze on your back and the smell of the warm ocean. Oh... pure bliss. It cost an arm and a leg but was worth every single second. I highly suggest treating yourself to it one day.
The last two nights for dinner we went to the La Toc restaurant. I wish we had found it earlier! It was the best restaurant at the resort. It was all local foods and they were prepared amazingly well! We're talking 5 star food, finally!
The last day we sat the shade of a beach hut. It was so relaxing. I think I did get a touch of heat stroke that day and the Burt's Bees "after sun lotion" is amazing. I've never found anything that helps get rid of heat stroke symptoms but rest - this did! It's so soothing and helps rehydrate your entire body from the outside. The only MAJOR downside to this day is that the ocean finally had a yellow flag again. So Mom and I went and relaxed in the surf. Well, while we were in it the waves picked up. So when I was trying to get out I got hit pretty badly and tossed around. I lost my hat, I had salt water in every orifice. I was still cleaning sand out of my ears a month later. I'm not kidding, I'd clean my ears with a q-tip and there would be sand particles in the wax still. It did clear out my sinuses nicely, but it hurt so badly. I don't know why people pay to have their sinuses pumped with salt water. Yes I cleared it out for about a week but the pain was excruciating!

It was a horrible trip home, we got seated next to the only kids on the plane and they were screamers. The one that wouldn't sit still kept spitting at my Mom. Stupid 3 year old. Not like he's going to remember the trip anyway. I was glad to get home to my bed and Spike but I really miss the crickets and Jim-the-frog. The warmth, the relaxing atmosphere...
Since we've returned home we've seriously considered buying a home there. The houses sit at about $40,000 for a local place, instead of the houses for Americans that are on the resorts which start at $550,000. *thhhbbbbt* I'd want to live in the towns and walk to the local markets if I were to live there. Not be isolated in a resort. I just have to find a job to which I can telecommute. Then we'd spend June-November in Canada as it's hurricane season. Not rainy season, hurricane season.

That was our trip, sorry it took me 4 months to post all of it. I've been running around getting things settled for my trip this year. I'm spending the next year testing out places that I think I want to live. Instead of uprooting everything, moving to a place, just to find out that it sucks to live there we decided to test out a few months in each place and get a feel for them. Then narrow down our choices from there.
We're in Nelson right now. I'm loving it, although the hills are quite steep which mean I would be able to ride my 3 speed bicycle much. But it's beautiful and calming.
Until next time,
The last of the pictures under the cut!

Day five: LOTS of pictures

About damn time right! ><'
I've been, not busy so much as lazy.
(Photo bomb will follow the diary entry. I'm tired of fighting with the blogger platform for layout. I'm also not putting them in any order.)
Day five in St. Lucia was our day out. We went on a tour. We drove around the west side of the island. Trust me when I say that the east side is straight in comparison. West side is mostly switchbacks. It was an interesting tour. It would have been better had they not over stuffed the bus. Of course our resort was the last on and I ended up with the jumper seat out in front of me. Like I couldn't move one seat up and then I would have had leg room? I'm not asking for much when it comes to leg room, I can cram in with the best of them. But the jumper seat, when it was out, came 2 inches further back than the rest of the seats. Making so I literally could not sit. I also had sunburn on my knees so the seat pushing violently into my legs was not fun. So I made the best of it (complaining the whole time of course) by kneeling and looking out the back window. [We were in the very back bench of the little bus.] This made for some amazing, clear photos of the island. It also allowed me to see things that no one else on the bus got to see.
The first stop was at Anse La Raye. It sounded like the tour guide was saying Ansillery the whole time, it was quite funny. It's a lovely little fishing village. We were told to stay near the bus and not go into the back streets... it was a little sketchy. That kind of was a bummer because Mom and I wanted to see more of the town, not the tourist shops. We met crazy Robert there. He started talking to me randomly. Looked homeless to boot. He has no teeth and made it very difficult to understand him. But I'm polite and smiled and nodded. He did tell me that he is 75 and has never left the island. Been here his whole life. He knew about Toronto and Montreal when he found out I was from Canada, but that was about it. There was a family of chickens in the road, very cute as there were babies with mom and pop. There was some beautiful handiwork on the houses there as well. It was a quaint little town. Oh right, the stilt house! Most of the houses in Anse La Raye are built into the mountain side. To make them level they built them out on to stilts. This not only helps keep the local animal & insect population out of the house but it makes it easier for hurricane winds to just blow underneath the houses without ruining them. Anse La Raye had the most amazing one we saw on our trip, the stilts had to be 3 stories high!
We stopped at a banana plantation. So amazing! The one we saw was a 1,700 acre plantation. Now in that 1,700 acres there are 213 farmers! It's not a corporation that own the place, which is nice. Bananas took over the sugar cane fields long ago and is the only good exported from St. Lucia. Bananas are really neat, they have a 9 month gestation period just the way humans do. The farmers will cover the bananas in blue plastic when they first emerge from their flower form. They do this to, not only keep out animals and pests, but to allow the bananas to grow without them ripening. The bananas if left on their own will ripen right away and not come to maturity if they aren't protected in the blue plastic. It was really neat to learn all of that!
We stopped for lunch in the town of Soufriere. It's the town that houses the famous Twin Pitons. They're really beautiful mountains. And the way the ocean hits them is divine. Lunch was local fare which I was overjoyed about! We had a lovely spiced chicken, dasheen and green fig salad. Dasheen is a local vegetable that is similar to sweet potatoes. It doesn't taste like them, but is kind of sweet and has the texture of them. I loved it! I also fell in love with the local hot sauce. I ended up getting some of it to take home with me. It will take a LONG time to get through the bottle as it is SPICY! You only use 1/4 tsp at a time. But I love the flavour profile it has.
Right, the first first stop, it was a very quick one for a view... The view was beautiful but the important part of it was that we got to sample banana ketchup and banana barbeque sauce. I bought both... they are amazing. Banana ketchup isn't sweet like out ketchup, or the name suggests. It's does have a sweetness to it but it's like a cross between mustard and ketchup... very unique, very very yummy! The banana barbeque sauce has a smokiness and flavour unrivaled by anything we can get here at home. It is wonderful.
We stopped at the Diamond falls botanical garden. We got to see a bunch of beautiful flowers and learned that most of the ones we were seeing weren't native to the island. *sigh* But it was cool to see a nutmeg tree, an avocado tree and the diamond falls really are beautiful. The mineral spring running through the place is very dirty and smells from the minerals but it was beautiful too. The highlight of that part of the trip for me was the board they put up talking about the devastating hurricane in 2009. It was amazing to see the photos of how everyone banded together to rebuild and how quickly they did it. During the drive late we got to see what's left of the devastation.
After lunch we went to the "drive in volcano". This is not what you'd think. The whole city of Soufriere is actually a volcano bed. So it's not drive in a cavern next to magma kind of volcano the way the name suggests. We had a choice of visiting the "drive in volcano" or going to the mud baths. We, and three others (out of 25 people?) chose the baths. Good choice once we found out what they had! *laugh* We got SO dirty! It wasn't what I was expecting. You get in this initial tub of water which is fed by the volcano. It was SO HOT. It hurt my sunburn so badly. You then get out and walk to this little stream and cover yourself in the mud from the stream bed. The stream is feeding the pool and is steaming hot. You then let it dry in the blissful sun and return to the first pool to wash off... Wash off. That didn't go so well. The mud does not come off easily. That being said your skin feels brand new after the mud. So soft, so supple. Worth every minute. The bath when we got back from the trip was hard as it took three times the amount of soap to get my skin back to the right colour!
The last part of the tour, which I took no pictures of, we rode back to the resort on a giant catamaran! We sat at the front and got soaking wet in the splash of the bow. It was so much fun! I couldn't stop giggling. The only reason we ended up leaving the front of the boat was the salt water got a bit much in our eyes. It was so nice to be outside all day.
When we returned to the hotel we got to our room and found that our butler had drawn us a bubble bath that was topped with rose petals! It was such a wonderful surprise!!

Ah yes, this day five was the 27th. That's my Dad's birthday. So in celebration we had planned to go to the butler only restaurant [at the grande ><']. It was also the night of the street party. Our dinner reservation wasn't until 845 (groan) so we decided to pre-snack at the party. OH. MI. GOD. Greatest food of our whole trip. It was ALL local foods. We had fresh crawfish, lobster, fried plantains, curries goat, curries chicken roti, christophene au gratin, pumpkin custard... I was in heaven. This food was so flavourful, robust, unique. I want to go back just for that food! Christophene is a squash like food that they cook coated with cheese. It is divine. We were both VERY happy we checked it out. Oh yeah, there was a steel drum salsa band playing as well - I couldn't have had more fun.

Dinner was... disappointing. As all of our experiences at the Grande were. We had to wait for the damn shuttle again at the end of our night. It was annoying and the food really wasn't worth it. Although it was neat to dine over the water on a pier.

It was a nice day to celebrate my Dad. We both miss him very very much.
Now, the pictures!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Lolita Cuteness

I've been following this adorable darling for a while now on blogger. She's a true blue Lolita and a great inspiration to me.

She's currently holding a giveaway on her blog: ♥ Like Candy Floss: A princess's ramblings

If you adore cute things like I do and are interested in the Lolita lifestyle she's a great person to follow. Check it out!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012