Sunday, June 29, 2014

the weekend via my iphone

Lugging around my DSLR is sometimes annoying. I haven't bought a camera bag yet that fits all my lenses so I often just have them floating around in a big tote bag. And a lot of the time, I don't really want to haul a tote around. This weekend was one of those weekends. But I did take a few pictures with my iphone so I thought I would share!

I've been finding new ways to deal with the humidity and braiding my hair seems to be the best route. I finally taught myself how to do a fish tail braid. Now that my hair is longer it makes it easier, but my arms still ache by the time I finish. I usually just opt for a regular/french braid.
My fitness level lately has been sad. I walk quite a bit, have pulled out my yoga mat a few times, and have done laps in the pool, but other than that, I've been slacking. I found out about a pilates studio close to my house so I signed up for a TRX class Saturday morning. It was quite a workout. I got pretty light headed a few times and had to sit down. Every now and then I have this issue, I blame it on my low blood pressue mixed with early mornings and the humidity here. But anyways, I'm super sore today! After my workout I walked down the boardwalk to the market. It was lowtide and the beach was beautiful.
I got a few strange items. This massive mango and a weird looking fruit called a sugar-apple or anon. It apparently has a sweet, custard like centre. It's in the family of the soursop, which mom and I tried while she was here. Another strange strange fruit. I'm looking forward to cracking it open!
I grabbed an iced coffee and was about to head home when I noticed a sign for pudding and souse! I had to get some obviously. And I even talked the guy into telling me his recipe. I think this was even better than the Souse Factory, shhhh.
On my way home from the market I stopped at a little boutique. I had just been talking to the girls at the pilates studio about how much I miss shopping. It's pretty limited here (unless you're willing to drop the big bucks at Louis Vuitton, Cartier, Michael Kors etc.). There was another woman in the store and she somehow convinced me to try a few things on. I'm glad I did because I love these dresses I got. I also got a shirt that I'm not 100% about unfortunately. I was torn between this one and a muscle shirt with flamingos on it. I chose this one because it could be worn more often, but I kind of wish I got the flamingos!
I headed home after another stop to try on bikinis. I loved one but it was a bit pricey (I might go back this week, we'll see). And I spent the afternoon by the pool. As I was setting up shop at my lounge chair I put my iPad on the chair next to me and it bounced slow motion off the chair, out of it's case and onto the concrete. Ugh.  Unfortunately, it didn't survive the fall and now has quite the crack. Luckily its on the edge and I can still read the screen, but I'll need to replace it eventually.
After a shower I headed into Oistins to pick up fish for dinner. I got a tuna steak. It was only $8 BD for one pound of tuna. That's $4.00!! Wild.
Anyways, Oistins was beautiful as per usual. I love all the fishing boats.
Oh and this little guy was snoozing by the beach. He was so sweet. He woke up long enough for me to give him some loving and then dozed off again when I left to walk on th beach.
Sunday morning I woke up with heavy eyes. Literally. Two weeks ago while Rob was here, I broke out in this rash that started on my face, then my chest and then my arm. The rash on my arm finally went away this week. My anti-histamine prescription ran out on Friday and it seems that what ever I'm allergic to is still around because IT'S BACK. Just on my face so far. My forehead and eyelids seem to be the worset, hence the swollen eyes. Pretty I know. I went to the pharmacy this morning to re-fill my anti-histamine. I think I'm just going to keep getting it filled for the rest of the time I'm here. I'm allergic to Barbados. Ugh.
After icing my eye-balls and getting my prescription, I made myself a salad with leftover tuna and fresh veggies.
Then I headed to the airport to pick Steph up around 2:00pm. When I checked the arrival board, it said her flight was on time. But my Air Canada iPhone app said that she was "diverted" to Saint Lucia. Then the app told me she had landed in St. Lucia, then that she had landed in Barbados ... it was confusing. I'm glad I brought a good book. Finally, after four hours of waiting at the airport she finally made it through the gates at 6:00pm!

After freshening up, we headed to the Tiki bar for drinks and dinner. A few "soup bowls" later we were ready to head home in the rain and we spent the rest of the night in the pool.

Overall, it was a pretty good weekend. I'm happy Steph is here and I'm looking forward to showing her around Bridgetown tomorrow and exploring Barbados!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

must see in barbados

I have been compiling a list of "must sees" since I arrived in Barbados, a Barbados bucketlist of sorts. I make note of places that I hear about from locals, tourists, online reviews, tour guides etc. With less than four weeks left in Barbados, I am only about half way through my list! My hope is that when my cousin, Steph, is on the island we can cross off a few more places. I have yet to explore the south east side of the island so I think a day trip with stops at Crane Beach, Bottom Bay, Sharks Hole and Sam Lords Castle would be a great!

In addition to this list, I have been meaning to make a list of places to EAT. I've enjoyed so many (too many) amazing meals here and I definitely want to keep track of where I've been. I've also been told of some places by locals that are a bit off the beaten track, but promise to be delicious.

The past seven weeks have literally flown by. I need to get my butt in gear if I'm going to cross everything off my list! If only I didn't have to spend my days working ...

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

sunday sail

There was a sailing regatta in Barbados this past weekend and I pulled out all the stops trying to find a boat for my Dad and I to race on. I talked to every sailor I knew, emailed the yacht club, and even had my information forwarded to the entire yacht club roster ... but to no avail. Unfortunately, sailing season in Barbados is coming to an end and most of the yachts have been taken out of the water or have sailed on to different ports. As disappointed as we were, we still had plans to spend Sunday on the water.

We booked a catamaran cruise on Cool Runnings. Unfortunately I was a bit lazy with my camera but I snagged a few pics from my dads. It was just nice to relax, lay on the trampoline, and enjoy the sun. Surprisingly enough, I haven't had much time to just lay outside and tan, so I definitely enjoyed soaking up some rays.
This trip was similar to the Jolly Roger cruise, with a bit more relaxation involved. We stopped to swim with the turtles. There were actually quite a few more turtles at the place we stopped this time then with the Jolly Roger. They looked quite a bit younger as well. We then headed to another spot to snorkel at a ship wreck. I sat this one out and just relaxed while everyone admired the little fishies.

We then anchored in a little bay where we had a great buffet lunch: chicken, king fish, macaronie pie (obviously), salad, potato salad, rice, and bread. The baked chicken was delicious! After digesting for a little while Dad and I swam to shore to check out the beach. I beat him to the beach (he might not have known we were racing...)
 And then I decided I wanted to climb the big coral rock. Dad stood by with the camera telling me I was going to regret it the whole time, joking that he would have to get the first aid kit when we got back to the boat. He was only partially right. It did hurt like hell, coral is sharp. But no major injuries to speak of!
 Ouch. I think I'm noticing that I cut my knee at this point. And then laughing about it? Who knows.
 On top of the world.
 "Okay Dad, you can stop taking pictures now."
We swam back to the boat and I treaded water for another half hour or so talking to some people that were visiting Barbados from Greece. From one paradise to another, now that's the life.

After sailing back to shore, Dad napped for the afternoon and I read a book by the pool. I love Barbados weekends!

Monday, June 23, 2014

island tour number two

Last week I made up a list of things to do/places to eat while my dad was visiting. I really wanted to be able to show him the whole island. Unfortunately, without a vehicle that's not such an easy task.  I tried to convince him to rent a car but he wasn't having it (he thinks we will get into an accident and never be able to leave Barbados, but is that a bad thing?) So I called up a taxi driver that had driven me to and from the airport a few times to see if he would be up for an island tour. Luckily for us, he was!

Arlington picked us up Saturday morning and we headed up the west coast. Our first stop was at the Animal Flower Caves at the North point of the island. This cave was discovered in 1780 by one of the seaward entrances and stairs weren't built to go down from the cliff until 1912. This place is definitely high on my list (if not the highest) of the coolest things in Barbados that I've seen so far.
 As always, the cliffs were breathtaking. But I was more interested with what was underneath. After a bit of a trek down seriously steap stairs you come into this huge cave with openings to the sea. The formations down here are incredible and definitely tell a story. We were lucky it was fairly calm because it can be a pretty dangerous place if the waves are large enough.
While I was off exploring one side of the cave, Dad found another sea opening that could only be accessed by swimming through a small pool. I ditched my camera and joined him on the other side!
Next stop was Cherry Tree Hill. The pictures speak for themselves. It was an amazing view down the East coast of the island.
Sidenotes: my hair was so nappy at this point because it was so windy up there. Also, I need to teach my family how to use my camera because it's quite the production every time I want to be in a picture!

We then cruised down the East coast to check out one of the most popular "postcard views." There's no swimming on this side of the island for the most part due to the wicked current. But there is a popular surf spot on this coast, called the Soup Bowl.
I love all the random rocks (although it seems insignificant to call them rocks, because they really are huge) that have been eroded away by the waves. This one above was all alone.

And this is the view you will see on many post cards looking North up the East coast. I believe this was at Edge Cliff looking up at Bathsheba.
Our last stop before lunch was at St John's Church, which was built in the 1830s. I'm happy we visited during the day because the tombs freaked me out. Honestly, it was pretty creepy, but it was a beautiful old building.

We stopped for lunch at the Souse Factory for Pudding and Souse (it rhymes with house not moose, Dad seemed to have some issues with that....). If you ever come to Barbados pudding and souse is a Saturday staple. Now I just need to find a place that makes it closer to my house!

The day was long. We covered pretty much the whole island in five hours and we were beat. The rest of the day was spent relaxing by the pool!