And the Saga Continues (Part 3)

Sorry this is being dragged out so long but life is crazy and kids have needs! So back to the story....
So we get into the major city and capital (Kingstown, also where my dad and his family grew up) and it reminds me very much of New York! There are street vendors everywhere -a very large marketplace- and half of them are selling bootlegged movies and music! Disney's Princess and the Frog was being pushed quite heavily when they saw Liv lol. It was like I'd said in the first post, such a different world. I loved that you had to interact with people in every setting. Walking down the street there's street vendors, and I love that they're not pushy. St.Vincent isn't uber touristy yet so 90% of the people who go through the markets are locals. So through the markets, you interact with people, at the grocery stores, there's at least 3 or 4 people at the checkouts working the cash, bagging, helping you to your car... I loved it! In Canada I usually favor self-checkouts and ATMS (usually drive-through) but it was so nice to feel so connected to so many people... it reminds you that people are people and I just really enjoyed it! So back to the markets, there was fruit of all kinds, there's a fish market by the harbour (I stayed away) and then you can buy clothes and stuff (all really highly priced and clearly from the states). I think the majority of people there do their shopping in a mixture, purchasing from people on the streets and in the grocery stores.


So we decided to visit family first and then get our groceries before heading back to the guest house. We met up with my mom's cousin at the bank (love that they had ATMS that accepted our cards! We just withdrew and got out some Eastern Caribbean money or EC$ which looked a fair bit like Canadian $... maybe it's 'cause they're a part of the British Commonwealth as well so the Queen was on their moola too.). So my mom's cousin, Calvin was one of the only people I remembered 'cause he had just moved back to the Caribbean from New York and I remember visiting him in the States. So I think he had a busy day that do so we talked for a little bit and then we were off to my Grandpa's.


So my Grandpa is my Dad's father (my mom's dad died shortly after I was born) and my parents are divorced, but my mom is soo sweet. She gets along really well with my dad's family and she's the one who called and made arrangements to meet up with all of his relatives. Anywho, so it was wonderful to see my Grandpa, he has Glaucoma as does the majority of my dad's side and can hardly see, so it was soo nice to have him be with my children and meet them. He hasn't seen me since I was just a year or two older than Liv, He has pictures from my Dad, but I brought a large photo album with pictures of my family from the birth of Liv till now... don't think I put wedding ones in... but maybe.. can't remember. Anywho, we brought some gifts for him and my aunt Rosie lives with him and takes care of him, but she was working that day so we had a nice visit just with him. The kids just loved him! They sat on his lap and gave him tons of hugs and kisses... it was soo sweet! He happens to be their only great grandfather that's alive now and it was just so wonderful to see them together.... my family!

Grandpa & the Kids

After we visited with my Grandpa, we went back to the market, got the food we needed and then took another van-cab back to Layou (the town where the guest house was and where my mom and Grandma grew up).

So, the guest house wasn't anything extraordinarily beautiful, but it was perfect! It's kinda set up like a motel, each room has 2 double beds, a bathroom with a shower, toilet and sink, a wardrobe to hang clothes in and a TV (only one channel). Our room also had a mini-fridge which was awesome for us 'cause Nixon pounded through a LOT of milk! Our room also adjoined to another room which we had the kids in. So there was about 10 or 12 rooms and then on the main floor, there was a big kitchen with a little rec-room typed thing attached. So we had a fridge and stove and cooked a bunch of our meals, it was really nice not to have to eat out 3 x a day for 2 weeks!

The Guest House

Liv eating in the rec area, my mom cooking in the kitchen, Nixon sitting on the step

One of my favourite things about St.Vincent was how much fruit there was and how green it was! At the base of the guesthouse there was a fairly large open green space with a couple of mango trees, and some orange trees and some lime trees and a fruit called sugar apple, Papaya and Coconut... among some pretty flowers and plants! It was soo neat to see so much that you can use and live off of. When I got home, it seemed like such a waste that we have all these ornamental trees that pretty much don't do anything. Anywho, I just loved how simple it was... we wanted limeade... so we picked some limes and made some juice... we wanted a mango, we went and picked one! I was beginning to think I could live here happily ever after lol... I really didn't miss home at all... just my friends and family!

Some of the Fruits & Flowers that were at the guesthouse


Part Two...

So we get to St.Vincent and it's night time, hot and we're exhausted! It is soo humid and oh the warmth was just wonderful... it was kinda funny, in the airport, there were guys wearing jeans, shirts and thick hoodies... I was slightly confused... Anyways we get there and all we want to do is GO TO SLEEP! Luckily, my uncle who owns the guest house we're staying at had made arrangements for someone to pick us up at the airport. So we get into this big van and drive. I was pretty excited despite the overwhelming exhaustion that was coming on, but I looked out the window and thought it was so amazing to have stepped into such a different world... the people on the streets, the music, the scenery... it was dark, but I could tell how different life there was, sooo different, yet so simple and so beautiful and so inviting.

We finally pulled up to the place, and walked up some stairs, found our room, and went to bed!
The next morning, I showered, got dressed, helped the kids get ready and then Nick came in from outside asking if I'd looked out yet. I hadn't and he insisted that I should. The night before it was soo dark we could hardly tell where we were let alone see any kind of scenery, so I decided to look...

Isn't it beautiful?

I was soo excited... we were in paradise, I was gonna meet my family I hadn't seen in forever and I was just soo excited! So the first day, we made a few phone calls to relatives and then decided to go into town to get some money, food and visit a few people. So.... we decided to hail a cab...

Now cabs in the Caribbean are not your typical taxi... they are people... anyone who'd like to... who buy a 15ish passenger van complete with NO seatbelts, they paint it so you know it's theirs, and then shove as many people as humanly possible into it (like 20 min), charge you all a few bucks and drive as fast and crazy as they possibly can until you tell them where to let you off and do that all day long. So, to enter into such an adventure, you stand on the side of the road and wave at the said death trap, if they aren't full to the max (and sometimes even if they are) they pull over, usually a few feet ahead of you because they're going so fast that they drive past you, and you climb in, sometimes over people and take your seat... or portion thereof. Did I mention that fearing for your life due to the speed and clear negligence for any safety laws was only a small fear as you look out the windows and see the crazily windy roads (purposely built as such to reduce the speed of motor vehicles) and the fact that you're positive you're gonna end up in a head-in collision with some oncoming traffic because you keep forgetting they drive on the left here, but it doesn't really matter because the roads are so narrow that there's no humanly way possible that 2 vehicles can make it going in opposite directions... yet they do... and somehow, miraculously... you survive!


The Long Awaited Post

So I have no idea why it's taken me so long to post about our vacation but here it goes!

So after Christmas we headed to the Caribbean! My parents were both born and raised on an Island called St.Vincent. It's pretty close to Barbados and not too far from Venezuela. I've visited before but when I was 3, 5, and then not again 'til this year... when I'm 24! So needless to say it was very much like visiting for the first time! So here's the story from the beginning:

Flights from Canada to Barbados only leave from Toronto, so our first leg of the trip was boarding a plane to the T-Dot at 12:00AM! Or something like that. It was sooooo much fun with the kids (3 1/2 and about to turn 2). Sorry if you got a little damp from the dripping sarcasm there... anywho... so the wait in the airport and the plane ride really wasn't too bad... the kids seemed to be fairly decent... Liv fell asleep and well.. Nick had Nixon! So the girls got some rest on the 5 hour flight and then we met up with my Mom in Toronto and waited just a couple hours for our next flight to Barbados! So that went not too bad either except the boy hardly slept! Then we get to Barbados! OH MAN!

Barbados was warm and beautiful and we started to get excited for our vacation... until...
Until we had to wait in line and go through customs even though we were just hopping on another flight! Well.. the plane to St.Vincent only allows you 1 piece of checked luggage per person unlike our planes from Canada.. (and a baby doesn't count... they have more crap than the rest of us!) which was fine for my family... but my mom had extra baggage so we had to juggle luggage around while at the front of the line to check in and while trying to make our next flight which was leaving VERY soon! (within 30 min) So... we move stuff around, get it all done and then we have to go through security and OH YA since we shuffled our crap around Nick's shaving kit ends up in a carry on and they throw out like all of his stuff.... toothpaste, shaving cram, hair stuff etc. etc.! AND our kids start freaking out and crying!

SO Nick is the first one through security... my mom and I are juggling all our carry on stuff, trying to take off belts and shoes, dealing with rude Airport people (VERY common in Barbados) and both kids while trying to get out passports and what not when Liv decides to have an even bigger freak out and that she doesn't want to go on another plane and wants to go back home... So what does she do?! SHE BOOKS IT BACK THE WAY WE CAME! Oh man I was about to kill her! SO I had to drop all my stuff and chase her down the airport!I catch up to her and she starts screaming and kicking (14+hours after we started with only like a 2-3hour nap when she's supposed to be asleep for the night... think she's tired much?)!

So I get Liv, we get through security with lots of looks and comments and then book it to the plane that has already boarded! We make it on the plane and are the last ones there... 30 minutes later, we're in St.Vincent! FINALLY!

Liv on the Plane.... when she was happy!

To Be Continued.... (wanted to add dramatic effect and I'm kinda tired lol)


LDS Apostles

So for those of you who are not LDS, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is led by a Prophet (kinda like the pope) and then he has 2 Apostles and that makes up the 1st Presidency. Then there are 12 others that make up the Quorum of the 12 Apostles and then there are other groups but for now that's all I need to clarify lol.

So I really want my kids to learn more about the religion we live and although just about every LDS kid can tell you who their Prophet is, they usually can't tell you much about the rest of the leaders of their church, and I really want to teach my kids more. So today, I found this awesome video on You Tube that a group of LDS singers made and I'm gonna play it for Liv so she can learn their names and a little about the 1st Presidency and 12 Apostles of our church. I think we're gonna do a Family Home Evening Lesson about it too. Here it is:


Toy Collection

I know I know... still not an update? What's wrong with me... yaddi yaddi yaddi! OK, enough with my stern reprimand... here's my post:

So, as most of you know, we recently returned from a trip to St.Vincent where my family is from. While there we had many fun adventures of which I PROMISE I will blog about soon. But while we were there, we went to church which was fun and no different from home (except for the beautiful scenery around and the warm climate) anywho... long story short, the kids in their nursery were playing with toys that were older than me (by like 10 or 15 years) and broken. I was humbled when I saw how grateful they were for what they had and how the children still played happily and not one of them uttered a simple complaint. (and these toys were like REALLY broken... like where we would have disposed of them long ago.) Now, to back track a little bit, Nick and I have always wanted to offer some kind of help to the island, not that it's destitute or anything like that, just many of the things we take for granted here cost a lot of money there and aren't on the tops of their priorities. We're wanting to do something bigger, but we still haven't decided yet, and that probably won't happen for some years to come, but we thought at least for now we could help out our fellow Latter Day Saints and send them a care package. We will take care of all the shipping but are wondering if anyone has any new or used toys in good condition that they'd like to donate. There are two branches of our church there, and we're wanting to send them some toys and other things that might brighten their days and just help. We dont' know exactly what else we wanna send 'cause they're all in uniformed schools so they have dress shirts and shoes and pants but maybe they get worn out easily? I dunno...but if you'd like to help out you can drop toys off at my house, call me and I'll come get em from yours or bring em to church and I'll take em there. Nick thinks some basketballs and stuff for the older kids.


Yes Yes I'm posting again and No this isn't an update sorry!

So Most of you know or have heard about my talented and fun friend Carla. She owns Savour the Art of Food a delectable company offering cooking classes, catering services and now PERSONAL CHEF SERVICES!!!! You heard me right... she will come to your home and cook you food! What on EARTH can be better than that? I love to cook, but I would never turn down a meal from Carla haha! So I'm posting because I love her and think she's amazazing.. but also 'cause she's doing a giveaway on her blog for said personal chef service AND I WANT IT! haha I enter all her draws and never win but this time I feel it haha! So check out her blog for an awesome personal chef service giveaway!