The tropical mountains of St. Kitts and Nevis are dramatic, lush and a brilliant emerald green. They remind me of the voluptuous mountains of Hawaii… or at least the photos I’ve seen of Hawaii. Maybe next summer I’ll venture west to Hawaii to double check that comparison. Homes do not dot the steep mountains, but rather the towns are scattered at their feet. Large fluffy clouds hang in the sky, kissing the tops of the mountains and breaking up the vast blue Caribbean sky. If you are a lover of fruit, St. Kitts is your Eden. Avocados, mango, papaya, soursop, and breadfruit (Google these last two!) grow in abundance in people’s yards; additionally, you’ll also see plentiful almond trees and sugar cane. Men on street corners sell sugar cane sticks in a plastic bag for a small fee, and women market their colorful fruits from tables set up in the shaded alleys of “downtown” Basseterre. In case you were wondering, to enjoy sugar cane you must gnaw on it using your back molars. Then, suck on the sweet, sugarwater-like juices it releases. When the juice is completely released and swallowed, spit out the left over pulp. It’s like candy.
Overall, I witnessed poverty on the roads near Basseterre, yet received great welcome from the people of St. Kitts. As I watched my son play on the black-sand beach with some St. Kittitian children and as I sipped on a local Rum cocktail garnished with freshly grated nutmeg, I recalled why I love to travel. It can best be summed up in this Mark Twain quote: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did so. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
Oh, and if you ever visit St. Kitts, don’t be surprised if you end up having a diapered monkey put on your shoulder…………..
Here is what St. Kitts looked like through my lens.
The Virgin Islands are simply breathtaking. To me, they are one of the most picturesque places in the Caribbean. St. Thomas, St. John, Jost Van Dyke, and other surrounding islands look like mountain tops, peeking out of the turquoise waters of the Caribbean. Homes haphazardly cling to the steep cliffs and hills, often times looking like they are stacked on top of each other. Makes you wonder how tricky it must be to construct them. The water is clear, tropical fish are abundant, and you never know when a sea turtle may pop its head out of the water next to you. Without fail, the “We should open a beach bar here” conversation takes place, as the beach bum, “shoes-optional” lifestyle always seems to attract me. The USVI and BVI are places I would not have a problem calling home.
Here’s what the Virgin Islands looked like through my lens last week.
Old San Juan in Puerto Rico, or Viejo San Juan, is characterized by its 16th and 17th century stone buildings and azure cobblestone streets; its history is rich, as Ponce de Leon founded it and Christopher Columbus named it. In short, it is a mecca for history or architecture buffs.
I spent time in Old San Juan yesterday and the previous weekend walking the narrow streets, peering into courtyards and shop windows, marveling at the kaleidoscope of colors, and tasting local food and infamous cocktails from a handful of small cafes and restaurants. The Caribbean sun was fierce, the sky violently blue, and the humidity surged. Gazing at the colorful kites on the emerald lawns of the sea-front El Morro offered a diversion from the heat. I definitely needed more time in OSJ.
Here is what Old San Juan looked like through my lens.
We have officially been married 10 years. I give mad props to Nick for dealing with me. For our anniversary, we will be celebrating for a couple weeks. Why not, right?! The perfect gift for me will always be… a … Continue reading →
It’s April 28th (I moved away from St. Louis one year ago today) and it’s finally sunny and warm in this arctic part of the country. In celebration of the nice weather, some of my tulips finally opened up! Is spring actually here to stay??
We came home with 8 pumpkins after our weekend visit to a local pumpkin farm called Katie’s Pumpkin Patch. How much did that cost us, you ask? Only $16!! We live in farm country, peeps! Anyway, Xander had a blast tripping around the pumpkin patch though he was a little confused as to why all the pumpkins were on the ground… he kept saying “why did they fall off?” as if they fell from a pumpkin tree! We also did a true corn maze… it was quite large and tricky and even Nick and I began to wonder if we’d ever escape! Any trip to a farm isn’t complete without a hayride so we did that too. Our 8 pumpkins now litter our front yard, making our house feel very “fall-ish.”
One thing I am going to miss about our house is the view. We have an amazing view from the back of the house and in the winter, when all the trees are bare, the view is even better! Our kitchen sink is below a large blind/shade-free window that faces west so I get to watch the sunset every evening as the sun sets. It makes washing dishes somewhat enjoyable. Until we move, I plan to photograph as many setting skies as possible! They’re just too beautiful to forget!
sunset from Feb 24, 2010
Xander washing dishes at sunset (okaaay, he's actually 'playing' with the water)
When we were in Orlando last month, we found a couple free hours one afternoon so we met up with Emily Anderson for some photo moments. If you recall, she and I met up in 2009 at the Portofino Hotel. We had a great time catching up and hamming it up for the camera. She got some really great shots (no surprise since she’s so talented!). Check out her website at http://www.thisiscampbell.com. I brought along a big lollipop for Xander which he devoured!
All good things must come to an end… we’re back in St. Louis after an eventful 2 week vacation to Florida & Mexico. We had a wonderful time visiting with family and friends and basking in the warm temperatures (well, at least the temps in Orlando and Mexico were favorable. Not so much in Largo!). And we ended our vacation with a short cruise to Cozumel and Costa Maya via the Grandeur of the Seas! We already miss the warm sun (there’s snow on the ground here in St. Louis–boo!) so I thought I’d post a couple photos of this divine sun! Ahh, I’m ready for spring and summer! More pics to come soon. I’m off to do some laundry. Back to reality!
warm sun above our cruiseship
Sunrise in Cozumel, Mexico
Early morning sky onboard the Granduer of the Seas