Friday, August 26, 2005

Off to the Desert...

I'm leaving tomorrow. I'm not packed. I'll be in the desert for 8 days. I'm excited now that it's getting closer. I basically need to run a couple errands and put my stuff in my bags. I'll write when I get back!

Monday, August 22, 2005

The glorious Hobie Cats...with the evil sailboat in the background. Hedonism is the resort you can barely see to the right. Posted by Picasa

Me by the pool before we left. Just as a side note: I never actually went in this pool...I was pretty distracted by the ocean. If I want to go in a pool I'll join the Y. Posted by Picasa

This is my favorite of M. She looks like she could be a model in a bridal magazine (she could probably be a model in a regular magazine...but she happens to have a wedding dress on). Posted by Picasa

I love this picture...they look really happy. Posted by Picasa

You'll notice that in every picture our arms are behind our backs. This was not any sort of formation we'd concocted to look slimmer...we had long sashes tied behind our necks that reached over the groom! We were holding them down. Posted by Picasa

Oh, what a pretty bride...and those bridesmaids aren't too bad either. The only uncool thing abour a barefoot wedding is the brambly path we had to walk through...youch! Posted by Picasa

Each day the towels were folded to look like something from the sea. We were perplexed by this one. A winged vagina? I finally suggested it might be some sort of ray...such as the sting or manta variety. Posted by Picasa

Days 3 & 4- Jamaica August 6 & 7, 2005

The Big Day

This is in a different format because, quite frankly, because I'm tired of writing in the other format.

L and I woke up early to get ready for the wedding. We went down to M's room where all the activity was taking place. Conveniently, one of the guests at the wedding is a stylist...and quite a good one. She twisted and turned, ribboned and sprayed, glittered and bobby pinned...then added some shiny eye shadow and she was ready to go!

L and I did each other's hair and it turned out fantastic! Honestly, we both have really good hair...wasn't too hard to make amazing and messy up-dos. I'll write more about the dresses in the pictures that I post...they were super cute, and flattering on both of us.

After the wedding on the beach, we had another day of SOOOO many activities. We went out on the Hobie Cat again...this time with the bride too. Then we had a chartered sailboat take us out into the ocean. It was so beautiful, I was on the very front and it felt really isolating looking ahead and seeing the next wave coming our way.

And then it hit...the way back was not quite as calming and serene. I started to get sick right around the time we were passing the Hedonism resort (and not because I saw all sorts of naked people that should not have been naked...although that did happen).

On the high sea, on a sailboat with the ocean as a beautiful backdrop...I became certain that I would puke my guts out over the side...classy. Then I heard M's brother heave and saw his body arched over the side on one of the pontoons. I came closer, barely able to contain the corned beef hash and seafood omelet I'd had that morning. I knew, if he gagged one more time, I would lose it. We got closer and I told the dudes manning the boat..."Ok, I'm good, I need to get off NOW!" I got off the boat into chest deep water and waded to the blessed beach...and didn't end up losing it into the surf.

I did, however, return to sickness when the sunburn on my shoulders developed during the day. In my efforts to not ruin the bridesmaid dress, I didn't wear sunblock in the morning during the ceremony. I had a fever and BARELY made it through dinner. Rough-housing and carrying on (which I'm usually the ringleader of) occurred all over the resort that night from all the people in our group...and I hit the sheets by 9:30...lulled to sleep by my fever.

The next day was our day of departure. L and I cruised the shore for sand for her mother and a few last pictures. We sneaked to the nude beach's jacuzzi for a naughty naked soak. Some dude that was VERY comfortable with his nakedness sidled up and caught us by surprise. I asked for a couple minutes for us to get dressed (we WERE NOT staying in there with him!)...and he stared at us! "Could you please TURN AROUND?!?". We got away with minimal exposure.

The flight back seemed long, and it was really good to get home. I was so happy to see the boyfriend at the airport...letting me know how much he missed me and was glad to have me back. Next time he should go too!

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Break From Jamaica Posts

I'm still planning on completing the final two days of travel to Jamaica...but I just want to take a break from it. I leave for Burning Man a week from this Saturday...I must have Jamaica done by then so I can post about the desert when I return.

I don't have a ton to write. I'm kind of busy getting ready for the trip, but I'm also trying to take care of myself right now. I'm attempting to get enough sleep, eat well, exercise, and get spiritually connected. This will be a challenging event for me and I really need to be at the top of my game.

I realized today that I've sewn so many kick-ass costumes...but I really need to figure out what to pack! I need to survive out there for 8 days (the boyfriend will be with me, he's been already, and we're sharing some things)!

I'm nervous, but I also don't want to go much anymore. I think I was too involved with the planning, got caught up in the drama and tension, and needed to take a step back. I also get caught up in feeling like the desert is a good place to isolate...something I tend to do when I get overwhelmed or stressed (not as easy to do since living with my partner...that's a good thing...but it really doesn't let me act out on this defect as much). More than anything, I need to clean my basement, clean my car, and get my life back in order.

Guess that can wait until I get back.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Picture while reading... Posted by Picasa

Me, climbing to my doom, I mean climbing to learn fun (and painful) circus tricks. Posted by Picasa

Yeah, you would SO not see this is the US. I rode back up the hill to get this shot. I saw it while I was relaxing on the cruise was worth the struggle back up to get it. Posted by Picasa

L, our friend J, and Omercye. This part was the best...downhill. It felt really good to be on a bike. Posted by Picasa

Waiting to start our bike tour. Helmets make my chin look funny. Posted by Picasa

Me climbing a tree in the man-made jungle...I forgot to mention that as one of our activities. Posted by Picasa

Day 2 - Jamaica August 5, 2005

Activities Enough for 3 Weeks

7:30 AM - Off to Breakfast
It's kind of nice to get up, walk outside, and have an entire breakfast buffet begging to be eaten. Something that I really liked...and ate everyday...was corned beef hash. Not really good stuff, but the delicious greasy goodness of canned hash. There was an omelet station, fruit, pancakes, excellent yogurt, pastries, cereal, oatmeal...I love breakfast foods. We met up with a couple that are good friends of the bride and groom and chatted with them for a while (D and J). D had just spilled syrup all over his shorts and was in the midst of a minor panic attack. He admitted that he calmed down after realizing he could change his shorts...and if that's the worst thing that happened to him that day...he's doing alright.
9:30 AM - Bike Tour
L and I showed up for everything on time. Ok, so we're 10 minutes early type of girls. We're waiting patiently for our guide at 9:20 AM. The desk clerk assures us, "No problem, mon, they come here soon". J shows up, at our suggestion, around 9:25, "Am I late? Where's the guide?". We look at her and tell her, "No problem, mon, we on Jamaican time...relax". The guide comes at 20 until 10 (after the manager called to make sure he was still taking the group out). He's a thin man named Omercye and his friendlyness and enthusiasm got us excited for our ride. It's hot, I mean REAL hot. We ride through some neighborhoods and we're all drenched in sweat. Got some great photos.
10:30 AM - Trapeze class
L and I both do crazy stuff with fire (spinning and fans), so we decided we should add some tricks to our bag. The trapeze guys were pretty mean actually. One had flirted with me the previous day, I didn't reciprocate, so he was a tad bit past appropriate sarcasm. What we kept in mind was that these men are artists. They're performers, but to be valued as an artist in their country, they must also instruct priveleged tourists in their art...and we butchered their art. L and I did fine...but the bride, M, was phenominal! Right away the manager saw something in her abilities and taught her how to let go, and he caught her arms, swinging her from his. I was pretty impressed.
12:30 PM - Lunch
More buffet. Not as good as before...I ended up getting a cheeseburger and fries from the grill. Keep in mind, this whole time we're knockin' back our virgin pina coladas (I probably took in more calories from that than anything else).
1:00 PM - Attack Shacks
Down the beach, with a warning sign pertaining to our safety, are the shantis where the local residents try to earn a living making jewelry, carvings, selling drugs...whatever they can find. It was sad, frustrating, but also interesting to meet some cool people. I commissioned a leather bracelet for the boyfriend, and bought a little elephant for my printers drawer. That's all I bought, I've kind of outgrown buying a bunch of crap on vacation. There was one dude that had over $200.00 in commissions from some of the guys in our group.
4:00 PM - Hobie Cat, The Second Run
M went with L and me this time. We went farther, but it wasn't as choppy...which I like.
6:00 PM - Reading by the Beach (there were actually many times I snuck off to read for a bit)
7:30 PM - Special Dinner by the Pool
This food was fabulous! They had a live band and ice sculptures. The dessert table was I tried four different ones!
9:30 - Back in Our Room
The next day was the wedding, so we did our French pedicures on our feet and took showers (we had to be up pretty early to help the bride get ready). We decided to take a break before heading back out with everyone, so we began reading our books. An hour later I woke up...all the lights were on, we had books in our hands...and were fast asleep.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

After our fancy hair looks crazy! Posted by Picasa

That's the main area where we had most of our meals. It's open-air and right on the beach. Posted by Picasa

My first view of the beach. I was reading a book and listening to the ocean (by the way, I highly recommend "The Lovely Bones" Posted by Picasa

Almost there. This is on the busride from hell. Do you see the hunger in my eyes? If I weren't the taker of the picture, I'd have eaten that person for lunch. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Day 1 - Jamaica August 4, 2005

Ya Mon, No Problem
5:00 AM - Arrived at Lambert International in St. Louis
We were so excited to leave, I could barely sleep the night before and was exhausted at the airport.
11:00 AM - Arrive in Montego Bay, Jamaica
3:00 PM - Arrived at Breezes Runaway Bay Resort
We'd completed what may have been the longest bus ride I've ever been on (keep in high school marching band, we drove to Florida from Iowa - 24 hour trip). We were starving, hot, and ready to hit the beach. All we wanted was to change into our swimsuits, get some sort of food, any food, and relax. I appreciated that we saw some of the actual country, poverty and all. Some resort trips like to sugar coat this aspect for the tourist...any unpleasantness is swept under the rug. I think that's sad, and doesn't really give the true flavor of that countries people.
3:30 PM - Hit the food and the beach
L (my traveling companion and roommate) were excited to be there and hit the buffet right before it closed. I could have eaten anything at that point. So we'd fed ourselves, and were ready for the beach. We got there...and couldn't relax. We're both so used to being run ragged in the STL that we couldn't stop thinking, couldn't just sit. We were also a little uncomfortable with the copious amounts of alcohol EVERYWHERE. The people in Jamaica do not want to take no for an answer. We began what would be a 4-day binge of pina coladas with no alcohol. We drank those things like they had crack cocaine in them.
4:00 PM - We hit the wall and started planning activities...not ready to relax
We started looking around and saw the water sports area. We asked if we could go out in a Hobie Cat and they said they were closed. Apparently because we were so beautiful, he agreed to take us out anyway (it also turns out that he was the manager and had the ability to work after hours). It was pretty quiet on the beach and he took us out really far. The possibility of being sold into prostitution did cross our minds as we lost sight of the shoreline from the tiny vessel. We made it back safely and ready for the next activity!
6:00 PM - Got ready for dinner
We decided to eat at Martino's, the schnazzy fancy-pants restaurant in the resort. Dinner was excellent...antipasto with the best blue cheese EVER, tenderloin, etc.
8:30 PM - Circus Show
We were all dressed up with nowhere to go, so we went to see the circus show, which consisted of trapeze acts, juggling, knife juggling, and contortionists. It was amazing, and it was pretty funny when we realized we'd talked to those same guys earlier in the day about taking a circus class with them.
10:30 PM - I'm super lame...I went to bed...long day....zzzzz