Monday, 14 July 2014

Princesses

Eden seems to have developed a fascination with princesses.  I'm not entirely sure where it's coming from, but maybe Frozen.  Anyway, she wanted to wear a certain set of shoes to church because they're "princess" shoes, and things like that.  Right now she and I are sitting at the table while she finishes supper, and we had this conversation:

Eden:  Mom, did you know princesses don't eat food?
Me:  They don't?  Why not?
Eden:  They are magical to food.
Me:  Magical to food?  What do you mean?
Eden: Well, princesses are not healthy or strong.  And they don't have any blood.

I don't know whether to be pleased or disturbed by her odd understanding of princesses.


Sunday, 13 July 2014

St. John, USVI

At the end of May, Nathan and I went to St. John, which is one of the U.S. Virgin Islands.  Z and Eden stayed with my parents in Kansas, and we got a whole week in the Caribbean.  It was pure bliss, from start to finish.  Thanks, Mom and Dad!!  Here are some pictures.  

This is the private beach we discovered eight years ago when we were in St. John the last time.  It's still there, and it still only costs $2.50 a person to get access for the day.  And it's still lovely.

The big house at the end of the beach is new, but everything else looked just as we remembered it.

This was a very busy little crab.  He's the Mrs. Tittlemouse of St. John.



So happy!

Just one of many beautiful views.

We discovered this little bay on a hike from our cottage.  At first I thought it had been trashed by visitors, but then we realized all this stuff had come up with the waves.  We dubbed the place Post Office Bay, and it inspired us to watch Castaway that evening.

Our cottage was on the very east side of the island, and we hiked out to the very edge.  Once again, amazing views all around.

Our cottage is the little white building right on the beach.  We had the whole bay to ourselves -- no other houses, no other people.  We slept with all the windows open at night so we could hear the waves.



We discovered Cinnamon Bay on this trip.  It's on the north side of the island and absolutely stunning.  Sand like sugar, water as clear as glass, and no one there but us (at least in the morning).  It was amazing.

Yummy, fruity drinks for me . . . 

. . . and iced tea for Nathan!  He really knows how to live it up on vacation.

That is a Caribbean lobster in front of me.  Eight years ago we went to this restaurant (The Lime Inn) and Nathan ordered the lobster and I didn't.  I had SERIOUS food ordering regret that I had to live with for eight years.  But here I am, eight years later, finally ordering the right thing.  It was delicious.

Trunk Bay, also on the north shore.  I think it was more beautiful than Cinnamon Bay, but also more crowded.  The water was perfectly tranquil, warm, and clear.  I really couldn't pull myself out.

Honeymoon harmony.




We hiked Reef Bay Trail.  Nathan says the name of the tree is an Elephant Foot tree.  They're really big.  For those of you who have heard the story, the Reef Bay trail is where we were attacked by the huge spider last time we were on St. John.

Nathan examines a remnant of an old building, probably slave quarters.

Reef Bay Trail is famous for the petroglyphs on the rocks around the spring, which is the only fresh water on the island.

At the end of the trail are the ruins of an old sugar mill.  It was originally powered by slaves and then later, in the early 20th century, by steam.

More ruins.

Bats in the ruins.

Machinery from the steam engine time period.



I'm not sure what this face is.


This is Brown Bay.  It's poorly named.  It should be named Tranquility Bay, or Beautiful Bay, or Bliss Bay, or The Place Where Time Stands Still Bay, or . . . you get my point.  This was my favorite discovery of our trip.  Brown Bay is at the end of a little hike (less than a mile) and is certainly one of the most beautiful places I have ever been.  These pictures don't even come close to doing it justice.  We were there for three hours and had the place entirely to ourselves for two of those hours.  For the last hour we had to share it with one other couple who camped out about 50 yards down the beach from us.  The water was perfectly still and the sand fine and soft.  Sea grass (not sea weed) grew in big clumps all over the bay, but in very defined clumps, so the grass and sand made big patterns all over the bay which I wandered back and forth in.  The sandy area was clear and beautiful, and the grassy area was home to many little fishes and creatures.  We wished we had brought our snorkeling gear!   Nathan had to drag me away.  If he hadn't, I'd be there still.

Beautiful Brown Bay.

Me and Brown Bay.

There were also lots of large shells all over the beach.


The path leading into Brown Bay.

A huge cactus on the way out of Brown Bay.

Our last day on St. John.  What a lovely, lovely week!