Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Lazy Days and... Tuesdays?

In the morning, a reporesentative from the Sunday non-catamaran came here to convince us we'd like to have a free trip with them plus they would pay for our taxi getting back here.  Tom said no, maybe we'd take them up on that offer next year.  The representative and Tom called the president of the company who was also stunned that we wouldn't be bought off for a free catamaran trip and a $30 taxi ride.

Turns out that they were supposed to pick up 9 people at the Hilton but only 4 showed up.  So they inconvenienced about 40 people for the Hilton and less than 50% of their folks even showed up.

But we moved on...

A lazy, lazy day by The Crane pools.  These pictures were taken throughout the day and into the evening.  To see the whole album and some nice sunset shots, please click here.


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Jammin' Cat

What a nice - but early! - day.  The taxi picked us up at 7:30 am for the Jammin' Cats catamaran.  Along the way we picked up a couple young women from Holland, then another from Australia.

We arrived at the Careenage, paid our bill, took off our shoes and got onboard.  We found a nice little place in the shade for a while before leaving the dock.

Not long after we got onboard, we started motoring out of the careenage into the Caribbean for thesbille first snorkel site, the one where folks can swim with the hawksbill sea turtles. People coudn't use fins here because the turtles are endangered. Due to Tom's puncture wound, we had decided not to go in the water on this trip but it was fun to see the others swimming with the turtles.

We countinued along to a snorkel site over a scuttled French ship, the Berwin.  The Berwin is a World War I French boat scuttled in 1919 by her own crew. Her captain thought that they were being followed by a German U-Boat and decided to abandon ship first. The Berwyn sits between 7 and 10 feet below the surface depending on the tide. We could see her outline from onboard ship. Because it's so calm in the bay and because the wreck is nearly 100 years old, it is covered in marine life, such as coral, and lots of fish.

When we left the Berwin it was time to hoist the sails and head north to Payne's Beach.   In this calm bay we were close to land and it was pretty shallow so people could have fun swimming, floating on mattresses or going into shore.  This catamaran also had the luxury of drink delivery to the mattresses and swimmers!  Next time, you'll find me relaxing on a floating mattress!

After a bit, it was lunch time.  Those of us onboard got to eat while the swimmers were still climbing on board.  It was a pretty standard Bajan Tour lunch - peas'n'rice, flying fish, curry chicken, salad, macaroni pie...  I'm not complaining at all, though - I love it all :)

After lunch, a bit more swimming, then heading south again.

We disembarked about 2:30 or so and got home about 3:30.  It was a beautiful day, no rain, but I was exhausted.  I fell asleep and didn't wake up until about 8.

We got a call from the front desk - someone from the Sunday non-catamaran had called.  Tom got the number to call back on Tuesday.

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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Medical Tourism

Our catamaran pickup was for 8:15 so we got up early.  The driver was actually here before 8:15 so we hustled to get to the (huge) bus.  Another family fro The Crane was already on board.  We waited a bit for someone else who never showed up.

At the first stop we picked up a bunch of guys who turned out to be part of a hockey team.  They were either still, or already, drunk and acting moronic.  Wonderful.

This bus held at least 40 people and we were nearly full when we got to the Hilton to pick up the last few people.  We waited.  And waited.  And waited some more.  Some of our folks got off to see what was going on.  No answers.  Tom got off and talked to the driver about why we were holding up the busload of people for so long.  The driver said it was his orders, to talk to "the boat".

Finally, after about 45 minutes, 4 people got on the bus.  No apologies from them or the driver.  We just continued to the catamaran.  Everyone except us got on the catamaran.  Tom wanted to see the manager, who was not there on Sunday (of course !).  The folks in the office said to let it go, we'd be "happy" once on board, probably referring to the open bar.

We said no, that we weren't going.  They called us a taxi (at our expense, naturally).  Tom got the name of the manager to speak with him later.

Our taxi arrived and we left.  We told the driver exactly what had happened and he drove us to the competition! The first boat, Cool Runnings, had already left for the day but a very kind man from the Jolly Roger called them for us us.  The didn't have any openings until Tuesday so the Jolly Roger man (Tom thought his name was Richard) booked us a trip for Monday on Jammin' Cats.  I was really amazed at how kind and helpful the taxi driver and Richard(?) were to us.


If you need a taxi in Barbados, Call Big Apple at 246-239-0637.  A great guy.

Meanwhile, on the trip back to The Crane, Tom mentioned that we had a bat in our apartment overnight.  He had heard it about 2 am, then again at dawn the bat was at the glass doors trying to get out.  Tom had pinned him (or her) between the slatted door and the glass door, then tried to open the glass door to let the bat out.  S/he flew away and Tom noticed that his arm was bleeding.

I saw the puncture wound and we were trying to decide what to do.  When we got back, Tom called the front desk to ask about doctors.  Naturally, it was Sunday...  He got the name of an emergency clinic that was open until midnight.  I looked up bats online and found that there had been no rabies here for at least a decade.  All the people said that there was no rabies here, too, but we wanted to be sure.

I wasn't even sure that it was a bat bite since it was just one puncture wound, not 2 (or 4) but we headed off to find the emergency clinic.  There were about 10 people ahead of us and only 1 doctor so it took a while to get in.  The nurse reiterated that there was no rabies here, took Tom's medical history.  Turns out his last tetanus shot had been just over 10 years ago.

Back to the waiting room.  Just after 5, we got to go into the small doctor's office.  I was amazed at the old-style exam table.


After a bit, the doctor came in and told us what we already knew - it was probably not a bat bite.  They dont have rabies here on Barbados but had it been Trinidad...  Tom did have an infection that was creeping up his arm so he got the tetanus shot, got the wound cleaned and dressed, prescriptions for antibiotic ointment and meds.

We took the prescriptions to the pharmacy next door, then back to the clinic for paperwork that we can try to submit to our insurance when we get home.

Crisis averted!

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Hurricane Irene Day

Saturday - I guess that Hurricane Irene has hit North Carolina.  This one looks a bit concern since my Mom is in Virginia and our son and my best friend are in New York - both places where this storm is projected to hit.


Reminds me of Hurricane Carol which hit where we lived when I was a kid.  My Mom said "let's go down and see the waves".  Our car got stuck and we probably would have washed out to sea had we not been blocking the path of a truck who wanted to get out of the area fast.  He pushed us to safety.



We lived on a small embankment and when we got home, we could see that the road directly below us was flooded and people were going by in rowboats.


Even here it is pouring rain today.  I'm not sure if there's another hurricane brewing or not.  I guess I'll just read inside today.  I'm still on book #5.


Sunday is supposed to be our catamaran.  We'll see if it gets cancelled or postponed.  It looks like rain off and on here for the rest of the week, though.  I guess this is why it's called "the rainy season".



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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Plantation Dinner Theater

Friday was a nice day with a little rain on and off.  We had gone to Reception to sign up for a couple activities - The Plantation Dinner show and a catamaran for snorkeling.

It turned out that The Plantation was available last night so we grabbed that.

They set up a little wedding arbor on the cliff across from us so we took a few pictures.  This wedding was a bit different from last year.  This year, the bride walked down the hill, last year, she rode in a golf cart.  This year was a violinist, last year a steel drummer.

 1 of 4

The little video tried to  get a bit of the violin music.  I told Tom that I didn't think that the salty sea air here would be good for a violin and he said it was maybe a plastic-varius.  

Our pick-up time for The Plantation was 5:45 so we got changed and off to the taxi.  After going through Oistens and the beginnings of the Friday Fish Fry, we picked up 5 other people, all from the UK.

We got to The Plantation in plenty of time.  We picked up our "welcome drinks" and ome of us had pictures with members of the cast.  We went to our table - right on the dance floor, in front  Nearly perfect seating.  Turns out a 5-year-old named Edward had the center front seat.  More about him later.

We were entertained by the Casablanca Steel Orchestra - 5 steel drums with 4 drummers, a bass and a drum set.  I love watching the one who deals with 2 steel drums - very talented!

Dinner time and lots of great food - salads, flying fish, macaroni pie, BBQ chicken, beef stew, peas'n'rice, desserts and more, coffee... Whatever anyone could possibly want and lots of it.  There is also an open bar but I stopped after the first rum punch.

After dinner, the show started.

Here are some highlights:

My favorites, I think, are the stiltwalkers.  I am always amazed at how they can dance on those stilts.  And I wonder why there are no women doing this.

After the show was the limbo contest, then a singer whow encouraged people to dance with songs like Hot, Hot Hot and In De Congaline.

Took the taxi back home - all in all a great night!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Falling Into the "Do-It-Later" Syndrome

I am getting so lazy, just sitting around and reading.  I did finish that book from the last post, Still Life: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel.  I have started book #4, Treason at Lisson Grove by Anne Perry.  I have a special bond with the Thomas and Charlotte Pitt series because I first discovered it here at The Crane lending library about 9 years ago.

I haven't taken many pictures these last few days since there's not much happening.  I did take these of the coming rain...

I think that this day, Tuesday, was the day or the earthquake in the DC area.  Sounded pretty scary.

The rains let up in the afternoon and we went swimming.  That's the great thing about rain here - it rains for a few minutes, the sun comes out and everything dries up again.  Just like The Itsy Bitsy Spider:


The itsy bitsy spider crawled up the water spout.
Down came the rain, and washed the spider out.
Out came the sun, and dried up all the rain,
and the itsy bitsy spider went up the spout again.


I took this picture of the little lizard trying to hide on the louvres in the bathroom:


Not much else of interest.  This morning we had a meeting with some of The Crane staff, then off to Cutters for breakfast, Emerald City for more groceries then back to my chair for reading.


It's so relaxing here.  We've been here just under a week but it seems like nearly forever...



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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

I'm Already Falling Behind Watch on Posterous

... And falling literally but more of that in a bit.

Here it is Tuesday and I'm already falling behind.

Sunday, Tom got back from his meeting about 11 or so. Within 5 minutes some storm out to sea blew in a lot of rain at such an angle that it flooded about half the living room floor.

After getting that cleaned up we headed over to Emerald City to do our first grocery shopping of the trip. On Sundays they close at 2:00 so we wanted to be fast about that.

I had decided to get some nail polish but they were out of most colors. Only blue, yellow and green were left. I considered doing 1/2 blue and 1/2 yellow as a form of Cushie solidarity or something but decided against that. I got the blue. Looking at my hands now I'm hoping I don't get rushed to the hospital. They might think I have cyanosis...

In addition to other stuff we got tutti fruitti milk and salt bread. I think I could live on a diet of just those 2 items for quite some time. I'm uploading a picture of salt bread. It's more what we would call rolls, not salty at all but d that to distinguish it from sweet bread. It also has a sliver of coconut leaf on the top.

The rest of the day was uneventful. We went swimming about dusk and into the huge open air jacuzzi. We decided to have dinner by the pool at the Carriage House.


Monday morning I woke up early and went outside to take sunrise pictures. I also got a little video and some starling and lizard pictures while I was at it.

We got some more rain but not as bad as Sunday. I guess it's Hurricane Irene out there we can see something out to sea but only the weather channel can identify some of these storms.

I was closing up the bedroom doors and slipped and fell. I hurt my hip pretty bad on the floor and my shoulder on the edge of the TV cabinet.

I spent most of the rest of the day not moving too much and so I finished book #1, Requiem for a Gypsy by Michael Genelin. Ive read all his books so far. I started the series because it takes place mostly in Slovakia and our son had spent a summer there teaching English so I feel a connection, however tenuous.

I started (and finished) book #2, Death by Honeymoon which I got because it was cheap and because the main action takes place here in Barbados.

I started reading book #3, Still Life: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel by Louise Penny. I've read several in that series and will probably complete it before long.

Dinner at home while watching American Ninja Warriors.

Life is good!

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