Monday, February 4, 2013


Last week we said a sad goodbye to Nana and Grampy after their two week visit. They had arrived in mid-January, seeking grandchildren and vitamin D. We provided the first and the great weather provided the second. The Caribbean is a long trek from the Northwest, both in distance and climate, and in many ways, cultural atmosphere too.  I had asked Nana and Grampy to give me some highlights from their trip, because their perspective as visitors would be fun to have in the blog: 

Both of course marveled at the steepness of the hills and in particular the road and driveway to our house. Dad looked at it from the perspective of an engineer - estimating a 25-30 degree incline. Mom, took it more literally: "Oh my goodness!" with a hand raised to her mouth before we descended the driveway in 4-wheel drive.

Grampy also thought our transit via car barge from St. Thomas to St. John was a day not to forget. The barge was bow to the prevailing wind and ocean swells. The swells were huge that day crashing over the bow and rocking the barge quite a bit - so much so that none of us wanted to stay in the car in case the barge went over. Instead we walked up the precariously rusty catwalk, risking a toss into the sea, to the upper deck and watched the show of sea spray and swells from above. Grampy said it right that that transit wouldn't have happened stateside. Too dangerous.

But who wants to hear about steep driveways and dangerous boat rides through shark-infested waters when there is all the blue sky and water and warm air around? Right. Of course all of that beauty is a given. Everyone who comes to the Caribbean loves that and we spent plenty of time out on the beach, in the water, by the pool (though not in it - too cold) in the sun. Drinks in the evening and watching the setting sun.

The kids entertained us all each day. W was his cautious self upon N& G's arrival. He rode in the carseat next to Grampy after we picked them up at the airport. W faced forward the entire ride, trying to catch a glimpse of the stranger with a sideways glance. Once home and still a bit worried, he decided to test the stranger out. He played shy for a moment and then took off running to see if Grampy would chase him. It was all good after that. We also discovered that W is quite a conversationalist on Facetime with his Auntie, if only we know what he was saying.

M did many dances for N & G, most often to Johnny Cash's Ring of Fire. She also visited them every morning just after waking, her Lego set up in one hand, thumb of the other in her mouth.

B planted some Loofa seeds while they were here and diligently watered them throughout their stay. One sprouted a surprising 3 days after being planted. With 100 days until maturity it will be a long time until we get to harvest the loofa and make the bath sponge she wants to make. But for now she's interested and taking care of the plant.

C was very excited to have someone else listen to his chatter about Vikings, Ninjas and Beserkers. He was also in the middle of reading the Harry Potter Series and occasionally yelled out from where he was reading - "Chaper 11!" "Chapter 15!" Some of the cultural differences from our stateside existence were starkly exhibited at Mass on Sunday when Cormac sat with the other Sunday school students; the only white face in a sea of brown. 

But now, we are back into our regular, slow routine, enjoying the memories of their visit with pictures and stories. Soon summer will be here and we'll be back in the Northwest enjoying all the beauty that it has to offer. Six months isn't too far off is it?

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