Sunday, May 25, 2008

What a week

So I know that I have not posted since our trip. It has been very difficult getting back into the swing of things here. It has taken forever to get our house put back in order and unfortunately I still have not been very motivated to get things done even two weeks later. Anyway this week has been crazy. We woke up Wednesday morning to find out that Peter's car had been broken into and Andy's (Peter's little brother's) old laptop was taken from it. Peter had it in his car to take back to Andy and someone was tempted to take it. The only funny thing about it is that the computer no longer even turns on so it was a total waste for them, but an expensive lesson for Peter. We were very fortunate in that Peter had filled out his CPA exam paperwork and had it in the front seat of the car and it had everything from Social Security numbers to Mother's maiden name on it and could have been devastating for us. God was watching over that situation - it could have been much worse.

What a mess: (Notice the size of the rock in his car)

Wednesday night at Midnight we went and saw the movie I have been waiting 12 years to see! Indiana Jones 4 - I never really thought that I would get to see that movie come into production and it was well worth the wait for me - we went three times this weekend to see it and who knows how many more times that I will go! So after being up until almost three in the morning on Thursday we then had to get up early in the morning to get Peter's car window replaced and also to get my toe fixed - not going to go into detail on that one but it was not much fun and hopefully will feel much better in a few weeks!

I took the rest of the week off work because I couldn't get a shoe on after the procedure and so I enjoyed a nice long 5 day weekend. That is not all the news we have for you - there is more. We adopted baby #3 for us this weekend. I have been asking Peter for quite some time to let me get a puppy and he has not been willing to let me get one. This weekend Peter's mom sent me a link to a puppy in the Oregon Dog Rescue. She was an 8 week old boxer puppy that was born with a genetic condition and because of it she has no hair. She would be perfect for us because Peter does not want a dog that would shed in our house. He was really fond of the idea of getting her because of the fact that she would be "different" then all the other dogs. So needless to say we have an 8 week old naked boxer puppy!!! We have to put sunscreen on her when she is out in the sun and we have to put clothes on her year round because even if we have the air conditioning on inside it is too cold for her - the total opposite of our chinchillas problem. She has been great so far - we are doing our best to get her kennel trained and potty trained and she is picking up both quite well. She whines a lot when we first leave her in the kennel but with some reprimand from us she quiets down quickly. She is getting the hang of going potty outside and I think she is doing very well for only being with us one day.
Couldn't go without posting pictures of our new baby Juno:

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Jamaica Day 6

Here we are at the end of Day 6 with only one day remaining of our vacation. It is a sad feeling knowing that we will be heading soon home because everything has been so great here that it is hard to have to return to the real world. We have had such a good time with each other and knowing that reality and the stresses of life are returning is not the best feeling in the world. We feel very fortunate and thankful to God for being able to take such an amazing vacation and have a break from all stresses and unwind and relax - we know that is much more then some get to ever get to experience. It has been a wonderful and enriching experience for our marriage - which we also do not take for granted! The time we have been given this past week to spend together has made up for all of the long hours we have spent apart! More of the usual activities today - eating and swimming. We had a loud thunderstorm go through today that got everyone out of the pools and off the ocean. We just happened to be eating at an open air restaurant when the storm came through and that gave us quite the show and quite the loud noise of the thunder crashing. We did participate in the late night chocolate buffet which was awesome! They make everyone dress in white for the buffet which is just asking for trouble, but no chocolate stains on our clothes!!!

More Pictures:

The cute little lovebirds that fill the lawn in the morning:

Day 6 of the ongoing construction of the shuffle board: (I sincerely hope that the resort is not paying these guys by the hour)

The Chocolate Buffet: I know you are all jealous :)

Let the Scavenging begin!!!

Our yummy spoils:

The professional pics

Here are the professional pictures taken at sunset last night. We paid a fortune for them so you better enjoy them :) We could have either gotten them printed or put on a cd - so we took the cd so we can print the sizes we want.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Jamaica Day 5

Today has been a wonderful day here in Jamaica - things just seem to be getting better and better. We slept in pretty late again and did our usual morning activities breakfast and a few hours in the pool enjoying the weather. It is still very warm and uncomfortable during the day, but we did get a couple of hours of rain this afternoon which finally brought the temperature down to a comfortable level. We went back to Arizona's after swimming and had a little bit of American food - chili, cheese fries, and a hoagie then made the long trek back to our room for a nap. We wanted to get rested up and cleaned up for our private dinner tonight - more to come with that later.

Some pictures of our day:

Definitely a warm day at the resort:
This is day five of the men working on the shuffle board court:

This portion of the blog really needs an explanation. Last night as Peter and I were walking back to our room in the dark - and I was already freaked out about the cockroach we walked by this hole by the side of the walkway. I saw some sort of a crab like figure move down into this hole and it totally freaked me out. Peter just laughed at me and made fun of me about #1 thinking something was in this hole and#2 thinking it was a crab. So to continue to make fun of me he took this picture of "the hole" on the way to breakfast this morning and the emptiness of it.

And THIS is a picture of the hole this evening right before dinner where we can plainly see that there is in fact a CRAB in the hole!!! We did some research after finding this creature that there are in fact land crabs that live close to the ocean but only return to the ocean to mate. They dig burrows in lawns and are a real nuisance (sounds a lot like a tropical mole). I was pretty happy to be able to prove that there was a crab in this hole!!!

Us all cleaned up for our romantic dinner:
Gorgeous Sunset Pictures at our dinner:
We did get some professional pictures taken tonight during sunset that we will go view tomorrow.

This was our amazingly romantic dinner. It was definitely worth the extra money. They set us up a table anywhere on the beach that we want and we have a personal waiter that was very sweet. There were candles all over the beach and the table and once the sun went down there were no lights anywhere but the candles from our table and no sounds but the sounds of the waves. It was a great experience that we will not soon forget.

We had a four course meal that we customized a couple of days ago and it was all prepared to our liking. The first two courses were a bit scary for both of us because there was not really an appetizer or soup that sounded good, but surprisingly there was nothing that didn't taste good.
Course 1 Caribbean Delight - Stamp and Go, Cod, Coconut Shrimp and vegetable fritters and chips with spicy dip.
Course 2 Cold Vichyssoise Cream Soup - A creamy leek and potato cream soup served with mini croissant for dipping.
Course 3 Grilled Filet Mignon - Served with Lyonnaise Potato, Sweet roasted corn and burgundy wine jus.
Course 4 Triple Layer Dark Chocolate and Coffee Cake
Some of these things on this list we have no idea what we were eating and we quite possibly don't want to know what we were eating - but it was a very good meal and a once in a lifetime romantic experience for us!

With that - it is getting late here, but we are probably going to head back out to the piazza and have some more dessert and see what nigh time activities are going on tonight. Tomorrow night will be another late night due to the midnight chocolate buffet!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Jamaica Day 4

Another day down of relaxation is now over. This has been a very lazy day and so we really don't have much of a report. We went back to the restaurant we went to yesterday for breakfast so that Peter could once again have his stuffed french toast - and that made his tummy happy. We got in the pool for a couple of hours after breakfast until we both got a little bit sunburned. I came up with a real valuable question after sitting in the pool today. You see these people who spend the entire day sitting at the swim-up bar, they drink all day, and yet they never get up and go to the restroom.......... hmmm, don't want to think about that too much.

There is a small open air restaurant next to the pool so we went there for lunch. We were brave with lunch today - very brave. Peter shocked me by ordering salt Fish and Ackee. We learned on our drive to the resort that Ackee is the national fruit in Jamaica and that the fruit splits open when it is ripe - if you force the fruit open it releases a deadly toxin. They say if it is prepared correctly that it will taste like scrambled eggs - scary. Peter liked the salt fish but definitely did not like the Ackee. I wanted to try the most well known Jamaican food (jerk chicken) while we were on our trip but I have been unsure about it due to how spicy people say it is. The restaurant was serving jerk chicken pizza so I tried that out. I have to say - it was very yummy and not nearly as spicy as I expected it to be.

Wow, not much to talk about today but food! We really are doing more then just eating - we sleep and lounge in the pool and relax in the sand :) We didn't really want to dress up for dinner today so we decided to go the tex-mex restaurant. It is another open air restaurant and it was a very nice setting for dinner. Peter tried his third steak in three nights and will have his fourth steak tomorrow night at our private dinner. I had half of a rotisserie chicken with half of a rack of spare ribs - very good!!! Half way through dinner I noticed something that looked like a leaf blowing up out of the sand and on the floor right next to me - turns out it wasn't a leaf, but a big cockroach that ran under our table. I started freaking out and Peter was yelling at me to step on it, but I was in flip flops and no way I was going to crunch it. Then it ran out from under our table and under the tables of those around us and they were all kicking at it and trying to kill it. The bugs are very big and very gross here! We have also seen a few lizards that equally gross me out.

We went over to the game center and played table tennis after dinner - we are slowly improving at it. We wanted to pick up tennis while we were on this trip but the weather has been way to hot to try. The sun has blazed all day the last two days without very many cloud covers - not that I am complaining. We have enjoyed our table tennis at night and then we head on over for some desserts to take back to the room and enjoy!

Much of the same scheduled for tomorrow. We will possibly be booking a spa treatment tomorrow if I can talk Peter into it :) We will also be having our private beach dinner tomorrow night which we are both very excited about - we have heard that is a highlight of many people's trips.

Some sight seeing pictures:


The Cute Husband:)

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Sandals Day Three

Today started with a very filling and satisfying breakfast at Eleanor’s. Eleanor’s is the fancy Caribbean restaurant here. We recognized on our walk over there this morning that it is a very warm day in Jamaica! The local weather station was saying it was going to hit close to 90 today and being the Oregonians we are at this time of year – it is a little warmer then our liking. We tried to decide if we wanted to be adventurous for our breakfast and try a Jamaican dish or play it safe with something familiar. I have to admit that I do not know all about proper meal etiquette but I am learning from these people. They push your chair in for you and place your napkin on you lap. They pour from your right side, place plates from the left. Peter is trying to teach me which forks to use and it seems pretty easy after he explained it. Breakfast was amazing today – we are definitely getting fed very well – I don’t think we have ever eaten this good in our lives.

Every meal we have had so far they have brought out a sampler bowl with several different types of breads in it. This morning we tried fresh croissants and a cinnamon roll with jelly in it. I ordered a fresh fruit tray with lots of yummy pineapple and watermelon! We both decided to be adventurous for breakfast – knowing we could always get more food someplace else if it was awful. It was most definitely not awful. This was the first time here that I have seen food put a big smile on Peter’s face! He ordered Custard Stuffed French Toast and I imagine that he will be ordering that again. I ordered Caribbean Toast. It was a very large, soft piece of toast with a banana and chocolate sauce on top that they caramelized. It was very interesting, but definitely not bad.

It has been such a warm day today that we decided not to lounge on the beach but instead to hit the swimming pool. There was an interesting little game of volleyball going on in the pool and it was very entertaining to watch while relaxing in the pool. The pool was definitely the right decision for the weather today. Everyday at 11:00 the watersport guys organize a game of volleyball in the French Pool. It was an intermixed group with men and women and the men were way to competitive. They would argue about if the ball was in bounds or out and complain about the other team cheating and such – not necessarily a friendly game of volleyball. We didn’t want to spend to much time in the sun with how hot it was today so we headed back to the room to change for some lunch.

We decided to try Bayside’s Buffet for lunch today. There were many things to choose from but we were not all that impressed with their lunch menu. We did not, however, leave hungry. Even with how full we were we still had to head over to the Café and get some dessert. I had an ice cream cone while they were serving Meringue’s again much to Peter’s delight! We sat outside and I tried to beat my ice cream from melting in the heat and watched the watersport people try to teach a group of men how to dance Jamaican style I can tell you that today we should have skipped dessert. We were both very full and could hardly move after our visit to the café. So instead of going straight back to the room, we stopped at the Sale’s office and booked our private beach dinner. We picked our location – Peter found a spot on the beach that he thought would be perfect and we picked our date and time – Monday at 6:30 – hopefully right at sunset! Then we picked our menu, not the ideal thing to do after stuffing ourselves, but we were able to pick our four course dinner.

There is only one thing to do after stuffing your face to the point you cannot move – take a nap! The challenge of this activity was the fact that where we ate and scheduled our dinner was on the complete opposite side of the resort as our room. Our room is pretty much as far away from everything as any room could get, not that it has been a complaint up until now. Peter laughed at me the whole way back as I was miserable and complaining about my gluttony. So we came back to the room and slept – which is quickly becoming a daily habit for us! We woke up around three and since we still had several hours before dinner time we went for a walk on the beach. It didn’t rain today, but the clouds did roll in this afternoon which made walking on the beach very comfortable.

We eventually headed back to our room and headed out for dinner. We discovered tonight that if you don't want to wait at a restaurant then you need to go right when the restaurants open at 6. We wanted to eat at the steak restaurant that had an 1 1/2 wait yesterday so we left for the restaurant around 5:30. We did not have to wait for a table and we literally got the white glove treatment at this place. This place put our new found dinner etiquette to the test. In between courses they bring you a lemon sorbet to clean your pallet. We both had filet mignon and twice baked sweet potatoes for dinner - very yummy. I suggested at dinner that we walk down the beach and watch the sunset so after we ate we headed down to the beach. As we were walking down the beach, about 40 feet out into the ocean we saw a school of fish jumping through the water - it was such an amazing and cool thing to watch! We found ourselves a hammock in the sand and watched all the bright colors fade across the sky- it was very beautiful and romantic, but the second the sun was gone we were attacked by lots of bugs which killed the mood :) We came back to the room and changed out of our nice clothes and went back down to the piazza for some table tennis time and dessert. Now we are unwinding from another amazing day!!!

Today's Pictures for your viewing pleasure:

These two pictures really do need an explanation. Since the minute we arrived at Sandal's these two men have been working on this shuffle board court. We find it very humerous that after three days they are not even half done with this board. The Jamaican's definitely have a slower, more relaxed, no worry attitude about everything - even work! The picture below is of them relaxing and taking a nice..... long................ break!

These pictures are from our sunset walk on the beach:

Friday, May 2, 2008

Jamaica day Two

Today has been a very calm and relaxing day. Just the type of day you would imagine having as a tourist in Jamaica. We slept in a bit later due to pure exhaustion from the last two days. After forcing ourselves to get up and out of bed we headed out for breakfast. There are three places here open for breakfast The Pastry Shop, a sit-down restaurant, and a buffet. We decided to try out the buffet this morning. This buffet seemed to have anything and everything a person could possibly want for breakfast. They had meats and cheeses, bagels, fresh tropical fruit, and cereals in kind of a continental breakfast section. They had a waffle area with like 15 different topping options (I did strawberries and powdered sugar) There were several different types of pancakes (Peter tried pancakes with chopped up bacon in it). They had your typical breakfast meats and potatoes. They also had several different types of eggs. Hard boiled, poached, scrambled, and they had an omelet station where they were making seafood omelets. We definitely did not go hungry.

After breakfast we did a little bit of exploring. We are trying to figure out what location we would like to book our romantic beach dinner at – no such luck yet, but hopefully we will be able to pick soon. We have several options such as, in our room (not interested in that one though) or in a gazebo or even on a dock. Otherwise, there are several different beach locations for us to choose from.

We also checked out the spa. The treatments are very expensive and so we are still debating whether or not to splurge now or maybe relax with one when we get home and only pay 1/3 of the price.

After our little exploration, we went back to our room and changed and got ready for some beach time. We found ourselves some chairs in the sun and relaxed for awhile. The water is amazingly calm – much more like a lake then an ocean. The water is so blue and it is amazing how far people can wade out and only be waist deep in the water. The sand is so white and so much softer then anything in Oregon. We relaxed in our chairs and slept for awhile. It was mostly overcast while we were out there and that kept the temperature comfortable. The sun eventually came out and it got just plain HOT. We decided to come back up to the room and take a nap. I woke up a little bit later and Peter told me to go back to sleep because it was pouring out. As is usual in a tropical destination, it rains in the early afternoon for an hour or two.

I finally got out of bed and the weather was very comfortable once again. It has been overcast most of the day, but that really doesn’t affect the temperature too much. Whether it is midnight or two in the afternoon, if it is pouring or the sun is shining the temperature is pretty much 85 degrees.

We went and had some lunch at a restaurant called Arizona’s. It is a tex-mex restaurant. We had chips and salsa, and pulled pork sandwiches. It was very good. The birds were highly entertaining at this place. It was an open air restaurant and the birds would fly up on unattended plates and grab meats and bones off of people’s plates and fly off with them. It definitely reminded me of white vultures. We had to satisfy our sweet tooth so we headed over to the café and had some yummy desserts.

We were so stuffed after lunch we went back to our room and vegetated for awhile. We considered playing tennis, but relaxing won out for today. We were going to a formal dinner tonight so we had to shower and get dressed up anyway. We were going to go to a steak restaurant for dinner but the wait was 1 1/2 so we decided to try a different restaurant. I had Chicken Cordon Blue and Peter had a steak - we both really enjoyed our dinners. After dinner we went and played table tennis for awhile before watching Jamaica's Elvis.

Some Pictures to make everyone jealous ;)

The View from our beach chairs
Overlooking the resort:
Peter had a blueberry cheesecake for his lunch dessert.

This was my lunch Dessert - Not sure what it is

The front office:

Waiting for Elvis:

We went and watched Jamaican Elvis perform tonight. He does sound a lot like Elvis and he was somewhat entertaining.

There may be a slight miscommunication or our travel agent is being sneaky but when we came back from Elvis our room had been transformed. Our bed was turned down and a note telling us congratulations on our honeymoon. They gave us certificates for breakfast in bed sometime this week. This place is crazy. They clean the room three different times a day. We left at 7:30 tonight and came back to clean towels and our bed looking like this:

This is my dessert plate I brought back from Cafe De Paris. It has blueberry Cheesecake, Apple Strudel and Chocolate Chocolate Cake. Yummy!!! It doesn't get any better then this :)

I hope everyone has as great of a weekend as we are bound to continue having!!!