Trip to Correns and more

Welcome back or if you’re visiting for the first time hello.

The last time I posted “The Last of them” my grandfather had just passed away and I was not in a good frame of mind. I’m doing better now, not 100% but I don’t feel like closing myself up in a deep dark hole, I got the space I needed to grieve and I’m thankful for that.

One of my nieces went on vacation to the beach and my son wanted so badly join her but the closest beach to us is almost 5 hours away! There’s no way we travel that far to go to the beach. Or so I thought…

On Monday, all smug like, my son said to me “we’re going to the beach tomorrow”, Yeah right, I thought, we’re not going anywhere but his father didn’t say anything to me, then again his father waits until the very last minute to tell me anything. I’m sitting there contemplating this information and whether or not I can trust it when Marvin comes home and asks Naveen if he told me.

Told me?

Told me what?

Naveen said “yes, I tell Mama”, you mean it’s true? We’re going to the beach tomorrow?

Yup.

I had a rough night, Oyanie kept waking up even though she was sleeping for a good six hours, this night she decided four hours was good enough. So there I was on Tuesday morning, tired as hell and have to get up to start packing and making sure we don’t forget anything.

Everything checked and double checked, we were on our way, on our to where? I didn’t know. I just knew we were going to the beach. I mentioned before that my husband doesn’t tell me anything until last minute? Well for trips he doesn’t tell me where we are going at all… I think he works under the misinformation that I like surprises, nothing could be further from the truth, after 10 years I’ve just accepted that he likes surprising me. I’ve never hated any of his surprises so I’ll allow it.

First we stopped to get gas, can’t drive for so long on an empty tank eh, that done we started our long drive to the beach, at first I was admiring the scenery as we drove but that quickly turned to fatigue as we continued driving, we’d been driving for almost two hours when I felt the car slowing down, I didn’t see it ok, I feel asleep, it was a very long drive. We took a little break so we could stretch our legs, eat and drink, and just rest for a bit. We stil had about two hours left of driving to go. I was curious about what kind of hotel we would be staying in this time and anticipating just dropping onto the bed and staying there for however long I would need. Sitting in the car for so long had made my back ache like there was no tomorrow.

Our little stop over we were back on the road again, this passed by like a blur, I remember a lot of trees and building and then water, some of the water was greenish colored but the closer we got to our destination the more blue the color became.

Finally, we arrived at our destination, this wasn’t like any hotel I’d ever seen before, because it wasn’t, we were staying in someone’s air b&b?

It was an apartment of sorts, the door was one of those really old European doors, ancient wooden panel with a round knob that looks like it might fall off at any moment, it didn’t though, these doors are pretty strong despite their appearance. Inside was a kitchen slash dinning slash living area. Kind of like what we have at home, there’s no definition of space in the homes I’ve visited here in France. There was an upstairs, where I assume was the bedrooms and bathroom but there was one problem.

The stairs looked like something out of my worst nightmare..

Apparently Naveen felt the same because he refused to climb the stairs, we had no choice though, the beds were upstairs and the toilet which we would need sooner or later. His father helped him climb the ladder, I refuse to call it stairs, I followed behind gingerly placing my feet on each rung and holding onto the railing like my life depended on it. If you think going up that monstrosity was bad, going down it was worse, each rung was so narrow I had to try to climb down sideways so my feet could find purchase on each slender step. The worse thing about this was when I had to go up or down with Oyanie in my arms, There I was with my tiny bady held tightly in one arm and the other wrapped around the railing and trying to gauge how far down each step was from the other.

Naveen became a pro at the stairs, he went up and down like they were nothing, me? No such thing, I took the stairs only if I really needed to otherwise I was fine to stay upstairs or downstairs wherever I was at the moment.

We didn’t end up going to the beachthe first day because it would take another hour and we had reacher too late to go to the beach. We did visit an old wash station where there was a river flowing through. Naveen told his father he didn’t want to go to the beahc anymore, he was content to stay here and enjoy the river, we didn’t come all this way for the river though. We were going to drive to the beach the next day.

A semi good nights sleep, Ms Oyanie was up every four hour again, we had breakfast and relaxed a bit before heading to the beach around noon. The drive was interesting, we followed a canal of water along a very small road, you literally had to ride the wall to let another car pass, at the end of the canal was the beach.

I’ll be completely honest, being from the Caribbean I grew up with white sand, blue waters, literally beaches of your dreams, this, was not it. First things first, the sand, more like dirt was speckled with something gold that felt like dust on your skin if it touched you. The water was not beckoning at all, add in that there was so many people there, my anxiety went sky high and I was content to stay on the bench we scored under the very shady tree. Marvin asked me if I wanted to go in the water and it was a big no. I’m fine love.

We spent about two hours there, Naveen enjoyed himself immensely, Oyanie stayed with me mostly, and Marvin went in the water with Naveen, everybody enjoyed themself and it was time to drive back to the apartment.

Had an okay night, it was time to head back home which meant another long drive, strangely, going up and down those horrifying stairs gave me muscle aches in my legs, I will not miss them at all. And because I completely forgot that Oyanie made five months yesterday I decided to take some pictures, she was not cooperating at all so I got many many very similar pictures lol. I thought I had settled on the best picture but I felt like the background was too busy and you couldn’t see her face well enough so I moved locations and voilà, the month 5 picture.

This drive I did better, I didn’t fall asleep so I saw some cool things like this church? ontop of the hill, not sure you can really see it in the picture.

Also saw this really cute tiny castle on a roundabout.

Finally we were back home!

This trip wasn’t the only thing I was up to, I also found this really interesting app on the appstore, you upload a picture and people try to guess where you are from, it said to input the furthest back your ancestry went so I entered France and Nigeria. Trying out the app I realized that I really can’t tell where people are from, I get lucky soemtimes but for the most part I guess very wrongly.

Here’s what people guessed for me:

The last interesting thing I have to talk about is a secret campaign I was selected for. I can’t say what I’m supposed to review yet but when the package arrived I’ll write a post about it. Stay tuned for that!

Alright, that’s all for now see you guys later!

My Weekend in Annecy

Annecy, a city found in the Haute-Savoie Department of France. It’s located in the southeastern part of France, where Lake Annecy feeds into the Thiou River, this city has been on my bucket list for a few years.

I especially wanted to see Lake Annecy, La Vieille Ville, Pont des Amours, and Palais de l’Ile.

We left on Saturday around 12pm, the drive took around 2hrs, the weather was not the best, it was overcast and pretty chilly, yes, chilly in June! We’ve been having temperatures in the 50s which is about 12° Celsius.

As we were driving my son would get really excited seeing the clouds covering the mountains and driving through mist.

The most exciting thing though was driving through the mountains! I don’t mean over the mountains either, we drive through tunnels that went through the belly of the mountains, twice, and each time it was crazy.

Yeah, yeah, you might have don’t this before, probably many times, for us especially coming from an island without any mountains it was something really special to see and experience. I only wish I had taken a picture.

We reached the hotel about 2:55 or so, it was raining a bit and my husband realized we had forgotten the baby carrier, so there we were sans stroller and carrier so my husband had to heft the bag with our stuff and the little miss.

We hurried into the hotel and quickly got our room key, strangely enough there was only one key so we either had to all go out at the same time or some go and others stay behind. It was an ok hotel from the little I saw on our way to the room, there was a game room where Naveen wanted to spend some time. The elevator ride was terrible, it was so jerky, and I got bad motion sickness.

When we arrived at the room I noticed it was kind of small, there were two full size beds, one fairly close to the door and the other closer to the opposite wall, Naveen was only to happy to have such a big bed all to himself. I think miss lady believed the other one was for her.

We took a little rest, change Oyanie’s diaper and feed her then we were off!

First we stopped at Burger King so that the bigger people could eat then we visited the lake, the rain was still coming down, because we were closer to the lake the wind was really strong and those two things made it pretty cold.

Without the carrier, Oyanie ended up wrapped in her father’s coat, we tried to keep her as well as possible while taking in the sights.

The Pont des Amours wasn’t far from the lake, just had to keep walking and there we were, a little ways from the bridge I spotted a giant bow and arrow. I haven’t been able to find any information on it yet but I probably am not searching for the right terms.

Pont des Amours
Giant Bow and Arrow

Naveen was only too happy to have space to run around and explore. He wanted to keep walking but it was still raining and Oyanie was getting tired. We decided to head back to the hotel.

For dinner we had pizza from Domino’s, it’s been many years since I’ve had a pizza from there, I found the pizzas to be pretty small, we ordered two and had really tiny containers of ice cream and some kind of dessert with chocolate. I didn’t eat the chocolate dessert. The ice cream was enough for me.

It was a bit difficult to get Oyanie to sleep and after trying and trying she finally went to sleep but I ended up not being able to fall asleep, I don’t know if I was too hot or if I was just too wired to sleep, whatever it was I ended up just laying there twisting and turning the whole night.

My phone was charging in Marvin’s side of the bed and I didn’t want to wake anyone up trying to reach so I tried to wait patiently until everyone woke up. Thankfully Marvin woke up long enough to hand me my phone.

Finally everyone was up and it was time to check out of the hotel but first Oyanie got a bottle.

I hadn’t noticed it before when we arrived but downstairs in the lobby there’s a statue of a red cow.

Everyone was hungry do we decided to go to the bakery, unfortunately the bakery had a long line as they only allowed one customer in at a time, we were too hungry to wait in line do we took a walk looking for other places to eat.

Every so often Marvin would stop to look at menus or Naveen would watch stalls with people selling toys.

Finally, after waking for what seemed like forever, we went into French Coffee Shop, Marvin asked me what I wanted and I looked over the offerings. There were lots of muffins and some other things but what caught my attention was the cheesecake. I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned it before but I love cheesecake, if I see it I will always want it, so when Marvin asked me again what I wanted without hesitation I said cheesecake.

Now, things could have gone either good or bad because not everyone can make cheesecake.

Thankfully, this was not the case, nope, this cheesecake was delicious, it was utterly divine, like if anyone would have tried to ask me to taste some I’d stuff the whole thing in my mouth or lick it.

I had to restrain myself from licking the cardboard but I sure did lick the spoon. Breakfast over with, we walked back to the car and began the drive to go home.

Now, we’re home, I’m very tired so will probably end this here.

My first time camping

Hey everyone,

Welcome back to my blog, today I’m going to talk about my first real time camping, I emphasize on real because back in St. Croix, US Virgin Islands where I’m from there’s a tradition where families camp out on the beaches for the Easter Holiday. My family has never gone but my father has put up a tent either in our front yard which is directly outside the front porch, the dog area where all the dogs are, or the side yard which faces the cottage on our property.

Yeah I grew up in a big house with a huge yard but the majority of it was down the side of a hill so not very useful.

Anyway, this was my only experience with camping and we didn’t even stay a day in the tent because it was way too hot. My father would bring in a fan but it’s Caribbean humid and they fan did nothing for the sweat that would run down our faces, so we followed our mother back inside and left our father to his tent.

20 or so years later and I have finally camped out for real but it wasn’t on a beach.

I went here:

Capfun Camping Le Grand Lierne in Châteaudouble, France.

I know what you’re thinking…

This is camping?! I’ve never seen a campsite like this before!

This was my exact reaction when I was told we’d be going there to camp out.

This campsite offers so many options for your camping needs you can get cabins for 4 people or cabins that are like mini homes for 10/12 people or you can get the camping pitch where you bring your own tent which is what we did.

Besides the camping aspect Capfun includes:

A Waterpark:

  • Heated pool
  • Heated covered pool
  • Heated paddling pool
  • The Space Bowl which is a sensational water slide, upon entering you’ll find yourself in a large funnel and the person with the most laps wins.
  • A Racer slide with three lanes so you slide side by side.
  • There is also a paddling pool with a snake water slide, for children younger than 6 years. They can enjoy pool time without any worry.

The Waterpark opens from 9.30h to 20h – Swimming shorts are prohibited (boxers or briefs allowed). Toddlers must wear diapers specially designed for swimming.

You must wear the bracelet provided by the park to enter the Waterpark area.

A Restaurant

A Bar

A Gift shop/ Mini market

Washing Machines costs 6€

Tumble Dryers costs 3€

A Game room

Children’s playground

You can find more information here.

You now know exactly where I went now I’ll tell you how I felt about this experience, before we even started getting ready for this adventure I was filled with so much anxiety. Being in such close quarters with so many people and the knowledge that I’d have no where to go to be by myself and decompress had me dreading the weekend.

The Thursday before we would leave I asked my husband what kind of clothes I should pack and his response was anything I want which is not helpful at all. Keep in mind that it is June summer weather and I’ve never been camping so I was going in blind. I tried searching information and it wasn’t helpful. I packed short sleeves, a strapless dress, one pair of jeans and my short pants. I also packed our sheets that we would need, I looked at our thicker sheets and thought it’s summer we won’t need it…

I was wrong, so wrong, I got everything wrong, it was cold and my clothing was inadequate for the temperatures. Our sheets were not thick enough at all. It was my worst nightmare. I stressed and stressed and felt like a failure because everyone else had these thick comforters and sweaters and I was there unprepared.

On the other hand I fully enjoyed my time there, without the few anxious moments I had fun and was not as drained as I thought I would be. If I needed time alone I could escape into the little zipped off room in the tent and just relax and read a bit.

My most notable moment of distress was when it started to rain and of blow up mattress got wet so I couldn’t escape into our tiny room anymore. The noise of all the talking and children screaming and laughing really frayed my nerves.

Luckily for me everyone wanted to go on a for a little adventure and visit an old tower they was nearby, in the end it was too far and we ended up going to a garden. I really enjoyed the fact that I could walk around by myself and not have all the noise beating at my head.

Water Lily in Montélier

While walking around the garden I came across some really interesting murals.

My husband viewing the art

Tiger statue

While leaving the garden we encountered two women removing decorations from a fountain, the children wanted to know why they were doing it and apparently they change the colors of the decorations every week. They also told us about another garden near by that we could visit and off we went.

This other garden had much more flowers, there were a lot of roses and crocheted things like snakes and spiders, there were also crocheted flowers!

I really enjoyed this garden a lot.

While at Capfun I did something I never thought I’d do ever. If you go back up you’ll we the picture of the slides in the Waterpark. Do you see that twirling three lane yellow slide? It’s the Racer slide and I went on it twice!

I’m deeply terrified of heights and deep water so going up those three flights of stairs to reach the top was nerve wracking. My legs were trembling and I couldn’t turn around even if I wanted to because there were so many people behind me wanting to go on the slide.

When we finally reached the top I was trembling but it was now or never do I got into the middle lane and…

Off I went!!

I won the race against my husband and son, best thing ever, I enjoyed it so much I went for a second time, this time while I was coming down I got water up my nose and decided that was enough.

We ate at the restaurant our last night at Capfun and there was a Just Dance show playing, my son ever the extrovert decided he was going to dance every dance. It was adorable and I’m happy he’s able to do the things he loves.

Our time soon came to an end and with it came a storm, there was so much rain and thunder the children were scared. I won’t lie but some of those thunders made me jump and wish I was home in my bed.

The drive back was pretty uneventful but the scenery was beautiful.

This was really a great trip and I’m glad I took those little steps out of my comfort zone.

There was talk of going again and if we do go I’ll be more prepared.

And there you have it my first time camping at Capfun Camping in Châteaudouble.

My Hiking Experience

Hiking to the Natural Pools

Yesterday, December 30, 2012, my family and I hiked to the Tidal Pools on the Island of St. Croix, US Virgin Islands.

Let me start off my saying I had never been to the Tidal pools, didn’t know about them until recently even though I was born here and lived here my whole life. That being said I had no idea what I was getting myself into by saying I want to go on this hike.

First I got up around 8 am and started to get ready by having a quick shower, I knew I was going to sweat on the hike, without a doubt, only a mountain goat wouldn’t sweat after walking for 2 hours. Yes this hike was 2 hours to get to the pools and 2 hours to walk back from the pools. So I showered and started to filling my bottles of water, no cold water only room temperature, it wouldn’t do to shock my system by drinking ice cold water after walking in the hot hot sun for so long. Water ready, I’m ready, got a call that said my cousin wasn’t going to be able to come even though he was the one who knew how to get there and was going to drive some of us down there so we didn’t have to hike.
He’s not coming again, so my mother was like “Oh well, I guess we’ll do something else” naturally I was disappointed, I wanted to see these pools and it was a big let down after waking up so early and filling up the bottles…I didn’t want to stay home or drive around, that’s boring.
I guess my aunt was feeling the same and my brother and other cousin had been there before, they knew the way so we decided to hike it still.

It was a long drive to the road where we would begin the hike, it was located near the Carambola Beach Resort and Spa which is on the West end of the Island and we live more towards the East End of the Island. Yes the Island is small only 82.88 square miles but when you grow up here it seems very big.
When we were close to the resort I started to take some pictures because the view is beautiful, I was happy taking pictures out the car window when I caught a man jogging in one of them, I have no idea who he is but he is now a center piece of one of my photos.
We drove up to the road, and started getting out of the cars, there were four cars in total, one car held me, my sister, one niece, and two of my brothers, the other car held my oldest sister, my youngest brother, my mother and my two other nieces. The third car held my aunt, my two cousins, and her two kids, the fourth car held my uncle, my other aunt, and their two kids. There were 19 of us in total and we were ready to hike this thing!

My brother and my cousin would lead the group since they’ve been there before, my sister had also been on the hike before but she stayed in the middle in case the group got separated for any reason. We began walking, and it seemed we had been walking forever, it was fine, I had my water, my bag holding my camera and sd card wasn’t heavy and I had a good pace….until it started going uphill. That was the worst part of the Hike for me, going uphill. I got winded so bad, I honestly believe my heart was going to give out on me right there on the trail, the others were still going and I could see them but I had to take a rest, I wasn’t alone, my cousin stopped beside me and then everyone else stopped ahead, the stragglers came up to us and stopped too. I had been on a hike before, was much earlier in the year but I had done worse, I didn’t pack any water that time so this time I was prepared. I took sips of water and calmed myself, drinking too much water would have made me sick and probably cause me numerous problems on the hike including having to drain fluid somewhere in the bushes….I wasn’t interested in doing that so sip it I did.

Taking our break

Break was over and it was time to move again, it’s been about an hour since we started to walk and some of the group was very tired, I wasn’t feeling too bad after sipping my water, my heart was even back to normal, I did feel a big fatigued though, we continued walking but on even ground with a few dips here and there, we came upon a beehive of African Killer Bees, everyone had to be very quiet so we can walk past there without agitating the bees. It was very tense because of the little kids, just the slightest sound can bring a bee out of the hive. There we were trying to past by the hive in single file quietly but rapidly so no one is stuck by there for a long time. We passed there successfully and continued on our journey.

Next we had to walk by some tall grasses, it was such a pretty view that I stopped to take pictures, I told them to wait for me but they didn’t stop, I was up in the front so I wasn’t too worried about being left behind.

View from the tall grass

I should not have stopped, on the ground were hundred if not thousands of red ants, and when I stopped they crawled up my legs, I hadn’t noticed but my cousin’s daughter was quick to tell me “You have lots of ants on your legs”, let me tell you the feeling was not pleasant, I started stomping and shaking my legs, brushing them off in hopes of getting these ants off but everywhere we walked there seemed to be more ants, we walked through some very tall grass that reminded me of scenes from the first Jurassic park, it was kind of amusing, the Velociraptors would be the red ants and they were biting!

On and on we walked with these ants just crawling all over the ground and onto our shoes even while walking rapidly, we finally reached a dirt road where there weren’t as many ants and I immediately started stomping my feet and brushing ants from my sneakers, one ant already bit me and I was not going to allow any of the others the chance to taste my flesh.
We walked down the dirt road for a good while before coming up to a stony beach, finally some of the younger kids thought, the beach! But this was not the end of our journey.

The stony beach before the pools

Nope our journey was to take us over jagged rocks and brave rushing water with big waves, our destination was not this beach. I didn’t know at the time that the pools were on the other side of the jagged rocks though so I took some pictures of the view, and it was a spectacular view, the hills in the background, the water and the rock outlines made for a beautiful display.

Then is when I learned that the Tidal pools I had walked over such treacherous terrain to view were some ways over on the other side of those rocks that can cut flesh and the waves crashed onto. I was game, terrified of slipping and being taken away to sea but still game.
I have never climbed so fast in my life before, I felt like a monkey climbing for it’s life, clinging onto the rocks and looking for hand and foot holds so I don’t fall into the rushing sea. I was thinking to myself is it worth it? I hope it’s worth it or I’ll be so upset.
When I finally reached the other side, the view answered my question.

My brother standing on the jagged  rocks

 It was worth it, I had never seen such a beautiful rock formation before in my life, the water was reflecting off of the rocks and forming a moving sparkling show for the eyes to behold, the water was clear and you could see fishes of blue and black swimming happily along the bottom of the Tidal pool…this…..this was totally worth, tripping over tree roots, nearly suffering heart failure and being bitten by red ants. I will never forget such natural beauty.

The Tidal Pools