Sunday, July 30, 2006

Cost of living

As we enjoyed our visit, we actually stopped to think what it would be like to live on the island permanently. We could open a Krispy Kreme (folks travel from island to island to get them)and have a successful life. Unfortunately, the cost of living would probably send us to the poor house. After visiting a few grocery stories on various islands we realized something: a gallon of milk, a 64 oz. container of Juicy Juice, a 12 pack of Coca-Cola all cost the same amount - $5 to $6 dollars apiece. Most of our staples were priced in the stratosphere. Even fresh fruits were expensive - bananas were $1.79/lb (as a comparison, I picked some up yesterday at our grocery store for $.39/lb), and they grow them there!
The things that were more reasonably priced were actually the Asian influenced goods. Thinks like pickled plums, dried spicy cuttlefish, dried scallops, and many things I did not recognize.
Housing was also pricey. One person we met who had just moved to the island 3 months ago told us about some of the places she had come across - a 500 sq. ft. apartment which was a dug out basement in someone's home, where the bathroom was not attached to the apartment, was $900. Yikes!!

Saturday, July 29, 2006

View on the right is our hotel's pool/beach area.

Some pics of paradise

As promised, here are some pictures from my trip. They can't capture the utter peace one feels when viewing the scenary, but they will have to do.


I'm back, although rather reluctantly. The wedding/tropical vacation was absolutely wonderful and I may even attempt to post some picture, although I am still on "island time" so don't hold your breath. Our hotel was located right on the beach, with it's five pools practically touching the sand. Often we would take a dip in the pool then head out to the sea for a dip in the Pacific. The weather was beautiful - mid 80's with a lovely island breeze. We hiked, kayaked, snorkled and swam to our hearts content. Lest I forget the main reason we went, the wedding was simple and refined. The bride looked as though she had just stepped out of a bridal magazine, she was so beautiful. It was wonderful watching the ceremony, her legs rocking slightly with nerves as her groom held her hands and steadied her nerves.

Hubby and I laughed more than we have in a long time, and it felt good just to relax with him by my side. We went out almost every night with different members of the wedding party, often closing down the bar we went to (not a tough job since it closed at midnight and we often didn't arrive until after 10 pm.). We were able to get to know the groom much better and he seems to be a good choice for my sister-in-law.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


Vacation checklist:

Lawn mowed so folks won't suspect that our home is abandoned - check
Laundry done so that we actually have clothes to put in the suitcases - check
Shopping done for clothes that actually fit after shrinking some in the wash - check
Haircuts done so that the family pictures at the wedding will be presentable - check
Rabbit packed up and ready to be delivered to the sitters - check
Itinerary printed out in duplicate, so hubby has one to keep safe and I have one to keep for pulling out and double checking and eventually losing - check
Extra spending money, though probable not enough - check
Ability to relax - not there yet, but give me a few drinks near the pool and I just might get there.


Monday, July 17, 2006


Not good - I've got some intestinal bug that is clearing rooms, to say the least, and I leave for vacation in two days...on a long plane ride...with two bathrooms for hundreds of people... with no ventilation. I apologize in advance to my fellow travelers.
The bright side: the dress I was debating to wear because it was a wee bit snug won't be snug anymore.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Time flies

The boy has been at his grandparents since Monday, and the house is oddly quiet without him. I find myself turning to the rabbit for my daily dose of silliness and I must say Speckle is not doing a good job of filling in for J. I had thought that with J gone I would get to relax and enjoy the time, but I'm finding that I've filled it with work instead since I don't have to worry about rushing to pick him up from daycare. Plus, with my vacation starting next Wednesday, I want to have everything in order before we leave. Time is going by too quickly.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Birthday party

Well, we had the boy's birthday laser tag party today. It went well, but not for lack of trying on fate's behalf. What do I mean? Well, let me rant for a moment.

My boy's birthday is July 4th, Independence Day, a national holiday and prime time for family vacations. So every year when we have his party, we have to contend with his friends often being out of town on vacation. I usually plan his party 3 weeks in advance (this year it was only 2 weeks)so as to give everyone time to check their plans and RSVP accordingly. I always warn J that there is a good chance that many people will not show, to not expect a big turnout.

With that said, I do everything in my power to get a correct count of whom is coming to the party. This year we did evites to many, some mailed invitations and a few hand delivered. There were 11 children invited. Two RSVP'd early that they'd be out of town. Fine. Several viewed the invite, but didn't give a response. A few checked "maybe" and that they would get back to me. On Friday, July 1st, I called the folks whose phone numbers I knew and who had yet to view the invitation to see if they were coming. By last night, we had 5 definites coming, three who never RSVP'd but had assured J they were coming and 1 maybe, with a possibility of 2 extras (siblings), which would have been great. Then this morning came around.

The maybe never confirmed her plans and a call to her home made me rule out her son and the 2 siblings.

I checked the evite one last time - one child who supposed to come, the one my son was most excited about, was not coming - he was going to be out of town. I had talked to the father of this child last Friday and had stressed how happy J would be if Missing boy would come, that the party was going to be small since so many were out of town. This parent has my email address, the evite address, my phone number and my regular address. This parent had to wait until last minute (sometime last night after 10pm) to respond to the evite with a no.

Then another parent called to say that her hubby had come home the night before with tickets to the ballgame and that they had the opportunity to meet Roger Clemens. Since both father and son are rabid baseball fans, I understood why they were canceling, but I was disappointed, especially since this same parent had had a party once where only 2 children showed up and it had hurt her son's feelings quite a bit. They promised to make it up by having a fun day together with the 2 boys later in the summer.

That left three definite kids coming, and that included the birthday boy. What would we do if no one else showed? How do you explain to your child that just because someone says they are coming that it doesn't mean they actually can come. It was breaking my heart this morning. I can't protect my son from everything, but I should be able to give him a birthday that he can enjoy. Luckily, 2 children (they are siblings) who did not RSVP were able to come, and several parents stayed so that the party at least seemed full. Plus the dads that came behaved like the 8 year olds, so laser tag was fun. I just wish people would RSVP by the date listed on the invite. Is that too much to ask for?

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Culture conversion

The Boy: Hey mom, I started off living in the smallest state (RI) and we moved around and now I'm in the largest state. Cool, huh?

Me: Well, actually Alaska is the largest state.

Boy: But we've got more people

ME: I know, but it is still the largest state. Texas is the largest state in the continental US. You know, Texas actually wanted to be its own nation at one point.

Boy: Cool. It should be. It's the best state. You know, I think I want to be a Texan forever.

The conversion continues. My son has immersed himself in Texan culture, even affecting a "cowboy" accent at times (at those time we have no idea what he is saying - it is a combination drawl and mumble). It seems all the advertising has worked its magic on him. This is the only state that I have ever lived in where the car commercials reference the state rather than the country, ie. "Bigger in Texas, better in a Dodge; Ford: built Texas tough". There are even special edition trucks that you can only get in Texas, because they are made for Texas only.

I don't know why it bothers me so much, other than the fact that I would like my son to have a more cosmopolitan view on life, rather than the provincial one he is developing from living in this state

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Birthday boy

Well, it is almost July 4th, which means the boy turns another year older. My soon to be 8 year old was telling us what he would like for his birthday dinner [birthday person chooses whatever (within reason) they want for his/her birthday dinner]. He said something frightening to us native Yankees - "I want a Texas dinner." What is a Texas dinner? No it is not rattlesnake or armadillo, at least not in my son's mind. All it is is steaks and potatoes on the grill along with corn-on-the-cob and a nice fresh salad. This is actually the birthday meal my husband normally picks out, but the fact that the boy calls it a "Texas dinner" is a little scary. He is slowly losing his northern roots and becoming a "Texan".