Thursday, July 24, 2008

hotards in south africa: st. lucia

Mom, Katie and Teresa spent 2 weeks in South Africa with me. It was amazing – last year when my mom visited it was surreal having her here with me. This year was no different except that there was A LOT more laughing and a lot more tears because we were laughing so hard!

They arrived Saturday evening and were delayed but in good spirits. Jason and I met them at the airport and then we went to the backpackers where they had Welcome to South Africa gift bags awaiting them. We stayed up late into the night talking, catching up and eating some of the South African goodies I had packed the bags with. We left for St. Lucia on Sunday (minus Jason), stopped to visit my friend Alycia and were welcomed by a wonderful woman named Monica, at the bed & breakfast, who made us feel right at home. She even hugged Mom and told her how lucky she was to have most of her girls in one place! We enjoyed a really tasty seafood dinner at this hole in the wall restaurant called Fishy Pete’s (I think) – it was excellent and I think it’s the best place we ate while we were in St. Lucia.

The next morning we woke up before the sun was even contemplating getting up to catch a ride out to the water for our whale watching experience. I was of course hungry and decided to share some dried pineapples with the girls while we waited for our friendly guides to show up. We were giddy with excitement by the time we got to the ocean. We hopped on the boat and donned the ugly raincoats and life vests but were happy for the added layer of warmth. It was a bumpy ride out going over the enormous waves but it smoothed out. That didn’t last long – we ended up in the middle of a bumpy current on the look out for either breeching whales or the mist from their blow holes. Once sited, we would head in that direction. It didn’t take long and we were off to find our friends. We saw a beautiful whale breech right before the sun rose – what an amazing site. Soon we were actually fairly close to a young male and he kept swimming around our boat. After awhile I succumbed to the sickening feeling of constantly be jerked up and down by the waves and had to sit down. Turns out I wasn’t the only one – Teresa was already lying down, Mom was sitting hoping she didn’t have to puke and Katie and I decided we had no shame and threw up over the side of the boat. Mom eventually did too and right as she was looking up the whale swam by – what a better view than a porcelain lid! Our ride came to an end and we went full speed ahead and beached the boat right on the sand. We were instantly cured of our seasickness once we were on land and most us (maybe not Mom) agreed that we would probably do it again if given the chance – minus the dried pineapple appetizers!

The rest of our stay in St. Lucia was relaxing and decadent complete with lazy mornings and an amazing breakfast each morning. We visited a crocodile reserve and saw hippos in the estuary. We had car trouble one night – I couldn’t (and neither could anyone else that stopped to help) get the car to start, the key wouldn’t even turn! So we waited over 2 hours for the new one to come and of course once we made the change, the guy was able to start the car no problem. Oh well – there weren’t any extra costs for us, unless you consider the round of drinks we had while waiting. Overall, a great start to our holiday.

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