Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Merry Christmas

Caribbean Adventure

We're home! Our Caribbean Adventure ended on Monday and we returned to Wilmington late that night. I have to say our trip this year was even better than last. By the time we left, we felt a part of the Le Vele and had completely adapted to Island Time.

We spent the last few days (Friday - Sunday) doing a bunch of nothin'. We borrowed the Le Vele bikes and went into town. The Saltmills is a small center (maybe six shops and an art gallery) and we browsed around for a few trinkets. Neal bought some cigars and I found some fun earrings and a hat.

On Friday evening a front moved in and the wind picked up so we spent most of the last few days on the beach. We did Sushi at Yoshi's one night, hit a Irish pub (sports bar) one night and the Bay Bistro on Saturday night.

We watched a wedding from our deck on Saturday.

I finally finished my book on Sunday. This is actually a great vacation read. Mr. Buffett can spin a good tale. The best part is that you don't have to listen to his music while you read it. He actually refers to two all time great songs: IF I HAD A BOAT and THE WIND CRIES MARY.

Neal finished his first book on Day Three of the trip and finished up his second (A PAINTED HOUSE by John Grisham) on the flight into Wilmington.

On Sunday, we were entertained by our Egret. He flew into the pool area about 10:30am and proceeded to pick the area clean of the tiny geckos that run around Provo. He walked/balanced along the hedges and struck when the lizards were least expecting.

On Sunday night, we had not-so-fancy appetizers on the deck before walking down the beach to Hemingways. Despite the wind, the sky was incredible - with full views of the Milky Way, the Big Dipper, Mars and Venus.

Above & Below: Views of our Views

Here is the rainbow that we saw on our last day. There were quite a few squalls that moved across the island and one left this colorful arc that moved closer and closer to the shore.

The promise of our return? I hope so!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Snorkel Safari

I am addicted to snorkeling. Yesterday was incredible. We were picked up for our half-day snorkel cruise outside Le Vele and taken to our ride - a 48-foot catamaran run by Sail Provo. There were about 10 couples on the boat and we went to three different snorkel sites. The first site was shallow and warm. Someone sighted a shark here and there were several barracudas. Here's what we saw.

Here is a rare sighting of an Ace-Fish:

Ooooh. Barracuda.
Here is my picture of the fish:
Here is the fishies' picture of me:

Here I am above water. After the second site, we hoisted the sails and cruised about a mile off-shore. They provided pineapple and cantaloupe and the rum punch was flowing. They had the tunes pumpin' and we heard everything from Alicia Keys and Justin Timberlake to Janet Jackson and Bell Biv Devoe. Hilarious.

Mmmmm. Calamari.

Just kidding. What we thought was a small squid was actually a cuttlefish. She joined up with four others and lined up in a row along some rocks. They were perfectly spaced from each other and just rocked back and forth with the waves. The third spot we hit was the best. The sunlight was just right and the reefs were about 10 feet down. There were tons of caves and little ledges for fish to sneak in and out of. We were not there nearly long enough.

One of the highlights of the trip was spotting JoJo the dolphin. JoJo is a celebrity around here - you may have seen him in the movie DOLPHINS around 2000. He is a loner dolphin that seems to be more social with humans than with his own species. We came across him on the trip in and I was stunned by his size. I think he was about 8 feet long. He hung out in our wake and surfaced a few times before veering off after some lunch.

Here we are disembarking from our craft. Next time, I'm doing a whole day trip!

Snorkeling Safari

Friday, December 7, 2007

T&C Adventures - Continued

Well, it's day four and I've got four words for ya: This does not suck!

Wednesday night was a blast. We went to Grace's Cottage for dinner and it was one of the top dining experiences I've ever had. It was the fanciest place - they even put my purse on a little bamboo stool beside my chair so I could reach it easier. We started out with the conch appetizer which was incredible. The plate itself was beautiful. Neal had the Red Snapper with a sweet vinegary watercress salad and the best grits we've ever had. I had the Grouper in a lemon butter sauce that was sugary and reminded me of lemon meringue pie. Its accompaniment was avocado fritters -OMG. I had two glasses of Mumm's Cordon Rouge Champagne and we ended the meal with an incredible chocolate souffle and homemade vanilla ice cream.
Happy Bessie dancing around on our porch after dinner. We walked down to the beach for a while and sat on a Hobie Cat to watch falling stars and plan for Thursday.

Of course, Thursday didn't go quite as planned. We had reserved a Carolina Skiff to go explore the reefs and the coasts of Provo. We were all packed and ready to go when Mike called and said ix-nay on the oat-bay. Ooooo-Bay. He said it was too rough for the flat bottom boat. So, we called an audible and went to the beach for most of the day. Here I am floating around in the Atlantic:

After a bunch of reading and PB&J sandwiches for lunch, we hit the pool. We had fun with the underwater feature - can you tell?

And then......
We went horseback riding on the BEACH! Oh my goodness it was so much fun!
Here I am riding off in the sunset.

More to come.....

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

caribbean flip

Hi, Y'all!

Greetings from Provo, Turks & Caicos. We have had a wonderful first day and a half. We arrived yesterday around 2:25 and waded through customs before arriving at our hotel. We were greeted by Beverly and round of rum punch to take to our room. We are on the fourth floor this year and have a spectacular view.

Here I am with my rum punch. We unpacked a little, Neal set up the wireless internet in the suite (of course) and then we went for a walk on the beach. This was our pre-sunset view. There are a lot of people here this week - moreso than last year, but we feel that we have the place to ourselves.
Here is Happy Neal on our walk yesterday afternoon.

Here is Happy Neal on the beach today (Wednesday). We went for a walk this morning and then hit the beach. We had yummy sandwiches and a few cold beers on the strand. Later, we went on a bike ride around Grace Bay. We went for a dip in the pool and in a bit, we're headed to Grace's Cottage for dinner. I can't wait!


we made it

Here is the view from the air on arrival! ttfn