Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Jamaica: Searching for Waves

Right after breakfast we loaded up our little rental Toyota with the missing hubcap and hit the road. The first star on our map was Jamnesia Surf Camp, the only place we knew of to rent a board in Jamaica. To get there, we'd have to drive south to the opposite side of the island, through the mountains and Spanish Town and Kingston. We were ready for the adventure. 
The Mountain road had many twists and turns through steep cliffs covered with ferns. As we were driving, we saw a Rasta man on the side of the road arranging flowers on a wall of ferns that he made himself. We stopped to ask what he was doing. He told us he was making a tree man. He picked up the wall of ferns, which ended up being a huge costume. He climbed inside and asked if we would like to take a picture. So we did, and after chatting with him for a bit we went on our way.
After about an hour of driving through more steep cliffs and beautiful mountain views, we arrived in Spanish Town. I reached for my phone to snap a couple of pictures. I had my 50mm lens on my Nikon, which isn't always ideal for taking pictures outside a moving car window. So I reached for my phone... but it wasn't there. This wouldn't be the first time this has happened. I'm always losing my phone and my keys and anything else that isn't attached to my body. We had already traveled so far, we figured we'd stop back off at the Tree Man on the way home to see if I had dropped it there.
Our journey continued through Spanish Town and Kingston, and eventually we found ourselves in Bulls Bay, the town in which Jamnesia Surf Camp is located. Our only problem at that point was that we didn't have GPS or an address (But I'm not even sure either of those would have helped). We stopped at a little stand with a naked woman painted on it that sold cellphone minutes and other little things (there are many of those in Jamaica). My husband got out and asked a group of guys sitting in front of the store if they knew were Jamnesia was. They told him it was back the way we came from, down the street from "Sugar for Two." So we turned around and drove for a bit. We didn't see "Sugar for Two," but we saw a sign for "Bob Marley Beach," and decided to take that road.
We turned down the road and asked a group of fisherman if they knew where it was. They pointed up the beach and told us to go to CiCi's house. So we went back to the main road and took the next beach access street we saw. We saw a Rasta Man walking on that beach and asked him if he knew who CiCi was or where he lived. He told us to look for a man selling coconuts on the main road and we would find him across the street from there. I actually remembered seeing the man selling coconuts so I felt like we were getting warmer. On the way back to the main road we passed a house on the beach that had a couple of surfboards lying around, and we thought maybe that was CiCi's house. Daniel got out of the car, knocked, and a friendly man came out and directed us straight to Jamnesia. We finally saw "Sugar for Two," and we probably would have found it if we had just kept driving, but we had fun on our little adventure so no biggie. The sign for Jamnesia was small and camouflaged and we never would have seen it if we were just driving down the road.
Jamnesia had beautiful murals painted all around it, which I later learned (through a hashtag I posted on Instagram) that some of them (or all of them?) were painted by Mark Longnecker, who is a contestant on Ink Masters Rivals, a show my husband and I have been watching (random). But anyway, the building was super cute and the people were super chill and it looked like exactly the kind of place we would have stayed if we had come to Jamaica on our own (as opposed to winning a stay at an all-inclusive resort). There wasn't surf on that part of the island that day, so after we rented the board we got back in the car and kept driving Northeast.
 We drove along the coast for what seemed like forever, but every beach we passed either looked inaccessible or too small/inconsistent of a wave. We were getting cranky and just wanted to get in the water already. When we had finally given up, we reached Boston Bay. It was a place we heard about on SurfLine but weren't 100% sure how to get there. There were a couple of guys out, but the waves were pretty small. Still, they were clean and rideable, and like I said, we just HAD to get in the water. 
 Daniel and I took turns surfing and let me tell you, it felt SO good to be in warm, tropical water again. It made me a bit sad, though, because I no longer live in a place like that. Still, the Rasta man I was surfing with was freestyling reggae songs, calling the waves, and I was having so much fun even though they were only knee high and closing out. I was bummed when it was time to go, but it was my own fault. I wanted to get back to the tree man before dusk to see if my phone was there.
We had driven so far North at that point that it wouldn't make sense to go back down South through Kingston again, so we decided to continue heading North and East. As we were driving, the streets were busy with kids getting out of school and people getting out of work. It was wonderful to pass through all the towns when they were at their peak of busyness. At one point, Daniel reached down at his feet after dropping something and what did his hand land on? My phone. It was underneath the Driver's seat the whole time. I swear we had looked under there before, but there it now was. One of the many potholes we hit must have released it from that little car's grip. I was elated. It was the perfect ending to a perfectly imperfect surf trip.

Monday, October 20, 2014

42/52 {baby/toddler/life updates}


I got this little girl outdoors as much as possible this week, and I'm so glad I did. Looking at the forecast for this week it looks like the cold weather is here to stay. We spent our last few warm(ish) days on nature walks, pumpkin patches, and playgrounds. It might not have been the beach, which she still begs to go to everyday, but I know she had fun. I'm going to have to start coming up with some fun indoor activities, though!
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We're at our first babywearing meeting right now. #EvitaPilar she knows everything about everything already. #wearallthebabies #babieswearingbabies
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Obligatory Pumpkin Patch Photo #EvitaPilar #DamianJulio #MyLittlePumpkins
Damian has officially started solids. Yes, we let him nibble on cantaloupe and banana when we were in Jamaica, but now I'm giving him pureed food about twice a day. I had originally planned on doing more BLW foods this time around (I also did both with Eva), but when we were in Jamaica he choked on a piece of cantaloupe until he puked everywhere and it made my heart feel like it was pounding out of my chest, so I'm only going to give him whole foods when his daddy is around for now. I also planned on waiting until six months to introduce solids, but boy was he ready. And he's close enough, anyway. He LOVES food. So far he has tried green beans, sweet potato, and carrots. I seriously can't shovel it into his mouth fast enough. If I wait too long between spoonfuls, he starts whining for it. This is a whole new world for me, because Eva was never really that interested in food, especially not pureed foods. I'm so happy that I don't have another picky eater!

I'm getting back into my little Jamberry business, and am looking for more people to host parties! This is done entirely online, and all the hostess has to do is invite her friends to a Facebook group. I'll do the rest, which includes sending you some Jams to try out for yourself! You also have the opportunity to earn lots of store credit based on sales from the party. Shoot me an email if you're interested! Here is my latest Jamicure...
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I was so excited that my #rasta jams came in that I peeled off my perfectly good Monster Mash ones to put them on. Wish I had them for my Jamaica trip. ❤️����#JamberryNails
I'm in love!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

41/52 {catching up}

My last sunrise in Jamacia. <3 <3 <3 Can I go back now? Here's my weekly wrap up/catch up for October 6-12.
Eva had so much fun with all the Sesame Street activities at Beaches. She hung out with the characters everyday. After two weeks of it, I feel like she thought it was just her new life. Between that and the beach, Eva had another "best week of her life." But the plane ride home? Not so much. We were delayed in Charlotte, North Carolina for like 5 hours and didn't end up leaving until 1 in the morning. Eva hadn't napped all day, and she was miserable. For a while she was just screaming nonstop. I had to put her in the Ergo and let Damian ride in the stroller so that she could fall asleep. I felt so bad for her. At least it gave her a reason to be happy to be home. The next day she was cheerful as can be, and it was back to routine.

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I finally had the guts to put my #Lifeproof case to the test but I couldn't get #EvitaPilar to look at the camera. :)

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Her highness now refuses to take a nap or go to bed with wet hair. I have to give her one of these. #howdidiwindupwithadiva #EvitaPilar
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One last beach sesh before our first winter.
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Why does my baby look like a big girl in all of her pictures lately? #EvitaPilar

Another fun week at the beach for Damian. He loved splashing in the ocean and eating his fair share of sand. Other than that, not much new. He's continuing to grow into a big boy and getting stronger every day. All the ladies at the Beaches' Kids Camp were fighting over him. He's my handsome little man. <3

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Just baby spam, that's all. #DamianJulio

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A #GoPro pic D got of me during my safety stop. He was snorkeling/spearfishing at the time. I put all the pics from our trip on my computer today and I have thoooouusaaandsss. It's going to be a long week or two of going through and editing the ones I like. I have so much catching up to do on the blog as well. Not to mention unpacking. #overwhelmed #inagoodway
Daniel couldn't stay in Jamaica as long as me because of work, but I had a blast hanging with the kids, despite how unamused they look in the picture below, haha...
While Daniel was back on the East Coast he got a new tattoo. 
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