Category Archives: Beach

Trying something new

On the advice of my friend Suzanne, I’m tried something new today.  What did I do different? First I took my rarely used bicycle out of the shed, secured my helmet, and rode off to the local mall. Well I actually had to turn around at the corner and go back home, the back tire was deflated. Unlock gate, unlock house, route in jar of numerous keys for shed key, find key ring with numerous keys – forcing me to try one of many again to unlock shed, find tire pump, pump like mad woman so nozzle can fall off tire thingamajig numerous times, finally re-inflate tire, return pump to shed, lock shed, return keys to house, lock house, lock gate, ride off into sunset to mall.

Finally on my way, I debate riding on the sidewalk (which is illegal) vs the road. Decide on the road, only to almost get taken out by driver who obviously hates bike riders. After my near death experience I arrived at the mall. I go to the Bulk Barn to buy some steel-cut oats (one has to stay regular healthy), and dog treats. Eventually I grab a coffee and breakfast so I can sit down and write. In truth, I went to the mall for the sole intention of writing. It seems sitting at my computer lately just draws blanks.

These past three weeks have been a whirlwind of activity at our house with Suzanne visiting. I have played the tourist with her, as we toured the RGB (Royal Botanical Gardens), The Hamilton Farmer’s Market, Cootes Paradise, Lindsay Ontario, Aylmer Ontario, Port Dover Ontario, and Niagara Falls Ontario. On bad chronic pain days for me, Suzanne went out on her own walking – and boy can that woman walk, 14 kilometres one day alone! (Note: Suzanne came over quite aware, that there would be days, she would have to go it alone while I rested). Middle child graciously did fill in for me a number of times, taking Suzanne to the mall, and for a walk at Albion Falls.

The visit to Aylmer and Port Dover (where our grandmother used to live) was on the invitation of my sister, who was interested in checking out some handmade Mennonite dining room tables. Afterwards, she thought it would be nice to have lunch on the beach in Port Dover. So on a very raining Saturday, my sister drove into town to pick us up. With umbrella’s on hand (I borrowed my husband one and only, supposedly favourite umbrella, which was later turned inside out, and left broken by an extremely strong wind gust, that amazingly left me unscathed (did he ask me that – Nooo!)) Anyways, the furniture was gorgeous, though nothing was purchased, except of course slippers by me, that middle child keeps trying to steal (payback for hubby’s umbrella?)

It seemed the rain was not going to let up, nevertheless it did not put a damper on our lunch, the scene reminded my Wales-born friend of home.

Picture of the rain hitting the restaurant window.

Before you ask, I have no idea why the restaurant decided to plant palm trees on the beach.

Our vacation in Jamaica

Fan tree
Before leaving for our vacation in Jamaica, I dropped my Blackberry Z10 cell phone in water; I quickly dried it but the touchscreen was not working properly. I took my phone with me to Jamaica hoping it would come back to life if I put it in rice for a day or so. After the phone was in rice for a day, I re-inserted the battery in hopes the phone would work. Now I was sitting on the 2nd floor balcony as I fiddled with the phone, but what happens? I dropped the phone, hearing it land on the cement below us! After running downstairs I looked and looked for the phone but could not find it. A security guard happened to walk by and I enlisted his help. We finally find the phone and to my surprise it is still in one piece. I put the phone away for the rest of our trip. The news of me dropping my phone of the balcony spread quickly around the resort, and everyone I bumped into, would say “oh you’re the lady that dropped her phone” and then there would be laughter. Geez.

Our flight arrived on time in Jamaica but what I didn’t realize, is Jamaica is one hour behind, so the three hour plane ride was actually four hours. We had started the day by leaving our house at 5:30 a.m. so we could be at the airport three hours before our flight.
Toronto airport

Once in Jamaica, we find our bus that will take us to the Grand Lido Resort in Negril. It is another two hours before we arrive at the resort. At the Grand Lido we are given drinks as they try to find a room suitable for me. Apparently me having a cane threw them off.
Having my first drink at the resort.

The room they give us is on the second floor and there are a lot of stairs for me to climb, plus the balcony is incredibly small for two people. We stayed in this room for one night, deciding to upgrade to another room on the ground floor. The first room they offer us is at the far end of the resort, which would have required even more walking for me, so I ask if there are any ground floor rooms on the clothing optional side and there is! The benefit of the clothing optional side was we were about twenty feet from the beach, and the beach was private so there would be no one asking if we wanted to buy this or that (and marijuana), a common occurrence on the public beach. Since this was the clothing optional side, no cameras were allowed which was a good thing, because it took us no time at all to go naked with everyone else. As DH said, there were no super models, so going nude wasn’t a big deal, and it felt quite liberating. When we were dressed to go to a restaurant, we had a hard time recognizing anyone because they were clothed.

We spend part of our second day snorkeling and taking pictures of what I would describe as swimming in an aquarium. The fish were unbelievably beautiful and scary at the same time. The lion fish and scorpion fish are poisonous.

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Later that day, we ventured outside the resort to a nearby market. The wares the Jamaicans were selling were quite lovely and everyone tries to lure you to their store. On Thursday we were out snorkeling by 8 a.m. again, and when we weren’t in the water, we were sunbathing, drinking, eating and just enjoying our vacation.

On Friday we take a cab to the Kuyuba restaurant in Negril to meet a twitter friend of mine (@Petchary). Her and her husband had taken a five hour bus ride from Kingston, Jamaica just so we could meet! Emma and her husband were just lovely to chat with over a long lunch.
Emma and I

During our vacation we phoned the kids daily, told them we were on the clothing optional side of the resort, and all three of them thought we were gross. lol The resort had a 24 hour coffee shop which I just loved. Having a latte reminded me of home and our server Arlene was fabulous.
Arlene and I in the 24 hour coffee shop
The rest of our vacation is spent snorkeling two or three times a day, and just enjoying ourselves.