P.S. Our house is full of farts tonight. 😂
So over the past few days, the sun has disappeared and it has been very overcast. We have had a lot of rain which I love because it cools everything down and the wind is so soothing. It has given us a nice break from the hot, humid stillness. I took a Snapchat of a storm that was coming our way and it looks more alarming than it actual was; there was no lightening. All the storms here either pass by quickly or end up being a massive downpour. This one happened to be a massive downpour and it lasted for hours, which is odd here. Regardless, I love a good storm.
Oh and by the way, there was an earthquake that happened at 1:30AM today and I did not feel a thing. Jesse woke up briefly, but thought he was dreaming, until he start walking around and could feel everything shaking. I must have been in some pretty deep REM sleep 😂 This is the 2nd earthquake that I’ve gone through, and the first one was not that scary either. I’m hoping the 3rd time won’t be the charm in this case. But, this is Island Life and you never know what will happen next….
Today, it hit me that on Wednesday we will have been on the island for two months. There is a lot to love about this place -the gorgeous view, the amazing weather, the friendly people, good food, always something interesting to see, etc. And yet, even here in paradise where you would think that everything should be perfect, you can still find/focus on the imperfections.
You have a choice to complain about how much hotter the weather is getting these days, how after stepping out of the shower you immediately start sweating, the outrageous cost of your favorite conditioner/shampoo that is imported and you refuse to buy it ($20 each 😱), or how you cannot just simply pack up and drive back to the comforts of home that is 1,737 miles away.
Instead you can be greatful for what you do have and look forward to the simple things such as walking down a side walk, going to a park, or shopping at a huge Target or Wal-Mart back in the states.
So today I am thankful for:
- My husband who takes care of me and loves to practice medicine on me ❤
- A Good friend in our building that gave me beautifully scented candles
- Working internet so that I can talk to family and friends back home
- Green tea and lemon water
- Zucchini and onions for lunch
- Fresh Caribbean coffee
- My yoga mat
- Exercise – (250 squats today)
- Writing while sitting in front of a gorgeous ocean view
- A full fridge
- Mint ice cream after dinner
- Two pillows
I can see how spoiled/blessed I am and I wouldn’t trade this experience for the world ❤
Happy Friday 🙌🏻
Our morning jogs are always an adventure! We either find new animal friends or explore new views of the ocean.
We found these wandering horses in our neighborhood a few weeks ago. One was pretty brave enough to approach me. I think he wanted to eat my phone 😂
We also love visiting these adorable puppies whenever we get the chance! The three other dogs were friends we made since we got here and we are happy to see that someone has adopted them!
We like to buy local produce because it’s cheaper and Hello! It’s so fresh! The apples and carrots are so sweet. The Antiguan lemon is different from ours back home. Like it has a Thyme flavor to it. You’d have to taste it to understand!
We like to shop at First choice because it’s easier on the wallet compared to Epicurean. Regardless, you will be spending a good chunk of change. Almost everything is imported. Last night, we ate a watermelon that came from Guatamala.
One of my rules on this island, is that if you think you will need an item in the future, but do not need it currently, just buy it NOW. I learned the hard way. On our recent grocery trip, they were out of lemons/limes, milk, sunflower, oil, and cheese. A few weeks ago, there were no bananas. And don’t get excited if you see anything on sale, that usually means that the item is about to expire like, tomorrow. 🙄
It’s funny because back home, I used to get so overwhelmed with too many options. I would want to try everything -so many different flavors, fat free, gluten free, natural, Greek, organic – the list goes on! But here, you do not have as many options which makes the grocery shopping go by way faster (Jesse is happy about that), and then I realized that there is more simplicity in having fewer options, even when you can’t find what you need. You learn to get creative and go with the flow of the island. I definitely haven’t always gone with the flow, and have had some pouting sessions in the store, but I get over it, because I’m grateful for what I could find.
We do enjoy going to the farmer’s market in St. John’s where you can find an assortment of vegetables, fruits, and spices. There’s a lot of hustle and bustle with vendors getting there at 3AM and people start to arrive at 6:30AM. We have gone at 7AM and found really great deals. They have a fish market and a butcher shop as well. We still have to check out what kind of meats they carry.
All of this was $50. CHA-CHING!
Hey guys, it’s been a busy day. But, I just wanted to share with you all a typical meal for us. I have been trying to lose weight and I have been eating a lot of zucchini and cabbage to cut the carbs. Tonight, I made spaghetti sauce and poured it over steamed cabbage. Sounds iffy, but I promise you won’t even miss the pasta.
When I steam my cabbage, I like to throw in garlic, salt, pepper, and fresh rosemary. (I’m obsessed with Rosemary right now, I even use it in my hot teas and sometimes I throw in fresh ginger! Delish!)
My spaghetti sauce varies everytime I make it. It just depends on my mood 🙂 Here’s a list of the basics that I use:
- 1 can of tomato paste
- 1 can of tomato sauce
- 2 cans of diced tomatoes
- 1 lb of cooked turkey sausage
- At your discretion – Salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, (sauteed garlic in olive oil is better!) and basil
- A few spoonfuls of brown sugar
- Parmesan cheese
I sometimes throw in Cayenne pepper or Rosemary as well.
Jesse approves of this sauce and will try it with veggies, but he definitely enjoys it with his pasta, which I cooked for him tonight. But, it’s nice to have different healthy foods like cabbage, zucchini, or spaghetti squash that can easily be paired with the sauce, making you still feel full and happy about clean eating.
Our trip to Antigua was definitely long. We left at 11PM to catch our 6AM flight in DC. From there, we flew up to JFK, sat through an hour layover, and took off for Antigua. At that point, we had already been awake for over 12 hours and we were both starving and thirsty. So, we were ironically super excited about the overpriced $7 protein snack boxes they were passing out on the plane. Jesse was getting tired of the two female passengers sitting next to him, who would not stop talking and asking questions. I was sitting adjacent from him in the same aisle amused at these girls who were desperately trying to keep his attention. The elderly couple that sat elegantly next to me and ordered white wine, appeared dressed as if they could afford their however many thousands- per-night-hotel that they would be staying at once we touched down. I fell asleep a few times. I thought maybe I had been asleep for a few hours each time, but, no. It felt like those simple 4 hours turned into a long 12 hours.
As we flew over Antigua, it was really magical. It was my first time seeing water that blue and sparkling, aside from fantasizing and staring at what seemed too-good-to-be-true magazines advertising vacations to the Carribean. I realized that those pictures were definitely not photoshopped. This was for real.
We landed and walked through the long line at Immigration. Surprisingly, it went smoothly. It did take a while to hunt down our 5 pieces of luggage, though, and then have our bags searched. If you do come down to visit, remember not to bring anything brand new, because you will be heftily taxed (for example, if you bring a new iPad, you will get taxed half the amount you paid for it).We were greeted by AUA students and then escorted to a taxi. The weather this time of year is in the high 70’s/low 80’s and the wind is always present which makes for perfect weather.
Our taxi ride was quite the adventure. The Antiguans drive on the left side of the road and there are no speed limits/signs (and if there are, I haven’t seen any). Our taxi driver was a little gruff and sped so fast through the hilly terrain that I was gripping Jesse’s arm the entire way. I was trying not freak out when he came dangerously close to running over a stray dog(there are lots of stray dogs on the island). And, there is no careful consideration even if people are walking on the side of the road. It’s basically get out of the way, or you get run over here.
Once we got to our building, we wearily carried our bags up to the third floor. Stepping out onto our balcony, our mouths just dropped.
It really hit us that this was going to be home for the next 4 months and how blessed we were to have this view every single day. Suddenly, though we had been awake for almost 24 hours, we had energy. That’s what is lovely about this place. You feel renewed and refreshed just by soaking in the beautiful surroundings.
We have been here almost two months now, and it never gets old. We are always taking pictures of this view.