Monday, July 30, 2012

10 years!!

Ten years ago on July 20, 2002, I married my best friend and college sweetheart from Baylor.  James and I celebrated big with a trip to paradise!  Of course this Jesus loving Christian knows that my real paradise awaits me when I get to heaven, but it sure was awesome getting to experience a paradise that God created here on Earth!  
Parker and I flew to Dallas the week before our trip and stayed until James joined us, then it was off to DFW International to fly to the beautiful island of St. Kitts!  From there we boarded a boat and made a quick trip over to Nevis, it's sister island. All. week. long. we seriously lost ourselves in relaxation, long conversations, uninterrupted meals, good books and God's amazing, amazing creation!  We are so thankful to my mom and dad for taking the BEST care of Parker.  The little dude had a vacation of his own for sure.  :)  Happy 10 years babe...can't wait to see where God leads us in the next 10 and so on!
 There may or may not be about a million pics in this post!  ;)

Our wedding day
July 20, 2002
I was 21 and James was young!  :)

Leaving the reception!

And here we are 10 years and one child later arriving on St. Kitts!

Once we got off the plane, we headed through customs and then down to the dock where a boat took us to our resort.  Of course they had tropical drinks ready and waiting!  

Approaching Nevis from the water...the island is basically a dormant volcano and there were always clouds at the top!
Arriving at our hotel where the staff was ready and waiting for us on the pier to take us to our rooms.  We were in heaven!!

The hotel grounds were beautiful!
Our tucked away little home for the week.

There were infinity pools everywhere.

That night we were so tired from traveling and so hungry that we strolled down the beach and found this cute little beach bar, Lime Cafe, that served dinner.  We ate on the patio while watching the sunset, it was a perfect ending to the day! (James researched this...we didn't just start walking and hope to run into something).

And when we got back to our room, this divine chocolate cake was waiting for us!  I don't know if it was because we ate it out on our balcony while listening to the waves or what, but it was the best chocolate cake I've ever had! Ha! 
The next day we did a lot of this.

Late that afternoon the hotel had what they call "the monkey tour" on the golf course.  Basically everyone got in golf carts and we drove the course with the golf pro in search for Vervet monkeys that live there on the island.

And boy did we find some!  They were hilarious!

Ending the relaxing day with a nice, long dinner.

 On Monday morning we got adventurous and climbed Mt. Nevis at about 3,200 ft.  We had a guide and it was just the two of us on the climb which made it nice.  We didn't have to wait on anyone!  ;)

The view from about half way up.  It was a very dense tropical jungle/rainforest the whole way.  I couldn't get over all of the ferns, flowers, vines and trees!

My cute climbing partner.

I have to confess this...I don't usually judge people in this way, but when we met our guide, I took one look at him and thought...he's seriously going to take us to the top and murder us or rob us for all we are worth.  He had gold earrings going all the way up one ear and the front teeth he did have were all gold.  I was scared. We totally trusted this man we didn't know from Adam to take us up this dangerous and strenuous hike.  I am writing this post so we obviously lived through it!  ;)

The closer we got to the top, the more cliffs we encountered and had to climb up using ropes.  It was also VERY muddy because it was so wet, so we slipped and slushed our way through.  Going down was another ball game, so, so hard.
Notice how dark it was...the rainforest was so thick!

We made it!!  There is a book up top in a ziplock bag so you can write your name and the date you did the climb.  You can't see anything behind us because we were in the clouds!
Of course I was SO excited that we did the climb up and down in a record time...the competitive side comes out even on vacation! Ha!
After the hike, we were exhausted and starving, so we walked down the beach and found this little gem called Sunshines.  Lots of celebrities have been here, it was fun looking at all their pics on the wall!
Enjoying every minute of the view and the food!
They had all kinds of college flags hanging from their ceiling.  James was excited to see the SMU one, however we are thinking about mailing them a Baylor one!  ;)
Guess what we found while eating...another monkey!  This one was on a leash so he was obviously a pet.  I'm pretty sure that monkey would have eaten our food if he wasn't tied up!

After lunch, we did more of this!

Every afternoon our beach server would bring a frozen fruit sorbet.  Delightful.

Another fun dinner at a beautiful restaurant called Bananas that was perched up on the mountain.

The balcony where we ate.

One morning we decided to try something new...paddle boarding!  It was awesome and so fun to see the bottom of the ocean the whole time we were out on the water.

*Side note: some people ask why the water doesn't look like that vivid Caribbean blue.  It is that blue but the island just comes straight up out of the water, so the water around the island is very deep.  The more shallow it is around an island, the brighter the blue.
Every evening when we had all the sun we could take, we'd have fun little tropical drinks and watch the sun start to set before we went in for dinner.
We had shuffle board matches.

We also enjoyed long walks on the golf course enjoying the sites and spotting monkeys!


One night we had dinner on the other side of the island at the Mount Nevis Hotel.  We couldn't get over the view of St. Kitts from where we were sitting! 

One of the pools lit up at night.

We ended our very last day with a walk on the golf course and then a nice dinner overlooking the ocean.  I think I went into depression knowing it was all ending.  ;)

An old sugar mill on the course.  These are all over the island because back in the 1600's, that was their livelihood.

Last dinner by the ocean

Up bright and early strolling the beach with coffee in hand.  We had to check out at noon so we at least had the morning to soak it up one last time!

On the boat leaving Nevis behind and heading for the airport on St. Kitts.
It was a blessing to get to go and I already look forward to getting away with my hubby again!

Part 2 of this post is Parker's vacation...

The week before our trip, Parker and I were in Dallas getting to see some close friends and their sweet kids!
Carroll, Anna, Me, Parker, Jenn and Hunter, Julie and Will (Carroll's son)

Anna showing Parker her (mom's) phone.

Soaking up a visit from Dede

Cute cousins

Saturday morning after we were dropped off at the airport, dad and Parker got busy painting the old basketball goal we grew up with on our driveway.  He even got to pick out a new net and ball for it!

Leah and Ty came over for a swim and slumber party.

Having fun with his new ball!

Grocery shopping with Neesie = getting a cookie while you shop!

Coloring with Dede

Parker got to go to the Dallas World Aquarium with Uncle Ryan, Leah and Ty. He is still talking about all the animals he saw!

Ryan, Ty, Parker and Leah

Watching a huge manatee

After the aquarium, they went swimming at Aunt Lindsey's fun apartment.

Having lunch by the pool

I think it's safe to say Parker had just as much of a vacation as we did!