Sunday, March 3, 2013

Southern Caribbean Islands in Winter

San Juan harbor 

Back to reality now, here in Indiana, home of cold, gray, snowy days.   And as I catch up on laundry, bills, grocery shopping and other day to day chores, I remember the warm, windy days and beautiful ocean views...

We decided to break up the long winter months with a Southern Caribbean cruise with 2 other  couples.  We flew to Puerto Rico, and then we embarked on the cruise with ports of call in St. Thomas, St. Kitt's, Aruba and Curacao.

We were pleasantly surprised at everything Puerto Rico offered, from cities to forts to rain forests...

San Juan Convention Center 

Castillo San Felipe del Morro in San Juan

In the Puerto Rico rain forest, 200 inches of rain annually produce tree sized ferns...
and leaves bigger than your head, which can be made into small hats

And hats are a necessity in the intense sun of the Southern Caribbean.  Despite the high dork factor of this hat, it served me well.  Ok, so my friends had fashionable straw hats, but they always had one hand holding their hat in place!

St. Thomas ocean view property

We found a fun Jeep excursion on St. Thomas.  Tooling around the island with the Jeep top down gave us a wonderful feel for the sights and smells of this beautiful place.

St. Kitt's Shipwreck Beach

Before this trip, I never had any luck snorkeling.  But I got my courage up while sitting on a beautiful beach at St. Kitt's, and this time I actually did it!  It was delightful to float around and see beautiful fish everywhere! Of course I still have a VERY HEALTHY FEAR of the ocean, and I was quite happy that no fish touched me, and I didn't step on any sea urchins!

Mike's picture under water

There are some interesting things for sale on the islands.  As you would imagine I enjoyed the jewelry stores and the "free jewelry" including bracelets, charms and necklaces used to lure you into their stores.

Kevin at his favorite jewelry store
Coconuts on the curb

Sold in an Aruba gas station.  Do NOT mistake for water!

We enjoyed great friends, food and laughter along the way.
Kathy and Kevin at dinner

Stan and Mary on the beach

And then the sunsets were amazing!

Aruba view

And WHY was Mike posing this way on the beach???

We found a bit of humor along the way...

At the car wash

And we found Curacao delightful with bright, cheery buildings and aloe farms.

Pontoon bridge on Curacao

Curacao aloe farm

And traveling to the islands in is good!

Have a great week, and I hope you find your own happy place wherever you are!


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