|Nearly 5,000 nautical miles under our hull!!|
|Granddaughter Makenna welcoming Grandpa Andy back|
|We made it back before Baby #3 was born!!|
|Makenna & Picket on Finally Fun|
|Courtesy Flags from the various countries we visited that we flew on Finally Fun|
Andy and I have been reminiscing about our trip and talking about things we’ll need to do as we settle back into the USA after 14 months away.
|Andy driving with wheel on the right|
Remember to look carefully before stepping out to cross a street. We’ve been looking mostly in the OPPOSITE direction as drivers are on the left for much of where we've been, even in the US Virgin Islands. The thought of Splat Like a Bug on a Windshield has haunted me the entire time in the islands and now that thought will continue until we adapt totally and consistently.
|This guy is quite the talker!|
Our satellite TV faded out once we got out of range at Long Island in the Bahamas a year ago. We’ve continue to be able to pick up satellite radio and news, so it is not like we’ve been living in a cave... Do we even want TV back with its mindless stream of reality shows, daytime soaps and the like?
|Carnival- Better live than on any TV!|
Ugggg, Style Matters in the USA. I’ve been digging in the back of our closets to find more than the T-shirts and shorts we’ve been living in for the past 14 months. Now, we’ve got to also remember to change those t-shirts and shorts more often....boaters get away with the tattered, stained look more often than not.
|We've gotten hair cuts since arriving in the USA|
|Sharon's idea of Dress Shoes|
|Selling fruits & vegs boat to boat|
Get ready for the physical effect of overstimulation of sights, smells and choices. Grocery shopping in the USA has already proven to be overwhelming - huge stores, shelves ladened with goods, fresh meats and fresh milk. Prices are more reasonable than what we’ve paid over the past 14 months. A few islands, especially the large French islands do have large stores with many goods, but many many of the products are from the USA or other countries and are, therefore, imported goods which translates into Expensive.
Prepare for disappointment when standing in the same fancy USA grocery store aisles. I will so miss the island markets teeming with locals selling fresh fruits and produce picked off their land that morning. No Picked Green Many Months Too Early stuff there!
I already miss the fresh papaya (Paw Paw it’s called down island); mangos of every variety large and small; limes and tiny Key Limes; bananas, especially the Fig Banana, a tiny one a little larger than a fat man’s thumb, that tastes like a blend of banana and lime; pineapples that are so very sweet and passion fruit.
|No need for 'Organic' labels...it is naturally so|
I’ll have to watch my language in the grocery stores.....Cilantro was known as “Shadow Benny”, basil looks and tastes different in the islands, green beans are more than two feet long and on and on it goes. No American will be able to 'translate' for me!
|Fishermen patiently answer my questions|
|Martin teaching us how to prepare conch|
|Bus station in Grenada|
I hate the thought of having to utilize our car much more often to run errands and to shop. I’ve loved catching the efficient local island buses for $1 or so as my mode of transportation when the distances were too great for our two feet. Grocery bags instead of the backpacks will be the norm now, too. Somehow, I think the islands have it right!
Thank, Thoreau, for the inspiration...."Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined.:
And on the very positive side, we’ve accomplished our dream, learned a lot about ourselves and about other countries, strengthened our boating skills and truly learned that the world doesn't have to move at the light speed of the USA. Bigger is not better.....
Maybe, just maybe, a tiny bit of that ‘no worry mon - we get it done’ (which translates to Whenever) has rubbed off on me, the Type A....That is the Good News part!
|Double rainbows are common in the islands|