Saturday, April 27, 2013

Transition through Versaille

I feel kind of odd following up such a fun tropical trip to LCI with the more somber, yet very interesting and personal, topic of my trip to the Normandy region of France. So, this is a transition. A warning of sorts. I want to share an emotional and historical trip through Normandy. I learned a lot about June 6, 1944 and the planning that went into what is forever to be known as D-Day. Ironically, the thing that connects our vacation to LCI to this trip to France was a trivia question posed at a tourist bar on the island, what does the D in d-Day stand for? My team didn't know the answer at the time but learned it was simply Day. Now I know much more about this Day Day than I even anticipated. But I want to take a beat and get my emotions sorted  through before putting it out there. Therefore, this is a post of photos.

On the way to Normandy, we stopped and toured the Palace of Versailles. It was as opulent as I had heard. After spending 4 years living near and working at a Baroque Palace, I thought I would be underwhelmed with Versailles but it lived up to its reputation. Enjoy the images I captured.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Little Corn Island 4 - The end

When I last left off, we were facing the facts that we may leave without out PADI open water scuba certification. Our classmate from Holland left without her certification and our flight was so soon. Dive Master Dan informed us that no one was going out but there would be a chance we could head out the following day. At this point, we had 2 days before catching the 6am Panga back to Big Corn in time for our flight. In case you are unaware, 12-18 hours on land are required between a dive and a flight so we were cutting it close. Thankfully that next day we could take advantage of the 1 to 1 student / instructor ratio and get in the water. We only got through half of what was planned for the day or 1/4 of what we had left but Dan was confident we'd be able to squeeze it all in the next day and be done with plenty of time for our dinner reservations.

And everything worked out. I am so so unbelievable happy to report this story has a happy, albeit slightly stressful, ending. We are card carrying PADI scuba divers! I don't for a minute regret doing the course on Little Corn either. We saw a turtle, rays and sharks among many reef loving fish, living reefs, conch, flounder (which look nothing like in the Little Mermaid BTW),   and so much underwater life. I hope we can return one day and dive more of the island sites.

Here's how we spent the last bit of our vacation.

Last happy hour at Casa Iguana

A goodbye view or my hammock perch

The ocean view from our Casita

Taking in the view for one last breakfast on the deck

Admiring the beach while waiting for our food

My last island breakfast of coconut french toast (with coconut maple syrup on the side) and scrambled eggs

Flowers I admired all week and finally photographed

Using the phone cam to access my sunburn status after 14 days, note the creeper in all black behind me, who wear that plus Doc Martins to a tropical island?!?

Paid our hotel bill and enjoyed a final rum and mango juice.

Little corn Island won our hearts. I am sure we will return one day and I can only hope it is as natural and awesome then as it is now. I fear it may soon be exploited but it is a true island paradise.