Sunday, October 27, 2013

When We Fell in Love With Dominica...

This has been an eventful week.  Friday was Creole Day in Dominica.  It's the day that the locals commemorate their heritage by dressing up in Creole attire, speaking Patois, and singing and dancing to traditional Creole music.  It's quite the celebration.  Creole attire consists of brightly colored plaids called madras, head wraps, white duster skirts, waistcoats (what we would call a vest), and red sashes.  I even sported a madras myself!  Here's a picture of me with my favorite red head here on the island:

Doesn't he look so precious?!  All the kids at the school were dressed up in their madras and a local school came to do a program for us.  It was just so great to see all the Dominicans just loving their culture.  They all love showing off their heritage and helping other people appreciate their history too.  They really commit man!  

Then Jonathan and I decided to take a weekend away.  Next weekend is my birthday, but unfortunately there won't be much of a celebration.  It's the weekend before Jonathan's mini 2 and the actual day of my birthday is the spouses banquet.  So he wanted to have a nice weekend away just the two of us since next weekend is going to be a little crazy.  So we stayed at a place called Jungle Bay.  They gave us a special rate because Jonathan is a student and I'm a Ross employee.  So off we went to the southeastern side of the island.  A place we had never driven before...

We stupidly started our trek around 5:30.  What we failed to take into account was the fact that the sun goes down around here around 6:45.  And once the sun is down, it's PITCH black.  There's no ambient light.  And we had really no idea where we were going.  We drove for 2 hours.  Up SUPER steep hills, on unpaved roads.  Along the ocean where there was no guard rails.  Through villages we'd never been through.  We drove straight down until there was no more island.  Literally.  We drove right out onto the gravel jetty that separates the Atlantic Ocean from the Caribbean Sea.  I had a flashback of a trip Sarah Schwarz, Courtney Lawrence and I took to Waco way back in the day.  Except this time it actually WAS an ocean we were driving into!  Here's a little perspective for you:

On the right is the Caribbean Sea and on the left is the Atlantic Ocean

Here's a birds eye view of what we drove up to:

So needless to say, we had to turn back and find the right jungle road to turn on.  We were finally on our way.  And I feel like we literally just drove straight up until we couldn't go any higher.  And then we stumbled upon this sign in the middle of the jungle:

Hallelujah!  We found it!  We had been scared to death on the drive up.  We both literally thought we were gonna have to spend the night in The Juice (which for those that don't know...that's what we lovingly refer to our Dominican car as...) while taking turns keeping watch.  We were among the peaks of Dominica in a literal rainforest.  We drive in to the resort and we are so warmly welcomed by a friendly staff and escorted to a restaurant straight out of Swiss Family Robinson.  We had amazing food and then were whisked away to our Jungle Cottage.  Here's what welcomed us:

Now mind you, it's pitch black outside.  This little cottage was warm and inviting and we could hear the waves crashing, but we couldn't see anything outside of our bungalow.  When the light of day came, here's what we saw:

I woke up around 8:00 and got in the hammock and snoozed to the sounds of birds and the ocean.  It was pretty perfect.  Then enjoyed a nice hot outdoor rain shower, a beautiful Caribbean breakfast, and the most spectacular Sunday drive in history.  Just see for yourself:

Dominicans headed in to church

See...I told you!  It was a nice Sunday drive with the hubs.  Made us remember that we're living on a pretty spectacular little island in the Atlantic.  It's got waterfalls, mountains, rivers, ocean.  It's simply lovely and untouched.  With the windows down we could smell freshly cut lemongrass, plantains roasting on open pits, fish smoking in hand built smokehouses.  We could hear birds chirping, waves crashing, rivers gurgling, waterfalls rushing.  It was beautiful.  Today we fell in love with Dominica...

PS-Next post will be my 30 Before 30 list!

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