Sunday, February 25, 2018

Not Tracking Days

Love how I lose track of days when I'm on vacation -- when it's hard to tell Tuesday from Friday.

Spent the better part of the day at the beach -- watching planes land, swimming and people watching. As I swam in the Caribbean Sea, I watched the fish and looked at the coral and thought, "You just won't find that in a swimming pool."

Walked to the Pork Pit to get dinner and my total steps for the day are 9,000-ish -- definitely not 16,000 but nothing to sneeze at.

Saturday, February 24, 2018


I have over 16,000 steps on my fitness tracker and that means one thing -- that David, the unofficial tour guide, intercepted me again. I'm so naive because I didn't expect to see him again and certainly didn't expect for him to attach himself to me again.


I made an easy target as he knew that I would probably exercise. At any rate, he showed me a few more points of interests, including the Marcus Garvey statue and the part of the beach where fisherman hangout. When I asked David if the fisherman were going to get ticked off because I was taking pictures in their territory, he said "no" and that he wouldn't bring me if that were the case then "My life over yours first..."

Fisherman's Beach
My aunt has been craving hotdogs and pizza so I found a restaurant that worked for all us as I am content to eat my weight in jerk chicken and yams right now. My aunt ordered a cheeseburger and before she finished, she burped solidly which made me laugh like a kid. I told her that in some cultures burping is considered a compliment to the chef.

Friday, February 23, 2018


Went on a tour of the Crydoyn Plantation and our tour guide was hilarious, well-informed and just really good. He told us that our driver was competent but we might attempt to change his name to, say, Jesus as we went up the road towards the mountainous area.

I don't like roller coasters so I'm not sure why I like going near the mountains in Jamaica but I'm thinking that it's the payoff of the view.

I loved learning more about coffee, bees and pineapple.

Most of the people on our tour bus are from Canada and not fans of their Prime Minister. We all agreed that most people have a choice between the lesser of two evils.

I have to say that I am, again, impressed with how knowledgeable Jamaicans are. Someone asked our guide about hurricanes and he went on to take about why Haiti gets walloped so often. I know about the deforestation in Haiti but I didn't think about the increased temperatures, because of deforestation, attracting hurricanes.

I am also impressed by how Jamaicans, unabashedly, ask for what they want -- like a tip for doing a job well done.

During our tour, the guide asked us to take two or three sips of our mountain coffee before adding milk and sugar and it was not bad at all.

Also, today is Jamaica Day. When I saw these girls walking arm-in-arm, I thought about the 'Fugee who reminisces about this way of walking in her homeland.

Standoff on narrow road. Our driver had to reverse.
Since it is Jamaica Day and I visited a plantation, I have to say that it was sobering hearing about the mortality rate of slaves during today's orientation; think of 20 as "old age."

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Vantage Point

When I set out for my walk this morning (earbuds in), I had an hour-long walk as my goal but little did I know that a local would strike up a conversation and continue walking with me despite my efforts to dislodge him.

Once the hitchhiker started telling me about "the real Jamaica" and giving me facts, I knew that he'd want a fee and he told me so as soon as the thought popped into my head.

I will say that I saw landmarks that I'd never seen before and I heard facts that I didn't know about. It was my kind of tour -- a walking one and my guide, David, even told me when to take pictures.

About Sam Sharpe and the Christmas Rebellion
Vantage Point
At some point, David's speed increased. Plus, the culmination of the tour was at an elevated point. I was glistening at this point and told him that I needed to stop to catch my breath. I guess you could say that David was my tour guide and personal trainer for the day because by the time I got back to the hotel, I had gotten in 13,000 steps and it wasn't even noon yet.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Someone Had To Do It

My goal, for a year and a half, has been to get my mom and aunt back to Jamaica where they first visited in 1979. They kept finding excuses not to go, including my aunt trying to budget for a new car -- a very valid reason but if you wait for some exquisite, perfect time -- it's not going to happen.

I also did not want the duo to travel alone because they both have health issues, including bad knees. I wanted to, at least, provide the muscle and, so,
I am in Jamaica again, I think, for the fifth time. I prefer Negril but my mom and aunt prefer Montego Bay.

While traveling I realized, again, how much stamina it requires and that you also have to brace yourself for the stress of air travel; it's almost a throwaway day.

I also learned about a Category Three Landing and I'm glad that I didn't have all the details about that one.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Rise and Workshop

314 Yoga brought Canadian yoga teacher, Dianne Bondy, to town.

I looked at the three workshops offered and knew that the Friday evening one wouldn't work 1). because I'm knackered at the end of the work week and 2). It's the evening that I usually spend with the 'Fugee.

So, the most appropriate one for me was at 9:00 a.m. this morning -- not the most desirable time because I treasure sleeping in on the weekends and I'm just not a morning person.

I slept through five minutes of the alarm going off, hurriedly made an omelet and dreamed about getting coffee. Could not believe that snow was coming down at such a steady pace. Although there wasn't much traffic, the snow was slushy and the road was slippery in at least one spot.

As I got closer to my exit, noticed, on the electronic highway road sign, that there was an accident just past my exit. Flames also shot out of a disable car on the side of the road but I managed to make it to my destination at the start time. Glad that I didn't make coffee because a water main had burst and the facility had to close the bathrooms.

Despite my initial grumpiness, I thoroughly enjoyed the workshop and learned a lot.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018


Two social media posts that helped me tremendously today:

Sometimes you catch a glimpse of yourself — unwashed, suffering from the flu, wearing your sweatpants on Valentine’s Day, navigating the unspeakably devastating loss of the love of your life — and all you can do is LAUGH. Because: seriously?! Yes. Seriously. My friends, can I tell you something that is so true and sincere? I LOVE THIS WORLD. I love this life. Even today. Despite everything. (Maybe even especially today, because it’s so absurd.) To be a human, it seems to me, is the greatest and most ridiculous and most painful and most beautiful incarnation in town. You never know what’s coming. It’s terrifying at times, but I’ll take it. I’ll take the whole ride. Why am I telling you all this? Because I know that this dumb holiday is hard for some people. And I want you to know: if you need a Valentine today, I will be yours. Why not? I don’t smell so good right now, sure, but my heart is pure, and I’m always ready for an interesting experience. And I love you. So let’s do this thing. Let’s love each other. Whoever you are, and whatever your life is doing to you today, I love you. True fact. #happyvalentinesday #youareloved #flu #gratitude #imissyourayya #badasslove #wegotthis #onward
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Tuesday, February 13, 2018


I've been tense lately. Maybe committing to practicing meditation in the earlier part of the day might help. I've been waiting until 10 p.m. and that's not working.

Missed Zumba yesterday so I went today and will try to get in a swimming session later in the week. I was reminded of why I usually don't go to Zumba at that 5:30 p.m. slot because the traffic is horrible and I had to keep telling myself that I wouldn't make it on time and it was okay. I didn't need to do the entire 60 minutes to get a proper workout.

The good thing about going to a 5:30 class is that I had time to run errands. I dipped into the mall and entered through one of the anchor stores. Excuse me ma'am...How do I get into the mall? I've been trying to find my way for 20 minutes. 

It was such a sweet encounter and it made me smile and relax. The person who got my attention was an African immigrant or refugee. LOL, those store layouts are confusing -- by design I'm sure. IKEA anyone?

I told the lost one that I was headed in the direction of the open mall area and he followed me...

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Thursday, February 8, 2018


The Zumba instructor for my Saturday class has an eclectic playlist and a couple of the songs are in French. It dawned on me that while I failed to seriously pursue Spanish while in high school, it doesn't mean that I can't try to pick it up again, duh...

I have been in such a mood.

Did restorative yoga at work yesterday and we did the Breath of Joy. Not a lot of teachers do this particular exercise. I enjoy it every time so I need to put this in my bag of tricks.

Went to yoga after work and Stacy talked about Santosha (contentment). It was definitely a topic that was important for me to hear today.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

50 Pictures

I've been dreaming just about all week.

First there was the dream with the possum-like creature that defecated on a bed not once but twice. I strategized about the best way to clean up the green poop and was so relieved when I woke up and realized there was nothing to clean.

Other dreams included someone who died in a car crash, a woman who told me "it's in control" and, last night, someone was cleaning up my house...

Last week one of my former coworkers, Katie, told me that she was going to a cat yoga event and I surprised myself by saying that I would accompany her.

When Katie told her aunt that I had gone to a goat yoga event, her aunt wanted to know how one is able to practice yoga with goats around and the answer is -- there's not much yoga going on.

I have not been around cats much so I was surprised with their level of curiosity with shoes and purses. The cats also surprised me a few times by leaping across the room. The instructor said that we could take all the pictures that we wanted and I ended up taking about 50 pictures.

Cat yoga was a definite stress-reliever and I'm glad that the cat rescue place benefits from the event too.


The last picture is one of my favorite pictures of the night. The woman was practicing next to me and her face was full of adoration for this cat. You might not be able to tell in this black and white version but trust me -- she adored this cat.