The kids finished off there school unit a couple of days early and we decided to sail up to the Pitons here in St Lucia, for a long weekend vacation. A break from school work and boat work.
We had such a great weekend. The Pitons are two huge mountains and you anchor in between the two. The Pitons have the most amazing snorkeling around them. To quote Amelia..."That was the best snorkeling of my life!" The mountains are great for hiking and of course there are waterfalls and volcanoes to walk to. It is the perfect destination as far as we are concerned. You feel like you are away from everything and enjoying every aspect of nature that we love.
The cherry on top for the kids was that there is a resort nestled on this beautiful beach in between the Pitons and the resort turned a blind eye to our use of....1) Slide in the water 2) floating dock to jump from 3) cushioned beach chairs with canopies above them 4) massive swimming pool 5) Huge swinging KING SIZE BEDS surrounding the pool with shade over top 6) ping pong table 7) play structure.......OK, so you get the picture....AMAZING and then when you think it can't get any better the resort worker brings around a tray of free punch for everyone. The other great thing was that yesterday our Canadian friends from the catamaran "Stray Kitty" came around and anchored next to us. We got to enjoy a day at the beach with them. The kids had ...and to quote Alex..."The best day EVER!"
Now you can't have a weekend without a moment here and there, where we all don't agree. On Saturday we decided that we would hiked up and find the volcano, hot spring and mud baths. We knew it would be a bit of an adventure and that it would also be a hike. The kids were in for it though, so away we went. As we were heading to shore in the dinghy we spotted "Stray Kitty" and they were all getting into their dinghy and this is where the moment begins.....
Chris said they were all heading to town to hire a van and guide for a tour of the volcano and hot springs, etc...and hey did we want to come with them, we could split the costs. Can you guess what happens next? Our kids get bit by the envy bug...I start to think that maybe we are to cheap, and maybe it would be fun to just hire a tour, and it pretty hot out, and the kids could spend the day together, etc, etc, etc. We get to the dock and the negotiations begin....250 ec to hire the van and then admission fees for the places and they are going to go to the gardens to and we start thinking about lunch....YIKES. How did we go from having a day of hiking and enjoying the cool beer, juice and snacks in our backpack to spending a day in a van, squeezed in and spending money....Graham and I after discussion (in amidst mass chaos) knew we had to tell the kids we just couldn't do it....THEY WERE SOOOOOO MAD. Over the top mad but the funny thing was that as we hiked up the hill towards the volcano....Graham and I could hardly keep up with them they were walking so fast, giving us the cold shoulder!:-). We didn't need to tell them to pick up the pace even once.
When we arrived at the volcano, we decline the use of a guide and saved a bit more money. We found these mud baths and we went down and did as the locals do. We covered ourselves in hot mud and then washed it off in the hot, hot, stream. As we were doing this we saw a tour way above us on the bridge, watching. Yelling down every so often questions..."How does it feel?"..."How hot is it?" etc...you could here some of the kids asking their parents, can't we go down but the answer was "No". Next we found a hot springs with a mini waterfall and we bathed. Again another tour group taking pictures of us and asking us how it felt from up at the look out point. When we finished and came back up, two little boys, asked us how warm the water was and was it fun. I couldn't help but think...."The grass is always greener!" Here my kids were wishing they were on a tour and here these kids were wishing they were standing in the hot waterfalls. We hiked some more and came up to the top to a beautiful museum and watched a video on how the volcano came to be. We asked the lady who was working there how come we were the only ones there? She said the tours don't walk all the way up. I resisted every urge in me all day to say to the kids "See....I think we made the right decisions!" You can imagine the urge was great.
As we hiked we met a few locals along the way. I told the kids that everyone has a story and we have to just listen. We met a Rastafarian man named John Alexander. He was sitting about half way up the mountain making necklaces. We all sat down and took a break and he told us how he made them. Who knew he actually planted the seeds and grew the trees that produced the nuts that he made holes in and dried out to put onto the jewelery he made. He told us how in 1998 he bought the seeds and how he planted more than one tree just in case one of them didn't grow. He offered us some of his lunch. He gave us some of these really cool seeds that turn bright orange and black. He was really neat. On the way back down I bought one of the necklaces. We only had $10ec to offer him but he said that was fine. Mom, this necklace will come home with Jason for you. He also gave us two of the seeds with holes he put in them since he heard that Amelia made jewelry. He said she could make earrings out them and she has. These will also be coming to you mom. They are beautiful.
Anyway I can't end this tale with the kids saying "Gee Mom and Dad we are so glad we didn't take the tour" because it didn't but at least a bit of my guilt is eased for not doing it :-)!
As I type, we are heading back to Rodney Bay for a week of school work and floor making!
Miss you guys.