Liming in St. Lucia

It's been 39 days since I've moved to Arizona and I've spent a grand total of 17 days there. So what the heck have I been doing if I haven't been in Phoenix, you ask? I was traveling, of course! Vacation plans to St. Lucia, a work trip to Portland, and a surprise visit to Chicago, (yes, I'll have to write posts about each) have kept me busy--so much so that I'm writing this on my way home to Toronto for the holidays, during a 90 minute delay at LAX of course. I used my last few vacation days to visit the Van Roden twins in St. Lucia. (You might remember me talking about Bret and Chad--they're friends of mine who quit their jobs, bought a sailboat and have been sailing around the world since October 2009. I went to visit them last year aboard their boat, Broken Compass, in Tonga.) I don't remember what we were laughing about but this happened a few times a day

Simply put, my trip was amazing. We were just liming in St. Lucia. It was adventure, comfort, excitement, relaxation, conversation, contemplation--everything, rolled up in one. We snorkeled, we jumped off cliffs (into the water), we sailed, we went scuba diving, we ate fish (that Chad caught), we hiked, we climbed a mountain, we went on a road trip, we learned how to play new games (backgammon and chinese dice for me, 2-3-5 (do, teen, paanch) for the guys, and dominoes for Bret), I learned how to help on the boat (put up the jib, took the helm, learned some knots, anchored the boat, etc.), we melanged with locals at Jump Up (the street party in Rodney Bay), we star gazed (saw a bunch of shooting stars!), we did a project (outdoor speaker boxes, what what!), we talked and we enjoyed each others' company.

View from the fort at Pigeon Island

Trips like that always do my mind, body and soul good. First, Internet access is not readily available so we spent most of the time disconnected from the web and "the rest of the word" and instead enjoyed what was there in front of us. Yes, we actually enjoyed each other company and talked, and discussed, and debated all sorts of things. Best yet, we just enjoyed and embraced comfortable silence. When you're in a go go go world where you're constantly connected, it does the mind wonders to go off the grid for a bit. (I'd be lying if I didn't have a few momentary anxiety-ridden moments at the thought of all the email waiting for me, but those passed quickly, especially when I'd get distracted by the beautiful natural scenery.) My body felt rejuvenated because we'd be so active, without ever trying. It's amazing how much you move when you don't sit at a computer or have a TV. Simple tasks like going to the store meant getting in the dinghy, going to shore and walking to the grocery store. And we, well I, had my share of challenge as well when we'd hike, snorkel or SCUBA. Just as important as an active lifestyle during the day, we got plenty of rest as well. A typical day would start at 7/8 am, because the sun would wake us up (not a lot of shade on a boat) and we'd do an activity or play cards or just chat and plan the day. The day would pass with excursions (planned and spontaneous) or a project or a trip to shore. We always toasted the sunset, sometimes with new friends, and then the evenings would be spent hanging out, stargazing or playing games. Usually by 10/11 pm we'd be in a peaceful slumber. One of the highlights of the trip was the night I went to bed at 9pm (that's 5 pm Portland time) and woke up at 8 am (4am in Portland)--11 hours of sleep! As for my soul, any time spent with good people creating unforgettable memories is food for my soul. The fact that the music reminded me of home, my nickname was "Angel" and I was surrounded by blue skies, lots of sunshine, clear waters and incredible friends is just icing on the cake.

Strolling along the Rodney Bay Beach. The sailboat is somewhere in the background

If the Broken Compass boys weren't returning to the USA from their sailing adventure in the new year, I would seriously consider joining them  again for a longer stay. Once my tan started fading, I didn't want to feel my vacation or sense of relaxation to fade. Instead I'm back on land plotting my next adventure. Machu Picchu anyone?

Taking in the view of Petit Piton and Soufrière from the top of Gros Piton, the highest point in St. Lucia. We were moored in the marine park below (center of this photo) for the first few days of my trip.

P.S. Though this is totally off topic  I had to share that I wrote most of this post from my new Intel tablet (Samsung ATIV Smart PC) using the stylus. Literally, I write on the screen with the stylus ad it converts my handwriting (really horrible handwriting) into text and inserts it into the field. So. Freaking. Cool. (And I'm not just saying that because I'm a proud member of the Tablet Smart Squad. #IntelTablets) intel, smart squad, intel smart squad, the smart squad, influencer, influence, influencer marketing, new intel ultrabook,windows ultrabook,

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