What a better way to celebrate Columbus day but a boat adventure?!?!
Before setting out to sea we had some local trinkets brought to our doorstep. We selected some necklaces, dresses and wood carvings (Maddie got a cool Jamaican style BFF bracelet).
We set out on an adventure hosted by Amonn in his boat to the Black River. All of us coasting through the Caribbean on the brightest, clear day. Amonn was excited to have us see the crocodilles and eat at the Pelican (a restaurant in the middle of the ocean). Before we got to the Black River we stopped briefly at what appeared to be a deserted beach (was that gilligans boat I saw). When we stopped another boat pulled up besides us where we were asked if we wanted fish or lobster (as I am writing this it is very difficult to explain this experience. So picture me talking super fast but as a Jamaican fisherman who is trying to get our dinner order for the Pelican but we didnt realize we were giving a food order until it was placed and the fishing boat raced off (insert travel warning/advice here. If given the choice between fish and lobster you should always choose lobster) to get the catch of the day.
We continued on to the Black River (aptly named for the black silty soil) that is known for its bamboo and crocodiles. Slowly Amonn navigated as we searched for the beasts. We spotted 5 and allowed Tarzan to photograph (Kim- he shot in jpg!!!!!). The quote of the day came when we reached a bridge to go under and he asked us all to dunk "I was worried all day whether we would be able to fit".
Continuing on we reached a non crocodile spot where there was a middle of nowhere bar serving Red Stripe and coconuts. The second quote of the day came from my dad "hi I'm David, where are you from" to the UK tourists enjoying their beer (CEM loved this anyway).
The bartender found us a coconut for $100 Jamaican dollars ($1.20 US dollars) and cracked it open for us. Since they don't accept US coins we gave him $2 US dollars for opening it and posing for photos.
In the meantime brave MJM set the stage of her sisters to jump in the river by jumping in first to show their were indeed no crocs. Later she said she was encouraged to do so from the old ladies from the UK. My mom made friends with the lady who lived there (this is a loose interpretation since I am not sure there was even a house) who was doing in laundry in the river in anticipation of her husband arriving from the US in 3 days to spend the week with her.
Back on the river, ducking under the bridge and arriving at the Pelican. Yes the most amazing restaurant I ave ever been to. An absolute shack built in the middle of the bright blue water. Great music playing (even Miley Cyrus "party in the USA" came on). We had drinks, sat on the deck and enjoyed playing in the water (with the warning to not go out to far because the sea urchins might be there) while we waited for the catch of the day.
And then the food was served. Uh yeah. Grandpa and Tarzan had the lobster (interesting was to cook-everything cut up and cooked) and the rest of us had fish. The fish was whole. Cooked with fins and the eyes starring back at you. I laughed, CEM cried. Grandma started picking the meat off the tiny parrot fish, MJM followed. REM starred back at the big eyes and refused to touch. I laughed, CEM cried. MJM shared a piece she had retrieved (could I be more proud of this kid??????) and it wasn't too bad. Tarzan (what a good man) traded his lobster plate for the pile of 6 small fishes I was trying to make edible. Did I mention CEM cried? ("it's a third world country"). Lots of great photos and a great journey on the boat home.
More ocean swimming and then an adventure to the supermarket (still no hot cheetos but we did get m & m's) and an evening of scrabble, yatzee and sorry. Poor grandpa still not feeling great- but what a trooper!