It's time to think Mexico again...

sheepco(MN z4)January 20, 2007

Okie, dokie, my friends, I'm getting the itch to see something other than brown and grey on my landscape! We don't even have any snow to break the monotony, when we should have 3 feet by now. And with cheap fares to Mexico, Jamaica, etc. Well...

So, keeping in mind that I'm a poor vet tech and a) don't want or need 5 star, b) don't want or need all-inclusive drinks and a wild nightlife, and c) like to explore an area rather than just soak up the sun - though sitting by the pool or ocean with a good book is very appealing, just not for a week. I'm hoping you can share your Mexican or Caribean picks.

Whats your favorite Mexican or Caribean vacation spot? And why?

Thanks, Sarah

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sheepco(MN z4)

That would be Caribbean, not Caribean - which we know is the locals favorite coffee from the exotic 'Cari' bean.

:) Boy do I need a vacation!
Sarah (former English major)

    Bookmark   January 20, 2007 at 9:20PM
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fairy_toadmother

well, i have been educated :)

no suggestions here sarah!

    Bookmark   January 20, 2007 at 11:48PM
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youreit

LOL!! Hey, I hear coffee is VERY good down there. :D

Timing is everything. DFIL is paying for the whole family to go on a Caribbean cruise, and they're leaving on the 28th. No, I'll be staying behind to man the fort (still having ear/dizziness issues, and I don't want a ship doc to have to tend to me :D), but the gang is going to be visiting Antigua/Barbuda, St. Lucia, Grenada, Martinique, & St. Thomas.

I did a bunch of research online for places to see while they're docked, but personal experiences are even better. They'll be back on the 9nd of Feb. or thereabouts, so if you can wait, Sarah, I'll make sure DH takes notes on the best places to explore. :) I know they're not going to pre-book any excursions, because there are plenty of cheaper ways to see the islands, and that's what they're after.

I'm most bummed out about not being able to visit St. Lucia's tropical islands rainforest. THAT sounds like something to see!

Brenda

    Bookmark   January 21, 2007 at 12:46PM
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semper_fi(Z7 GA)

"They'll be back on the 9nd of Feb."

Hmmmmm....Is that on the groggyorian calendar?!?! :-)

Perhaps Ima_Celery or C3D can shed some light on some tropical destinations too.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2007 at 1:17PM
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sheepco(MN z4)

Yea, I could google for days! Personal experience is what I'm after!

Poor Brenda, having to pass it up! But enjoy your peace and quiet - maybe next year.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2007 at 10:37PM
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chickadeedeedee(z 6-7 ish Ohio)

THINK DOMINICA!

I think I posted this travelogue-ish thing here before...

We were only on Dominica for about a year but even if we had been there a lifetime, I do not think we would have seen all the wondrous and beautiful sites that are the island!

Morning starts when the sun pops up over the ocean at 6:00 AM and as the morning goes on you watch over the mountains (volcanos) as the mist accumulates and clouds form and it dumps rain on you from about 2:00 to 4:00 PM. Everyday.

There are no words to describe the beauty of the rainforests. It is hot and very humid but surprisingly not oppressive to climb through the undergrowth. Perhaps the excitement and the adrenaline kicking in?

Hummingbirds abound. Everywhere. The Sisserou parrot, the nation's pride, is a majestic bird. They are THE MOST protected of Dominica's natural wonders. If one of a bonded pair of the parrots dies, the mate will cease to eat and soon will also die. The zoo there finds on occasion a lone bird mourning over a lost mate and capture it and try to feed them and get them to recover and find new mates. I saw one such male at the zoo but none in the wild.

Go to the open air market (don't stand under a coconut palm) on Saturday and take your pick of ferns (I have no clue what they were), orchids, flowering this and flowering that. Most times the seller is not aware of the identity of what was being sold. There was a Rasta we befriended and he would save "plants of curiosity" for me. (Legal.All legal!) Plants generally will cost you up to $5.00 EC. You want to but a pig's tail for soup or a cow T-bone steak all the same price per pound...$2.50 EC. That is roughly $1.00 US. Go early for your shopping (6:30 - 7:00 AM) before the flies set in and on your soon to be groceries.

Visit the old Brit. fort there and you can readily find cannon balls from early battles. Beaches near Portsmouth are black from the volcano.

Storms bring up squid, sponges, sometimes fish on the beach. Go for a walk early (5:30-ish AM) and rescue these guys and toss them back into the sea. (Do not pick up red or orange sponges with bare hands.) Look out over the ocean and you may well catch a glimpse of whales, dolphins, or sea turtles doing their thing. You may even be asked for a dance by a Coconut Crab as he waves his claw at you and does the side step left and side step right. Mountain chicken (little frog legs) is an island delicacy. So is Ting, a carbonated grapefruit juice drink. They have Coke made from cane sugar rather than corn syrup.

Delonix regia everywhere. Weedy little things. Wee seedlings sprouting like spring maple seedlings in Ohio. There is no rabies on the island. There are no poisonous snakes...but the snakes they do have are huge! So are their centipedes. I brought one back to the Ohio State University entomology dept. that was 11 inches long. (Yuck!)

The people are delightful and will go out of their way like no one else to help you or do anything for you. You step out on the balcony in the morning to be greeted by the absolutely perfect rendition of Mozart's Eine Kleine Nachtmusik whistled by the neighbor as he has tea on his porch and watches the hummers at his BOP patch. You just haven't lived until you have ridden into town in the back of a pickup truck with three pigs!

Night comes at 6:00 PM. Fade to black. Mosquitoes come out then so be sure you have your mosquito netting ready. Cholera and Dengue Fever are common. When dining at a restaurant, a word to the wise, look at the bread or rolls before eating them. There are very tiny ants that quickly move into baked goods such as bread, though the pastries they make seem safer.

Electricity can be iffy at times...where ever you are. The favorite saying seems to be: The lights will go on when the generator is working. But who needs lights when you have a sky full of stars and a meteor shower every night. Oh how you wish you had the nerve to lie on the ground and just be drawn into the starscape but there are things creeping about at night: lizards, crabs, snakes, something like fire ants (or maybe they are a type of fire ant) those darn centipedes and don't even mention the spiders.

They export bananas and fresh water. Much of the water goes to Antigua. If I could I would go back to Dominican a heartbeat. Oh, if traveling there try to get your prop plane to land at the Canefield Airport. The other airport is a blind approach over the volcano and more than a little scary.

That's about it.

St. Kitts is OK ... too touristy now though.

C3D

(Sorry for the poor quality of the photograph of the beach at Portsmouth. It is sadly the best one of our six Polaroid photographs, all now fading away, that have survived the hurricane.)

    Bookmark   January 21, 2007 at 11:00PM
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youreit

LOL @ groggyorian calendar!!

Ok, when do we go, Chicka? :D

Brenda

    Bookmark   January 22, 2007 at 9:12AM
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sheepco(MN z4)

Oh, thanks CD3, I'm putting that on the top of my places to go! I'd rather do that than sit at a pool bar on an overcrowded hotel row anyday! However, at the moment I don't have a travel partner ready to do 11" centipedes. Me, as long as they're not in my bed I'm ok with 'em. (Gulp!)

Come to think of it, there are many people here that I would rather travel with than some of my close friends (the one that doesn't want to walk anywhere, and the one that sat in the RV and watched TV instead of out in the sun on the shore of Lake Superior looking out at the Apostle Islands to name 2). Though I still love to travel with my Mom, she'll do most anything!

    Bookmark   January 22, 2007 at 11:29PM
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chickadeedeedee(z 6-7 ish Ohio)

Brenda,

I was ready to go back to Dominica since I left! :-)

Sarah .... Just don't mention the centipede thing to the people you travel with. Let it be a surprise! Was to me! EEEKKKK!!!

C3D

    Bookmark   January 23, 2007 at 8:02AM
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youreit

LOL! Yeah, DH keeps going on, rain forest this, rain forest that...until I said, "Watch out for those tropical snakes, hon." *crickets* I'll save the centipede thing for Sunday at the airport. Hehe.

I totally agree with you about travel companions, Sarah! When my mom and I get together, we have tons of laughing-til-you-cry episodes. With the darling in-laws (crazy Irish, anyway), we get a lot of raised voices and drama. It doesn't help that 90% of them have some sort of hyperactivity disorder. LOL

Brenda

    Bookmark   January 23, 2007 at 10:04AM
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sheepco(MN z4)

Ooh, spending a hard earned week off with a hyperactive personality isn't something I'd relish Brenda, but I love to travel with Mom, and I don't mind ocassional drama as long as it's fun. Besides, then Dad will sit most of the dogs! As one of my dear friends said "I want options. If I want to sit by the pool and read or not, or shop, or sit on the beach, or eat in, or eat out or not, or shop, or sight see, or sit by the pool and read, or sit on the ocean and read, or shop or not...I want to do what I want to do while I'm on vacation". Seems one should choose their travel companions with the same philosopy and their vacation would be ideal, or not:)

    Bookmark   January 23, 2007 at 9:00PM
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