Sunday, October 26, 2008

Our First Visitors

Jack and Kori in Curacao!

We all climbed Curacao's tallest mountain - Sint Christoffelberg
Tuesday morning found us embarking on a "3 hour tour" ...
the JonaLisa looked like a sturdy, sea-worthy vessel
but when the skies went dark and the rain came down on
Klein Curacao Jack and I were fighting over who would be
The Professor and who would be Gilligan ...

but the skies cleared and we made our way back to Curacao

Yesterday morning I woke up early to take my great friends, Jack and Kori, to the airport in Curacao and said good-bye. They were our first visitors on Curacao, and we had a great week sharing old memories and creating new ones.
Last Saturday Jack and Kori arrived in Curacao after a long day of travelling from Charlottesville, Virginia where they live. 3 flights, 2 layovers, a delayed flight from Miami - but they finally made it ... but they were missing 3 very important things - their 3 pieces of luggage. In their long day of travelling their bags were somehow left behind, and that left our two friends with the clothes on their backs and whatever they wanted to borrow from us.
We don't need to go into the details but the bags didn't finally arrive until 3 days, and a lot of frustrated phone calls, later, but Erin and I were both excited to have our first visitors, and especially because they were Jack and Kori. This small bump in the road didn't stop us from having a great few days of sharing this little island we now call home. The next day we headed into town to try and at least find a bathing suit for Kori but nearly all of the shops were closed so we decided to stick to dry land activities ... it was off to the Ostrich Farm! The Ostrich Farm was a big hit - it's one of Erin's favorite places to go on the island, and Jack and Kori really seemed to like the small piece of Africa in Curacao. Even after watching their Nile Crocodiles snack on a pigeon (thanks to our guide), and despite having eaten a late lunch, we stayed for dinner at Zambezi, their African themed restaurant, where they serve up delicious Ostrich steaks and fabulous desserts!
After a great day exploring the island and checking out the Ostrich Farm, and still no sign of the missing luggage, we decided to spend Monday climbing Christoffelberg, the tallest mountain on Curacao at 375 meters, or approximately 1,230 feet. We had gotten a nice little rain shower the night before so it was a lot of fun trekking through the small streams that coursed down the mountain. After spending the morning tiring ourselves out on the mountain Erin and I took our guests to our famous cliff-jumping spot, Playa Forti, and Jack and I took the plunge off the cliff. Back in the car it didn't take any time at all for all 3 of my passengers to fall asleep and dream their way back into town.
The next day was one I was really looking forward to - it was going to be our first trip to the small, mostly uninhabited island of Klein Curacao (Little Curacao). We had made reservations aboard the JonaLisa, a 50 foot cataraman, and couldn't wait to get out onto the open water and explore this island famous for it's shipwrecks, abandoned lighthouse, and abundance of marine life. The luggage was still missing, but it was a beautiful morning when we boarded the JonaLisa, and we got a view of the island we had never enjoyed before. We scanned the waters for the frequent flights of flying fish and the chance to spot some of the big marlin and sailfish that roam the deeper waters off Curacao. When we reached Klein Curacao we quickly jumped in and began exploring the underwater world on our way to the shore ... we saw pufferfish, eels, even a sea turtle just on our way to the beach! Once we got onto the island we headed off to check out the old abandoned lighthouse - it's insides we're falling apart and if this old lighthouse had even been left standing in the United States it would have definitely been deemed too dangerous to enter. But that's the beauty of being outside of the country - who needs safety regulations?! Jack, Kori, and I climbed to the very top of the tower hoping our next step didn't send us plunging down to the bottom. The view from the top was worth the scary climb - we had a great view of the entire little island! After some more exploring of washed up shipwrecks we headed back to lounge on the beach, do some more snorkeling, and practice our flipping abilities from the boat. We weren't actually bothered much by the rain that came down on us in the afternoon - it provided us with a much needed break from the hot Caribbean sun. We brought up the anchor and sailed back to Curacao exhausted ... but smiling.
For the remainder of the week Erin and I were back to work, but Jack and Kori finally got their luggage and were able to enjoy the last few days of their holiday. We even got to share a little of the International School with them on Friday as we celebrated UN Day - a celebration of the "Internationalness" of ISC. It was a day full of dancing, costumes, and a lot of excellent ethnic cuisine - a true taste of the diversity at our school. From Indian, to Chinese, to Vietnamese, to Lebanese, to Greek, to Jewish - it was a delicious day. We snuck out early from school and headed to one of Curacao's more beautiful beaches, Porto Marie, where we got to see a large Spotted Eagle Ray and swim right along side it. It was a great way to end a great week with our great friends.
It is so important to both Erin and me to share our lives with our family and friends in a real genuine way. I think that is why this blog is so much fun for us. I know that is why we love to have friends make the trip to visit. We hope you enjoy reading the blog, and we hope even more you consider "cruisin'" with us sometime, wherever we find ourselves.

1 comment:

Mark Clayton Hand said...

Hot Jack and Gigantón! I can't believe it. It's great to see two of the Peru boys together.