surfing BWI

get it…it’s like surfing USA, but…ok yeah, it’s not that great. it’s monday, i’m over it.

there’s been some windy weather thanks in part to tropical storm matthew and whatever else is blowing up storms in these parts (ehh, i’m not really that great at weather stuff. it’s hot, it’s cold, it’s raining, let’s move on). we don’t get great surf in cayman, but every few weeks there are some “killer waves, dude” and “those guys” go out to play in the waves. i stay on shore because i’m scared of being scraped to bits on the iron shore.

south sound surf spot

serious. reading waves.

ridin' life

and then we had some beers

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the Liberty of the Seas makes a delivery

the Liberty of the Seas dropped off an extra special package for me port side – my sister and brother-in-law, yip yip! they were on a cruise celebrating 5 years of love and spent one day in cayman. having just one day to show off this tiny rock i’ve been calling home is pretty daunting. i channeled my shawna-sized organizational skills and decided a jet ski safari would be the best – and most efficient! – use of the day.

when you visit, we WILL be doing this tour. it was super personalized, adventurous and fun. gordon is THE best tour guide on the island. he runs the tour with just one other guy and their enthusiasm alone made the tour for me. it was such a cool way to see tourist spots that i’ve been to a handful of times before…made brand new by arriving via jet ski. we went to sting ray city, rum point, starfish point and rode through a little canal to see the most gigantic iguanas i’ve seen here yet. gordon promised me a CD of all the photos he took, but we haven’t been able to meet up so far. here are a few photos i took of the day:

they only fell off once...ok twice

oh lookie what we found!

starfish point from the ski

good morning rum point!

wharf staycation

the wharf is undergoing some minor renovations so the restaurant was closed on sunday. which means the entire staff was set free for one day. fakry organized a bbq at public beach. a beach barbeque with professional chefs is my new favorite daytime activity. i will be updating my facebook stats accordingly.

photo credits to sigi

discussing proper grilling techniques

nom nom nom

lily can do tricks in 2 languages. can you?

"i'm gonna make you my surfboard!"

i just work here

at the restaurant we’re basically asked the same 3 questions from every table:

– where are you from? (i had one table that actually said, “Boo! you don’t have an accent!”)
– so what brought you down to the island (“sigh, a boy”)
– do you like living here?

more often than you would think (read: more often than i would like) people overstep the lines of common conversational etiquette and ask questions like:

– so are you happy with your decision to move here?
– what do your parents think about your move?
– do you have any other career aspirations or are you just going to be a waitress? (seriously.)
– my favorite: you moved here without a ring? (seriously!)

and then there’s the random ones like:

– can you tell me what star that is? (what? no. i’m a waitress not an astrologist)
– where does the food that’s in the grocery store come from? (i mean…probably miami, but the lady was really annoyed that i wasn’t completely sure. where does each item in your pick ‘n save come from, lady??)
– what kind of boat is that? (and let me point out that it was dark and all you could see were the lights. how could i possibly know)

i don’t know people, i just work here.
(but only until november 15th! – countdown to freedom!)

indian barbie

this past weekend was saagar’s cousin renu’s wedding in detroit. i am now completely sold on indian weddings. while they require a ton of planning, organization and, for lack of proper knowledge of all the religious powders, pastes, flowers, statues, etc, let’s just call it – “stuff,” the outcome is always stunning and so so fun. this was hands down one of my favorite weddings yet. let’s see some photos!

festivities kicked off on thursday morning with a religious ceremony where renu is officially ‘made the bride.’ we had lunch in their beautiful backyard and ran last minute wedding errands until the mehendi in the evening, which was a big dinner party for the bride’s side and we all got decorated with henna to look top notch for the weekend

asked on the plane home if it's a real tattoo

for a clumsy girl, not mucking this up was hard

a rare real smile from the bride

my indian outfits for the weekend were arranged for me by saagar’s family. i told them i felt like an indian barbie because everyone was constantly having me try things on, pulling at my ears for earrings, giving me bangles to wear and making sure i wore the right outfit at the right time. some of the outfits i borrowed from his cousins padma and aishu and some were stitched for me in india and brought over. how amazing is that!

on friday we caravaned to detroit. i really wanted to take a photo of the car i drove up in because it was hilarious. saagar drove a huge van, i rode shotgun, and behind us were about 14 indian ladies all dressed up. it was quite a sight.

saturday was the big day, kicked off by the baraat where the groom’s family dances (across the hotel’s parking lot, in these modern times) to meet the bride’s family. there are drums and horns and clapping, it’s great fun. everyone walked through the hotel to the wedding venue, which i only captured on my phone.

indian weddings are so hilarious to me because at any given time, only half or so of the people are actually paying attention. everyone is talking, walking around, standing, getting coffee…the ceremony that renu had was very traditional so was almost 2 hours long and all in sanskrit. i love watching the rituals and asking about the significance – some of them are really fun to watch – like when the bride and groom compete to pull rings out of a jar and the bride’s brothers try to keep the groom from winning by holding him back.

indian barbie finds her ken

after lunch, the bride’s team hunkered down to finish details for the evening. specifically, my project was to help with the seating arrangements. i know, i was freaking out that this wasn’t done ahead of time either, but didn’t want to stress renu out with any questions (like WHY?!). we finished making the seating chart and placecards for 425 indians at 6:30pm. we definitely deserved those cocktails!!

at the reception, there was a photo booth (which is becoming standard at weddings now, isn’t it! i’m glad, they are so fun). i loved watching some of the aunts and uncles who totally wouldn’t get it – they would either leave the booth after the first photo, or they would have a whole strip of photos in the same pose.

they also had something i had never seen before – a flip book station. they had a white screen, a video camera and a bunch of random props. they would take a 6 second video of your group and then turn it into a flip book. i was skeptical at first, but it was a HUGE hit. as a bragging point, we made “the best flip book we’ve ever seen” according to the vendors where we staged a slo-mo fake fight. you can see how hilarious megha thought it was (who was a star of the book herself)

and finally, what’s a wedding without a classic…

PHOTOBOMB

birthday batman

saagar doesn’t care about birthdays. he doesn’t even really know how old he is day to day. but i loooove celebrating birthdays and darn it if he wasn’t going to have a good one.

we had three performance metrics for the evening:
– number of batman bracelets (8. they didn’t really fit all the grown-up sized wrists though)
– number of birthday boys passed out on the living room floor (1. he “wasn’t ready” to go upstairs)
– number of flights changed to tomorrow (1. oops)

he’s turning 27 all day today. wish him a happy one.

batman - the manliest of birthday themes

the bracelets fit the pretty people

i think we were supposed to look...serious?

for someone who hates b'days, you look pretty happy

timestamp: 9:30 pm

happy birthday, love!

thanks to everyone who came out and to miss elly for the cupcakes!

the second plague

at first it was cute. a few weeks back, our roommate told us a story about how she found a frog in her bedroom at 4 in the morning. (well, full disclosure, i first saw the news at the source of where i get all of my information, facebook). i thought it was hilarious…a frog?? how did it get upstairs?? we marveled at the little elusive frog that was able to hop hop hop away from her clutches for a full 90 minutes before she caught it. during the great chase she wrangled it into her bathroom and thought maybe it could find a home in her tub until morning…but all she could think about was it hopping onto her toothbrush. yup, that’s gross. her other plan was to knock on our door and ask saagar if he wanted to go surfing (you need a reason to get that one out of bed). she pictured the sleepy conversation going something like this:

*knock knock* “hey saagar, want to go surfing?”

“surfing? it’s pouring out.”

“oh, i totally didn’t notice. well, while you’re up, want to catch this frog that’s in my room?”

she finally did catch it and that was the end of it.

until there were more.

even all-knowing f'book doesn't have the answer

we would find little frogs hopping about in the living room downstairs and the roommate found more uninvited houseguests in her room. not by the dozens or anything…but enough to make us really look and wonder about the froggy source. we ran into our landlord at the cinema – were they coming from the toilets? god, i HOPE not, i thought…and it made me picture something out of a kids’ picture book – where we’d open the door and dozens of long-legged friends would leap out and take over our house, lounging on the couch and cooking themselves shoo-fly pie. but really, that’s impossible. i keep the doors shut so if that was true, we’d have lots of little ribbets trapped in the bathroom. maybe the sliding door upstairs? hmm, but it’s never open. the whole ordeal was really intriguing, but it didn’t really bother me. i’d much rather have an influx of frogs than cockroaches.

and then came a haunting discovery. and this is where my opinion of the matter takes a 180 turn. it still make me cringe when i think of it. (actually, my phone just went off and i jumped, that’s how squeamish i am about it). we found a frog graveyard. 5 frogs. dried up. very dead. one…beheaded. in the tracks of our screen porch door off the living room. i open and close that door probably 5 times a day – i was absolutely an accessory to this crime.

they must be coming through the screen door. we were all so creeped out that i don’t think anyone opened that door for a week or so. if we didn’t open the door, then no frogs could leap through, right?

wrong.

last friday saagar was climbing in the brac. i was flying to miami in the morning so i got some takeout sushi, poured a glass of wine and cozied up on the couch. and then i saw a flash of something dark out of the corner of my eye. there he was, hopping UP THE STAIRS (probably headed for our room this time, that bastard!). saagar is the frog catcher, not me. girls are not built to catch frogs! i was able to make it turn around and come back downstairs, but after chasing it around with a bowl…seriously, what do you use to catch frogs indoors?…i came up empty handed. after seeing it crawl up the wall from behind the couch i was too afraid to sit down and enjoy my dinner so i closed all the doors, warned the roommate about the frog, and went to bed.

the next morning, we regrouped and she mentioned she did see a frog when she came home from the bars. i looked behind the couch and didn’t see anything – then we saw one near the edge of the carpet. a DIFFERENT one than i chased the night before (don’t tell me you think all frogs look the same, you’re so frogcist). we decided on a plastic bag approach…kind of pick up the frog they way you pick up dog poop. i was still cursing saagar and the ill timing of our trips. i caught the frog in the bag and THREW it across the yard. i am an independent woman!!

so that’s the last frog i’ve seen…but i know that other guy must be around here somewhere. i wish this story had an end…but the only place it really ends is the frog graveyard *shudder*