December 8, 2013

Black Friday

After our delicious Thanksgiving feast, I had another day of traditions we were missing back home. We aren't the crazy Black Friday shoppers who stand in line for days. We're the ones who go around 8 a.m. when everyone else has gone back to bed.

But here in Dom, there of course isn't Black Friday shopping in stores. So, I had to make due with online shopping and other adventures. Side note, online shopping is definitely the way to go. You can still get the same prices all from the comfort of your PJ's.

My friend Ashley and I decided to go on a little adventure and do some sight-seeing here in Dominica for our Black Friday. We went to Trafalger Falls, Screw Spa, and then to the French Bakery in Roseau for lunch. It was a fantastic way to spend Black Friday. Maybe a new tradition?

Trafalger Falls is park of the national park here. It's a set a twin waterfalls. Absolutely gorgeous!

Our favorite driver stopped along the way to Trafalger for a sneak peak of the falls. You can see them off in the distance. Isn't Dom beautiful?

The path is well kept. It's just a few stairs and about a 10 minute walk to the falls.

And when you get there, you see this.


From there, we went to Screw Spa. I've been here a couple times already, but it definitely doesn't get old. The natural sulfur spa makes your skin feel so soft and refreshed. And it's just a great place to go relax. We were there when it was a little rainy, but it made the hot pool that much more enjoyable.

Then we were off to Zam Zam's for lunch - a great Mexican restaurant right on the water. On our way there, Bruno drove us through the Botanical Gardens and showed us this school bus. This accident happened when Hurricane David hit the island in 1978. The bus is still here today. Thankfully, no one was inside the bus when it happened.

Then we got to Zam Zam's. I had been craving Mexican food, so I was really excited. Their food is delicious. But when we got there, it turned out it was closed. A car had crashed into the side of the building, so it was closed for repairs until further notice. Only in Dominica folks.

So we decided to head to the French Bakery for lunch instead. It does have a real name instead of French Bakery, but to be honest, I don't know what it is. The food, though, is wonderful. I went there first my first semester here. Then they were closed for a bit while they changed management. They are finally back open and serving wood fire pizzas. Hands down the best pizza on the island.

And after that, it was back to Picard. Of course, I had to bring the rest of the pizza home for Matt to enjoy. He loved it as much as I did!

As we were driving out of Roseau, we saw the cargo ship that transports all of our barrels. Each of those containers carries several items of cargo. Pretty cool!

There is a place on the drive back to Picard that is my favorite overlook on the island. And Bruno, being the fantastic driver that he is, always makes sure that we get all the photos we want. And I'll tell you, that's a lot of photos. So he pulled over and let me get a few shots. This is overlooking the town of St. Joseph.

On another note, Matt is down to his last final of this semester! He takes it on Wednesday, and then he'll be done! So keep him and the rest of the Ross student body in your prayers as it is a very stressful time for the students. 

He'll be done on Wednesday, and then we leave for home on Friday! We fly to San Juan, then direct to Chicago. We were talking about our plans for the weekend, and it was so exciting to be able to say 'next weekend' instead of next month, etc. To say we are looking forward to it is an understatement. Matt especially since he hasn't been home since April! And I'll tell you this, sitting around and talking about all of the delicious places to eat doesn't make the time go any faster!

So anyway, I should mention that Matt had class on Black Friday, so he hasn't gotten to enjoy any adventures yet. But soon enough, we will hopefully be able to enjoy them together!

December 4, 2013

A Dominican Thanksgiving

To be completely honest, I was dreading Thanksgiving. I had a stubborn moment where I decided I was just going to ignore it and take the vacation days as days to sleep in and relax, and forget all about the holiday because we couldn't be home celebrating with our families.

But I adjusted my outlook and realized that it was important to celebrate our holiday here, even if were were thousands of miles away from where we wanted to be.

So, we had Thanksgiving. My first solo Thanksgiving, and the first time I ever cooked anything for Thanksgiving. I went all out.

Ross doesn't observe Thanksgiving here in Dominica, so Matt still had class in the morning. To get in the Thanksgiving spirit, we started the day with Pumpkin Spice Lattes from Starbucks Via.

It turns out, the hardest part of Thanksgiving in Dominican is finding enough room in our small fridge to store everything, and enough pots and pans to cook everything in. We ended up going with a turkey loaf type dish because I wasn't sure a full size turkey could fit in our oven. Plus it was around $40 USD. No thanks.

But don't worry. We still didn't go hungry.

We had turkey, real mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, green bean casserole, crescent rolls and cranberry sauce. Then for dessert, we had carrot cake, pumpkin cupcakes with cinnamon maple cream cheese frosting and peanut butter pie. Whew.

I cooked for three days to get ready for this feast.

But it was delicious. It turned out better than I could have hoped for.

We had our friend Bryan over to join us as his fiance' Tabby is back at home getting ready for their upcoming nuptials. We can't wait to celebrate with them and see the rest of our island family in just a few weeks!

So even though this Thanksgiving wasn't with our family, we still had a wonderful holiday with so much to be thankful for.

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