Monday, April 26, 2010

A Shopper's Paradise? Not So Much!

Those of you that know me know that I love, love, love shopping. Of any kind. I don't care if it's clothes or groceries, I love it! While this may be music to Tim's ears it saddens me- I'm tired of shopping.

Shopping on the island just isn't the same as shopping at home. For one, I miss the convenience of going to one grocery store for my groceries. I never imagined that I'd have to go 3 or 4 places just to complete my shopping list. I have to go to one place for produce, one place for decent deals on staple items, one place I only trust for canned goods and then there's PriceSmart (our version of Costco). Then there's trying to hit all these places at the right time to avoid standing in 3 or 4 very, very long and slow lines. Planning the trip is almost as important as the trip itself. This island could make a killing if it got a PeaPod to do it for you... maybe I'll look into franchising that!

Then there's the matter of clothes. For someone who worked 4 (yes, 4) miles from an outlet mall, gettting used to not having 'real' stores is still something I'm adjusting to. I used to be able to leave the office and hop in my car to hit Banana Republic Factory Store, Gap Outlet AND the Bed, Bath and Beyond Outlet all in under an hour over lunch. Go another 8 miles and I could hit the Coach Outlet and J Crew Factory Store too! That required me to drive a bit faster though and know exactly what I was going to get. I lived in Chicago which had amazing shopping- so many boutiques in so many neighborhoods. I could hit one a week and never run out! Now I have K-Mart. Just K-Mart.... and I just can't bring myself to buy clothes there.

That leads me into something that was another passion of mine in my downtime at work- online shopping! I love eBay and before I moved here it was just a casual thing. Now eBay is our savior and quite possibly an addiction. We order everything from clothes to make up to kitchen gadgets these days. Right now I am anxiously awaiting delivery of a salad spinner! It's sad but it's cheaper on there than it is to go to K-Mart, even with the cost of shipping! We use for items like razorblades and vitamins and stuff because it's so much cheaper. Talk about planning though- their shipping time to the VI is 21-45 days and it's usually much closer to the 45! I shop on and and like it's my job. I search the clearance items and hope that everything will fit because it's probably cheaper to just keep the $5 skirt than it is to pay to ship it back! What I would give to just be able to try something on again! Then there are stores that don't ship here- Target, Bed, Bath and Beyond and Kohl's are a few that come to mind. I think I may make it my mission to get them to change that policy!

So those of you that have visited and had to do some stateside shopping for us- thank you. For those of you still to come, keep your eyes peeled for our lists :)

Monday, April 19, 2010

Seasonal Concepts

No- I'm not talking about the furniture store (I actually think it's out of business) but rather how much the word 'season' means down here. Before I moved here season meant one thing- Winter, Summer, Spring and Fall. Okay, maybe two things- there are definitive sports seasons that I was a fan of: Baseball Season, Football Season and College Basketball Season. Now the word season defines our lives. How, you ask? Let me tell you.

Tourist season pretty much drives all of the other meanings of season so I'll start there. It's basically November-ish through May-ish. I use the 'ish' because everyone has an idea of when it begins/ends. Some say it begins when hurricane season ends (November 1) and goes until it starts (June 1). Some say it begins right before/after Thanksgiving and goes until May 1. Some say it's December - April or when Carnival ends. Regardless of everyone's varying definitions of season everyone can agree on one thing- when it ends, it affects just about everything.

It effects work- ships just don't come in as often. They switch their course or come every other week. Less ships = less work on an island that 100% revolves around the Cruise Ship industry. For me at Paradise Point, we don't even open when there are zero ships in- that happens even during season. I foresee more days off in my future!

We've had lots of different types of friends: work friends, friends that lived out of town and friends you saw almost every week. For the first time ever we have 'seasonal friends'. These are our friends who come at the beginning of season, work and go somewhere else at the end of season (probably that location's season) but come back at the beginning of next season. Lots of people have started leaving island and there are many more to take off over the next month. We are lucky that most everyone we work with sticks around AND a few people we thought were leaving island have decided to stay (yeah Potter & Kate!) but there are plenty of people we will miss until they return next season!

One positive aspect of season is many place's rates go down. Better deals at the golf course, hotels, flights, etc. So all of you who keep saying 'We're coming, we're coming' (Benos I'm looking at you) start looking at flights! I'll do my best to not have it hurricane during your visit.

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Easter Bunny Brings Puppies?

Whatever happened to an Easter Basket or eggs? This year the Easter Bunny brought me a puppy. Well, technically the Easter Bunny would be Tim but still, I thought only Santa Claus brought people puppies.

Saturday afternoon I get a text from Tim to check my email, his text says he's kind of serious. What was the email, you ask? It was a picture of this little guy and one sentence, 'Do we need a puppy?' Excuse me? No! We do NOT need a puppy was my exact text response. Then one a few seconds later, 'Well, he is really cute....' Needless to say, Tim walks in the house with a crate and the cutest puppy EVER. I immediately name him Jack since he looks like a Jack Russell, we were assured he was not. Tim thinks it is weird to name him after my dad and just calls him puppy.

Where did he come from? Someone abandoned him, along with his mom and four siblings, at a dumpster :( Someone took him to one of the vets who plays golf at the course and brought him there on Saturday. Hence, Tim taking him home. He's roughly 7-8 weeks old and his brothers and sisters were already adopted (well, one had to be put down) but he had to have his tail amputated so he couldn't be given away yet. How can be people so cruel?? Still, we do not need a puppy! As much as I would LOVE to have one there are several factors not allowing us to: our lease, our time, our much-loved-dog Laddie who, for some reason, is terrified and runs away everytime Jack (or as Tim now calls him- Buddy) pounces up to her.

So now we've volunteered to try and get him adopted. I put a few posts on FB and decided to take him to Easter Dinner at Tara's. Tara also happens to live with our boss, Murray, who happens to have a thing for taking in dogs as I learn before dinner :) Tara and Jess took a picture with Jack and emailed it off to Murray. After waiting an hour they called him and Murray said yes! Jack has a home! We enjoyed a great dinner with great friends and a beautiful sunset. Another successful holiday in our new home :)

Jack will likely get a new name in a few hours. We've spent a great day together- mostly it's been him sleeping or peeing on the floor. He drug Laddie's toys across the family room- quite impressive since they are twice as big as he is! He's quite the sunggler too- he loves to be right up burrowed in your arm. Then he wakes up and tries to eat your fingers... or chin. Tara and Murray are going to love him! Thanks guys, we owe you!