Love at first sight

Finding a place to live being 4,000 miles away from the area is a bit tricky. While in Dominica I apartment shopped for weeks until I finally found a place that was perfect for PJ and I. I put an application in, paid a deposit to reserve the apartment--the whole nine yards.

When I finally got to Louisville and was able to scope the place out, it was a lot further from work than I had expected (although still in a very nice area). Long story short, I ended up stopping by one apartment complex 5 minutes away from work and fell in-love with the place. That day I canceled the plans for the other apartment and signed the lease on the new one.

PJ and I are now fully moved into our own two-bedroom, one bath apartment on the first floor of a great apartment community (which is actually nestled inside of an actual neighborhood). This is a huge upgrade from our previous studio apartment downtown.

I didn't get pictures of the whole place, but here is a glimpse of our new home:
My absolute favorite part of the apartment: the living room. Complete with a wood burning fireplace and mantle!

The dining area (taken from in front of the fireplace) and the entrance to our large enclosed back patio.

The kitchen, complete with a dishwasher (eeeek!!!! :D ) and TONS of cabinet space.

The hall (picture taken from the living room) which has the washer and dryer hook ups, coat closet, and leads to both bedrooms (PJ's is straight ahead, mine is to the right and not visible here) and bathroom.

The best part, though? We live within walking distance to a fabulous outlet mall. Great food, great shopping, great area! Plus, the complex amenities are fabulous! Gym, indoor pool, indoor jacuzzi, outdoor pool, club house to hang out in... it really doesn't get better than this!

Hope you enjoyed the tour of our new place. More than that though, I hope that a lot of you friends and family are able to make it out to Louisville to come visit!

P.S. Random shout out to my friend Robert--my fellow half Asian. I know it's not in very good taste to do inside jokes on a public blog, but I just couldn't help myself. He also wants all my blog readers to know that "he says Hi".


Text Bombing

I'm pretty sure Ive emphasized this point a billion times before, but I'll say it again for good measure-- being a spouse/companion on the island is an entirely different experience than being a student*.

With that said, I want to introduce the world to Text Bombing. My friends and I liked to get together a lot. And when I say a lot, it's probably an understatement. Toward the last few weeks it got a little ridiculous because we all knew that soon we'd all be in different parts of the world. But, I digress...

One night of not-so-abnormal debauchery the Text Bomb was born. If you're a few drinks in, have a group of friends in company, and want to have a good laugh, do the following:

1: Everybody whip out your cell phones. Don't fool yourself, you're probably on it already anyway.
2: Look around and see which friend decided to ditch out on the festivities that night.
3: Pick a ridiculous phrase (for example: Taste the Rainbow) and everybody text it to said friend at the same time. Text Bombing is better when more (at least 4?) people participate.
4: Wait for the replies. A good sport will text back each person with funny responses.

I passed out around 10PM at my own farewell party and was text bombed "Wake up little susie, wake up" by about 10 people (and another that is too inappropriate to share). But, needless to say, I got a few giggles out of it.

Now, go forth and Text Bomb**.

*Yes, we have a LOT of time on our hands to do stupid things like this.
** Whoever came up with the name Text Bomb must be really, really clever.


One chapter ends, another begins

Tomorrow will be day number 7 that I've been back in the good ole' USA. Coming from an island with one road, gorgeous weather, and simplicity of life... I've been in a bit of culture shock. I know I've been officially reintegrated into Western civilization since:
  • I got my hair cut and styled. At a real salon. With real salon chairs and equipment.
  • I paid $60 bucks at the movies for tickets and over priced popcorn/drinks.
  • I went to a nail salon and they had more than one salon chair and clean tools.
  • I've been able to drink real whole vitamin D milk every single day. HEAVEN!
  • I've stuffed my face at a different restaurant every day and am still so happy about FREE refills on soft drinks. It's kind of a big deal- trust me.
  • My Droid has been ringing off the hook with calls and texts from friends. And, my nose has been in that and my laptop non-stop.
I miss the heck out of Dominica and my friends. But those friends have become my family and I know I'll see them again. Until then, I'm going to continue indulging. Cheers, friends.

P.S. I still have a lot of stories from Dominica to share and some updates about the future to come!


Life is good

I am absolutely in-love with my life right now. Why?

My day today consisted of....

8:15AM: Cupcakes and juice with friends.
9:15: Modern Warfare 3
12:00: Lunch with PJ
1:00: Beers and card games
4:00: Saving puppies
5:00: Pick up PJ from school
7:00: Dinner out
10:18: Blogging then going to bed

I seriously don't know how (on a Tuesday) life could get any better than this.
I'm really, really going to miss this place.


Thanksgiving, island style

Thanksgiving is always so much fun. I mean, it really doesn't get much better than an entire day devoted to food and family!!

Being on the island put a twist in Thanksgiving this year though. Here in Dominica you can't just hop in your car, go to a grocery store, load up, and go home and cook. It takes weeks of preparation and hour long drives to Roseau to look for ingredients. But I think that this year was so unique for me because I, yes, me... the cooking novice, was put in charge of the Turkey.

For days I stressed about the turkey and looked YouTube for any and all "how-to" videos. Thankfully my amazing friend Brianna offered to help me cook it (and by offer, I mean she basically did it all). Due to Medical school we had to push back our Turkey dinner to Saturday, so Brianna came over Friday to help me prep.

I squirmed as Brianna pulled out the guts, and fat. I felt faint-ish (yes, I'm a wimp) when she forced me to pull out the neck. But, at the end of it all, I learned how to prep and cook a turkey.

Obviously uncomfortable with my hand shoving butter in the turkey skin.

It ended up turning out great and all of our island family had an amazing Thanksgiving day feast. I'm going to miss these people when I leave. Only 17 days left...


"Dominica Directions"

In America when you go to a friends house that you've never been to before, one of two things happen:

1) You get detailed directions from a friend (including street addresses and/or landmarks).


2) You use a GPS (which is what I would do).

In Dominica, though, there aren't really street names and GPS isn't even in the vocabulary here. My favorite thing is what I like to call "Dominica Directions". This is a perfect example; A friend of mine is having a get together this weekend and sent out an email to all the guests. It read "Everyone, we are having the event at < took out the real host's name for privacy sake >'s casa. It's on Moo Cow Trail... the yellow house... and not too far from my house :)"

The only "real" street names used are Moo Cow Trail, Lizard Trail, and Bannana trail. The only major landmarks are KFC, the pool, or campus.

I rest my case.


Cooking Adventures with Chris

My friend Chris is an amazing cook. So good that I'll literally be sad when the food runs out after he cooks a meal or brings a dish to a party. I also beg him regularly to open a restaurant. And nag him to at least start a cooking show. And finally, he gave in and decided to create his hosted cooking adventures in his kitchen (as well as other various places around Dominica.)

But why would you care about Chris and how great his 7 layered mexican dip was? Because I was in the audience at Chris' premiere cooking episode. If you're reading this and you know me to any extent, you'll want to watch this video. Why? I swear to you, you'll be able to make fun of me for this for a long, long time. Here we go!

Before you start watching, let me just urge you to trust me. Don't stop watching. Trust.

Watch this trailer video (only a minute long) before you watch the actual "episode"

Trailer - Cooking Adventures with Chris
Episode 1 - Cooking adventures with Chris

P.S. Next episode I'm going to sit in a dark corner in the audience!


Weekend Get Away

This weekend Dave and I had the ultimate adventure.

First we snorkeled at Scotts Head. This is where the Carribean Sea (left) meets the Atlantic (right).

Then we went to Champagne Bay. We snorkeled there also and it was one of the most amazing experiences I've ever had. We swam with schools of fish, saw spotted eels, tons of coral, and enjoyed playing in the fun bubbles from sulfer springs.

When we were finally tired of snorkeling we arrived at the Fort Young resort. We had an amazing suite that included a wrap around balcony, huge bathtub, king size bed, blasted AC and 42" flat screen tv. Those who live here know that these luxuries are heaven!

We relaxed and enjoyed the sunset from the couch on our balcony.

Later we went to the restaurant and were served a delicious three course meal. This is the view from our table. The sound of the waves and the beauty of the dock lit up at night was breath taking.

We even saw a cruise ship in the morning and got to do some shopping in the city.

I'm so thankful for Dave who set this all up as a surprise for me. I have memories from this trip that I will cherish forever.


Halloween is the best

There was a community Halloween festival this morning that PJ and I went to. The pictures speak for themselves, enjoy.

Around 10:30AM

About 11:30AM

12:00PMish -- sugar does crazy things.

This is what he looked like by the time we got home at 12:15PM. Oii vey.

Happy Halloween everybody!!!!


What will I miss when I leave Dominica?

Blogging Challenge Day 10: What will you miss when you leave Dominica?

Better late than never (although it is REALLY late--sorry!).

Besides the obvious answer of being sad to part with friends, there are a few things I am really going to miss in Dominica. First, the fact that we have a weekly cleaning service included in the rent. It's sooooooooo nice to have help with cleaning!! Second, not having to do laundry. In Dominica having a washer and dryer is extremely rare. To get laundry done you call a laundry service, they pick up at your door in the morning, then deliver your clothes (folded!) in the evening. Last but not least, gorgeous Dominica sunsets....


"The Printer"

My friend works in the Tech department here at Ross (hi Chris!!) and asked me to participate in a video presentation he was creating. Feast your eyes upon the best acting you've ever seen...


Blogging Challenge Day 8 & 9!

Blogging challenge Day 8: Does your spouse like it here?

PJ and Dave exploring

Dave has really appreciated his time in Dominica but is now eager to get home. The experience living here as a student is completely different than living here as a spouse. I feel that all Dave gets to do is study in a classroom and be stressed out. I get to go on hikes, have cook outs with friends, do game nights, and really enjoy the beauty of the island. Hopefully he’ll get to do more fun things here before it’s time to go!

Blogging Challenge Day 9: Has anything made this journey easier for you?

The Ross Spouse Organization. This wonderful support group offered so much information from their website, to actually getting a sponsor to answer my 101 questions (thanks Katie!!) , to being welcomed when I got here. I truly think that if it weren't for the Ross Spouse Organization things wouldn't have gone as smoothly with my transition here. I'm so grateful for this amazing group of people!


What is the best meal I've had on the island?

Blogging Challenge day 7: What is the best meal you've had on the island?

Behold, a local Dominican dish of chicken, rice, beans, fried plantain, and veggies from Cartwheel Café in Roseau. YUM!!!!

For anybody who lives in Dominica and wants to try out this awesome food: the restaurant faces the dock in Roseau, it's right off the main road and in between the Souvenir market and the Kai-K Boutique! And yes, that is about as good of directions that I can give, lol!! :)


Tell about an "only in Dominica" moment.

Blogging Challenge Day 6: Tell me about an “only in Dominica” moment.

A a few weeks ago PJ and I were walking home from school. We took our normal route going through campus, up the main road, past the shacks ( which is a food court, kind of), past the IGA (grocery store), then went to cross a bridge over a river. Once we arrived at that bridge the day took an interesting turn. Under the clear blue sky on that nice hot day there was an old Dominican guy, hanging out at the side of the river (you could fully see him from the bridge). And, he was stark naked. PJ even screamed it to anyone within a mile of us "MAMA, HE'S SHOWING HIS WIENER *giggles*". Awesome, PJ. Thanks a lot. Only in Dominica.

Note to readers: In no way am I saying it's bad for a Dominican to be naked at a river. Still, when I saw it I was shocked and I literally remember thinking "only in Dominica". How appropriate!


What don't I miss about home?

Blog Challenge Day 5: What DON'T I miss about home?

Today's answer is short and sweet. I don’t miss:

Worrying about gas prices.

Snow/Cold winter weather.

Inflated prices.

Crowded malls.

Crazy drivers.

The fast paced lifestyle.


What has been my favorite trip?

Day 4: What has been my favorite trip?

To be honest, I haven't really been on that many trips. There was Bense Pool, Indian River, Trafalgar falls, Secret Beach , Red Rock, Batibou Beach, the Carib Indian Territory, and of course my frequent visits to Roseau (which I'm not sure I'd consider "trips").

For living in Dominica that's only really scratching the surface since there is SO much to see and experience. If I had to choose, I'd say that Trafalgar falls was the most breathtaking (I had never seen a waterfall before), Batibou is by far my favorite beach, and I absolutely LOVE going to Roseau (mainly because then I get to visit my awesome friend Rachel and wander around town-- which is a totally different environment than where I live).

And that is how you give a very complicated answer for a fairly simple question. Go me!


How does the weather affect me?

Day 3: How does the weather affect you?

I think some of my fellow Rossies will want to throw tomatoes at me after saying this, but I LOVE the weather here. I thrive in Hot weather. And, it's not like I'm outside ALL the time. During the week I'm in a classroom where they blast the AC. The rest of the time I'm at home, also with the AC on.

Let me tell you a little story. I had a poker night at my house this past Friday night. There were about 8-10 people there crammed around a small poker table. My friends were sweating, I was shivering and threw on a sweatshirt. Great story, right???

So, lets just say that potentially living in Michigan (January 2012) during the dead of winter is the bane of my existence right now. I will be going from this:

PJ and I enjoying the beach at Red Rock, Dominica (around Sunset).

to this:

P.S. There is a great program in Michigan for Ross students and Dave has decided to apply there. I'm 100% supportive of Dave's decision, I'm just a baby about cold weather. The alternate choice is Miami (!!!!), so in the next 1-2 months we should know where we'll be living come 2012!