Live from Dominica Part 2; A guest post!

You remember last year’s Live from Dominica, don’t you? I grilled Dave about Dominica and got a great perspective about life here as a medical student. But this time? I’m getting the perspective of a spouse.

Katie lives in Dominica with her husband Chris (the medical student) while finishing up her masters program online, has taken on the roll of president in the Ross Spouses Organization, enjoys doing graphic design on the side, blogs at Priceless Adventure, and is an amazing friend to many.

Katie, what is the biggest misconception about being a spouse in Dominica?

It is frustrating when people assume that because I'm a med student's wife living on an island, that my life is a vacation. That couldn't be farther from the truth. The first 8 months I lived in Dominica, the closest grocery store was an hour bus ride away. Even now, I have to walk my groceries home in the blazing sun or pouring rain.

Also, I don't tan at the pool all day. I'm busy doing my own school work, volunteering my time, grocery shopping, cooking meals, buying electricity, and running the other hundred errands that take ten times as long as you think they would because a) I don't have a car and b) everything here happens on "Dominica time." Please don't get me wrong, I love my life here, but it is definitely not a vacation.

If you could give a person, student or spouse, only one piece of advice before moving to the island, what would it be?

Think of this year as a gift. A time where you can meet new people, try new things, and work towards becoming the person you want to be.

What is the hardest thing about living in Dominica? The most rewarding thing?

It's hard when real life happens back in the states, and we are a $1000 flight away. Sometimes it feels like I'm being pulled in two (very opposite) directions: California and Dominica. But the best thing about living here, why my heart loves it, are days like yesterday when everything is right and beautiful.

What do you miss more about America, free refills at restaurants, or cars that have AC (because right now, I’m missing the shit out of both of those things!)?

Totally the cars with AC! Even cars without AC would be a step up from walking or catching a local transport (bus). I will never take having a set of wheels for granted again. Check out the linoleum flooring and sweet wall carpet in this transport.

Would you recommend this experience to everyone? And by “this experience,” I mean the whole package, good and bad, stressful and relaxing, beautiful and the ugly!

Absolutely. Experiences like living in Dominica come once in a lifetime. Getting out of your comfort zone is a great way to grow as a person. Even if you don't have the opportunity to move to a different country, take a small trip somewhere new. This idea reminds me of something I saw by Julian Bialowas on Pinterest recently.


National Lampoons Christmas Vacation

I finally did it!! I actually watched National Lampoons Christmas Vacation. Go ahead, pat me on the back. I wrote down my thoughts while watching the movie (using a Hannah Montana pen in case you were wondering).
  • I don't know what I was expecting, but the movie was more quirky that I ever thought it could be. Sometimes in a funny way, and sometimes in a "MAKE IT STOP!" kind of way.
  • I now have an incredible urge to go Christmas shopping. Like, in a Mall with department stores.
  • I will never look at RV's the same again. When I think of RV, all I see and think is "poop". EW!
  • If I ever become that narcissistic about Christmas lights, be a real friend and punch me in the face. Or something.
  • When it's about time for me to become a homeowner I'll first pick a house I love, then stalk the neighborhood to make sure my neighbors are cool (ie NO Griswalds). Does that make me creepy?
  • "I pledge allegiance to the Flag...." I was laughing so hard I almost peed my pants. I'll let you decide if there is any truth to that last statement.
So that wraps up my summary of National Lampoons Christmas Vacation. And, I just realized that I was SUPPOSED to just watch National Lampoons Vacation, but screw it, this counts!

P.S. I wasn't lying about the Hannah Montana pen. How we became owner of this bad boy (err....girl?), I do not know.

18 down...72 to go....

The List:

12 Monkeys
A League Of Their Own
American History X
Animal House
Best in Show
Better Off Dead
Big Trouble in Little China
Bill & Teds Excellent Adventure
Blade Runner
Blazing Saddles
Boondock Saints
Bull Durham
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
Casino Royale
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
Daze and Confused
Evil Dead II
Fast Times at Ridgemont High
Ferris Bueller's Day Off
Field of Dreams*
Fight Club
Lethal Weapon I
Life as a House
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
My Blue Heaven
Naked Gun
National Lampoon's Vacation
Office Space
Pale Rider
Planes Trains, and Automobiles
Policy Acadamy
Pulp Fiction
Raiders of the Lost Ark
Rambo: First Blood
Raw Deal
Red Dawn
Reservoir Dogs
Robo Cop
Run Lola Run
Say Anything
Sixteen Candles
Stand By Me
Star Wars: A New Hope
Star Wars:Return of the Jedi
Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back
Terminator 2: Judgment Day
Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines
Terminator: Salvation
The 6th Day
The Big Lebowski
The Breakfast Club
The Godfather
The Golden Child
The Good the Bad and the Ugly
The Goonies
The Jerk
The Karate Kid
The Natural
The Professional
The Shining
The Three Amigos
The Usual Suspects
The Warriors
Top Gun
True Lies
True romance
Young Frankenstein

Is this your first time following my Pop Culture Challenge? Read what it's all about here.


Birthdays, Trips, and Snakes--oh my!

My little boy turned FOUR on Thursday!!! We celebrated with his (and my) friends by throwing a pool party. We all had a blast, were at the pool from 1:00PM until 6:30PM, and PJ was conked out by 7:00PM. That is what I call a success!

Friday Dave, PJ, myself, and a couple friends took a little road trip to Roseau (the capital of Dominica) one, so that we could take PJ to a toy store to pick out a present, two, because our friends girlfriend is on the island visiting and we wanted to show her around (if you're reading this--hi James and Bahar!!), and three, we went to visit our good friends (hi Rachel and Joel!) who live in Roseau and spend the weekend with them. In other news, I may win the award for longest run on sentence of the year --whew.

Anyway, back to Roseau. Once we arrived, we started off the day with an amazing local Dominican lunch:

Chicken, beans, rice, carrots, lettuce, coleslaw, and fried plantain!

Then we walked around town to check out miscellaneous shops. Take the "spice guy's place" (nicknamed that since I have no idea what the real store name is), for instance. He has every spice you could ever want, including teas. The best part, though? His rum! He custom makes pretty much any type of rum you'd want (or are brave enough to try). Avocado rum, passion fruit rum, chocolate rum, and even....

....Snake Rum!!! Yep, I had to get a picture.

The rest of the day we essentially just walked around giggling at business signs like this:

yes, I am 4 years old too *giggle*

...and relaxing by the water...

Two of our friends sadly went home, but Dave, PJ, and I had the pleasure of spending the night with our friends who live in Roseau. They cooked fresh Mahi Mahi (fish), chicken, roasted veggies, and taught me how to make a MEAN guacamole. Plus, we got to play with their ADORABLE puppy, Calypso...

Over all PJ had an amazing birthday weekend, we had an amazing time in Roseau, and we have the most amazing friends!! Life is good :)



Transformation is something that occurs in every living organism. Whether it be from tadpole to frog, catapillar to butterfly, young baby to elderly person... its inevitable. For me, though, I've been blindsided by a completely unexpected kind of transformation.

It all started about a month after I arrive on the island and with my first trip to Roseau. I found myself wanting to go into stores just for the hell of it. Before, I'd only step foot in a store with a mental list ready so I could get out as soon as possible. And malls? Forget about it. I don't even remember the last time I've actually been inside a mall. But here, for some reason, I love to be in town going in and out of stores checking everything out.

I also noticed that I've been getting manicures and pedicures regularly. It may be due to the cheap price or the fact that I really need it here (darn hikes tearing up my nails), but I wasn't one to get my nails done except once in a blue moon.

And then there is tanning. Ah, I love it. Sunbathing with a book pool-side is just relaxing. In the States I could care less about a tan. Here, I try to go at least once or twice a week.

My clothing style has changed also. I happen to love sundresses now. They're so light, airy, and comfortable! I've never cared for them before, hence why I only brought ONE down here with me (stupid stupid stupid!). I find myself on looking for cute dresses that I can't buy (too expensive to ship). If you ever saw me wearing a dress in America it was because there was a big occasion to do so.

Oh, and skin care! I've been obsessed with skin care recently. Avocado masks. Moisturizing. Researching and reading everything and anything natural that I can make down here to keep my skin healthy. Before? I could have cared less. I was on no regiment or schedule with anything regarding skin care.

And then there are bags. I'm falling in love with bags! Beach bags, totes, purses, market bags--every kind of bag! Coin purses also. I bought one from target and shipped it down here, but it broke within the first week. Since then I had to go hunt for a new, sturdy beach bag. The second one I bought down here broke also which deepened my bag-hunting enjoyment. Even though I am now the proud owner two nice multi-purpose totes, I still want more! And will always stop in a store if they have some "just to look". I may have a problem.

Styling my hair was not even part of my vocabulary back home. I'd either blow dry it right after I showered, or throw it up in a bun. That's it! But since I can't blow dry here (it's too hot to even desire to turn on a blow dryer) I've been coming up with creative ways to STYLE my hair without using heat. Scrunching and hair spray. Cute braids and ponytail combination's. Even tried the no-heat curl using a sock method! Yeah, youtube that. You'll be amazed, and it actually kind of works.

I guess what I'm trying to say is.... well, that my time in Dominica has transformed me. If I were to turn back in time and see my future self here, I'd laugh and say "no way, I'd never be like that". Alas, it happened. It seems that I've finally transitioned into a full-blown, sundress wearing, pedicure getting, bag loving, tan enjoying, store going GIRLY-GIRL. And, I'm going to embrace my new self.


He was little once

It’s insane how quickly kids grow. I remember the day my little sister was born like it was yesterday. I blinked and six years have passed already! Yes, I have a 6 year old baby sister.

It happens even quicker when it’s your own child. PJ’s 4th birthday is approaching fast, and the closer we get to it, the sadder I get! Today I started pouring over his baby pictures and got teary eyed. I don’t know how he got from this:

to this...

to this...

to this...

to this...

I've realized now more than ever that I need to slow down and truly enjoy this stage in his life. I'm going to wake up "tomorrow" and he's going to be in school, dating girls (oh boy), driving (yikes!), and be taller than me! Time to go snuggle with my little boy, while he's still little...