Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Naomi and Darrel's Wedding

Naomi and Darrel's wedding...
  1. My first time to be in a bridal party.  It's true, I've never been a bridesmaid, much less the matron of honor, in anyone's wedding.
  2. Because of #1, I knew I would be limited in taking pictures and it was killing me.  So imagine a bridesmaid carrying a black camera bag around and that was me, sneaking in pictures when and where I could.

Not only was I sneaking pictures in but I was also directing the bride for specific poses - I spotted this bench with this beautiful natural lighting, so I asked Naomi to sit on the bench for some quick shots.

Greg was able to snap a couple ceremony shots, although he was dealing with Nathan who was not feeling well, so it was challenging.  But he got the most important shots, Darell's expression as Naomi walked towards him.

After the ceremony, the bridal party was called for pictures and at this point I became the 'Bridesmaid/Photographer'. I just couldn't help myself.  These were some of my favorite shots...

This next picture is one of my most favorite pictures of my sister.  Naomi, looks so sweet and vulnerable here, something very rare. :o)

Another favorite. Naomi was actually acting silly in this shot but I love how it turned out!

Occasionally, I would remember to get in the pictures and fortunately, my brother was comfortable taking over with my camera.

Pictures from the reception...

So I noticed during the cake cutting that Darrel, tenderly fed Naomi a small bite of cake, ever so gently.  So sweet.

Then it was Naomi's turn, who in turn, shoves a massive bite of cake into Darrel's mouth, smearing cake into his face.

And then she shrugged it off!  Hmm...I wonder who the agressor is in this relationship?

With my new brother-in-law, Darrel.

This last picture is of Jason Samuels, Owner of Caribbean Travel Buddy.  Jason was not only the wedding coordinator, he was also our tour guide, he was also our driver, he was also our attraction photographer (all those photos at the waterfalls were taken by Jason, while he climbed the waterfalls with us!) and somewhere along the way, he also became our friend. 

If you ever need to organize a trip, an event or special occasion, either in the Caribbean or in the Virginia/Maryland/DC area, contact Jason at caribbeantravelbuddy@gmail.com and he'll take care of all the details.  He specializes in destination weddngs, party planning and off the beaten path vacations.  He has a passion for what he does that is totally evident and completely contagious but most importantly, he's GOOD at what he does.

We had a fantastic time in the beautiful country of Jamaica and we are happy to have added a new family member to our motley crew.   Here's to you Darrel and Naomi, best wishes for your future together!

Yeahmon, We Are Back from Jamaica!

We are back from Jamaica, where my sister recently married Darrel, a native Jamaican. As to be expected, there is lots to share in this post, so grab a drink or snack and settle in for a while!

Jamaica - It's a beautiful country.  Everywhere you look there is green, tropical vegetation, vibrant blooms and colors with a beautiful sea surrounding it's borders.  That being said, I've never experienced 230% humidity, like I did in this country.  It was brutal. I learned something new though, the way to battle the humiditiy stickiness - baby powder.  Makes sense, can't believe I never thought of it.

The Language - I saw this guide to common phrases you may need to use or hear in the Jamaican language.  It cracks me up because it nails down exactly what you hear from the natives.

The Government - I continually heard that the government is corrupt which is reflected in the poverty that is rampant in the country. This picture of Nathan is with a local police officer, I couldn't tell if he was corrupt or not - hahaha!

I happen to catch this impassioned soundbite from Darell's Aunt discussing the changes she has seen take place in Jamaica during her lifetime. 

The Food - Admittedly, we were squeamish and nervous about the local cuisine of Jamaica but we ate a number of local dishes and could not have been more pleasantly surprised at how flavorful the food was.  The picture above is Ackee and Saltfish, Jamaica's national dish - it's breakfast.  Ackee is a fruit but has the texture of and tastes like scrambled eggs. Mixed in with fish, which I typically can't stand, yet this was so tasty, I could totally stand it.  

Another dish that Greg and I tried and this one is really out of our comfort zone - goat.  I swear, it tasted like beef stew - actually more tender than beef!  There were other yummy dishes that we tried, some that I'll even try to recreate.  So let it be known, Jamaican food is good!

Special Case Note: There is a short list of people that have requested that Greg taste something and were successful.  Me-spinach artichoke dip. Nana (Greg's grandmother)-Wassail.  Now, Darrel, who got Greg to try the two dishes above.  :O)

The Villa - This is where we spent our 3 nights, 2 days in Jamaica.  It was breathtakingly gorgeous.

This was one of the balconies, where we spent a majority of our time. 

This was our view from the balcony.

Just a few pictures of us at the villa...

Duns River Falls - On Saturday, Darrel & Naomi took family and friends to this local attraction, over 600 feet of natural cascading waterfalls.  The water runs into the ocean, creating a mixture of warm and cold water as you swim by the beach.

Here is our group at the base of the waterfalls. 

Greg and Nathan stayed behind while our group climbed the falls.  Darrel and Jason (taking the pictures) helped us all navigate the falls, guiding us where to step.

Jason caught this picture of me right as I was saying "We are CRAZY for doing this." because at times the path was seriously treacherous.  We could have easily been swept away by the powerful current of water, it was scary yet exhilarating.

My brother and sister at the top of the falls.

Personally, it was one of the best experiences of my life. Except I didn't make it to the top.  At the halfway point, I went back to the beach to join Nathan and Greg.  The experience was thrilling yet unfulfilled, so I'm hoping to return one day and make it to the top for myself!

Check this out, while we were at the falls Darrel picked up an almond that has fallen from a tree, underneath this casing is the shelled almond.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

FOR SALE: 2004 Honda Pilot EX-L, $14,500

I need to back out of the garage without fear of hitting my old car sitting in my driveway. Somebody, anybody, please, buy our old car! Here are some details and pictures:

This is a 2004 Honda Pilot EX-L in great condition and ready to take your family anywhere. It is All Wheel Drive, very safe and solid. It has a 3.5L V6 engine with just over 71,000 miles. Midnight Blue paint and gray leather interior, 3rd Row seats, Heated Seats, CD/AM/FM/Casette, Auto Climate Control, Power Windows/Doors/etc, Remote Entry. This vehicle is very clean and shows excellent for it's age. The paint is in excellent condition, but does have a couple minor chips or dings that any car of this age might have. The tires are in good condition and have plenty of life left. It starts and runs very well and has no known mechnical issues. It's ready for you to pick up and drive! This is a very well built SUV and handles very well in any weather conditions. Private Party sale with no sales tax or dealer fees. $14,500. Please let me know if you have any questions!