Catching Katy

Reads, Eats, & Everything Else


1 Comment

Swimming Pigs

Since my previous post about our honeymoon was getting long, I promised to write one specifically about the excursion. As I said, there were plenty of free activities at Sandals Emerald Bay, but there were also optional excursions and we decided to not be completely lazy every single day.

Now I may have been – at first – a little underwhelmed going to the Bahamas (a feeling that was completely unfounded and wrong), but when my husband told me what excursion we would be doing I almost cried. Ever since I was little I have loved pigs. Don’t ask me why and I don’t know where that love came from (mom? dad? anyone know?), but I love pigs. So you can imagine my excitement when I found out we would be SWIMMING WITH PIGS. Even now, almost 9 months later, I am reliving the excitement. I had also seen this excursion on The Bachelor so I had a pretty good idea of what to expect.

The tour was done by Great Exuma Water Sports. They had 2 time options – a morning and afternoon. We decided we could suck it up and set an alarm one morning, knowing that the weather would be more mild than the middle of the afternoon on a boat. I want to say there were about 25 of us on the tour but that could be way off. There was a short bus ride to the other end of the island where we boarded the boat and took a nice little ride through the Exuma islands. The guide was great – telling us stories and history about the area and specific islands. And just riding around in a boat was fun enough!

But of course we were there for more. The first stop was Pig Island and it is definitely something you need to experience. As the boat nears the island, pigs literally begin running into the water. They swim to the boat, amidst sting rays swirling around below the surface. (You can see some of it in the video on my last post). We jumped out of the boat, into the water, and began feeding the pigs chicken hot dogs. Only the big ones really swim out into the water but there are little ones too that hang out at the edge of the water on the island. I guess eventually they learn to swim because that’s where the treats are. They also bring a bucket of leftovers to feed to both the big pigs and little pigs to make sure everyone gets some grub. We hung out with the swimming pigs in the water for a bit then made our way up onto the island where I immediately found a cute little friend. I held him like a baby and he fell asleep in my arms. Once again, I was almost in tears.

I could talk about the pigs for days. I was in love and would have brought that little piggy home if I could. But there was more to the tour! Our next stop was a little island that bordered both the Atlantic Ocean and the Bay where there is a cool blow hole. It also had beautiful views. I think you would typically do some reef snorkeling there as well but the Atlantic was very choppy that day and it would not have been a pleasant snorkeling experience.

Our guide found a live starfish along the ride, which we passed around the boat (then returned to the water). We stopped at another island to see and feed Bahamian Rock iguanas (who eat grapes). And our last stop was by the little island to do a little snorkeling since we couldn’t do it at the reef.

I would definitely recommend this tour if you visit Great Exuma. It was nice to get out of the resort for half a day and we still got some good nap time by the pool after we returned. I cannot imagine a better honeymoon – my husband did a FANTASTIC job planning – and Sandals definitely set the bar high for all-inclusive resorts.

 

Advertisements


1 Comment

Drop the Mic

Jimmy Fallon and Stephen Merchant were geniuses in creating Lip Sync Battle and I have posted a number of my favs. I have also come to love carpool karaoke with James Corden. But this week I discovered (via YouTube…if you know me, you know I’m not even up to see The Late Show, much less The Late Late Show) Drop the Mic. James Corden probably was looking for a modified Lip Sync Battle, and he nailed it. Instead of a lip syncing battle, it is a purely original rap battle. These are fantastic. So I may post some for the next few weeks. Happy Friday!


Leave a comment

Adios, Atlanta

The time has come! Seven new wonderful friends and I are leaving for Nicaragua this weekend! If you missed my first post, click here to learn what this trip is all about and why I’m going. A big thank you to everyone who supported me financially and made this trip possible. We have worked hard to prepare a VBS curriculum for kids in the area as well as put together 120 hygiene kits for those kids (with a wash cloth, toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, a comb, and cup). These, and so many things we take for granted having readily available will be a huge gift for the kids we come into contact with. We will also be helping with some home improvement projects in the area.

I’m so excited for this experience – personally and for us as a group – and prayers this week are appreciated (especially for no volcano eruptions or tropical storms 😉 ). I’ll do a post or two when I get back, but while we are there I will be keeping our trip blog up-to-date. Visit the site and follow it if you want daily updates and pics! Can’t wait to share stories and [lots of] pictures! Adios!

nicaraguanadv


4 Comments

Colorado

I had the chance to head to Colorado for work and since I have never set foot in the state, decided I needed to take full advantage. My wonderful friend quickly hopped on board to go with me for the weekend before work started, even though it would a quick one, because she loves Denver. I was a little disappointed that it snowed pretty much the entire weekend – a wet, gross flurry. There were a few breaks, and it definitely affected our potential outings, but don’t worry, we still had a great time.

And let me just say that people in Colorado are the nicest I have ever met. Every hotel employee, restaurant host and server, drivers, park staff, random strangers – all insanely, genuinely nice. Drivers don’t fly 20 mph over the speed limit and they actually stop for pedestrians.

Denver

Despite the weather, we made good use of our time. We got in late Friday so just went straight to the hotel. Important travel tip: the light rail was recently expanded to the airport, so you can take that from the airport to downtown. We did not know this, so we rented a car (the airport is about 25 miles outside the city) but ended up not really needing it. Oh well! We are both morning people and on eastern time, so we were up early on Saturday with nowhere to be until 10am, so we did make use of the car to hop over to Voodoo Doughnut for a nutritious breakfast. Delicious. Cash only. Go early to beat the lines (at 6:30-7ish it was empty). We got ready then hopped on the free 16th Street mall ride bus to Coors Field. We took the stadium tour (still snowing) which was really cool (to me at least). Fun fact of the day – there are heaters under the natural grass field to trick the grass into thinking it’s warmer than it is to make it turn green. What?! After that we met some of my friend’s friends for brunch, then spent the afternoon hitting up some fun brewpubs and bars.

 

Garden of the Gods

Work was in Pueblo, CO 2 hours south of Denver. It was a cute little town, but we were working. Luckily we finished training mid-day on Wednesday and I was staying that night back in Denver to fly out the next morning. The weather cleared and was perfect by Monday (didn’t wear my jacket again after Sunday) and I was itching for some outdoor activities. I drove back through Colorado Springs and made a little detour to Garden of the Gods. It’s more touristy and not ‘hiking’ per say, but talk about beauty. Breathtaking views of the Rockies, incredible rock formations. Instead of driving up, I did do the short “hike” from the visitor center up to the paths, and climbed a little on some of the rocks to just sit and take it all in. Definitely recommend this, especially if you only have a little time to spare and are in or going through Colorado Springs.

 

Red Rocks Amphitheatre

Like I said, I am a morning person and am a sucker for sunrises. So I set my alarm nice and early on Thursday morning and drove over to Red Rocks Amphitheatre in the dark. Red Rocks is a completely natural, open-air amphitheater – the only one in the world. There were already a few people there working out when I arrived and the sun was just beginning to paint the sky with it’s colors. I walked around, down to the bottom of the theater, back up to the top, scoping out some good photo spots. Despite the warmer weather all week, it was cold and windy up at the amphitheater, but luckily I had put my sweatshirt on. To get the blood flowing, I ran some of the steps on my way back up and quickly lost my breath. And I’m not completely out of shape. Definitely a good workout. Anyway, I found a good corner at the top and watch the sun slowly rise behind the stage with downtown Denver in the distance. Pictures do not do it any kind of justice, but I tried. It was incredible and nothing but the simple work of God reminding us that there is true beauty remaining in the world. Definitely want to get back to Red Rocks for a concert sometime.

 

I had a great trip, even the work part went well, and I definitely recommend a trip to Colorado, especially if you enjoy the outdoors. I will definitely remain on my list to return to for more outdoor fun and beauty.


Leave a comment

Social Media Return

Well, Lent is almost over and my return to social media looms on the horizon. But I’m going to be honest…I’m not that excited about it. I’m not not excited…I’m just kind of indifferent at this point. It’s been nice to have one less thing to think about and waste time on. I know social media isn’t all bad – I love seeing the fun things people are doing and seeing my adorable nephew (on my sis-in-law’s witty posts). I also love posting things – I love pictures and being able to look back at pictures and Timehop. I am a recovering scrapbooker – ok not really, I haven’t done any actual scrapbooks in years (like the print out pictures, cut them out, cut out letters, design a page). But I have transitioned to the world of digital photobooks for specific trips. And social media is kind of my digital scrapbook now, especially since I (like most people) don’t or can’t keep every photo I take on my phone. I still took plenty of pics sans being able to post them anywhere…

Very timely with this decision was my small group starting Sandra Stanley’s Comparison Trap devo. We’re halfway through and I love it. Although it’s not necessarily brand new stuff we’ve never heard, it’s a great reminder of who we are as women and the pitfalls of constantly comparing ourselves, which is especially easy through social media. It’s a 4-week series with a quick daily devotion (literally 5 minutes a day) and a weekly video. There’s an app so you can watch the videos without having to buy the DVD – great to do on your own or with a group! And my group talks a lot about comparison through social media – look at the photos above, or at my Facebook or Instagram feed, and my life may seem fun or interesting or busy. But those photos above are from 40 days. I didn’t take pictures of the 30 days of sitting at home alone, eating popcorn (for dinner), binge watching Fuller House (amazing, by the way). But actually, I’m perfectly content with that life. Most of the time. But you get what I’m saying.

Although social media is not the only way we compare ourselves to others, it plays a big role, and like I said in my last update, there comes a kind of freedom and self-contentment being off of social media. And when you think of what today, Good Friday, represents, you really can’t complain about sacrificing social media. My plan is to maybe not put all the apps back on my phone. I do actually need Facebook for communication and promos with some groups I’m a part of, but I don’t necessarily need it to be accessible 24/7. So we’ll see. This was a very good and rewarding challenge and I think everyone should do it at some point. Even for a month, which is shorter than Lent! At least think about it – I really don’t think you’ll regret it.