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.

 


Leave a comment

Family Roadtrip

I realize I’m biased, but I have now firmly decided that I have the best family. How many people can take a 12-hour family road trip, spend a week with even more family with no wi-fi and very slow/limited data service, drive the same 12 hours back, and still be on good terms and speaking to each other at the end? Well, my family can!

My mom worked in education, so growing up we were able to take a trip every summer. And every summer we headed. from Atlanta, out in the minivan driving to wherever we were going for 1.5 – 2 weeks. No matter how far, we drove. The longest trip was either Texas or South Dakota. Obviously we stopped along the way but that is a long time to spend in the car. I don’t remember hating it, though. So when my sister-in-law decided we needed to take a trip to Illinois to see my dad’s family (how many sisters-in-law suggest that?!), there was no question. I’ve done that trip at least 20 times in my 29 years of life. Never have I done it, however, with 5 adults and a 15-month-old. Apart from them just being realllly long days in the car, the drive days weren’t bad (plus, going up, I had the back bench in the van to myself). I might even venture to say it was fun. I really am lucky to have such a great family.

So how do you keep a 15-month-old entertained for 12+ hours, you ask? That is a GREAT question and luckily my sister-in-law asked people and Googled well. But really it all depends on the kid. My nephew usually sleeps a lot during their car trips, but I guess it was too exciting to have so many of us in the car and at his entertainment beck and call. So he didn’t sleep much. But he/we read his books, listened to/sang “Baa, Baa Black Sheep”, played with Scout, played with a couple electronic toys, listened to/sang “Baa, Baa Black Sheep”, played on the iPad, read books, and oh, did I mention that we listened to/sang “Baa, Baa Black Sheep”. He really was great and I’m semi-joking about the music…kids songs aren’t all that bad and it makes them so happy! But do be prepared to take more breaks than you would without a child.

Anyway, apart from the drive days, we got to see all of my dad’s family. And what do you do for a week with no wi-fi and slow/limited data service, you ask? Another great question. We played Farkle, went to the park, ate, played corn hole, played Ticket to Ride, ate, went to Wal-Mart, visited dad’s old stomping grounds/neighboring towns, ate, watched Wimbledon, oh, and played more games and ate. It’s honestly pretty nice to have limited social media/web access and just hang out.

I’d say it was a very successful trip, and one that not every family can stand to do. And although it did not take much “planning” per say….I’m totally counting this as #21 on my 30 before 30 list – I helped with plans and games and entertainment, which totally counts.