Saturday, June 25, 2011


Well, after some delays (clearly not weather-related, mostly just secondary to "equipment issues,"--like, hello, we don't want to worry you, but the plane might stop working in midair--we made it to Bluefields Bay, Jamaica.  At least we didn't have it as bad as these guys.


(Full disclosure: I originally took to above picture to tweet about the sad state of etiquette in the culture of modern air travel, because: really?  No shoes?  Feet on the seats?  Playing a Nintendo DS all loud?  Also, not pictured: her boyfriend SLEEPING ON THE FLOOR, pronated elbow pictured visible above, to the left.  But then I remembered that there were some fairly significant storms in Atlanta yesterday evening, and that perhaps they were still delayed from that, and anyone delayed more than 12 hours and who has to spend the night at the airport can do whatever the hell they want as far as I'm concerned.)

Aside from our (relatively insignificant) delays, the flight down was fine.  There was the moment, during our descent, when I obligingly turned off all electronics to be in compliance with FAA regulations and Mack threw an absolute tantrum because he wasn't finished watching his episode of "Walking with the Dinosaurs" (he's two, it happens, though because of the spectacle of it I felt in that moment like Worst Mother Ever--the fact that he was watching a BBC documentary should have helped but IT DIDN'T) but otherwise, aside from the fact of the travel itself, our trip down here was fine.  We were picked up at the airport by Percy, a driver from Bluefields, transported along some very interesting terrain on the way to the Southern end of the island (among the sites we passed was a local funeral, with the full procession including a white and purple pall-beared coffin passing maybe six inches from our starboard window--Cal didn't ask and I didn't say anything) but we made it to our destination intact and greeted, charmingly, with strawberry smoothies and a beautiful view of the ocean.

So far we've only been here about, oh, four hours, but...I think we're going to have a good week.

The kids love it here.  Cal, in particular, loves the Ting Soda (pictured in the picture below--NO IT'S NOT BEER), which is a local grapefruit-flavored soft drink.  I wouldn't have thought that Cal would like anything grapefruit-flavored (he'll eat stuff with strong flavors and all--our latest triumph has been chicken curry--though he's definitely set in his ways when it comes to his culinary tastes) but everything seems to taste a little better here.

As I mentioned yesterday, we're participating in the "Blogging from Bluefields" program, so I'll probably be updating here fairly frequently.  Though, as a medical person, I'll probably doing things rather systematically, because, you know, REVIEW OF SYSTEMS, GUYS.  Tomorrow, I'll be talking about our accommodations.  Sneak preview: they're pretty nice.

Hope everyone is having a good weekend.


  1. Anthony12:02 AM

    I'm glad you like it so far Michelle. I'm a anesthesiology resident originally from Jamaica.

    You should try other local dishes. Curry goat or shrimp, oxtail, brown stew chicken, cow foot, manish water, and if you like spicy then try the jerk.

  2. These photos are amazing! Hipstamatic? But even without the effects the composition suggests serious study.

  3. Anonymous6:05 AM

    Aww I'm so glad Cal is into Ting! It used to be one of my favorite island drinks when I was down in Grenada for med school. I remember randomly finding some at our local Walmart and stockpiling it as I was studying for the Boards.

    Have a wonderful vacation!

  4. Anthony: We are really excited to try the local dishes! There's a jerk dinner lunch later this week, and they seem to make a real effort to use fresh local ingredients here, so I'm excited to see what they'll come up with this week!

    Anonymous: Can we get Ting in the U.S.? We may all be converts at this point.

    Dave: yes, Hipstamatic! Love it.

  5. Hipstamatic is great...

    Would love to see some pictures with the natural colors of Jamaica though...

  6. Ting shows up from time to time. Uh, mom and dad might want to try a highball or two made with Smith & Cross rum and Ting. Just sayin'. And if all else fails, Cal can switch to Fresca. He's young; tell him the name is just different. ;0)

    When I was of adorable age, I LOVED (to the point of obsession) Schweppes Diet Bitter Lemon and Diet Bitter Orange (both with saccharin). Big flavors, little bits of fruit. . . think like Orangina or San Pellegrino Aranciata/Limonata crossed with tonic water. Mmmmmn.

    Have a wonderful vacation; my absolute favorite activity on the planet is swinging in a shaded hammock overlooking the Caribbean while a breeze blows.

  7. Alien Doc: pictures from my "real" camera coming up soon--sometimes the iPhone camera is great for the ease of sharing, but you're right, nothing beats a real camera with a decent lens.

    Eric: I am going to look for Bitter Orange when we get home, that sounds right up my alley. Is it more of a European thing, or do they sell it in the States too?

  8. Anonymous8:54 PM

    yes, you have converted me to the hipstamatic (they should give you some sort of kick back).

  9. Aww - I love Ting too! I have the little bottle label from a trip my partner and I took when we were in college. I can't remember what book of ours its in, but sometimes I open it up, it falls out, and I smile!

    I've bought Ting stateside. I used to buy it at a higher end grocery store when I lived in Minneapolis. I haven't seen it since moving to Manhattan, but I haven't gone looking for it either.

    The Schweppes stuff is easy to find in the states, though. At least the lemon one is.

  10. The diet ones are long gone from the US Market, and the only way I see the orange one anymore is from specialist import shops.

  11. Anonymous2:56 PM

    Ting and rum at sunset. Perfect. For the relative adults, anyway...

  12. We stayed at Cottonwood for our honeymoon. In my wildest imagination I couldn't have conceived of a more perfect vacation. Enjoy your stay. I look forward to your blogs this week!

  13. Anonymous9:58 PM

    Crap. Primary care sucks. Shoulda been an anesthesiologist.