Friday, April 24, 2015

A Little R & R


I've been away for the past week on a long overdue family vacation, hence my radio silence.  I'm one of those people that generally tries to keep family travel plans fairly quiet which is why I didn't announce it beforehand.

When I go away, I like to unplug...no email, no texts and no internet (other than perhaps a few minutes to look up places to go/eat, etc.).  I force myself to be completely unconcerned with the pile of work that will be waiting for me when I get home.  And a pile of work it is.

Since I knew we would be going away, I postponed a bunch of gardening tasks, including starting all of the tomatoes & broccoli.  My potatoes are supposed to be delivered any day now and the bed they will be going into is not built yet (although I did purchase the wood so that is one checkmark at least).  And then there is the sowing that was supposed to be done this week and, since this week is almost finished, next weeks sowing will be due as well.  I'm wishing there were 30 hours in a day ;)

Before we left, I did get several batches of seedlings transplanted - onions, leeks, kale & spinach.  I also sowed my peas and, at the last minute, decided to get the favas into the ground as well.  I'll do posts on all of these plantings soon.

The onions took a LONG time to transplant, several hours to be exact.  This was no surprise, really, as we are talking about approx. 400 little plants.  Next year, I really must remember to spread the transplanting out a bit, perhaps planting half in the morning and half in the afternoon.  My back will thank me for it.

You may recall that I opted to pick up the fruit trees that I had ordered instead of having them delivered.  The pickup day was last week and the plan was to pick them up and get them in the ground the next day, which would have been the day before we left.  However, due to the cooler temps earlier in the season, the trees were not ready on the designated day so they offered to deliver them instead (for free, which is always very appreciated!).  Of course, according to the shipping slip, they arrived smack dab in the middle of when we were away.  I suppose it could have been worse - they could have arrived the day after we left, which would have left them sitting in their box on our driveway for several more days.

We couldn't have picked a better time to go away.  When we left, the weather was still relatively warm, but it all went downhill from there.  All week, the weather here was horrible - cold and rainy pretty much sums it up.  When we got home, it was 2C (35F) with gusty winds - yuck.  Not great when it comes to seeing some nice plant growth, but I was at least happy that I didn't have to worry about the beds drying out too much while we were away.  Thankfully, the temps are supposed to improve by tomorrow.

For our trip, we went to the Bahamas.  The last time we were there was 15 years ago, on our honeymoon, and whenever we looked at the photos, our kids would always start saying how they wanted to go there.

Fairy Ride between Nassau and Paradise Island
 
While we were there I didn't see any edibles, other than the obvious coconuts hanging in the trees, but there were, of course, lots of beautiful plants and flowers to admire.  I don't know why, but it always seems so strange to see so many "houseplants" being grown outside when you go to a tropical location.

Some plants I was able to identify, like this bougainvillea:

Bougainvillea
 
And this hibiscus:

Hibiscus

I'm thinking this is a Camellia, but am not entirely sure:

Camellia?

Lots of gorgeous palms - this one was so soft to the touch:

Couldn't keep our hands off this guy
 
And a plethora of other beautiful plants.  Most of these photos were taken shortly after a thunderstorm, hence the water droplets on many of the plants.






I was fascinated by the rock wall that lined one of the streets we walked along:

Rock Wall topped with Bougainvillea

And I loved how the bougainvillea lined this street - definitely not something we see in Ontario:



The Cloisters are the remains of a 14th century French monastery that were brought to Paradise Island by William Hearst in the 1920's and then eventually assembled in the 1960's:

The Cloisters
 
Our hotel had amazing underwater aquarium exhibits & numerous lagoons to explore.  We were so fascinated by all of the aquatic life that we couldn't cross a bridge without stopping to see what we could see...so to speak ;)
 
Nurse Sharks
 
Sea Horses
 
The Underwater Viewing was Incredible
 
Eagle Ray
This guy looked at least 5' long, not including the tail

Sting Rays
 
Jellyfish
 
Those are some BIG fish!
 
All of the pools & the waterpark at the resort were closed during a thunderstorm (obviously!) so we used that time to revisit the underground exhibits.  When the storm was over, everything was so peaceful outside - quite the contrast to the normal hustle and bustle.

One of the pool areas after a thunderstorm

Needless to say, we had an absolutely fantastic time (didn't want to leave actually).  And when we saw what the weather looked like back home, we REALLY didn't want to leave.  But you know what?  Even with our horrible weather, there really is no place like home...that first night back, I slept like a baby.
 
Now...off to do that catching up I talked about.  Lots of seeds to sow, trees & berry canes to plant and blog posts to read and write.  Oh yes, and the mountain (literally) of post-vacation laundry that currently sits on the floor...better get to that sooner rather than later.
 
Till next time...

“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things” ~~ Robert Brault

26 comments:

  1. I always love going on vacation. But I think I love coming home more. I hope your trees do well even with them being left on the doorstep for so long. With it only being 35 though I'd expect they are just fine.

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    1. That definitely was a benefit of our lousy weather this week. I have unpacked the trees and they do seem fine. I'm soaking their roots overnight & will be planting them out tomorrow - hopefully the weather will cooperate.

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  2. What wonderful photos, I'm sure this will be a holiday you'll always remember. We were thinking of going to Paradise Island on our honeymoon, almost twenty five years ago. In the end we decided on St Lucia instead but my sister in law and her husband went to Paradise Island a couple of years later. I hope your trees are ok and haven't suffered from being left for a few days.

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    1. Thank you Jo! The Bahamas is lovely - we have gone to a few other Caribbean islands (although not St. Lucia - that one is on the list!) and the Bahamas was the only place where we knew there would eventually be a repeat visit.

      The trees actually look really good and some of them are budding out already - not actually sure if this is good or bad (maybe planting them when dormant is better?). I'm quite excited about getting them into the ground today.

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  3. Oh, that must have been nice to go and see all that in bloom. Of course, reality slaps ya in the face when you get back home. I have never liked this transition time of year--a taste of warmth, followed by 3 days of snow and rain, and now it's back to sunny--but do I trust it??? Nope!
    Glad you had such a nice time. Now get busy!!
    :D

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    1. That's exactly it - warm/cold, jacket/t-shirt, long sleeves/short sleeves. I've put away and taken out my winter jacket half a dozen times already! All of the little seedlings I transplanted last week look exactly the same as when I planted them. I could swear I saw them shivering yesterday as I was watering the beds...or was that just me?

      The temps are supposed to be better today and I will be out there digging and planting in just a few minutes...there's a coffee sitting next to me right now that needs my immediate attention first ;)

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  4. Wonderful trip. Thanks for sharing the photos.

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    1. Thanks David! It was a long time coming & everyone had such a wonderful time. My husband is already planning another trip - this time a road trip to the east coast. We'll have to see about that - there is the garden to consider, after all!

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  5. It looks like you had an absolutely delightful vacation. I would love a dose of warm weather and sunshine now. Our unseasonably warm "winter" has segued into a cool foggy breezy drippy normal spring. It actually rained last night! Welcome back home, there really is no place like it. How long did it take you to check on the garden?

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    1. Ummm...let me think back to how many minutes that took ;)

      I am so glad that you finally got some rain - I'm sure that makes up, at least a little bit, for the cooler temps. Hopefully you'll get back to warm weather very soon.

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  6. Beautiful pics, looks like a great place to go! I was also away last week - but for work. Even though the weather where I was (Kingston) wasn't any better than here, it was still good timing. With so little sunshine and plenty of rain back home, my housesitter had very little work to do to keep things watered.

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    1. I would have not felt that great had we taken our trip the week before, when the weather beautiful (and I was able to get a lot done outside) and then come back to cold & rain for a week.

      As we normally ask our neighbors to take care of things for us when we are away, I should probably get the drip installed in at least half of the new beds soon - it's one thing to ask them to turn on a timer for the water; it's quite another to ask them to walk around the entire yard with a hose!

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  7. Lovely photos - thanks for sharing them! It sounds like a fantastic (and needed) getaway. I don't know if I could have torn myself away at this time of year or not, but it sounds like other than the fruit tree surprise you had things well timed and planned.

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    1. Thanks Dave! I was able to plan it so that many seedlings were transplanted before we left and I gave all of the others a good watering so that they were fine as well. Thankfully, the weather cooperated...sort of. It has been so windy that I think some of my spinach has been damaged beyond repair, not that I could have done much about that even had I been here.

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  8. Sounds like a great holiday - and you have taken some beautiful photos! The double pink flower is not a Camellia, it is another Hibiscus I think. And the white one is Frangipani. The Jellyfish is very unpleasant though. I was stung by one when I was a kid, and still have the scars to prove it!

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    1. You may very well be right about the double pink flower - I just noticed that the leaves looked exactly the same as the hibiscus.

      Years ago, I went to a beach on the east coast that was literally covered with jellyfish that had washed up onto the sand - needless to say we all stayed well away. They are fascinating to watch, however, when I they are safely behind glass.

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  9. I love the photos of your children silhouetted, brilliant! I keep meaning to sow more crops but run out of time each session. I should sow some things first before before getting stuck into other jobs.

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    1. Thanks Lou! And I've obviously been having time management issues lately too!

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  10. It's been dreary here the past few days so love seeing your photos with a pop of color! I'm new to your blog so looking forward to reading more about your growing adventures!

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    1. Thanks Pamela & welcome! I do know about dreary days - we have had more than our fair share of those recently too.

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  11. I think the "camelia" is a Hibiscus. Your underwater aquarium photos reminds me of the new Toronto aquarium. Hope your fruit trees do well.

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    1. Well Norma, you are obviously much more up to date with things in Toronto than I am, even though I'm only a stones throw away. I had no idea about the new aquarium!

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  12. Hi Margaret, Wonderful that you could get away on a vacation. I know what you mean about all the work when you get home. Along with needing 30 hours in a day i also need the energy to work 30 hours! Hope your garden and trees do well this year. Nancy

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    1. Thanks Nancy. Ah yes, energy - I usually start off strong anyhow ;)

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  13. Lovely flowers, I agree with Mark that the 'camellia' is a double hibiscus, The leaves and buds are wrong for a camellia and I've never come across a camellia that colour,

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    1. I'm obviously better at identifying veg than I am at flowers!

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