jamaica was every bit of paradise that our pale bodies thought it would be. stella relished in her first dip in the caribbean ocean. she played for what seemed like an eternity in the sand making holes with her little red shovel only to fill them up a second after, and over and over again. it was precious. she even met a little friend from manhattan named maya. they shared their beach toys and blabbered a bit about things that preoccupied toddlers do. between sunscreen rub downs and cocktail refills, we soaked up the sun and listened to the water tugging at the sand nearby. i swear, every time i hear the ocean i am always reminded of the earth's overwhelming beauty.
i think my favorite day on our little holiday was when stella and i snuck out of our room in the wee hours of the morning to go on a mama-daughter date. dada need a few extra hours of sleep, so us two girls grabbed at the chance for some alone time. we chatted over watermelon juice and croissants on the patio before heading to the white sandy shoreline. being so early, we were the only ones there. it was a dream. the sun was barely up and the water was turning an intense shade of turquoise. we hopped, skipped, held hands, touched cheeks, blew the bubbles (as she called the ocean) kisses, and so on. we also found a giant shark tooth that confirmed my doubts about snorkeling. i have one silly fear of sharks, if you did not know. and then, after our big archeological discovery, we played and played under the palm trees making a little village out of sand. it was perfect. and relaxing. and so very jamaica.
the wedding was spectacular. there were more pink flowers than i think i have ever seen in my entire life and the wedding party looked quite smashing. stella walked up the aisle with her cousins charlie and caleb. it melted our hearts and evoked many "awwws" the way she timidly walked towards the alter. i eneded up waving her pink blankie as bribery and it worked like magic. she ran right to my arms.
after the reception something very magical took place. each couple that attended the wedding got to light a lantern and float it off into the night sky. we were to make one wish for our family and one for the bride and groom. seeing what looked like giant fireflies drifting up and up as the waves crashed in was nothing short of fairytale material. we whispered our wish into stella's listening ears and gave our paper lantern a helping push upward. it soared with the wind and joined the other happy wishes, making the stars dance with joy. it was a moment we will never forget.
and as for the plane ride there and back, we owe a big hug of thanks to the iPad and a red dude named elmo. i may be still signing elmo's world in my sleep, but it saved the day and made traveling much easier than we had expected it would be. i also packed a surprise magna doodle that proved very useful in times of impending meltdown. goldfish, cheerios, and raisins helped, too. would we have done anything different? no, i don't think so. we packed very light but i think next time we could even pack lighter. less is always better when traveling with wee ones. i am going to make a list on our blog, if not for myself, as to how to pack on a plane when traveling with a little one sometime in the near future.
so jamaica, you were great. you were so pretty. and we thank you for having us, mon.
i just had to. ;)