Continued……the tour of the French and Dutch side was amazing and real life for me. There was evidence of poverty, but the people seem content. Based on the information provided to me from the tour guide I should have probably verified this before posting but 90% of the money on the island comes from tourism. All their grocery stores are owned by the Chinese and there is a lot of damaged property due to hurricane Irma. From my eyes, I though even with all that it was still beautiful, and the port was awesome one of my favorites (lots of stores and different varieties). I’ll visit again if the opportunity presents itself.
The next stop was St. Kitts, we did not get to tour too much of the island on our own because the port was small, and our excursion was for most of the port time. We did Jeep off roading in the mountains stopping at a local beach for 2 hours which was awesome. Lots of animals and beautiful views from the peaks of the mountain. Watching people playing in the water and snorkel at the beach was peaceful while I absorbed all the rays from the sun. A local placed a monkey on our heads without our permission and initially it was very scary. The monkey was calm and kissed my ear which helped me calm down a bit. I didn’t realize at the moment, that the monkey experience will be as memorable for both of us. Once back on the ship, we spent the rest of the day getting to know our dinner mates in the hot tub.
Our next stop was San Juan, Puerto Rico but everything was closed upon arrival which was not good because it was a short day. We found a tour guide at the port that offered us a tour of the island for $20 so we agreed. That was God’s favor because none of our dinner mate were able to see the island in that timeframe. We finished the tour by going shopping and buying our kids nice souvenirs.
Our final port was Turks & Caicos, honestly I can’t describe the beach there but please visit if the opportunity ever presents itself. It was absolutely beautiful, how can anyone see these things and deny God’s existence. He was present in the water, sand, people, marine life, sun and everywhere else. God is our Creator and has the best paintings that a canvas does no justice. Our excursion in Turks & Caicos was snorkeling, which was my attempt at being a supportive wife because my husband can swim, and I can’t. I almost did not go because I was nervous. After getting on the boat the peace of God rested on me and then something amazing happened. We saw a whale, it was so beautiful and came up out the water to meet us, it was so quick that I did not have enough time to snap a picture. Memorable, this was my first time ever seeing a whale, our dinner mates went whale watching and did not get to see any whales. If that is not God’s favor than I don’t know what is, apart of me felt like I did not deserve all this favor He was pouring out it was overwhelming. The time has come to get into the water and learning to breathe only through my mouth was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I was dressed to the tee facemask, flippers, life jacket and for extra precaution a noodle to stay afloat in the water. The water was a bit rough out there in the middle of the ocean, the color of the water is a blue I don’t think we’ve been able to duplicate anywhere else. The snorkeling spot was right beside a very deep drop off, after much encouragement I put my face in the water and saw Dory from Finding Nemo for the first time. I stepped out in faith and let go of the noodle and started snorkeling around not too far from the boat.
It was one of the most liberating things I’ve done in a long time. It’s even encouraged me to get swimming lessons this summer at my local YMCA. Once we got back to shore, we decided to visit a local restaurant on the beach and the food was suppose to be good. The beach was just so warm and soothing to my mind, body and soul that I did not want to leave. I could have stayed in Turks and Caicos and worked from home looking at the beach every day. The thought of leaving that port and the trip ending soon was such a sad moment for me because its been a long time since I’ve felt so much at peace and had so much fun. I decided going forward to take better care of my wellbeing especially my mind and let my hair down more often. We spent the rest of the days with our dinner mates getting to know them and planning our next cruise together as a group. I’m really looking forward to it. We won a bottle of champagne by participating in a marriage contest which was so out of our comfort zone. The thought that we were able to go on this trip and pay cash for everything, have an amazing time, meet some awesome people, receive awesome customer service, feel safe and comforted in the arms of the Lord was blissful.
This trip changed my perspective on how much God loves, protects, guides, favors, and thinks through all the details ahead of time. In complete awe of his goodness. It reminds me of his word. Psalm 139:2 “You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar”. Psalm 139:16 “Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be”. May the stories of our lives be read from the book of life and may God’s will be done here on earth as it is in heaven. We made it back home safely and I was so grateful for the entire experience. I pray that if you are in need of rest and peace that you seek the Source. It’s truly the only place real peace comes from, regardless of your situation. May the peace of God that surpasses all understanding rest on your heart and mind in Jesus name. Have a blessed week.