Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Fertility Baths and Mashed Bananas

The huge advantage of being childless is freedom and the ability to travel. At least that's what people would tell us. So here is a tribute to our child-free/pregnancy-free days!

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Abe and I have done quite a bit of traveling since I completed my residency in June. I know because it seems like every time we were ready to try a new IVF cycle we would have to work around an upcoming trip. That was no exception come January when we had a long since planned vacation. Having to wait is frustrating and annoying, and when it comes down to it, simply having to wait that.much.longer is almost intolerable; but, I'd say despite the frustration, it was a welcome break from all of the stress from the previous weeks (studying and taking boards, multiple trips for the both of us including a trip home for my grandmother's funeral, and the previous disappointment for our most recent IVF).

I met Abe in Chicago after he took a red eye flight back from a conference in San Diego. We left from Chicago and flew to Puerto Rico. We stayed in charming Old San Juan -- ate mofongo (traditional PR dish made with mashed plantains), explored the amazing historic fort and colorful streets, and saw a flamenco show.

The streets of Old San Juan

Hiding in one of the passage ways in the fort

What an awesome lawn in front of the fort

The next afternoon we boarded our cruise ship for a week in the Southern Caribbean. Our first stop was to St. Thomas. We caught a cab and spent most of the day at beautiful Magen's Bay.

Our next stop was Barbados. We booked a taxi tour of the island with a couple from our cruise ship. It was really fun to see the interior of the island before finishing with an overcast afternoon on the beach.

I was especially excited for St. Lucia. We took a Catamaran sailing tour to Soufriere. We then took a van tour to the botanical garden (which was beautiful and a lot of fun), followed by a trip to the volcano and the mud baths, known for their healing properties for it sounds like any and all ailments and also the for cure for new or white bathing suits. After heading back to our catamaran we did a short snorkel session until heading back. My adrenaline was pumping as we barely made it back to the ship in time but it was a great day nonetheless. 

Yellow sulfur waterfall

Healed of our infertility! Black and White mud baths
At the volcano

Caribbean Food

The next day we did a few dives in St. Kitts. It was great to be back under the water after a long absence. Some of our most recent trips we were unsure if I was pregnant and so we had to avoid it as diving is a no-no for pregnant ladies. 

Beautiful St. Kitts

We were so tired from the diving and our previous travels that we skipped the afternoon of island exploring for some down time onboard. I guess we'll just have to go back to see what topside St. Kitts is really like!

Our morning on St. Maarten started out on the Dutch side with a sailing ship race. It was fun to learn a  little bit about sailing!

We took a cab to the French side of the island to see the French capital. It was fun to see but there wasn't much there.

We did climb up to the top of a small fort and had some beautiful views. I also felt like I was melting. That is about as hot as I have been. Thanks St. Maarten. By the time we found a beach again, it was overcast and a little chilly!

St. Maarten

After a wonderful and fattening cruise, we made our way back to Puerto Rico. We spent the afternoon exploring the other fort in old San Juan (The pass for the first fort was good for one week to visit the second. So yay for a few hours of free entertainment). 

I was so good about sunscreen and avoided sunburn until the last few hours. I didn't have my luggage (or my sunscreen) with me and my chest got fried. Darn, and with an awesome tan line from that necklace, too!

We got a quick bite of mofongo before heading back to the airport. 

Abe loves D.C. so I joke when we got diverted to D.C. from Puerto Rico that it was all part of a secret trip for his birthday the next day. Due to the fifth worst snowstorm in Chicago history, our flight was sent to D.C. midflight. After spending an extra hour in the air burning fuel so it was safe to land, we braved the long lines in customer service to find a hotel room and to rebook our flights for the next day. Unfortunately, we were forced to gate check our bags before boarding our previous flight (and before I had a chance to change into winter attire) so we had to wait in the snow in shorts and sandals while we waited for our hotel shuttle.

The next morning we enjoyed a nice birthday breakfast at the airport as we got delayed over and over again. We finally made it back to Chicago, found our bags, and drove home in some snowy weather before having birthday dinner with Abe's family.

No wonder we got pregnant shortly after this trip. Between the mudbaths and our ability to finally relax, it was bound to work.


Donna said...

I was in St. Maarten and Puerto Rico last month! Traveling is such fun, and I think you'll enjoy it just as much when you've got your kiddos to bring along!

Erin said...

I'm not too worried about traveling with kids. That comment was more tongue-in-cheek I suppose. When you are infertile and people are trying to comfort you, that is one of the first things they say!