Because we arrived last night instead of early afternoon as had been planned, we lost a solid ½ day in Martinique. On top of that, we did basically ZERO planning for this leg of the trip. Because of the schedule change the day before, we had cancelled our Airbnb for the night and had to scramble to find another. Found one that had really good reviews in the city of Saint Marie which was the general area we knew we were heading toward. If you stayed 3 nights, you got a welcome dinner cooked by the mom. The reviews were RAVING about the food!! We could only stay 1 night, so I asked the host if we could pay for dinner. Sure! $34. Sold. We now had accommodations and food for tonight!

Had a general idea of the route we wanted to take, but no idea of what we actually wanted to see/do along the way. So we hopped in the car and headed out. First item of business was to find a French adapter so we could charge our stuff. Somewhere along the way I lost mine. #Dominicancurse We went to the place the Airbnb host suggested, but it didn’t look like the kind of place with adapters- it was more of a home depot kind of place. Putting “electronics store” into google maps wasn’t helping either, as it kept taking us to electrical supply stores. After almost an hour of wasted time, I had a bright idea…When in doubt, there’s one place I always know will have them- the airport! And we were close. Friendly English speaking lady at the information booth told us exactly where to go, and just like that, for 11.50euro ($13), we had our adapter and were on the road!

The roads are FABULOUS. Like no potholes. And the drivers are aware of everyone’s personal mortality and conduct themselves accordingly. However, after contorting on the ferry for 2 hours yesterday to make my tailbone less miserable, I now had not only an ouchy tailbone, but a really sore lower back. Miserable was an understatement. There is a wildness to Dominica, even in the towns. There is a developed feel to Martinique, even in the wilderness. It’s gorgeous, but I have to say that Dominica is prettier. We found some little waterfall on Maps.me and hiked to it. It wasn’t really a waterfall- more like a water treatment plant. Disappointing, but it got me off my tailbone for 20 minutes. Next stop was another waterfall. This one had a pool you could swim in, but it was COLD!

Lunch time was approaching. This is France, and France is all about food. Martinique has a TON of restaurants, and they are all open!! And not only do they have restaurants, but grocery stores that are fully stocked! We shall starve no more! And not only do they have grocery stores, but they have Carrefour! A chain I know from France proper! A chain that is known to have Dr. Pepper. Alas, this one did not, but it did have huge areas devoted to the 3 staples of the French diet- fresh bread, wine, and cheese! We got a baguette and some salami to eat along the way. Delicious, and less than $3.50! There was a volcano museum in this town. We pulled in, but it was closed, so we headed down the road again. Our destination was the northernmost area of the island on the other side of Mount Pelee from where we were- Grand Rivere. Even the super rural roads were in perfect condition! The map said there was a viewpoint, so we parked and headed up the hill. A goat guarded the passage, so I had Brian hold him while I quickly scooted by. I don’t like farm animals unless they’re on a plate… We walked up and up. My back was not feeling it and it was HOT. I finally gave up and we turned around. Come to find out- the view point wasn’t ½ a mile up the road like our map said- it was more like 3 miles up! Did get one lovely shot of the beach below, and a lizard I’d never seen.

Research says: Martinque Anole (Anolis roquet summus)

By this time, I was done. I was in so much pain. We got to our Airbnb about 3pm and were greeted by Ester- the host’s mom. Ester is from St. Lucia and speaks English! YAY! We told her we’d like to eat around 5:30-6:30 and she said no problem. The bnb was a studio attached to Ester’s house- we had our own private bedroom, bathroom, and kitchenette. Perfect. I went in, laid down, and died for about an hour and 45 minutes. Literally, I didn’t even move once while I slept. I think I vaguely remember Brian checking me for a pulse at some point…

Woke up feeling a little better, and knowing dinner was coming definitely brightened my mood!! Look, I don’t know the names of everything we ate, but let me tell you this- EVERY BITE WAS PHENOMENALLY DELICIOUS!! We had some kind of little appetizer, then a salad, then rice with chicken and sauce and baked yam and oh my god we ate like KINGS!!

The wifi is great here, so I got some work done. Was talking to my son and his girlfriend (who teach in my school) and they said they wanted to facetime with me the next day. I told them I had no idea what my wifi situation would be (and they’ve never asked to do that before anyway). I was nervous. I told them to just tell me and they sent me a picture of an engagement ring! After 9 years, my son finally popped the question! I was ecstatic beyond words for them!!! Until I was informed that no parents are invited to the wedding, but we can all convene in Texas (they live in Colorado) a month after for a party. My heart broke so hard that I think I heard it crack. I won’t go into all the details, but I voiced my dismay at the situation, was reprimanded, and spent the entire night- ALL OF IT- crying. I can’t even remember another time in my life when I spent an entire night crying. To not get to see my oldest son say his vows to the woman I have loved as my own daughter for so many years…it’s painful beyond words. I have loved, accepted, encouraged and supported them in so many things and it really just feels like a slap in the face.