Do the things that scare you

I received some good news today. My beta hCG level rose to 78, which was a pretty healthy rise.  Of course, the number is still low, so I am going to have to go back on Monday for another test.  But as of right now, I am feeling happy and grateful, as I will try to be every single day that this thing goes in the right direction.  Apparently, the receptionist at the dermatologist thought I looked pregnant, because she asked me when I was due. I guess this baggy dress wasn’t such a good idea…

Anyway, let’s go back to the St. Martin recaps.  First of all, can I admit something strange.  Do you know the song “Day-O”?  Well, this week, we were listening to that song with Harry, and it just hit me for the first time what that song is about.  I blame Beetlejuice for not thinking about it sooner. That song is about slave laborers on a banana plantation. Maybe I am just a dumb person, or incredibly slow, but yes, I just now figured that out. Seriously, listen to it again.

So from that, here is my final transition into what I actually wanted to talk about. I really believe a relaxing vacation can be an excellent time to confront and conquer fears that a person holds.  You can make a great vacation even more memorable when you are doing something that slightly terrifies you.  In St. Martin, I encouraged my Mom to take a chance on what I thought was a zip line course at a place called Loterie Farm.  It is a farm on the slopes of the Pic Paradis, that actually grows a variety of tropical fruits, including bananas.

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(That was my ungraceful transition from Day-O.)

As it turns out, the Fly Zone isn’t just a zip line course.  It is actually a “treetops obstacle course”, which means you don’t just get to slide down zip lines, but you have to exert effort crossing swinging bridges, walking tightropes, etc.  I suck at those things.  Even worse, both Mom and I have a fear of heights. I had done a zip line course before (in St. Kitts), but Mom never had, so she was nervous. I was nervous too when I realized I had to trust my own feet to cross from tree to tree.

As it turns out, our guide was excellent.  We had to work really hard (harder than probably the average person who would do such a course), but it was worth it, because we both had a sense of accomplishment at the end.  I was proud that we both conquered our fears and made it to the end.

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Also, if you are considering doing a “treetops obstacle course”, do not do as I did and wear better shoes than topsiders. I guess I thought it was just going to be zip lines, so topsiders would be fine, but with all of the highwire walking and wet wooden bridges, I could have done with sturdier shoes.  I made it though!

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That was the hardest bridge to cross. All of the different parts of the bridge were swinging individually. Unfortunately, you cannot tell from the picture how high up we were either.  We were so lucky to have a really kind, helpful guide who helped us make the best of what we were supposed to do so we didn’t end up needing those safety lines.

The zip lines were welcome breaks to the climbing.

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Loterie Farm is just a cool place.  If I go back to St. Martin, I think I could spend a whole day there just hanging out at their pool, their lounge and restaurant (I hear they serve the food they grow on the farm and it is delicious). They have lovely hiking trails too. It is a nice shady contrast to being in the sun on the beach all day.  Maybe if I go back, I will work up the nerve to try the Fly Zone Extreme?

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My other adventure on St. Martin/Maarten involved driving. We rented a car to drive around the island, which I highly recommend.  We were able to go anywhere we wanted at any time that way.  Island driving scared me at first, but I quickly started to love it.  All the roads are narrow, hilly and curvy.  It is virtually impossible to drive anywhere on the island safely above a speed of 45 mph. There are no stop lights on the island, only roundabouts, which actually is the greatest thing ever. At turns where there aren’t roundabouts, you sometimes are dependent on the kindness of others letting you out (on this island, most people are pretty nice, though, so this isn’t a problem).  Other drivers sometimes do drive a little scary, but I just tried my best to ignore them. This worked with one notable exception. The last full day we were on the island, we were driving away from our hotel to go to Happy Beach on the other side of the island.  A short distance from the hotel, I came around a curve and a huge dump truck was driving down the center of the road. I swerved to miss the truck, but hit a concrete barrier on the side of the road with my back tire.  Of course, it busted.  Fortunately, this happened the last day, otherwise, I might have been more stressed out about driving than I generally was the entire trip.  Instead, I relaxed, sat back, listened to some island tunes, and just generally really enjoyed driving around the island.

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