It all started one night when we heard of cheap flight deals expiring at midnight. After a few minutes spent googling things like “Where is Guadeloupe” “Is Guadeloupe safe?” we were somehow on the phone with Norwegian Airlines confirming our booking. Shocked by our own spontaneity and still in disbelief IT WAS HAPPENING (and still not even 100% sure how to pronounce it), we immediately marked our calendars for Guadeloupe and started counting down!!!
Things I never wanna travel without: Perfect Bars. @vanessashenk. (The 50 lbs on my back I could do without though…)
Other things I don’t wanna travel without: A straight from HEAVEN open middle seat on our flight that had us momentarily feeling like we weren’t the cheap travelers we truly are.We arrived late that night to our Airbnb, thanked the Lord for safe travels and complimentary bathrobes/hotel slippers to call our own (practically wore them the whole week straight)… and went to bed completely oblivious to what awaited us the next morning…… The viewzzzz that *nearly* made a morning person out of me.Wanted to be besties with our Airbnb host Murial from the moment she willingly stood out by the road late at night to help us find our way there (lol). But the best part: her place is brand new so she deeply discounted our stay in exchange for a good review. SIGN US UP and yes we still talk weekly about this place we miss sooo much.Considered bringing goat cheese in our backpacks bc we’d miss it that much (don’t worry we refrained). The first day we’re gathering food for the week at a tiny grocery store and nearly fell to the floor when we spotted a block of cheese with a ???? on it… GUADELOUPE WE LOVE YOU.Glad we rented a car because you’ll wanna have the ability to pit stop for all the *local attractions.*… TAKE OUR WORD FOR IT. (And also don’t miss Pointe des Chateaux !!)Always the girls hiking in sandals. Maybe we’ll learn by our next trip??I’m having a moment bc these pics make me so nostalgic!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Seeing Guadeloupe for the first time made me view God’s glory in creation in a completely renewed way… and made me excited to get home to the land I *already* know and love, and notice the things that may have grown mundane around me as ACTUAL real life miracles and artwork right before my very eyes.Pictured below is the photo that was *almost* our last alive here on this earth… you think I’m being dramatic… read on in Vanessa’s words…
“We were walking back to our car from the beach when Caroline and I see a large stray dog (take our word for it) following closely behind us and as it picked up it’s pace so did we… I’m telling Caroline (and myself) to stay calm, just ignore it, but it keeps getting closer as Caroline keeps turning around and looking at it while I’m now YELLING at her “Don’t make eye contact!!! It will think you wanna play!!!” Too late… Caroline is darting back and forth on the road (said she was trying to “lose” the dog) then next thing I know she’s running up to a car full of people who don’t speak English saying “CAN YOU HELP ME? I’m kind of afraid of dogs!!!” To which they shrug, most likely confused by her panic as I’m now hunched over and losing it. Happy to report we’re fine and the dog was most likely harmless but… American girls will be American girls. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯”
But we lived to tell the tail. (Hahahaa aren’t you glad you’re reading this blog post right now.)Thankful for: a BFF who’s willing to fill her backpack with the important things like: endless snacks, a portable DVD player, and her collection of One Tree Hill DVDs from high school. Because these are the memories I wanna remember forever.Also thankful for: the best quiche maker in the world as my travel companion.… Aaand an Airbnb we loved so much we had to convince ourselves to venture out of every day… #homebodiesAsked around town for directions to the nearest currency exchange (picture this: me holding up a twenty dollar bill, smiling, and saying “EURO??” … like any tourist would) we were told in broken English to go down to the “PMU.” Following direction and hoping for success, we arrived… once again holding up our $20 and repeating the process. Next we were met with a firm no and stern head shake. And of course being as desperate as we were, I smiled kindly and said… “Mmm… yes??” But again, met with a “no” more loudly and inconvenienced this time. We were sooo sure that we were sent to the right place and wondering why this man at the currency exchange refused to help us, we asked one last time as we turned to the left to see a group of people huddled around what we *thought* was a currently exchange machine but immediately realized what we were actually sent to use our money for was to bet on horse races. Americans………. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯Honestly expected Tarzan to come leaping out at any second when we were at Cascade aux Écrevisses.Back to civilization/sweat dripping down my back.And back to loading on the goat cheese/never wanting this week to end.Plz note Vanessa wiping away the laughter tears when recounting our memories from the day. (At least *we* think we’re funny.)We really fell into a routine at this place and my only complaint is that we couldn’t stay for longer (ok and that these chairs didn’t fit in my backpack home).The kind of drives you actually never want to end, where every convo is interrupted with a “LOOK AT THAT VIEW.” (Or… “Watch out for that car!!!!!!”)Love u bff <3This is the point of the blogpost where I really have to squint my eyes as I write these captions because I can’t look through these pics without my heart aching a little. (I’m a drama queen, I’m well aware.)Though it was nearing the end of our trip, the biggest adventure awaited!! …Not pictured: Hugo, our fearless boat captain. Who 30 minutes prior was probably chilling at home with his feet up thinking he was in for the night, when his phone lit up and his buddy asked if he was available to take two random American girls on his boat.
Flash back to that afternoon, we were combing the entire town (sweating and sulking) desperately trying to find a sunset tour, but NOTE TO ALL: they do not exist. Thought it was a lost cause until we asked one last person… “for sure no.” they said. But our follow up “You don’t even have a friend that could take us?” was the ticket to the best memories and our forever favorite Guadeloupean: Captain Hugo <3 (Read the whole story here.)LOVE U MISS U HUGO !!Thanks for forcing us to be brave and showing us the Guadeloupean sea-life…And for being a great paparazzi.We owe it all to you for the best memory of our trip (no, our LIVES).A memory we’d be shocked to hear our *own* daughters live someday but PROMISE WE WERE SAFE, MOM!And hereeee I thought I was your favorite, Hugo…Still in shock we got the boat ride of our dreamz and that we somehow managed to communicate our “GOAT CHEESE” pizza order to our waitress… hand signals/goat sounds and all.Sat out here on our last morning and genuinely thought about supergluing our rear ends in these chairs so we were stuck here 4evz.And our Airbnb host Murial once again wowed when she told us she wanted to meet us at 6am to “see us off” … <3 (Probably to make sure we didn’t try the superglue idea, let’s be real.)Thanks for the mems, Guad…… and Lucas.The one thing that kept the tears from flowing… the hope of CHIPOTLE when we landed on U.S. soil.Little did we know, one final adventure awaited us… I’ll let Ness tell that story though…
“Just another reason I will remain loyal to Apple until my dying day. On our train ride home from JFK to Lancaster, I left my phone on the seat as the train took off (along with visions of finally sleeping in my own bed after 13 hours of travel) and we found out it would be stopped 45 minutes away, so we frantically and very safely drove to Harrisburg, using the Find My iPhone app on Caroline’s phone to see it was stopped at that train station. Picture two girls (one on the verge of tears??) running inside a very quiet train station asking if anyone found a phone. An *angel* officer helps us search the train and no luck. I’m about to break down and accept the defeat, coming to the realization that I’ve probably just lost all my pictures along with my Chipotle app login, when I hear him tell me “it’s probably stolen” as Caroline whispers “it is NOT stolen” so I open the app again and see that my phone is ON THE MOVE. We find out it’s on a different train (apparently in a kind-hearted effort to help us, this angel officer had us searching the wrong train) and my phone was “on the train back to Lancaster.” Long story short (oh wait lol) our new friend asked police at the Lancaster station to search the train for my phone in the 60 seconds it was stopped, and you can imagine the uproar and obnoxious scene Caroline and I caused when we heard through the phone “touchdown!!!” and we drove back to Lancaster to find my phone, just where I left it.”Gotta close this post with the video Vanessa made that I can’t stop watching. <3333