Hello! My name is Flat Jackson and I went to Illinois to spend some time with my family, the newlyweds Rebecca (my cousin) and Keith (my buddy.) Flat me wasn't able to go to the wedding (I had not yet been laminated), but the 3D version had a lot of fund dancing at their wedding at the New England Aquarium in Boston.
Evanston, IL is a quiet college town just North of Chicago. I thought that I was in for a quiet relaxing vacation... but then there was a wild beast! (Just kidding, the American Eskimo Puppy never tried to eat Flat Jackson.)
Shortly after arriving in Evanston, Rebecca and Keith were going to leave for their Caribbean honeymoon. Guess what? They invited me to join them! I spent the trip traveling in the outside pocket of their suitcase, sleeping inside a Kindle Case so I could stay nice and flat.
We started our adventures on the Island of Saint Maarten, an island that is half owned by the French and Dutch (this is the World's smallest island owned by two sovereign nations!) Many different nations have sovereignty in the Caribbean, which leads to multiple different currencies being used, including US dollar, Easter Caribbean Dollar, European Euro, British Sterling and more. (Thankfully, most places were happy to take US dollars at a great exchange rate, 1 USD = 1 Euro!)
St. Maarten was only the first stop on our Caribbean adventure. We went on the Windstar cruise ship the WindSurf. This one of the largest sailing vessels on the ocean, and we spent a lot of time traveling under sail power. From St. Maarten, we traveled to 5 other islands: Martinique, St. Lucia, Dominica, Antigua and St. Bartelemy.
The layout of the boat looks confusing, but thankfully Rebecca and Keith were on this ship before for Mediterranean cruise so they were able to easily show me around.
Breakfast and lunch are almost always eaten outside on the deck. The ship was only about half full (~200 passengers) so there was never any trouble finding a place to sit.
The boat is small for a crusie ship, but it is still very big compared to many other boats. We weren't able to dock on many of the islands, instead we were anchor in the harbor and then take a tender (a small boat) to shore.
Every island was filled with breathtaking views....
It was also really relaxing to be on the boat.
Unfortunately, since I am not yet 18 years old, I was not able to go Snorkeling with Rebecca and Keith. But they did bring me along so I could watch!
On Antigua, we had a lazy beach day.
Technically I was not a guest on the ship, I was more of a stow-away. This is why I didn't get listed on the honeymoon certificate!
I was sad to see our trip end... funny to see palm trees decorated for Christmas.
I thought my adventures would be over when we returned to Chicago... but in fact they were just beginning.