Did I really not write this post yet? I can’t believe I waited… Did I post? I don’t think there were pictures. Just call me Uncle Hailey because at this moment I’m too lazy to check. All my days are running together.

For my birthday, I was allowed to sleep in. We had breakfast at Anna Miller’s. I wanted to hit Home Depot because I was determined to buy paint. Seriously determined. For an entire week I told Ray that all I wanted for my birthday was to paint the playroom so that maybe I could start piece mealing it together.

Ray had a much better idea!






He surprised me with an afternoon sail with two stops along the reef for snuba and snorkeling. That’s no typo. Snuba means that you get to scuba dive with a regulator to breathe and none of the junk has to be attached. That’s what we did…I’m hooked. No certification. No bulky tank. Just a mask and a regulator and someone to tell me where to go when… my kind of underwater play.

Can I tell you, it was absolutely awesome! Fabulous! My only regret is that I didn’t have an underwater camera because folks… I swam with a sea turtle. I fed fish right in front of my face. I’m pretty sure I spotted and eel. I don’t always wear jewelry. Flowers fade. This is a memory I will have forever and it was a fabulous birthday present.

On top of the great sailing experience we had, I looked over and looked again. I tapped Ray and said, “That looks like the Black Pearl. Really like the Black Pearl. Do you think it’s a replica?” The captain responded, “No replica. It’s the one and only Black Pearl. They shot the movie here.” I think I almost peed a little. Johnny Depp hung on my closet door forever. Jack Sparrow is one of my ALL TIME favorite characters. Seriously. When Jack Sparrow asked Bria to join his crew, it was a pretty proud moment for me. Is that a little sad? Don’t answer. Anyway… I wasn’t so close I could touch it but I was totally amazed.

Yes, it’s a large picture. I thought you needed to see it in detail. I will get closer before we leave this island. Isn’t she pretty? I bet Ray hears me say weekly, “I’m sure I was a pirate in a former life.” And a good one too. I ran my first half marathon because of the promise of rum at the end. Just kidding. I did think the “Run? I thought you said Rum!” shirt was pretty clever though.

Ray insisted on taking my picture with the Black Pearl in the background. You will only see this picture here. I can’t believe I’m posting it. I do love the Black Pearl. Please note this was taken post snorkel and snuba…

This was our dive master. He is a former navy diver.  I was a little bit nervous. I hate to jump into something like this and wonder if I’m the ninny holding everyone back. Thankfully, it wasn’t me but the dude who couldn’t swim but totally thought he could snuba. I heard the dive master say, “Can you swim?” after wasting lots of air in the tanks. “Could you have told me before I put the regulator on your face?” Um. Yeah.

Here’s the dive master’s toes…

Loved it! So did the tweens who are officially obsessed with all things nails.

And here’s the man who made it happen. 

I don’t like gushy… but I feel the need to be. I’m horrible with birthdays and presents. Heck this year, we were in the lodge and Ray had to pick up his own birthday dinner. He knows me. Much like feeding a tiger in the middle of nowhere China, I would rather be swimming with eels, looking for reef sharks and chasing turtles. It was the best day and it was because he knows me well enough to not listen to me when I say all I want to do it paint a room. The problem is, I think it’s a little like crack. I’ve had my taste and I can’t wait to go back.

I love you Ray. Thanks for the best birthday gift ever!