The Home of Daddy's Day Dare! ~ I am just trying to stay above water

Archive for the month “September, 2013”

I humbly accept this award…

There come a time in a person’s life, or at least there should, when everything you have been shown, everything you have been taught, the great instincts you have get validated as ‘the Best’. And that moment came for me tonight.

"I want to thank my family, my wife, friends who have been there for me and of course those two amazing girls...

“I want to thank my family, my wife, friends who have been there for me and of course those two amazing girls…

But first, the commercial for this weekend in a new season of 3D. I was planning on doing an update about my procedure this weekend. Briefly, so far it has been great. I feel great! I feel normal. I feel the same as pre-radiation seeds in my belfry.

Oh yes, there have been some moments. Graphic Ones! And you’ll get all them this weekend.

This procedure has put the thrill back in pee’ing. And when I walk past the refrigerator my belly has followed its urge to stick on the door. And you can get all this and more this weekend as I continue to butter up my doctors and to avoid paying that whole huge bill! ~You would think at 95 seeds I could get a bulk discount?

Back to my moment….

Yes, my validation of greatness came, in of all places, our area grocery store, the Bi Lo. Let me set the stage…

We arrived at the store and the girls immediately spotted a bright blue police car shopping cart in the parking lot. And it was clean!

So one by one I picked each one up and put them in their seats as fast as I could (i.e. radiation and holding the kids).

We were on a mission to obtain essential beverages to make it through to the end of the week; namely milk, orange juice and apple juice.

Well I put the girls in and wheeled the cart around in the parking lot outside. I almost encroached on an on coming car but she saw I had kids in the cart and waved me on.

Being appreciative of the nice driver, and not wanting to take up her time with my neglect, I pushed the police car / shopping cart into gear and ran to the edge of the parking lot, slowing up to make a graceful entrance into the Bi Lo.

The girls love this of course as every time I put them in  a shopping cart they say, “Daddy go fast!”

Once inside I reminded the girls of our mission and that we dared not take any breaks to look at ice cream, cereal, party balloons, or stickers.

The cold beverage aisle was at the far end of the store so we walked calmly down to that end, pretending to let the girls actually steer the police car with their steering wheels.

We make it to the top of the refrigerated section and ‘Bam‘ right there was some orange juice. ~shopping is so easy!

We secured some and then looked for the milk section, spotting it at the other end of the aisle.

But first we had to navigate a family that left a full shopping cart on one side and three heavy people looking at bread on the opposite side, completely ignoring there was another cart coming down the aisle.

I leaned down and whispered to the girls, “hold on, this might be tricky” as we steered slowly towards the shoppers.

I reminded the girls to “steer the cart straight and watch out for the other shoppers” as we slowly navigated the gauntlet.

I smiled at everyone as we drove past, gave a ‘homecoming queen’ wave to the little one stuck in their cart and then shifted up the next gear as we cleared the family.

Now the only things in our way to securing some milk and running home was 30 yards of open aisle and a young couple keeping to them self along the cheese section.

So I made some race car sounds and broke into a jog with the cart. I pretended to ‘fishtail’ the cart like a car on a dirt road down the aisle.

I told the girls, “come on keep it straight, keep it straight don’t hit anything” as we swerved closer to the milk.

The girls were laughing hysterically and I made more varooo- varoom sounds when it happened.

What do you think happened?

The young girl that was holding hands with the other long-haired fella in our aisle said to her mate, “There goes the coolest Dad ever!

Did you get that?


 I gave her a side glance out of the corner of my eye and a quick itty-bitty smile in an attempt to say “Thank you” after we found our milk and started for the registers.

Finally, after all that training, and all the reading, and coaching, and reminding….I had my validation (which I knew all along)….Coolest Dad EVER.

I’ll sleep good tonight…

I don’t know how I would have felt if I would have heard “Coolest Grandpa”..again

Riding in the back of a limo at 3 months...you'll never guess where we are going?

Hopping in the back of a limo at 3 months…you’ll never guess where we are going? I didn’t even know these guys!

Being a regular guy can be embarrassing…

I wanted to reach out real quick and let friends and family know everything went fine with my procedure so far. The radiologist says’ text book’. He said he inserted 95 radiation seeds in my prostate.

I came home yesterday wearing my catheter, didn’t sleep much but still got some rest, and got to see some great smiles on my girls. (good medicine!)

So today, I just got back from Dr. O’s office to have that pesky catheter removed. Like most games we play in our mind, this all was easier than I made it out to be all this time.

And I think many THANKS go out to YOU, and everyone else for your prayers, well wishes, healing powers and positive thoughts. You and the rest my Angels ROCK!

There were a few hiccups along the way though.

Like the first nurse yesterday who was to administer my IV needle. She said she wanted to get the ‘drama’ over early.

Being fit and as healthy as one can be with a few cancer cells in their belly, I have good veins for this. These needles don’t bother me. Yet she still chose to prick a vein on top of my arm (a.k.a. the hairy part) instead of  underneath it.

She apologized and laughed, “it will be like getting a wax job when they pull all this tape off with the needle.”

I was still thinking about the deed ahead of me and said, “if they don’t shave me in my land down under it will be like getting a Brazilian job there too !” Yikes!


She left and I had to wait some more for the next step, administering the anesthesia. My wife was with me at this time so we could text each other on our phones….in the room.

Now I am a regular guy. Ever since my healthy quest a few decades back I have always tried to eat healthy. And my bowel movement in the morning you could count on. But Monday I wasn’t allowed to eat anything. Although I did have to shower a few times with anti-bacteria soap.

So as the clock clicked on it became apparent I had to go. Maybe it was nerves, or regularity, or just fate. But I didn’t know if I should, given all the anti bacterial cleaning down there and that area being the place of operation in my procedure. Know what I mean?

BUT I also didn’t know what would happen to my muscle function once they knocked me out and I was afraid of pooping on all these high-priced needles filled with radiated seeds.  That would be some radiation poisoning!

So I talked it over with my wife and we called a nurse to get her thoughts. She said go ahead, showed me the bathroom and went to get some wash clothes for clean up.

Now keep in mind I have an IV bag attached to me at the time, hindering every process.

Well I went with little difficulty and tried to clean up in the bathroom as best I could, thinking infections and bacteria and other dirty words.

I get back to my waiting room and the nurse did bring back 2 sets of towels and wash cloths.

So, not wanting to take any chances with infection, I grabbed a wash cloth with the plan to wipe one more time and be sure no color appeared on the white linen.

Oh! And I am wearing those nice surgical gowns that only tie in the back.

So, holding my IV bag in my left hand, I reached around to the back and tried to pull that piece of the gown forward so I can hold it with the IV hand. Of course this left a large part of my front exposed.

I was standing right in front of the door and I knew, with my luck, a nurse would walk in as I am standing there, bent over, naked up front, wiping my butt in the back, my face looking out to anybody and everybody in the hallway.

So I did what anybody would do, I did a 180 turn around so they would only see my back side… and not my face.

So, I tried it again, trying to hold one gown flap back with my IV bag hand and check the wipe with the other. However this over sized gown was so big that the other side’s flap was covering my area I intended to check.

So trying to think through the logistics of my problem, I did a quick quarter turn to try to get the momentum of the wind to hold the flap up long enough where I could slide my wash clothed hand underneath it.

All most butt but no good this time. So I tried it again.

I got closer this time but still no good. Knowing I knew the secret on how to do this on my next attempt I thought I would try it one more time.

But  I heard this faint laughing.

I look up and see my wife standing there, laughing in hysterics to the point of tears. I said, “whats so funny?”

She said you look like a dog chasing his tail!  And she continued to laugh.

Well, I finally got it and the cloth came back clean. But still you wonder about bacteria.

So on the wall of this room was one of those gel alcohol soap dispensers that kill germs. So I thought, why not?

So I got a handful of this gel and tried the same trick as the wash cloth, successful on the first try.

Oh no! Bad idea!

That alcohol wanted to burn that fleshy area. I said “ouch, ouch ouch!” as I tried to wipe it off.

It continued to stay warm down there in Australia. But at least it should have been sanitary for the operation.

Other than that sensation there really has not been too many discomforts, other than the tube up my penis. I haven’t noticed any spidey senses, or increased strength, although I really didn’t get a good look at my jewels last night in the dark.

It appears the only enhanced sense I got was an increased sense of pee’ing, which came with its own accessory….

Stylin' and Profilin'

Stylin’ and Profilin’

Many of you have asked how the girls will handle me not being able to hold them on my lap. We told Dylan the night before my procedure and she started to cry. It was sad.

But then she pulled herself together and looking for a bright spot she asks if I’ll still be able to play with her.

Now by playing she means wrestling. You see every night she likes to stand on the foot stool of the sofa and dive at me like a body slam. I pretend to be knocked back and then we wrestle a little until I get her in a position to tickle her. Being tickled is a form of affection to this girl.

So every night we have done this around dinner time. But I am afraid that too has to wait a few months. She may be too big to do it when the time is up!

So that’s about it! I feel good. I’m up moving around. That’s right I went to Dunkin Donuts in the above attire after I had my catheter removed. Celebratin’ at Dunkin’!

I am still waiting for me to pee, sans the tube and poach. This is important or else the tube has to go back in. So I am drinking a coupla light beers in order to help me go.

Just kidding! Apple juice is the order of the day.

We were leaving the hospital yesterday around 2pm and I got my Hollywood ride in the wheelchair I was looking forward to.

I was helped on the chair and then helped in my car, in the passenger side this time. And as I carefully sat in there I had to find a place for my pee bag and just opted to hold it on my lap. Which added a whole nother dimension to holding your pee in the car.

Have a great week everyone!

You have some nerve!

A man elects to have a prostatectomy (removal of the prostate) and asks the surgeon to try to spare the nerves that produce an erection. Well, he goes into surgery and wakes up in the recovery room and sees his doctor.
Man: So how did it go?
Doctor: I’ve got good news and bad news.
Man: Give me the good news first.
Doctor: We were able to save the nerves.
Man: That’s great news! What’s the bad news?
Doctor: They’re under your pillow.

My good friend, the great Dr. O is going to spare me this scenario I trust. In fact he and my cancer doctor have become some hero’s to me. They are trying to save my prostate.

Yes, early detection, annual physicals, and PSA’s gave me some options. I can’t say enough good things or good advice other than get yourself checked early for prostate and breast cancer and get yourself checked often.

Early detection allowed me to save my prostate and, after some work, enables me to use it for years to come. Yes, if you are wondering, immortality!

My options included removal (surgery), to radioactive seed implants, to futuristic surgery by a robot.

Its good to have choices!


I opted for the radioactive seeds procedure, called a ‘brachytherapy’ for many of the obvious reasons from outpatient surgery, to shorter healing to still being able to still use my prostate.

If you are interested in learning more about achy-brachytherapy’s, from procedures to side effects and benefits  click here and here.

I was initially crushed with the news that I had cancer but reading this really, really, saved my summer.

But I am getting ahead of myself. People have asked what is going on the day of my procedure. If you don’t enjoy some mildly graphic medical and body images I think you should close the curtain on this post right now. In fact I only allow this window in my mind open for a short time until it makes me a bit nauseous and I have to think of something else.

I have to arrive at the hospital at 5:30am. In which case they are going to give me a series of anesthesias to put me out.  I am then placed in what I imagine to be something like a birthing chair where my legs are spread apart giving the doctors full access to the land where my legs come together, just in front of my rectum.

I don’t think I’ll be riding my bike next week!

The tool I used to consummate my marriage will be taped up and off to the side I hear. Oh, how I hope they give me a shave first!

So this is my first issue in this procedure, all doped up, tubes in my arm and mouth while I lay limp, legs spread apart, waiting to be violated.

The goal of this cancer treatment is to insert radioactive seeds into my prostate in order to kill the cancer cells. Now how many radioactive seeds, the size of a pencil tip, do you think that would take?

If you guessed 75-100 you are in the right ballpark.

Radioactive seeds have the benefit of keeping the radiation local, with little radioactive runoff to neighboring organs. They can be much more precise than  laser radiation treatments that have to shoot through your body, laying victim to everything they touch.

Do you think they will jingle when I go for a jog?

The doctors are literally going to fill my prostate with these seeds, in hope of killing any and all cancer, detected or undetected.

On the down side, these seeds are due to stay in me way (way) past their useful life. They are mine. I keep them. I paid a lot of money for them after all.

The percentages to killing the cancer cells are quite high, in the 90’s, and its a good chance I will be cancer free, down there, for good.

A down side to this procedure is that our urinary tube runs smack through my precious C-spot. This is one of the immediate issues when prostate cancer shows its ugly head, inhibiting normal urinary functions.

The issue with my procedure is that there is a chance or two that the needles inserting my seeds poke or break that urinary tract. They tell me this is a small chance but it is a big deal if it happens.

When everything is said and done I get a brand new catheter installed with a tube running down to my leg. I should be home by 4 or 5pm that same day. The good Lord willing and no surprises occurring I will have that catheter out the next morning.

Choices are good!

All in all I think that is a pretty fair deal for having cancer and the treatment of it. I am so blessed to have this new and developing technology to handle my treatment and CURE.

And I can say CURE due to early detection and options!

You don’t know how hard it is for a fit 50 year old man to tell family and loved ones he has cancer. Trust me, at 50 you are not ready for this. Not at any age.


Some of the side effects of this procedure include, frequent urination, immediate urges to go, some incontinence or even a burning feeling with with urination.

Heck, I have half of those now! But my doctor tells me they would be short lived and everything, EVERYTHING,  including regular sex, should be back to normal down there within a month or two. I’ll let you know how that goes!

In fact, my doctor tells me he wants me trying to have sex (to strengthen the organ) as soon as two weeks. But with the use of condoms.

You see the radioactive seeds have about a 17 Day half life. Meaning, after 17 days they lose half of their potency. After another 17 days they lose half of that and the seeds should be inactive after about 3 months.

Which means after 2 weeks I may be shooting some kryptonite into those condoms, if anything at all. But he does want me to try.

A second precaution, and this may be the hardest, is I can not hold my kids for TWO MONTHS.

That’s right, the radiation coming from my belly can actually make them sick to some very bad diseases. He said hugs are OK but not on my lap. I hope they can understand.

Which leads my mind to wonder, what else might I expect from having a garden of radioactive seeds in my belly?

One funny reader thought I may have some glowing nuts!

I thought my belly may glow in the dark at night…not unlike a firefly.


Will I become telepathic? Or have x-ray or heat vision? Spidey-senses? Or become a Bruce Banner?

Don't make me mad and find out...puny human. Hulk smash!

Don’t make me mad and find out…puny human. Hulk smash!

But to be told you have cancer and then have it (hopefully) killed by a 90 minute procedure and then being able to go back to work two days later is a pretty fair trade off.

Folks, if their is anything to take away from this it is early detection. If I had ignored this a year or two more the cancer may have grown too big to allow these choices.

Get checked! Tell your friends and family!

Through this whole ordeal I have been able to follow two strong ladies and their procedures for treating their cancers, breast and ovarian.

These ladies have given me strength and perspective, allowing me to understand I am very lucky to have this, my treatment available.

And right now, NOW,  as I type, that damn song comes on the radio, ‘Its Not my Time’.

 Oh thank you God!

Thank you too, Susie at Susie’s Wild Ride and Angela at Mind Margins.

I think He just said we are all going to be OK. Its not our time!

Will you two stand up and take a bow?

Sorry, I had to walk away and dry my eyes. It does get emotional sometimes when laughter alone isn’t enough.

These two ladies are so much more courageous than me. They deny their importance but I am humbled at my illness based on what these ladies go through. I hope to be at least half as brave, strong and spirited.

   Susie is right, Laughter is the best medicine!

An old guy goes to his doctor for his physical and gets sent to the Urologist as a precaution. When he gets there, he discovers the Urologist is a very pretty female doctor.

The pretty doctor says, “I’m going to check your prostate today, but this new procedure is a little different from what you are probably used to. I want you to lie on your right side, bend your knees, then while I check your prostate, take a deep breath and say, ’99’.

The old guy obeys and says,”99″.

The doctor says, “Great”. Now turn over on your left side and again, while I repeat the check, take a deep breath and say, ’99”.

Again, the old guy says, ’99’.”

The doctor said, Very good. Now then, I want you to lie on your back with your knees raised slightly. I’m going to check your prostate with this hand, and with the other hand I’m going to hold on to your penis to keep it out of the way. Now take a deep breath and say, ’99’.

The old guy begins, “One …. Two … Three” …

….and off I go!

I’m immortal..and other eye popping news

“My big day is coming up on September 17th. So I’ve been doing a lot of research about prostates and prostate cancer. It seems if you masturbate a few times a day it can add years to your life. I’ve just been doing a quick tally and it appears I’ll be immortal!”

OK, that was just one of the many jokes that seem to circulate around prostate cancer. Believe me, there are A LOT of masturbation jokes!

Several people have asked me about my big day and some of the fun funny experiences I have had. As many of you know, when being diagnosed with Cancer you have to keep a sense of humor about it.

I was diagnosed back in the beginning of May and have known all summer I would have to get fixed.

Oh gosh, now I’m sound like a male dog!

No, I have had fun all summer and I hope to right up until next Tuesday. I find if I start thinking about the procedure, or some side effects, I literally go blank; wide-eyed, deer in the head lights, sick to my stomach blank. This past Monday was like that. I would rather laugh!

“I never understood why all The Muppets’ eyes looked like they were popping out of their heads.

Until I got my first prostate exam…”


Yes, this all started with some early detection via blood tests and then a prostate exam(s) at my annual physicals.

First, just like breast cancer, never ignore your early detection tests. They have saved lives! Maybe mine.

Second, I’ve had so many prostate exams by now I am actually starting to enjoy them!

OK, not so much,. That was one of the prostate jokes too. But I am getting used to them. Too used to them!

Which brings us to the next test in this prostate story, to confirm how much cancer I have…the prostate biopsies!

After my first meeting with my Oncologist, I’m going to call him Dr. O from now, he told me he needed a sample of my prostate to see the extent of my cancer; how much I may actually have. I think you women can appreciate this. A biopsy.

A sample.

He tells me I have to go to his office (the same week as our dreadful move) and I will disrobe. He will then give me some anesthetic by way of a needle up my arse to kill the sensation. He then takes a little gun with a similar needle and with a click of the trigger the needle dives up and in and snatches a piece of my prostate.

To aid in the precision of this procedure he also inserts a camera in my backside to get a look at my prostate as well as guide the needle. Dr. O has a dirty job!

So I got up that Saturday morning washed myself like three times in that area that morning, took a deep breath, and marched into this biopsy chambers.

I can do this I thought. I can do this!

It’ll be a little uncomfortable but it will be over in an instant and then I have the rest of the day to get some pity play.

So I walk in his back procedure room (pardon the pun) and there’s this beautiful young blonde nurse and she asks me to take my clothes off and lie on my side on this bed.

Yes, she only had to ask me once.

But as I turned around I took a pan of the room and the equipment in it.

The first thing I noticed was a row of 12 nice blue shot glasses. I joked (its how I handle duress) “oh are we doing shots this morning? “

She answers no, they are for my samples.


Laughing at my gullibility, I knew I had been duped, I thought Twelve samples? Twelve pieces of my butt?

Oh but it gets better!

As I continue scanning the room, right beside it appears to be the table, like a mammogram table, where the doctor will view images from up my butt.

And there it sat.

It looked like a huge, acrylic clear plastic dildo statue. ~Sorry ladies I looked but still can’t find the right term for the camera.

But I only saw one. And I thought, this is the device he uses to look up every other man’s rectum. This one. I am sure it is made for the average sized male. Which I am not!

I looked at my fingers for a disappointing comparison. I am only 5’7″. NOT 6 feet tall! Not nearly the average size male.

So again, I laughed and spun around to the pretty nurse and asked, “Excuse me? Does that thing come in different sizes or is it a one size fits all type of device?”

She told me that is the one and only but that I won’t be disappointed!

Easy for her to say.

So I laid naked on my side on the cold table, while looking at some cone shaped chair directly in front of me that I figured must be for giving and receiving enemas. Nice! A nice Saturday morning. Can I go now?

The doctor walks in and casually asks if I didn’t have anything better to do this Saturday morning (..than lay here naked on his cold table?) I told him no, not really. Just mowing the grass but that can wait.

He continues to tell me how it was going to go. He pulled out his needle gun, although from my position I couldn’t see it, and told me this is what its going to sound like.

Then he pulls the trigger and I hear a click, like from one of my kid’s toys. I told him, “Great, lets not be pointing guns in the house.”

He laughed and applauded at my attempt at humor. And began.

He clicked. I twitched. He clicked I twitched.

Actually it wasn’t too uncomfortable. It was just the sound that made you realize he was taking a small piece of your insides out and dropping them in a cup that made you jump. If I hadn’t heard the click I might not have twitched at all.

Trying to talk and joke as my way to distract myself from the situation, and also looking towards the finale, I asked, “How many is that now? 8? 9?”

Dr. O says, “Four! And try not to move.”


The Da Vinchi Procedure

to be continued…..

“If we couldn’t laugh we’d all go insane….”

Postcard from St. Lucia

Hey gang,

Sorry I’ve been absent here this week. We’ve had a couple of issues here at home I’ve had to deal with, not the least of which is I’ve stopped receiving emails of your new posts. So sorry if I’ve missed a post or two. I’m still subscribed, my email is still in there.

Has anyone one else had this happen to them. What did you do?

Second, our new house misadventure continues to unfold.

We called out our local power company to do an audit to find out why our power bills have been so jigundous. It turns out the area over our master bedroom on our second floor has no insulation covering it in the attic.

Ceiling temps in our upstairs hallway were 74 degrees.  Ceiling temps in our MBR were 85 degrees. It is no wonder our A/C continues to run all the time!


Our lovable new greyhound actually bit our nanny this week.

This friendly, submissive, 60lb ball of muscles turned on her and gave her a nip and broke the skin. Unacceptable! He actually growled at Mom today as she was trying to take some trash back that Chum pulled from the trash can. Not good!

So we are in touch with his trainers to try to figure this out. They call him a ‘fearful and not confident’ dog who is just coming out of his ‘honeymoon’ period in his new home, trying to establish himself, much like a child pushing some boundaries. Stay tuned. If he ever growls at these girls he has to go back. And we all agree that would be a shame.

These, along with more questions and anxieties arising for my cancer procedure next week, reminded me of my friend Jimmy’s saying, “When you attitude’s appalling, there’s a latitude that’s calling, so get yourself past that continental shelf.”

Coincidently, that verse come from Buffett’s “Party At The End Of The World”  (sigh)  ….

So I wanted to send you all a post card from our valentine’s day trip to St. Lucia a few years back.

First, I enjoy doing these Travel posts so much because doing the research and digging out out photos just bring back some great memories. So that is why this runs on.  if you don’t have the time right now but want to take a quick trip with us to the island of St. Lucia, bookmark this and come back when you have some time or need that  attitude fix.

If you only have time for a quick fix  right now, here is a great, professionally done video, courteous of the island. I find it to be very accurate as to what we saw and explored. You can get a good look at this beautiful, romantic Caribbean island in 4-6 minutes. Or click on it and read on for a nice relaxing backdrop to the story.

Where did you go/what was it like?

We chose St. Lucia in part as part of our quest to explore every island in the Caribbean and in part for the great all-inclusives that are on the island. More on that later.


St. Lucia is part of the British West Indies. It celebrates a transient and colorful history from the days of pirates, new world exploration,and colonization, as all her sister islands do. You can get a good glimpse at her sorted-past right here.

The island hosts a myriad of twisting, winding roads that certainly keeps any tourist on the edge of his/her seat when traveling in a tour bus or shuttle! The trip to a remote part of the island to go zip lining was probably the most thrilling part of our getaway!

zip-liningThe island seems designed to be sort of a romantic destination due to its lush foliage (more on that) and resorts designed for couples only

flowers in the jungleThe topography of the island is very diverse, featuring a canopy of a tropical rainforest:

Visiting the rainforestto an actual live ‘drive in’ volcano at Sulfur Springs….

with some smelly sulphur gas rising

to twin mountain tops that are adoringly called the ‘Twin Pitons‘ in this romantic hideaway…

twin pitons….to a tropical flower garden, Botanical Gardens, that even any high testosterone male could enjoy! It features an orchid garden, white lilies, a wide assortment of colorful tropical plants; a tropical delicacy in flowers….

Red Lobster Claws

Red Lobster Claws

Red Crab Claws

Red Crab Claws

You can caption this one...

You can caption this one…

The history of the Botanical Gardens gos back to the French in habitation, when they saw the baths in the gardens having ‘healing qualities’.

There is a stream flowing through the gardens, with the waterfall featured in ‘Romancing The Stone’. The clear water flowing down this fall illustrates the vast amount of minerals in the water.

The romantic Diamond Head Falls can heal whats wrong with youThe romantic Diamond Head Falls can heal whats wrong with you

You see the water flowing around Sulfur Springs volcano is a whopping 340 degrees. This hot water dissolves a lot of the minerals found in the soil and rocky landscape. So when filming the clear water it captures the colorful minerals trapped in the water. Besides touristy baths, advertising healing powers, today’s tourism also features mud baths as well. You won’t get cold!

Where did you stay/what was it like?

When looking for a vacation destination we didn’t chose St. Lucia per se, we chose Sandal’s Resorts. We always enjoy a nice all-inclusive offering, some good water sports, and Sandal’s was hard to ignore.

Sandal’s is part of a larger chain with the motto, “Luxury Included” in the all-inclusives. And they really try to pull it off. Sandal’s is actually a ‘couples only’ resort. Their sister company, ‘Beaches‘, is a family oriented resort chain.

Lots of weddings at this 'couples' only resort

Lots of weddings at this ‘couples’ only resort

We actually chose St. Lucia because there happen to be 3 Sandal’s resorts on this one tiny island. This was a BIG perk when it came to dining. We stayed at the Sandal’s Halcyon, which was actually the oldest and most modest of the 3 Sandal’s resorts; the only one that could fit our budget.  But we weren’t slumming….



Sandal’s Halcyon web site reads, “By design, this resort is built naturally into the environment with no building higher than the highest palm. Enjoy Classic Caribbean architecture and quaint, charming ginger breaded cottages, creatively designed to meld into the luxuriant surrounding landscape, during your ideal St. Lucia vacation.”

Oh, and its a couples only resort so no loud teenagers or exhausted toddlers. It just could be ‘romantic’.


Below is a view from our room balcony…views from room balcony

The resort featured lots of lush tropical foliage…


Some nice restaurants with great views…

Kellys dock side reest

Like at Kelly’s Dockside—dramatically extending 130 feet out over the water. It’s just one of six restaurants and seven bars, plus with there dine around program on St. Lucia there are sixteen additional restaurants at the neighboring Sandals Resorts to try.


Some of the required water sports…

What, no diving?

What, no diving?

Tube Racing

Yea, that'll do!

Yea, that’ll do!

Being in some upscale settings (for once) we met a lot of nice people from all over the world here in the British West Indies.

Our friends Marilyn and Frank were staying for a month!

Our friends Marilyn and Frank, from Toronto were staying for a month!

We met some crabby locals too…

Good morning little friend

The grounds were lush and tropical as you would expect but with some FUN amenities that you might not expect…

I'm planning on doing this little treat by our new pool

I’m planning on recreating this little treat by our new pool

plus a pool or two that were absolutely toxic!

I'm not moving....

I’m not moving….

Plus, we were on the western side of the island, by design. So we had the opportunity to see this every night….if we could find the time!

The sunset our first day

The sunset our first day

All in all, not too bad for the ‘budget’ Sandal’s on St. Lucia!

What was the food like?/Where did you have the best food?

The good and the bad of staying in all-inclusives is that you rarely venture off the property to explore and experience the local cuisine. That liability was really mitigated with Sandal’s in St. Lucia. In fact it was a perk!

If any part of our stay at the ‘luxury included’ resort typified luxury it was the dining.

What do you think of when it comes to dining at all-inclusives?

The same breakfast buffets? In expensive entree’s prepared on flashy ways? Nothing too pricey or even tasty?

These Sandal’s resorts featured some literal Four and Five Star restaurants. This was no hype. They were excellent. And you didn’t need your wallet or a credit card to try the best thing on the menu….it was already paid for!

Gardens over Sandals Regency

Gardens over Sandals Regency

The best illustration of this was at the Sandal’s Regency French Restaurant, La Toc.


We enjoyed a fantastic meal at La Toc. I tried a few new things that I have never tasted before. Like escargot for appetizers and caviar for sides with my beef wellington; at an all-inclusive!

It was great! It was a moment. It is what going on vacation in new places is all about. Memorable!

From the French Restaurant La Toc at Sandal's Regency

From the French Restaurant La Toc at Sandal’s Regency

We also took the Sandal’s shuttle over to the Regency to enjoy dinner at their popular Japanese restaurant, Kimonos!

Grande shrimp at Sandal's Regency's Japanese restaurant

Grande shrimp at Sandal’s Regency’s Japanese restaurant

In the true definition of ‘a small world‘ the people seated immediately beside us were from our hometown. What are the odds?

Anybody can do ONE set of chop sticks...

Anybody can do ONE set of chop sticks…

The other Sandal’s resort, Grande we visited too. And it was! It was a gorgeous resort on the tip of the island with more restaurants that really put ours to shame. We went there for one special evening too!

Sandal's Grande beach. The resort was grande!

Sandal’s Grande beach. The resort was grande!

What was the highlight of your trip

This survey asks what is the highlight of our trip?

As I alluded to earlier, the most thrilling part of our Valentine’s vacation wasn’t the zip lines but the ride to the zip lines!

We were dispatched in old worn out school buses that barely ran. No power! If you can imagine downshifting in a school bus on a 35% incline.

This bus had to make hairpin turns on narrow dirt roads at steep angles, both going in and coming out of the rainforest ( It didn’t rain) Every time we approached one of these turns I just knew the bus would just roll over down the mountain side into the jungle never to be heard from again.

But we didn’t. However I have no pictures to show you of the severity of this event (you see how I like a picture) so I will move on to memorable night number 2 (sort of).

The most memorable event recorded (thankfully)was our dinner over at Sandal’s Grande. We took the shuttle over early so we could explore. They had a private dining room on the end of a pier that was by reservation and currency only. Yes, in an all-inclusive, to eat in this private room at the end of the dock you needed some money!

We opted for the Bare feet Beach Restaurant where we could have a table right next to rolling surf.

A view from our table at Sandal's Grande Barefoot Beach Restaurant...where we could only look at the private dining room.

A view from our table at Sandal’s Grande Barefoot Beach Restaurant…where we could only look at the private dining room.

This was nice! And only the beginning.

It was dusk. The gentle waves just feet from our table. My favorite date in front of me. And I could order anything on the menu at this 5 Star resort and not have to worry about getting a bill.

And so, like all cheap frugal minds, I couldn’t make mine up. There were two entree’s that I really wanted to try. I couldn’t make up my mind. Analysis paralysis!

So, after a glass of wine an haggling with my server, he let me have BOTH entrees. Yes, I am a pig!

It was delicious, light, tropical, star lit night. And then our server said the dessert buffet was right upstairs!


Dessert Buffet? Do you know me? We are called the dessert couple by our neighbors. Buffet? Here?

So we marched up to the British Pub where they told us it could be found

Next upstairs to the 'British Pub'

No passports needed.

We found a table in the British Pub and then I spied it. A dessert Buffet!

Where are the plates!

for the dessert buffet

You see, they were teeny-tiny desserts that didn’t really fill you up. You could take all you wanted. Oh, and if you got thirsty, we were sitting right across from the after-dinner drink buffet!

just put it on my tab...

just put it on my tab…

It was incredible. I ate the best stuff. I countered it with the best, soothing beverages. And it wa endless.

I AM such a pig!

After I moved the notch on my belt back as far as I dare we eventually found the shuttle back to our resort. If you have a culinary background, or just like tasting great things like I do, this was heaven on  stick and worth the trip alone.

How could we ever top it off?

so comfy...the swinging bed

Yes, the swinging bed!

Luxury Included!

The last thing I remember

The last thing I remember

Any funny/embarrassing stories or disasters?

Not a good one but painfully embarrassing…

We had become good friends with the outgoing Activities Director at our resort. One day she asked if we would like to do a Dating Game type of game at the night’s activities, where they ask one person a questions and then pull their partner out and ask them the same question to see if they match.

Do you remember this game?

First we agreed we would NOT answer anything that puts the other person in an embarrassing light. We knew this part. Right?

We get there and right away we won a prize!

…for being the oldest couple on the stage!

She did her questions and then I did mine. The pressure was on! The last question, keep in mind this is a couple’s Dating Game, they asked me if my wife was a Doormat, a Chit Chat, or an Acrobat..in bed?


I told them well she’s none of these…I can’t tell this stuff.

They insisted on an answer. I insisted she was not any of these! They insisted harder and brought the crowd in to the picture.

I failed. Whatever answer I said, it was the worst one! It was going to be no matter what I said.

The game was over. She steamed off. I groveled with apologies, promises, I’m sorry’s and more.

She was mad for the next 36 hours…on our vacation in paradise. PAINfully embarrassing!

How was the weather (and when did you travel)?

The weather was great. We wondered what it would be like with a tropical rainforest on the island. But all we had was a few morning showers at daybreak and a few around 4:00pm, never lasting longer than 30 minutes and that was it.

It was the kind of light rain you might welcome at a ‘couples only’ resort on a tropical island.

Most useful word/phrase you learnt.

“What time is the shuttle”. our days were planned around this, whether planning meals at other resorts or catching a commercial travel activity like zip lining or volcano hunting.

And the other useful piece of information that we have tried to build into our trips to tiny islands, “Always stay on the western side of the island!

going down

Our practice is to sit and watch the sun go down on every last day of a trip, wringing every lat drop of Travel and Escape out of our trip.

If I haven’t lost you yet, and want to see glimpses of this trip in action, click on the video and join us one more time. I think its worth it!

Sorry for the typos!

it is and continues to be a busy week!

I get back to them eventually

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