Seasoned View : Vol. 24

Each month we share our Seasoned View.  Snapshots of nature and daily life taken by the Seasoned sisters. Find our archive of past months’ views here.

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Bali! Before heading to Bali, I groaned at the thought of it.  I had only ever heard Bali mentioned during prize puzzles on Wheel Of Fortune and it was always preceded by ‘an all inclusive 9-day getaway!’ blah, blah, blah. I imagined it to look like one huge Sandals resort. Ick. Not my kind of traveling (I apologize if it’s yours!) I thought, no way, not going to Bali, any other Indonesian island, yes, Bali, nope! Holy crap I was wrong. Bali is amazing.  There are a couple touristy beaches on the southern side of the island, but beyond that Bali is an amazing, lush, green gem of an island.  More on that in another post, but for now here’s a few new Seasoned Views for your April desktops and backgrounds. Usually we share images that Kate and I took over the past week, but we’re taking it wayyyy back this month and sharing photos of where I was exactly four years ago. Welcome to time traveling with the Seasoned sisters.

You can upload one or all of these photos to use as your desktop background or even as phone and tablet wallpapers.  Simply click on the download link below each photo and save the image.  Enjoy!

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Jamaica – Seasoned View: Vol. 23

Each month we share our Seasoned View.  Snapshots of nature and daily life taken by the Seasoned sisters. Find our archive of past months’ views here.

IT’S MARCH! WTF. If you remember, that’s exactly how I started the February Seasoned View.  I can’t help but feel like this year is slipping through my fingers. I think I’m bopping around so much that I haven’t had a chance to sit still and organize my thoughts, but hey, who needs a moment of calm?  This week I’m hosting Blacka, who I refer to as my Jamaican dad, but he’s more like a best friend.

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Blacka lives next door to the villa where I studied abroad in Jamaica in 2009.  I loved talking with him and his family so much that I decided to go back to Jamaica alone in 2010 and stay with them for two months.  Those were some of the most relaxing months of my life.  I would wake up early because of the heat at which point I’d go lay near the beach, catch a breeze, and take another nap. After nap time, I’d hit the street (as they say in Jamaica) take tons of photos, eat jerk fish, drink Red Stripe and stroll on back home. I learned how to make rice and peas, I made an “office” on the porch of an unused villa, and I learned how to wash my clothes by hand.  I met up with farmers and locals that I had met the year before and generally treated every day as a mini photo adventure. I shot soccer tournaments, elementary school fashion shows, and dozens of different professions.  I waded out into five feet of water in the ocean (with my camera held over my head) in order to hop aboard a tiny fishing boat, slipped on my ass all the way down a muddy mountain to teacher ginger farmers about pesticides, and slept in half finished houses with acquaintances just to get a better feel for the life of a Jamaican.  I even worked on a book concept, but like most of my projects, it was never actually completed. Over the course of two summers, I fell in love with Caribbean culture and island life. I made countless friends, a handful of which I still keep in touch with. I cannot believe that I’m hosting Blacka in my home.  I always hoped the day would come, but I never knew it could be a reality. It just goes to show you the potential of talking to strangers. I thought it could be fun to share some Jam Rock photos here today in honor of the one trip that made me realize I could feel completely at home anywhere on earth.  What a magical moment that was.

You know the deal, you can download one or all of these photos to use as your desktop background or even as phone and tablet wallpapers.  Simply click on the download link below each photo and save the image.  Enjoy!

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Excuse the quality of these shots – they were taken over five years ago, they’re unedited and honestly, they make me cringe, but they’re telling of my time so I’ll share them 🙂live seasoned seasoned view march jamaica3Paper makers in eastern seasoned seasoned view march jamaica9 Ginger farmers learning about pesticides – most thought that bad spirits were the reason for the decline of their crops. It was actually due to an invasive seasoned seasoned view march jamaica10 Veggie patty and bun – my favorite fast food in seasoned seasoned view march jamaica11 A primary school fashion show and talent contest was one of the highlights of my seasoned seasoned view march jamaica12 I had the opportunity to visit a Blue Mountain coffee factory. The drive up was terrifying, but totally worth the private seasoned seasoned view march jamaica13 This is little Lily, she is the daughter of the cook for the study abroad program.  I was able to stay at their home that they’re building brick by brick, which is how homes are built in most third world seasoned seasoned view march jamaica14Jamaica’s beer of choice.  My best friend actually worked in the offices of the Red Stripe factory so I was able to go on a tour, watch their company soccer team play and even try Red Stripe Bold, an awesome spin off brew that isn’t exported.


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Summer on Saxis Island, Virginia

In the past we’ve highlighted Saxis Island through photo stories about the watermen and our bike ride to the beach.  Yesterday we introduced you to our favorite spider and last week we mentioned a few of our favorite outdoor shower products.

We already love Saxis for so many reasons, but like most things in life, when you experience them again through a child’s eye you appreciate them that much more.  We wanted to highlight some of the shenanigans going on in and around Saxis this summer with a few photos. Hopefully you also have a favorite summer stomping ground where you can act like a kid again.  If not, let these photos be inspiration to get out there, mess around, and maybe find a spot that you’ll return to each summer.

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Playing in the surf never gets old.  If you have little ones like Alex, we recommend having one adult for every child because you never know when they might sprint right into the waves (Katie here : with these crazy boys I’m starting to think that we need two adults for every kid!).  Alex is one brave boy.  He’s constantly shocking us with the challenges he takes on like diving head first into holes in the sand. Yep, he treats sand dunes and big holes like a slide at the playground and going feet first would be too safe and tame for that tyke.  If you’re the cautious type or you just need a break, you could seek out the nearest bay to play in.  Chances are the water is calm and shallow and you may even find some bayside critters swimming in the water.




Of course, it’s not all about the kids. Our family has always enjoyed a good game, often it’s a card or board game at night, but we’re also a big fan of lawn/beach games. This year our mom discovered Kubb, and our pop made a set for the beach. Everyone in our group had a great time playing, and recommend this for anyone who loves horseshoes, corn hole, or any similar toss game.



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While we love a good beach day, we also love our water toys.  Each year it seems our family is adding something to the fleet.  This year we acquired two stand up paddle boards.  Stand Up Paddle boards are a fantastic way to hop right onto the water without much set up and hassle.  SUPs can be carried by one person where as kayaks are much easier to transport with two people. SUPs are also a nice way to give young kids a little taste of the bay without taking them too far out in case they’re a bit apprehensive about water.



As much as we love SUPs, kayaks and classic boogie boards, nothing beats a motorboat. We keep it pretty simple in our family with a small fishing boat, but it feels luxurious to us since we grew up paddling a canoe.  A motorboat allows you the freedom to bring along all the fishing and crabbing you could want and don’t you dare forget that cooler full of drinks!





While we’re running down docks, pulling up crabs and diving into sand holes, we’re learning about the world around us.  Every moment is a chance to see and experience something new on the island.  We get equally excited about feeding horseshoe crabs at the Assateague Visitors Center as we do about looking at dead dragonflies through a bug magnifying box.  Last year Alex’s first word was “burd”, which he said while watching the seagulls fly by the house. This year we started to teach him the names of different birds as we saw them, from egrets in the trees to osprey watching over their nests. We’re hoping these summers on Saxis instill the same love and appreciation for nature in little Alex and Luc that we have now as adults.

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