Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Madlvies- a picture perfect paradise

Peyton and I decided that we wanted to take a "babymoon" vacation for Christmas this year. We had some destinations that we wanted to go to before the baby arrives and we thought this would be a good time to do it. We are really fortunate to be close to many destinations living in China. We decided that we would spend about 5 days in the Maldives, a couple days in Sri Lanka, a day in Singapore, and 3 days in India. The Maldives were our first destination and we were so ready for a relaxing getaway! 

Quick Geography lesson: The Maldive Islands is an island nation in the Indian Ocean. It lies right about between Sri Lanka and India. Its a collection of about 1,200 islands. The Maldives are also considered the smallest Asian country in both population and land. 

I have always wanted to go to the Maldives and I had it on my bucket list of dream destinations, so when we found out we weren't that far living in China we decided to go for it! The move and the pregnancy have been pretty stressful for us so the Maldives were a great place to finally relax. We were also sad we were missing Christmas with our families, so it was a great way to distract ourselves and create our own little paradise Christmas. It was definitely one I will always remember! 

While at the airport getting ready to board we were bombarded with a million asian teenagers screaming. We asked someone what was happening and apparently there was a Korean Pop star passing through the airport. These girls went so bananas. We still don't know who he is, but his appearance made us laugh. 

Since the Maldives are many different islands, you usually take speed boats and catamarans to different islands during the day. The first Island we visited was more of a local village and it was fun to see the everyday Maldivian lifestyle...until we stumbled upon this thing. Anyone who knows me, knows that I am deathly terrified of large lizards. We saw this one in the street just hanging out and I took off running. I don't think the Maldivian people have ever seen a pregnant person run that fast before. I still can't even look at these pictures. I have one eye open as I type this. 

Apparently, homegirl does not share my phobia. 

Day number two we spent on the Island of "Bandos". This was our most amazing day of the whole trip. The weather was great, hot but not terrible, our best weather day, as well! The whole Island is not very big and we probably walked around the whole thing in about a half hour. We sat in lounge chairs, read a book, took a nap (or two), ate a buffet island brunch, and did our favorite activity of snorkeling. This island is so beautiful and the water is so clear! The sand is so smooth it feels fake. We kept asking each other if we could really believe we were in the Maldives. 

We have an underwater camera that we have really enjoyed using while going snorkeling. It came in handy when we were snorkeling in the morning and came across a shark! I was terrified and swam to find Peyton and tell him. I told him and instead of consoling his hysterical wife, he swam off to go take pictures of it. I swam directly to the shore. The pictures are cool though, so I will excuse him. 

 The sunset was amazing and one of my favorite parts of the day.

The other days were spent island hopping some more, a little fishing (no luck), more snorkeling, drinking $6 Diet Cokes and seeing some bats!  Heres some pictures around the islands. We are convinced that you cannot take a bad picture here. Everywhere you look its an instant screensaver! 

The last night we had a local that owns a BBQ cook us an authentic Maldivian BBQ on the beach. It was really cool to talk with a local and to see what they do everyday. He prepared us fresh fish and chicken that were marinated in a maldivian spice. It was the spiciest thing Peyton and I have ever eaten in our lives. We had tears running down our cheeks and couldn't stop laughing. Our new friend kept saying, "Its not too spicy, is it? I made it mild." We are such weak sauce. 

We asked him if he realized that he lives in paradise. His response took us for a loop. He said, "to me, paradise is somewhere there is snow." WHAT?! I guess the grass really is always greener on the other side. 

I told Peyton that in 3 months when we are holding a screaming baby in our arms we will look back on this paradise vacation with fond memories. I already miss it.