Roseland Cottage 

 I visited one of New England’s National Historic Landmark: Roseland Cottage in Woodstock, Connecticut. This Gothic-Revival style summer home was for Henry and Lucy Bowen and their family built in 1846.

It includes massive, picturesque landscapes and gardens, detailed wall coverings, heavily patterned carpets and one of the oldest living bowling alleys.



massive entry way


the common room
original newspaper that Bowen was publisher
the formal dining room


A painting of Lucy Bowen’s grandfather in the dining room

JAMROCK.

“This is where I grew up,” my mom says with a smile  as we rode through the parishes of Trelawny, Jamaica.

Trelawny is a parish in Cornwall County in northwest Jamaica. It is bordered by the parishes of Saint Ann in the east, Saint James in the west, and Saint Elizabeth and Manchester in the south.

We are on a small, tight tour bus with ten other people (including my sister) as we sit firmly in our seats while the bus rocks back and forth on a high, steep bumpy road. As the bus goes faster, you can even hear the leaves of the palm trees scraping the windows.

I was excited. This was my second time going back to Jamaica in twenty years. I feel like I missed out on so many things there; although I am not a native. Physically being there surrounded by the people, the music, the food, and even trying their native tongue made me feel like I was part of their society.

My mom laughs as she remembers old roads she used to walk on while staring out the window and smiles as she sees the school children walking in their colorful, well pressed uniforms. “The girls always wear bows and ribbons in their hair,” she says in patois, the country’s native dialect.


I take in all the sights and sounds while we ride through Manchester and Montego Bay. There are so many cuts and corners that you could easily take a step forward and be in another town within seconds. The weather is humid, but the cool, balmy breeze made me feel like I was in paradise.


As we finally reach the town of Negril, we go to a cafe in the area and bought gifts at the gift shop, drank coconuts and enjoyed the beautiful view.


I couldn’t stop taking pictures. The frustrating part of the picture-taking process was that I couldn’t pack the sunshine and spirit back home! Taking pictures doesn’t do this place justice, but I tried the best I could to capture the essence of Jamaica.


 

As the day came to an end, the thunder started to roll and dark clouds blanketed the sky. I was in a hurry to get back on the bus in fear of getting drenched.

 

I am happy that I got to see Jamaica again thanks to sailing on The Royal Carribean cruise line. Since my last visit, seeing it now as an adult, I have a much greater appreciation of my time spent there and learning the culture. I definitely want to visit again in the future and explore more of what this beautiful country has to offer.

                             One love.

Labadee.


Labadee, which is located on the northern coast of Haiti, is a private resort my family went to on a cruise ship for vacation. We sailed on The Royal Caribbean: Freedom of the Seas.

We set sail for seven days on our cruise to the Western Caribbean and one of our first stops on the map was Labadee. The island was magnificent. Green, lush palm trees surrounded the resort, some even blocking our path where we walked. The sun was golden and hot. The water at the beach was the perfect temperature to take a dip in. The music and colors of the resort made me want to stay forever!

I snapped a lot of photos of the island and pictures don’t even do it justice. You need to see this place in person!

Dancers greeted us with traditional music


amazing palm trees
A live band playing for us
these are used to make palm wine
Barbecue lunch at the beach
me and my sister
works of art
my mommy

wearing a green Marc Jacobs military dress
browsing the gift shop
major photo fail

  my sister snagged a picture with the locals

Chapter One

So, this is my first post. Pretty scary I must admit.

I’m nervous about this whole journey because I never had an ‘official’ blog before where I actually post my true passions. Despite my fear, I am super excited about creating this little outlet for myself. Blogging has skyrocketed in the last several years, so I guess you can say I’m sort of late in the game. It’s okay though. At least I can say that I started and that I did it.

I named my page “Candice Renee 89” because it represents me as a person and who I am. “Candice Renee” represents the name I was given at birth and the “89” represents the year I was born. Simple right? I could have used various of other nicknames I was given all my life, but this name is more authentic and there is no extra “fluff.” What you see is what you get.

I am using this space to document all photos that I take (I’m no professional) but I do have a creative eye that shall not go to waste. I love to learn new recipes, travel, and do exciting things whether big or small.  I enjoy having fun experiences and to have someplace (like this blog) to document everything I’ve seen and done. Years from now, I will look back on my posts and say, “Man, I really did some amazing things.”

I don’t want to make this a long post, so I will wrap up by saying I am excited and relieved to start this new and exciting avenue of creativity.