It had been raining most of the day but the sun came out for a sunset wedding. Hostess Heather (above) did a splendid job of organizing the entire event with hubby Ewan as best man. Rob Lyons was the MC and did a marvelous job of welcoming the many relatives from Canada (Kevin's family) and England (Becky's family) The three women above are Becky's grandmother Jean and her mother Sue. Below are special friends of the couple - Pinky and Becky, Val and Kevin and Eddie and Liz. We all join in wishing these two the most blissful life ever - we know they will be spending it on the sea!
I THINK THAT THIS ENTIRE EVENT HAS BEEN BEST EXPRESSED BY KEVIN'S NIECE, NATALIE (12) . Her speech at the wedding was a sure hit and Kevin will be known from here after as "The Legend"
HERE IT IS - UNEDITED - Please scroll down with the arrow on the bottom left - Thank You and Thank You, Natalie - You're a doll - and an excellent writer !!!!!
My Vacation in Tortola, British Virgin Islands
Natalie Mahara (Photo on the left - Natalie is in front)
April 8th, 2006
Today I had my very strenuous softball practice, but then, after it unfortunately ran extra late, (almost a whole four hours!) I had to rush home really fast, shower, vacuum, and finish packing- which I had only started yesterday! We thought that we were really crunched for time, but we ended up actually being on time! We arrived at the Vancouver International Airport, (which doesn’t make sense, because I learned that the Vancouver International Airport is actually in Richmond) and we got through customs just like that- super fast, because this week isn’t a holiday or anything. This made the first part of our trip very easy and catch-free. We got our seats at Gate 86, then sat down drank our Starbucks while playing Backgammon, listened to music, etc. Liam, (my brother) my mom, my Nana, and I waited over an hour to get onto our 7:17pm flight, because we got through customs so easily. We were lucky, because the flight ended up being ready 10 minutes early. For this trip, we are riding second class, but I really couldn’t care less, because over half the rows are completely empty! I was very quick thinking, and took advantage of the situation by coming to the very back of the plane all b myself, and taking up an entire row, with no one near my for at least three rows…either way! I could be talking to myself, but no one would hear me- except for the stewardesses that occasionally walk by. We are going to be stopping in LA, having an hour or so layover, and the rest is all happening tonight/tomorrow. It’s around 9pm right now, so I’m not too exhausted yet- but I hope that everything tomorrow goes smoother than this plane is right now!
April 9th, 2006
Last night we flew from LA to San Juan, which was at 11:50 pm, for six full hours! Luckily, I got the giant plane, and fell asleep almost immediately! I didn’t miss anything anyways, because the flight didn’t show any movies, or even feed you! When I finally awoke from my long slumber, it was only about another 20 minutes until we would land. We got the San Juan around 11am, (their time- 9am BC time) which lead to a very quick flight from San Juan to Tortola, BVI- only 35 minutes, but it was on a terribly tiny plane! We arrived sooner or later, and had to wait for over 45 minutes in a line… with only about 25 people ahead of us! Of course, when we finally got up, it took us less than two minutes! Our luggage was surprisingly all together on the floor, (they are super bright bags- the easier to find) and I finally got to saw what seemed to be my long-lost uncle. He looks very similar to what I remember him like- very tanned, with dark hair. Instead of taking an average, boring car back to where we were staying, we got to take a speedy speedboat! The sights were so breath-taking, the water so clear! The water was like 30 feet down, and you could still see every single individual rock on the ocean’s bottom. I even saw a stingray! Without even knowing us, he let me and Liam drive the speedboat (the Scarab I believe)… and we didn’t kill ourselves! When we got to our hotel- Nanny Cay- our rooms weren’t ready, so we got changed, ditched our luggage, and Uncle Kevin took us too his home… on a boat! It’s called Picaroon, and it’s a lovely boat! With varnished wood, new cushions, clean and no clutter! His wife-to-be Becky is really nice! We took Picaroon out for a ride, and Uncle Kevin cooked us up some burgers. Meanwhile, we talked to Becky and made ourselves at home! I decided to lounge at the very bow of the sailboat… but then I realized that I couldn’t move, because I was way too comfortable. We ate, and went to a few caves to snorkel. After I finally found a pair of fins that fit my feet, I grabbed a mask, and slid into the refreshing blue water. Uncle Kevin threw bread into the water, and I could literally touch the foot long blue and yellow fish around me. I dove under the water further, and I found hurtful black sea urchins, anemones, and even bigger fish on the colourful coral. I even got to drive the tiny yellow dingy back to the boat… but I almost killed us all! It was very challenging. I then got dried off, and got the drive this 48 foot sailboat almost half way back to the dock- then it was Liam’s turn to drive it. We went back to rooms 2202 and 2208 in Nanny Cay, showered, and then had a great dinner at Peg Legs with Uncle Kevin and Aunt-to-be Becky. I am so exhausted right now! Traveling really does take a lot out of a person, especially when that person only gets a five hour sleep from the previous night!
April 10th, 2006
Today we got up late… real late! We were so exhausted from yesterday! We even missed the breakfast time… and it ended at 11am! So we had a nice, big brunch- smoothies (fruit) and french fries. While we were waiting for our food to come, we took a couple steps off of the restaurant property, and we were in a very Caribbean shop, called Blue Water Divers. Everything in there was such a reasonable price, and the clothes were actually good quality. We went there, ready to spend money on renting snorkel gear for the week, and ended up coming out with two really good sets of snorkel gear, free of charge! I guess it is good to have a mom that is ‘Kevin, the famous boat salvager’s sister!’ We filled up our stomachs with good food, and took Greyhound out to sea, so Uncle Kevin could take care of a diving job. On the way, he dumped us off on a beach, and Liam and I got to test out our new snorkeling gear. We got to go our fairly far, because the water was not that deep, onto the coral reef- it was lovely! The water was so warm and clear, while all the fish huddled around something, while you could observe them with a close eye. Luckily, the gear that we rented was awesome, and didn’t even leak once! The only problem was that the reef was only 1-2m off from the water’s surface, so it is really hard to stay afloat, while making sure you don’t kick too hard or disturb the natural beauty of the ocean’s wonders. After only half an hour, Liam and I were forced to come back to shore, but it wasn’t such a bad thing, because we went back out with Uncle Kevin, and saw the breath-taking sights of Tortola, while me and Liam took turns driving. Then, we were blessed enough to go and see the very famous ‘Baths,’ where just recently a few celebrities had been. We saw fish more than two feet long, and in every colour you could ever imagine. Then we decided to go into the actual caves- (made of giant, natural rocks) if one of them slipped and fell, you would be crushed instantly in a second. We crawled through the tiniest places- I had much doubt that I, or my brother would be able to fit through them. We briefly got lost, but then luckily we found our way out. By the time we emerged from within, Uncle Kevin was waiting for us, so we snorkeled back over to his boat, and we then boated off to somewhere near Copper Island. Lucky for us, we got another snorkeling excursion, and got to swim with the fish for another 20 minutes. This place was almost as beautiful as the first! There was fish, coral, hurtful urchins, wiggling anemones, and they were all so beautiful… picture perfect! Then we boated over to Copper Island, and we had a couple drinks, and had a very bumpy ride back to Nanny Cay. We then showered, etc., and went back to Peg Leg’s and had another good round of food there. After dinner, I had Uncle Kevin a game of Backgammon, and I beat him bad the first game, and then we played for 10$, and he beat me… =( Oh well, because we were laughing through it! We were also laughing, because while I was having the time of my life, everyone at school was sitting down and doing math!
April 11th, 2006
Today, once again, we were late risers… but at least this time we got to eat breakfast! Almost all of the waitresses here are so hostile! After a great breakfast, Uncle Kevin was here to take us over to Picaroon’s dock, where we threw some mattresses in the back of a very beat up pick up truck, and me, Aunt to be Becky, Uncle Kevin, Liam, Mom, and my Nana went off to see the island… with myself, mom, and Liam in the back, bouncing up and down with the holes on the road. It also seems weird, because in Tortola you drive on the opposite side of the road! Tortola is so lush, with stunning views and water! We stopped off at the very famous/exclusive Smuggler’s Bay- and I can see why it is so exclusive! It was such a horrible ride to get down there! I was just about falling out of the pickup truck! The water there was flawless. There were just too many amazing fish, most of which my friends will never get to see in their entire life! I guess that I really am blessed to have this experience… while my Uncle, Becky, and everyone that lives down there takes it for granted I bet! I was literally a fish! I didn’t emerge from the water until it was time to eat lunch! Then we found a lovely black lab with the name Cowboy, and he just loved to play with his Frisbee! All too soon, it was time to pack up, and take me and my bright red legs home! The ride back up was just as bumpy as I remembered it… but at least this time I knew what to expect! We finally got back to Nanny Cay, and then we got ready and met Becky and Uncle Kevin outside the hotel. We were planning on going to the Yacht Club, but when we got there, it was closed! We then turned to ‘THE PUB,’ where my mom and Uncle Kevin caught us up on all of their memories from the same place when they were younger. We had a blast, with great food, stories, and key lime pie. It was then time to return- early rising tomorrow.
April 12th, 2006
Today we got up early (too early) and took a ferry over to the Spa on Peter Island. We went with my mom, my Nana, Becky, her mom Susan, and her (half) sister Ema. We arrived at the breath-taking Peter Island, and they gave us a tour of the amazing
Spa. We then slipped into our lovely silky robes and sandals, and my mom, Susan and I decided to try the Eucalyptus steam room. It was so relaxing, and it smelled so good! We sat down and talked about the wedding, etc. for about half an hour, then we walked down to the boiling hot Jacuzzi. It was much too hot for me, so I thought that I would go and have a swim in the Infinity Pool, and stand under the waterfall shower. It was purely heaven. After we had finished soaking ourselves, we took a walk along the gorgeous beach, picking up the scattered (but still dead) shells and pieces of unique coral along the water. We then slowly wandered back towards the main part of the establishment, for it was already 12:15pm- time for my manicure with Lorie! It was just great! She gave me a heavenly hand massage, and helped me pick out a colour that was just divine! We then ate our marvelous lunches, and sat along the Jacuzzi side once more, reading and playing Backgammon. I then had a glorious shower, and then I waited for the others to finish their treatments and emerge into the changing room. Unfortunately, we had to catch the 4:30pm ferry back, so it was time to say goodbye. Luckily, we caught the ferry ride home, and pretty soon we were at Peg Legs… again! There we shared a glorious dinner with all of Becky’s family, which had just arrived from England for the wedding. Today was a very relaxing day, yet I am terribly exhausted!
April 13th, 2006
Today I got up, had a very quick breakfast, then my mom and I got a ride into Roadtown with her old friend Eddie. (Also known as the owner of Peg Legs) Then we tried- and eventually succeeded- at getting money out of the Tortola ATM machine. Then, my mom and I finally got our little shopping trip. The people that were selling the products in Tortola are so much nicer than the people that were in the Dominican Republic. We wandered around for a while, and then found something very suiting for my dad and his friend- a t-shirt that had a smiley face on it, saying “Smile Mon.” We also got him a Pusser’s beige windbreaker, which is perfect for him, because he loves Pussers, and he loves windbreakers! And finally, we got something for me- a great big multi-coloured beach bag- perfect for my next trip, Spain. After that, we (sadly enough) hitch- hiked back to Nanny Cay- no thanks to my embarrassing mom. Once we arrived, I decided that I really needed to do some homework, so I did, while eating my lunch, and later on playing volleyball. Soon after, Becky came by and picked us up, and drove us to Picaroon for a dock party. Liam and I watched some T.V., and then we came out to eat and meet all of Becky’s family. It was a lot of fun! Pretty soon, Becky had to get her Beauty Sleep, because it is her wedding tomorrow! From there on, things wound down, and we went back to the hotel to get some rest ourselves.
April 14th, 2006
Today we got up, bought a couple of muffins for breakfast, ate them, showered, got dressed, etc. Then we went down to Peg Legs to play volleyball- since it was Good Friday, we had some trouble getting the volleyball, but soon, we were victorious, and we were down on the sand court playing. After Liam and I had been playing for a while, a grade six boy named Skyler asked to play with us. It was pretty fun, except for the fact that I was against two very competitive boys- two to one! I was the one that fetched drinks for everyone, and when I got back, it was time to go back to the hotel and get beautiful- in other words, shower again to get all of the sand off of my skin. We also packed up all of our things for the wedding, and Uncle Kevin showed up right on time, and took us to the wedding. The ride there was very steep- it was actually quite freaky. We finally got to the house, but then I saw why Uncle Kevin and Becky wanted to have their wedding there- the house was stunning! I mean, come on- the kids that lived there had their own house to live in- that is so not fair! The house was so open, perfect for a wedding. There was a pool, a pool room, (the kind of pool with sticks) a beautiful living room, a luxurious bathroom, and a gorgeous view of the island. We wandered around, took a tour, and then got into our outfits and had our hair and make-up done. This is the time when people started to arrive, so myself, being a bridesmaid, went up to a room with Becky, and discussed what would happen during the ceremony. The not-so-great part about being one of the bridesmaids was that the other two were both a lot older than me, and were both in silky pink dresses, with pearl necklaces. I was in a yellow, different style dress, with a more modern necklace. Right before we went into the room, there were about 100 bridesmaid photos taken- now that is a lot of smiling! Soon after we got into the room- they started the ceremony. I lead the way, and got ready for Becky’s arrival. When Becky came out, she looked stunning- absolutely beautiful- I loved her dress! Very soon, Rebecca Ann Paul (24) and Kevin William Rowlette (44) were married. After the ceremony I got tons of compliments on my dress and hair- my hair was straight, and my Nana put a lovely flower in the elastic on the top of my head. We ate food, drank drinks, and took more family photos. Then they started the speeches. I began my own just this morning, and my mom and Nana just gave me some ideas, and I ran with them. It was lots of fun, because I got to make fun of Uncle Kevin, and I didn’t get in trouble for it! There was about 3 speeches, my Nana’s (which was really good), and then mine. Mine was much more humorous than the rest, and I swear almost everyone at the wedding was cracking up! After that, it seemed as though everyone had forgotten the rest of the speeches and my appearance, and everyone was complimenting me on my speech! And Uncle Kevin even told me that everyone was telling him ‘how good his niece’s speech was.’ I even got a 10 minute lecture from someone that I had never met, which told me that I should go into acting because I was so good with my speech. (*Speech attached*) After everyone that was invited arrived, I snuck down into the pool room and had lots of fun playing pool and hide-and-go-seek in the dark, etc. with Alexa (13), Hannah (14), Hank (12), Chris (11), and Erin (10). We stayed there until 2am, and I am so exhausted.
April 15th, 2006
Today we got up super late- 11am, which is actually pretty good, considering our late hour last night! After we got our act together, we started to pack, and Uncle Kevin, Aunt Becky, and her family picked us up in Picaroon. From there we left to Norman Island. On the way there my mom told Liam and I about her and Kevin’s days of racing sailboats out at sea, and how they spent half the time with their legs flung over the deck, as we were right then. By the time we anchored, I was feeling dreadful- as my mom had just this morning, It took be about an hour to start feeling better- in this time when I was below deck, Aunt Becky had been opening all of her wonderful wedding presents- and there was a lot of them! Luckily, I just started feeling better when Alexa, Erin, and Chris arrived. We then went out snorkeling, and saw a whole lot of new and interesting creatures. We got back to the boat(s) and took a dingy over to the Willy T, (William Thorton) which is a very famous floating bar. We jumped off the very top of the boat, down into the filthy, fuel-filled water 30 feet down. We did that about five times, and then we were forced to come back to the dingy, then back to the boats. We fooled around on the boats for a bit, fed the birds Cheetos, and then we were bored, bored, bored. So we begged almost every other adult on the boat to drive us to the Willy T- and we finally got someone. We drove over, I picked my dad up a Willy T t-shirt, (he loves the Willy T) and we jumped off the top about 20 more times! Then, once again, we were forced to come back to Picaroon. But we left, and snorkeled/dove off and around the boats instead. Way to soon, Alexa had to leave, so we quickly exchanged emails and said our goodbyes. After getting the salt water taste out of my mouth, me and Nana decided to go back a little earlier than the rest, so we could pack, relax, and have a good dinner at Peg Legs, while Liam and my mom stayed on the boat for an extra hour and a half. It’s a really early start tomorrow- 5:15am (2:15am in Ladner), which is sadly when we have to leave Tortola and go back to cold old Vancouver.