Tuesday, January 26, 2010

"Make a Funny Face"

Aubrey makes the funniest faces! All you have to do is say "Aubrey, make a funny face!" and she'll throw something good your way.

Isn't she looking so old lately?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Sunday Jan 17: Heading Home

We got off early this morning and headed to the airport (after a huge breakfast and grabbing one last ice cream cone as we left the ship!) to come home. We ended up being upgraded to first class for our first flight to Atlanta! Gotta love the “traveling husband” perks!

I am writing this as I sit here on the plane, in first class, me with my Net Book and Brandon with his iphone, watching the coach people walk past us and I think of Brian Regan, “I’m making money right now! (About the curtain separating first class and coach) Snap it shut! I don’t even want to see ‘em! Not even in my peripheral!”

We are excited to go home and see the kids and get back into the normal swing of things. But we are dreading the snow and … getting on the scale. Oh. Dear. Me.

Here's Brandon signing off:

Saturday Jan 16: St Martin

Today was our last day and we were stopped in St Martin. We didn’t want to spend much money today so we just got off and took a water taxi to a close beach and shopping area. The beach was really pretty and the water was crystal aqua blue but it was a little rocky. Saundra and I walked to a little Belgian Chocolate Shoppe (isn’t that how you spell shop in other countries?) We bought some truffles and a Dutch Stroopwafel dipped in chocolate. All of our treats were so good and we scarfed them down in like 5 minutes! (1000 calories, BAM!) Lol. We never buy chocolate treats at home so you better believe we’re going to do it on vacation!

After a few hours at the beach we headed back to the ship.

Friday January 15: St. Kitts

Today was our big hiking day in St Kitts! We booked a volcano hike with Thenford Grey (David was our guide) and we had SO much fun! We got to see the whole island and lots of towns on the way to the volcano.

The hike was through a rain forest jungle and it was really dense and green. It was pretty steep and there was a lot of climbing (thank you lunges and step ups!) but it felt good to work hard.

The views from the top were amazing. A famous Caribbean soccer player who was friends with the tour guide tagged along with us because he had never done the hike. His name was “Cruckas” or “Crackers” or something like that. It was a nickname. It was not a very popular, touristy excursion because of the difficulty of the hike so we were the only ones on the trail the entire time. It was awesome!

At the top David, the guide, gave us some local raisin and coconut bread that was so good! We also got to try a local ginger punch and it was interesting. Don’t worry, we made sure it was non-alcoholic before we tried it! I really liked it. Then we made our way down the mountain. It was such a great hike!

After seeing the richer, resorty side of the island we headed to a beach for an hour or so.

Then we got back on the ship for our afternoon eats, nap, ice cream cone, dinner and show!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Thursday January 14: St. Lucia

Today we were stopped in St. Lucia. Today’s tour was your typical island tour finishing off with a beach stop but our tour guides made it amazing! We also got to try a ton of local food made by a lady who I think was one of the tour guides wives. We tried some very interesting and yummy dishes I never would have tried otherwise. It was great!

We started off by driving down the coast and seeing a few fishing villages. It was really cool to see all the villages and how people really live on the island.

Our first stop was the banana plantation where they told us all about banana farming. The bananas were really sweet and yummy.

After the bananas we went to a look out point where they had made us a huge breakfast of local foods. We tried fish cakes, fried dough balls, mango, avocado, mystery fruit, fried chicken, banana ketchup, coconut candy, guava cheese, some homemade fudge, and some other things that I can’t remember. We loved all of it! It was so interesting to taste so many different things that the local people eat every day.
The mountains in the background are the Pitons, a famous landscape in the Caribbean.

We then went to a pretty waterfall and a dormant volcano.

Then we took a water taxi to Jalousie Beach which is the beach between the two Pitons (famous mountains in the Caribbean) for swimming and snorkeling. The beach was in a gorgeous setting. It was so relaxing to sit in the shade and look out at the Pitons and the pretty water.

After the beach we stopped and got to try local hot bread and cheese. This was so fun. The bread was really hot and it was sliced down the middle (it was a big roll thing). Then you put a cheese stick like thing in it and it melts. Basically a local, Caribbean version of a grilled cheese sandwich.

Then we headed back to the ship where we, of course, ate some more and slept the afternoon away.

Our tour guide, Jean Claude:

Here we are at dinner. This is a typical dinner for us. Lol, and this isn't even showing the appetizers!

AND... Desserts!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Wednesday January 15: Barbados

Today we spent the day in Barbados. After breakfast and exercise, we got ready to head off the ship. The day started kind of crappy but ended up being one of our favorites. Ok, they were really all favorites, I don’t think I could choose a favorite. I had read on cruise critic that you can take a city bus to Accra Beach. We walked for about 20 minutes to the bus terminal only to find out that they don’t take US dollars.

So we ended up just getting a taxi. We were both a little annoyed and then in the taxi it started pouring rain. We got to Accra beach and it was still rainy. We waited under a tree for a while for it to blow over. It finally did and was gorgeous the rest of the day!

Now he's happy!

Let it be known that as of Jan 13, 2010 Accra Beach on Barbados officially overtook Sunset Beach on Oahu as our favorite beach we’ve ever been to. The sand was soft; the water was aqua blue and clear; there were biggish waves (most Caribbean beaches are really calm); It was PERFECT. We had so much fun body surfing and playing in the waves. It was by far the best beach on the cruise and probably the best of my life.

After a few hours at the beach we took a taxi back to the ship for the afternoon/evening usual.

Saundra was in part of the show this night. Isn't she so cute?! :-) I LOVE her!

Tuesday Jan 14th: Dominica

Today we went to Dominica. This was possibly our favorite port. We had an amazing tour today with Levi and Gary (meow - we can't say the word 'Gary' without thinking of Sponge Bob - "Goodnight Gary" "Meow") at Bumpiing Tours. They were awesome. We saw the entire island today. It was incredible.

The first adventure we did was at Titou Gorge. Titou Gorge is this narrow cave that you swim through back to a little water fall that you climb up and then jump off of. The water was freezing but that made it even more exciting. There was a natural warm water shower spring that came out right by the gorge. It was nice to cool off, eh, warm up after swimming and playing in the gorge. Brandon and Wes jumped off the ledge down into the freezing cave. They loved that!

This is where we swam into the narrow cave.

After Titou Gorge, we went to Trafalgar Falls. This was a pretty touristy place but Gary (meow), our guide, knew where to take us when to avoid most of the crowds. We sat in some mineral hot springs and then climbed around on some big rocks to get over to play at the bottom of Trafalgar Falls. The waterfall was gorgeous and climbing around on the rocks was really fun! Brandon and Wes swam around at the bottom of the falls. Saun and I were glad they both had each other to do that with!

After the falls we went snorkeling at Champagne Reef. It is called Champagne Reef because there are cracks in the coral or ocean floor (?) that release bubbles like you are in an aquarium. The bubbles were awesome. Some of them were really big. We also saw a turtle and a lot of really pretty fish. It was some good snorkeling.

Then we headed back to the ship for our daily trip to the deli, afternoon nap, sail away ice cream cone, dining room dinner and the show!