The Yea & Nay of Our Caribbean Cruise

As I previously mentioned, my husband and I went away for a last minute vacation cruise right after Thanksgiving.

After a super stressful Fall, we were looking forward to the chance to get away before the beginning of the crazy holiday season. The fact that we were limited on when we could travel due to my pregnancy (they will not allow you to cruise after 24 weeks), meant we had to jump on the cruise train – um, boat – as quickly as we could.

So, although we were self proclaimed Royal Caribbean snobs, we decided to take a chance on a 7 day Carnival cruise to the Western Caribbean. The price was right, the timing was right, so we went for it.

All in all, our vacation was awesome! We had plenty of time to relax, hang out with each other and eat a ton of food. The food was especially great because I could totally blame any weight gain on the baby having a growth spurt!

The Yea

The customer service was excellent! Everyone from the room stewards to the servers at dinner really made you feel welcome and as if they really did love their jobs. As a customer, it is so nice to have positive people around you who are actually disappointed when you don’t order more than one dessert.

Two of our stops were absolutely gorgeous – Belize and Isla Roatan in the Honduras islands. We went on a jungle hike in Belize and then floated down the river for our cave tubing excursion.

In Honduras, we took a chair lift (just like the kind you use to go skiing) to the beach and enjoyed the clear water and warm sand. There was nothing I would have changed about either of those days, they were perfect!

The view from my lounge chair in Honduras


My husband is awesome. Not to brag (okay, just a little), but I really chose wisely when I married Travis. By the end of each day my mouth hurt from smiling and laughing so much. The chance to spend 7 uninterrupted days with him was priceless.

Travis & Me before our cave tubing adventure in Belize


Did I mention the food? The last time I cruised on Carnival I remember thinking that Royal Caribbean’s food was so much better. Not this time, there were tons of buffet options, delicious FREE room service and amazing dinners each night. The fact that it was all included in our original price was even better, because you could order what you want and not what you felt like you could afford.

The Nay

The weather. As much as you’d like the weather to be perfect and sunny for your entire vacation, sometimes that just doesn’t happen. On this trip, we had a couple rainy days. On our stop to Cozumel, Mexico it was so overcast that we abandoned our plan of going to the beach and just did some exploring and guacamole-eating in a fun bar. Of course, the positive side of this is I’m pretty sure that this is the first vacation in my entire life where I didn’t end up with random sunburn.

The rocking ship was not awesome. I don’t know if it was due to the time of year we cruised, our itinerary, or the weather, but our ship was rocking like a teenager’s car at Makeout Point.  I pride myself on my stomach of steel and have never, ever gotten seasick. Unfortunately that streak is now broken due to a ship that rocked so hard that the pool was sloshing onto the deck and our room was creaking. Travis was feeling a bit green too, but it was pretty much under control with some seasickness pills. I’m going to blame my seasickness on the baby, perhaps he’s seasick, not me…

The flight home was AWFUL! My husband is 6’4” and flying is typically pretty uncomfortable for him, so I usually take the middle seat to give him a little more room to stretch out in the window or aisle seat. The flight to Miami was so cramped that we decided to upgrade to first class on the way back, but it was full so we resigned ourselves to a slightly cramped ride back.

This would have been totally fine, if the person who sat down on the other side of me wasn’t a 350ish pound man. He literally overflowed from his seat, over my arm rest into my area. Once he sat down, my left arm was pinned and I couldn’t move it to lift a drink to my mouth or turn the page of my Sky Mall magazine.  He was so large that he couldn’t put down the little tray in front of him, so he balanced his family-sized boxes of Pizza Hut wings and cheese breadsticks on his stomach and then proceeded to eat every one of them within about 6 inches of my face.

Now I’ve been pretty lucky with my lack of morning sickness until this point, but I truly thought that I was going to hurl. I can not believe that the airline did not require him to purchase two seats. The moral of this story is that we are definitely splurging on business class tickets next time we fly!

So the trip was totally worthwhile and we would definitely do it again with the one change of upgrading our flight. Oh yeah, and a little extra for the “Yay” column:

While in my post-vacation haste to do laundry, I accidentally threw a few pairs of clean, coupled socks into the washer and then dryer. So when I was folding the load of laundry later that evening it was as if happy little laundry ninjas* had started folding for me. While appreciated, I’d really like them to finish what they started and do the whole load…

*These are apparently the opposite of those douchy sock stealers who live in the dryer.

Like what you see? Share me with your friends!

Back from the Beach with Sand in my Brain

I’m back from the beach and at least 2 shades less pale than I was last week. Yay! For the first time in I can’t remember how many years I didn’t end up with any sunburn in random spots. So that’s pretty awesome. I’m usually the person with a burned splotch on the back of my arm or a white hand print on the back of my bright red thigh (true story).

Me and Potter starting our trip to OC

My plans were for me to go down on Saturday and meet my friend Lea for the first half of the week. So I loaded up my FJ, put Potter in his crate and hit the road.

After a delicious stop at Sonic for an Ocean Water and some tots, Potter was liberated from the crate for the last hour of the ride, where he very happily licked my window and watched traffic inch by.

Since Saturday to Tuesday was my “girly” half of the week, we made sure to have lots of wine on the beach, watch a bunch of chick flicks and enjoy a ton of ‘all you can eat’ seafood. It was pretty relaxing and uneventful, except for the wild horses of Assateague wandering on the beach a couple times each day.

Although everyone gets the warning paperwork when they pay for their beach pass, people still don’t realize that they should stay away from the horses.

Wild horse on the beach

Last year we watched as the horses stuck their heads in people’s food bags and threw the food all over the place. This year, Lea and I laughed our heads off as one of the horses made himself comfortable on someone’s beach blanket and then decided to pee, well, like a racehorse.

The next day, the sea air put another horse in an amorous mood and I’m sad to say I witnessed horse sex from way closer then I ever would have wanted. And no, I don’t have a picture of that. Lea tried to get her camera out in time and run over to take a picture, but I sat on my blanket and laughed so hard that I started crying.

Lea left on Tuesday, so Potter and I were on our own until Travis came down to the Ocean on Wednesday.

We took Potter for a walk on the beach one night and I really wish I had gotten a picture of how happy he was to be running around in the sand. It’s hard to believe that this is the same dog that was on the brink of death last month.

Potter in the FJ's side mirror

I did get this shot of him longingly looking out the window on our drive down to Assateague.

Pretty much the only difference between “girly” part of the week and the last part with Travis was that beer replaced wine, action movies replaced chick flicks and I ate even more ‘all you can eat’ seafood. Honestly, I’m surprised that crabs and shrimp didn’t chase me around on the beach to get revenge for me eating so many of their cousins.

Anyways, I’m back home even though my brain is a bit mushy right now. I’m looking forward to another day off before I head back into work and count the minutes until I’m back to being stressed out again.

Like what you see? Share me with your friends!

Visiting Vegas

Since I had a trip to Vegas planned, I knew that I’d be completing one of the tasks on my “Project Me” list pretty quickly. I’ve been to both Reno and Atlantic City a few times, but have never been to that brightly lit gambling mecca known as Vegas, baby!

It was an annual employee reward trip through work, but there was only one group event that we had to attend. The rest of the time we were free to roam wild and experience Vegas on our own. I brought my husband with me, so we explored together.

Instead of giving you a boring play-by-play of everything we did during the four days we were there, I’ll just give you my top highlights.

My shoe choice proves (once again) that I’m not a cool kid

The Vegas Strip is about 4 miles long — FOUR miles of snazzy buildings to look at and people to dodge (who stop directly in front of you to look at the snazzy buildings). So please tell me why 80% of the women are wearing 3+ inch heels to walk around?? I love sexy heels as much as the next girl, and even have a saucy gold pair that I’ve named my “Wonder Woman shoes” because they make me feel like I can take on the world. That doesn’t mean that I want to put them on to go and walk a few miles! The ladies who weren’t wearing their stripper shoes were wearing flip flops, which also aren’t considered distance walking shoes in my world. I wore a super cute pair of Saucony Bullet sneakers. Not quite “mom shoes” but definitely not as cute as the other girls. However, I’d prefer not to be whining and limping in pain after a few miles.

The Vegas Traffic Jam

Imagine that you’re walking a brisk pace down a sidewalk and the person in front of you comes to a complete stop for no particular reason. Now imagine that happening everywhere you go – that’s Vegas. Every block we were on or casino we visited had these people just waiting for us to come by so that they could run ahead of us and then throw on their brakes.

Most “OOOOOHHH” moment

This would have to be a tie of seeing the bright lights of the Vegas Strip at night (especially the Eiffel Tower) and checking out the inside of the Venetian. I knew that there was a canal that ran through the hotel with gondoliers, but that didn’t really prepare me for the fact that there was a FREAKING CANAL running through the hotel with GONDOLIERS???!!! The ceiling was high and curved, with clouds painted on it and lit to look like the sky. It was simply amazing. Travis and I had dinner at a little restaurant overlooking the canal and if I squinted my eyes while listening to the gondolier’s singing I could almost make myself believe that it was Italy.

Most “AWWWWWwww” moment

My husband and I purchased tickets to see the NitroCircus, a crazy stunt show where guys and gals on dirt bikes, BMX bikes, skateboards, scooters, wheelchairs, etc. do jumps, flips and tricks. To say that it was insane would be a massive understatement. The entire show was high energy with amazing tricks and 10 different attempts at World Records (some of which were successful). Well, the main daredevil rider, Travis Pastrana, interrupts the show to slide down the 8 story tall ramp on his knees. His long-time girlfriend, Lyn-Z Adams Hawkins (a professional skateboarder also performing in the show) was standing there at the bottom. He called her the love of his life, pulled a ring out of his pocket and proposed. It was so unexpected and so sweet, especially when she grabbed his microphone to say “yes” and then covered him in kisses.

The Moment I Snapped

It was on our third day, which was our main day of sightseeing on the strip. I was a bit worn down from lack of sleep, the heat and those damn people who kept getting in my way. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.

My husband and I had walked for a really, really long time and were about to enter a hotel through some of those revolving doors. When we entered our pizza slice of a door slot, the man in the slice in front of us must have had a brain-fart because he slowed down so much that he almost stopped walking. Something in me snapped – I had ENOUGH of people just stopping in front of me!! I grabbed the door and gave it a giant push, moving it so fast that the guy got a scared look on his face and jumped out just in time to not be taken around for another loop.

Travis and I looked at each other and just started quickly walking while I tried to hold in my giggles. I kept seeing that startled/frightened look on the man’s face and imagining him getting stuck in the revolving doors. Soon, I was laughing so hard that tears were running down my cheeks and Travis was pretending that he didn’t know me. In fact, I’m kind of snickering right now thinking about it.

We had a great time in Vegas but it’s probably good that we came home when we did. We gambled some and ended up about even. It would have been nice to be able to see one of the Cirque de Soleil shows, but I’m pretty happy with everything we did get a chance to do.

Like what you see? Share me with your friends!