Wednesday, December 3, 2014


I finally understand why there is all this hype about cruises. You get fed as much as you could possibly want to eat, there is all kinds of entertainment, and instead of having to sit in a car or airplane, you play for a few days on a giant ship and then magically end up on a tropical island. 

The first few days we spent relaxing by the pool, going to shows, rock climbing, boogie boarding, playing mini golf, and eating a ton.

I think Henry's favorite part, other than the golfing, was ordering room service each night. He loved his special bunk too.

We went with my mom's entire extended family, all thanks to my grandparents. Minus about 5 people. It was the first time I've seen a lot of them in a long time. And the first time my parents, brothers, Ben, the kids and I have all been together. I'm the oldest and the only one who is married or has kids. As much as I'd like some of them to start supplying great-grandchildren, I like that my kids are extra special. 

The first island we visited was St. Maarten. We didn't bring a camera on that trip, which is too bad, because we drove inflatable mini speed boats to a cove where we went snorkeling. The snorkeling was just okay, but the boats were fun--though I'm not exactly the craziest, most adventurous driver. 

Island #2 was St. Kitts. Ben and I (and the kids) broke off on our own for a bit of wandering. We stumbled upon a beach on the Caribbean side of the island and spent most of the day there. 

Henry wouldn't get in the water for very long; he preferred to play soccer or throw rocks in. Nora on the other hand loved the water and kept trying to throw herself in. 

On our way back to the boat, we did a bit of shopping and Henry made friends with some local kids who were playing cars. I wish I could say he gets his people skills from me, but that is 100% his dad. 

Island #3 was Puerto Rico, which also happened to be on Thanksgiving. This meant everything was closed, so we just wandered around Historic San Juan for a few hours.

The most famous site in San Juan is the fort set right on the ocean, Castillo de San Cristobal. It was beautiful. 

I was very impressed with San Juan. It was clean, brightly colored, and beautiful. And hot. Plus, we were able to drink from the drinking fountains, which is always a bonus in my book.

Even though that day did not at all feel like Thanksgiving (I had steak for dinner, though I did have a piece of pumpkin pie), it still a nice day bonding with family. And it helped that Ben and I hosted a per-Thanksgiving before we left. 

The last stop was Labadee, Haiti. I only kind of consider this stop a new country. Labadee is a peninsula on Haiti that is owned by Royal Caribbean and is completely walled off. It's beautiful, but doesn't give any indication of what Haiti is actually like. Which, from what I hear, isn't a bad thing. 

My brothers and I went parasailing in Haiti, which was aMAZing. I went up with Nate. I'm afraid of heights, but it was so peaceful and beautiful up there. We even got to see the island of Tortuga off in the distance. 

So to sum up, the cruise was really fun. Henry and Nora were really well behaved and enjoyed being around family. And I came back with a tan and no weight gain (thank you, all those flights of stairs), so I think it's safe to say it was a successful trip. 

1 comment:

  1. Nora's smile is adorable. Also, I like your sail. Parasailing sounds wonderful. I should parasail all our stuff down to TX...