Sunday, June 28, 2009

Not everything was perfect.

Our friend, Sarah, mentioned she was envious of our vacation plans.
So, we set out to capture the not-so-glorious aspects of our trip.
I think we succeeded.

The Atlanta airport.
Our gate was packed full of people.
Where's Ben?
On our flight, Ben had the cutest little boy sitting behind him.
He kicked Ben's seat the majority of the flight.
Next to me was a whistler.
Who whistles on an airplane??!!


This is where our suitcase was stranded.
Stuck somewhere between where they load them and where we get them.
We had to wait a LONG time to retrieve it.


Our gorgeous view from the hotel.


Oh!
This is a good one.
(Well, not really good.)

Here's the scene:
It's time for the sail-away in San Juan.
Music, drinks, tons of people on deck dancing and waiting to sail off.
"It's electric, boogie woog.."

"BING-BONG" (Over the loud PA system)

This is mom listening to the startling announcement.

"Dear guests and crew,
We are sorry to inform you that a crew member has died.
The proper officials are on board now and we will depart once the investigation is complete.
Please keep this crew member's family in your thoughts and prayers.
Thank you."

Moments after,
"...gie, woogie! Now you can't hold it. It's electric, boogie woogie woogie."
And everyone continued with their little line dance.
We were horrified at how quickly the "Fun ship" resumed their production.
Later, we received a letter that said the crew member had committed suicide.
Sad!


The beach is all calm and peaceful until SOMEONE feeds a seagull.


Sunburnt.


Our disturbing "towel animal".



Sometimes, you just want a picture of your sweet server, Israel.
But, you can't take a picture in the dining room without getting mermaid boobies in your photo.
I hate that.


Cue song.
"This is the air I breathe..."


And, lastly, the view from the San Juan airport hotel, where we stayed the night before flying back to Colorado:
Beautiful!
About mid-picture is the runway.
We heard every plane take off.

There you go.
See?
Our vacation wasn't perfect.

Just almost perfect. :)



Friday, June 26, 2009

St. Kitts

Dear St. Kitts,
From the moment we looked out our window, we knew it was going to be a great day.
It was love at first sight.
We miss you!

Love,
Ben and Melissa


We decided to have another beach day in St. Kitts.
We went to Cockleshell beach.

On the way there, we saw an old sugar plantation,

and both the Atlantic and Caribbean at the same time.

Ahhhh...
This is heavenly!

Ben built a sandcastle while I laid out in the sun....shine. (Reference here.)

Behind us is the island, Nevis.
Supposedly, a lot of celebrities go there to hide.


Ben is so patient with me and all of my picture taking.

Back on the boat, we took a tour of the galley.
It's a pretty amazing system they have to feed all those people.


This was the last day of our cruise. :(
I could've handled a few more days.
But, it was bitter sweet.
We missed Jack.
He was staying with our friends, Rachel and Katie.
Jack was in rare form while we were gone.
What a pain.
Sorry, Rachel and Katie!!

Antigua

It's pronounced An-tee-ga.
We all say it wrong.

We got off the boat and heard this band playing:
They were awesome!

Then, my camera lens fogged up due to the heat and humidity.

Then, my camera battery died.
I was SO sad.
I can't believe I forgot to charge it!
I do have pictures from the beach we went to, but they're on a disposable water camera.
I'll get them developed soon.

That night, we had espresso martinis!

And stuck with our nightly routine of going to watch karaoke after dinner.

When we went back to our room, we found this:

St. Lucia

After reading a million rave reviews, we decided to book an island tour with Cosol Tours.

First, we loaded into vans.
Cosol was our tour guide and driver, which is kind of cool.
He has so much business now that he has a bunch of drivers and guides.

First stop, a banana plantation.
It was pretty cool to see the process.
The blue bags are to protect the bunches from insects.

We had to take a VERY important phone call.

We went to a "drive-in" volcano.

And then to a botanical garden.

The drive was absolutely gorgeous!

Throughout the day we ate local fruits and foods.
I held a boa constrictor.
We drank Piton beers and rum punch.
Took a water taxi to the beach and snorkeling area between the Piton mountains.
Best snorkeling I've ever seen!
We definitely recommend this tour.
It was a great day in St. Lucia.

Us with Cosol.

That night was another "formal night".
My parents are cute.
What you can't see is that Papa is wearing shorts.
(GASP!)


Thursday, June 25, 2009

I'm proud of myself!

Earlier today I went to the store and bought a grill.

I got home and took it out of the box.

This is what I saw:


Yikes.

But, an hour later, I had created this:


Ta-da!

I can read an instruction manual real good.

We had a yummy dinner tonight.

Chicken, yellow squash, and zucchini.



I love our life!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Barbados

On Wednesday, Mom and Papa opted out of getting off the vessel and decided to have a ship day instead.
Laaaaaaaaaame!!!
(Just kidding, Mom and Papa.)

Ben and I got off the ship and battled our way into a taxi.
It was chaotic.
The taxi drivers didn't want to take us where we wanted to go.
They said the beach we requested, Brandon's Beach, was "unsafe".
False.
They just want to take you further to the Malibu beach where they get some sort of kick-back for bring tourists there.
That's where the Malibu Rum factory is, too.
Finally, we found a driver to take us to the "dangerous" beach.
It was beautiful, quiet, and only 5 minutes from the boat.
Perfect!

If you look closely, you can see Ben in the water.


That night, we found an elephant on our bed.
Ben was very excited.

Okay, I'll admit it.
I liked him, too.

Dominica

It's pronounced dahm-in-EE-kuh.
It's true.
Go here if you want to read some guy's rant about people pronouncing it wrong.

We got off the vessel, found a taxi driver, and went on a little tour of the island.

Papa with Donald, our driver.
Nice guy, that Donald.

We thought it was pretty cool to be driving around seeing all kinds of vegetation.
In this picture below, you can see a pineapple plant and bananas on a tree.
Also, the house plants we have grow like weeds there.
In Dominica, you can go into the forest and take whatever you'd like to build your house, like bamboo.
I think that's neat.

I thought I was pretending to lick sugar cane.
I love sugar, so it only seemed right to lick the source.
Then, a local told me it's not sugar cane.
It's bamboo.
Whoops.

After the little tour, we had lunch at a Creole restaurant.
It was a very cute little place that Donald recommended.
Yummy food!


This was our only non-beach day.
That was probably for the best though, since someone got pretty sunburned the day before. :)

St. Thomas

Last year I went on a cruise with my girlfriends, Stefanie, Marcia, and Ashlyn.
We stopped in St. Thomas.
Saying that we didn't care for St. Thomas would be an understatement.
It rained the entire time.
Then, we went on a snorkling trip with the most annoying people on the planet.
We had to pay in advance, otherwise we would've gone back to the ship ASAP.

Therefore, I had low expectations this time.
We planned a low-key day at the beach.
I believe it was Sapphire Beach.
It was beautiful!
It rained a little here and there, but would be beautiful and sunny the other times.


And, there were beach ducks!!
I thought it was the strangest thing.
Ducks belong in ponds, not beaches.
We liked them.
All in all, a very nice day.

San Juan

I promise to not intentionally bore you with pictures I already put on Facebook.
Oh no, these are brand-spanking new ones!

One of the many statues/fountains in San Juan.
It's us with a bunch of naked people behind us.

The wall that surrounds the fort.
I was going for the Senior picture pose.

Ben and Papa were both quite intrigued with the wall.
In this photo they're studying it.
A moment later, they annouce, "It's not real! It's been sprayed on!"
They were disappointed.
I thought it was funny.

I love when I say something like, "Hey Mom and Ben, go stand by the Mother-In-Law's tongue and I'll take your picture!"
"Oh, and stick out your tongue!"
And they do.
They're good sports with all my picture taking.

After walking around for awhile, we went to a restaurant called Mojito's.
If you go to a restaurant called Mojito's, you'd best try a mojito, right?
Don't worry.
We did.


This photo made us give Ben a nickname for a little while.

We also got a mofongo for lunch.
It'll make you want to slap your mama.
(I didn't though.)

After getting on the ship, we had our mandatory muster drill.
We took our mandatory "The ship's sinking" photo.
Check out the lady next to me.
Awesome.