Saturday, February 28, 2015
So my sweetie and I just took a vacation alone. No children, no adult children, no friends, no work associates, nobody. Alone like we haven't been since our honeymoon. We took a 5 day cruise from Miami to Jamaica and the Caymans. We planned to PARTY IT UP like we were 20 again - not with booze but just with fun and alone time. Well let me tell you, while we had an awesome vacation, we are so very well aware now that we are NOT 20, or even 30.
To get to Miami we got up at 2 to be at the airport by 3 so we could leave by 5 to fly to Fort Lauderdale, then our ride to Miami to the port, then the cruise ship. We got on, ate lunch, settled in and fell asleep until they drug us out of our room for the life boat drill. We got ourselves to dinner, returned to our room and slept like the dead.
The next day was Joe's birthday, and our very, very affectionate steward from Slovakia, was soooo excited to see Joe. It was Joe's birthday, and we had slept the morning away and were missing breakfast, so he gave Joe a GREAT BIG BIRTHDAY HUG to start off his day. We had a day at sea, so we ate, vegged out on the deck chairs at the pool (where Joe slept again) and ate some more and were back in bed by 8 to get ready for our shore excursion the next day.
Our shore excursion was hands-down the very best excursion we have ever done, both in fun level and value for the money. That being said, we were literally at the maximum of our physical ability to complete it. We did the Jamaica Dunn Falls / bobsled /skychair adventure. We had an hour drive to the Falls in a bus. The Falls were phenomenal - beautiful, shaded and rarely really deep. That said, they were cold and the water runs downhill, and we were trekking uphill against the stream, on slippery rocks, avoiding holes and falling down. There were a lot of young people and those our age that were considerably more fit, but what kept me going was the grandma and grandpa that were probably in their late 70's (and he was wearing a Speedo). If they could do this, I could do this. Otherwise I may have just jumped off midway from fear, and the difficulty of pulling myself up against the stream, the vertigo feeling I was getting from looking at the rushing waters (same thing I get playing video games and become disoriented so I don't play them). The level of difficulty was such that the entire group held hands to get up the bottom part so you could pull up the person behind you and the tour guides used a metal BBQ brush to brush off the slime on the rocks, but they were still slippery. The important thing was that we made it! Not fit, out of shape, not fat but definitely fluffier than we should be and feeling it tremendously on that trip, we still accomplished it. And we have a video from the agile tour guides GoPro to prove it.
After the Falls, they put us back on the bus for a bit and took up the road. There we took an amazing skylift ride through the jungle to to the top of the mountain - 3000 feet. They fed us a wonderful Jamaican Jerk chicken meal with entertainment, and then we got in line for the bobsled. It was essentially a rollercoaster type ride, except you had a brake. It was individual cars and we opted to hook mine behind Joe's because I knew I would ride the brake the whole way if I was on my own or in front. Let me say that Joe NEVER used the brake. We were going well over 120 MPG through twists and turns just like the bobsleds in the Olympics. It was awesome and terrifying and a blast. It took up back up eventually to the top, and then we got to that that awesome skylift back down the mountainside again, ride for an hour and be some of the last ones on the ship back. It was just a fantastic excursion, and we learned there are not wild animals in Jamaica but there are boa constrictors. We got back, ate, and promptly went to bed, thrill seekers that we are.
The next day was the Caymans. We found out immediately that after the Falls the day before, walking was sore but stairs were a thing that would not happen that day. Or the next. The muscle in the back of your leg above your heel was dying a painful, painful death. We were soooo glad we didn't plan a physical excursion for the Caymans and just walked the city and the beach shore. It was a beautiful day and we got back on board, ate, and - you guessed it - went to bed.
The last day was a day at sea so we slept in again and when we came out, our ever so friendly steward let us know we were always the first one in at night and last ones out each day. I guess nobody goes on cruises to catch up on all their missed sleep, but let me tell you, a nice air conditioned dark room that rocks you to sleep all night is the Best Sleep Ever. We went to an art auction and ate, and lounged and ate some more, and went to bed early again!
We were sad to see it come to an end. We got to be together until the airport where I flew home and Joe flew to Houston to begin the rodeo. We weren't crazy 20 year old hormonal honeymooners, but we were well rested, on a leisurely schedule that we welcomed, and came home a better marriage for it.
Highly recommend! Five Stars!!!!!
Once the marrying bug struck our house, it bit again. Drew got engaged to Ayanna in the summer of 2014, and we had a beautiful wedding February 2015. Again, a legion of people came together to put together this wedding (of which I will update with the professional photos, so if this statement is gone, they are here):
The Reception Preparation
Grant and Karina got engaged in December 2013. The original plan was to marry October 2014, however school and life became crazy, and instead they got married during Spring Break, giving their parents ONLY 17 DAYS NOTICE to prepare a wedding. Our most awesome friends in the whole world Annie & Mike along with Dave & Cindy, our kids and an army of friends came together to create this beautiful wedding:
The Day Before