Yes, I'm still here. I went on vacation and came back. I simply haven't felt much like blogging lately. Part of it has been that I'm distracted by other projects. Stay tuned for more on those. But for now, the vacation re-cap.
I enjoyed getting away, but this vacation wasn't as spectacular as I'd hoped or thought it would be. I have said this before, but I really think I enjoy the planning of vacations as much (if not more) than actually taking them. But here's the play by play.
Friday - We left home around 3:15 am. Original plan was about six, but the more Jeff got to thinking about it, the more he wanted to get up and just go. So that's exactly what we did. There was only one point where I wanted to kill him and it was at least two and half hours in. The getting up and getting out was easy since we had loaded the car and put out the stuff for the dogs the night before so all we had to do was get up, get dressed, and get on the road. There was very little traffic the whole time and we got to our hotel about 3pm. We got checked in and promptly took a nap. Then we headed out to get some dinner and do a little exploring. It was definitely one of our better road trip experiences.
Saturday - Slept relatively late (for us!) and ate breakfast at the hotel, then caught the shuttle to the port. We were supposed to be on a slightly later shuttle, but we were up and ready, so we got on an earlier one. When we got to the port, it was easily the easiest check in experience we've ever had. We hardly had to stop from the moment we hit the door. We got straight through security, walked right up to a check-in counter, and breezed easily through everything else and walked right on the boat. Normally there's at least a little bit of waiting to get on the boat, but not this time. It was great. There was a wait to get into our room, but we still "slipped in" earlier than the official open time but it was fine. I was disappointed that we couldn't use the spa until after sail time, but I guess in the grand scheme of things that wasn't such an inconvenience. Overall, it was a nice day.
Sunday - Our first port day, we were in Nassau from 11 am until 5 pm. We got off the boat with Jeff's parents a little after noon and caught a taxi over to Atlantis to walk around. You really couldn't see much without buying a day pass and we weren't there long enough to make it worth that, so we lost a little money in the casino, looked around inside a bit, saw a little bit outside, then headed back to the ship. I'd be willing to go back and spend a week at Atlantis at some point.
Monday - our first sea day was spent largely hanging out. I took a yoga class which was ok, but not great. We went to brunch with Jeff's parents and it was nice. We saw his grandmother and great-uncle and aunt while we were there. We did spend some spa time and also did a little wandering. We went to dinner at the steak house with his parents and grandmother, which was a very nice evening.
Tuesday - Our second port day, we were in St. Thomas. This was probably my favorite port stop. We took the cable car up to Paradise Point and enjoyed a very nice view. We hung out up there and ate a very tasty lunch of grilled wings and frozen drinks. It was over-priced, but tasty. The rain was a welcome break from the heat and we got to see a nice rainbow and several wild iguanas hanging out in trees (which was a new one to me!) We wandered around a few shops near the ship on our way back. The sales people didn't seem to be as obnoxiously pushy either, so it was nice.
Wednesday - Our last port stop, we were in St. Maarten. We docked on the Dutch side and decided to just wander there rather than going over to the French side. We thought about taking a tour or going to Maho Beach to see the planes, but didn't. I was fine with it. It was so hot, it was hard to enjoy it, so I was ready to be back on the boat. We hopped on a golf cart going back and it was the best dollar I've ever spent. It was nice to avoid the lines and be dropped off right at the gangway.
Thursday - Another sea day. Not much to report. We wandered and played games and enjoyed some spa time, but it was a little boring.
Friday - Last sea day. The seas were really rough and I was getting stir crazy. It was time to get off the boat.
Saturday - Got up and off the boat. We would have been off even earlier but we were waiting on his family. Even though we didn't debark with them, we were taking things back for them (since they were flying and we were driving) so we were off only a little before them. We hopped the first shuttle back to the hotel (that dropped us off right at our car) and were on our way. I had convinced Jeff to go to Downtown Disney for a few hours so we headed across Orlando to the Downtown Disney Marketplace. We had a late breakfast at the Earl of Sandwich and it was quite tasty. I was definitely a fan. After several hours of wandering we decided to grab some lunch at the Rainforest Cafe before hitting the road. We were told there would be a 10-15 minute wait for a table or we could eat at the bar, so we opted for the bar. We sat down, were greeted promptly, and ordered our drinks which came immediately. After almost 15 minutes of waiting, there were plenty of people standing around near us but we couldn't get the attention of anyone to order lunch so we just paid for our drinks and left (although I really wanted to just walk out!) We ended up settling on ice cream treats until we got out of town a little ways and then stopping for lunch. We decided to stop for the night in Dothan.
Sunday - We headed towards home with a lunch time pit stop in Montgomery to spend some time with my family, which was great. We finally got home and it was great to be back!
One thing we agreed upon - we're done cruising for a while. It's time to take some land-based vacations. The next one we're planning? DISNEY WORLD!