Monday, May 10, 2010

Southern Caribbean Cruise

Our long awaited vacation has come and gone. We had a wonderful and relaxing time. Here is a recap of our adventures!

April 30th: Arrival in San Juan. We rented a car and drove to the El Yunque rain forest. Our little car was tested by the mountains but we made it to the top for some amazing views!!! We even did a short hike to an observation tower. Afterwards we drove back to the hotel and checked in then enjoyed a nice dinner at Outback!

May 1st: Cruise day! We returned the rental car and headed off to the ship! Once onboard we checked out the ship, played mini golf, laid by the pool, napped, then headed to dinner! Happy 25th birthday to me! (They forgot my cake!!) Toilet malfunction lead to continuous flushing but easy fix by maintenance man.

May 2nd: Day at sea. Early morning toilet overflow. Water actually leaked up through the carpet outside our room in the hallway. We left the maintenance people working while we went to a pasta making demonstration and 4 course lunch at Portifino (their specialty restaurant). Upon our return we had a voicemail offering us a balcony room and a bottle of champagne chilling. Yes please! At dinner I got my cake and a birthday song from the servers (birthday celebration #3!)

May 3rd: Barbados (and Paige's birthday!) We took a cab to the beach. $20 bought us use of beach chairs, umbrella, 2 rum punches and a ride back to port. Beautiful beach and weather!

May 4th: St Lucia. Excursion to the Pitons. First we rode a bus through the scary mountain roads through fishing villages to the Pitons. Along the way we fought off vendors selling random stuff we had no interest in! We also stopped at a sulfur, walk-in volcano and the botanical gardens. We got a ride back to port on a catamaran and stopped at a secluded beach. Great views, beautiful weather!

May 5th: Antigua and our anniversary! We took a cab to the beach and laid out all day! When we got back we got ready for our special anniversary dinner at Portifino.

May 6th: St Maartin. Another beach day with a nude twist. We sat on the non-nude side but there wasn't much adherence to the nude boundaries! We snorkeled near a reef and saw lots of fish and even a stingray, then rented a jet ski! Amazing day!

May 7th: St Croix (and dad's birthday!). We traveled to Buck Island for some amazing snorkeling. We followed an underwater trail through the reef then did some free snorkeling. We even saw a barracuda....scary!! After we got back to the ship it was only about 1pm. We spent the rest of the day lounging by the pool.

May 8th: San Juan. Our flight left at 3pm so we had several hours to explore the town. We took a cab (we are experts at this now!) to Old San Juan and visited the fort there. Then we checked out the art fair in town and ate some authentic Puerto Rican food....delicious!

That's our vacation in a nutshell (for anyone that cares!) Check out our pictures in the photo gallery!!

April Update

Rusty in his Universal uniform

Well, now that we are almost half way through May I should post our April update!!! Most of this month was spent in anticipation of our upcoming cruise! (This means LOTS of work and overtime to save up those extra spending pennies!!) While we are on the topic of work, Rusty has settled into his job at Universal on the Jaws ride. He works 4 nights a week, which will eventually work out well for us when we get on the same scheduled nights! Each night he is on call for any problems with the ride. After the park closes, he is in charge of shutting down the ride and doing any scheduled maintenance on the boats. After he gets certified to dive he will also be doing maintenance on the track the boats drive on. He has even taught them how to essentially "soup up" the boats, making changes in the engine components to give the boats more horsepower....a trick he learned from building race cars! (Who said that wouldn't come in handy someday?) Between shifts at Universal, he is also still working a few hours at Greenway as a helper for extra cash. Whew...makes me tired just thinking about it!

We took a trip to Wekiva Springs in early April to celebrate our friend Mike's birthday! It was a beautiful day but not quite warm enough for 72 degree spring water swimming. Gotta start working on that base tan for the Caribbean sun!!

As one of the joys of home ownership we (as in Rusty) have learned how to install a garbage disposal. Not something you think about often until it doesn't work and there is water backing up into the sink every time you run the dishwasher...! Could've found a lot more fun things to spend that $150 on but now we have a much quieter and better quality disposal that hopefully has about 20 years in it!

I served on my first Jury in April. It wasn't fun. Not even a little bit. I expected to spend a day in court and go home. No. Not me! I got called for the FIRST jury of the day; it was then I realized something was definitely not going to go right. Then I find out it is jury selection for a first degree murder trial. I about fainted and of course ended up being chosen to sit on the jury. It was very surreal listening to testimony and realizing, wow, I am going to decide this person's future. In the end, I spent 3 days in court for a "not guilty" verdict. This case solidified the meaning of "beyond a reasonable doubt." Lets hope I don't get chosen again anytime soon!

Then it was finally cruise time!!! I prepared getting a pedicure with my sister and Andrea! (Yay! Paige is finally home from college...for the summer anyway!) After our pampering we went to Urban Flats with Rachel and Michelle for Ladies Night! We had great time celebrating my birthday, enjoying half price martinis and entrees and free dessert! Who says it's not great being a woman?! Then, back home for packing and an early start for San Juan tomorrow!!!

Ladies Night at Urban Flats