Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Coming Back to Reality

Howdy All!
Yikes! We made it home last night at 9pm - just before the Big Snow! I know, I know, I promised sunshine....I hope it will be here soon to warm us all! We had a lovely time, and I'm paying the price with 27+ loads of laundry, a dusty house begging to be dusted, and sidewalks that need shoveling!

Oh well, it was well worth it! Well, I'm hoping with this great tropical music I've selected for you, you will feel the warmth from the sun coming from your speakers!

Karrie sure was busy when I was taking snapshots of all the great places we went! Things are moving right along for our Home Show booth (other than the fact that everything that we were going to put in our 10 x 10 display is selling off of the floor), and we are changing our plans once again - it's so good to be a Summer Kitchen Girl - ready to roll with whatever comes our way!!

Spring things are looking very welcoming in the store, and I predict that after this, and tomorrow's cold, we will all be ready to get our pots of crocus and daffodil flowers out!

One more thing to give away this week - be sure to enter! We've had such fun with all your comments, emails and visits this month! We've found some new blogging friends along the way too! Karrie visited Kari and Kijsa while I was gone, and I looked at their blog today, and love what they do (they are quite a bit like us!). As you will notice, I've added their blog to our neat-o blog list, as well as some other blogs I've been book marking for some time now - take a gander and look them over when you have time - it's neat to see what everyone else is up to in blog land!

Vacation details, I've promised you - so sit back, enjoy the music and the pictures:
We flew into San Juan on Sunday morning and got onto our boat - we took Royal Caribbean’s Adventure of the Seas. This ship was much larger than the last ship we were on, and it had so much more things to do on it for the kids.

Day 1

Boarding the ship - unpacking and just kicking back today, it's warm here in San Juan, and I can't wait to come back on Sunday to explore this city!!
Our ship is much bigger than the last one we went on. The kids will love it!

Here's the sun coming up over Aruba. We had a tour at 8:30am that took us all over the island. We first went to see the California lighthouse. What a pretty view. Up on the hill, underneath the shadow of the lighthouse was the El Faro Blanco Italian restaurant. I think this would be the best place to watch the sun set on the island - check it out here.
We then drove over by the Holiday Inn and got on a pontoon boat and it took us to the wreck of the German Ship - The Antilla. We got on a sub-submersible boat and saw a lot of sea life, as well as the ship (the kids enjoyed this). We then were whisked back onto land and went to see Aruba's natural bridge. This was neat! There is one bridge left. Last year the largest of the two collapsed.
After we saw the bridge, we went to see the Casibari Rock formation. I guess what surprised me most about Aruba is how it is so lush and green on one side, and a desert on the other. We saw so many cacti all over that half of the island.

Day three started late for our family. Our tour started at 12:30pm, so we were a bit lazy today getting started. Curacao is a colorful island. I loved the colors! So bright and happy, don't you think? We hopped on a bus that took us to a secluded beach. We went past more cacti, just like Aruba. We saw the salt flats, and even got a peak at some flamingos. Our tour guide passed around this big "rock" of salt. Our driver tried
to teach us the local dialect of Papiamento. Everyone in Curacao knows Spanish, English, French, and Dutch - and Papiamento is a big mixture of all of these languages!
Good Morning is said "Bon dia!" Good Evening is "Bon nochi" Thank You is "Masha danki" and Sweetheart is "Dushi". The bus driver sang songs in Papiamento to us all the way back to the boat after our beach break of swimming and snorkeling - he tried to get us to sing along with him - it was pretty funny!

Day 4

Today was an "At Sea" day. We did everything that we could today. We played putt- putt, rollerbladed, ice skated, played shuffle board and my husband and I learned how to swing dance.....what else, but a lunar eclipse would be the perfect ending to the perfect day?

Day 5
Well, here is where you find me at the top of the page. Today there is no tour, just a relaxing beach day. And look at the view I had. St Maarten is a nice place. The only complaint I have is that while we are on the beach, all the locals are constantly coming up to us to sell us their wares.....a little of this goes a long way when you're trying to relax and get away from it all! We had a BBQ chicken lunch here - very good - at Gizmo's,
right on the beach. This is Gizmo, and he has a fetish for my son's sandals and took a bite right out of them! The kids think this is the funniest thing!

Day 6
St Thomas is by far my favorite island we had visited. I think it is because we spend a lot of time here - we took two tours and learned different things on each one, as well as seen different sites. We learned about the local fruits, nuts and herbs on the first tour, as well as seeing some great scenic stops.

Our second tour stopped at Coral
World. The kids got to see sharks (the youngest is crazy about sharks), and feed the stingray - which was really cool, but weird to watch! You have to wait until
they come up onto the wall, gently pull back on their top of their head (nose maybe), and drop the fish into their mouth as they suck it up. After an hour at Coral World, we drove to Magen's Bay Beach, which is National Geographic's top ten most beautiful beaches in the world. It was! We had some pizza, and rolled up our shorts and waded in the water - so crystal clear and blue - just look at it!

Day 7
We got off the ship by 10 and were exploring Old San Juan by 11am. We got on the trolley and looked around town, then stopped at the San Cristobal Fort. I have to tell you that I'm a sucker for architecture, and this city is full of it! I have so many pictures in this fort,

outside of the fort, and anywhere else! I have so many pictures of balconies and doors; you'll have to stop in the store to see them all!

This city is so quaint and lively, I have put this on my list of places to go back to!

Day 8 & 9

We hop on the 10am flight out of San Juan, get to Detroit, wait three hours for our flight back to Cleveland, get into Cleveland and head home. We wake up in the morning and guess what.............you guessed it REALITY! Thanks for the wake up call Mother Nature! Well, it is a pretty snow at least!

Well, all, hope you've enjoyed some warm, sun-shiny pictures on this cold snowy day! I think I'll keep the music up for a bit too - kind of helps keep the snow at bay (in your mind at least)!


Nikon said...

That's about as good a travel post as I'm ever going to find :-)
Great photos & text - why is there always a pet of some kind named Gizmo? I hope that you enjoyed the warmth - it's freezing here in RI.

Janet said...

Thanks for the tour. My boss is on that cruise this week. I sure o envy her the good weather. Nice blog an I love your "look" at the show. I came over from K&K :0



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