Sunday, June 30, 2013

Cruisin': Days 8-9

Did you just join us? Catch up by reading these posts first: Days 0-1 | Day 2 | Days 3-4 | Day 5 | Day 6 | Day 7

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Saturday was another sea day for us, so we reverted back to our Days 3-4 behavior: nap, eat, catch some rays, repeat. It was blissful.

I finished The Lincoln Lawyer and most of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children.

We also spent some time packing. Boo.

Final pictures on the ship:

Our last sunset at dinner. {That's an oil rig you see in the top right.}


Overlooking some of the boat
Classic ocean background
On Sunday, we got to enjoy priority debarkation {thanks to A and M}, so we were on the road by 8 am or so. I finished my book and didn't feel like starting another {maybe I'm getting sick now...?}, so I got to stare at views like this for about 8 hours:

Goodbye, Louisiana
However, I guess the open road is a much better view than this, one of many laundry piles that was in my view after we got home. Sigh.

Boo. Hiss.
All in all, it was a good trip! Glad we went, but I'm glad to be back home. :)

TTFN,

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Saturday, June 29, 2013

Cruisin': Day 7

If you live under a rock and missed the last 5 posts about the cruise, catch up here: Days 0-1 | Day 2 | Days 3-4 | Day 5 | Day 6

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Day 7 {Friday} was our Cozumel day. Almost everyone had been to Cozumel at least once {this would be my third time there}, so we didn't feel the need to book an excursion. It was good that way, too, because we could come and go as we pleased and just do whatever we wanted without being on a strict excursion schedule.

We shopped for a few hours and then hung out in the shade of a local restaurant.



The restaurant had swings by a wooden bar that overlooked a little bay area, so we got to see our ship in all it's glory,

Carnival Conquest
plus watch little boats come in and listen to the gentle lapping of the waves on the shore.



Ahhhh. Paradise.

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Read the final story... days 8-9. 

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Friday, June 28, 2013

Cruisin': Day 6

Just joining in? Catch up: Days 0-1 | Day 2 | Days 3-4 | Day 5

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Day 6 {Thursday} was our day in Grand Cayman. It seemed like the most "Americanized" and wealthy of the ports of call to me.

Unfortunately, J was still feeling very sick from the day before, so he actually opted to stay in our cabin on the ship all day long. It was a little sad for me to leave him behind, but we knew he needed the rest and recovery time. He actually only got his appetite back about 30 minutes before I came back. :(

M, A, and I all went to Stingray City. There were 10-15 people in our excursion that didn't show up, so we wondered if they had the same bug that J caught. Boo.

Alright, y'all. I already touched a nasty stingray and swam with a dolphin in Jamaica. Even the thought of getting in the water the day before with a couple of dolphins made me cry little tears-of-fear {I was scared other sea creatures were going to get through the nets and eat me. No joke}... but swimming with a bunch of still-barred stingrays without my husband to protect me?!

Gulp.

Luckily, M and A were nice about helping me. They made a little "Candice sandwich" so I'd have the least chance of getting touched by a stingray. I also found a friend: a girl a little younger than me was pretty scared stiff, too, so we bonded over some petrified smiles/grimaces while trying our best to avoid the slimy things.

We took a 15 minute bus ride to the boat, and then took about a 30 minute boat ride out to Stingray City.

Not our boat, but close enough
The water is about waist-deep, so we all got off the boat and did the "stingray shuffle" to avoid getting stung. Cool, right?

NO.

:-/

Luckily, the water was a gorgeous, clear blue:


Buuutttt that meant I could see the stingrays all the more clearly...



{I am shuddering as I type this, in case you're wondering.}

A photographer was there, taking pictures of families/couples posing with and petting the stingrays. I was perfectly content to avoid that mess, but my friends pulled me in.

My smile is def. fake

This smile is fake, too. I was trying to inch away.

Bro decided to run the stingray across our backs... I wanted to punch him.


So we huddled up around the stingray and took a picture. When it was over, I thought, "Yippee skippy. Get me the crap outta here!" But they had other plans in mind: they wanted us to kiss that slimy thing! Ridic! I must've mean-mugged the photog pretty good because she said to me, "Uh, how about you just fake it?" Looks like she did a pretty good job on the angles because it looks like my lips are touching that stupid thing, but I can promise you I was a good 6" away.





Things were just peachy...
So while I'm fake-kissing the stingray's ugly mug, it decides to be a little flirt and flap it's, er... arm? wing? Whatev. It flapped something and hit me square on the lips! I guess our stingray hadn't been gettin' a lot of action in the ocean lately, so he had to take what he could get.





This was right after that ornery sucker slapped me in the face. Silver lining: who else can say they got slapped in the face by a stingray?! Cool teacher points, right?
Afterwards, we took the boat back to the shore and hopped on the bus for another 15 minutes to get to Tiki Beach.


I was still kinda bummed about leaving J behind, and M and A had gotten sunburned the day before, so we just hung out under the shade. M and I went into the water for a bit, but you can bet we didn't go too far in, and I sure was watching for anything moving under that water. Blech!

The beach looked like something out of a postcard, though:




I took this for J, telling him that those were the seats we were supposed to be sitting in. :(



We had a little bit of time left when we got back from our excursion, so M and A humored me while I shopped a bit. M helped me navigate while A followed behind, like this:

The sun was burning through his shirt, so he wore the towel like a cape as we shopped. It's easy to see why he and J are best buds.

Luckily, by the time we got back to the cabin, J was feeling a little better. We had our last formal night on Thursday, but I don't think we snapped any pictures. J was still recovering, and I just wasn't in the mood to dress up. Whoops. The food was still good, though.

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Read about day 7. 

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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Cruisin': Day 5

Catch up on your reading: Days 0-1 | Day 2 | Days 3-4

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Day 5 was Wednesday, and it was our first port of call: Jamaica. My family and I went on this very same cruise when I graduated high school, so I was the only one of us that had been to Jamaica before. I think that worked in my favor, because I was prepared for what I would see...

Jamaica is an interesting country. There is no way I would ever stray from a Carnival excursion there -- too dangerous. I'm sure the resort parts are a little nicer and safer, but I'm not even sure we'd want to go back for that...

Luckily, I had some foresight about this before we went, so we made sure to book an excursion in Jamaica {as opposed to wandering around by ourselves}.

We got off the boat and onto a bus, where we took a 45 minute ride.



At our destination, we were able to touch a de-barred stingray, see a "tame" shark, ride a camel, and swim with the dolphins. J and I didn't ride the camel because it cost $11 each. Rip-off. But I sho' did take this pic fo' free! Take that!


Dolphin kisses {which just felt like a big elbow poking you in the face}:





Swimming with the Dolphin:








When I pictured this in my head the day before, I thought we'd grab on to the top fin on the dolphin and just casually sail through the water. This was a little different, though. We had to tread water and wait for the dolphin to swim to us. It would pop up out of the water like it was treading water, too. It would wait until you grabbed onto it's two side fins, and then it would fall over backwards and swim on its back to the dock.

If you know me at all, you know that I am absolutely terrified of all things that can survive underwater {yup -- this includes seaweed. Freaks. Me. OUT}. So this was a huge deal for me to even get in the water, let alone let that slimy thing touch me!

We had to "stand" in a line with our hands out, and we could "pet" the dolphin as it swam by.
We weren't allowed to put on sunscreen prior to getting in the water because it hurts the dolphins' eyes, so this is where I acquired a nice lobster look around my hairline. I'm still suffering from that as I write this... it's peeling and making me look like some sort of dandruff-y leper.

It was hard to find pictures of me with the dolphin where I was making a normal face. I seem to have a "picture face"that is mildly embarrassing. I probably should go with it -- trademark that thing and own it. My eyes are really sensitive to light, so I have trouble keeping my eyes open in pictures, anyway. Throw some saltwater in my contacts and I make faces like this:


and this:


and this:


If you didn't catch my photo-shopped Instagram picture making fun of it on Monday night, here it is in all its glory:

This is how I vacation. Doofus face.™

 Now, listen, all you modeling agencies that are reading this: I already have a full-time job, so don't even think about calling me and offering me some multi-million dollar modeling job, mmkay?

Now that we've gotten that out of the way...

After the dolphin stuff, we took a bus ride to a nearby beach.


J was feeling a bit sick at this point, so we sat under an umbrella on the beach while M and A swam. I took the obligatory feet-at-the-beach shot for your viewing pleasure:


Poor Jon wasn't feeling well but managed a closed-lipped smile, anyway.
 And I got a super-cute picture of our friends swimming:


On the bus on the way back, we heard sirens and saw a bunch of ambulances and police cars. Our driver turned the bus around and headed the opposite direction like it was no big deal. It wasn't until later that we found out that there had been a shooting. Apparently, a bus driver ahead of us was shot in the head on route. So thankful that didn't happen on our bus!

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Read about day 6. 

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