Monday, March 10, 2014

Vacations Are Just Too Short!

        I had a wonderful time cruising!  I really liked the part where I didn't have to cook- just picked up a plate and put food on it!  It was WARM, WARM, WARM.  No coats needed.  It didn't rain either (Yeah!).   I could turn around and do it again next week! 

Six of us drove to Miami together- Bruce, Katrina & I and my 2 brothers and 1 sister-in-law.  We met my other sister and her family on the Carnival Glory.   The first day was just getting aboard (lots of checkpoints to make sure everything was in order), then finding our room and getting settled in.  Monday was another day at sea, on our way to the Cayman Islands.   The rest of this post is going to be an advertisement for cruising!!  It was way too much fun.  There was waterslide on board, a pool, lots of decks and lots of walking from place to place. 
I was hoping that all the walking from one end of the ship to the other, from deck to deck would offset all the scrumptious cakes I had to sample each day. (Unfortunately, as I found out at home, this did not come to pass.  I gained back a few pounds that took me ages to lose.)  But those cheesecakes.  Ohhhh, food heaven.

  To continue on before I drool into my computer,  we went to a turtle farm and sanctuary and to Hell at our first stop- Grand Cayman.   These turtles are being grown, studied and let out to sea.   We got to hold them and Katrina got to go into a tank and play with them.  A Little OCD afterwards as they had a handwashing sink so we didn't get any reptile diseases but they wanted us to put on that disinfectant gel after we washed.  I hate the thot of dead bacteria stuck to my hands, maybe getting in my eyes, on my stuff etc.  So I had to look for a bathroom to wash off the gel before enjoying the rest of my time.   We had signed up to go feed the stingrays too, but the waves were too high so that part of the trip was cancelled.  I tried to put up some pictures, but they won't download into the blog.  The first one did after numerous tries but I can't figure out what I did right :P.

< picture should be here :(

The next stop was Cozumel.  We rented a car and went to Punta Sur, a national animal reserve / park.  We swam in the ocean, went on a lagoon boat ride and saw crocodiles up close. 

The next place we visited was Belize, another English speaking country.  Our driver to the Belize zoo said it takes about 2 hours to drive thru Belize.  The zoo was amazing-  the animals were in cages, but there was a lot of natural vegetation in the cages with them.  We spent about an hour there, until Katrina got hot and tired.  There was a professional photographer there taking pic's for a magazine or something, so the zoo personnel were with him and feeding the animals so he could get great shots.  Naturally we got shots at the same time!  We saw a black jaguar, spotted jaguar,  a tapir, some birds, an ocolot and some really smelly peciaries?? ( pig animals),  a bird that eats snakes ( not actually eating said snakes tho!)  This zoo started out as an animal preserve/ rescue area and that's what it does, mainly.   The animals that can't be released back into the wild stay there and are used to educate the children/ people of Belize.

<More pic's here... nope, wouldn't download.

When we got back from  the zoo a lady asked us if we wanted braids in our hair.  So Katrina & I now look like this with corn rows:


The final stop was to the island of Roatan. We didn't do much there- some shopping and went for a walk down a nature trail to the beach.  We saw  a tiny hummingbird in it's nest.  

In the evenings they had professional photo backgrounds set up and you could have pictures  taken at as many different backgrounds as you want.  They were different every night!  Then Saturday we spent a long time deciding which pictures we wanted to keep.  The ship also had photographers taking pictures at dinnertime.  We got one of our whole group with our Canadian paraphernalia!

> insert more pic's here..

Then finally, way, way too soon, it was Sat. night, suitcases got packed and we were ready for disembarkation Sunday morning. Then we drove and drove and drove and got to Waterloo On. Monday afternoon.  We stayed there overnight before doing the final 4hour journey home.

Ocd moments were few and far between:  only 2 or 3.  We were in a McDonalds on our way home and discovered they had no soap in the bathrooms.  Actually they had no soap in the building- except MAYBE at their special handwashing sink in the kitchen.  That we weren't allowed to use..   Years ago I would have felt I was contaminating every thing I touched in the car, after only washing with water.  Now, tho,  while I didn't like it, after a few minutes the 'yuk' feeling went away and it didn't bother me anymore.  The other incident was when one of the housekeeping staff almost backed into me with their stuff and to apologize, he patted me on my back. (Rule: don't touch me if you're cleaning, or have cleaned or have cleaning chemicals near you). I didn't say anything to the poor guy. Wouldn't have known how to explain myself.   I kept the shirt on til I changed for dinner not to long later, then just put it in the laundry pile.

So OCD was with me, a bit, but nothing to worry about.  Compare that to the trip I took to Moosonee a few years ago!   What an improvement!

Now it's to saving up for the next cruise.  Cause I have caught the cruise bug, bad!  And looking at pictures and writing about it just brings back the symptoms.