Back in the US of A

Ah, alas, Mrs. P has returned to the bloggy world I hold so dear to my heart! I hope you all didn't miss me too much! I have had such a fabulous vacation. Cancun with some friends followed by a Carribean family cruise for vacation. Definitely can't complain. I've been soaking up the sun (although I'm still light in color, I do my best...), relaxing, and having fun. I have met some awesome people aboard the Explorer of the Seas and all in all had such a great time I don't even know where to begin to describe it!

We visited San Juan, Puerto Rico; St. Thomas, Virgin Islands; Samana, Domincan Republic; and Labadee, Haiti. Ariana is officially a world traveler, having been OCONUS for the first time and to foreign countries for the first time. She was such a great traveler, as always, and had so much fun aboard the ship. And of course she stole the hearts of many. She is such a personable little girl.

Puerto Rico was a short stop in the evening. We went to the fort there and got caught in some serious rain which we all found quite funny. We did some shopping and then headed back to the ship. I wished it would have been a longer stop so we could have explored more.

At St. Thomas, my cousins, aunt, and I went snorkling in the blue waters. It was just SO pretty. I saw some fishies and a ship wreck. On the way back they served a rum punch. It tasted rather week and I was pretty thirsty. I accidentally ended up a little drunk - oops. We met up with the fam after the excursion and did some shopping in downtown St. Thomas. Like I said, it's gorgeous there.

Samana was definitely an interesting port of call. The Domincan Republic is a nation that is still in the depths of poverty, by the look of Samana. There were so many people out looking for money. Children were selling shells on the street and asking for a dollar. The people in the shops were incredible pushy. Many people on the cruise actually complained about this port of call, but I actually liked it. The island was absolutely gorgeous. It was just a tropical beauty. And having all of the natives there was a bit frightening for some but I really like to see others' cultures. My cousin and I did an ATV tour there while the rest of the family did a jeep excursion. Riding the ATVs through the jungle was exhilirating and you got to see some real picturesque scenery. Before we did the excursions we hit the shops and took a motorcycle with a cart attached as a taxi. Ariana seemed fascinated by all the people out, she just sat and stared. Like I said, a lot of people complained about this stop but I liked it.

Labadee was just phenomenal. It is Royal Carribean's private part of Haiti so it was just the cruisers, cruise staff, and a few locals working who were there. The beach was beautiful and it was another gorgeous tropical paradise. My cousins and I did the mountain rollercoaster, which was a quick ride and not as fun as I had hoped it would be but it wasn't awful. Then we did the longest zipline over water. That was a fun ride with spectacular views. What's better than flying over clear blue water, right in the open held up by nothing but a harness?! Then we got some serious beach time in. Ariana liked the water until she sat down and a small wave came making her rock a little bit, then she was done. And she was not having the sand. But we ended up taking a nice hour nap together under an umbrella which was pretty special. She's such a good baby on the beach. She loved watching the zipliners zoom by and she liked peaking outside of the umbrella at all the people on the beach.

The ship itself was definitely fun. I took Ariana to the Ice Show which was awesome. Ice skating on a ship - doing the turns and jumps and even back flips - I don't know how they do it! Ari was fascinated by the lights and music and flashy costumes. At night, I got my boogie on in the little dance club (or disco) that they had and was happy to make lots of friends aboard the ship. I also hit it up in karaoke a few times - I guess I was feeling brave. I participated in quite a few of the games they had and ended up being known as the "Ukranian Gymnast" towards the end for a split I pulled during one crazy game show.

Ariana enjoyed eating lots of delicious cruise foods and has now seriously cut down her interest in baby food - she is such a big girl. We enjoyed lots of family time during the day and Ari also enjoyed being with her great aunt and uncle and second cousins. We got some great photos so you'll have to stay tuned for when I finally get them uploaded I will do a photo post.

I definitely have had a lot of fun and wasn't so happy to be back in the cold. But I suppose every vacation must come to an end and apparently we're at that time... until next time ;)

So there ya have it, what I've been up to for the last couple weeks, no worries, I'll be around more now that we're not traveling all over for a while at least!

17 comments

  1. Sounds like so much fun! Glad you enjoyed it!

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  2. I'm glad you're getting out there and living life, I truly am. However with all due respect, (and I mean that non-facetiously) I lost someone too, and that money helps make things better, but down the line you'll need it. I pray that you have what you need always and don't make poor choices in mourning

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  3. I love love love St. Thomas! So glad you had a good time!

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  4. Yay! I'm glad you're back (missed reading your posts :) and that you had such a great time! You deserve it!

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  5. Glad you had fun. You deserve it.
    S/F

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  6. Sounds like you had an absolutely amazing time and it was a breath of fresh air for you! Can't wait to see pics of all the gorgeous places!

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  7. Sounds like you had a great getaway! I bet Ariana had a blast.

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  8. Glad you had a great trip! Just curious because we are thinking of planning a cruise with out toddler- Did you have family watch baby girl for you or did they offer babysitting on the ship? We want to go but are curious how all that works.

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  9. I loved the cruise I went on (Liberty of the Seas w/ Royal Caribbean) I am glad you had so much fun! =)

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  10. Welcome back Mrs.P! I missed your writing but am glad to hear that you had such a fabulous time traveling!

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  11. Sounds like you had an amazing trip and little Miss. Ariana is going to be well traveled. All those places sound amazing and not so typical ports of cruises, but it sounded like a blast! I missed your blogging, so I'm happy your back :) yep, I'm a little selfish :) can't wait to see pictures

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  12. I'm so glad to hear that you had a good time! :D

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  13. I'm so happy that you had a great time on your long much needed vacation. Along with adorable little Ariana.

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  14. i have followed your blog before my husband left for Afghanistan 6 weeks ago...I thought it would never happen to me but he passed this morning. I would love to reach out to you... my email is katiegravelle@yahoo.com.

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  15. I wish you had pitures of this fabulous vacation!!
    I love St. Thomas and the other Sts like Martin!
    I have never been on a cruise though...not sure if I would like being trapped on the boat!

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  16. Wow! What an awesome vacation!!

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