Dec 6, 2008

Cruise Vacation - The Recap

Wednesday Nov 19 - St. Maarten (11)

Hello!! ~ insert frantic waving ~

We've been back home from the vacation for a couple of weeks and I STILL feel like I could pack up and do it all over again. Thankfully (pun intended) after we landed home I got right on a plane for 2 days of work travel, then home again for the Thanksgiving holiday. Thanksgiving was very quiet for us this year, and that suited us just fine. We are traditionally all in the turkey feasting and family gathering and over eating and random napping. No one can do triple servings in a kitchen like me and my momma! Not this year though...we spent such a lovely time with both grandmas, pops, an aunt and some family friends that we felt pretty well caught up on the family gathering part. As for the overeating and random napping? Check, and check! Got plenty of that in too on the cruise.

Here is a smattering of the vacation photos (trimmed from the 499 I stuffed into the camera). There's a slide show at the end if you feel like pouring a cuppa' and taking a saunter through the journey with us.

Monday Nov 17 - Puerto Rico (2) Tuesday Nov 18 - St. ThomasWednesday Nov 19 - St. Maarten

Our shore stops were in Puerto Rico, St. Thomas (my favorite), and St. Maarten. As you probably know, when you arrive anywhere via cruise ship, your experience of the destination spot can be somewhat "canned" - all mapped out for you from the minute you disembark until the time you set sail again. That is,of course, if you're NOT traveling with MY husband. We've cruised three times now, and not once have we gone the traditional "excursion" route. Hub loves to find local people, chat them up, and score some sweet tips and deals on tours, where to eat, and where to shop. Our experience is all the richer because of it.

One of the biggest pleasures I had was seeing the girls in a constant state of wonderment. We are so blessed that their stamina and their charm allows us to take them ANYwhere and we can be confident that they'll have a good time, and spread the smiles. It was really a treat to expose them to so many new things.

Wednesday Nov 19 - St. Maarten (20)
The "get up and go whenever you please" factor of homeschooling totally rocks!

A close second on the Lasting Memory scale was seeing my mother-in-law go from someone who hasn't left her home state in 30 years to someone who now calls me every other day to ask what I've found out about our NEXT family cruise (watch for it, December 2009!). She so thoroughly enjoyed herself that she came home and was on a veritable CAMPAIGN to get every last family member within 100 miles to start putting their pennies together so we can all set sail together next year. Cuteness!

Thursday Nov 20 - Day at Sea

If you think you might be into round-the clock service of fresh, delicious food, twice a day turn down service in your room, back-to-back days of island hopping, first class workout facilities, super service staff, and freedom to do everything or nothing for days on end - try a cruise. And if you do...I want to hear about it because apparently, it has now become our annual family tradition, and I'm always open for some great travel tips :)

Click right here to be linked to a slide show with many more pictures!