The Geek and I celebrated our 20th anniversary (20 years. Crazy!) in December by going on a Southern Caribbean Cruise. It was warm, sunny, and the water was an impossible shade of greenish blue. Yum.
While we were gone we missed a snowstorm that dumped 12+ inches of snow at our house. My in-laws, who were stopping by to take care of our cats, had to shovel/snowblow our really
long driveway and front walk. I do feel a little bad about that – and very
appreciative – but it's hard to regret having been soaking in the sunny skies and tropical breezes of the Caribbean instead of huddling inside during a blizzard.
We started out in San Juan, Puerto Rico. We flew in the night before the ship departed, and when we woke up in the morning and looked out our hotel room window, we saw this:
|Apparently they're not illegal there.|
We had a good part of the day free to do some sight-seeing before boarding the ship, so we spent some time wandering the streets of Old San Juan.
|SO many pigeons. There were hundreds of them in this little park.|
|What a colorful city!|
Along the way we encountered an old fort they call El Morro. Outside the fort was a beautiful green park.
|The day was perfect for kite flying or just lying in the grass.|
|Beautiful shore line.|
Our first stop on the cruise was the island of St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands. We went on an excursion on a boat called the "Jolly Mon" that took us cruising around the island. We saw flying fish (much smaller than I imagined them) and a sea turtle, swam in the clear blue water along a white sand beach, and soaked up the sun.
The "Jolly Mon" crew served us rum punch, and rum and Coke – very strong
rum and Coke. When someone asked about that, they told us that rum is cheaper than Coke there, so they tend to go heavier on the rum.
|My Geek looking all cute and stuff, enjoying the sun, the breeze, and a little Coke with a lot of rum.|
Our next stop was St. Kitt's. We hit the island to do some souvenir shopping.
|The Geek at St. Kitt's.|
In Dominica we went on a hike through the rainforest, which is a forest where it rains, like, all the time. Imagine that.
|Heading into the rainforest.|
It was wet and muddy, and I didn't mind one bit
(Okay, I might have minded just a little when we were boarding the ship
again at the end of the day and I was walking around in muddy, dirty
clothes. Just a little.) It was warm, and the forest was beautiful and
tropical. What's not to like?
|So very green.|
At the end of our hike we came to a waterfall that emptied into the "Emerald Pool". It was very cold, very rocky, and very clear. We sat in it for a bit before moving on.
|Waterfall into the Emerald Pool. But wait, look up ...|
| ... and there's the rest of the waterfall. |
See that rope leading up that impossibly steep hill? It led to another waterfall on the other side. My Geek and a few other people took a quick trip to see it. I would love to say I did too, but instead I chickened out and waited for them, along with most of the group.
|Crazy, horrifying rope of death!|
|Our tour guide called this a buttercup. Very pretty, but certainly not what we call buttercups around here.|
Other than that, we lounged around the ship or on beaches and islands, reading books, eating way too much food, drinking – um, more than usual – and just generally relaxing.
|Looking across the pool deck on the ship to St. Kitt's on the other side.|
|I thought I might do a "view from my beach chair" series, but these two are all I got. Left: reading on the deck of the ship. Right: relaxing under a palm umbrella on a black sand beach in Dominica. |
|This storm passed by while we watched from the ship.|
|Islands, islands, and more beautiful islands.|
I've decided that cruises are pretty much the best vacation there is. You don't have to make your bed, or do laundry, or drive anywhere, or plan anything. It's all done for you. The extent of the choices you have to make are what to order off that night's menu (and there's no worrying about price because no matter what you choose, from the chicken to the steak to the lobster, it's all included in the price of your cruise), whether you want to go to the big show in the theater that night, what shore excursions you might want to go on, and whether or not to make another run to the buffet.
Oh, and you get to dress up all fancy a couple of nights, which, of course, is so much fun – even if you do forget that one of the dresses you planned to wear might be a few sizes too big and hang on you like a gunny sack, so you have to wear the same dress for both fancy dress nights. At least it was a new dress – and new shoes. SO much fun.
Yup. I love cruises.
Labels: my Geek, vacation