Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Vacation Blues

We are back home from a fantastic vacation.  We spent a week on the Western Caribbean in ports in Jamaica, Grand Cayman and Cozumel, Mexico. We've had this vacation planned for 51 weeks...the moment we came home from last year's vacation. 
Jeff & I boarding the Carnival Magic

We spent the first 3 days on the ship getting lost. No really. LOST. Our cabin was on the port side on the aft of the ship. Our dining room was in the front of ship. Certain floors don't go all the way through. Up stairs, across, down and then you will get there! It only took 6 days to figure it all out.

Jeff running a lot of laps on the SportsDeck
I tried to get into the spinning classes on the ship, but by the time I found my way to the fitness center all of the spots were already taken. Instead we had to run on the 12th deck on the outside track. 7 laps = 1 mile. 7 laps of people walking across the entire track, kids playing on the track, putt putt golf balls skimming across the track. I ran on the track once. Jeff had much more patience and ran on it a few times. Me? I made my way to the fitness center at the front of the ship and watch the waves crash into the ship instead. Finding a treadmill at 9 am was very difficult. So I switched my plan to working out around 3:30 in the afternoon after I've had plenty of sun and before I had to shower for dinner. The other benefit? No froo-froo drinks until after my workout was complete. Saving calories, YES!

A View of the Falls
My family at the water fall
Our first port was Jamaica. Our group went to the Dunn River Falls where you make a 600 foot walk up the falls, hand in hand like a human chain. The falls were so incredibly crowded. Some of the climbs were quite challenging. At first, I thought I was not going to enjoy the climb, but it really was fun climbing up with the kids trying something totally different than what is available in Central Illinois. 

Look at that water!
Our second port was in Grand Cayman. We decided to just spend the day at 7 mile beach enjoying the white sand and beautiful blue water. Grand Cayman is incredible. The water is blue and transparent. You can easily see down 30-40 feet. The kids got to snorkel. I got to read a book. If I was smart, I would have brought my cap and goggles to practice some of my Total Immersion skills, but they were still aboard the Carnival Magic.  We spent the day on the beach and then went to Margaritaville by the pier where they had a water slide on the top floor and enjoyed some Jimmy Buffet.

Abby snorkeling in Cozumel
Our 3rd and final port of the week was in Cozumel, Mexico. In 2005, we took this same cruise and swam with the dolphins at Chankanaab Park. The park is absolutely beautiful and we decided we wanted to spend the day there. The snorkeling at Chankanaab was breath taking. I followed a beautiful fish with a broad orange and green stripe on the tail, purple scales on the backbone while the body was an iridescent blue green. I just followed the fish round and round. The bright colors under the water in the reef...words cannot express. I could have floated in that water for entire day and just enjoyed the peace and quiet of the water. 

Mango Margarita for me!
After a day of snorkeling, we made our way back to the pier to enjoy some shopping and a quick stop a Fat Tuesday where Jeff & I even did a shot of Sex on the Beach. We sang lots of songs together in our balloon hats. Definitely good times for the family!

Sadly, our vacation had to come to an end. Cruises are great since you don't have to do anything! No laundry. No cooking. The hardest decision of the day is which drink to have and when! The best part was that my two oldest girls enjoyed the cruise even more than I did. They each took part in the Camp Carnival activities for their age groups. We rarely saw them! They would wake up after I had already left for the deck to enjoy the sun and not come back until dinner. After dinner, they were off again. They developed so many friendships with people from across the entire planet. 

However, it's time to get back to work. Time to work out. Time to focus on nutrition. Time to put in the work so I can become an Ironman. 

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