Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter Sunday

It's true, the Easter bunny loves kids of all kinds. Even 4 legged furry ones and their parents! He made his annual stop and left a few treats for us.
He brought Ryan some seeds for his garden

Steph got a tulip plant

Norris got a blue bear and agreed to one picture
"I said one picture mom, can I have it now Dad?"

Baby got a pink bear and agreed to no picturesBaby loves mothering her animals

and Jack got a catnip ball that he has so far ignored

We spent the day sleeping, watching conference, then shared Easter dinner with out fabulous friends and second family, the Jones. We love them!

And today we got a fun package from Ryan's brother Jason and his wife Kelli. They were so thoughtful and sent treats for everyone! Thanks guys for thinking of us!(We're still not sure what the blocks spell out but we're hoping to decipher the code soon)

We hope you all had a lovely Easter as well and were able to be together with your families and remember our Savior!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Bahamas Cruise!!

We were lucky enough to take another fun "Spring break/Tax return/Early Anniversary/Steph can't work 1 more day or she's gonna lose it" trip. This year we went on a 3 night cruise out of Miami to...the Bahamas! It was fabulous; short but fabulous. Be prepared for lots of pictures!

We arrived in Ft Lauderdale the night before after an awful plane ride that consisted of tiny, crammed in seats (fine for me but imagine Ryan) and sitting directly behind 6 obnoxious Armenian 20 year olds headed for Spring Break (think Kardashian sisters but much worse).

Day 1: Miami

The next morning we took a shuttle to Miami and were on the ship within 30 minutes of arriving at the dock and for any of you who have taken cruises you know that it can take FOREVER to board sometimes.
Our room wasn't ready for a few hours so we toured the ship
then lounged in the warm Miami sun for a bit.(little did we know that this short period of less than 2 hours would leave us with nice right-sided only tans thanks to the giant pole we sat next to on our'll see what I mean later)

Next we checked out our stateroom and were SO impressed! We splurged on a balcony room and it was totally worth it!
The rest of the day consisted of a BBQ lunch by the pool, the annoying life boat/disaster drill, visiting the arcade for Ryan,

and watching the ship sail away from Miami from the comfort of our balcony.
We would leave the balcony door open at night and we snapped this picture of 2 other cruise ships in the distance.

Day 2: Nassau
As most of you know, I don't sleep well on my days off so I woke up early and watched the ship approach Nassau. The sunrise was beautiful with Atlantis in the backround.
We grabbed a quick breakfast then got off the ship and took a boat to another island
that serves as a reserve and rescue for dolphins,

an 80 year old sea turtle,

and...Sea Lions! These little darlings lost their home after Hurracaine Katrina and were moved here to the Blue Lagoon Island in 2006.
We were fortunate enough to get right in the water with the sweet Sea Lions. There was only 4 other people in the water with us and we got to hug, kiss, feed, pet, and touch the teeth of these critters. They were very friendly and the trainers said they enjoy showing off so they did these cute tricks, danced, and made funny faces. I have to admit they were intimidating but very gentle. Think giant wet dogs. It wasn't a cheap excursion but when Ryan looked over with a big smile on his face and said "this is awesome!" it made it worth every penny.

After that we spent an hour napping in hammocks next to the water. The island was beautiful and we had such a cool experience!Remember that right-sided tan I mentioned?

Checking out some real estate options on the boat ride back to Nassau. A girl can dream right?

After we returned to Nassau we walked around to a few sites. The buildings were all painted in beautiful colors.

Being that tourism is Nassau's only source of income there were a TON of vendors all selling the same things. I didn't last long there cuz I would have felt bad buying from 1 person and not the next. I've seen poverty before but it still gets to me every time to know that these people live on so little and even the kids are trained salesmen.

Anyway, we found an old fort,
a cool old staircase called the Queen's Staircase,

and the local ER ambulance bay :)
Then it was time to head back to the ship. We sailed on this beauty, the Norwegian Sky
That evening we had a yummy dinner and watched a live version of the Newlywed Game

Day 3: Great Sirrup Cay
We slept in and grabbed another quick breakfast then took a tender boat to the Great Stirrup Cay which is Norwegians private island. It was a little windy and overcast to start out but that didn't stop us from spending a good 6 hours sleeping/reading/sunning on our beach chairs
and even doing a little snorkeling in the cove. The water was colder than I expected but okay once you got in. The snorkeling was definitely better in Cancun but I'm not complaining :)

The Mr.and the Mrs.

Who knew a couple kids from mountain filled Utah would turn into such big beach bums?
We savored our island time and took the last boat back to the ship.
Norwegian isn't like other cruise lines where you have to dress up every night and sit at a big dining table with people you don't know. They call it "freestyle cruising" which means you can wear what you want and choose from several different places to eat and eat at your own table. So we chose this night as our formal night. Had to grab some pictures on our balcony before dinner.

After dinner we went to the closing show then took advantage of the empty sports deck for a game of shuffleboard (which I just so happen to have a knack for) and basketball.

It was hard to go to bed knowing we had to leave the next morning :(

Day 4: Back to Miami
Sadly we woke up and had arrived back into port in Miami. The only thing making it easier to leave is that the weather was gloomy.

We packed up and grabbed breakfast then disembarked. It was raining by now and we crammed into the shuttle with 15 other people and headed back to the airport. We already had our boarding passes but when we looked at the monitor for our gate it said "Flight Cancelled" Ugghhh
So we proceded back to the ticket counter to stand in line with the other 150 passengers whose flight was cancelled. The line was NOT moving and after talking to other people we found out that the weather in New York was too bad to land in, hence the cancelling. Well after an hour in line, the guys says "the best we can do is put you on a flight tomorrow night out of another airport 40 miles away." Mind you it was noon and they were not about to provide transportation/hotel/or food vouchers for anyone! Basically, your on your own. So everyone was on their cell phones trying to get a flight with another airline but everyone was booked. Spirit ended up refunding out tickets and we booked a flight home the next morning with another airline (after much appreciated help from my sister).
So we ended up going back to the cheap hotel we stayed at before the cruise which was fine except more money out of pocket and we had to walk a mile to get dinner. But alas, we made it home and all was well with out puppies and kitty.
We had a fantastic time but wished we'd had 1 or 2 more days. It was a well earned/deserved break and I can't wait for the next one!