Last weekend really made me so happy to be back in the states with family near. My parents and youngest brother flew to Texas from California to spend a week with their Texas family…which consists of me, my two sisters and our Aunt and our families which is about 20 people. We had a girls lunch, a few different family dinners, four birthday celebrations, a baby blessing, and a lot of laughter and memories. I love being with my family.
Last port-of-call….COZUMEL, Mexico. Larsens and Hansens rented a jeep and drove around the island and Matt and I did our own excursions this day. I told Matt the only thing I wanted to do was swim with dolphins since he did that the year before without me. The weather was nothing like the day before… It was very windy and we were not able to go parasailing as we planned. However we were able to swim with the dolphins since they were in their own cove. It was so exciting and I truly enjoyed it. There were about a dozen people in our group and we had the main trainer with us, so more information was shared. We were able to give a dolphin a handshake, hug, kiss, and belly ride. After our dolphin experience we had lunch and did our last shopping at the port since we had some free time.
I love going on cruises and spending time with my family. We are already thinking about our next cruise…maybe we will take the kids.
Our second port-of-call was in Grand Cayman. Matt found this guy, John, (via the Internet) who has his own boat and could take the 6 of us out for the day. IT WAS FABULOUS! Captain John took great care of us and helped us make Grand Cayman memorable. He picked us up near the port and then drove us to his boat. It was great to see part of the island and have our own private tour guide.
The ocean was so calm, it was as though we were cruising on glass. SO BEAUTIFUL!. Our first stop: Stingray City
Captain John brought squid for the stingrays and anchored us on a sandbar. People who booked through the cruise line were jammed packed together, but we had plenty of room (away from those people) to enjoy the stingrays. Once the stingrays got the scent of the squid, they came a looking. And it was a little scary…after all one of these animals did kill Steve Irwin.
But, they really are just like puppy dogs. They are so soft and gentle and are just looking for food. Once the food was gone, so were the stingrays.
Second stop: snorkeling in a coral reef. Our uncle had a great underwater digital camera and video camera
After lunch we walked down the beach to meet up with Captain John. We saw the changes that an island has after a hurricane. The sandy beach is doubled in size and turtle grass is now covered with sand for a good 30 yards in the sea. John also had some surprises for us. GIANT Starfish.
Then we finished the day by tubing off the back of the boat. It was so much fun to see all of us acting like teenagers again! Thank you Captain John for a wonderful day. It was probably the best excursion ever!
After 2 days at sea we were ready for our first port-of-call….JAMAICA. The Larsens joined us on our excursion and we all had a great time on our Tranopy Adventure. I highly recommend the Tranopy Adventure…Canopy Chair lift, Jamaican bobsled, and ziplines…SO MUCH FUN! Plus, dancing with the locals. The excursion started off with a 90 minute ride and our own “tour guide.” She pointed out the various spots of interest…like were Usain Bolt went to school. This was the first time that my sister ever experienced association with people from an underdeveloped country. She tried to bargain shop but left with just some maracas and a bad taste in her mouth about shopping in Jamaica!
See video footage and more photos in our 2010 Caribbean Cruise
Earlier this year a co-worker recommended The Hightaway on the Guadalupe as a great place to take the family for the weekend. After some online research I proposed the idea to the Larsens and Hansens as a long weekend vacation. Everyone liked the idea, so near the end of April we rented both the Hightaway and the Hightout from the owner, Stephen Hight.
These two houses sit on the bank of the Guadalupe River, north of San Antonio in Center Point, Texas. The furnished accommodations come fully equipped with canoes, inner tubes, life jackets, bbq grill, fire pit, swing set, rope swing, etc, etc. The fact that everything needed was already at the house made for a very relaxing vacation.
We spent most of our time on the water, in the canoes, playing on the rope swing, etc. From campfire s’mores to tubing down the river to throwing a big lizard on Makana, I can safely say that everyone had a great time!
And finally, a video of McKay surprising me and Kalani: