I'm back from 10 glorious days on vacation with my husband! To avoid the crushing depression of having to return to real life, I'm spending today uploading pictures to Facebook and writing this blog post. I spent a LOT of time fantasizing about this vacation, mainly while running, and it exceeded even my wildest expectations.
I would really like to post the 325 pictures that I already put on Facebook, plus all the ones that didn't make it to Facebook, and spend 8 hours writing a detailed description of all our adventures over a series of 10 posts. But in the interest of maintaining readership on a public blog, I'll do my best to hit the highlights in an amusing manner.
I'm married to a huge Harry Potter fan, so when I found out we were cruising out of Port Canaveral, I knew we had to fly down early to see Harry Potter world.
I thought we'd spend the entire day in Harry's village or whatever. I really tried to read the first book (for my 3rd time!) but I only managed to get about 65% done before our visit. I figured it would be like when your friend invites you to their work happy hour, and then you spend the whole time nodding and smiling while they use acronyms you don't get and complain about people you don't know. Actually, teachers are the worst for this, don't ever hang out with them if you're in another profession.
Color me uninformed. Little did I know that Harry Potter was just one little section (out of 7!) of an entire amusement park in Universal Studios. Thank goodness my mom gave me a guidebook and I spent more time reading that then Harry Potter. We spent about 2 hours checking out the Wizarding World.
|Whatever Butterbeer is, it's delicious.|
The next 10 hours were spent exploring the rest of Islands of Adventure. Despite the fact that I'd only seen one of the movies featured, it was freaking awesome. Eric said the rides were the best he'd ever been on, and that's coming from someone who grew up less than 30 minutes from Cedar Point.
|We were actually IN Jurassic Park.|
Saturday, it was time for our cruise. I had three goals.
1. Come back just as white
2. Come back ten pounds heavier
3. Eat soft serve no less than twice a day
I'm sad to report I failed on all three counts. I slathered on SPF50 every morning and reapplied all day, but by the end, I noticed that my skin was no longer the same color as this robe. Even Eric noticed.
|Couples that spa together, stay together.|
|Ending a night with softserve cones on the deck - perfection.|
The times we didn't we supplemented with brownies or other desserts, which should have made #2 a done deal. I only gained five pounds. Luckily though, I'd already gained a few before the trip, probably due in no small part to my adventures with buttercream. Don't bother looking for it in pictures, I've already sucked in/cropped/hit behind Eric/added an instagram filter as necessary.
|Tiramisu and a bread pudding to share. The waiter asked "May I pour hot vanilla sauce|
on it?". Um, yes.
Totally worth it. I'll gladly eat a salad for lunch for the first month of school in exchange for 7 days of unbelievable cuisine.
Anyway, I think I know the problem. I went into the trip fully prepared to work out once and only once: a jog on the track so that my Garmin would show I was running in the middle of the ocean. I did that, and it was at a 2:45 minute mile pace, thank you very much.
But Eric actually wanted to keep in shape or something. The first morning of our trip, we docked in Nassau at 8:30, and apparently Eric intended to hit the gym first. He ordered room service for 6am. I forgot room service was even an option, so when I woke up to a knock at the door, I was positive this was happening.
I don't have a program to capture video on my home computer and didn't feel like downloading one so you can enjoy that 4 second netflix clip captured on an iphone and uploaded to Youtube illegally. If you don't know what that is, it's the scene from Titanic when they wake the steerage passengers up after they hit the iceberg, but honestly if you don't know what that is I don't know if I can have you in my life anymore.
I ran 5 miles with this view.
While working out, we met a guy who teaches Insanity classes in NYC. I don't know if I've ever mentioned this, but Eric did the whole Insanity program this spring. By the way, it works. I didn't think you could improve on perfection, but he somehow got even hotter and more chiseled.
So our new friend Sam taught us a private Insanity class Mon-Thu! Again, you can't argue with this view.
|Speaking of sexy - you're welcome.|
Insanity is one hard workout. I died. I also ran a few times, and did a yoga and a pilates class (because they were free with our room and the other
plebians passengers had to pay $12 for them).
Being on a cruise, especially as it pulls away from the pier, is the best representation of humanity I have ever witnessed. Everyone is happy, dancing, cheering, polite, and ready to be best friends with everyone. It's like the polar opposite of being in a Walmart or DMV.
|Mexican Fiesta deck party's 400 person conga line Thursday night.|
Sunday: Nassau, Bahamas.
We wandered around, and found a rum distillery with free tours.
Back on board, we busted into the red velvet champagne we had brought on board (sounds amazing, doesn't it? It wasn't.) and got pretty for the first cruise elegant night.
Monday: Fun day at sea. We did our first Insanity class, went to the spa, had breakfast, then sat on the adults only deck for like 3 hours staring at the ocean, dozing, reading, and playing chess. How about every week starts like that? Oh, then after dinner we went back up and watched the sunset in a hot tub.
|No big deal, just pure bliss and perfection.|
Tuesday: San Juan, Puerto Rico. We walked over to Castillo San Cristobal, a fort that had amazing city views. It was also super high up and we climbed a lot of hills, which may have contributed to my minimal weight gain.
|A real dungeon! Not going to lie, I mainly wanted to be "imprisoned" here to|
better identify with Game of Thrones characters.
|Drinks on the ship were watered down and ridiculously overpriced, so Eric chugged this teeny tiny Coors light for $1!|
We did our only excursion of the trip here, taking a Ferry to snorkel at St. John. It was a very generous birthday gift from my dad - I can't thank him enough, because the beach there was absolutely amazing. It's one of the top ten beaches in the world! Plus we got to ride past Michael Jordan's house on the way over.
|Michael Jordan's house!|
|Trunk Bay Beach. We snorkeled here. No words. Also #nofilter|
|Yeah, I'll allow this, so you can fully appreciate how unbelievable this beach was. |
And how hardcore I am for snorkeling without the flippers or life vest.
Thursday: Grand Turk (part of Turks and Caicos).
I was dying to rent a bike to tour the island (it's only 4 miles long!) but we didn't bring enough cash. Instead, we took a cab to "downtown". I got hot walking around, so I just walked off the street into the ocean. I would really like this option more often.
This may come as a relief to you - I don't have any pictures of downtown. Because that's where Eric lost our camera. I had been backing up our pictures to my tablet every night and our camera was super old, dented, scratched, and basically no longer the greatest. Also, when he came back from searching for it to tell me it was officially gone, I was laying on a beach chair with this view.
|I don't think there's any first world pain that could have upset me here.|
Because it was paradise, we took a few more iPhone photos.
Friday was our last day at sea. So sad. We weren't really interested in the show that night, so we took advantage of having our private spa all to ourselves!
You may remember my rant about Carnival when we first booked our trip for June and then had to work. As a result, they rebooked us and upgraded us to a spa room. We've never flown first class, or really had any special privileges or anything, so the fact that we had access to a private spa that other passengers couldn't go in was extremely exciting.
|Arriving and finding our spa vouches and slippers.|
|See? PRIVATE. Only 50 of the 4,500 passengers could go!|
|Special fancy thalassotherapy pool (basically a hot tub).|
And that was our fabulous, wonderful, just absolutely perfect vacation! To anyone still reading - thanks for indulging me!
What was your favorite vacation? Anyone been on a cruise? What did you think?