Recently, I had to travel to South Florida for four days of training. I have never been away from home longer than a couple days so we didn’t know how Anna would react. To make it easier on her, Charity and I thought it would be a good idea if I brought one of Anna’s toys with me and take pictures of it in various places. Anna loved it. Every night before bed she would look at the pictures I took of Woody (from the Toy Story movies) through Charity’s email. Here are some of them. As you can see, Woody relaxed at the hotel, went to the mall and sat in Anna’s car seat on the way to training. I think he had a great time.
I believe the idea was a success. Woody seemed to enjoy the trip, although he didn’t say much. When I got home Anna told me she liked the pictures of Woody and gave me a picture she had painted for me while I was away.
On the third day of our cruise with Royal Carribean, we docked in Nassau. We chose to go to the Atlantis Resort Aquarium (the “Dig”) and check out their water park, Aquaventure. We were hesitant because the price of the excursion (water park and dig combo) was pretty steep. But, we were celebrating so we decided to go for it. Oh man…the water park ROCKED!
Our first view of Nassau from the window in our stateroom.
The Atlantis Aquarium and Dig were pretty cool. I will say that the cost of the tour seems a little pricey to me, so I would recommend a self-guided tour to keep cost down.
The Dig has lots or great architechual aspects throughout it. Lots of opportunities for pictures. Take your time and take in all the details if you plan to visit.
This room was one of my favorites. Loved the steam and the great view into the aquarium.
See that part of the building that looks like a bridge or walkway connecting to the building? It’s a room. Affectionately called the Michael Jackson room to be exact. You guessed it, MJ stayed there. And you can too…for $25,000 a night. Better start saving now.
The Resort is beautiful. You could walk around for quite awhile checking out the landscape outside or the gorgeous artwork inside and be content. However, we were off to the water park for the rest of the day!
Unfortunately, my camera was not waterproof so I do not have any other pictures of Aquaventure water park at Atlantis. This was one of the large pools in the front. We actually did not go in this pool because we spent most of our time in the Lazy River. Now let me tell you something…that river was anything but lazy! It is a mile long river that you float along in an inner-tube, but it’s not all smooth sailing. Oh no it’s not. There are rapids, a power tower option with a drop and steep, enclosed slide and a massive wave machine lurking at various points along the route. That explains the “high intensity ride” signs along the Lazy River path. Seriously. Did we like the Lazy River? OH YEAH we did. We must have spent at least 3 hours on that mile long ride. Round and round we went getting thrown into the walls, into other people, into empty inner-tubes and I even got thrown off mine once and went under water when the wave machine caught me by surprise. This is a must do. JB and I already know we will be back if we venture this way again!
JB and I took a 5 day cruise to the Bahamas for our 5 year Anniversary. It was my first cruise and we had a wonderful experience on the Royal Carribean Monarch of the Seas.
Today’s Adventure: CocoCay Island
CocoCay Island is Royal Carribean’s private island. It is beautiful and the water is so clear. It’s a light teal color closer to the shore, but it becomes a brilliant true blue color a little deeper out. I’ve always heard people talk about the water and how pretty it is, but you really have to see it to believe it.
JB and I paid to stay in the small VIP area of the island. They had a handful of cabanas and a few more of these cabana-ettes (or clamshells as we called them). The VIP area was wonderful with private bathrooms, a private bar, a VIP buffet, fresh fruit, and bottled water on ice. It also came with floaty mats to lounge in the ocean and the cocolimo (large golf cart) to transport you around the island. I highly recommend it!
Just a funny picture to me. Yep, that’s the Monarch in the background. Yep, that’s my feet. Humor, it’s important in a marriage.
Picture perfect day. I cannot think of a time I was more relaxed on vacation.
I snaped a last picture of the island as we headed back to boat. See that true blue water? Awesome.
Coming up…Atlantis Resort and the Aquaventure Water Park.
Well, we are finally leaving on our cruise! Things will be a little quiet this week, but I will try to get something out if I have a chance.
There is no Monday Meal Plan today, as we will be stuffing ourselves with cruise food instead. However, I posted an easy and delicious lasagna recipe for you to have on hand. It’s super quick and inexpensive!
Have a wonderful week and I will take pictures to share with you soon!
With most of the country in the ninty degree or higher range, this year is shaping up to be one of the hottest ever. Although these high temperatures are abnormal for much of the U.S., it is pretty much normal for Florida. Living and working outside in this heat for the last 14 years here in Florida, I’ve picked up a few tricks to staying cool.
Watch what you drink. Water and Gatorade type drinks are best if you are sweating a lot. They replenish the water lost while sweating as well as electrolytes you body needs. They will rehydrate you better than anything else. Keep clear from caffeine and alcohol. They cause your body to lose more water than you take in. This can lead to dehydration.
A second tip for staying cool is take breaks often. If you have to be in the sun for extended amounts of time, it is a good idea to find a shady area or head inside your home as often as you need. I try to take a 5 – 10 minute break every 45 – 60 minutes but everyone is different. During that break make sure you rehydrate.
What you wear makes a big difference as well. Stay away from dark clothing. It is a well known fact that dark, especially black clothing absorbs sunlight thus making you hotter. Light colored or white, loose fitting clothing is best for those hot sunny days. Another trick I found while working in extreme heat is wearing a thin t-shirt under my polo shirt ( I am required to wear the polo as part of my uniform). The t-shirt absorbs the sweat and as I get back into the air conditioning or catch a breeze the tshirt cools me quicker.
These are just a few tips for keeping cool during these hot days of Summer. For more information, I found this article helpful and this one too. (Someone remembered how to hyperlink)
As I look over my summer bucket list, I find I am looking forward to camping in the backyard. JB and Anna have never been camping. Seriously. Anna, OK…we have never taken her. As for JB, at first I thought he was kidding, but turns out his family didn’t “do” that kind of thing. So, I thought it would be best to test the waters out with a camping trip in the backyard. I am even thinking it would be awesome to have Anna invite one of her little friends over to join her.
Check out these great ideas I found on pinterest for a little camping “party”. Maybe I will invite 2 of her friends, just so I can make these oh so cute hobo sticks and put trail mix and s’mores inside!
If you are thinking about having a backyard campout this summer, you can use the checklist below to make sure you have everything you need.
Essential Family Backyard Camping Checklist:
- Tent (or blanket, tarp, bed sheet or sheet of plastic draped over a clothesline or tree branch, with corners held down by stakes or rocks)
- Sleeping bag (or a sheet and blankets or comforter)
- Sleeping pad (or air mattress, old comforter or blanket) to keep out the chill from the ground
- Camp chairs or something to sit upon
- Table or blanket for eating and game playing outside
- Clothing – several layers, which can be removed or added depending on the weather
- Hats – use your judgment on the type based on the weather
- Insect repellent
- Flashlight (with extra batteries) for trips to the bathroom, easing night time fears and reading – one for each child to prevent arguments.
- Full drinking bottles
- Munchies and/or food you can cook if you have a campfire (i.e. marshmallows, graham crackers, chocolate bars for s’mores)
- Long, sturdy sticks for cooking over the camp fire (i.e. s’mores, hot dogs) or a small grill
- Cooking and eating utensils
- Pocket knife
- Napkins and paper or dish towels
- Water (in a jug or cooler)
- Plates and cups
- Trash bag
- Games, books, playing cards, crayons, paper
- Identification guides (field guide to animals, insects, birds, trees, stars, etc.)
- Items for nature exploration (magnifying glass, binoculars, journal, etc.)
- Musical instruments and song books
With Summer rapidly approaching and the cost of gas going down, road trips are on the rise. Whether you are taking a trip across country or across town, here are a few little known tips to getting to your destination easier and safer.
Driving on major highways can be very nerve racking, especially if you are unfamiliar with that highway. One problem drivers have is not knowing whether your exit will be on the right side or left side of the road. As you are approaching your exit, notice the location of your exit number on the interchange or street guide sign. If the exit number is on the upper left, your exit will be on the left. If on the right, your exit is on the right. Below you can see that exit 13 will be a left exit.
Another tip comes in handy on smaller dark roads or roads under construction. The black and yellow diagonal striped signs may look like just a caution sign, but it has another purpose. Whichever direction the downward slope of the stripes are heading is the side of the sign you are suposed to pass on. For instance, below the slope is down and to the left. This would indicate that you are to stay to the left of the sign (usually to avoid an obstruction).
A final driving tip is useful when trying to figure out which direction you are heading while driving on the interstate. The rule is that single or double digit numbered highways that head east-west are even numbered while highways that head north-south are odd numbered. The three digit numbered highways are spur, circumferential or radial loop routes that branch off from the parent highway. Spur routes are assigned an odd first digit, and do not return to its parent. On the other hand, circumferential and radial loop routes are given an even first digit. These routes return you to the parent highway. Below you see the road being traveled is 695 North which will eventually take the driver back to 95 North.
Hopefully, this information will help you when traveling. For more information on the highway system and driving laws, please visit your state’s department of transportation website.
The next couple of weeks, I will be perusing the posts on Pinterest and looking for some summer inspirations ideas. I am specifically looking for the following:
- Crafts for Anna
- Outdoor Activities for the Family
- 5 year Anniversary and Vacation ideas
- Home Decorating
- Summer Recipes
- Summer Blockbuster films to see
I plan to posts some of my findings and share them with you. This way, with summer just around the corner, I will be ready and have a plan of action! Do you have plans you are making for this summer? Share!!