Saturday, August 6, 2011

Day 6 St. Lucia

St. Lucia was the reason that we had booked this particular cruise. I had heard many people say how amazing this island was, so I was super excited about going here. We had booked a dolphin and whale watch safari trip. The morning had started off with rain, but I was hopeful that it would get better. We met up with the tour guides that were taking us on this trip. We got onto a boat and set off. I ended up being very disappointed very quickly. The guides had said there was a cooler of 2 liter drinks on floor and cups on the counter. They were not the crew that we had in St. Thomas that was for sure! We hardly saw them the whole time we were on the boat. They were on the upper deck for most of the trip. Needless to say, the rain came back. I had packed our ponchos so we put those on so we wouldn't be soaked. We ended up seeing 2 dolphins at the end of the trip. We did get to see the The Pitons of St. Lucia. The scenery was very pretty on the way home, but I feel like we really didn't see a lot of St. Lucia unfortunately. We were not pleased with this tour at all, and really regretted wasting our day with it. So, one bad day on the trip.

We did end up having a good evening though. We had a great dinner and saw a couple of good comedians on the boat.

Day 5 Barbados

This stop was at Barbados. When we got up it was pouring! I mean sheets of rain. We had planned on doing a turtle snorkel excursion this day. We were really disappointed when it was cancelled. However, we tried to make the most of the day. We ended up going into town and just going shopping. :) I ended up getting an anniversary ring. We had heard a lot about the blue diamonds that are so popular right now. James had wanted to go and look at some watches at this jewelry store. So while he was was I! I had NO intention of buying anything. I was just looking around at the various jewelry that they had. The sales clerks kept asking if I wanted to try anything on. I finally got tired of saying no, and caved. I tried on several different blue diamond rings. I found one that I really liked. The guy kept dropping the price every time I walked away..he he We finally left the store and James kept saying, you should get that. Well, guess what? I did. So, I got a new anniversary ring. It's very unique and a designer piece so there aren't many replicas like it. I am very happy with! So, it was a GREAT shopping day.

Day 4 Sea Day

This was just a sea day. I LOVE these days because it means that I can just relax and do whatever I wish! We had a suite on the cruise which means that we had a larger balcony. I absolutely love going and just reading and then taking a nap out there. That was my favorite thing to do the last 2 years. It's just so calming and relaxing hearing the ocean waves and seeing the different fish, etc. around you. God's creation is amazing!!! So, this day we just relaxed and did a lot of nothing. It was a good day of vacation. I think sometimes we forget how to just relax and enjoy the moment, and this was a great reminder!

Day 3 St. Thomas

This day was in St. Thomas (The Virgin Islands). It was a great day! The sun was shining and the weather was perfect. The high was about 78 that day so we were in heaven. We had booked a Catamaran Sail and Snorkel for this day. It turned out to be fantastic. The boat we were on was very nice. We met some fun people that had friends in NWA so that was interesting. The crew on this boat were phenomenal. Anything that you needed they provided. They were friendly and just made this a fun trip.

We sailed out to St. John and were on the honeymoon beach area. We were told that there were lots of sea turtles here. I never saw one, but I did see a HUGE sting ray right off the beach area. I really enjoyed just snorkeling and wading into the beach area. James took many pictures here of the pretty island. (The picture of the house on the hill is Kenny Chesney's Caribbean home.)

In order for us to get to the marina, we had to take a long drive to the other side of the island. We got to see many sights around St. Thomas. The roads were very winding and narrow but it was a fun time! St. Thomas was a hit!

2011 Cruise Vacation Day 1 and 2

Well, last year I got the first day of our cruise vacation blogged and nothing else. I hope to do better this year. Here is a quick run down and I'll add pictures later.

We left out on Saturday, July 23rd. We flew from XNA to Puerto Rico. The flights were not that great to say the least. The lady at the airport assured me that James had exit row seats for the flights. The first one we did. The LONG flight (5 1/2 hour one) we DID not. So, James was miserable to say the least. We finally landed in PR and got our baggage. We headed to our hotel, The Radisson. I was a little nervous about this because I had read varying reviews. We got there and were told that we had to go to the Penthouse to check in. This made me feel a little better...he he. We went to check in and everything went fine. The room ended up being rather nice. It was a suite layout so that was good. When we got in the room, the phone rang. It was the man that I had checked in with. He said that there was a problem with the credit card that I had given him. Well to make a long story short...after 3 various phone calls to Citibank, I found out that they had placed a hold on it because we were in PR. When a transaction happened from there, the fraud department was alerted. I finally got all of that straightened out...after MUCH stress..

The next morning I got up early and went and had breakfast. I was able to visit with a very nice lady from Iowa. She was a sponsor for a youth group of about 20 teens that were doing mission work in PR. We had a really nice visit and it was very encouraging for both of us I think.

Around noon we headed to the cruise terminal. The check in was smooth and easy here. Although, it seemed like we had to walk a mile with our luggage at this terminal. The VIP room was opened and had air conditioning so we were happy. We had to wait about 15 min. before we were allowed to go on the boat. James and I were the 7th person on the boat.

We headed on up to the Lido deck because our rooms were not ready. We sat and played with our new camera for a little while and then had some lunch. It was very nice to be on the boat and just be able to relax while there were no people bustling around. It was the only time that we didn't have to wait in line to get food all week. We had our choice of whatever we wanted!!

Later on we went on up to our floor and snuck back to our room. It was ready so we went on in and dropped off our carry on luggage.

Around 5 we got a call in our room and it was the security officer. She said that we needed to immediately come down to the lowest level of the ship because there was an issue with James' luggage. I was getting a little nervous at this. I had gotten my luggage very early in the afternoon, but James' had not shown up. So, we immediately went down to the security area of the boat. The officers told us that we had to go back to the pier and talk to the police there. At this point, I'm pretty nervous. They all knew our name, etc. VERY weird.. We get there and they fumble around looking for our bag and finally get it. The man says, well it looks like there is a fan in there and those are not allowed. We had no idea that we couldn't take it with us. It was just a small portable fan. (We are light sleepers so we like to have a fan to make noise and to help us stay cool in case the air doesn't work well, etc.) So, he told us that he would throw it away and we couldn't have it. So, all the commotion was over a small fan. But, the saga continues because we decided since we were already off the boat that we would just head on out to the local CVS and buy some soft drinks to take on the ship with us. You can buy cokes on the boat, but they are 2.50 a drink so at the CVS we could get a whole 6 pack for 1.99. So we went and stocked up. However, in my scurrying to get to the security area, I had forgotten to take my picture ID. I had my boat security card that is usually used to get on and off, but I didn't have anything else. Thankfully we had an officer that saw us come out and allowed me back on with no problem. The second officer wasn't quite as friendly but he believed me and just told James that he would be responsible if anything happened. So, that was the adventure for the first day.

That night we went to dinner and then had our muster drill (Safety drill) at 9:00. The boat set sail and our vacation was beginning!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Summer 2010 Cruise Vacation Pre-cruise/ Day 1

James and I left on July 9, 2010 to go on our summer cruise vacation. We left early in the morning from the lake house in Tennessee to head to Atlanta for our flight. We had a fabulous flight to Los Angeles. This plane had many "in-flight" options which we were thrilled with. We had our choice of 10 various movies and lots of different games and shows to watch. It made the 4 hour flight fabulous!! It was the best plane I have ever been on! I know it sounds crazy to be excited about a flight, but when you travel with a husband who is 6'6'' anything to entertain him during the flight is a good thing!! The airplanes are just not comfortable for him, so this helped to make the trip a little more enjoyable!

We arrived in Los Angeles and headed for our hotel in Long Beach. I had gotten a FABULOUS deal on priceline for the Hyatt Regency. I was very happy with its location. It was right across from a marina, and the view was amazing. The weather was perfect so we went exploring around the boardwalk. We truly enjoy getting out and see the Long Beach area!

The next morning we got up and had a great and leisurely breakfast at the hotel. We wanted to get over the cruise terminal a little early so we could get settled in. We were asking for a taxi at the hotel. We saw 2 empty taxis, but couldn't find a driver. The conceirge at the hotel went and got us a private car to go in. It was a very nice Lexus SUV, so we were blessed immensely by God! We love when he blesses us with even the smallest things that others wouldn't see. We could have ridden in a dirty cramped taxi, but instead we got the "plush" treatment of riding in a private car.

We arrived at the terminal and handed our luggage to a very kind porter and headed off to the VIP check-in. We had booked a suite on the cruise, so we were once again blessed with the option of doing a quick VIP check-in. The people were very gracious and kind. We had all our cruise documents handed to us, and we were all set to board. We ended up waiting about 15 minutes and we were headed onto the ship! It was so awesome because we were literally one of the first to board the Carnival Splendor. We headed up to the Lido deck because our rooms were not quite ready. So, we got our normal first meal on the ship- grilled hamburgers and fries. We set out on the deck and watched World Cup soccer on the giant screen by the pool. Spain ended up winning, but James rooted for The Netherlands just to be different. he he It's not like he's a sports fan. He just likes to root for the "underdog".

At 2:00, we were able to head to our room. We were pleasantly surprised with the great layout of our room. It had it's own little dressing area, which I loved. The bathroom was huge (for cruise standards) and had a whirlpool tub as well. Of course, the balcony is always my favorite!!! It would become my bible study and napping spot for the rest of the week.

We got our luggage really quickly, unpacked, and were off to explore the ship! We had to have the usual "muster" drill that afternoon, so we headed off to find our spot. It is not as bad as it used to be at all. We didn't have to take our life jackets or anything! It was fabulous!! I always like the muster drill because you get to see all the people that you are going to be living with for the next week. It's always a great "people-watching" adventure!! Cruising always gives you lots of great people watching opportunities. You will start seeing the same people off and on, so you never know what they will be doing the next time you see them! I love it!

After the muster drill, we went back to the room and just relaxed a little. We were still very tired from the time zone differences. Each cruise, we get the late dining times, so we knew that we needed to get a little rest before dinner.

At dinner, we met the people that would be joining us for the week. What a great experience it turned out to be! We met some great new friends, Kathleen and Michael. Kathleen is a teacher, so we both hit it off instantly. Michael and James both have those funny personalities so they were laughing with each other within the first few minutes. We ended up spending a lot of time with these two for the rest of the cruise. It was a great blessing!

Our two waiters were Roel and Wilford. We had a wonderful dining experience with these two for the week. They made dinner a lot of fun!

Our night ended with a late night show. James and I went back to the room and ordered room service (which is free and a MUST for every cruise)! They had a creme caramel that is much like flan that I really liked, and James tried lots of different options throughout the week.

It was a great first day on the cruise. We were excited about the week's adventure!

Saturday, February 20, 2010


Over Christmas I did a few paintings for family and friends. Here are a few of them. The picture quality is not that great, but at least you can get the idea. :)

This was one for a sweet friend of mine who was having twins. She used this in her nursery.

This is a gift for another sweet friend of mine. Just a message from God.

Razorback block for my razorback fan friend!

This is a moose outline for my brother and sister in law.

I know I'm not an expert or anything, but it's a great stress releiver. It's just really relaxing to me. I just like to play around with colors, etc. :)