Monday, August 11, 2014

St. Kitts

One of our stops on the cruise was St. Kitts.  This was the only island on our cruise that Jared and I had never visited before.  We were a little nervous because it was also the only stop that we hadn't planned an excursion for.  But, it definitely didn't disappoint!  I mean, it's hard to go wrong with sun, sand, water, and tropical weather in my book!
 We started exploring downtown when we first got off of the boat.  Most of these islands build up little shopping areas right off of the cruise dock... but over the years I've kinda realized that I don't need expensive jewelry, $5 t-shirts, or knick-knacks so we did very little shopping during our vacation (no worries, I've fed my shopping addiction ten times over since being home!)

 We did, however, pay 5 bucks for Joelle to take a picture with a monkey :)
 Who happened to be wearing a diaper :)
 After having lunch on the ship we asked the taxi driver to take us to a beautiful beach... and that he did!

 Jared and Joelle always have the best time in the water together.  They snorkeled at a nearby reef and found a little diving ledge to jump from.  She's a daredevil, that's for sure!

It ended up being a beautiful day with lots of R&R!  I could use a little more of that during these Back to School weeks... take me back, please???!!!!

That night we enjoyed a peaceful evening on the boat with a beautiful sunset...

 And Joelle finally got her a "Congo fish!"  She likes her fish with the body, head, tail, eyes and all.  I'm not a seafood fan, but I love that she loves it!  Our chef said, "Are you sure?  It has bones in it!"  Well, our little girl knows how to debone a fish, so bring it on!  It was definitely her favorite meal! 

 "Papa, just give me a kiss for the picture!"
 And, as always, the towel animals were a hit!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Mud Baths!

St. Lucia is all kinds of gorgeous.  It is very mountainous with a crystal clear ocean at the base of the green hills.  When we went a few years ago Jared and I zip-lined through the rainforest.  This time we decided to rent a dune buggy and ride around those curvy roads...
That led us to a mud bath??!!  Apparently it is good for your skin... someone said it takes 10 years off so I jumped right in ;)
Joelle couldn't have been more excited about this one!  She is such a girly girl with her cute clothes and babies, but she also loves to get dirty!!  Give her a mud bath and you've about made her world :)
As if sitting in dirty water wasn't fun enough we scrubbed mud all over us.  Joelle didn't want to leave any skin untouched!
So messy.  So slimy.  And I still look 29... sigh.
After the mud bath we washed off in a waterfall that was nearby.  Talk about going from hot, hot water to freezing cold... oh my!
She had to be pushed in a little, but once she felt it she didn't want to get out!
I don't know that I would do the mud bath again, BUT I would ride around St. Lucia any and everyday if I could!  I'm not gonna lie... it was a rainy morning, and I was a whiny one.  Once the sun came out, I was good to go!  It is really hard to be positive when you are getting pelted by rain in a dune buggy!
I'm not real sure if that's St. Lucia in the background or not.  The nights are running together and I can't pair our days/nights together very well!  Either way, here are some pictures from one of our nights on the ship!
After looking at it I *think* this may be St. John :)

The Stingrays!

Ohhhh, St. John... the island of our stingray snorkel.  I am terrified of stingrays.  Jared and I snorkeled with them years ago and I ended up wrapping my arms/legs around a man who was happily married to a woman that wasn't so impressed with me using her man as means to get away from the stingrays.  But, I was game for trying it again... I mean, I'm older, calmer, wiser, right?!

We started our morning with a little shopping, because shopping always calms the nerves!
Joelle always insists on taking pictures :)
Then it was time to wait for our excursion to take off...
They actually have an amazing excursion for swimming with the stingrays in St. John.  They aren't caged in (which is scary in and of itself!).  These little boats pull up to a sandbar that is out in the middle of the ocean.  It was beautiful!
There we are... all kinds of in the middle of the ocean with tons of stingrays swimming around!
At first I was holding Joelle...
We quickly found out that Joelle and I were both too jittery to be together!
Joelle, "I'm NOT touching that thing!  It will KILL ME!"
This is how we made our way around the sandbar... attached to Jared.  We were literally hanging onto him for dear life!
I mean, these things are HUGE!
I decided that if I braved a stingray picture solo then I would reward myself with some new sunglasses.  I just needed a little motivation :))
Joelle couldn't hold one by herself so we had a stingray slither up her back... so funny!
At least we got a smile out of her while this was going on!  She was terrified!
I don't know if Joelle and I have converted to stingray lovers, but it was an experience I'll never forget!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Dolphin Fun!

Our first stop on the cruise was St. Maarten.  Jared and I have visited the island a couple of other times and have always loved it.  This time we ventured to Anguila to swim with the dolphins.  Joelle looks at our picture books from previous vacations and always oohhhss and aaahhhhss over our dolphin pictures.  So, we knew swimming with the dolphins was a must! 
This kid LOVES everything about sand.  She covers herself from head to toe and giggles away!
And, we definitely needed a dolphin swimsuit for the occasion!
Thankfully it was a beautiful day with clear waters!
Joelle was a little scared when we first started, but she quickly fell in love!
Watching Joelle try to kiss our dolphin was quite hysterical!
We got a few laughs :)
Dancin' with a dolphin!
Then it was Papa's turn...
I LOVE this picture of these two!  This is how they are all the time!
And my turn...
Then it was time for our dolphin ride!  We were so proud of Joelle... there were grown adults who were too terrified to take their turn!
A little congratulatory chat!
This was Joelle's favorite part... the two dolphins pushing her feet!
We ended that day with a wonderful evening on the cruise!  And, we got to spend it with this cutie patootie!
 Oh, and you can't forget about the towel animals... Joelle's favorite way to end her night!