Thursday, February 20, 2014

a few highlights from our Caribbean cruise

I'll share pictures on another day but I wanted to share a few highlights from Mike's birthday trip.  My Dad always calls me after we return from vacation and the first question is always, "What was the highlight of the trip?"  Well, here are five highlights…

Highlight #1)  I think Mike and I would both agree that our stop in Roatan, Honduras was probably our best day for 'excursions.'  Oddly enough, we did separate excursions.  Haha!  Mike went diving(which I don't do…more on that in a moment) and I went to the 'Maya Key Private Island Retreat' for the day.  Doesn't it sound so exotic?  I sort of figured it really wasn't going to be a "private" island but it actually was.  It was a little windy that day so the 2nd cruise ship that was supposed to dock in Roatan didn't dock so there were about 50 people from my cruise ship on the entire island.  This island is also dedicated to rescuing animals so I got to see some cute animals and hear about their stories.  And I got to eat some local food, which was also delicious.  I relaxed, I walked, enjoyed the peace of the beach and water, I read my book…oh and also also got to hold an alligator.(picture to come later)

Highlight #2)  I am not certified to dive.  It honestly sort of freaks me out because if something goes wrong 50-75 feet under, what can you do?  Our last stop was in Costa Maya, Mexico and I decided to do a Discovery Dive, which is basically a quick course on diving and then they take you out for a shallow 25 foot dive.  The good thing about diving at 25 feet is that you can get to the surface without having to stop.  Well - I started going under the water and completely panicked.  I couldn't seem to keep my mask clear of water.  There were three of us and 2 instructors so I came up to the surface with one of the dive masters, she talked to me to calm me down and for about 5-7 minutes I just stared at her trying to relax and breath.  I was close to giving up but I knew I'd regret it.  I pulled myself together and was able to get down into the water, perform my 3 maneuvers(mask clearing, clearing my regulator, & taking the regulator out of my mouth, letting it go, & retrieving it).  Then we were off to explore.  I'm not sure if this experience convinced me to get certified or not but it was a great experience(and a challenging one) and we got to see a sea urchin, some colorful fish, a crab, & an electric stingray.

Highlight #3)  You'd never think that you could attend art auctions and buy art on a cruise ship but you can.  And they even have Picasso, Rembrandt, Yaacov Agam, Francisco Goya, Renoir, & other artists that most non-artsy people have heard of.  We attended a few auctions and ended up picking up a few pieces.  We've been on 3 cruises and every time we say we aren't going to buy more art, but we ended up buying.  I guess it's something we can leave to our…oh wait…we don't have kids.  Hopefully the nieces and nephews will appreciate it. :)  This time we picked up a Peter Max, a few Tim Yanke's, & an Emile Bellet.  We have also collected a Scott Jacobs piece and few Shan-Merry's but that was on the Alaskan cruise.  Even if you don't buy, art auctions are really fun and entertaining.  I love hearing the stories about the artists and the works of art.

Highlight #4)  David Naster was a comedian and performed twice on the cruise ship.  We laughed so-dang-hard.  His performances have really stuck with me because it wasn't just all about comedy, it was about real people dealing with difficult things and finding laughter/humor in those tough situations.  Here is a link to his teaser video for his hopefully future TV program.(<~please go watch this video because you'll better understand)  He told so many funny stories about real people finding laughter in difficult situations.  He also told stories about first-responders, law enforcement, & nurses/doctors…what they deal with and how they find humor in situations that many may deem "politically incorrect."  I could really relate to the law enforcement stories because there are so many times Mike will come home, tell me something happened that day(i.e. someone jumped off the Rio Grand Gorge bridge), and then he maybe laughs or tells me something funny about it.  I usually scold him and say, "That's so inappropriate Mike."  After listening to David, I feel like I have a better understanding of how & why Mike has to find humor in some of those tough situations.  Of course, someone committing suicide by jumping off a bridge is tragic but if Mike doesn't find a way to deal with it, then those incidents will just eat him alive.  We have to be 'ok' with finding humor in tough situations to keep our sanity.  Take a time out to laugh often, out loud, every day!

Highlight #5)  The National World War 2 museum is in New Orleans.  It is AWESOME!  I loved everything about this museum and how it was set up.  They are still developing it so I definitely want to go back when they have more done.

There's my highlights!  I'll post pictures next.  :)

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