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Yes! There are pictures in that post.

February 7, 2008 1 comment

I know it is hard to believe but I finally got some pictures included. I have had the hardest time getting this blog done this week. This cruise was not just a vacation for us but a training conference with FamilyLife concerning the awesome marriage conference that we volunteer with every year. So we have been quite busy all week with sessions and eating and trying to enjoy the different locations and just the beauty of it all. I found that I didn’t have a lot of time to post the way I wanted. But now I have managed to get my pictures on Flickr for everyone to enjoy. So, have at it! Let us know if you like them or not. Click on the Flickr badge to the right to see all of them.

Categories: Travel

Back in Galveston

February 3, 2008 Leave a comment

After a long week on the high seas… well, not long enough really, we have returned to the states. What a trip we had! This ship and crew were great. Our first cruise was a rousing success. I am amazed at the order and efficiency of getting 3,000 people off of the ship. They really have it down. Rhonda and I have talked about bringing the boys on a cruise next time. Maybe to celebrate Trey’s graduation? It might take that long to save enough for it. Although, it isn’t as expensive as it might seem.

Rhonda and I really didn’t expect to go through this week and not gain any weight. We walked a mile at least once a day and most days were able to walk two miles on treadmills and the jogging track that wound around the smokestack. That doesn’t count all of the extraneous walking we did all over the ship and on excursions. We also used the stairs about 90% of the time. Even so, I gained 7 pounds and Rhonda gained 5 pounds. Hopefully, it will only take a week or so to get rid of it. And then, back to our weight loss goals.

Thanks to all who have shared this trip with us. We hope that we have warmed you up on some really chilly days with our posts and pictures. Oh, yeah… the pictures? Stay tuned.

Categories: Travel

Oh Maya, it’s all in ruins!

February 1, 2008 Leave a comment

We chose to go to Tulum during our stop in Cozumel. It was going to be a all-day trek but one that we heard was great. When the ship pulled into port off we were off to a nearby ferry which took us on a 45 minute ride to mainland Mexico. We arrived at Playa del Carmen, a beautiful coastal city which we would love to spend more time in sometime. From there we walked about a mile to board busses that would take us on the hour ride to the Mayan Ruins at Tulum.

It is really amazing how advanced the Mayans were. Whether it is the building and precise placement of temples that allowed for the proper acoustics to amplify the voice of the Grand Poobaa Head Priest to be heard by 60,000+ people or the fact that their calendar has been found to be more accurate than the one we use, it is just amazing. These people lived 3.000 years before Christ was born. Some consider them to be o ne of the lost tribes of Israel. Some consider them to be from another world. Yeah, ET was apparently here long before the movie. Who knows? Our guide was great. He told us his grandmothers were both full blood May an and he was very passionate about the tour. This was the only Mayan temple that was built on a beach. It was beautiful. It was just a great day.

Because of technical problems on the ship, we actually arrived at Cozumel an hour late. We were told that the tour would not be affected. I don’t guess it was. But we had to go straight from the busses back to the ferry back to the ship. No shopping in Cozumel for us. In fact, we didn’t even really see Cozumel. Just the pier. As it was, we arrived back at the ship 15 minutes after the posted time to shove off. They were waiting for us (about 250 people) and as soon as we were all aboard the door was closed and the familiar rumbling and vibrating starting indicating the ships engines had been engaged. Good thing we were with a Carnival excursion. We might still be in Cozumel. But we made it. And now we are on our way back home.

Categories: Travel

Cayman really is Grand…

January 31, 2008 Leave a comment

We decided that we would not do a shore excursion in Grand Cayman. Instead, we went shopping and ate lunch there. It was just a lazy day. We could walk everywhere we need to be. The island really isn’t that big. But it does boast the 5th largest economy in the world. That is amazing considering the size of it. The majority of this economy is from banks. There are banks everywhere.

We were supposed to find a great deal on loose jewels and other jewelry. I guess they were great deals but still way,way, way above our budget. So we ended up buying a few t-shirts and other knickknacks. It was really a nice place. I liked it more than Jamaica. The ship had to set anchor out away from the shoreline and smaller boats came in to get us ashore. That was pretty cool. We got some pictures of our ship and the Royal Caribbean ship that was also anchored there. We ate at Senor Frogs. They had some pretty decent Mexican Food. It was tasty and fun to eat outside on their balcony.

I am not sure how but my clothes seem even bigger. Could I have lost weight on this cruise? I guess I will find out on Sunday. We have both searched for scales but haven’t found one yet. We are going to some Mayan Ruins tomorrow in Mexico. That should be fun and will be our biggest excursion. After that, we will be headed back home.

Categories: Travel

Jamaica? No Problem, Mon!

January 30, 2008 Leave a comment

We went on a tour in Jamaica to the Croydon Plantation. We chose this over Dunn’s River Falls because some of our friends were going there and a lot of people were going to the Falls. The falls are probably the biggest tourist attraction on the Island. We decided that we wanted to see the real Jamaica and so off to the plantation we went. The drive up there was about a hour on a very winding, steep road. We went through very exclusive parts of town and very poverty stricken parts of town. I had always heard that about Jamaica. Now I have seen it with my own eyes. It makes you realize how blessed we are. On the plantation we toured around and learned about coffee, pineapples, bananas, coconut, and some fruit that I have never heard of before. We were able to sample all of the above. The pineapples were my favorite. We tried 5 different varieties. Who knew? I love me some pineapple. Our guide taught us some “Jamaicanese”. It was a fun trip and our group had a lot of fun.

Later that night, at dinner, I finally got to eat what I had been waiting for. Beef Wellington. Ever since I had seen Hell’s Kitchen on TV I have wanted to try it. It was good and I was happy. I love me some Beef Wellington. Every night before the desert course the wait staff in the dining room perform for us. Tonight we were invited to participate in the ships longest conga line. Rhonda and I jumped at opportunity this time after not doing it the night before. It was fun and we all made fools of ourselves. We were able to sit with a nice couple from Oregon or Washington. I thought it was Spokane but Rhonda tells me they were from Portland. Wherever they were from we had a great time getting to know them. We are sitting with different people each night. Sometimes they are from our DFW group and, like last night, sometimes they aren’t. They are all here with the FamilyLife conference, though.

We had a group meeting tonight and forgot to make it back to the room to talk to the boys. We hated that because we miss them so. We will have to do better tomorrow.

Tomorrow we arrive in Grand Cayman. We are going to shop there and see what other kind of trouble we can get into. So stay tuned…

Categories: Travel

Anybody wanna Conga?

January 29, 2008 Leave a comment

We have met so many people. There are over 200 people from FamilyLife here with us. People from Maine to Alaska to California to Florida. It is really good to meet others that are doing what we do.

The worship leader for the week is Dennis Jernigan. What a great heart for God that he has! I had heard of him from our friends, Steve and Amy. This is the first time I have ever heard him though. What a testimony he has. We bought a CD and he autographed it. We had lots of free time today. We went on a tour of the galley. That was pretty interesting considering how they feed 3000 people in about 5-6 hours. There are two main restaurants on either end of the ship. The galley, between them, stretched the entire length of the ship. It was pretty impressive. Check out the pictures. What? You don’t see any pictures? Well, we will have to take care of that.

We both fell off the deep end dietarily tonight. It wasn’t totally out fault. They offered Mexican Food. And I like me some Mexican food. The problem was that it was a midnight buffet. Yep! That’s right. I ate Mexican Food at midnight. They also had a Mardi Gras celebration on the Lido deck. And, you got it, it was offered with a spirited and festive tone. Well, actually, you know how Carnival is the “the Fun Ship”? Everyone down there was having fun, I guess. They were all hootin’ and hollerin, being riled up by the ship’s staff. I have never seen anything like it. They had everyone (no, not me and Rhonda) jumping up and down and forming a conga line that stretched around the Lido deck multiple times. It really was crazy.

That ended our day. What a day it was.

Categories: Food and Drink, Travel

Big hiney fans!

January 28, 2008 Leave a comment

Well, here I am a day behind. We have been pretty busy. Did I say that this ship is great? We were in meetings for most of the day here. Even so, we managed to have a little bit of fun. Monday night was formal night in the dining room. The food is really good. There is just so much of it. We have been pretty good and have exercised/walked everyday.

I guess the highlight of the day was the Vegas style show that they did. It was a bit risque, though. Some of our group walked out. I thought about it. But the most impressive thing about the show was the girl’s big hiney fans. They could have been peacocks considering how that were prancing around in those things.

I promised pictures and am still trying to make that happen. Maybe tonight….

Categories: Travel