Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thanksgiving trip day 10 St Croix, U.S.V.I

All the water in the Caribbean is beautiful, but the water around St. Croix was breathtaking. The photos don't even do it justice. I think this ended up being my favorite island, it's just beautiful.

We took a boat out to Bucks island (a national park) you can read about the park here. I wish they had a lodge here.

We went snorkeling over the beautiful reef. Because it is a national park it had signs underwater. One said "Entrance to the grotto". After we swam into the grotto, Ruby stuck her head out of the water and said "This does look just like where Ariel was singing."

Every time I saw one of these fish the colors reminded me of the 80's. This will forever be called the 80's fish to me.

An example of some of the soft coral.

When we were snorkeling by these fish, Ruby stuck her head out of the water and said "That's called a school".

I may never eat at a restaurant with a better view!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving tip day 9 St Martin & St. Maartin

Our port was on the Dutch side St. Maartin

So we took a 35 min taxi ride to the French side of the island- St. Martin. We walked around all the french shops, went to an open air market called Marigot and stopped at this bakery for treats. I have never met a Napoleon I didn't like, but this one was slap your Grandma good.

Lucy with her doll from the Marigot market. Eventually Ali and Ruby all got these dolls and they played with them like barbie dolls.

Then we dropped the kids off at the ship (kids club) and did some Christmas shopping without them on the Dutch side.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving trip day 8 St. John, Antigua

Thanksgiving day...

Nothing makes me more thankful then a beautiful empty beach.

No hot kitchen, no stress, no fighting, this is my kind of Thanksgiving.

Lucy obviously learned these optimal digging techniques from Opal.

After the beach we headed back to town. The girls all wanted their hair braided, but once the lady started they were obviously in pain. I was surprised that they were all wiling to endure the pain to look cool.

Thanksgiving dinner was wonderful but not having to clean up was even better!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving trip day 7- St. Lucia

We went out to a beach that was highly recommended, but I'm not sure why. The water was beautiful but the beach was really narrow and very crowded. This was not my favorite island, but we had fun.

A man walking down the beach showed my girls some pretty shells and said "If you want one go tell your father you want it." Eric ended up buying 3 pretty little sea shells for $2 a piece. A few minutes later I was looking at one of the shells and a creature started crawling out. Sicko. I ran up to the man and said we did not want shells with creatures and he assured me that they would just crawl out. One day later our room smelled disgusting with dead creatures deep inside pretty shells. While we were out Eric asked our room attendant to make them disappear.

That night the kids became pirates at the kids club and tried to take over the ship.

The pirates were unsuccessful so they surrendered and came to the ice show with us. Most of the shows on the ship were pretty lame, but the ice show was amazing and really fun to see!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thanksgiving trip day 6 Barbados

Barbados was our first island so we were all really excited to get off the ship and check it out.

Moving 7 kids that are deaf to parental voices can be a challenge, but eventually we got everyone off the ship, on the bus and out to the dock for our excursion in Barbados.

The kids thought sailing was cool, but they LOVED that there was a bar on board with unlimited sodas and fruit punch.

Our first stop was snorkeling over a reef with a shipwreck.

Eric diving down to get a closer look.

The second stop was to swim with the turtles. It's amazing how many turtles showed up when they busted out the chum. These were my favorite pics of the turtles. Fyi- these are not photoshopped at all, this was the color of the water.

The last stop was at Sandy Lane the exclusive resort where Tiger woods was married. All beaches in Barbados are public property, so we just pulled up on the sand and hopped off. I'm sure the people that paid thousands of dollars to stay there were not thrilled, but we only stayed for an hour and I was glad we stopped.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Thanksgiving trip day 5 at sea

My Sister won $250 at the Bingo game. All the kids thought she was a rock star!

The kids busted out a dance party while waiting for the elevator to the kids club for the pajama party. They were wild!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Thanksgiving trip day 4 Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is such a beautiful city. I love walking around old San Juan, the architecture reminded me of New Orleans (just brighter paint colors).

We went out to see the fort. It was so windy I thought Lucy was going to blow away.

We stopped by to visit my good friends Ben & Jerry.

Then headed out to the pier with 5 adults, 7 kids and 13 bags/suitcases in very hot humid weather to stand in line.

Eventually we all made it onboard.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Thanksgiving- day 3 Culebra

Luckily my Mom and Sister Tiffany agreed to watch 5 of the kids in Puerto Rico (all day & night) while Dave, Ryan, Eric, Haley and I took a field trip out to Culebra island.

14 Years ago Eric and I went out here diving and to this day it is still my favorite place to dive. I was so excited to take Haley back with us.

We took out the passenger ferry from Fajardo to Culebra. When Eric and I took this ferry out(14 years ago), I was almost crushed to death. Seriously. I was walking between two trucks when one of the trucks rolled backwards pinning me between the two trucks. Luckily people started screaming and he pulled forward and I was not seriously injured (at least not physically).

We went diving with this guy Taz. He was very laid back and a great dive guide. If you are a diver I HIGHLY recommend diving Culebra and this is the guy to call. You can contact him HERE. We did a 2 tank dive. The first dive we were down 45 min and the second dive we were down a little over 30 min. Our average depth was 32 ft, the deepest we went was 45 ft.

This was Haley's 1st real dive... at least that she could enjoy without a full wet suit on. I was blown away with what a solid diver she is. She was very relaxed and did a great job staying neutrally buoyant. I looked like a spaz diver next to her. If you think I am joking, check out this photo of Haley in the back with strait legs looking awesome and me on the left busting out a frog kick.

This may be my favorite photo from the whole trip. I love everything about it.
I am so proud of how confident this little 11 year old has become!

The highlight of the dive was seeing this little sea turtle. Haley swam all over with this little guy playing tag.

This lobster doesn't look that big in the photo, but he was impressive in person.

We had a HUGE school of little fish swimming next to us for awhile. I have never seen such a large school in person. This photo is up close, but it was like a 10 foot wall of fish that was about 20 feet long. So cool.

I had to throw in a photo of some of the sea scape it was so beautiful.

A HUGE thank you to Eric's brother Alan that loaned us his super fancy underwater camera. We took about 200 amazing underwater shots and I am so thrilled to have them.

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