I have a new policy of not discussing vacations on the internet until they're over because I'm afraid someone will randomly find my blog and break into my house while I'm gone.
So yeah...totally went on vacation and now I'm back and it sucks. We decided to use my bonus money this year for a vacation for just Paul and I. Ryan stayed with my mom all week. I'm not gonna lie - it was hard. I missed my little guy more than I can describe.
We, as a couple, LOVE cruising. We've been on 4 in the last 5 and a half years. We just really enjoy being able to see several places and experience different cultures with the convenience of having food, transportation, etc all taken care of. This was our first time on Carnival and we really loved it. I was a little leery because I'd heard that it's the less nice cruise line. I'd completely disagree with that. We had such an amazing time. We were on the Carnival Conquest and the absolute first thing I noticed was how friendly the staff was - both with the guests and with each other. They seemed genuinely excited about their jobs and like they really enjoyed one another's company. I can't speak highly enough of our room steward, Sohenri. He really made our vacation special.
Our first stop was in Nassau, Bahamas. I think our biggest mistake here was not going to Paradise Island. We aren't big on excursions. We're more of a do your own thing - make your own adventure type of people. So we decided to just wing it. It was just okay. The only neat thing we found was a hidden garden overflowing with flowering trees, so we stopped for a minute and rested. We were there on a Wednesday and it seemed like everything was closed. Coupled with the unbearable humidity, we walked around for a few hours and then gave up and went back to the ship.
Our second stop was in Freeport, Bahamas. It's deceiving because the port is in a very industrial area and you have to take a 20 minute taxi ride to get anywhere desirable. We stepped up and got ourselves a taxi. At first it seemed like the $15 per person cab fare was outrageous but after a 20 minute ride to the beach, then a separate 10 minute ride to Port Lucaya Marketplace and then yet another 15 minute ride back to the ship, we thought it was fair. Plus, gas is over $5 a gallon there! We spent a good amount of time there and liked it.
Our third, and final stop was Key West, FL. We LOVED it. Loved is an understatement. We felt it was by far, the absolute best out of the three. I have a good friend who visits Key West at least once a year so I hit him up for some recommendations. Since it's such a small island, we decided to walk everywhere we went. Which wasn't so bad at first. Then my feet started protesting. We walked the length of the island, down Duval Street to the southernmost point. We went to the Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory. It was so beautiful. I have tons of gorgeous pictures of butterflies and birds. We took some pictures and then stopped for an iced tea. Then we found Sarabeth's and had brunch. After brunch, we walked down a residential street to Kermit's Key Lime Shoppe and got a chocolate dipped key lime pie on a stick. They had a beautiful pond filled with koi and a quarter buys you fish food and an awesome show.
After our fun day in Key West, we decided that we'd like to go on a family vacation to Key West. So we're thinking of doing that possibly next April.
Coming back to reality after being on vacation sucks, but, we've been home for a week now and I'm just glad things are getting back to normal!