Tuesday, September 27, 2016


this post will just be on the islands of the second cruise. for this one, we visited the western caribbean: haiti, jamaica, and mexico.

excuse the stranger.

our first stop was labadee, haiti. here, my family went out on a little boat and visited one of the tiny islands nearby. haiti was very different from the other islands. here, you were actually walled in to only see part of the island. you could only go in a little tourist designated area. the other islands, you could go anywhere on the island, but the only thing working against you was time. also, the people were very different. at times, they were quite aggressive. the shop owners would literally grab you and pull you into your store. it was kind of scary. anyhoo...

on da boat (with punch and rum without the rum)

i love this picture i took. it is of my sister.

a boat cut in half

the little market.

next was kingston, jamaica. here we just went to the beach. my family was very fond of going to beaches, me not so much. looking back, i wish i could have gone to a historical site.

a yummy coconut.

the last stop was cozumel, mexico. this is the one island where i actually picked what i wanted to do. i decided to go to san gervasio, the mayan ruins. now these are not like the epic ruins that most others go to. for that you have to get off the island. here is where the ix chel, the goddess of the moon, fertility, and medicine was worshipped. it was a pilgrimage site for mayan women.

a cool statue along the way

a wild boar

and a wild iguana.

a wild american

now for a song. this has absolutely nothing to do with this trip, but last week i watched the 25th anniversary rendition of miss saigon in theaters. it was amazing. i thought i would pick my current favorite song from the soundtrack, but unfortunately i can't insert the video for copyright reasons (fyi, it is 'thuy's death/you will not touch him'). this song is so epic and full of emotion. as back up, i pick the classic 'last night of the world' (this is my favorite version). enjoy!

Thursday, September 15, 2016


now i know for this one, i am going to be much more blabby so i decided to split this trip into 2 posts. i have so many pictures! this one will just be of the days we were on the boat. for this cruise we went to the western caribbean. with less islands to see, we spent more days on the boat (unlike the last cruise). the ports were cozumel, mexico; jamaica; and haiti. i remember so much more of this trip and the photos are much better quality. i feel like i enjoyed this trip more, but i don't know if that is because i remember more of it.

our first stop was actually fort lauderdale, florida. for the first cruise we arrived in puerto rico and got on the boat the same day. this time, we arrived in florida and left the next day. i remember having cuban food for the first time and it was delicious. i wish i took a picture :(

there were fuzzy chickens outside our hotel for some reason.

this cruise was also royal caribbean, but this time we were on allure of the seas.

we also had bigger rooms and balconies this time. because we had 5 rooms for the entire family, we would leave the balcony walls open to create one giant balcony. this way we could visit eachothers rooms without going into the hallway.


also, just like the last one, cleaning crew would make a new origami towel animal everyday. we would leave our sunglasses purposely out so they wold incorporate it into the animal.

when were were leaving the port it was cloudy but so pretty.

now for a tour of the ship! i always enjoyed visiting every inch of the ship to discover what goodies were on board.

the pool area. i never went because i am not a fan of salt water.

the chill area. i did spend time here

this area was called central park. it was very green and i remember they had a little free food place where you could make your own salad. also, that triangle dome thing is where live music was played at night. i did spend a few nights there :)

the miniature golf course

and of course a happy vacuum friend

oink oink.

our first full day, all the girl cousins made cupcakes.

our second night was also formal night.

this was also the first time i discovered coffee (i only had foo foo drinks prior). there was a starbucks on board! caramel macchiatos will always remind me of this trip.

i loooovvveed the buffet. here, you could have breakfast and lunch. dinner was in a formal dining room. 

being formal in the formal dining room.

a photo through a telescope. i am actually surprised this work. 

me and the cousins.

my cousins are weird.

the captain would ride his motorcycle around the ship.

and now for a song. i wanted to pick a song that reminds me of this trip but i can't think of any, so i will just choose an oldie song. you can't go wrong with an oldie. 'old man' by neil young. i like this live version because he tells the story behind the song. enjoy!


Saturday, September 10, 2016


it's labor day weekend (even thought this will be posted later) and i am not doing much so i thought i would do a 2 part flashback post on my trips to the caribbean, since it is stretching towards the end of the summer. maybe i will do these more? i was fortunate enough that my grandparents took their babies and grandbabies to the caribbean twice. for the first one, i was 15 and it was my first time outside the country. we ended up on a royal caribbean cruise to the eastern caribbean; which included barbados, antigua, st. lucia, st, martin (maarten), and st. thomas.

now a warning. this was 2008: digital cameras sucked and i knew no better than to ruin pictures by having awful filters and high saturation. i have ruined these photos forever and there is only so much i can do to fix my past.

now a rant on cruise ships. i really am an old lady, i love them! it's a great way to get spoiled. the ships are beautiful, the food is delicious and (for the most part) free, and you get to see new and different places. what is there not to like? yes it is freakin expensive but it is so much fun. even though i love me a budget backpacking trip, i dig cruises. i wouldn't even mind going alone.

i will say though, it is no way to see a country. you are so limited on time (normally maybe no more than 10 hours). it's nice if you are going to small countries, but you will still only get to experience a very small amount of the good stuff a country has to offer. overall, i am still not opposed to cruises.

we were on royal caribbean's adventure of the seas ship.

the elevator. reminds me of twilight zone's tower of terror ride. i'm sad disney is getting rid of it :(

the ceiling

random gargoyle.

the adult pool. they call it a 'solarium.'

the room we had. i shared it with my sister and cousin. every morning there was a new origami towel animal :D

the cute little vacuum.

there was a rock wall on the ship (that's me!)

the first stop was bridgetown, barbados. here, we just spent time near the ship. we didn't do any activities and honestly i wish we could have seen more. i remember seeing old buildings.

a cool church

i have no idea what these are. but i remember thinking they were really cool and there were a lot of them.

the next stop was castries, st. lucia. i think this was my favorite stop. here we went biking in the rain forest with my cousins. the drive there was scary. it was like indiana jones from disneyland. also the bike riding was rough. i did not know how to switch gears and there were dried up frogs on the road you had to dodge. the funniest thing was my uncle fell in a ditch. we still talk about it.

da boat

a big rock, but little waterfall

my sister and her little friend.

my favorite picture i took. i love it so much.

a random horse?

back on the boat (i still had braces). i remember crying in the doctor's when i found out they were not going to come off before my trip.

my cousin.

my cousin and sister

i am so cool.

next was st. johns antigua. here, my family went zip lining through the forest. there is one picture that they took and it is somewhere, but i ain't gonna keep looking. this was a slower day. i really don't remember anything else.

next was. phillipsburg, st maarten. now this was interesting. half the island is dutch and half french. in the french half, there are nude beaches. i went to one of those beaches (fyi, nudity is not mandatory just allowed). it was interesting. it seemed the only people who volunteered to be nude were old. like i said, interesting.

inside a little museum

last stop was st. thomas (part of the united states virgin islands). i remember all we did was walk around. there were no activities. i will say this felt the most like southern california.

another one of my national geographic photos

hehe. it looks like he is puking :)

across from the boat was a butterfly farm.

and the last night on the boat my sister and i just stayed up late and ran around the boat. some things are open 24/7. and that's it. also i remember these jeans were a size 0. those days are looonnngg gone.

now for a song! i wanted to choose my favorite song right now, but i think i will wait it out and pick a song that reminds me of that time. when i was 15, my favorite band was green day and 'christie road' was my favorite song. enjoy!