Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Associate In Applied Science

It's finally arrived. My long awaited piece of paper they call a "degree." It's nothing special and it still hasn't hit me that I actually earned a diploma. I think that's because I never had a definitive ending point, such as a ceremony. This wasn't your typical college experience and I won't ever have that picture of a ceremony in my cap and gown with my diploma. But that's okay though. I've never lived my life in a typical fashion, following what others did, so I didn't see why that should change how I earned my degree.

My road to becoming a registered technician is not over. It technically will never be over, since I have to keep up with continuing education. However, at this point, although I hold a piece of paper in my hand, I'm not "legal" until I take the national examination to become a registered technician (RVT). That's coming soon enough. In the meantime I'm going to study my ass off and pray that I pass, and also soak in the fact that I have a degree.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Chee WOW Wa

David and I try to do something each weekend. Something small but sitting on the couch doing nothing doesn't count. So this weekend our thing to do was going to the movies. We go in spurts where we go all the time then don't go for the longest time. In all honesty it's kind of hard to fork out the bucks to go. It's gotten so expensive, not to mention Sandusky's theaters aren't the greatest. But if we can catch the winter prices, plus matinee prices, we don't mind all that much. Yesterday the biggest choice was what movie to see. We decided to go see Beverly Hills Chihuahua. I can hear the moans now. It's got a ton of bad reviews, but I think most of the people won't even stomach sitting through it before they actual write a review, meaning they don't see one moment of it and just pass judgement of something stupid. True, you need to be in the right mood, should like animals, like kids movies, and a not too believable plot line, but we both thought it was quite cute and enjoyed it very much. It was mostly light-hearted and given that it was a kid-type movie you knew it was going to end well. The voices fit the dog's faces right on. I kept finding myself laughing. If only we could hear our pets talking to us. It'd be a hoot.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Coming Along

This past week work was started on our house. In the end we'll have new siding, fascia, soffit (sp?), and several new doors. Although the price seems daunting it's something that needs to be done. The cedar shingle siding couldn't take much more abuse from the weather without starting to have issues, and hopefully it will help a bit with energy savings. We're not expecting to save a ton, but any little bit helps. The siding itself has insulation but we unexpectedly had to get additional insulation underneath the siding to even out the shingles. The workers were told the shingles were much thinner but when they arrived they found differently, making the change to the work order. Thankfully we don't have to pay any additional. The workers are coming along quite fast....This is the most recent picture I have, however, the siding on the outside of the porch is also done at this time.....

Spencer's Halloween Costume

This past weekend was NCGC's Annual Howl-O-Ween Party. We are finally able to tell/show everyone what Spencer is for Halloween this year.....He's our very own Usain Bolt. Notice his gold medals, Jamaican shirt, and number from Beijing. His feet were even gold but they didn't show up on the pictures. We tied ourselves in with "Team Bolt" t-shirts and Jamaican flag. It took us forever to come up with an idea and finally we decided on a runner. Nothing exciting, but we were going to deck him out with all of our running gear. It wasn't something we'd have to put a lot of money into....then we came up with the idea of Usain Bolt. Bingo! So we went with that. In the end we still didn't spend all that much money...mostly just on our own shirts. It was fun and I think others enjoyed it too.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Getting To Know You

Received this survey from my Aunt Shelly. It requests that I send it back and send it on. Figured I'd just post it here on the blog. Anyone wanting to participate, feel free!

1. What is your occupation? Veterinary Technician

2. What color are your socks right now? Orange and black stripes

3. What are you listening to right now? Hum of the computer and clicking of keys.

4. What was the last thing you ate? Carmel apple

5. Can you drive a stick shift? No

6. Last person you spoke to on the phone? Mom

7. Do you like the person who sent this to you? Aunt Shelly…I guess she’s alright ;)

8. How old/young are you right now? 25-Sad that I actually had to think about.

9. What is your favorite sport to watch? It’s not like I hate watching sports but I don’t particularly love it either. I prefer basketball live but football/baseball on tv. I do dig the Olympics when they’re on.

10. What is your favorite drink? Water with lemon. As for alcohol, not that I drink all that much, I like Malibu Rum with Pineapple Juice or Rodenbach Redbach.

11. Have you ever dyed your hair? Dyed it 6 weeks ago. Before that it had been about 8 years ago. Obviously not a regular hair dyer.

12. Favorite food? Why must I love food so? Too many things to list, but I can tell you my downfall…ice cream.

13. What was the last movie you watched? Hocus Pocus

14. Favorite day of the year? I don’t have one specific day. Experiences and things change from year to year so it’s hard to pinpoint any certain day.

15. How do you vent anger? Cleaning or running

16. What was your favorite toy as a child? Mom might have to help me out with this one. I loved Barbies though.

17. Blueberries or cherries? Absolutely love rainier cherries and cherry pie.

18. Beach or Mountains? I think the beach but no mixing the sand and water.

19. Do you want your friends to e-mail you back? Disregard this, it originally came from an email

20. Who is most likely to respond? Probably no one, but if anyone wants to, go ahead.

21. Least likely to respond? Probably everyone

22. Living arrangements? House. Husband, 3 dogs, 2 cats.

23. When was the last time you cried? Today at work. Most times I can grin and bear it but sometimes it’s just gotta flow. Sorry to say, it’s happening more and more, and unfortunately not going to change. All I got to say is, the Lord will bless him according to his deeds. Repeat after me, “I love my job!”

24. What is on the floor of your closet? Shoes

25. Who is the friend you have had the longest that you are sending to? My mommy

26. What did you do last night? Worked on Spencer’s Halloween costume…pictures to come.

27. What/who inspires you? Those that they tell “can’t” and yet they “do”

28. What are you most afraid of today? Personally I'm afraid of snakes. But if we're talking about life, people, etc....Ignorance and the unwillingness to change or try something new.

29. Plain, cheese or spicy hamburgers? Any, as long as they’re meat free.

30. Favorite dog breed? Now how are you going to ask a vet tech this question?? I love them all! For the sake of simplicity I’ll say Rat Terrier, Chihuahua, and Greyhound. In no particular order.

31. Favorite Day of the week? Monday. It’s a fresh start and you get to look forward to the upcoming weekend.

32. How many states have you lived in? 3-Ohio, Louisiana, and Michigan.

Saturday, October 18, 2008


We went to Halloweekends last night with Sita and Alpa. We headed right to Dragster to make sure we made it on this year. Unfortunately even though we made it with not too many people ahead of us, they weren't running the cars full and it took forever. Of course once we got to the platform it was shut down for mechanical reasons. Bummer. We decided to wait it out and were thankful that after 45 minutes of further waiting we made it on.

Dragster is one of my faves, however it took a toll on my body on the first ride at the beginning of the season. It whipped both David and I around, which messed up our backs. With that being said, I didn't think I'd ever ride it again. Last night my original plan was to sit it out but once I got up there I just had to ride.

Bad news again. I'm not saying it was the Dragster, but within 10 minutes of riding I went to turn to talk to David and something happened in my left pelvis. I didn't hear or feel a pop, but a pain came that stopped me in my steps and hurt with every movement. Thankfully Sita was around to massage it a bit but with the cold and having 2 layers on my bottom (it was cold over there!) it was darn near impossible to get a good stretch. I tend to have problems with my right leg since that's the one I broke years ago. Sometimes my hip will pop, but I can make a certain movement and pop it right back in. But this was my left side of my pelvis. I continued through the night gimping around. I found if I kept my knee slightly bent I was ok, but any wrong movement and that "take your breath away" pain came back.

I took ibuprofen when I got home and slept on it. But when I got up in the morning it was still present. I took more ibuprofen and got hold of my chiropractor, who also happens to be a friend and she got me right in (whew!). I had an adjustment and she did a few things that hurt and felt good at the same time. According to her, it looks like I did something with my Piriformis Muscle. Her adjustment helped but I'm still nowhere near 100%.

I'm going to keep up with the ibuprofen and taking it easy but I must say I'm quite bummed. Just when I thought I was getting back to the swing of things with my running this wrench was thrown into the mix. I'll try to keep up with the positive thoughts and hope this isn't something that will sideline me for long.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Changing It Up

I've been wanting to change it up on the blog for awhile now but never really got around to it. Although I can usually figure stuff out on the computer I couldn't seem to wrap my brain around the whole background/template thing with our blog. I'd just get frustrated and give up. Instead of trying to make my own I've finally found a site that works great and has many cute choices. So this is my choice for now. If anyone has trouble reading the text, etc. please let me know.

Also, for those who haven't noticed I've changed my comment section so that you do not have to have an account to make comments. Instead, I now moderate the comments before they are posted. I figured this would be easier for most individuals who just want to post using their name instead of remember a screen name/password. So comment away!

8 Years Ago Today

8 years ago today David left for boot camp. He was entering the world of the unknown. We had no idea what the next year, let alone the next 8 years, held for us. I think we would both agree that his time in the Marine Corps was hell, but made him into the man he is today. It's been a roller coaster ride and I can't believe that chapter of our lives is coming to an official end. After today David will no longer be enlisted in the Marine Corps. He completed his contract by serving 4 years active duty and 4 years ready reserve. I'm proud of my Marine and can't wait to see what the next 8 years hold. It's never a dull moment with us, so this should be interesting.

Monday, October 13, 2008

This And That

Sometime, okay all the time, I have random thoughts. Most times Twitter is good for sounding those thoughts, but not all the time. Some thoughts require more than 140 characters. I make a mental note to blog about it later and never seem to get around to it. So here I am, it's time to blog about this and that.....

~Throughout the cruise I noticed many things. The main thing is the generalized aura of it all. Things that you'd hope to be "normal" but things aren't like that any longer. For instance, everyone being nice. I'm not just talking about the crew but also the other passengers. You pass individuals in the hallway, they smile, say "good morning!" and move on. Of course you run into the usual crabby person every once in awhile, but for the most part everyone is happy go lucky. I'm guessing that this is because everyone's on vacation, but even so, it's something I've never really experienced. Not to mention everyone let's loose...things you'd never dream they'd do, they do. i.e. participating in contests. And not only do people participate but they ham it up and it's hilarious. Another take-the lack of cell phones and computers. With the exception of the computer lab most everyone is unplugged. Straight up, I wasn't worried about not being "connected" but it did cross my mind before leaving for vacation. After getting on the ship, the cell phones were turned off, not to be thought of again until we got back in Florida (with the exception of calling home in St. Thomas to check on the kids). There was no checking the email, twittering, searching the internet, or hearing cell phones go off at dinner or during the show. I can't believe I'm saying this, but it was almost a relief being unplugged. When we hit port in Florida everyone's phones popped out and it was back to the same ol' business. It was that point when I knew vacation was over. Not only was I bummed vacation was over but I knew it was inevitable I'd soon be back to the same ol' crap myself. It's something I know I overdo and need to keep in check every once in awhile. Not only for the sake of those around me but also my own sanity. With my compulsive personality it's often hard. Instead of being a "want," in my mind it becomes a requirement...I got to check/post this or that.

~For some strange reason I still get homesick after all of these years. It doesn't hit me until a few days in, and usually I have to ask myself, "What's wrong?" because I'm just in a funk, but after a few moments I realize that it's just homesickness.

~I used to LOVE going to the beach, swimming, enjoying the sun. I got to say that that time has come and gone. I much more prefer a pool. Fresh water is usually too cold and murky and salt-water is, well, salty, and leaves my skin feeling sticky. If I could have the prettiness of the salt water with the clean feeling of fresh water it'd be perfect. In addition, I hate sand. I can walk on sand with no problem, but mix sand and water and I'm done. It's not like the actually feeling of the sand drives me nuts, but it's the thought of sand sticking to me and getting all over my stuff that drives me absolutely insane. Sitting here thinking about it makes me fingers on a chalkboard. I expected to snorkel a lot on vacation, but once I got there, my thoughts change. The gear wasn't fitting just right, the water wasn't all that warm (@ CoCoCay. It was warmer than Hawaii, but not perfect. The water got warmer at each location), then the sand and water...yep, I enjoyed my time soaking up some sun, drinking a CoCo LoCo, taking pictures, and watching others enjoy the snorkeling.

~As stated previously, it's been hard to get fire under my butt to run lately. I can't even say lately, this has been going on since May. Not only that, but I'm having issues watching what I'm eating. It's not that I'm eating more, I'm just eating the wrong stuff. I've become so complacent that I'm frustrated with myself. I can't say it's the Zoloft anymore, as I'm off of it, even though I think that's what spurred it initially. I'm not sure if it's because it's no longer a new thing or what. Don't get me wrong, I still want/need to run but when that alarm clock goes off I'm no longer jumping out of bed as fast as I used to. I don't want to get to the point I was at previously, where obsessing over it constantly. That's not fun either. It's just been super tough to find a happy medium. I know a big thing is that we aren't "training" for anything. Mind you, it's not like I take 5K's seriously or anything, but if you have that in front of you, you want to make sure to get out there and run so come race day you won't have any issues. The biggest reason we're not participating in 5K's is because of $. It's not like we're broke, but it's not a necessity. I'll get into that a bit later.

~David and I are still playing with the idea of running a marathon within the next year. In all honesty I think it's something we need to keep us moving. However it scares the shit out of me thinking about it. Especially on the days when I feel I suck. Let's be honest....I suck everyday. Running isn't, and will never be, my forte'. That's why I started in the first place. I've never had a pain-free, perfect, fun run. No matter what I always have some form of discomfort, whether it's muscles burning, unsteady breathing, or legs feeling like they're going to fall off.
My good vs bad runs are mostly based on how much or little discomfort I have. If it's tolerable I've had a good run. And if I can also keep a steady breathing pattern, and a steady pace I've had an amazing run. If I keep up on my consistency with running daily these things get much better, but in all honesty I don't see myself being the next olympian. Big surprise?

~ I love David but running with him can be disheartening. We all know he can run circles around me but sometimes it can just piss me off. For instance, he hasn't ran since the cruise, yet today we went out for a run and he took off like it was nothing. Or when I trained for the Half and he did hardly anything (due to the weather and his bad circulation). Yet, he ran me into the ground and then some. I always initially try to keep up, but come mile 1 you'll find me WAY behind him, just plugging along. I get home, and he's breathing easy while sometimes I feel like I'm going to die. Of course he's had a few minutes to chill before I arrive.

~So you may ask, why are you complaining yet still run? I have absolutely no idea. With all that I've said I still love it. And for some odd reason I continue to run through whatever is thrown to me.

~I'm still determined to at least run the Cleveland Half again. Even when running on ice and piles of snow gives you a run for your money you know you're doing it for a reason. With talk of the Half and a possible full comes the talk of a better diet too. Neither David and I claim to be cooks, and my new eating habits may throw a bit of a wrench in our attempts, but hopefully we can get that on track too.

~Money, money's a rich man's world. As with everyone the whole money this has thrown us for a loop. David taking the new job, with a pay cut, and them cutting hours at my work, has taken a chunk out of finances. We're not struggling....yet. But all of this has put a few things in perspective. We're still enjoying extras, and we want to be able to live our lives, but we've tried to cut back, and I can only guess we'll continue to try to cut back more and more. I am grateful for what we do have, as I know some others aren't as lucky, but it's definitely time for a realignment. Only time will tell.

50 To Go

Just sat down to calculate my mileage over the past couple weeks. Yes, I still keep a daily run journal. It's not as in depth at this time since we're not training for anything, but I still feel that it motivates me and puts things in perspective. I'm also a person that's all about numbers so crunching my stats makes me smile. Anyway, so it looks like at the beginning of this month I hit the 450 mile mark for the year. That mean only 50 more miles and I'll have hit my goal for 500 miles this year. (Actual, at this point it's less than 50 since I've run since the beginning of the month). Of course it's not like I'm going to stop running after I hit 500 miles, but I'll have met my goal. I'm very excited about this.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Friday, October 10, 2008

Missed My Mizunos

David and I have had a funk since vacation. Mine started as a sore throat, went away, then came back as a sinus/allergy crap. His started with the sinus/allergy bit. It hasn't been horrible, but not comfortable by any means. We kept putting off running for this reason. We knew it was "safe" to run, but given we didn't have to, and felt like crap, we took a few days off. In all honesty we're still not 100% but I knew I needed to get out for a run. Not having run since last Saturday I was dreading it. I've found that my body doesn't just kick back into place after a hiatus. Yes, it's been less than a week, but I've found anything more than 2-3 days tends to get me off kilter. It sucks, because let's say you hurt yourself and need time off. You do so, but seem to be back at square one when starting back up.

So I set my alarm yesterday morning to get up. It went off and I didn't get up. I needed another hour of sleep. However, I knew I had time after work and I'd run then. I dreaded what was to come all day. Don't get me wrong, I still love to run, but when you go from being satisfactory, to sucking again, it's a bummer. I got home, laced up the Mizuno Wave Riders, and headed out. As usual, by the end of the block my legs were burning. This is something that has never gone away. I just run through it and find that either it goes away or I put it in the back of my mind not to think about it. After that I was surprised by the run. For the most part I felt like I was floating on air. Floating to the point that instead of just breaking myself back in with 2 miles I went for the 3. With the exception of my legs chaffing, for some unknown reason, the run went way better than expected.

Boy, did I miss my Mizunos. I took my Asics Gel Nimbus on vacation due to trying to reduce my luggage load. I can wear my Asics for running and day-to-day wear. The Asic's are great shoes, but nothing like my Mizunos. It's not something you notice when you're not wearing them, but something you notice when you wear them. It's also something you don't notice from day-to-day wearings. But when you go off of them and then go back to them, you notice it. For instance, on vacation my runs went fine. The only "issue" I had was running on a treadmill. I think I may be one of the few people that don't care for running on a treadmill. I feel like it takes me forever to go my distance and my mind isn't stimulated enough. But other than that I didn't have any unexpected problems. But, when I slipped on my Mizunos yesterday it seemed to make a world of difference. Yes.

I flippin' love my Mizunos. I remember going into Second Sole and trying them on for the first time. I knew they were "my shoes." They fit my foot perfectly. I usually have problems with shoes having a big toe area, given my feet are so narrow, but the Mizunos followed the form of my foot. They may not be as sexy as other running shoes, but they fit my needs. I can't even describe how much I love these shoes. I'm on my second pair and don't see myself changing anytime soon .

Monday, October 06, 2008

Caribbean Cruise Vacation

Edited to add videos~

Our vacation started with a short trip to the DTW airport and then take off to MCO. We got to takeoff out of the new terminal and must say that it was real nice. However, anything was better than the old terminal. Yikes. After our arrival in Orlando we took a short jaunt over to Cocoa Beach where we’d be staying overnight. I had found of hotel for the evening and was quite pleased at my choice. It was the Four Points Sheraton in Cocoa Beach. Camie and her crew met up with us for dinner at the Shark Pit Bar and Grill, located in the hotel. After dinner we checked out the Cocoa Beach Surf Company that was also inside the hotel. It was a large store with surfboards everywhere. Quite cool. And even better, the hotel was unexpectedly next door to Ron Jon Surf Shop. We stopped there for a bit then headed back to the hotel. Jerry and Diana arrived and by that point David and I were exhausted and headed to the room. It was great to see Camie and her crew but we needed to get rest for all of the fun ahead….

I’ve decided that if I sit and type every little thing about our vacation I’d be here for hours. I also don’t think that everyone’s going to be all that excited about the minute details.

So, here was our itinerary:
Day 1-Sunday-Depart Port Canaveral
Day 2-Monday-CocoCay, Bahamas
Day 3-Tuesday-Day At Sea
Day 4-Wednesday-St. Thomas
Day 5-Thursday-St. Maarten
Day 6-Friday-Day At Sea
Day 7-Saturday-Day At Sea

We sailed on the Mariner Of The Seas with Captain Johnny Faevelen. This captain was very cool and always upbeat anytime you heard or saw him. I’ll definitely miss hearing, “Good morning! Good morning! Good morning! This is your Captain speaking from the bridge!!”

This was my second cruise vacation but David’s first. David did get a bit of motion sickness the first 2 nights. We couldn’t tell if it was just because he was tired or if it was truly motion sickness. I didn’t have any problems. The first and last nights were the roughest. They weren’t bad by any means, but compared to the rest of our trip they were the worst.

The first night of the cruise we were in the Schooner Bar for Sing-A-Long with Simeon. This guy was hilarious and we found ourselves at this bar more often than not. He’s an awesome piano man and singer that kept you laughing at all times. We absolutely loved it. In addition to sing-a-longs he’d do “guess the song” through playing on the piano or “name that tune” via recordings. Hilarious. You know that J, David, and I each won a key chain that night. Yup yup! By the way, key chains are the thing to win on the ship. Well, not really the thing to win, but if you win a contest, that’s what you tend to get.

So, CocoCay….CocoCay is Royal Caribbean’s private island. There’s no port so you must tender in on a smaller boat. I had been to this island before. It gives you the true feeling of being on vacation. With the exception of all the people, you feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere. Everyone snorkeled while I soaked up some rays. And guess what? The water was warm…unlike our previous vacation! (even better, the water got warmer at each destination) We had the island BBQ and I got to sample the local drink, CocoLoco. Yum, very tasty.

That evening we stopped by the Lotus Lounge to check out “Finish That Lyric.” They requested 10 participants and David decided to join in. I got to say, I don’t think anyone saw him as a threat because he stood up there quietly, hands in his pockets, until he was called to the microphone. It was finally his turn and his song was “Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong. Not only did he hit it on the head but he also did the Louis voice. The crowd roared. They loved him immediately. He continued to deliver at each song and everyone loved him. Who knew I was married to a ham? And what’s even better, I got it all on video. Here’s some action:

And The Winner is:

So, obviously David won. And not only did he win a key chain, but also a hat, and ID holder, luggage tag, and a pen. Too funny.

The next day we were at sea and ate at Johnny Rockets for lunch. As always, Johnny Rockets was a ton of fun and we loved it. The crew sang and danced throughout our meal and kept things rolling.
After lunch I got to get my groove on at the pool deck with some dancing. It was then David’s turn to participate in another event….Men’s Sexiest Legs Competition. Once again, who knew David had this in him?? Mom and I ended up being 2 of the 6 judges so we did have a bias but that’s ok. David ended up winning Mr. Flamingo Legs AND Mr. Sexiest Legs. I got to say the guys had it easiest for the competition. Mom and I had to deal with the guys all trying to prove to us women that they should win. The guys couldn’t touch us, but trust me, they got close enough. It was all in good fun and everyone had quite a few laughs. Here's the crew member showing the guys what to do....

Throughout the cruise we attended multiple art auctions and even won a piece. Let me clarify, we didn’t bid on an item (at thousands of dollars, who can??) but we won and item through a raffle. Pretty cool. The auctions were eye opening and surprisingly enjoyable. No one would complain about raffles and free champagne though, would they?
That evening we enjoyed Earl Turner at The Savoy Theatre. He had a gig at Harrah’s in New Orleans while we lived there, but we never attended a performance. He was very entertaining.
Later that night was the 70s Disco Party. Everyone filled the Promenade and busted out their moves. From YMCA to Love Train, we had a blast. And the cool thing about these types of events, they last while but never too long.

The next morning we arrived in St. Thomas. It was a beautiful island. I was surprised at how hilly it was. When looking at a map you don’t know this until you arrive. We all hopped a taxi to Coki Beach and spent the late morning and early afternoon there. As with so many things on this trip it was another eye opening experience seeing how people live and also the price of getting around. It wasn’t necessarily expensive, but it wasn’t cheap either. And at the same time you know that this is what the locals depend on to survive. After finishing up with snorkeling we took a trip up the Mountain Top Mountain Top. The steep and narrow roads uphill gave my heart a rush, but the view was awesome. There wasn’t much else to do there other than get a Banana Daiquiri and take a few pictures. After that we went back to the ship to freshen up then headed back to Havensight Mall to walk a bit.
The Figure Skating show was performed that night. Thanks to Uncle Jerry, we were able to acquire tickets easily and enjoy the show.

Our day in St. Maarten started out with a bang…..we rode ATVs around the island. It was very exhilarating and totally worth the amount we paid. Luckily for us we were able to make reservations outside of the cruise line, which made it cheaper, but were on the exact same excursion as the rest of the cruise passengers. Sweet. After riding a bit we stopped off and ran into a local gentleman who had 3 live sea urchins. They moved and all. He told us about them and let individuals hold them too. After our stop we continued on and stopped at private area on Orient Beach. We spent enough time for everyone to soak up some rays or swim a bit then it was time to head back to the starting point. I would highly recommend the ATV excursion. With the exception of the smelly helmets and the initial shady feeling we had with the guys, they ended up being awesome and let us run pretty free (thanks to being at the back of the pack). For the most part we were on the road, but did a bit of off-road time. And we got to see the island. The good, the bad, and the ugly. I couldn’t believe the amount of livestock….goats, horses, cows. Goats would be tied up to the front of a house, or we passed a herd of goats, roaming free, standing on a mound of garbage, chomping away. Those are things that only live in your imagination, but they were actually happening. I can’t say that I enjoyed seeing that, but I did enjoy seeing how others live. Other than the craziness of New Orleans, I’ve never witnessed anything like it. I’ve also never been in a foreign country other than Canada. It’s a totally different world out there.
The afternoon was spent in downtown Philipsburg. In all honesty I was so tired at that point that it was very hard to enjoy, but I still liked it.

For those that don’t know, St. Thomas and St. Maarten have jewelry shop after jewelry shop. I’ve never seen so many in my life. Real crazy. And we’re not talking just tiny pieces of gold or diamonds. This stuff, for the most part, is the real deal.

The final two days were at sea. Although this may be boring to some, it helped wind down the vacation. We didn’t do all that much with the exception of walking, checking out the casino, chilling, having a drink, or enjoying Simeon in the Schooner Bar…just enjoying our time. One thing J, David, and I did was participated in a spinning class. Whew! That gave us a run for our money but I think that it’s addicting. I want to do it again that’s for sure. Like I said, it kicked our butt and hurt, but it was awesome.

After arriving back in port our disembarking went rather smoothly along with our trip back to Orlando. We were luckily put on standby for an earlier flight home and made the cut. That meant a nonstop flight and arriving home about 3 hours earlier than expected. And even more, our seats we right behind first class meaning we had a bunch of extra legroom. That was definitely better than our flight home on our last vacation. Actually, I think it’s real safe to say that everything about this vacation was better than our last and we had more fun than we even hoped for.
Even the possible negatives of the trip ended up not being issues. We didn’t break ourselves financially and budgeted quite well. And the big question is always weight gain on a cruise. When we arrived on the ship the fitness instructor said that average weight gain is 1-3 lbs per day. I was determined to not let that happen. Although we weren’t religious, David and I did make it to the gym several times throughout the week and I maintained my mileage. For the most part we ate what we wanted, but in moderation, with a few extra “rewards” that we’ve waited patiently for. My target weight is 115 lbs. With that being said, my target weight is hardly ever met and I tend to average around 118-120 lbs. I thought I had gained, by the way I felt, but in actuality I maintained my 120lbs. A small surprise, but not totally unexpected. While in Hawaii I felt heavy but found that I had actually lost weight with the amount of walking we did. David gained a few pounds on the cruise but nothing outrageous.

If I had to say we had anything bad happen it would be that David got motion sick the 1st day or so and I battled a sore throat for about 1.5 days. And lastly, David's throat started to hurt the last day and has continued through the trip home. But I think we can deal with all of that.

That’s our vacation in a nutshell. So yes, this was an awesome vacation and totally worth the gaggle that we had with the passports. Thank you to Jerry, Diana, Mom, Dad, Justin, and Cassie for allowing us to vacation with you. It was a ton of fun and we’ll have to do it again.

Sunday, October 05, 2008


We're back home from vacation. Whew! What a great time. I need to blog but am unsure how to go about summarizing the days. It was crazy fun. Stay tuned for stories and pics.