Archive for the 'Vacation' Category

Vacation 2014 . . . That
 

So we have been home for almost week from our vacation. I have to say with this most recent “Polar Vortex” and the snow, and more snow coming, I’m ready to get back on a cruise ship! Now don’t get me wrong, I love snow, love it! However I don’t love it that much when it’s -15 with windchill and I have three dogs to walk several times a day. At these temps, I want to just admire the snow from inside. More is on the way though, and the temperatures aren’t rising until next week.

Back to the vacation… Before the cruise we were in San Juan, Puerto Rico for two days. It had been awhile since we were there for an extended stay (2005?), but we were delighted to find our favorite little restaurant was still working. If you ever hit Old San Juan, check out Cafe Berlin. So yummy! We also found my future business, a store devoted to nativities! Well not entirely, it was a folk art/craft store. I guess as it was still so close to Christmas, they were still overflowing with them. We bought some goodies there. Check out my Tumblr for the images of our two awesome purchases.

This year we took Royal’s Adventure of the Seas. It is an older and smaller ship than our recent cruises, but not a dwarf by any stretch of the means. It was a nice change, and for once I don’t have any complaints about the rude guests on board. We visited Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Johns, St. Marteen and St. Croix. It was a lot of stops! Honestly I can’t remember what we did on each. I tried to label photos below with each stop as best as possible. We only walked around St. Johns and St. Marteen. Both are mainly just shopping ports with some beaches. We also walked around St. Croix, there was just more to see there and take photos of. At St. Croix we also went to beach. Yes, I got into the ocean. Barbados, St. Lucia and St. Croix were all new to me. We went to Harrison’s cave in Barbados, and La Soufrier, the only drive in active volcano in the world at St. Lucia. I am hoping to finally post all my current and past photos to Flickr, especially given the snowed in days I may have coming up. I had them all on Webshots, which folded last year.

So enjoy a smidgen of the photos I took below (over 1000!). A lot were just multiple shots of the same thing though. I’ll have some more posts up soon with updates on the house renovations, snow and the animals.



For The Birds!
 

Our 2014 vacation has begun! The best shot to get updates is either through my Instagram or my Tumblr pages. I can post photos instantly from my phone there. Otherwise I have to transfer them off my camera, onto my very slow netbook, and then upload them through free wifi. The phone is just much easier until I get home!

We’ve been in sunny San Juan, Puerto Rico for two days and will be getting on a cruise ship tomorrow. It’s a ship we’ve never done, and even though it’s an older ship, it’s new to us! We also are going to some places I don’t think we’ve ever been before. It’s a Southern Caribbean cruise, which I think we’ve only done once before. We normally do Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises. Next year we are eyeing a 12 day Southern cruise. Someday we want to do the South American cruise so we can go see Inca ruins. Anyway, as we are getting on the ship tomorrow, and it’s an older ship, I don’t know what my internet connectivity will be to post photos. I lucked out last year as it was the first year they were testing unlimited internet for a fixed price. It was only offered on their newest ship as a test run, which we were on. I’m hoping they have implemented it to others! Below is how we have spent our last night here in Old San Juan… I have MANY more photos of the birds and the forts in San Juan as well to eventually post.

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Just a Few More Vacation Photos To Share!
 

I thought I would post a few more photos from our vacation. At some point I need to update my side bar links, as well as my main domain’s links to my photo galleries as that website went caput. I don’t see myself organizing things on Flickr until this summer at some point when I have a little more free time to do so.

Each one gives a short description of what it’s a photo of, and this time I did a better job of not over sharpening them, reducing the file size, and keeping them their original pixel size. I’m loving my new camera, and by next year’s trip I should have mastered it pretty well.

Next year we leave out of San Juan, so hopefully we will go a few days before the ship sails to enjoy it. Unlike Ft. Lauderdale, it won’t be dead as a doornail. I’m pretty over that place, and each year it’s become more and more of a ghost town. It might have something to do with the time of year we are there, but we noticed a lot of the bars, restaurants and clubs had closed up compared to previous years.

We also might just go to Orlando first and then over to San Juan, as it’s been years since we went there and I am dying to see Harry Potter world. I honestly can’t believe I just haven’t booked a trip to go, even if by myself.

Vacation Photos And Mini-Cap
 

So I’m just now finally getting around to posting about our vacation. Below are some photos of the places we went and things we saw, both on and off the ship. A few of the photos I sharpened a little too much after resizing them, my bad! I need to fix my blog’s upload limit so I’m not constantly having to resize the photos to post on it.

This was our second time on this boat, Allure of the Seas, and our third time in a row on ships of the same class. The newness has definitely worn off, so next year we are changing things up. We are going on a smaller ship that we’ve never been on, and to the Southern Caribbean for stops we’ve not been to (or been to in years). There definitely is some new things to do at these stops, everything from volcanoes to waterfalls. This ship, while smaller, really isn’t tiny. We’ve been on even smaller ships in the past, so I’m not worried about the size. Going to a smaller ship will however mean the lack of a lot of things we’ve come to enjoy, such as the diving show and all the smaller speciality restaurants. However I won’t miss the larger amounts of people on these bigger ships. The past few years have seen an influx of rude rude rude people from certain countries in South America that are on summer break in January, so the families and all their kids show up. It wasn’t my imagination that these people were rude and nasty either, from other passengers to even the ship’s crew, they all knew who the problem guests onboard were. It’s ironic because normally it’s the people from the U.S. who have the reputation of being rude and nasty, but we have nothing on these folks!

Aside from the rude people, I did have fun for about the first 5 days. I participated in a “flash mob” dance class, that pulled it off in public on the final night of the cruise. We went to see Blackbeard’s tower and a bunch of other colonial estates on Saint Thomas, which I never saw before. I also got a lot of good cooking spices on Saint Martins. However about day four is when I started to not feel so good. The ship was definitely rocking a lot, and that upset my stomach. Normally it doesn’t bother me that much, but this year it did. I spent most of one day in bed fending off sickness. I had almost no appetite for the whole of the cruise, several migraines, and I ended up developing a horrible rash all over my face and arms. Fun times!

Upon arriving back, both John and I ended up with horrible colds, which we are just now getting over. Anyways, next year will hopefully be much better. Enjoy some of the photos!

Vacation Time!
 

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, after Christmas and Halloween that is . . . . It’s vacation time! We fly out to Ft. Lauderdale today, and hop on the Allure of the Seas tomorrow. It’s an Eastern Caribbean cruise this time, so no pyramids. There are a few historic pirate forts to see, so I’m probably going to do those since I never have.

With the updates to my blog software, and my new camera, I learned over Christmas that the photos exceed the maximum upload limit to the blog unless I reduce their file size. I googled a way to fix this within the blog software, I just haven’t done it and don’t want to do it now, because with my luck I’ll break the blog. I do have some minimal photo editing software on my netbook that I’m taking. Nothing fancy like on my Mac, just Picasa. But it should do the trick should I get some excellent shots with my new camera. However most of the photo updates until I get home will likely just be from my phone. If you’re on Instagram you can follow me at RDustinC. You can also just check out My Tumblr from time to time, as I’ll post good photos to there from a variety of photo apps too.

Any thrilling and exciting updates I’ll of course post to the blog when I get a chance. This cruise goes to small islands, so I think it’s going to be fairly low key. I don’t snorkel or deep sea dive, and I’m not a huge beach person. So I don’t know what I’ll have in the way of stories. Next year I think we might look into a South American cruise. We’ve been talking about that for a while now.

Chichen Itza Photos
 

Just some quick photos from Chichen Itza. These are ones I have so far edited and corrected a bit. In time I’ll add more to my webshots and provide a link.

I really enjoyed seeing the place, but we had very little time there. Most of the day was spent traveling to and from. I told John one year we should do a tour of Mexico/Central America to get to all the places we haven’t seen. We also want to do Machu Picchu too.

I also added in two of the photos of us we had taken on the cruise.

Home At Last!
 

Finally home, and had a blast! The internet on the ship was horrid, which is why I didn’t post here more. I did update my Tumblr as much as I could. So over the next week I’ll upload photos and post some stories. Loved seeing (and meeting!) the cast of “Hairspray.” Made some great new cruise friends. Loved seeing Chichen Itza. We’ve also booked next year’s cruise already.

-Dustin

Hello From Haiti!
 

Royal Caribbean has a private beach in Haiti, a very large one in fact, which they use for their ships while also employing the locals and helping the economy. We have been here a few times. It is nice enough, and I wouldn’t have bothered to get off the boat really. However I was on a quest! To buy some voodoo art for my classes. I had to wade through a lot of tourist art and pushy salesmen before hitting the jack pot. I originally made a video discussing all this, but it takes forever and a day to upload. So here are some photos instead.

I bought two things. One was a nice Skelton carving. The other was where I hit the jackpot as it was the only one I could find. Or the only one for sale that day. It appeared at first to be a little pestle and mortar carved out of wood, with the pestle being a effigy of a man. I thought yes! It was something for grinding herbs and making voodoo potions. That would be cool. But when I inspected closer I realized it was actually a fetish ….

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Live From Ft Lauderdale!
 

I write this post from Ft. Lauderdale, as we are on vacation! We get on the big boat tomorrow, I’m so excited! I need a massage stat. I’ll do my best to put in an update or two, pictures will probably have to wait until we get back as usual. It’s sometimes hard to upload multiple photos and edit them while on the ship, but we shall see. I’ll definitely get one or two up, especially of Chichen Itza!

Definitely keep watching the Tumblr Blog over the next week. It will probably have photo updates posted to it more than here, as I can do so from my phone quickly and from wherever I am. I know tomorrow while we’re still in port and I have 3G I’ll probably post a ton there. During the cruise I can and probably will still do it via wireless internet, just not as much. I really should have set this blog up to pull in the feeds from that blog for this week. I didn’t realize it was as complicated as I originally thought until I just looked at, so I don’t know if I can do it tonight. I really don’t wanna screw something up.

Now let’s talk about “Days” for a second. I know I hadn’t made a video blog since November. One reason was because I got very busy. The other reason was the show got very dull. I had nothing to say! So why why why is it that every time I go away does the good shit happen? I mean they had to have this coming week to be when Will gets outed (or the beginning of his official outing by EJ)? I’m so friggen pissed! I’ve been watching and waiting months for this! When we used to cruise Carnival, they had satellite feeds and we could see real TV when we were in the cabin. Having now switched to Royal Caribbean, they have yet to have that. Maybe this year they will so I can see the show. I doubt it. Good thing there is Tivo and Hulu!

A Quiet Little New Years
 

So we didn’t do much for New Years this year. Plans to go out kept falling through, and while we were invited to some parties, we just decided to stay in again (which is what we did last year). We watched the ball drop and some other movies, but that’s about it.

We did go out to dinner and I made John try wonton wrapped ahi tuna. Basically it’s raw tuna. I don’t know why I have gotten into this recently. I blame a friend who introduced me to it. John ate one piece just to try it. I made him after I pointed out that I had tried crab he ate recently. I also told him on our vacation I made reservations at the Asian place on the ship for lunch one day, so he’d be eating it again in some form :)

We are getting ready for our cruise and will be leaving shortly. I’m still excited to see Chichen Itza. I’ll do my best to blog as much as I can. Be sure to check my Tumblr Blog too, as it’s easy for me to quickly post photos to it from my phone.

Oh yeah . . . Happy New Year! It’s the year of the Mayan Apocalypse!