Wednesday, July 30, 2014


Hola amigos! I am back from a 3-month-long hiatus... mostly because life was pretty ho-hum, same old same old until this happened: our big vacation of the year! 

I've been on my last summer break from school since June, and I have been enjoying every minute of it. Being able to take time off of work and relax with my sweetheart and some great friends was just what the doctor ordered!

We went on a Caribbean cruise with our friends, Jim and Natalie Cannon. (Jim and Matt were mission companions and they are bromance soulmates!) Because of both of our last names, we dubbed out official trip hashtag as #cannwinn2014. WAHOOO!

We left out of Cape Canaveral in Florida and visited Grand Turk, San Juan, St. Thomas and St. Maarten. We had a blast on the ship and off the ship... it's always a great day when the sun is shining, the ocean is turquoise and there's a water slide right outside of your room!

(hairy chest competition runner up right here ^)

And now, let the picture overload commence. I had my camera but Jim and Matt brought their go pro cameras and got some UH-MAZING and fun shots, so I'm going to share some of those too. Plus they're perfect for selfies!

Grand Turk: we hopped on ATVs and rode around the island, saw a lighthouse, waved at a lot of donkeys and played at a gorgeous beach. This place was not touristy and reminded me a lot of San Salvador, Bahamas (where I've been before for a coral reef research trip). 

obligatory cruise ship pic

Natalie leaving Jim in the dust!


San Juan, Puerto Rico: This place was beautiful! We all thought it was like being dropped off in an old, Carribbean version of Seattle... busy and full of life! 
(Jim and I are very biased with our love of Seattle)
We walked around the old San Juan and wandered through cathedrals, fortresses, alleyways that looked like rainforests and beautiful colored buildings. It was so fun! 

St. Thomas: We went on a snorkeling excursion for the morning while we were in St. Thomas, and it was a blast! We saw some turtles, rays and LOTS of fish. I love snorkeling! There was so, so much fire coral (my research buddies know what I'm talking about... nasty stuff) but luckily non of us got "burned." We then walked to town and ate at a little local Caribbean place. 

 The "turts"

 St. Maarten: This was an interesting stop... we made our own perfume! We took a mini-tour of the island with a great tour guide and ended up at a perfume shop/lab. We all got to smell hundreds of scents and concoct our own original perfume or cologne. Super original and we have a pretty unique keepsake!

 Some other fun things...
Matt was particularly outgoing on the cruise ship! He went up to get hypnotized and participated in the hairy chest competition - he got 2nd place! It is so fun and hilarious to watch him put himself out there! (insert cry-laughing emoji here.)

So that covers the first 9 days of our trip... we stopped at HARRY POTTER WORLD before we left Florida, but I will have to blog that another time. It was positively magical, I assure you. But you're probably sick of reading this/looking at pictures of us for now. 

I hope you are enjoying the rest of our quickly-fading summer! Bye for now :)

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