Sunday, September 21, 2008

The announcement.....

Okay, I feel kind of dumb.... I really did NOT think that this would create the buzz that it did. I was getting people from church coming up to me and said I heard from so and so who reads your blog who said that you have an announcement. Well, now that I CAN tell, I feel a little sheepish! So here goes nothin..... I was called to be the Stake Primary President. Wow, was all I could say when I got called! For those who aren't members of my church, what that ultimately means, is I am in president for all of the leaders who teach the children in our region. I was recently released as the ward primary president in March (in charge of the children in our immediate area). I really wasn't expecting this at all. But I am excited to do it. I'm ready to get in there and do the job right! Thanks for following, and sorry for the suspense for so long!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

And the Surprise.....

is gonna have to wait!! I am really sorry! I cannot yet reveal what it is! :) I promise I am not trying to lead you on. I will let you know as soon as I can. Here are some pics cause, I think you all really just wanted to see Emily's cute hair I did for church today, right?! Thanks for your patience and not killing me! :) The one thing I love about the last picture is, take a look at Emily's left hand in the last picture. I love having a girl! :)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Flowrider!

So above is our first experience with the Flowrider. Martin even got up on his knees to do this one, which was pretty "tricky". By the end of the week however, we realized just how shaky he was! He got SOOO much better by the week's end. The following video was Martin's first attempt on the stand-up surfing. He didn't last long, but just wait till the end of the post!

The next one is Rebecca's attempt at stand-up surfing. We got so addicted to this thing! The videos really show what this was all about so you'll just have to click on them! :)

The thing about this surfing thing was the adrenaline rush! You would only stay up for a few seconds, but it was enough to make you want to wait in line for 20 minutes for your next two second chance! You also didn't care that you biffed it either! This happened when I got brought up to the top. Where you surf it is nice and spongy but at the top it has a hard plastic grate. Ouch! This picture doesn't even show it at it's worst. A day or so later, it had a nice looking bruise underneath it! I noticed this scratch while I was waiting in line for my next run, but I didn't care. I just kept going!

So after we officially got addicted we planned that the next day at sea we would spend every waking moment at the stand-up surfing. The only problem was, THEY CLOSED IT! Martin was surfing, and the main guy came up and told them that Martin was the last person to ride it, they were switching it over to boogey boarding. I guess someone else had gotten hurt on another ship. So we filed a formal complaint and went and sulked in our room! We resigned ourselves that we would never do it again. We eventually did go back. Martin did the boogey boarding and I just read. I did capture this video though. It is kind of long, but the ending is FANTASTIC!

So here we finally arrive to Saturday. Like the responsible adults we were, we went to our room to start packing after breakfast. We were just starting to gather our things when we heard an announcement. It was back on!!! We stripped down in 2 seconds flat, got our swim suits on and we were at the flowrider in about 5 mins. We were THRILLED! Because we had complained at dinner the two nights before, some of our dinner group figured that we would be there so they came to check us out! The following two videos are Martin and mine last runs. Unfortunately, we didn't capture a good enough video that showed what Martin could do. He was probably one of the best on the ship, not including the employees! We really, really miss the flowrider. I know, it's a little pitiful! :)

Monday, September 8, 2008

Has it REALLY been...

Has it really been 4 days since I have posted?! Life has really picked up since I have been home! I still have a couple more posts to finish out our trip. Bear with me. I hope to get to it today. I just need to go shopping for my incredibly bare fridge and pantry! Oh, and I have an announcement. YOU'LL HAVE TO WAIT FOR SUNDAY..... any guesses as to what it may be?!? Take a try... :)

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

St Marten-formal night and dining room

The dining room was unreal. We were able to dine on the third (top deck) and look at at the rest of the dining room. There was this huge chandelier in the center and a sweeping staircase and the furthest end. This particular night, we were in a quandary. We had seen some of our tablemates in St Marten and they double checked that we would be at dinner. They said that Wan, our waiter, said not to miss that nights dessert. We promised we would be there. When we got back to our room, however, we realized that it was the night that we had made reservations at the Chops Steakhouse restaurant for our "anniversary". Man, we really wanted that
dessert! So this is what we came up with. Our main seating was at 6 pm. Our reservation wasn't until 6:30pm. We had complete faith in our waiter that he would hook us up. We showed up to dinner as planned and shared the unhappy news that we would not be there for the whole dinner. I took some scrumptious, very sinful bread from the "bread man" and explained our dilemma. Wan checked into it, and told us to come back and he would have a plate ready for us. The reason why we couldn't have it sooner was because it was chocolate lava cake. With warm chocolate oozing out from the center. mmmmmm.... We promised to return!

If you look above Martin's head, this is where we were seated. We felt very fancy being so high up. We enjoyed who we sat with and had some good conversations. We had everything from newlyweds, to Italians that pretended like they didn't speak very good english :), to a fun NY couple. To tie the whole package up was our great waiter and assistant. The dinners were never a disappointment.

At Chops, we were led to a quiet table in the very back with this cozy window seat. There was this gorgeous sunset that the picture didn't even do justice! We had a very romantic meal with SO MUCH FOOD! It was all very delicious and we even made it back in time to snag some great dessert and bring it back to our room. Let's just say we weren't counting our calories this night.

Day 5 St Marten- beach

I had forgotten to mention this on the St Thomas blog. Since we were first married, I always try to collect sand from the different places we visit. I had completely forgotten about this through San Juan and right before we were supposed to be back on the ship in St Thomas. My sweet husband, knowing how much this meant to me was kind enough to risk us not being able to make it back to our ship in time, to get my sand from St Thomas. We jumped in a taxi, told him what we needed and payed extra for him to do it fast! I felt like we were on the amazing race! It didn't take as long as we expected and made it back with time to spare.

So in St Martin, I was on the ball and was going to make sure we got my sand! I think St Marten was my favorite port. The beach was really close, it had that island feel and we had a little bit more "downtime". After the zip-line tour, we ate some lunch downtown, did some shopping, and made it back to the ship in enough time to get our addiction fix in, the flowrider :) (I will do a post purely on the flowrider to give it proper props) before we had to get ready for our last "formal" night.This is the house that we are going to buy this year and officially move. Thanks honey! :) Below: It was really neat to see these two tug boats not move the ship, but the fueling barge away from the ship. It takes a lot of people to make all of this work!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Day 5 St Marten- Zip-line tour

Today was exciting. We pulled into St Martin excited to start off the day on the flowrider! We thought our excursion didn't start until 10:45 am, so we were going to get our surfing in. We got our swimsuits on and were about the head out to breakfast when I asked Martin to double check our departure time. Lo and behold, we were to be at the pier at 8:15 am and it was 8:10 oops! So we quickly got ready, and ran out to the pier without breakfast. Oh well, at least we didn't miss our ZIP-LINE adventure! After about a 20 minute drive through the Dutch side and on to the French side, we finally made it. By the way, St Marten is the smallest island in the world to be inhabited by two different governments. Pretty fascinating. Anyhoo, we arrived to what once was the only rain forest left on the island. It was pretty and you could tell they really tried to take care of it. All over the place there were these birds that thought was fascinating. They are called Egrets. I took lots of pictures of them, but I won't bore you. Again, most of the pictures we took were on the water camera, but I do have a few.


We should have put something next to this snail so that you could get an idea of how HUGE it was! They were all over! The kids would have loved this whole place. The ziplines were one of those places that we could really see our kids having the times of their lives. Oh well, maybe next time... :)

This is one of the last platforms and the last zip line.

Another reason why the boys would have loved this place, there were lizards everywhere! True to Martin's fashion, he tried to catch this one.

If you look at the right hand corner of the above picture (you can click on it to make it larger) you will see a boy on the last zip line. We had a lot of fun.
Right next to the snack hut, there was this bunch of bananas growing. It was fascinating to look at. I never would have thought they would look like that.
Martin wanted to try out his "survivor" skills. I think he could survive on a deserted island, don't you?!

Day 4 St Thomas

We arrived into St Thomas at about 7 am. It was beautiful. It was fascinating seeing the dock men tie up this huge ship to the dock. Talk about needing to be able to parallel park! We had a great captain. I guess Freedom of the Seas is the largest ship in the world. I can believe it! Anyhoo, today was to be the busiest day for us. We had para-sailing, a gondola ride, and then onto a private yacht and snorkeling at Turtle Cove.

The parasailing was awesome! What a way to tour the island. It was our first dip into the ocean and it felt great! After we were all done, we got to jump into the ocean and swim around. Martin showed off his dives and tricks, and then we were off to the gondola ride. We must have beat the rush because when we came back down there was a huge line! When we went up we walked right on. It was interesting seeing the island from the land point of view. We did some shopping up on the top and came back down. This view is from our balcony. Martin zoomed in to the top of the bottom for the shot afterwards. This is where the gondola ride was. After the ride, we went on a yatch that only had 4 other people. It had a nice homey feel so that you are not packed into a commercial ship like sardines. We were taken to an island of St Thomas and were able to see a lot of turtles, a stingray, lots of coral and colorful fish. Martin was amazing at swimming way down and getting pictures. Once again, there are on a water camera, so you will have to wait! We had a great BUSY day in St Thomas. St Martin is tomorrow!

Day 3 (yes I am a LITTLE behind... :) )

The night that Martin had his lessons we came back to our room and found this on our bed. So fun! We had a new animal every night. By the end of the trip we had a whole zoo on our shelf!

San Juan, Puerto Rico
We arrived into the port of San Juan and I have to admit it was a little bit of a relief to finally see land. I love being out in the ocean. It is so beautiful and peaceful and at the same time, a little unnerving! We pulled up to San Juan at about 3 pm. We needed to be back at the ship by 10:30 pm. Our plan was to go ATVing and then maybe catch some dinner somewhere. Because we took pictures with the water camera, I don't have any to show right now. We had a fun time, even though it was a little crowded. The highlight was being able to swim in a rain forest river. It was beautiful. We even got to jump in from some rocks. Martin tasted the brown water and said it was surprisingly clean! By the time we made our just over an hour one-way drive back from the ranch, soaking wet and freezing, we were in the mood for a jacuzzi and dinner back at the ship. The only sight-seeing we did in San Juan was from the shuttle and in the rain forest. Not to shabby. The only pictures I have to show right now are ones that we took from our balcony window.