Thursday, May 03, 2007

Gatorland, Miami

Last day of the cruise.

We got up early, ate our last breakfast buffet, went through Customs and loaded onto a tour bus for Gator Park in the Everglades.

The water level was very low (apparently due some bureaucratic decision to drain the levees and now they are in a drought - oops! Double whammy!).

So our 45 minute airboat ride turned into a slow cruise along a canal with 4 other airboats.

Our boat skipper was quite entertaining and we saw several cool birds and alligators.

We ended up at the airport by noon and our flight was not until 5:45PM. Unfortunately the two earlier flights to Atlanta were both completely booked.

So we sorted through pictures, slept on the floor, read, and waited out the time.

Our flight from Atlanta to BWI was delayed by about two hours so we had to wait again. We finally got to BWI by about 1AM.

Our luggage was waiting for us which is always a treat. Nate picked us up - Thanks Nate - then we loaded up our car and finally got home around 3AM.

I am not looking forward to starting real life again.

This vacation was wonderful.

The constant pampering is probably not the best way to start off a marriage.

It may have a tendency to set the level of expectations too high!

Here are the rest of the pictures from Miami.

Key West, Florida

Third Port of the Cruise was Key West, FL (N24 33.301 W81 48.691).

We walked around looking at the shops and such and then Jill had the great idea of renting bikes.

The beach cruisers were a perfect way to see the sights, both tourist traps like the Southern Most Point of the US and Hemingway's house and also the seedy underbelly.

We were able to see a lot of places that I'm sure most people don't get to see.

But we eventually ended up right back at the touristy area. We browsed through a few shops, walk around the marina and then we found a Wyland Whaling Wall which was cool for me.

I don't think Jill had ever heard of Wyland but think she appreciated the artwork.

We purchased some key lime juice and a cookbook at The Key Lime Pie Factory.

We forgot to bring any suntan lotion so after several hours of riding around in the sun we were getting pretty crispy.

It was our favorite port of the trip, which I think is because we had the freedom of the bikes.

Again, people watching was favorite past time.

Key West had some great specimens.

We returned the bikes and found some great food at Fogarty's.

Jill had an amazing (and very large) Blue Bacon Burger and I had a great Shrimp Po Boy. Mmmm!

We hurried through our dinner so we could finally see the sunset.

Our dinner time each night was right during the sunset so we missed it all the other nights.

We were rewarded with a pretty cool one on the last night or our cruise.

Here are the rest of the pictures from Key West.

Coco Cay, Bahamas

Day 2

Coco Cay, Bahamas (N25 49.034 W77 56.331)

This is a private island that the Royal Caribbean Cruise line leases. There are lots of beach things to do with lounge chairs and hammocks scattered liberally. There are beach volleyball courts, kayaks, inflatable water toys, and a huge inflatable water slide.

We walked around the island quite a ways until we found a less crowded area. Then we spent the afternoon relaxing on the beach soaking in the sun while we read and slept.

The water was shallow for a long way out into in the water. It was interesting walking out as the sand in places was very squishy which was a bit unnerving.

We walked around on the nature walk looking for some nature. All we really saw was one little lizard, trees and several chickens.

We got a bit carried away with our relaxing and nature walk as we missed the barbecue lunch completely. Can you believe it? We missed a meal!

As we were sitting on the boat waiting to be ferried back to the cruise ship we finally saw an iguana sunning on the rocks.

Here are the rest of the pictures of Coco Cay.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Nassau, Bahamas

We left the Port of Miami (N25 46.209 W80 08.878) at 5PM and traveled all night.

Our first port-of-call was Nassau, Bahamas (N25 04.857 W77 20.518)

We signed up for a snorkeling adventure and had a wonderful time.

There was a large school of Sargent Fish and lots of sponges and coral on the small reef.

The depth was only about 10 to 15 feet so it was pretty easy to dive down and get a close up view.

I quickly discovered that my lung capacity is no where near what it used to be when I was scuba diving and snorkeling a couple of times a week.

The shops were not very exciting and the straw market was actually a bit sad and depressing.

If you paused a second or two to look at a cheesy hat, tee-shirt, or hand sewn baskets, the women would ask you if you wanted to buy it.

People watching is always a fun way to pass the time.

The tourists are always interesting but enjoyed observing the locals more.

Here are the rest of the pictures of Nassau.

Honeymoon Re-Cap

So it has been more than month but I'm still going to post these cruise reports!

We traveled to Miami on Sunday and spent the night in the smallest hotel room I have ever been in. The room barely fit the king size bed and a dresser. We walked along the beach at midnight and then decided that we were hungry and ordered a pizza. The pizza did not arrive until about 2AM but it was devoured quickly. We got a late check out time and enjoyed the lazy and relaxing morning. It was nice to finally catch our breathe a bit.

We caught a cab, checked-in, and boarded The Majesty of the Seas. We found our room, wandered around the ship, signed up for some shore excursions, and relaxed some more. We did not have a dinner table pre-assigned to us. We ended up being assigned to table 345 with four young 'cute' (according to Jill) college boys.

They were a blast. Dustin, Matt, Alan, and Morgan became the most popular foursome on the ship. We got to hear about their adventures each night while consuming massive amounts of good food. Rarely was there any spare space on the table as every inch of space was used by the multiple entrees ordered by everyone.

Our cruise ship went to Nassua, Bahamas, Coco Cay (private island), and Key West. We snorkeled in Nassua, soaked up the sun in Coco Cay, rode bikes in Key West and saw alligators in the Everglades in Miami.

The adventure ended by spending 12 hours in airports (delayed plane) before Nate picked us up at 1AM. We got home, hauled our luggage up the four flights of stairs, and crashed in our bed by about 3AM.

I will post more details (and pictures) about each day.

Here are some more pictures 0f the cruise.