We're back from our New Year's cruise! Aside from some serious rain in Roatan, the weather was beautiful and we ALL had a really great time!
We were off celebrating Jason's Aunt Irene's 80th birthday, and it was truly a family affair! There were ten of us who went, so let me show you the cast of characters (all photos are from Irene's birthday dinner!):
Now that you've seen the cast of characters, let me recap our trip for you! As I said before, we had a BLAST on this trip. I do, however, have a confession to make. Neither Jason OR I took photos on this trip. Seriously. The family photos above are the limit of photos that were taken by us, and all were on Jason's camera. After that, I'm not really sure what came over us - we just didn't pull the cameras out. Which is crazy because, well, it was pretty freaking spectacular. Thanks to Catherine and Pam, though, we do have photos from the whole trip, so I'll try to credit them appropriately as I use their photos. Okay. Ready? Set? GO!
After a day at sea, we arrived at the Island of Roatan, in Honduras. Jason and I were supposed to dive here, and were SEVERELY disappointed when we got out on the dock and our dive trip was cancelled. It started pouring rain and never let up, so in reality we got lucky. The water visibility from the storm would have been terrible and I probably would have been throwing up on the dive boat from rough seas. Because our trip was cancelled, we were given a full refund by the ship and were able to go on a much better dive later in the trip. We did get a taxi ride around the island during the rain storm, and did some shopping far away from the ship. Since the reefs at Roatan are considered some of the most spectacular in the world, we'll be planning a trip back there to dive in the next year or two. Hopefully with better weather!
Belize City, Belize
The sky was clear and the North Winds were a-blowing as we arrived in Belize City. But the water was clear, the visibility was good, and Jason and I were determined to do some diving on the reef in Belize. Interestingly, the same reef system stretches from Roatan to Belize to Mexico in case you were unaware! So we tendered into Belize City and went on the hunt for a dive shop that would take us out on the reef in Belize. We found one! The seas were rough, and I ended up chumming the waters before the end of the day, but the diving was spectacular, and we had lunch (beans and rice, stew chicken and plantains) on a deserted strip of sand about 100 feet long and 20 feet wide. Very Pirates of the Caribbean, surrounded by incredible turquoise waters! The reef was the most spectacular I've seen, and the sealife was extremely varied. Despite my stomach pyrotechnics, I believe that Belize was my favorite stop on our cruise, and I know that Jason would agree.
Costa Maya, Mexico
Costa Maya was our (meaning the whole family - not ours personally) super shopping day, and that meant that Jason and I spent a lot of time translating and haggling for prices. Basically, I translated and Jason haggled, although Jason's understanding of spoken Spanish is really very good. And what trip to Mexico is complete without a visit to Senor Frogs? (I still haven't figured out how to add accent markings and ~ over my n's in html.... sorry...) Another super fun day!
Cozumel, Mexico There was more serious shopping to be done in Cozumel, by everyone but us. So Jason and I continued our translating/bartering shtick, and everyone walked away happy! Towards the end of our day, we found an AWESOME restaurant to sit and have drinks and some SERIOUS, KILLER chips, salsa and guacamole. There's nothing quite so good as the authentic thing, and I could have good chips/salsa/guac as a meal EVERY DAY. Seriously.
Wrapping it up We had a seriously AMAZING time. Played lots of Dominoes, watched a lot of football (GO BLUE!) and enjoyed each other's company. What a great way to celebrate Irene! SO.... HAPPY 80th BIRTHDAY, AUNT IRENE!!!!!!!!