Travel not for the destination, but for the joy of the journey. – Sir Joseph Fresco

Disney Fantasy

In December, my family & I had the good fortune to sail on the Disney Fantasy cruise ship for 7 days in the Eastern Caribbean region.

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I learned several things on this vacation:

– Flights to Orlando from Boston are WAY cheaper than from Halifax!  Gives me a good reason to be happy to be moving to the Boston area this summer!

– Disney service is impeccable.  And you get a lot of “bang” for your buck.

– Disney vacations are NOT relaxing!  (At least not the way I do them.)  But they are fun.

The Fantasy is the newest of the Disney ships – and it is classed as a “mega ship” for good reason!  There is always a ton of things to do if you are so inclined, and our 10 & 12 year olds LOVED the kids clubs.  The immediately had new friends and were involved in all kinds of fun activities.  They decorated giant gingerbread cookies, went on scavenger hunts, played games, and even video games.  Once the kids discovered the pre-teen club called “Edge”, that is all they wanted to do!

We all enjoyed watching first-run Disney movies in the beautiful theatre & also some old Disney favourites on the giant outdoor screen by the pool.  The nightly evening shows were really good, too.  The musical “Aladdin” show was absolutely amazing.  The Genie could have been Robin Williams (well, unfortunately it couldn’t ACTUALLY have been him…I still miss him!) and was so funny (and he was so popular that he appeared in another of the evening shows later in the week).  The dancing & singing talent on that ship was quite amazing, and it definitely surpassed my expectations.

There were several character meet & greets all over the ship at various times during the day.  The kids and I spent a lot of time in lines waiting for pictures & autographs, but we got to meet some characters that we hadn’t before – like Genie!

IMG_1503My husband didn’t enjoy this part so much, so he usually disappeared to the room for a while, then came back much happier a little while later…with a rum & coke in his hand!  Speaking of which – if you would like to indulge in alcoholic beverages but do not want to pay high prices for each drink on the ship, Disney has a very lenient policy on bringing alcohol aboard.  You can bring any un-opened alcohol you want, as long as it is in your carry-on luggage.  So fill ‘er up!  I did indulge in a special drink one day by the pool, though.  Here is my Pina Colava!  (Pina Colada with raspberry sauce – yum!)

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My younger daughter’s favourite activity on the ship was solving mysteries!  There were computers onboard where you could sign up to complete a Disney-themed mystery, which was kind of like a Clue game where you go around the ship looking for clues to eliminate suspects, etc.  It was a fun activity on “at sea” days when we had time to kill.  (The picture in the photo below was playing a video clue for one of the mysteries.)

IMG_1496Food!  Of course, food is an important part of any cruise, and Disney does not disappoint.  The ship had three main dining rooms for the dinner rotation and each family can eat at each restaurant at least twice per week.  Your servers come with you each night to whichever restaurant you are assigned to, and they always remember your preferences from night to night.  Our servers always brought us our favourite beverages as we were sitting down.  My favourite restaurant was Animator’s Palate which had an artistic decor.  There were interactive screens where Crush (the turtle from Finding Nemo) would come around and have live conversations with guests.  My daughter actually had a conversation with him about the AquaDuck (the on-board waterslide) which was quite hilarious.    And my daughter particularly liked that you can order seconds of dessert!  Here is a picture of our awesome serving team at our last meal:

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As it was Christmas season, the ship was decked out with decorations & there were special holiday shows throughout the week.  They still had some of the “regular” non-holiday events, too, like the famous “pirate night” where there is a pirate party on deck in the evening, complete with Jack Sparrow and a fireworks show.  That day, the dinner menus are all pirate-themed, staff (and most guests) dress as pirates and even the characters are dressed as pirates all day long.

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We had three ports of call on our cruise:  San Juan, Puerto Rico; St. Maarten; and Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay.

We really enjoyed each place we visited & they were all very different experiences.  In San Juan we took a horseback riding excursion through the rainforest which was a lot of fun & not something we do every day!  We also had some time to wander around the town a bit and do some shopping.  A lovely city!

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Our St. Maarten excursion took us to a beautiful and wavy beach where we all had a great time being attacked by the waves and getting drenched.  And before our excursion, we had time to visit a market near the port where there all kinds of souvenir stalls set up with some interesting items & there was surprisingly little pressure from the sales people, which was a pleasant surprise.  It was interesting to drive from the Dutch side of the island into the French side, where all of a sudden the signs are all in French!

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And finally, we came to Castaway Cay.  It is a small island with a huge beach on one side, several DIsney stores, a bike / walking trail, and food (included in price, except specialty beverages, of course).  We booked a snorkeling adventure here, which was the kids’ first time snorkeling.  It was fun, but in retrospect, we needn’t have bothered with an excursion on this island as the entire island is an excursion on its own!  The kids were happy to play all day at the beach and do a bit of shopping and walking around.  You can rent snorkel gear, bikes, and various other water & land activities on the beach,  and of course, the unlimited ice cream was a hit (both on the boat and at Castaway Cay!).

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So, would I recommend a Disney Cruise?  Definitely yes…IF:

– You have children, or don’t mind being surrounded in tons of young children all decked out in princess and/or pirate outfits all the time.  I thought they were quite cute, and never had problems with any misbehaviour or anything like that.  But there are A LOT of people on the ship, so the decks can be a little crowded on “at sea” days.

– You love Disney.  All the shows & movies are, of course, Disney.  The restaurants are Disney-themed.  The music is Disney.  I loved it, but you might not!

– You aren’t bothered by seasickness.  There is medication for this of course, so if you’re not sure, why not give it a try?  I actually LOVED being rocked to sleep at night by the boat.  I slept like a baby!  My husband was woken up a couple of times by the rocking, however.

– You have kids but would like some adult time as well (there are several adults-only areas, nightclubs, and restaurants to choose from).  The kids clubs are so popular with kids of all ages, that you are likely to get a good mix of family time as well as adult time on this vacation.  You can also opt to have your childrens’ meals served first so they can eat quickly and run off to their kids’ club, leaving you to enjoy a leisurely meal without kids!  If you are like us, that almost never happens anywhere else.

My kids and I would definitely go back for another cruise, but my husband wasn’t as thrilled with it.  He liked the excursions more than the cruise itself.  When given the choice between a Disney Cruise & a Disney World vacation, my 12 year old voted for Disney Cruise and my 10 year old voted for Disney World.  So there you have it!  They are both winners!  🙂

What would you choose?

New Year, New Plan

I know, right?!  How long has it been since I have visited my own blog?  I don’t even want to know.  But it’s a new year, and I have a new plan.  My plan is to blog more.  And drink more.  But that’s a different story.

So what’s new with you since I blogged last?  As for me, my husband got a new job working in Massachusetts – a whole other country!, we put the house on the market this week, we took a family vacation (Disney Cruise!) between my husband’s jobs in December, spent lots of time getting the house ready for sale, and had Christmas & birthdays & work & playdates in between to keep me busy.

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(This is my family getting into trouble with pirate Stitch on The Disney Fantasy last month.)

I’m sure this will be another busy year, as we’ll be moving from Canada to the USA at some point in 2016.  But in the meantime I’m going to do my best to say “hi” a little more often and I will fill you in on our recent Disney Cruise and other shenanigans.

Drop me a line and let me know what you’ve been up to and where your travels have been taking you lately!

Here we are, in good ol’ 2015.  Also known as “the future” in Back to the Future II!  What, no hoverboards??  No cars that fly?  I really wanted that clothing that custom fits itself to my own size – that would make shopping a whole lot easier!  Even though we might not have everything that was envisioned in Marty McFly’s future, we did end up with some pretty nifty futuristic things.

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(That’s me in 2013 with Doc Brown!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

I am still amazed by the fact that we all have “Smart Phones” that respond to your touch or your voice that you can use wherever you are (mostly) – it’s like Star Trek!  (I super want the “beam me up” feature, though – maybe someone will come up with an app for that!)  And the internet…you can find anything you want to know about anything on there!  Crazy stuff.  We can video chat with friends and family…for FREE (well, not including the internet subscription and smart device) anytime we want.

So now that we have all these crazy convenient tools and information at our fingertips, what should we do with all that free time that used to be spent driving to the library to look up information in the encyclopedia, or typing your reports on a typewriter…only to discover a mistake on page 2 that requires you to re-type the entire thing!

Wait…what?!  You still don’t have any free time?  How can that be?

It’s interesting that one of the big vacation requests is that people want to get away and “unplug” for a week – escape the technology that is so handy & cool, yet so encompassing & smothering at the same time.

When the kids & I sit down to watch a movie, it is not unusual to look around the room and find everyone with a device in their hands…half watching the movie and half playing video games or checking Facebook, or whatever.

But recently I was on a 7-day cruise with no internet access.  None at all!  I watched movies…and just WATCHED them.  I admit that I felt a little antsy at first, like I was supposed to be doing something other than just sitting there.  But then I realized that I was on vacation…from my electronics!  And it was kinda nice!

So, long story short, don’t be afraid to unplug for a week.  Go somewhere new and experience it without checking Facebook to find out what your neighbour had for breakfast that morning.  When you get home, Facebook will still be there, ready to post your vacation photos and to let everyone know what YOU had for breakfast this morning!  Make it something good!

Mickey Ears!

It’s been a crazy, busy month, and I have definitely been an unfaithful blogger…but I just had to say “hi” and show you what I harvested from my garden today…

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Even my carrots have Mickey ears!!!  🙂

Another special experience at Disney World for your little princesses!

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We surprised Daughter with a visit to the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique in Cinderella’s castle.  She freaked out she was so excited.  And she loved it!

The reservation was hard to score. It took me several times to find an opening at the castle.  You need to call for reservations at:

(407) WDW-STYLE or (407) 939-7895
I purchased her costume on the Disney shopping website after Halloween.  That made the experience much more reasonable.  We dressed her in her costume in a park bathroom and made our way over to the castle.  We had a short wait before we were taken back for her visit.
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We went with the “crown package” for this trip which is…
The Crown Package (starting at $59.95, plus tax)
  • Hairstyling
  • Shimmering make-up, face gem
  • Princess sash and tote
  • Nail polish

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She was able to pick out her nail polish color and take the rest of the…

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A unique experience for your child at Disney World!

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We surprised Daughter with a visit to the Pirates League in the Magic Kingdom.  Its located right next to the Pirates of the Caribbean ride.  This was much more of an experience than the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique was.  This also took much longer! The makeup for the pirate is much bolder than the Boutique if that is a concern.

You check in and record where you are from.

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Next you are given a new pirate name. My child was now Rachael Gunsco!

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Then at your muster station your makeover begins.

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We went with the “Empress” package:

The First Mate and Empress Packages (starting at $34.95 plus tax):

  • Your choice of facial effect: Cursed Pirate, Captain Hook, Captain Jack, Blackeyed Jack or shimmering makeup*
  • Reversible bandana
  • Earring and eye patch
  • Sword and sheath
  • The Pirate League bag
  • Temporary tattoo
  • Unique pirate coin necklace
  • Personalized pirate oath
  • Official pirate name
  • Participation in…

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Caribbean Colours

While vacationing in Jamaica this spring, I vowed to bring that amazing Caribbean water colour home with me.

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I wanted to paint the entire house in turquoise blue, refurnish all the rooms with hammocks and beach chairs, and drink fancy, frozen rum beverages all day long.  Of course, we would also need a beach in the backyard (maybe a great pool would do), and I would DEFINITELY need to bring the made-to-order pasta bar (and pasta prince!) home with me.  Can’t drink on an empty stomach, after all!

The real trick will be figuring out how to bring the year-round summery weather to Nova Scotia, Canada.  But I can worry about that later!

The great news is, we already have two cats, so we are already one step ahead on re-creating our resort experience at home.

Unfortunately, now that I’m home and still somehow not a billionaire, I think I am going to have to ratchet down on my home reconstruction plans.  I’m afraid that the old cat-scratched furniture will have to stay a while longer, and there most definitely will not be a pool in our backyard anytime soon (sorry kids!).

But wait!  There is one touch of vacation that I might be able to re-create at home.  Ocean colours!  No, I won’t be painting the entire house turquoise blue until I manage to get all those hammocks installed, but I CAN do my little office space.  What better way to work in the travel biz than in a room that screams VACATION!  I love it!  Now I just have to narrow down the colour…

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Anyone else have a Caribbean-inspired room in their house?  I’d love to see pictures & ideas!

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It’s back!  My favourite Disney deal of all time – the free Disney Dining Plan!  Now, when you book a Disney vacation of at least 6 nights in length for most dates between the end of August and Christmas 2014, you can get the Disney Dining Plan for FREE!

You might already know this about me, but one of my favourite things about Disney World is the FOOD.  It is both delicious and fun.  Trust me, ice cream that is shaped like Mickey Mouse tastes way better than a plain old ice cream bar.

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Having Pluto silently scold your husband during dinner because he accidentally called him “Goofy” is a great memory that the kids are still laughing about years later.  Having Stitch play pranks on you while you eat Mickey-shaped waffles for breakfast – way more fun than eating boring round pancakes and chatting with a cranky waitress at Denny’s (no offense to Denny’s, I’m sure the wait staff are lovely…maybe they could think about employing some Disney characters??).

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There are several Dining Plan choices to suit your needs:

The standard Disney Dining Plan includes:  one quick-serve meal, one table-service meal, and one snack per person per day.  Table-service meals generally require reservations (sometimes months in advance) and can include all kinds of character meals and unique experiences, and always great food.

The Quick-Service Dining Plan includes:  two quick-serve meals and one snack per person per day.  This option is cheaper (for those who do not get the free dining plan deal!) and is good for those who do not want to be bogged down with scheduled reservations during their stay.

The Deluxe Dining Plan includes:  three meals per day (table-service or quick-serve) and two snacks per person per day.  The Dining Plan of champions!

All Disney Dining Plans include a “Rapid Fill Resort Refillable Drink Mug” for each person, which allows you to fill up with soft drinks, water, coffee, tea, etc, at any Disney Resort as often as you wish during your stay, and it’s a great souvenir to take home.  Unfortunately you can’t refill them at the parks, so fill up before you go!

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Coral Reef Restaurant dining beside huge aquarium full of sharks and other fish – Epcot

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Mickey Pretzel at Magic Kingdom

Make sure you get in on this very popular offer this fall – I would be happy to help you plan your dream Disney vacation with all the FREE food you can eat!

 

ImageSorry, you’re not actually making me crazy, I just had to steal that saying from a T-shirt I saw during our vacation in Jamaica a couple of weeks ago.

Our trip was awesome!  Best – 20th anniversary celebration – ever.  In fact, we met another couple from New York who were celebrating their 20th as well, so I guess we weren’t the only ones who thought so.

Where to start?  Couples San Souci (“No Worries”) in Ocho Rios is an amazingly beautiful resort, with gorgeous landscaping and a secluded beach beside a cliff which makes for great views from all angles.

There are only 150 rooms at San Souci, which means there are no more than 300 guests at the resort at any given time, so nothing is ever crowded and you never have to wait long for a fresh drink or an empty hammock.  Their clientele are solely couples, so everything is set up to ensure you get to spend lots of quality time with the person you came with (so make sure you choose your travel-mate wisely!).

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The beach was beautiful and you could walk a long way into the water without getting deep.  There were a few weedy patches on the bottom of the ocean, but they were easy to avoid because the water was so clear.  The best part were the schools of fish that swam around us – they went right in between us once!  The staff worked hard to rake up the seaweed from the beach each day, so it was usually not very weedy.  Although, I liked to hunt for seashells before they got the rakes out to see what nifty treasures we could find.

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Drinks were plentiful and the bartenders were fun.  I loved my fancy Miami Vice (half strawberry daiquiri and half piña colada with blue Curaçao on top!)

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The food was so yummy.  For breakfast there was a large breakfast buffet, which my husband was very excited about, because he got his fill of smoked salmon every morning!  There were always hot items, pastries, fresh fruit, cheeses, smoked salmon, cereals, yoghurt, and various toppings.  There were also self-serve mimosas and a smoothy bar!  And every morning they brought me their tea sampler box so I could choose my flavour of the day.  Tea tastes so good overlooking the beach!!  The other breakfast option (or any meal any time of day) was to order room service (all included!) and have a lovely meal together on your private balcony.

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Lunch had two choices (not including room service).  There was the lovely Palazzina restaurant (where the breakfast buffet is served, pictured above), or the Beach Grill right on the beach.  Both options were fairly casual, but the Beach Grill was the one you might choose if you just want to roll off your beach lounge chair and into lunch – swimsuits are perfect attire here.  The food was all very tasty, from seafood, to jerk chicken, to burgers & fries.

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Supper was a little fancier with three choices in varying “fanciness”.  The Beach Grill area was the most casual, but it was fun to eat on the beach with the big tree lit up in the middle.  The Palazzina had a lovely menu and an AWESOME pasta bar and appetizer bar.  I never made it past the pasta bar to try the other appetizer bar (but hubby did).  Here is a picture of Akeem, “The Pasta Prince” putting on a show of preparing my made-to-order pasta selection…

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The third and fanciest option, Casanova’s, was a gourmet treat with a lovely bread basket to start, and delicious appetizers and meals to choose from.  I was so glad that this resort had a lot of stairs and places to walk every evening to try to burn off some of those delicious calories!

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I should also mention the self-serve ice cream cones that were always available and the popcorn machine that was always popping at the Beach Grill if you wanted a little between-meal treat!

Then there were the “special” evening events.  Every Tuesday evening is the big beach buffet, where about 50 round tables were set up on the beach with white linens & a gigantic buffet of every kind of food imaginable (and a huge dessert display!) was available for everyone to enjoy.  There was also a stage set up with fun performances from flame-eaters, jugglers, and a cool steel drum band.  It was hard to believe that the resort staff went through all this effort every single week!

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Then there was the Friday night gala…

This turned out to be even fancier than the Tuesday night beach buffet with beautiful white tents set up on the lawn and multiple hand-carved ice sculptures adorning the many food tables that were set up.  Somehow this is the only picture of the evening that I can put my finger on at the moment…but trust me, it was spectacular!  They also had a “Pointer Sisters” type act and the talented house band entertaining us for the evening.

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The rooms – well, the rooms were definitely well-appointed and had everything we needed and more.  I should qualify that by mentioning that we ended up in a penthouse suite called The Pavarotti Suite.  Yes, Pavarotti had stayed here in 2009, and his picture adorned our walls.  This was no ordinary hotel suite.  We had two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a living room, a kitchen (fully stocked with full bottles of rum & other alcohols for the taking, beer, pop, water, etc), three TV’s, and an amazing balcony with a table and chairs and also a recliner for two!  Just look at that view, mon!

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Little extras were also impressive.  On our first night at the resort, we found a big bottle of champagne and some nice appetizers waiting for us in our room as a “welcome” gift.  The second night, we had a lovely plate of fruit and ANOTHER big bottle of champagne waiting for us as a “Happy Anniversary” gift.

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Pools!  Can’t forget the pools!  The main pool was usually lively, with a swim-up bar & various activities such as pool volleyball and Jamaican trivia.  There was also a hot tub between the pool and the beach area to enjoy.  The mineral pool was part way up the cliff with beautiful views of the ocean and its own juice bar where you could have juices and smoothies made from all kinds of fresh fruits.  The pool was so warm and peaceful, it was like a big bath tub!  A little ways up some stairs (hidden from view) was another little hot tub that was quite secluded.  The third pool was further up the hill with a beautiful rocky waterfall on one side and it was never busy at all.  Casanova’s restaurant was just above the pool deck and the Balloon Bar (the main & fanciest bar where they served your drinks in glasses instead of plastic beach cups!) was beside this picturesque pool.  This area, and the martini bar were only “busy” in the evening where people went to relax and have a drink before dinner.  But even when “busy”, we didn’t have any trouble finding a seat or enjoying the views.

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Wildlife!  Our favourite wildlife in the Caribbean is always the lizards.  I love ’em!  But Jamaica is also famous for hummingbirds (their National bird) and we saw a couple of pretty cool ones.  They even had a couple of parrots, a peacock, and a bunch of turtles & other birds around the resort.  But there were four resort cats who hung around at meal times (smart cats) that we made friends with during our week who became special friends.

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Entertainment – There was always lots to do at the resort if you are so inclined.  Everything from shell-painting and hat-making, to trivia contests, to live music, to table tennis (or regular tennis) to water sports.  Water sports should really have a section to themselves because there was so much to do (all included, of course!).  One day we went on a glass-bottom boat ride (and saw Bryan Adam’s nearby home – pictured below!), and another day we took out a two-person kayak.  You could go on snorkeling trips, scuba diving trips (and training was provided), sail a catamaran, peddle boating….and I’m sure I’m forgetting lots of other options.  Oh, and did I mention the unlimited golfing that was included?  Not being a golfer, I probably didn’t mention it.  🙂

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I can’t forget the “au natural” beach (no matter how hard I try!!  LOL!) which is in a secluded area of the resort, with it’s own beach, pool, bar & food service.  Luckily, between the hours of 5:00 and 6:00 every evening, you can go to this beach for “sunset hour” to watch the sun set over the ocean WITHOUT having take it all off.  During our hour on this beach, we saw TONS of hermit crabs & other larger crabs digging holes in the sand and eyeing us up (not used to humans with clothes on?).  We found this beach to be a little weedier and the sand was less powdery and fine than on the main beach, but still nice enough.  Here are the pictures you’ve been waiting for:

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Not the pictures you were waiting for?  Sorry, they don’t allow pictures to be taken of that stuff!!

On another topic, one of the best values of the Couples Resort experience are the excursions that are included at the resort for no extra charge.  They make a daily trip to Dunn’s River Falls, where you can make a daring and slippery climb to the top of the waterfall with your guide & fellow travelers.  Very cool!  And we also went on the weekly shopping trip to a nearby souvenir shop area where you can get some good deals on local Jamaican products and jewelry.  One excursion we did not try was to Margaritaville, mainly because it didn’t depart until 11:00 p.m. and we were worn out by then.  The other option we did take advantage of was to spend a day at the neighbouring Couples Tower Isle resort for a day.  Also a nice resort with wonderful Couples service and amenities.  I will talk more about Tower Isle in a separate post, though, as this is quite lengthy already!

All in all, I can’t imagine a better resort experience than the one we had at San Souci.  It was the most beautiful resort we’ve ever seen, with always friendly service, and was great value for the money.  With so much included (even tips – staff were not allowed to accept tips!), we didn’t have to spend a dime more than what we paid for our vacation package up front if we didn’t want to.  There were other excursions that you could buy (Dolphin Cove was tempting!) or special private dinners or spa treatments you could purchase – but with so much included already (and $300 in resort credit to spend on photos, souvenirs & spa treatments included!) we didn’t feel the need to add on any of the extras this time.  But this private dinner on the beach did look great:

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Well, maybe next time!

Touristy Stuff

Sorry it’s been a while since we’ve chatted.  I’m currently in between visitors so thought I’d say a quick “hello”! 

My father-in-law just left yesterday after a nice week and a half visit.  It’s always a quiet visit with him – lots of jigsaw puzzle-building & card games.  That’s okay, I like those things.  And considering that he’s 92 years old, he does great just to travel halfway across the continent to visit a couple of times a year.  Between us and his three other sets of children and grandchildren spread across Canada & the US, he keeps very busy with his travels.  The highlight of the trip was a visit to the closest Build-A-Bear store where he treated his grand-daughters to new furry friends.

Tomorrow my parents arrive!  And since they are 30 years “newer” than my dad-in-law, the visit is sure to be a little more lively.  I just hope they don’t wear me out before Monday…when I leave for Jamaica, mon!!  The only things on their to-do list for their Nova Scotia trip so far (aside from spoil the grand-kids) are to eat lobster and drink wine.  Since they’ve been to the East Coast numerous times to visit us in the past 19 years, we’ve done most of the touristy stuff: 

Peggy’s Cove – check

Cape Breton’s Cabot Trail – check

PEI – check

Whale watching – check

Halifax – check

Keith’s Brewery Tour – check

Lunenburg Fisheries Museum – check

Eating lots of lobster and Digby scallops – check

Beaches – check

Tall ships – check

Wineries – check

Cow’s ice cream – check

Shubenacadie Wildlife Park – check

Did I miss anything?  Let me know if you can think of anything cool that we can do together while they’re here.  April is a tricky time with the weather being iffy and a lot of seasonal attractions not yet open.  Maybe we’ll just have a glass of something on the deck and watch the kids run around.

Before we leave for Jamaica, we’ll have to train up the grandparents on lunch-making 101 and driving to piano lessons, etc.  (I can see them rolling their eyes at me now!)  I am assuming they still know how to make lunches, but do they know how to make a “nut-free’ lunch?  (As my Dad would say “just don’t put any nuts in it…”)  Okay, so that might not be the trickiest part of the training.  In fact, I think they will be able to handle pretty much anything that comes their way at least as well as I could. 

The kids, on the other hand…they might want to train up the grandparents in a different way.  I can just see them trying to convince my parents that bedtime snack should consist of chocolate cake and ice cream (my mom might even be on board with that!) and that they should have sleepovers with their friends every night of the week.  Oh well, if that is the worst of the trouble that happens while we’re away, I won’t complain!

Now, I need to stop procrastinating…those bathrooms aren’t going to clean themselves! 

Six mores sleeps until the big vacation!!  I’ll try to bring the sunshine home with me and share it with you all.  See you soon!

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