Thursday, March 31, 2011

Here's what happened in March...

(I've tried loading these collages again, so hopefully people can see them now)
After completing a blurb book for 2008, I've decided to try making more posts using the collage function in Picassa.  You should be able to click on a collage to make it bigger (if you're interested).

Monday, March 7, 2011

While we were away

...the kids got to play with Grandma!  My mom flew over here and took care of Eden, Andrew, and Jake for 9 DAYS!  My only regret is that she was here so long, but I only got to see her for a couple of days.  She took some pictures to show us what we missed while we were gone. 
They took happy Sunday pictures- both weeks!
reading The Friend magazine together
had crafts (funfusion beads)
played games, including math bingo, and Guess Who? StarWars
Played in our side-yard terrace, that maybe a garden soon, but right now it's a pretty fun place to play, especially since the soil around here is naturally pretty sandy.  They also jumped on the trampoline
But, they still had piano practice and homework
And chores

Jake started taking a nap again, and still slept OK at night (I thought he was about done with naps).  AND, he started using the toilet sometimes for #1.  We're far from done with the potty-training, but at least now we have something to build on. :)

We 'missed' some of this ;)
 Thank you, thank you, thank you Mom!  We love you!!!


In Cozumel, we decided to rent a jeep and explore on our own.  We got about half-way around the island then the jeep wouldn't start.  Luckily, after some prayer, it finally started but it kept stalling, so we took it back to Alamo and fortunately were able to trade for a different one.  We had lunch at a little restaurant on the beach, then found a nice little lagoon to enjoy the rest of the afternoon.  I guess our sunscreen worked pretty well, because I only got a slight burn on a couple spots I missed, and barely tanned on the rest.  Oh well.
the port

Scott took this picture because we couldn't figure out how they could get the helicopter on or off that tiny space.  It's hard to tell from this angle, but that white ball would be in the way I think

I found this on the beach where we started having problems with the first jeep.  This shoe must have been in the ocean for a while before it got washed up, since it had all these little creatures growing on it.  We tried to save them, but the shoe just came back

We saw a couple blowholes in the rock formation

and some hermit crabs and snails in the tidepools

Aren't the hats awesome?!?

Of course Scott needed a picture of the Mexican military aircraft

this is the closest we got to an iguana

This is mostly what I did after lunch.

Scott explored the water a little more

The water was gorgeous, I think Cozumel had the clearest water- this is right at the pier we were docked at.

Sunday, March 6, 2011


We thought Roatan looked similar to Hawaii, it was much hillier? than the other ports we visited.  We were supposed to dock in Mahogany Bay, but due to high winds, we tendered to Coxen Hole.  This was actually a good thing because I wanted to shop for souvenirs at Yaba Ding Ding, which is walking distance from the port.  All their merchandise is handmade by Hondurian women and the proceeds go to benefit various womens groups in the country.
Beautiful island of Roatan

We went to Gumbalimba Park to kyak (the bottoms were clear! but we didn't get to see as much as I hoped) and to snorkel (definitely saw more that way).  We also relaxed on the beach for a while.

Getting ready to kyak. As you can see, I didn't work too hard on my tan

Scott was playing with the camera while we waited for the bus back to Coxen Hole
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A view of Belize City from the tendering boat.
In Belize, we toured the Mayan ruins at Lamanai.  Belize actually has the highest concentration of ruins, but doesn't have the resources to excavate or maintain more than what has already been done.  We rode 1 hour in a bus, then 1 hour by boat up the New River to reach the ruins.  We saw some wildlife along the river, and after the return boat trip we enjoyed a delicious meal of rice, beans, chicken, and coconut pies.

A smallish alligator near the boat dock.

One of the many birds we saw along the way

We saw a couple iguanas these bushes

This monkey was somewhat tame, I think.  The tour guide left a banana for him

These are bats sleeping on a tree trunk above the river

We learned there is a sizeable Mennonite population.  They have a lot of farm land in Belize, and apparently they like to fish too.

treking through the jungle to see different ruins

We saw a couple owls in the trees

The mask temple.  The different color on the mask portion is a fiberglass covering to protect it.

The high temple

At the top of the high temple

We also saw a couple monkeys playing in the trees there.

One of the jaguar faces at the jaguar temple

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Costa Maya

Our first port was Costa Maya.  As fun as the ship was, we were so excited to get off!  There was a dolphin pool right by the pier, and lots of people were enjoying a "dolphin experience" that morning, but I guess we didn't get any pictures of it.  We opted for a zip-line excursion.  I even scanned in the pictures we bought (of course we couldnt take our cameras with us).  The platforms were 90+ feet high, and for a few seconds I really thought I would back out.  But, luckily they keep you moving pretty smoothly and quickly, so I didn't have too much time to think about it.  The hardest part was starting off from the platform, once I got going I could open my eyes and enjoy the ride and the beautiful view.
The Norwegian Spirit is the one you can see the starboard side of, pointing away from the shore.

We walked around the port area for a few minutes before we had to meet for our excursion.  This guy escaped into the drain hole not too long after taking the picture.

We first rode a bus to BioMaya, then transfered to these big trucks to get to where we put on our gear and to the platforms.   They had several platforms and lines above the forest canopy, our tour only included 3 lines.
Top- The 3rd line went right by the water, beautiful!  And it was the steepest line, so fast that there was a 'brake' we hit to slow us down before we reached the platform.  Bottom- The second line was the longest, so we could enjoy the view for a long time.  Both Scott and I stopped before we reached the 3rd platform, so a couple of guys towed us the rest of the way with long poles

At the pier, on our way back to the ship.  The hat is kind of funny-looking, but I'm glad I had it for the rest of the trip.
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Friday, March 4, 2011

the ship

We cruised on the Norweigan Spirit. It's pretty amazing how much you can find on the ship. We went to comedy shows, an acrobatic show, and a dance show. We enjoyed the pool and hot tubs, and went jogging on the one lane track on the top deck. Most of the time we ate at the buffet or other freestyle dining facilities. We ordered room service, and we got dressed up one night to eat at Le Bistro, their fancy French restaurant.  Almost every night, we were welcomed back to our stateroom by the legendary towel animals.
This is the main lobby we entered when we first boarded.  I am checking out the menus for the different specialty restaurants 

This is a picture from the top deck, port side.  You can see the hotel we stayed at just a few blocks from the port.  Definitely a good choice to be in walking distance.

Captian Scott at the helm.  Looks like were headed into dangerous waters ;)

Sunset as we head down the Mississippi.

Cool-dude piggy

This monkey was hanging out in our room our last night on board.

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