Saturday, March 19, 2011

I'm back!

We got back from our cruise yesterday afternoon. Robert came in and crashed for hours on end, and I did all the laundry plus cleaned a bit. Don't feel sorry for me though, I crashed the entire 6 hours we drove back! I have no idea why we were so tired! We didn't party hard or anything, and we spent the entire last day at sea sleeping and reading. Anyway, here are some highlights from our trip.

We set sail from Charleston, SC where we were immediately treated to the sight of frolicking dolphins during lunch on the deck.  We unfortunately didn't get any pictures of them though. Too busy stuffing our faces, as we would do the entire week. (But I only gained 5 pounds!)

 Robert was enamored with everything about the boat- the bridge, the harbor pilot, the ports- everything. 

 Dinner was three courses every night, and I don't think either of us has ever eaten so much seafood! I discovered a love for chilled fruit soup, we ate lobster tail and escargot, and we beasted the mongolian grill every day for lunch. We also managed to do a fairly decent job of avoiding the 24 hour pizza and ice cream vendors, which would be why we only gained 5 lbs instead of 10. That and the trips to the gym we made regularly on top of all the walking we did in port. Gotta train for our 5k coming up in about 6 weeks!

 Nassau was beautiful, and the highlight was definitely the Atlantis resort. Here is the pair of 7 feet wide "baby" manta rays. They will get as big as 33 feet at their wingspan when fully grown!

 We took it to the beach for the afternoon, but the water was so cold! Too cold for even Robert to swim! That made us very worried about our excursion we had planned for the next day in Freeport...

 Snorkeling! We toughed it out though, and it wasn't that bad. Seeing all the fish and coral was distracting enough. We didn't make it the full hour, but there wasn't enough reef to see. I managed to have a nerd freak out when I saw a parrot fish pooping sand. This is a concept called bioerosion that we cover in my ME class. It breaks down the hard corals and literally creates those white sand beaches the tropics are so famous for. Think about that the next time you cozy into the sand. ;) Anyway, I popped up to tell Robert and the lifeguard overheard. It grossed him out that I was talking about fish poop so excitedly. Whoops! 

 I spent my fair share of time in the sun. But don't worry- it was safe sun. I used protection. :) Not a sunburn to speak of!

 Robert and I absolutely fell in love with Key West. We plan to retire there and open a bed and breakfast with charter fishing and scuba tours to the reefs. Just got to become millionaires somehow first...

 This was my first piece of Key Lime pie of the day- dipped in chocolate no less. So much happiness in such a little package. Did I mention I only gained 5 pounds? :)

 I wanted conch fritters for lunch, so we headed to the harbor where a restaurant called the Conch Republic is located. We were treated with a surprise visit by a manatee! He was so adorable! Definitely my favorite part of the entire trip.

 My conch fritters were delicious...

And when we left we went for a second piece of key lime pie! I was so sad to leave Key West, so our last day at sea was spent reading and sleeping. Robert was happy to be home, and I'm getting there. I'm dreading work on Monday, but I'm happy to see the puppies and our friends once again. If you offered me the chance to go back to Key West though, I'd be there in a second (with all my loved ones in tow of course). Until then, I'll just have to keep dreaming of the turquoise waters, colorful houses, and friendly manatees... and maybe work on an epic key lime pie recipe. :)

I hope you all had a great spring break if you were lucky enough to get one!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A Fishy Romance

Since I'm counting down the days until spring break (two) and the days until my cruise (also two), I haven't had time to actually sit down and think out a blog post. I feel like I'm drowning in negativity lately with my students at school and all the stress, and I really don't want to be a debbie downer. I know it will pass. I also didn't want to leave you hanging though, so until I return from the bahamas with newfound optimism and hopefully a bit of a tan, here's an awesome (and funny!) video about ethical eating and fish farming. See you all in a week!