I'm back. For real this time. So, just shy of a week after the wedding, my sister, her friend R, and I headed south to Galveston for a cruise on Liberty of the Seas. We had booked the cruise before my nephew announced his engagement, and I had the flight booked, I just needed to go earlier to attend the wedding, so it was a nice loooong visit. In the mean time, as previously noted, I worked part time from their house.
We drove down, just past Houston on Saturday and settled into a hotel for the night. Up early we drove around for a short while in Galveston taking in the some of the local art. When a hurricane came through and knocked down some of the trees back in 2008, someone took to carving them where their remnants stood. They're pretty neat - check it out: http://www.galveston.com/uploads/files/treesculpture.pdf
From there we met Liberty for our 7 nighter. She was recently in refurb, but if I hadn't known... let's just say I think they focused their refurb time on adding the new water slides, rather than tending to loose banisters and replacing worn fabrics. It was still very comfortable and clean. We had an aft balcony with a pullman bed rather than a sleeper couch.
We had: 2 days at sea, Roatan Honduras, Belize City Belize, Cozumel Mexico, 1 more day at sea. This was my first visit to the first two ports, so that was exciting. We moved from a private dinner table to one with a couple from the Netherlands and they were a delight. I also met a sweet lady and chatted a couple of nights up in the concierge lounge.
In Roatan I booked us a snorkeling trip with Roatan Ocean Adventures (ROA), and it was an awesome pick. We made three snorkeling stops, the first a warm up with plenty of clear and shallow areas to stand, but still lots to see. At this point there was a total of maybe 10 of us. The second stop was pretty nice, lots of coral and lobsters. This is where the other 7 went off on some other adventure while we headed to the third - just the three of us and our guide. There were so many fish at this stop and a huge drop off! It was amazing. From there they dropped us at Little French Key to relax for a little while. It too was quite nice as was our lunch there.
In Belize we did the ship cattle call to Altun Ha. Nearly 15 years after my first attempt to see Mayan ruins I finally did it. I'm reminded again to avoid the herds. But I did it because it remains a tender port and I read things about delays and traffic. The tour guides made you stay with them and only allowed us to climb one ruin. Prb for the best since my legs were ACHING for two days after as a result. Then we went down the River Wallace, where we saw all kinds of critters: monkeys, alligators, birds,bats.
In Cozumel I led us to Mr. Sancho's by taxi. It's an all inclusive at a great price. We had a lovely day. Lots of shade as to protect our already burned flesh, a nice beach, good drinks, ok food, swim up bar, hammocks, the works. On a whim we headed out parasailing! That too was quite the good time. It's amazing how quiet and peaceful it is once you get up there.
It was a nice relaxing time. I worked for another day and a half at my sister's before returning to PA on Tuesday. Tuesday morning was a bit nerve wracking however. We were under a tornado watch, the tornado sirens were going off in town, and man was the wind and rain coming down hard. I could even see the house behind theirs from the kitchen. I admit, I was nervous. Fortunately, things didn't get too backed up and my flight was only 50 minutes late. My honey picked me up at the airport and we had a nice short evening together before I drove home this morning.... and then into the office. I picked up the girls after work and boy are they whooped. They didn't even want to bother with the neighbor puppy. Rest up kids.