Saturday, July 25, 2009

Our Caribbean Cruise

We just got back from our trip. We had a great time, but it’s always good to be home too. We had a little adventure getting there…

On Monday we flew to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where we would hop on the ship at 1:30. Well, when we were about to land the pilot announced that the airport was closed to bad weather. We circled the airport for about 30 minutes until they finally diverted us to Orlando. We frantically got out our cruise paperwork and read that the ship was leaving at 3:30. Panic! We landed in Orlando an hour later, refueled, and flew back... arriviving at 3:35. We ran from the plane, and bolted into the terminal where we finally found the agent from the cruise line. They were waiting for us, and 6 other people that were on our flight. Two women showed up just after us. The other 4 were no where to be seen.
The agent radioed the ship, and she told us we had about 5 minutes to get there. There was no time to wait for our baggage, we just ran for the bus. The agent said she’d try to get our bags and have them delivered to us when we were docked at Key West the following day.

So, we made it to the ship seconds before they shoved off, breathless and bag-less.
We were just so grateful to have made it! The lovely people in Guest Relations gave us a bag with toothbrushes, razors, deodorant, 2 t-shirts, and a couple of pairs of tighty-whitey underwear and old lady panties. (Ha!) Even if our bags didn’t make it, we figured we could buy a couple of swimsuits and we could make it through the week!

I sent a text to my sister about being luggage-less, and her response was “Did you learn nothing from your trip to Egypt?” Ha. We thought we were being so clever this trip, by packing our stuff, half and half, in each bag, so that if one was lost, we’d at least have some things. Of course, we could have never imagined this scenario… Lesson learned? No more checked bags. Only carry-ons.
But as we said, we were just so incredibly grateful that we had made it onto the ship.

The next day we docked at Key West, where we spent half a day roaming the island, riding bikes, and enjoying Key lime pie, and key limeade. It was very hot and humid there, but I bought a skirt, which was much cooler than the jeans I had on. And when we got back to the ship we had a wonderful surprise in our room- two suitcases!!! Happy. happy day! We immediately said a little prayer to thank God for helping us out. It’s a miracle that we made the ship, and it was a miracle that we got our bags!

The next day we docked at Cozumel, Mexico, where we did 2 dives. The water was a wonderful 87 degrees, and was clear and beautiful! We saw fish and sting rays and corals of every shape and color. It was really incredible.

The following day we were in Belize, where we also did 2 dives. The water was the most incredible colors I have ever seen…
In the shallow areas it was a pale jade color, and as clear as glass. As it got a little deeper, the water was a beautiful deep turquoise, which darkened to a rich cobalt blue as you got farther out. I was completely mesmerized by the glorious colors of the water! And when we started our dive, down about 80 feet, the show got even better. Beautiful corals and sponges in lime green, deep amethyst and pale lavender. Fish in bright yellow, black and white stripes, and lovely oranges.

Diving is a very surreal experience. You are literally swimming with the fishes. You feel part fish, part mermaid. It’s like floating weightless on some beautiful, strange new planet. It’s wonderful! Everyone should do it before they die.

Our last day was spent at sea, cruising back up through the Caribbean, to Florida.
We spent most of the day lounging by the pool, reading, and listening to a steel drum band play Bob Marley songs. Despite the rough start, it was pretty much a perfect vacation. I’ll be dreaming about those crystal clear turquoise waters for many days to come…

Monday, July 13, 2009

Baby News

Things fell through with the birth mom we had been matched with last month.
It was very sad news.

The great news is that another birth mom found our profile on LDS Family Services' website.
She wants to place her baby with us! We really feel that this is an answer to our prayers.
Her name is Melissa and she is a sweet, wonderful young woman. We are amazed by her good heart and complete selflessness. We feel so honored and privledged that she chose us. God sometimes works in strange and mysterious ways, and it is a miracle that he brought us together. The baby is due in January, and will be born in Utah. We could not be more thrilled!

Thank you to all of our friends and family for their love and support through this adoption process. We can't wait for this beautiful little baby to join our family!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Sweet Home Alabama

After 5 days of driving, we finally arrived in Alabama. We've been unpacking like crazy, and are finally feeling settled! Our new house is great, and it is wonderful to have our stuff back after two months in storage. My Cuisinart! My good knives! My bed! My TiVo! It's been like Christmas every day as we open box after box, rediscovering things that we love.

We still have some stuff to organize, and the garage is full of empty boxes, but I think we are going to take the next couple of days "off" and try to explore the area, and do something fun. It has been an exhausting week!

It is incredibly green here, trees everywhere! And we've had really intense thunderstorms almost everyday. It will be hot and humid all day, and then late afternoon you'll hear the rumbles of thumber, then BAM! Torrential rain that will flood the patio in seconds. It's like rivers of water just pouring from the sky. I've never seen anything like it. I guess it's all that water that keeps everything green-- but it's also what makes it so incredibly HUMID!
In the West, it cools down when the sun goes down, but here- it stays hot all through the night. When you wake up in the morning, it looks nice and cool outside. But when you open the door, the heat and humidity hits you like a wave. It's unreal!

We're excited about learning more about this area, and making this our home for the next year!
It's always an adventure...