Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Tortola… Woke up to find we were pulling into Tortola. Ahhh the beautiful blue of the Caribbean Ocean. Truthfully, I never get tired of looking at it and am constantly amazed at how gorgeous it is. The beaches by our house are such a letdown in comparison… cold, green water. Ick. Anywho, I had a trip planned to take a group catamaran to another island about an hour away called Jost Van Dyke. Things started out a bit rocky –we had some difficulty finding the boat, there was some confusion about times and how we were going to be picked up. But, by the time we left the dock it was all ok. The trip over to the island took us by several small islands. Lots of people sail between them so there are always lots of boats out. Again, the water is so clear and blue. I could sail all day. We arrived at Jost –which is a bit famous in the Caribbean I guess –and spent about 4 hrs hanging out at the beach. The water was a bit colder than I was expecting. Not cold but cooler. G found a few other kids her age to play with and had so much fun that she gave me a bit of a tude when she had to walk away to eat lunch! She got over it pretty quickly though. Nothing like 4 hrs of beach time to wear a toddler out! She crashed out in my arms almost as soon as we got back on the boat. Poor little thing. One we got back we needed to get ready for the first of our 2 formal nights. Last trip we didn’t do too much in the dress up department. With it being the five us and trying to pack for WDW and then the cruise and checked luggage being so expensive it just didn’t work out. But this time it was just the three of us and we were able to bring a lot more luggage with Jet Blue so it made formal nights easier.

I thought Bobby looked so handsome in his suit and, of course, G looked absolutely stunning. By the way, there are hardly any kids on this cruise. Apparently only 80 between the ages of 3 and 17 and, of those, only ten age 3-6. This makes G quite a novelty. She always is but it’s amplified on this trip. All comments are very nice though. The usual “oh my gosh, she’s so beautiful” and the crew all call her “princess” which she enjoys.

Formal night in the dining room was very nice. The food was only ok. Bobby had lamb which he said was good not great and I had quail which tasted fine but there wasn’t much to it. The starters (carpaccio--Bobby and salmon –me) and dessert made up for it though. I’m also somewhat bummed to say that our wait service is only ok. They’re not that personable and for the second night in a row they forgot my salad. I know, not earth shaking but still, kind of annoying. After that we took the opportunity to get professional pix done by the photogs onboard and then headed to the show. It was a ballroom dancing performance. Actually quite enjoyable with beautiful costumes and fun music and G really wanted to go. We only make it through about half when she was finally so tired, we had to go back to the room. Poor thing fell asleep while I was singing her bedtime songs.

I guess Tortola is a pirate island because that was the photo op for the day. Us on the way to Jost G loves the beach. She absolutely insists on wearing her lifejacket. I'm not sure if it makes her feel safer or if she just likes the way it feels. In any event, it doesn't bother me I'm not sure if you can tell from this picture but the water was absolutely filled with these small fish. Thousands and thousands of them about 4-6 inches long or so. You couldn't feel them but you could see them in the water. Very cool!Because of all the fish, the birds including lots of pelicans, would dive down into the water and grab them. It was somewhat alarming because they had no fear of people and would dive down very near to us, grab the fish then either fly away with it in their claws or gulp it down on the spot. G would happily dig in the sand all day long. Little cutie! Bobby decided to try a Painkiller --a rum drink from the beach bar The Soggy Dollar. It was $6 and pretty strong. Several people drank many and true to their name, they seemed to be feeling no pain :-) Isn't the water amazing? As you can see, many people sail here, drop anchor and go into the beach for the day. Its one of the few places we went to in the caribbean where there is no charge for the chairs. Yeah! Mini family photo at JostThis little crab came up out of the water then we chased him up the beach.

Us at dinner. Note the bottle of hand sanitizer on the table to Bobby's right. They were absolutely crazy about the stuff. At the entrance to every restaurant and when re-boarding at every port they had someone standing there to squirt it into your hands. They didn't really act like it was voluntary either. And, at least twice a day, they had a public service type announcement reminding people of the importance of washing hands, for at least 20 seconds with warm water. On one hand it was annoying but on the other hand I was super glad they were encouraging people to wash their hands. Pictures, pictures, so many pictures! My beautiful girl. She felt like such a princess. After that evening she was regularly greeted by the ship crew and the majority of the other passengers as "princess". Oye. This is not the greatest picture of me but I like it overall. Its hard to get a good picture of the three of us, especially me. Tomorrow St Maarten/St Martin

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