This past week Chip & I adventured on the Royal Caribbean Vision of the Seas for a 7-night cruise to the Western Caribbean. This was the first vacation we have taken of just the two of us for more than a few days since our honeymoon nearly 4 years ago. While we love traveling with family & friends, there is something special that we experience whenever we get the chance to explore and visit new places just the two of us. If you didn't know, Chip and I actually met while studying abroad in Spain, so travel is weaved right into our relationship - and a chance to get back to our Spanish language roots brings us back to where it all began!
Our cruise stopped in Roatan, Honduras, Belize City, Belize, Puerto Costa Maya, Mexico & Cozumel, Mexico. From expansive & mind-blowing ocean views, to the swaying palms and brightly colored bougainvillea, to fresh ceviche & tangy mojitos, the colors, textures, sounds and tastes of our trip are ones we certainly won't forget. More than anything, time together relaxing and doing whatever our hearts desired is just what we needed. With schedules that can make our heads spin, we had been looking forward to this time together and some sunshiney vacation for months. And from what we hear, this pat week was a good one to get away from some seriously cold weather in the South! I absolutely loved capturing some of the Caribbean color palette throughout the week, and especially love our selfie after a day at the beach: salty hair, sunkissed faces, and no makeup, but true love & joy together. Hope you enjoy, and check out my 5 takeaways at the end!
And in true fashion to my travel recaps, here are 5 takeaways in no particular order from our trip:
1. It may not get used too often, but that Spanish major sure does come in handy. Not only did it save us a good bit of money on the trip, but it also elevated the experience ten-fold by opening our eyes to the culture and lives of the locals in a different way. If you ever need a taxi in Roatan, I have just the guy.
2. Ceviche is even more delicious when eaten with ocean views and sand in between your toes. Mojitos follow that same principle, but let's be real: mojitos are good under any circumstance.
3. When vacation has little hiccups like 7am daily wake-ups to very loud engines next to your cruise stateroom and both you and your husband are battling a cold all week, you can either choose to complain, or you can laugh about it and pack a few extra tissues anywhere you go. Part of the fun of life is making the most of every adventure, even with the sniffles!
4. Caribbean waves are absolutely mesmerizing - the frothy texture and glassy surface covered with ripples and the most vibrant colors I've ever seen. I could watch them all day - and I learned my lesson that in the future, I must carry my real camera with me to dinner every night! One evening, the sunset over the ocean was beyond amazing, so I'm so grateful to have captured it with my iPhone, but now am looking for best options for enlarging the iPhone images to print, because the views almost felt like a painting!
5. Planning a couple extra days after vacation for... more vacation... is a fabulous concept. Once we returned from the cruise, the fun wasn't over yet & it gave us something exciting to look forward to! We spent a day exploring markets, restaurants and beaches in Tampa/St. Pete, FL & then finally officially met (and stayed at her house!) my Instagram friend, the talented & wonderful Laura Foote. To close out the trip, we totally geeked out over the genius & creativity that is Harry Potter World in Orlando, FL! If you're even the slightest Harry Potter fan and have never been, add it to your travel list immediately!
We're already planning our next vacation, and I simply can't wait for the fun. For now, I'm enjoying the memories from our time cruising & grateful to be home again with our sweet pup!
Have you ever cruised? Or been to Harry Potter World? Do share your favorite experiences!