Friday, September 25, 2009

Half Moon Cay, Bahamas

Half Moon Cay is Carnival and Holland America's private island in the Bahamas. That basically means they bought a strip of beach, purified the sand, set up some comfy chairs and hammocks, cook up a big ol' island BBQ lunch and treat their passengers to what eutopia must be like. The sand is as fine as flour, the water is clear all the way down (as it is in most of that part of the world), the palms trees sway in the breeze and it's the most darn relaxing place in the world. This is what it looks like:

All I said I wanted, from the time we booked our cruise, was to lay in a hammock and read. That was it. My only requirement for the whole vacation.
Ladies and gentleman, dreams do come true!

Brad played spy and took some pictures of me lounging, reading my beach trash of a book, without me even knowing.
Don't you just love the second picture?
While I camped out in my hammock, Brad enjoyed most of the day
in the water...
the view from my hammock
very happy, very relaxed
they had these funky directional signs all over the island
tendering back to the ship, tan and happy

Five for Friday

1. This week has been a fantastic week at work. Sunday through Wednesday, we played host to 600 volunteers and staff for our annual Leadership Summit and Lobby Day. On Tuesday, I am proud to say that I put together a press event with five NCAA Division I men's basketball coaches, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, three U.S. Senator's and a whole heck of a lot of media. Just take a look at the very rewarding chaos:

2. Brad and I are pretty much moved into our new place. To have the whole place unpacked and basically put together a week and a half after moving is nothing short of a miracle. It is so nice to have the extra space and having a washer and dryer in the unit is literally life changing. I hope to get some pictures posted soon, although I'll probably wait until we have stuff hanging on the walls..

3. Fall made a brief appearance earlier in the week when the temperatures barely hit 70 degrees. However, we had a bit of an indian summer the rest of the week, with temps in the 80's and super humid. The weather here is a wack...

4. With the return of fall comes the return of many of my favorite things: Ohio State football (well, heck football period!), pumpkin-everything, beautiful autumn leaves, long sleeved shirts, apple orchard's and bright blue skies. Oh yeah, and my wedding anniversary, which is in less than a month!

5. We have a couple exciting things coming up that I'll tease you about: in mid-October we're headed to Minneapolis to celebrate my great-grandmother's 100th birthday, then headed to Seattle for a few days to celebrate our anniversary. At the end of October, one of my bestest friends is coming to visit for the weekend. THEN for Thanksgiving, we're headed up to NYC. It is going to be a fantastic few months!!!

PS I'll finish posting our cruise pictures sometime this year... they make me happy to look at, so I'm taking my time :)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Grand Turk

What is that you say? Our vacation was almost a month ago and you still haven't seen many pictures? I know, I know... tisk, tisk. But when you see how gorgeous Grand Turk was, you will wish that today wasn't the first day of fall!

just lounging around by the shops

found a nice chair in the shade
gorgeous view from previously mentioned chairthe little white dot with the hat on is Brad... pre-cruise tan!
thought this was pretty darn funny
after a morning of beaching, we decided to lounge on the balcony a bit...
...this was our view

Friday, September 11, 2009

Five for Friday - Special Edition

It only seems fitting that my return to doing "Five for Friday" should come on a day that requires a special edition. A day that still gives me a knot in my stomach and a lump in my throat. A day that, while everything around you is business as usual, you know everyone is thinking about the same thing.

September 11, 2001. A day that will live in infamy (thanks FDR). A day that seems like so long ago, yet also feels like yesterday. This morning, I found myself standing in the hallway with coworkers, retelling our 9/11 stories. I think this has happened every year since, even hearing the same stories over again from the same groups of people. There's something about telling those stories that bring great comfort, I think, and is kind of like one huge oral history project.

I'll leave you with a great quote from then-President Bush that kind of sums everything up pretty well:

"Time is passing. Yet, for the United States of America, there will be no forgetting September the 11th. We will remember every rescuer who died in honor. We will remember every family that lives in grief. We will remember the fire and ash, the last phone calls, the funerals of the children." - President George W. Bush, November 11, 2001

Thursday, September 10, 2009


(from the Turks and Cacos island of Grand Turk)

Saturday - Cruising with Hurricane Bill

(I know, our vacation was like three weeks ago, but I thought you'd still appreciate pictures!)

Saturday was our first day at sea on the boat. Luckily, we had a friend along - Hurricane Bill, about 300 miles to our east. We enjoyed rolling along Bill's 15 foot swells, which kept the boat rocking pretty heavily back and forth from front to back. It didn't really make you sea sick, it was just a very interesting feeling!

We got up to see the sunrise over the Atlantic, which was absolutely amazing (see my post below). Sitting on the balcony, out in the middle of the water with nothing around, and seeing the world light up... absolutely worth getting up at 6:15am! We spent most of the day hanging out by the pool relaxing, or sitting on the balcony (a godsend!) reading. Saturday evening was the first formal night, which we got all dressed up for. Brad wore his tux and I used the opportunity to get a new dress. We also had our first dinner in the formal dining room, where we got to experience Carnival's famous warm chocolate melting cakes. We definitely give them a thumb's up!
chugging along through the ocean
lounging on the Lido Deck
blue, blue Atlantic water
cool reflections in the front of the ship
sporting the farmer's tan!
the first of many hours enjoying the balcony
our friend, Hurricane Bill
formal night lovin' (opted for the self photo over the $22 8x10 that the professional took!)

warm chocolate melting cake awesomeness
thumb's up to melting cakes!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Sailing the Chesapeake

One of the best things about our cruise vacation was sailing out of the Port of Baltimore. Other than the awesomeness of not having to fly to the port, once you sail out of the port, you sail down the Chesapeake Bay, under the bridges, and out to sea. It takes almost 10 hours to get from port out to the Atlantic and it was a great journey along the way.

bye-bye Baltimore!
waterway traffic
Ft. McHenry, where the Star Spangled Banner was written
approaching the Francis Scott Key Bridge
sailing under
chugging along the Chesapeake
you can tell by the pictures that the weather was crazy - sunny one minute, cloudy the next. we spotted this rainbow and were actually able to see the entire arch. unfortunately, I didn't have a wide enough lens with me to capture the whole thing.
approaching the Chesapeake Bay Bridge's double bridge span
barely squeezing under
looking back

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


We're back! Fall has arrived (at least today - it was 61 degrees when I left the house this morning!), we picked up the keys to our new apartment this morning and we are relaxed from our awesome vacation.

I'm still working through our cruise pictures (you may have seen some already on Facebook), but here's a few to tide you over until I can get a better post going:

my goofy husband during the muster drill