We went through 3 bottles of sunscreen…

We had a fabulous time on our much-anticipated honeymoon that we booked last September! We left after work on Friday, May 22 for Kansas City since our flight on Saturday was rather early and I am not all too friendly in the AM. We left our dogs in the care of a recent grad and a hall coordinator. I never do well leaving the dogs overnight and cried before getting out of the parking lot. Brandon did not cry so obviously I am the caring parent and he is heartless. Moving on, once we got to KC, we went to Joes of Kansas City for BBQ and it was awesome! We waited in line for an hour and ten minutes. We got to our hotel after 10pm and had to do some rearranging of the luggage because both large bags were pushing over 50lbs.

On Saturday, we got up at the crack of dawn or before to get ready to head to the airport via the hotel shuttle. Our flight path was KC->Detroit->Fort Lauderdale. We had a longer layover in Detroit so we grabbed lunch there. It’s weird being in your home state and not actually being able to visit with family and friends. We landed in Ft. Lauderdale around 4pm and had a rental car reservation. We originally reserved a convertible of some sort and we were given a 2014 Mustang convertible. We had to end up putting luggage in the back seat and looked a little funny pulling out of there.

rental car

We went to our hotel after leaving the airport and our room wasn’t ready even though it was 6pm. We had plans to go to the Outback Steakhouse and to find me another formal dress since there were 2 formal nights on the cruise. We finally got into a room and changed to go to dinner and shopping. We found a Ross and I got a dress for around $25! We went to dinner shortly after and weren’t very pleased with the food. The menu had changed since the last time we were there so BLT could not get his usual steak focaccia sandwich. All was redeemed on Sunday morning; we went to the Original Pancake House. This is our favorite breakfast place and whenever we are near one, we have to go! I typically do not like pancakes and theirs are delish!

Now onto the Independence of the Seas!

We boarded our ship made our way to the Schooner Bar to have a celebratory honeymoon drink!

Schooner bar

Our first day of the cruise (Sunday, May 24) was at sea. We explored the ship, walked around, took pictures from our balcony, and met the couple we would be having dinner with each night (Tim and Jesse).

FL            Panoramic picture from the balcony of Port Everglades in FL.

BLT day 1BLT relaxing, one of my favorite pictures of him!

 May 26- Puerto Rico (my favorite port)

We didn’t dock until 4pm in PR which was a bummer but we still made the best of it. We booked a culinary tour excursion. We went to 3 different restaurants while walking with a tour guide. We sampled a ham and cheese bread sandwich with powdered sugar at the first stop with passion fruit juice, we made Mofongo with a pilon, here is a description of Mofongo. After making Mofongo, we made a Mojito. I don’t think I will be a bartender any time soon as my Mojito needed to be chewed because of the sugar. We went to a different restaurant to sample flan and it was awesome!

PR1Panoramic photo was we were getting to PR.

PR2 The FortThis is a fort as you enter PR.


PR3 BLT

BLT on the pier in PR

PR 4 Tour

Part of our tour was a lookout point.

PR 5 smallest apt

This used to be in the Guinness World Record books at the smallest dwelling. It is only as wide as the yellow paint and goes up 3 stories.

PR 6 Pigeon Park

This is a pigeon park. I did not enter because I am scared of birds.

PR 7 Mofong

Mofongo

PR 8 BLT

BLT outside the restaurant that had the flan.

One of the highlights of our time in PR was seeing a very old but beautiful church and it just happened to be the same church as our friend, Veronica, was married in! We were at the church on her anniversary!

May 27 (Saint Maarten)

We booked an excursion for Saint Maarten that was a tour of the country (both Dutch and French sides) and allowed us 45 minutes of shopping on the French side. While on this tour we saw several cows, most of which were in the roads and streets. We stopped to shop and hit up a local place that BLT had visited before for crepes. He had a traditional crepe and I ordered the Nutella crepe. It was so good!

Saint Maarten was eye opening to me. I have never visited a country that had a main industry of tourism. Much of this country, outside of the resorts, were very poor and what I would call a 2nd world country. It was a humbling experience to see how others lived and how they depended on tourists to thrive.

SM 1 Coming into Saint Maarten

SM 2    Waiting for our tour to start…BLT was drenched as this point. It was only in the 80s but it felt much warmer than that!

SM 3
I went into a shop and saw these. If only the USA would advertise cigarettes like this!

SM 4
Isn’t he so cute with his backpack??

SM 5
Quick stop for pictures

SM 7
Sunset in Saint Maarten. I was trying hard to get the full picture but the ship wasn’t backing up fast enough!

May 28- Saint Kitts

Our game plan for St. Kitts was to just get off the ship and head to the beach and relax. We were surrounded by folks offering tours, rides, monkey petting (there are 80,000 monkeys on the island and only 40,000 people), and other “touristy” things. We decided to go with Basil (tour guide) and a couple from Sacramento, CA on a 2 hour tour that ended at the beach. We trusted this stranger Basil for some reason, maybe because his tour van said “Basil, Spice of the Island” on the windshield or because he only collected payment once he picked us back up from the beach. Both of us failed to bring our phones on this island because we just assumed we wouldn’t take pictures while at the beach. I enjoyed this tour and regret not having a camera! We got to see LOTS of monkeys and goats on the island, drove up steep hills that felt like small mountains, and were able to see where the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea meet. Basil kept his word and took us to the beach and left us there for 2 hours. The water was so warm! We had lunch at the beach as well. Basil picked us up at 3pm and took us back to our ship.

SK 1
Arriving into St. Kitts

May 29 and 30 were days at sea.

Every day or night we attended an event on the ship or had an excursion. We watched the Love and Marriage game show where they have 3 different couples on a stage. One couple is typically newly married, one couple has been married for 5+ years, and then a couple that has been married 25+ years.

I had full intentions to take pictures of our meals each night but I failed at this completely. I managed to only take a picture of bread! My pictures would have included escargot (snails!), tiger shrimp, a souffle that smelled like boiled eggs but tasted like a raw egg, and prime rib, to name a few. I LOVED the escargot, tiger shrimp, steak and prime rib. There were a few things I did not like but overall the food was great!

Dinner 3Pani and Keilah were our wait staff. Mariano was our bartender but we couldn’t find him for the picture! Jesse and Tim were our dinner couple for the week. Very funny guys from NJ. We’re 2/2 for dinner couples on cruises.

Formal nightSomeone couldn’t stop laughing so this picture wasn’t buyable.

FL returnArriving back at Port Everglades

vacation endOur happy place.

We arrived back home from our honeymoon around 8:45 pm on Sunday. Overall, it was a great trip. We were happy to be back with our dogs. Bentley was trying so hard to stay awake with us, his eyes were closed but he was still holding his head up, meanwhile, pudgy Kip had no problem falling asleep!

Now it’s time to plan our next trip!

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