Sun 21 Oct 2012
Sun 1 May 2011
I won!! In a contest sponsored by Carnival Cruise Lines, I won a spot as a face on their billboard campaign. Woo Hoo!!Since one of the billboards is located in Conroe, we had to take a roadtrip to see it. Click the photo to see me in action!!
Inspiration – “Focus on where you want to go, not on what you fear” – Anthony Robbins
Tue 2 Nov 2010
Just as the summer was winding down, we decided to take the kids on a trip – a cruise to be exact. Leaving out of Galveston, we boarded the recently renovated Carnival Ecstasy for a 4 day trip going to Cozumel. It was actually nice for a quick getaway. The kids loved it!
If you are planning a similar cruise, here are some tips for you:
1 – Bring air freshener or deodorizer – Sometimes the bathroom and cabin, or compartment as my 6 year old nephew called it, can get stuffy.
2 – Gratuities are automatically added to you account.
3 – Cozumel has beautiful scenery!! After docking in Cozumel, you can get an air conditioned tour van that will take you to the free beach, shopping, and tour of the island for approx 4 hours really cheap. (We paid $15 per person, with 10 people in the van).
(Taxi service is widely available but negotiate a price & agree on it before getting in the cab).
4 – There are free beaches, but it is customary to buy drinks/food. (Actually, the food was cheap – like 6 bucks for nachos).
5 – Sign up for the cruise line royalty club/frequent cruise club for gifts, for special invitations to parties, onboard discounts, and other goodies.
6 – Make sure you know what kind of cabin you are purchasing. For example, some window cabins are obstructed with only light coming in and no view.
7 – Tell the travel agent, waiter, or cruise line if you are celebrating something special…they may give you a slice of special dessert at dinner.
8 – Although you won’t be in your room often, check to see what free/on demand movies are available on your stateroom tv.
9 – Bring any medications with you like Pepto Bismal or Advil. These things can be pricey on the boat.
10 – Get to know your cabin steward. They can be a great help for things (extra blankets, lotions, and etc).
11 – You don’t have to eat everything on your plate. But for the fun of it, order ALL the deserts!!
12 – Review the daily agenda of classes and events the night before so that you don’t miss anything.
13 – Take a journal, a good book, iPod, or magazine to read while relaxing at the solarium or poolside.
14 – Many of the onboard shops have clearance sales the last sea day or the last night of the cruise. Get your last minute souvenirs then. *This ship had a great $10 boutique that had great accessories. I picked up a FAB straw beach bag!
15 – Get to the shows early to get a good seat.
16 – The internet can be expensive at sea. I would suggest getting online at an internet cafe in port. Just ensure that you logout appropriately.
*** There may be only one outlet in the some cabins!!
17 – A lot of ships now have anytime dining or mytime dining. This gives you the flexibility to eat anytime you want. You may have to pay your tips upfront, but at least you can eat whenever you want.
18 – Bring shower cap and facial wipes to remove cosmetics (saves on towel usage).
19- Relax and Enjoy the journey!!
Inspiration – Once the travel bug bites there is no known antidote, and I know that I shall be happily infected until the end of my life – Michael Palin
Mon 15 Feb 2010
In Roatan, we met up with my dear friend Marc in Gumbalimba Park. This park has it all. First, we did an amazing nature walk wherein we saw many black iguanas, beautiful flowers, and unusual trees. Then, we had a great time trying to cross the stream on an Indiana Jones style bridge. Next, I got to play with a spider monkey and parrot. Such an awesome experience!!!
After the nature hike, I could not resist the opportunity to snorkel on the Jolly Roger Catamaran. The azure waters were calling me to come forth — LOL!!! Okay, I only stayed in about 15 minutes – but it was well worth it. I guess I was tired from eating too many deserts on the cruise ship. A guide was beckoned to “rescue” me. He took me back to the boat where I had a cool drink and then met a fitness pro champ, Nicole. She has the BEST ABS!!!
We continued to explore the park and had a chance to talk with Olivia, who is excited about her work with the youth on the island. After that, we were ready for more adventure by taking the clear kayak tour to see the coastline. These kayaks have a clear bottom which enable you can see clear down into the sea — Amazing!!
Roatan really surprised us. The beaches were warm, the waters were crystal blue, the people were nice, and the variety of activities were great! My Aunt and I had such a good time that we were trying to figure out a way to stay in Roatan instead of going back to the cruise ship.
More Beautiful Beaches
The next stop on the cruise was Costa Maya. This port is a fairly new development with a party type atmosphere and a variety of shopping options. We actually got a taxi to the downtown area and lounged on the beautiful beach for the whole day.
I continued lounging on the beach in Cozumel to get more “sabbatical rest”. It was great!! We met up with Nicole and just did absolutely nothing…loved it!
Inspiration – Try not to become a (wo)man of success but rather try to become a (wo)man of value. (Albert Einstein)
Prayer Focus – Haiti, Honduras, and Mexico (especially children).
Mon 16 Nov 2009
I am sitting here thinking about the crystal blue waters of the Sea of Cortez. So very relaxing!! Cabo really was a great luxurious getaway. I stayed at the beautiful Riu Palace and one thing for sure – the food was AWESOME! I couldn’t stop eating and didn’t want to either. This trip was a great experience not only because of the destination. But, because of the adventure and the people I met along the way.
Allow me to introduce some new friends. The scene – downtown Cabo. The place – Starbucks (go figure). While shopping around, I happened to meet a very motivated and handsome young man, Modu. This highly educated, finely sculpted and interesting man recently took a step of faith and moved to Cabo to pursue his dream of fitness training, modeling, and launching a clothing line. He does it all! Check out his site and see for yourself http://www.moduvatedtobefit.com/. In his own words, he gave me some great advice for this season of my life “Never look back. Do what you love because we only live once. It will pay off soon or later.” Modu is indeed very wise.
Ziplining – While mustering up enough courage to zipline for the first time, I also met a very inspirational family from Arizona. Rebecca, Jeff, Gabby and JJ. Especially brave JJ! With his beautiful big sister Gabby watching over him, he was such a trooper as we climbed high in the canyons of Cabo. Check out the pictures from our adventure. Although it was fun, Lord knows I probably won’t be doing any more ziplining again!!
So that was my amazing Cabo adventure. A most memorable one for sure!
Inspiration – A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles. – Tim Cahill
Mon 31 Aug 2009
Well thanks to hurricane Jemina, we won’t be going to Cabo. Last night a friend mentioned that Cabo was having bad weather. I checked a few sites that only mentioned rain. However, I went to tripadvisor.com to see if I could find any info on their forums. Sure enough, the hurricane information was there. To make a worse impact, the hurricane was rated a category 4 AND this time I didn’t get the travel insurance. What were we to do?? Luckily there was a hurricane policy that was in effect and we had options. We woke up early this morning to be first on the phones to see what other destinations were available. Bermuda, Costa Rica, Bahamas, and etc. were all either too expensive, not worth it, or booked. Our best option was to cancel and get a travel certificate to use later. I am so glad that we didn’t lose our money.
Inspiration – “Stay committed to your decision, but stay flexible in your approach.” Tony Robbins.