20 January 2010

A 90* Turn....Overnight

Gotta love having parents in the travel industry! We were lucky enough to be able to join my parents on the Annual WTCM Cruise this year - 10 years running! We had a wonderful time too! Once we left Florida - 35* on the 9th and 10th of January - and got into the Caribbean, we had beautiful weather. We were aboard the Costa Fortuna and visited St. Thomas, San Juan and Grand Turk.

In St. Thomas, we took a ferry ride about 45 minutes over to St. John and saw Madonna's and Michael Jordan's island homes on the way. We visited the Virgin Islands National Park and saw Cinnimon Bay (Kenny Chesney lovers should know that place well) and donkey's wondering along on the side of the road. FYI - if you ever take the ferry over to St. John's, avoid Margarita Phil's by the Visitor Center. He was less than happy to serve thirsty paying customers some cold beer. We apparently interupted his internet time on eHarmony.com/virginislands! But we got a great pic of dad with the sign. I think we need one like it on the beach!
Michael Jordan's Island Home...


  Madonna's Island Home - apparently she comes down to the little patio and lays on her hammock occasionally!

St. John Harbor

Cinnimon Bay - Since this is in a National Park, you can camp in a tent here for $89/day or cabin for $150/day - mom is already planning our next vacation!

Yep, he needs this sign!

It was completely pouring in San Juan, and we had signed up for a tour in El Yunque National Rainforest, so what should we have expected! We got drenched! Brian and I decided to stay wet and had lunch in town at a little place across from the cruise terminal called Kokonuts. We decided to try a traditional Puerto Rican dish called Mofungo. They take green plantains, peel and slice them and then deep fry them (just wait Jodi, it gets better) then they mash the fried plantains with fried pork rinds and mold it into a bowl. They fill this mashed plaintain bowl with any kind of meat that you can imagine... chicken, pork, shrimp, shark. This meat is marinated in garlic and herbs before cooking it with onions and peppers (or no peppers in my case). It's delicious! We then went in search of more t-shirts, hence, getting even more drenched since it started raining even harder.
One of the only good shots I got in the rain!

Grand Turk (or the island of the Turks and Caicos that we were on) was beautiful! White sand beaches, beautiful blue water and sun! You could literally see the entire island from our balcony. Brian went deep sea fishing for Baracudas and mom, dad, and I visited Conch World, where they have launced a rehabilitaion effort to return more queen conch to the waters of the Caribbean where it has been overfished and is quickly becoming extinct! They have THE BEST conch fritters there too. Did you know: Conch is the most popular source of protein in the Caribbean because it is inexpensive and you can use almost the whole thing!!! And... if the male conch gets his thingy bitten off, it regenerates, bigger than before! I learned a lot more at Conch World, but I will keep it to myself! It took about 15 minutes to get there from the cruise terminal. We zigged and zagged all over the place, through the tiny town, past the tiny airport, and down countless dirt paths in a rickety little bus, and you could see the pink and turquoise buildings from our balcony. If you were to take a more "as the crow flies" route, through the salt flats, it would only have been about 5 minutes! We learned that no fruit, not even coconuts will grow on the island because the water and air is too salty. They have lots of palm trees, but the coconuts are really small and they fall off before they are fully grown.

There is a HUGE Margaritaville in the cruise terminal area. I really do mean huge and I would have taken some pics, but Brian had the camera on his fishing trip. Literally this bar is two stories tall and has connected building after building. The gift shop is on one side and you can walk right through the gift shop and right into the pool (no charge) and up to the pool bar and order drinks. And if it's too hot in the sun, you can lay on your hammock at your cabana. No joke! It's a money pit! Crazy! And the drinks were more expensive there than on the ship, if that's possible!

Just a few more random photos for you! Check out all our photos @ www.flickr.com/brikelmilo
Cruise 2010 set on the right hand side!

Me - messy hair pin up job, Bri - sun in his eyes! I think there is a better one on mom's camera!

We had a great time! It was hard to come home to the cold, but the boys were very happy to see us. Jaguar sleeps on top of me in case I try to leave again, and Ruger won't leave my side, AT ALL!

06 January 2010

Slip on some comfort...

Aran Isle Slippers, originally uploaded by brikelmilo.
Aran Isle Slippers from Interweave Knits Holiday 2008... I used naturallycaron.com Spa...

These are wonderful for travel or visiting. They are so soft and cozy and you can toss them in the laundry when you get home!

Love them!