For our 13th anniversary my husband and I decided to take a trip. We’d never been away from our children for more than a couple hours, so this was a big deal. We initially decided to head to Puerto Rico. I’d spent some time there with friends before I got married and absolutely fell in love with this island. So I wanted to share that love with my husband.
Sadly, hurricanes Irma and Maria came through and caused lots of damage to the island. We were devastated. For both the loss of our vacation and for the people who had to pick up their lives and rebuild their community. Luckily, there has been so much work to help get Puerto Ricans back on their feet.
But I digress. When the hurricanes came through we had already paid for plane tickets and our hotel. Because of the widespread damage of said hurricanes canceling our hotel was simple. Canceling the plane tickets was not quite so simple. Let’s just say, there were multiple phone calls and plenty of tears. I even get choked up thinking about it.
In the end we decided to book a cruise. Just a short 5 day Western Caribbean from Galveston. But it totally changed my life.
I mean look at that view. It is so peaceful and beautiful to see the ocean. Watch the waves and relax to the movement of the ship. And, best part of all, someone else feeds you. As a mom of 3 this was huge. Every vacation we go on I am making sure we have snacks and meals and every one is taken care of. During a cruise, someone else takes care of you. Bliss.
On top of all of that, the ship takes you to various locations and you can enjoy immersing yourself in the culture, taking a historical tour, take a food tour, or just sit on the beach. We did a little of all the above. Including climbing a pyramid. Seriously one of the coolest experiences of my life. It was fun to hear about the history of the Mayans and then climb to the top of one of their religious buildings. Plus the view from the top was absolutely beautiful.
And then when you come back from these fun excursions, you don’t have to make dinner for anyone. You don’t have to figure out what you’re having, who wants what, dealing with tired or hungry kids. They take care of that for you. There is a bunch of variety and it’s all delicious. And sometimes they set it all up pretty fancy.
And someone makes your bed, and cleans up your room and leaves fun towel animals on your bed. (I wonder if I can get my kids to do that for me)
We spent time on the beach, did some snorkeling, went shopping and spent time relaxing. As I said before, it was life changing.
After the cruise we spent a couple days in Galveston (part of the whole plane ticket debacle). It just so happened that we were there during Mardi Gras (how did we not even know that until we were there. Crazy) But our hotel was right on the beach and we got to see the ocean every time we looked out our window. It rained a lot while we were there, so our tourist vibe was a little dimmed. But we did walk around a bit and see some fun things.
The second day there we got a ride from a local who drove us around and told us a little about the history of the island. One of my favorite stories was about coming back after a flood (a recurring theme to the whole vacation). Sadly I don’t remember the exact hurricane, but it brought a flood to the island. Many historic trees were killed during the flood and clean up crews were set to cut them down. Some people stepped up and they ended up carving some beautiful scenes, fun animals etc. into the trees. So instead of losing these pieces of history, they are still there helping to beautify the island for many more years.
This goes back to my previous post. This part of the trip was completely unplanned and only happened because of a huge problem that caused lots of stress. Amazing what happens when you take something bad and look for the good in it.
I’ve been craving a cruise ever since we got off the ship. We’re booked for another one soon. This time we’re bringing the kids. I can’t wait to see their faces as they step on the ship for the first time, as they set sail and experience the rolling waves, their first formal night dinner, visiting a different country for the first time. And all the other things that go along with a cruise. Have you been on a cruise? Where did you sail? What was your experience?