Sunday, July 29, 2012

A trip 10 years in the making

Paul and I have returned tonight from a seven day cruise adventure to the beautiful island of Bermuda.

Ten years ago, when we were enjoying our short little 3 day honeymoon, we discussed about going out on a longer trip someday.

After 10 years of saving and planning, Paul and I got to see it all come to fruition.

It.  Was.  Wonderful.

Many thanks go out to our parents who watched over and cared for our three kiddos in our absence.  And a hearty thanks go our to our fellow houseparents Jon and Amy and Shane and Stef who took some longer days so that we could enjoy our 10 days off.

Paul and I have not seen too many beaches or experienced the ocean all that much so it was even more special to us to travel on a cruise ship and relax on the gorgeous beaches of Bermuda.

New York City in the background - look close and you can see the Statue of Liberty!
We started our journey on Saturday night at 11:30 PM as we traveled from home to New Jersey to meet our cruise ship.  We love road trips so the 11 1/2 hours passed pretty quickly.  After going through all the paperwork process we finally got to board our ship around 2PM on Sunday.  We found our stateroom, explored the boat, and cheered with everyone else as the ship embarked at 4.  We left from New Jersey, but it is a harbor that shares the waters of New York City.  We got a glimpse of the NYC skyline and the Statue of Liberty.  We passed under the Verrazano Bridge and out to sea.

First sunset out to sea

Formal Night - and the dress that I made for the occasion


Loved all the bright colors on the houses

Fancy food in a French restaurant

Sunset over King's Wharf, Bermuda

Sunrise over St. George's, Bermuda

Part of the Royal Naval Dockyard at King's Wharf

We then enjoyed 2 1/2 days on the ship as we headed to lovely Bermuda.  We loved being able to sleep in, getting food whenever we wanted from the buffet, laying out on the deck, running in the gym, dining in fancy restaurants,  getting waited on constantly, and people watching.  There were a few groups that we even named (the Pants Party of 5 + 7: a family who constantly wore brightly colored pants in either shocking bright solid colors or plaids.  And I mean everyone - grandpa, mom, sons, everyone.  And the I-pads.  A family of 4 who were constantly seen sitting in a row each playing on their individual I-pads.  Sweet family time).  We were on a cruise ship with 24 countries represented in the guest list alone - this does not include the many arrays of countries that all the staff came from.  But we were also on board with a boatload (no pun intended) of Jerseyites and New Yorkers.  We got quite a kick out of all the accents (and conversations!) from those two groups.
Our ship
View from the top of the Royal Navel Dockyard - look how clear the water is!

Once we made it to Bermuda we filled the next 2 1/2 days with taking a bus tour of the island, browsing through shops, and laying around on the beach.  Bermuda is an incredibly clean island.  It has absolutely no exports so the only way for them to really make money is off of tourism.  They are governed by England so there is a bit of English sophistication (and accents!) on the island as well.  The roads are extremely narrow because they don't want to tear down any old buildings - they just restore everything and call them historic sites - so that results in very winding, narrow roads.  Roads that our fearless tour guide drove with ease....and roughly 15 miles per hour faster than what was legal.  All the buildings are made of concrete with limestone roofs.  All roofs on the island are washed down every three years so they all gleam bright in the sunshine.  All the buildings are painted bright colors which just compliment the beautiful blue of the ocean.  The sandy beaches are a faint pink from the coral and some sort of little fishy specimen that is mixed in with the sand.  Our highlight of the island was the day we spent 6 straight hours either lying on the beach or swimming in the ocean.  One of those things you really didn't want to see end.

But end it did, and we eventually set out on the cruise back to the U.S.

And now we are home.  We have 24 hours for 're-entry' and then it is back into regular life as we know it.

But it has been a wonderful time of relaxation and refreshment and renewal.  It was fabulous to celebrate 10 year of marriage with a trip like this.  I loved seeing another sliver of the world.  Another bit of God's creation.

It's something that probably won't happen for another 10+ years, but we are oh, so glad, we did it.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Remembering June

June, for us, is summer in full swing.  I know it wasn't officially summer until the end of the month, but it was summer for sure starting at the very beginning.


Long days.

Falling into bed exhausted at night.

But looking back at some pictures, there were highlights for sure.
As we sorted though some stuff in storage, I came across my dress from Senior Prom.  You can't tell in the picture...but I am holding my breath.  (pretty sure this wasn't a highlight but those two goobers are too cute not to post)
Maddie found a Sharpie and proceeded to make herself into a 'faffe' (giraffe).  She somehow managed to not get it on her clothes at all....just the kitchen table and a few windows.
The super heroes made a return.
Hannah got her haircut for the first time ever.  Just the ends were trimmed, but I feel like it was so much more!
We had a few bridal showers, welcoming Laura into our family.  She will love me for this one!
Celebrating Father's Day and the most wonderful father and husband I could have ever hoped for.
Enjoying a once in a lifetime experience in a box suite at a Red's game.
Owen lost his first tooth...literally lost it - we have NO clue where it went!
Beautiful bouquets picked by 3 adorable Suvar's
And I just had to put a picture of Paul in there.  The man who helps me keep my sanity through these long, summer days.

June in a nutshell.  July has already started and has proven to be just as hot and long as June.  But God is faithful and provides just what we need, when we need it.  So, July, bring.  it.  on.