Monday, March 21, 2011

Spring Break - Part Three

The last three days of the trip were just as good as the first. The fifth day we docked at St. Maarten on the island of Philipsbug/St. Maarten. Half the island is French and half the island is German. We docked along with everyone else it seemed:
We were "parked" behind a Princess Cruise ship, along side a Celebrity, which was behind a Disney, as so on. So there were a TON of people everywhere. There was no beach nearby and all rides to the beaches were at least $10 on way, per person. So we wandered around the port area for a bit, bought some guavaberry and mango rum (it was yummy) and then just headed back to the ship to hang out there (but not before we go the normal tourist picture):
I know it sounds kind of loser-ish, but we're broke and there was NO ONE by the pool on deck, and they open the retractable roof. So overall, it was still pretty nice.

The next day was at sea, so we slept in and I sat on the balcony for a while reading and watching the water go by. The only downside with the days at sea is that there are NO deck chairs at all available. And some people will hold them all day with a shirt or a book and then leave for hours. Not cool. I managed to find one for a while, but the sun ended up being on our room's side of the boat, so I just hung out on our balcony in the sun. We went to the casino and I managed to lose money at blackjack (go figure), but I held my own for about an hour and then cashed out when I was down by half. Tyler managed to win quite a bit from both blackjack and Texas Hold'em, so he made up for me :)

The last day was at the cruise line's private island, Half Moon Cay. It looked exactly like what a tropical island should look like.
We spent a good part of the day on the island. The beach was gorgeous and pretty shallow. It only came up to my knees about 20 feet out.
We hung out on the beach for a while before we went to our first excursion - swimming with the stingrays. It was actually pretty cool, if not a little creepy. Of course everyone knows what happened to the Crocodile Hunter, but as long as you didn't step on them or whatnot, all the sting rays seemed kinda tame. They felt really smooth when they brushed up against you (which always surprised me and kinda scared me). And we got to feed them, which was like having a vacuum cleaner suck the squid out of your hand. Overall it was pretty fun.
After that, we went for lunch and then had a little time to kill until we went para-sailing, which was pretty cool. They "launched" us off the back of a speed boat and then let us get pretty high up. After about 5 minutes, they slowly lowered you back to the boat and you landed on the back. We had some fun.
We went back to the boat after that and took a nap. It was also the last day, so we packed and ordered some room service for the last time.

Friday morning we docked and started the incredibly long and tiring drive back to Indiana. Apparently, the rest of Indiana and Illinois decided they wanted to drive back too. We hit traffic outside of Atlanta around 8 p.m., all caused by one car (from Illinois) rear-ending another and therefore making people merge from 3 lanes to two. This will cause stop-and-go traffic for 10 miles. Fun. We left around 9 a.m. from Ft. Lauderdale and got back to Bloomington at 5 a.m. And we went straight to bed.

Luckily it was Saturday morning, so we had all of Saturday and Sunday to recover. And we needed it. And now classes are (sadly) back on, so I hope that week of relaxation starts to pay off!!!

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