Just Cruising

Just Cruising

....and just like that we're back! From the trip we had been looking forward to for so long that almost didn't happen. Woof. Two nights before we were leaving for the cruise Lil' Miss had a high fever, and was complaining of pain in her right side and abdomen to the point where she couldn't stand up. We freaked, and brought her to the emergency room where they ran every test and everything came up negative. Her pain subsided while we were there, and the doctor reassured us that it wasn't appendicitis. I was still a nervous wreck the next day, and kept her home from school. She was bouncing off the walls, the fever was gone and she said she wasn't in pain so we continued packing and getting ready to drive to Miami the next morning for the cruise.

We prefer sailing out of Port Canaveral since it's about an hour away, but we chose itinerary over cruise line, ship and departure port this time and we are so glad we did. Remember when I said I never wanted to sail with Carnival again? Well, time heals all wounds and we switched right before booking from an itinerary on Princess to an 8 night itinerary on Carnival out of Miami so we could stop in Half Moon Cay, Grand Turk, Aruba and Bonaire. WORTH it! Our favorite cruise yet, and we've been on some beautiful ships on Disney, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian. I'll take an older Carnival ship any day when the itinerary is that fantastic. 

Cutout Midi Dress {available in 28 color combos} | Camera Bag in Marine Blue | Sandals

On our first morning, we were docked in Half Moon Cay, Bahamas. Before we got off the ship we surprised Lil' Miss with a trip to the on-board salon to get her first ever haircut. My original plan years ago was to get it in Magic Kingdom, but the hair places were closed for so long during the pandemic that those plans were foiled. I'm more excited that her first haircut was in the Bahamas than Disney World anyway. Ha!

Then it was time for some relaxation, and playing in the waves on a new-to-us island in the Bahamas. I loved the pirate ship bar, and Lil' Miss loved the splash pad area.

The view as we pulled away from Half Moon Cay

On our second morning, we were docked in Grand Turk. This is the stop we sailed away from back in 2015 due to wind which truly upset me, so I was thankful for the re-do. We explored the shops, and settled in at the Margaritaville pool for lunch before hitting the beach. There was another ship in port filled with college spring breakers (their cruise was only 5 nights which drew in more college kids while our ship had more families). I was wondering why all of a sudden I saw mostly thong bathing suits, and the swim up bar was jam packed before chatting with some of the kids from that ship. I officially feel old. 

For our 1st day at sea, I started out with a workout in the gym before hitting the pool. Some trips down the water slide were in order of course! 

The adults only area of the ship we enjoyed while Lil' Miss was at kids club

Crochet Coverup {SO comfy!} | Lounge Shorts {available in 8 colors} | Flip Flops

That night was our 1st cruise elegant evening, so I broke back out this dress I wore to my cousin's wedding in Cape Cod last fall. 

Morning coffee on the balcony as we arrived in Aruba. It was H and I's second time in Aruba (we cruised there in 2009 - again I feel old), but the first time for Lil' Miss. We booked a resort pass for the day at the Riu Palace, and enjoyed the all-inclusive benefits of their food, drinks, pools and beach area. Lil' Miss brought her beach buckets to play in the sand, we swam in the waves before making our way to the pools. 

That evening we ventured off the resort for dinner and some shopping before heading back to the ship. We were in port for 13 hours, so we got to really enjoy the island and watch the sunset before leaving at 9:30 p.m.

The towel animal obsession was REAL for Lil' Miss. She lost her mind each day seeing what new animal would appear in the room. So when we saw a towel animal making class for later in the week, we saved it in the cruise planner.

Our last stop was in Bonaire which is close to Aruba and Curacao and completes the Dutch "ABC" islands off the coast of South America. The diving and snorkeling is supposed to be the best in the world (perhaps only behind the Great Barrier Reef) so we booked a snorkeling excursion for the afternoon which was incredible. The water was the most beautiful I've ever seen and has beaten out the title (in my head) from Bermuda and Fiji. 

We explored in town, did some souvenir shopping and had a drink before heading to our snorkeling excursion. 

The next two days were "at sea" days before arriving back in Miami to disembark. Another cruise elegant night was an excuse to break out the fancy clothes again.

Lace Midi Dress {available in 3 colors} | Sandals

Her Dress {available in 3 color patterns}

We enjoyed our last day at sea with all the food, a towel animal making class, mini golf, and H and I went to the gym and steam room while Lil' Miss went to kids club. That night, we had one last date night on the ship while she was at kids club (her favorite!) where we listened to live music, saw the comedian and enjoyed a martini. I even broke out the sequin shorts that I never wore for NYE after suffering from food poisoning. 
Why does vacation have to end?

What's in my suitcase

What's in my suitcase

I am just a wee bit excited for our upcoming cruise, as we haven't cruised since before the virus that shall not be named. I've traveled extensively for work and we've been to the Bahamas and St. Maarten, but we flew in and stayed at a resort so it'll be fun to go back to a "floating resort" that visits several different islands. 

I picked up some new bathing suits, cover ups, dresses for dinner, a new beach bag that claims to be water and sand resistant (I'll report back!), my favorite mineral sunscreen and of course bringing my super handy $11 travel holder that slips over the handle of my suitcase to hold coffee, water, snacks, my phone etc... 

I also shopped my closet, and am bringing the gown I wore to my cousin's wedding in Cape Cod last fall for one of the formal nights, my hot hair brush (since the blow dryers on cruise ships are notoriously weak and take FOREVER!), this cut out dress that I wore to a local event last summer and this fedora that also has UPF50 sun protection. Yes please!

Bon voyage! Are you heading anywhere fun this spring/summer?

California Here We Come

California Here We Come

The O.C. theme song is still stuck in my head, as the views out of my hotel room overlooked the area in Malibu where the exterior shots for the Cohen and Cooper homes are. Still one of my all time favorite shows. Always in the mood for a little Seth Cohen Comedy Hour. 

The new gig brought me out to Santa Monica for the week for our annual conference. Since our entire team is remote, and spread throughout the country it was nice to meet everyone in person. 

Before heading to the west coast, we headed up the Florida coast to visit with my aunt and uncle who were in town for lunch on the water. Always wonderful to see them, catch up and have some family time for Lil' Miss. 

Ruched Bodysuit {comes in 4 colors} | Shorts | Sandals | Crossbody Bag in Marine Blue

Terrible lighting, but great views, cozy bodysuit and a yummy drink. Always here for the sunshine state showing off during winter. I'll take the heat and humidity all summer into fall for these days we get November - March. Yes please! 

More bad lighting, but excited to wear my "wow colors" to the welcome cocktail reception which was also denim night. I broke out my new blazer, and paired it with jeans and heels. 

Blazer {only $30} | Skinny Jeans | Necklace | Heels {similar}

I have learned so much about color analysis and style analysis, and how we all have a color palette and style personality that is unique to us. When we dress according to our individual color ratings and clothing personality is how we truly shine. I'm also shy about lipstick, especially bold lip colors and have been venturing outside of my comfort zone with shades that work best for my palette. I have to admit they truly do make a difference! 

For the first day of general sessions, I chose this ponte flutter sleeve dress in another one of my "wow colors", and received compliments all day. Did I mention it's on MAJOR sale? Run... don't walk! 

We wrapped the conference with an awards dinner, and the next morning after a workout I ventured over to an actual Nordstrom location since we don't have any in the Orlando area. I was excited to explore the in-store items and try out their ebar where I ordered an Irish Cream Cold Brew - yum! 

That afternoon, our team was treated to a spa day complete with charcuterie, bubbles, foot soaks and massages. It was just what we needed after working the event, and we walked from Venice Beach back to Santa Monica along the water to take in the fresh air and of course the Pacific Ocean. 

With all the travel for work and for play, this little travel holder is a total game changer! It holds drinks, your phone, snacks etc... to help keep you more hands free as you're making your way through the airport (or cruise terminal). And it's only $11 - huge win! 

As much as I love experiencing new places, there's no place like home. As we were taxiing off the runway to the gate I had to snap this gorgeous sunset. Florida, you're always showing off. The next day, after sleeping in a bit and taking Lil' Miss to gymnastics we went out for a much needed family dinner. Love reuniting with those that matter most.

Scoop Neck Bodysuit {comes in 12 colors} | Faux Leather Shorts

Shop this Post