Saturday, October 20, 2012

Cruise Destinations

Key West, Florida
We both greatly enjoyed the Keys! If I ever make it to Miami for a vacation, I will definitely drive the three hours to see Key West again.
Before debarkation we had already decided we would walk around to see all there was to do before we paid for a ‘tour’ or taxi. A ‘tour’ was $30 just to take a trolley around the main loop which looked like we could walk. This was a good decision.
Right off the boat we saw a bunch of museums and tours we could go on. We decided to tour a shipwreck museum and the aquarium. Admission for these two attractions for the both of us was about $52 after taxes. Not a bad price. We would have spent $60 just to ride on the stupid trolley!
We did the shipwreck museum first which consisted of listening to a few workers act as people from that time period looking to hire divers and give us some history on the items and job. They were trying to make us feel like we were actually in the past. We then were taken in to view all the different artifacts and climb the tower which allowed us to have a good view of the island.
After the museum we went the aquarium. It wasn’t very big, but the experience made up for the lack of size.
It was amazing!
I had so much fun we came back later in the day to walk around one more time. Not only do they have fish along the walls, they have a tank where you are able to touch and hold a bunch of different critters:
He had just ate - ewwww! We didn't hold him or any of the others except the critters three pictures down. I couldn't get these in order without getting even more annoyed.
They even had a sting ray tank with turtles and a separate shark tank.
Outside, more sea animals. We got to view different species of sharks and turtles.
We were fortunate enough to be there to watch feedings. 
No trip to Key West would be complete without visiting the famous Key Lime Pie Factory where we ate a yummy frozen chocolate key lime pie on a stick.
While in here eating our pie I was looking at one of the free maps of the island and the lady working there asked me if I was looking for anything in particular. I told her we were just wanting to experience as much of the island as we could while there. She gave us a route which led to the southernmost point of the continental United States.
Of course we took our picture here.
On the way to here we saw a truck offering:
We back tracked to get me a coconut and a pina colada for Matt.
And cheap - $3 each!
Next stop: Freeport Bahamas and Nassau Bahamas
We had already been to both of these locations and weren’t that thrilled to go back to them.
In Freeport we only got off the boat to eat some Lobster and walk around the immediate shopping area. Instead of exploring, we swam and hung out on the boat. Seemed like several people had the same idea as us. Perhaps they already knew how lame the area was.
In Nassau we walked around the shopping area and then returned to the boat. We had seen a large dead rat on the street so I knew I was not eating there. YUCK! Yes, I know rats are everywhere, but I can assure you I do not want to see them. Kind of turned me off from wanting to explore the shopping areas.
After eating lunch on the boat we decided to take a cab ride to Atlantis.
Grand hotel, but everything with the exception of the shops and casino cost money to see. I am not paying to walk around a hotel. That is ridiculous!
I did see some Chihuly artwork:
Next stop was a different public beach then we had gone to last time we were there. We loved the clean ocean last time so this time we came prepared and had bought some goggles to get a better view. Unfortunately the waves were very strong and it was not possible to do this.
Too bad you can see my camera.
Saw this beautiful site when we were headed back home. I love it!


Carnival’s Conquest

That was the name of the ship we sailed on - Carnival Conquest.
We left last Sunday for a 7 day cruise out of New Orleans, LA.
Destinations were Key West, Florida, Freeport Bahamas and Nassau Bahamas.
I know you don’t want to hear about how we left at 3 in the morning to get to our ship since we are too frugal/poor to book a hotel room for the night before.
I'll go ahead and move on to the actual ship:
 Taken while in FL
Compared to our last ship, Carnival’s Fantasy, this one was MASSIVE! Do note Carnival does have even BIGGER ships that we plan on trying in the future.
The Conquest offered many additional things than our last one did not have to include a theater screen outside to watch movies. I even got to watch one of my favorite childhood movies – Aladdin. LOVED IT! The only improvement they need to make with this is they should play some newer movies and should play more movies earlier in the day and later in the evening. You could lay in a lounge chair OR sit in a ROCKING chair! Ask my mom or Matt – I LOVE to rock!
When we first got on the ship we checked out our room which was on the Panorama deck (10th floor) and then proceeded to the Lido deck (9th floor) for our first buffet of our trip. We had an interior room which ended up being okay even though we both would have preferred at least an ocean view if not a balcony room.
Maybe next cruise.
I am frugal!
After eating we walked around and I was able to take some pictures of the ship before everyone was everywhere:
A walkway/seating area.
 Main dining area
 Pool we swam in
 Main deck
 Sushi bar
 Sunflower in front of main dining area
 Other side of the main deck
It took us about 3 days to learn our way around the ship without the map. At this point I also felt this was home.
In total, not counting the day we left or the day we arrived, we had 3 days at sea.
I enjoyed having the time to sit around doing nothing except looking at the ocean, eating and watching the shows – probably in that order. I joke!
Matt would have liked to have gone to a few more islands. Me too. Maybe if we had gone to other places besides the Bahamas we would have had even more fun during the docked days.
Speaking of shows, we got to see some good ones.
We watched 3 different family friendly comedy shows, a dancing show, juggling and comedy show, hypnotic show and magic show. We liked them all.
Our last ship only had comedy and dancing shows. Seemed like this larger ship offered more to see.
I would go into detail about everything, but it is too much to type and I might make you jealous. I would hate to do that to you. Wouldn’t be very nice of me.
I learned how to make a few towel animals! Loved that class!
I can now make the dog, monkey and elephant.
They taught us the dog and elephant – I practiced several times until I could remember how to do it by myself. The monkey has the same body as the dog and since he was already in our room, I took apart the head and learned the head as well.
Now I need some guests in my house so I can make them some towels animals and leave them some chocolate on the bed.
I am serious.
I wouldn’t joke about these kinds of things. We are hosting Thanksgiving at our house this year; meaning I have a reason to make those cute towel animals.
Got to eat Lobster:
In fact, I ate 2 in the same night!
Delicious! I am hooked! I told Matt we will have to go to Red Lobster when we are celebrating a special occasion such as our 7 years of dating anniversary in November. J
We have started a list of everything we want to bring next cruise that we haven’t brought on the last 2. My list so far included playing cards, Skip-bo and something else I am not remembering at the moment. Hopefully when Matt reads this post (if he reads it since he claims he doesn’t need to since he lives through everything I talk about) he will remember what the third thing is on our list. Guess this is why I should have written it down. I’ll be sure to put it on my iPod.
Stay tuned for my next post on our destinations.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Painted Pet

Have I mentioned I love to paint while being taught in a class setting?
I guess I should really be saying: have you seen my other paintings I have painted while being taught in a class setting?
If not, look HERE and HERE.
If you have never done it yourself, I highly recommend it!
Let me know when you are going because I would love to go again. J
My mom and I ‘painted our pet’ at Uptown Art with her friend and daughter a couple of weeks ago.
Had a blast!
I do have to tell you this was much harder than I thought it would be. I would NOT make this my first painting if I was new to painting.
Extremely glad Matt and I didn’t do this a couple of months ago when I suggested it. At that point I had only done one before and Matt had done none.
I started with this picture of Wyatt which I had emailed to them in order to paint.
When we first showed up they already had the image sketched on the canvas and had a sticky note with what colors I would be using. Wish I could draw like the lady who did these ones. I was amazed!
Our class consisted of about 12 people. Thank goodness there weren’t more – we ALL needed as much help as we could get!
Everyone had different dogs and one person had a cat to paint so obviously we all had different colors and types of fur which made this class a bit complicated. I am sure this is not an easy class to conduct either. It was suppose to be a 3 hour class and I think we were there almost 4 hours. Does that tell you it was a bit difficult?
We started off by painting our background any colors we wanted.
I chose blue and brown (to match my bedroom).
The original picture of Wyatt is him in his car seat. When we travel (used to be often between KY and TN) he would always get up on his car seat like this. Sometimes he jumps out when he is being mischievous/spunky/annoying/cute/funny.
Next I colored the outline of him.
At this point I thought the painting looked so funky. Neat might be a better word.
I painted his whole body tan.
Then I painted his nose and eyes.
It looked freaky. I was having a hard time picturing this painting complete.
Added several layers of ‘curly’ swirls on the body and made his ears look straighter.
Now I was starting to see my Wyatt. Not as much as I would have liked to have seen him, but getting closer.
The two ladies conducting the class kept saying it wouldn’t look good until several layers were painted. They were right. Looks much better all done.
To me, once the eyes were painted, I could see him. The eyes made this painting.
What do you think of the finished project?
I like it!
I wish it looked more realistic, but I am very happy with the outcome. I think you can easily tell it is Wyatt if you have ever met my dog.
I had thought about added more layers on his fur here at home – don’t want to risk messing the painting up. I am just going to keep it as it is.
It is going to look awesome above my dresser!
I have already told my mom I want to do a painting or two in between and then I would like to paint Jake next. My mom also has her newest family member, Frank, to paint. It will make another good bonding experience for us to share.
Check out my mom’s Toby:
He turned out great!