Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Ode to a House Husband

Over the early course of our marriage, Nate and I haven't completely stuck the typical gender roles. I've been his Sugar Momma working to bring home the bacon and for the last six weeks after finishing up med school Nate has filled in as a full time house husband. He's really spoiled me.

I came home to some tasty treats including homemade soft pretzels.

He took care of projects around the house such as building shelves to better organize our extra closet space and re-planted our herb garden.

He cleaned the house, made trips to the bank, and I don't think I had to hardly step foot in a grocery store. He even had a short stint as babysitter for our nephew, Luke, when my mother-in-law had to go out of town. After a couple weeks I was struggling to find things for him to do.

I wasn't a complete slave driver though as he managed to find time to have some fun as well. He read at least 5 books, made 4 trips to the lake, 1 trip down the Salt River, went on 1 cruise, and 1 weekend camping where he caught a personal record of 14 fish.

Unfortunately I didn't get any photos of his fish but we did get one of this whopper that I caught. The fish were definitely bitting that weekend as I also caught a personal best of 10 fish...and one dead crawdad.

As he goes off to begin his long days of residency I hope that he will fondly remember these past few weeks. While he has spoiled me in more ways than one, I have enjoyed the chance to spend so much time with my dear house-husband. He has set the bar high when the day finally comes that we switch roles and I take over as a house wife. I just hope I'll be up for the task.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Day 7: On the good ship Lib-er-ty

On the final day aboard our fun ship we sailed across the ocean back to Miami. So since our last day was on the ship, I thought I'd reflect on our experiences on the ship away from the ports of call. This was our very first cruise and it's true that cruising is a great way to travel.
I definitely recommend getting a balcony room if possible. I had originally thought we would just do an interior room to save some money, and then we found the great deal we got on our balcony. I think it probably ruined me for any future cruises.

This is the view from our level of the ship, all the way down to the main floor. In our research before booking we found that many people recommended being in a room on a high floor toward the middle of the ship. I have to say this seemed pretty accurate too as we didn't feel or hear much during the night.

Would we choose Carnival again? Probably. Since it was our first cruise I don't have anything else to compare it too but they have a lot of activities and try to make your time on the ship lots of fun. One prime example of this was The Fun Hop. The cruise director kept talking up the Fun Hop as the "can't miss event" and "one of the funnest things you could do on the ship." I hate to say it but he was right. The Fun Hop was a series of team competitions that took place in various spots on the ship after dinner the night of my birthday. The whole ship was divided into teams depending on what floor your room was on. We were part of the BLUE. I was a bit skeptical about doing it but figured we could at least check it out. Well once the blue war paint went on we were all in. With the rest of the blue team, Nate and I karakoed, then we all made our way to the casino where we learned your not-so-typical line dances and watched a few of our men do a butt shaking competition, then we made our way to the night club for a dance off, and then we ended up on the main deck with the rest of the ship where we did a huge team conga line, and danced the electric slide with a couple hundred of our closest cruise mates. All the while we roamed the halls chanting war cries of "Blue there it is" (to the toon of whoop there it is) and "Olie, olie, olie! Blue, Blue, Blue!" We ended the night hoarse and with only these pictures because we were so busy having fun.

Dinner time was also fun as our waiters sang and danced for us.

And how can I forget the towel animals. We eagerly awaited coming back to our room to see what creation awaited us. It was fun to try and guess what they had made out of a few towels. Some of them I'm still not quite sure about.

Then there's the question about sea sickness. Did I get sea sick? Yes and no. I did really good for the first 2 days and then things started to move a bit more when we got into the open water and away from the shore. I'm glad that we took motion sickness patches with us just in case, then again I don't have the strongest stomach and Nate did just fine. The thing they don't warn you about is when you get off the ship. I was not prepared to continue moving for a good 4-6 days after we got home. Apparently it's fairly common and some jokingly call it Post Cruise Stress Disorder that lasts until you go on your next cruise. Thankfully I'm all better now, and we would definitely do it all again.

Day 6: Darlin' it's better down where it's wetter

Our final port of call was Grand Turk which is part of the Turks and Caicos. The island apparently isn't as grand as its name would lead you to believe. With the Carnival Liberty's 3,300 passengers and 1,000 crew we out numbered the island's 4,000 inhabitants. Our cruise director, Noonan, informed us that the island could be ours to over throw if we wanted to. So imagine what it must have been like on a day when not one but two cruise ships rolled into town. For a period of 6 hours, Grand Turk tripled its population.

Since Grand Turk has a reputation of great snorkeling, including a 7,000 foot drop off, we decided this would be a great place to take a peak at what goes on under the sea. In typical male fashion, Nate really wanted to take our snorkeling to the next level. Why just snorkel the old fashioned way when you can POWER SNORKEL? So equipped with our snorkel gear and our personal propellers (with top speeds of 3 mph), we got to devotin' some full time to floatin' under the sea.

Such wonderful things surround you, what more are you lookin' for?

Down here all the fish is happy, as off the waves they roll.

We got no troubles, life is the bubbles, under the sea.

With our handy propellers we were able to cover a lot of ground during our trip. Some people in our group, however, were questionable drivers and kept bumping into us or getting in the way. On the way back in we passed over a big bed of these prickly fellers.

Sea urchins! As we past over them I kept pulling my knees up to avoid grazing them. Our dinner friends weren't quite as lucky as Steve somehow ended up stepping on one. In typical island fashion, after Jill had spent 10 minutes trying to pull them out of the bottom of his foot, our guide said, "No worries mon, just leave 'em alone and they'll come out on their own in a few days." Somehow we weren't completely convinced or comforted by that but there wasn't anything else to do.

After snorkeling, with not much available within walking distance to see, we found a spot on the beach. All that power had left Nate tuckered out. Out in the sun they slave away? I guess not.

Back aboard the ship we hunkered down for our last day at sea as we made our way back to Miami.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Day 5: Feliz Cumple Anos

The fifth day of our cruise fell on my birthday and we spent the day in Puerto Rico. For my Puerto Rican birthday we wandered through Old San Juan visiting the forts and doing a little bit of shopping. In all I think we walked about 5 miles all over the city.

At the recommendation of my aunt who loves Puerto Rico, our first stop was to El Morro. El Morro is a cool old fort, with great views of the ocean, which was originally built to guard the entrance to San Juan Bay and defend Puerto Rico against enemies at sea.

The fort had just a few stairs, and no elevator.

Wandering around the fort put Nate in a swashbuckling mood.

That was later over come by his lazy surfer side.

One of the things I enjoyed most about Old San Juan was the architecture. Each building had it's own character and vibrant colors were every where. It makes the cookie cutter stucco homes seem a bit boring back home.

We loved our day in Puerto Rico but it was just too short to see everything Puerto Rico had to offer. One day I hope we get to go back.