Saturday, December 31

Monday-December 19th-St. Maarten's

funny enough, my pre-written post about st. maarten, turned out to be very true.  but I will share pictures from the day.  again...I was having issues with my camera, so most of these shots I cannot take credit for and I don't have any of snorkeling, so the one of the pre-written post will just have to do.  I personally think that is the best snorkel photo of me anyway :)

the island of st. maarten.  it has a dutch side and french side.  on  the dutch side you can drink and drive, but no driving with cell phones.  on the french side you cannot drink and drive, but you can drive with your cell phone.
the crew of our catamaran.  Joseph, ingrid...and I can't remember the captain's name.  The were all super nice and very friendly.

Jonah and grandma swimming in the ocean.  Jonah loves the ocean.

mama and brookie in the ocean.

grandma, jonah, brookie, steph

kenzi, cam, sammie, jacque and GORGEOUS st. maarten

the boys hoisting the sail

our...essentially...private beach.  it was so gorgeous and perfect.  

Scottie being a great dad and swimming to shore with Jonah on his back.

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the wonderful water!

the clan. 
The ship in the distance is a pirate ship and Jonah LOVED it!

Kerri and Joseph...Joseph worked on the boat and Kerri fell in love.  by the look on his face, he feel in love too.

Sunset while leaving port at st maarten courtesy of my aunt steph.

Sunday- December 18th-British Virgin Islands-Tortola

 Like any other Sunday morning we got up and got ready for church...seriously.  
I will be the first to admit that I was not at all keen on the idea of attending church while on my vacation.  (100 mile rule and all)
I will also be the first to say that church was definitely one of the major highlights for me on our trip.

I can't say anything about the beaches because I never made it to the beach, but here are some pics of the island.  It was beautiful...shocker...I know.

It was a bit overcast and cloudy when we got off the ship Sunday morning, but still as warm as could be.

By the time we were heading out to sea again the sky was clear and blue.

We got off the boat and made our way into town to follow the somewhat vague directions we'd found for the church.  We had a great walk through the town.  Including the siting of an excavator.  
If you know Jonah, you know this was a major highlight for him.  


He really had little patience for posing.  He mostly just wanted to get up closer to see it.
Jonah also made a friend at church and they had a great time beating each other with plastic flowers.

We finally found the church...mostly because we could hear the congregation singing the sacrament hymn.  (They had changed their meeting time a week before).  Their meeting house was above a pizza place in a yellow building.  My camera was not really working this day (pictures are mostly courtesy of Scottie and Steph)

When we walked in with 27 members of our family and about four or five other LDS members from the ship that we didn't know, we at least doubled the size of their congregation...almost tripled. 
It was a great meeting.  I loved the speakers.  
We had only planned to stay for sacrament, but they were so welcoming and friendly that most of us ended up staying for the 2nd hour as well...they have TWO HOUR church!!!  No Sunday School....GENIUS!

The woman who was assigned to teach the Relief Society lesson went home sick, although we wondered if she was nervous about the 15 class members as opposed to the five she would have had if we had not stayed.  

The Relief Society president ended up teaching the lesson on the fly and it was really one of the best lessons I've had in a long time.  I just loved the RS president.  She was so funny and humble and knowledgeable.  I would love to go back to the ward again sometime. She was from Dominica.  Her friendliness was not just a part of her personality, but definitely a part of her island culture. 

After church we found a store so that Scottie could buy Jonah some shoes.  Apparently his feet were having a serious growth spurt and he had outgrown the two pairs Scott brought, as well as the flip flops that he bought him in Puerto Rico.

We walked through the town a bit and then headed back to the ship to swim in the pool.  We didn't really have time to explore the island more or hit a beach...which under any other circumstance would have been completely devastating.  But church was such an amazing experience.

We also attempted family photos that evening...

crowds gathered to watch this photo being taken.  It was slightly embarrassing, but mostly funny. 

oh the photography!

the beginnings of Kerri the photo bomber.

Kerri strikes again...

What a good looking family.

...and again...

...and again...

...and again...and this time there is additional bomber who is NOT related to us.  The ship's photographer!  He was feeling left out since we were not using his services.

my dashing cousin Toph.

Kerri, Brookie, Scottie, Jonah

Lauren, Brooke, Jacque.

Toph, Mandy, Dave, Chan.

Sunday, December 25

The warm sun of San Juan Puerto Rico...for reals...

I don't have too many pictures from San Juan, but it was a gorgeous day and the hotel we stayed in was amazing.  

We arrived around midnight, but that did not lessen the super fantastic view.
I probably could have stayed there for 9 days and been ALMOST as happy as cruising the Caribbean...almost.

We hit up Dunkin' Donuts for breakfast.  They didn't have coffee cake muffins which was sad, but I had a delicious breakfast sandwich so delightful chocolate doughnut holes.

We spent the rest of the morning and part of the afternoon relaxing on the hotel beach.

My uncle Dave really knows how to take advantage of the sun.

Jonah relaxing after playing in the pool on the ship.

Getting ready to head out to sea.

OFF I GO...for reals...

As you may or may not have guessed, the posts for each day of my cruise were actually preplanned.  
Here is the real deal...for Off I Go

An ocean of clouds above Salt Lake City.

This is one sunrise that I am happy to have seen.

But I was also happy to go back to sleep.

Jonah was as happy when we left Salt Lake, as he was when we arrived in  San Juan.  He was seriously the best traveler.  He got a bit antsy, but so did I.  Lucky for him he is 3 and can jump from seat to seat.  Being (almost) 33 does not allow for that luxury. 
The entire day of travel was rough, but well worth it.  Three flights later I was VERY happy to be landing in San Juan.

Friday, December 23

sailing the ocean blue...

And of course it would not be a cruise if we didn't spend at least one full day cruising on the ocean blue.

Wednesday, December 21

Hiking and exploring the lush green jungles of ...

hope I don't get LOST like Roseau...
get it?  I'm hilarious.

Or maybe I DO hope I get LOST if this is what awaits...

Monday, December 19

Sunday, December 18

Today I am enjoying the beauty that is


After getting off the cruise ship and hitting up a Mormon church on the island we're off to explore the awesomeness that is Tortola!

Saturday, December 17

Today I am enjoying the warm sunshine of...


This is not my actual ship, but as you are reading this there is a good chance I am sitting on a ship very similar to this one pulling out of the harbor!