Florida & The Bahamas November 2012

I was privileged enough to marry a man who loves to travel as much as I do.  If I had not met Kenyon, I am sure I would still be a traveler.  It is sort of in my blood as my Aunt Barb A. loves to travel.  Instead of joining a travel group, I am lucky enough to have Kenyon accompany me.

We recently traveled to Florida and took a cruise to The Bahamas.  We were gone a total of 10 days, including the 4 days on the cruise.  We started our journey in Ft. Lauderdale where we rented a convertible and drove out towards Key West.  The drive itself was too far so we went as far as we wanted, turned around and headed back.  Driving across US 1 wasn’t quite as exciting as we hoped but still made for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Here is our rental car and my willing chauffer

We also toured a place called Coral Castle.  From their website, ” We invite you to tour our sculpture garden in stone, built by one man, Edward Leedskalnin. From 1923 to 1951, Ed single-handedly and secretly carved over 1,100 tons of coral rock, and his unknown process has created one of the world's most mysterious accomplishments. Open every day, the Coral Castle Museum welcomes visitors from around the world to explore this enchanting South Florida destination.”  This is a must see if you are ever in the area.

After some additional Ft. Lauderdale sightseeing, buying a purse at the Coach Outlet, eating key lime pie on a stick, and being given a blank stare after asking for fry sauce at a restaurant, we were ready to board our ship and head to The Bahamas.


Norwegian Sky was our home for the next four days.  While this is our second cruise, it is our first with a balcony (and warmer climate as our first cruise was to Alaska).  I really enjoy having a balcony and I think from here on out we will have to get one.  Yes, I am spoiled and Kenyon puts up with me.  Our ports of call were Freeport (Grand Bahama Island), Nassau, and Great Stirrup Cay (NCL’s private island).  Freeport was the only port we booked an excursion.  We chose a kayaking trip down the river of the Lucayan National Park, a nature hike, exploring caves, and some time on the beach. 
I have never kayaked before.  When you are in a two person kayak it is important that you can communicate well with the other person in your boat.  While I do feel Kenyon and I communicate well this sure was a test of our marriage!  I felt a little better part way through our excursion when I heard other couples struggling with their communication as well.  But hey, we are still married so it obviously it went okay after all.


Our next stop was Nassau.  We decided none of the excursions looked promising and since the ship docked right at town we would be able to just walk around and explore.  It was very crowded and every taxi driver, horse drawn carriage driver, and tour bus driver wanted some of your money.  We couldn’t walk but a few steps without someone trying to lure us in with “why walk when we can drive you.”  Truth is after being on a ship you look forward to walking around!  We used a map that the visitor center gave us to see a few area attractions.  Then we found a bar where I could order a few fruity drinks for half the cost of what one would be on the ship.  I had to bribe Kenyon with buying him a coke if we would sit with me and people watch while I got my drunk on (I kid…sort of). 



Our final stop was Great Stirrup Cay.  This is a private island made by Norwegian Cruise Line specifically for their cruise passengers.  Since it is a small island you have to take a boat tender (smaller boat) to and from the island.  Our cruise dates were at the tail end of Hurricane Sandy and unfortunately this small island was quite damaged.  The sting ray excursion we had planned on was cancelled since the hurricane caused the sting rays to leave the island.  It was disappointing.  We did, however, bring our snorkel equipment so we were at least going to make the best of our beach day.  I have never been in salt water.  YUCK!  It took some getting used to, some frustration with my snorkel mask, and some pain getting out past the large rocks that had washed ashore during the hurricane.  I am glad we gave it two tries because on our second trip out in the water we saw many fish and even some underwater buried items.  It turned out to be an enjoyable day


We had an enjoyable time on this cruise, which was an improvement over our last cruise where Kenyon had a cold during part of it.  We were lucky enough to get a free soda package (it is the little things in life) and even a free bottle of wine for just me (it is the big things in life…hahaha).  We enjoyed dinner in the restaurants and breakfast at the buffet.  And although we didn’t really go dancing or play part in any of the entertainment games, I did take in one of the nightly show.  In all honesty, anytime I can vacation with Kenyon, I am happiest!

The final leg of our trip was Orlando and a visit to Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom and Epcot as well as Universal Island of Adventure to see The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  While the cost to just see Harry Potter is quite a bit…WOW!  It was awesome.  I have never read the books but have seen all the movies and I really enjoyed the visual aspects of this attraction.  There isn’t much in the way of rides and such but it is still a really neat experience and I highly recommend it.
I tried Bitterbeer.  Quite delicious!
I really enjoyed Disney World.  We spent two full days at each park and walked until our feet and legs hurt.
Cinderella's Castle lit up by fireworks.
My time in Epcot included trying to get a photo with as many hats as I could.
Sadly, our time in Florida had to come to an end and with it a very long flight home.  We were late getting to the airport due to a rental car mix-up so we didn’t get to sit by each other on the first leg home.  I don’t think Kenyon minded as he got some un-interrupted sleep with two seatmates that didn’t talk to him.  Although he did say he could still hear me talking a few rows behind him.  I am happy to add Florida and The Bahamas to my list of places I have been.

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