February 24, 2006

Palms

This cloudy day shot turned into one of my favorites from the whole trip after I played around with it. Maybe there is hope of my photography improving.
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February 23, 2006

Whacha been up to?

Life has been a little..no, make that a lot...busy lately. I haven't had time to lavish love towards my little bloggedy blog. Here's a little bit of what I've been up to......
  • watching the Olympics. (Go Sasha!!)
  • Working lots and lots
  • Starting to try my hand at scrapbooking. Rather tentatively. I've never really liked it cause I'm a picture snob. I hate to cut my pictures or leave them out of an album. Plus I take so many that doing a scrapbook type album would take me FOREVER. But I'm learning lots about doing little themed albums. We'll see. TW inspired me.
  • Saying goodbye to a friend who moved away.
  • Getting excited about another friend who is moving back for a couple months!!
  • Being SO excited for the summer to begin.
  • Being terrified that I won't be ready for the summer to begin.
  • Letting God remind me that HE is in control and I can't do everything on my own.

There you go. Just a snippet. Promise to post some more photos soon.

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February 17, 2006

Noah's Ark

My cottage is turning into the ark. Two days ago, there was an animal who decided to take up residence under my house. He scratches around and makes all sorts of noise. Thankfully that's been taken care of. Then this morning, a squirrel decided to build a nest in the roof right next to my room. AHHHH! Had enough! Don't animals build their homes in trees and holes in the ground anymore?
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February 16, 2006

Conch delight

I forgot to tell this story while I was in Grand Cayman...
I returned home with out any souvenirs except for the following (besides my 200 pictures, of course). We had the most wonderful company that took us on our snorkeling cruise. We went to 3 spots, one of them being Stingray City, which is a HUGE Grand Cayman tourist attraction. Stingray City is actually a sand bar in the middle of the ocean between the reef line and the island (a couple miles away). I was actually standing when we saw the stingrays, which was really amazing! Standing in the middle of the ocean!
On our ride back to land, our two adorable guides stopped at one last spot. They picked up enough conch shells for every party on the boat to have one (we had a really small crowd, which was so nice! Our family and 2 other couples.) The guy who was driving our boat broke the shells open and then let all of us taste raw conch. He took the animal out of all the shells and gave us these beautiful souvenirs (don't worry. they were going to eat the conch, so it didn't go to waste!) Such a fun memory. Now I have a conch shell sitting in my room that I saw get picked off the ocean floor!



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February 15, 2006

"they'll never forget that you remembered."

Wasn't there a Hallmark commercial that used to say something like that? Well, I won't forget! This was my adorable valentine's card from a special friend who always remembers when I need a little "hug". Thanks so much for thinking of me.

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Winter's fury

On the beach on Wednesday, then into the snow on Sunday. The East Coast was covered in white. Here's a favorite shot. I couldn't resist the magic of snow covered trees.

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February 13, 2006

A good read

Read this really good book while on vacation. Blue Like Jazz I love when other people recommend a good book, so I thought I'd put my 2 cents in for you! It made me think and I'm still mulling it over almost every day since finishing it. It's about Christian beliefs and how they impact our lives. Kinda an in your face about your faith type of thing. Good stuff.

Love this picture

 
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February 10, 2006

American Airlines is not my best friend


Our flight home was interesting/annoying/a true series of "wah-wah" as my brother says. Our flight was late leaving GC. The service at the ticket counter was disorganized. For some reason matching up our luggage ticket with our specific luggage didn't seem to matter. Miami airport...so disorganized (at least the concourse we were in)!! Off the plane, thru customs (rightly so), get luggage, re-check luggage, Homeland Security check, re-xray luggage (but only if they felt like it), lug it around for a mile, hand it over to some lady standing at a roped off area (her way of helping was yelling "American Airlines luggage here!"), out of the gate only to get back in line for security check, HUGE line for security x-ray again and finally to run to the gate to get back on the same flight number. Does anyone else see the insanity of this?
Then we arrive home to wait at the luggage carousel and watch and watch and watch until there was no more luggage to claim. Somehow (um, maybe the yelling lady could explain) our luggage was left in Miami. (my brothers foreboding "our luggage will never make it on the plane." Darn it he was right again!) Waited for the next flight from Miami cause there was a "90% chance" it was on that flight. Nope, nada.
By now, we are starving cause because, of course, airlines don't have food anymore and the "circus" didn't even leave us time to use the bathroom, not to mention get food. Then the whole not matching up luggage tickets thing came into action. "No, I'm sorry but we can't ship it to 3 different addresses because there is no way in the computer that we can know whose is whose." By then, we'd had it and no more mister nice guy. "Oh, yes you can and you will!" Was it our fault that your ticket agent didn't do her job? Nope. So make it right. We described our luggage in detail and then had to give all our addresses and phone numbers to make sure they got to the right place. Gracious. I will think twice, no probably 10 times before ever using American again.
So glad to be home.

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Last day = Sun

As usual, the day that we leave, the sun comes out and the skies turn bluest of blues. Thankfully, this time we didn't leave until the afternoon. The beach was calling my name (yelling actually) and I quickly lathered up in sunscreen and ran down to find an empty chair. The rest of the crew decided to go horse back riding. (to which I said an emphatic NO. A bad horse experience as a kid has tainted my joy in that adventure.) It was heaven to finally sit on the beach, listen to the waves roll in and feel the nice warm SUN on my face. What a perfect way to end the trip. Made me want to stay longer. Just another day to enjoy the sun. But, no. Au revior, Grand Cayman!


(This is the adorable little hotel courtyard. The Marriott Beach Resort on Seven Mile Beach was wonderful!)
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Rainy Day cont...

(yes, I'm posting this several days later because we no longer had access to the internet.)

After getting frustrated with sitting in the hotel room, we decided to venture out and snorkel in the rain. We found another place several miles down the road near a dive shop. The owners were nice enough to let us use their ladder into the water at no charge. I opted to sit out cause it was kinda chilly with the wind and the clouds. Instead, I sat on the "beach" and took some photos and soaked in the amazing site of the waves crashing into the rocks. Here's one...can you find "waldo" in his camo?
And 2 of the snorkeling crew...
It never stopped raining that day. But of course, the next day was perfect. And it was the day we were leaving. Such is the weather of our family vacations. Some things never change.
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February 07, 2006

Rain, rain go away

It has been raining all day so far. The most I've seen of the beach is a minute when I walked down from the hotel room between the showers. The turtles in the pond in the courtyard are enjoying the day. The diving duo did a two tank dive today. Evidently rain doesn't matter under the water.
Here's hopin' that the rain will stop so we can enjoy our last day here!
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The following takes place between 5pm and 6pm....

A few shots from the day. Sorry no snorkeling pictures. These are after we came back in the evening.
Plumeria, my favorite tropical flower.
The beach outside of our hotel.
The adorable little courtyard that our porch overlooks.
See all those wonderful clouds...Thankfully it didn't rain though.

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Just another Monday

Things I swam with today…

  • Fish (too many kinds to count)
  • Coral
  • Lobster
  • Sharks (yes, really. Touched them and everything. And it was so amazing…)
  • Eels (I really think they will be in hell. They are the most evil looking things in the world)
  • Stingrays (soft like wet velvet, not to mention looking like they are flying through water. Gentle. There were dozens of them. Got to hold them and touch them as they all swam by me.)

    Other things I did today…
  • Ate conch about 20 seconds after it had been picked off of the ocean floor.
  • Rode a boat to 3 different snorkeling spots in the ocean.
  • Laid on the beach with no sun and lots of clouds.
  • Snorkeled in waves. Kinda rough, but so worth it.
  • Got the coolest souvenir to bring home. A conch shell from the ocean floor. Our boat guides got them for us and took the animal from inside to eat.)
  • Watched Jack Bauer live another hour.
  • Wore my flip flops and loved every second of it.
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February 05, 2006

5 ft 2".... waves of blue....but oh what thost 5 ft can do...

Drove around the island today since it was so windy and cool. Here's a peek at the island...
Love these signs. Don't know why they are so popular here.

The beaches. So much more beautiful in real life.
The waves were massive! We stopped to look at them break on the rocks.
Tomorrow, the weather is supposed to improve. More snorkeling and sun time is on the agenda. Tonight, we may watch the Super Bowl with the other Americans in our hotel.

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Where is the wicked witch?

It could be the beginning of "The Wizard of Oz" here today. WIN-DY! We were supposed to snorkel today with stingrays, but it was cancelled cause there are 4-6ft waves. And they weren't kidding. Instead we did some non-beach activities. A turtle farm. (the bro was in h-e-a-v-e-n. At least 5 times the phrase "this is awesome!!!!" came out of his mouth.) There were these HUGE tanks where you could pick up and touch the hard shelled darlings. It was kinda cool. They were very gentle and soft to touch. Here's a couple photos from that outing....
Seriously, in heaven. You think he was on movie set or something. This is just one of the bazillion photos that we have of him.
GC still has lots of damage from a Hurricane Ivan which came through in '04. There are lots of buildings half destroyed and may never be fixed. You can see one of the new building they are finishing for the turtle farm in the background. This was a new facility the old one was completely destroyed.
While the turtle were gentle, they didn't like to be held out of the water for a long time. They flapped their little flippers to show you they weren't happy. By the time this little guy was put down, my knuckles were red. Guess my face shows you everything you need to understand this picture....
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out of order

I had posted this the morning after we arrived, but for some reason it didn't show up. Just wanted add into the timeline to remember....


The flip flops are on. The sun is trying to shine. Timmy and I are at camera war for the best pictures. The hotel has a BEAUTIFUL view of the white sandy beaches. The water is crystal blue. If only the clouds would go away. But it's not raining!Today we are headed to Eden rock to snorkel, dive and shop. The beach is calling my name.....Will post pictures later.
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--Posted by cottage girl to Cottage girl at 2/04/2006 09:01:00 AM

February 04, 2006

Hi, Nemo!

Snorkeling and diving were on the agenda on this February day. (Did I mention that I'm so happy to be in the warm weather!) We went downtown so the bro and fasha could rent some diving equipment. We picked a spot where we could all go right off the "beach." They dove, the rest of us did some really great snorkeling. So many different kinds of fish. It was like swimming through Finding Nemo. Beautiful weather. Then back to the hotel to rest for a while. Dinner soon after the sunsets over the ocean and sand. This is the life....

Diving/snorkeling post. Not any sand, but good places in the water.

No shoes and LOVING it.

Awesome sign at the dive shop.

The amazing diving duo.


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Pics of the crop

Here it is....this is a few from yesterday...


Hell. Yup. Hell. That's the name of this town. They have a post office where people can mail their postcards "from Hell."
Old school crew. Euro minivan. Finally in the sun, off of the plane. Those smiles were real...
White beaches and blue water outside of our hotel. There isn't much beach left here after the hurricane came through this fall. But what there is is so soft. We came out here to swim and watch the sunset last night. There was an adorable older couple getting married right on the beach. After the kissed, everyone nearby started clapping and cheering. They were so happy!

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February 02, 2006

Palm trees and suntans

It's that time again. Time to send in entries from another country. Tomorrow this time, I will hopefully be on a white sunny beach with warm breezes tangling my hair, crystal blue water crashing on the shore and sunscreen on my face. Stay tuned....
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February 01, 2006

Things I did at work last week

  • Set tables for 70 people
  • Answered the phone
  • Answered emails
  • Sang songs
  • Snow tubing with 60 kids
  • Mopped the floor
  • Read the Bible
  • Ordered a new copier.
  • Took photos.
  • Ate pizza.
  • Ate Mexican food.
  • Stayed up till midnight talking to a co-worker.
  • Laughed so hard my eyes watered.
  • Prayed
  • Studied the Bible
  • Watched the sunset over a river.
  • Watched the sunset while I was snowtubing.
  • Watched the sunrise over the water.
  • Ate too many chocolate chip cookies.
  • Served waffles and ice cream to hungry kids.
  • Watch kids become truthful and honest before a group of 60 other people.
  • Notarized forms.
  • Counted change.
  • Made a salad for 100 people.
  • Fell into bed so completely tired and happy at the same time.
  • Had an overwhelming moment of thankfulness for the job I have. Seriously, overwhelming to the point of tears.

I am so blessed. How amazing is it that God lets me have this job!!!


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