Facebook is great for sharing memories. And for recalling them as well. Today I had a memory come up from a couple of years ago when we were in Cozumel for a cruise stop and friends of ours were in Cancun. They took the ferry over and met up for an afternoon of drinks, laughter, and merriment.
We started the day off at an all inclusive resort day resort. And I have to admit I did enjoy the massage on the beach. And although I’m the kind to talk to anybody and I like to meet and make new friends anywhere I go, it’s like the old saying goes, “Make new friends, but keep the old one is silver and the other is gold.”
After a fun morning and early afternoon at the resort we headed back into town and met up with our friends for drinks and snacks. It was a blast. We were able to talk, hear about their vacation, and catch up. Although they were on their honeymoon and we were on our romantic third honeymoon, or as I call it our “tri-moon”, it was fun to step away from the romance and have some friend time. To let you in on a little secret, we are huge Jimmy Buffet fans, so of course we had to meet at Margaritaville. As we sat on the deck enjoying the amazing music, and having the jello shots, a Cheeseburger in Paradise, and of course Margaritas the best part was taking a break from romance and having good old fashion fun with friends. We were telling stories, jokes, and laughing.
Sometimes when taking that romantic honeymoon, tri-moon or romantic getaway, you need to take a few minutes away from romance to appreciate the romance. If your spouse is a golfer, and your not, let them golf and head to the spa. A pedicure or massage is always good for the soul. Or take a shopping trip. It never hurts to do a little retail therapy.
In the past I would NEVER go snorkeling because Mark doesn’t like to. And I have to admit it’s on my bucket list. While in Roatan, Honduras, we were on the beach and the water was CRYSTAL CLEAR. I could go out and just wade in the water and see tons of fish under me. I SO wanted Mark to come out and he wouldn’t. That’s when he realized how important it is for me to snorkel. He then told me, the next time that we are at a location that has snorkeling I must do it, and he’ll wait on shore until I’m back. Well, we are going this year and I’m going to FINALLY go snorkeling. Now, as much as I can’t wait to go, the most romantic part of this snorkeling trip is that Mark suggested that I go, even though he has no interest in it himself.
Sometimes romance isn’t always doing everything together, holding hands, and roses. It’s the fun in life, it’s the letting your sweetheart do something he or she enjoys and coming back to share that with you. It’s helping them grow as a person, so that you can grow as a couple together. It’s laughing with friends and enjoying your travels, whether it’s alone, with friends, with the family, just the two of you or a combination of all of the above.
And until next time…
The world is a big place, and I know that I have a bucket list that is a mile and half long. I LOVE to see as much as possible. As I put it before I love to cruise because I would I love to get a quick glimpse of a country and then get back on the ship and move on to the next place. Kind of a “try it before you buy it” special. However, there is something to be said about going back somewhere to explore the location ever deeper and find out what else there is to see.
One of the best examples of this is Disney World. I’ve been there more times than I can count on one hand. I’ve been there as a child, as a young adult with my friends, again with my children and with my adult family members. Each time, everything changes and I come back to explore it more and find things at a deeper level each time. There are rides that I remember as a child that I went on as a young adult with my friends. However, once I had children I saw the same rides through totally different eyes. I have also enjoyed character experiences as a child, with my children, and with my friends. When I traveled with my children I wanted to make sure that I saw everything for them. When I went this past year with my sister-in-law, we went at a slower pace and there was no pressure to see everything, and in some ways we saw more by not rushing to see it all. We went to different restaurants and shopped at different shops. We didn’t have to rush to make sure that we went on different rides and make every character greeting.
This is the same as the ports on a cruise. The first time I stop at a Port of Call, I want to see everything. What I’ve noticed is that I take a “sampling” of the area and then before we even leave I’m telling Mark, “Next time when we come back I want to do this and this and this.” A good example is Cozumel Mexico. The first time I went there we took a tour of the island. And I was hooked. We have been back a handful of times. We have done everything from taking the ferry over to Tulum to see the Mayan Ruins to spending the day at Chankanaab National Park to have a dolphin experience, tequila tasting, and exploring the park. We found a private beach club to explore and have a wonderful day at. And of course lots of shopping and Margaritaville. Although the first time at a port of call or any vacation spot is exciting to see something new, the second time around can be just as exciting or even more as you know what to expect and you can dive even deeper into that location’s riches.
And until next time….
One of my favorite ways to travel is cruising. I’ve stated it before, I love the fact that I can “try it before you buy it” on different islands in the Caribbean, and that I can get back on my “floating city” put my feet up and have someone take me away to my next adventure. Ahh, a little piece of heaven. Plus being a wife and mother, I LOVE the fact that I have someone else to make the bed everyday and pick up the room. Besides, who doesn’t LOVE the little towel animals?
When I bring up how much I love cruising everyone asks me, the same questions. Which cruise line is the best? What’s the best deal? When’s the best times to get the best deal? So, I thought that I would break it down a bit.
Which cruise line is the best? Well that’s a loaded question. It’s like asking which car company is the best. Everyone will give you a different answer. Some people prefer General Motors and some Honda. It’s all in the eyes of the beholder. Just like car companies that have their loyal customers, cruise lines have their loyal customers as well. For us, it’s Norwegian Cruise lines. And why? Very simple it fits our lifestyle the best. Mark is very honest when on vacation, no suits at dinner, and we really enjoy the restaurants. However, we also love Royal Caribbean and we want to take a sailing on the Carnival Vista. Oh and perhaps a Disney Cruise with the grandparents. I guess I’m not a loyalist after all.
What’s the best deal is another question that I get asked. Well it matters what you are looking for. I always look for the best value on a cruise. I personally think that cruises are very value driven, let me explain. I’m the kind of traveler that likes to see a lot when I’m on vacation. I also like to add in a day or two (sometimes three) of rest in a week’s vacation. However, I like to do new things and experience new places. I get to the port, board my cruise ship, unpack once and start enjoying my vacation right away. Usually I pick a cruise that has the first day at sea so that I can have a day of rest and relaxation. Next, I’m at a port of call that I wanted to see, I do that and back to the ship I go. Today’s cruise ships no longer have just the typical buffets, they offer excellent meals, top notch chef’s have their restaurants on the ships. So for me it’s an excellent value. With that said, when I look for the best “deal” I’m looking for the best value or “Bang” for my buck. I look for the restaurants and experiences that I want on my vacation and shop from there.
When’s the best time to get the best deal? Actually January through March is usually the best times to get the best deals. It’s the time of the year that the cruise lines are having their “sales”. From giving you extra freebies, to lower prices or lower deposits, it the time to start thinking about adding a cruise onto your docket.
Winter time is here…… and all I want to do is go on vacation! Right now in Wisconsin I totally get why they call it the “Frozen Tundra”. If you are planning a winter vacation here’s a couple of tips to help you get your homestead ready as you pack for your dream destination.
First of all you still need to keep it warm at the homestead. At least 55 degrees to keep the pipes from freezing! We keep it in the low 60’s. Plus when I get home I like it not to be too cold. Another tip for those pipes, go around your home and open all of the cabinet doors under the faucets to let the heat circulate. I also keep one faucet open on the lowest level to allow air and excess water to drain.
Just as in the summer, make sure that you unplug any unused appliances, such as coffee makers, toasters, tablets etc. Not only does it save on electricity it also helps keeps down the chances of a fire starting. For the sake of security you may want to consider having your lights on timer a and having both the timer and your lights plugged in.
Speaking of security you can also consider having a security system installed before you go on vacation. Or you can even get a smart home system that you can control both the heat, lights and even camera systems right to your smartphone.
To repel rodents, you shouldn’t have any open food. If you have any open non perishables make sure that they are kept in air tight containers. Remove any trash and recyclables from the home.
Empty the fridge. If I have anything that is going to expire before vacation out it goes. I have to admit sometimes when I come home from vacation it’s nice to feel like it’s a fresh start in the kitchen!
Stop your mail. You can go to the post office website and have them suspend your mail until you return. We also let a trusted next door neighbor know that we are out of town so that if there are any packages that arrive, they can take them in for us.
Sometimes during winter travel there are things that can happen to the house that are unexpected as much as we try to protect our home. As a final backup, we are lucky enough to have one of our family members who live close to us. We leave them with a key incase of anything. They can come in and check in on the house. We also leave them a list of professionals who we work with and trust to fix something if we have a pipe burst, or something goes wrong. It is always good to have a list of what to do if something was to happen. If they were to need a payment immediately you should have something figured out before you leave. Either a credit card number on file or someway to pay.
Hopefully this gives you a quick checklist to go through before you pack your bags for that next winter getaway.
And until next time….
Tina Moczynski is a member of the GTN network. And loves to travel with both her husband and her three boys.