Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It's off to Maryland we go....

This past weekend, Ben & I headed up to Maryland for a night (which included two trips to Chincoteague, which meant two trips to Island Creamery. Delicious). It was so nice to get away from school for a day or two... and oh! how i've missed the beach!
Our kite flying skills are unmatched. :)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

what's cookin, good lookin?

My roommates are in Vegas this week at the AAG conference, which has left me bored & lonely. I've had plenty of time to bake though, and I've found two winners...

1.) Oreo Cake... I made two 5" baby cakes... one with regular oreos, and one with peppermint oreos a la Trader Joes. (my favorite. ever.)
I cut this recipe in half... and made my own buttercream frosting. (I would give you the recipe, but I made it up as I went. Oops)
2.) Spring has sprung. And these cupcakes are bangin'. (I used regular buttercream)

Monday, March 23, 2009

new bern

we visited new bern, nc this weekend... walked along the water, and visited some shops. it was sunny, and cool, and just what i needed.

i've really grown to love finding these historic, waterfront southern towns. so charming and beautiful. and the spanish moss in the trees.... it puts a big smile on my face.

pink eye

this swollen, crusty eye has got me down this week. cute, right?
(and contagious! stay away!)

Sunday, March 22, 2009


I've been getting a lot of the same questions about my cruise... so I thought I would answer some of the most common, and throw in a few pictures for your viewing pleasure!

What was the best part about the cruise?
The employees were definitely a highlight. EVERYONE who worked on that boat was so warm & friendly. After the first day, the waiters and bartenders knew our names. Our housekeeper figured out our schedule, and worked around it. Everything we could possibly need was taken care of with a smile.
What was the worst part about the cruise?
You don't get much privacy. It never felt like there were 5,000 people on the boat (there were!), but you also never felt like you were alone.
What was your favorite port?
Belize. They were all great, but the private beach excursion was so beautiful and relaxing.
How was the food?
Amazing. I never had a bad meal. For breakfast, we normally ate a buffet. For lunch, we got pizza (the mushroom & goat cheese was the best pizza I've ever had), and for dinner we went to the dining room.... every night there was a new, delicious menu. We had lobster, steak, salmon.... all impeccably prepared and presented.
Can you tell you are on a boat?
I've always heard you can't, but you can. I never got sick, and quickly got used to it, but its really apparent in the shower, and in bed. The few days after we got home were rough- I always felt like I was rocking.
Would you do it again?
Sure. But I'm not in a rush. I still prefer having more time to spend exploring a place... and I like making my own schedule. But it was nice to be taken care of, and being able the mindlessly visit some cool places.
these sweet little towel animals greeted us every night.

i wanted to take this little guy home.

the beach at Costa Maya.

the lido deck- this is where most of the excitement was. but we never actually spent much time here.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Let's Recap, Shall We?

I am home, safe & sound. North Carolina has been treating me to some lovely rainy and cold weather since I have been home. I am snuggled up in my bed with a hot cup of tea, watching the rain fall and going through my pictures of sunny, beautiful places. It's depressing. I should have "acidentally" missed the ship. I hear things in Mexico are great these days.

Over the next few days, I will collect my thoughts and pictures to quench your insatiable thirst for every little detail of my trip.

Here she is in all her glory.. the Carnival Valor. The boat was great, the staff was incredible and the food was scrumptious. I think those are the things most people really take away from the cruise experience.

My favorite stop was Belize, even though we didn't see much of Belize itself. This was our private little island.

And of course I had to take a picture of this shore stabilization. Maybe Belize could use my expertise after all? I might write this trip off as research.

But for tonight, I will just be longing for this...
...as I work on my resume. I wonder if there are people who can do this for me? Perhaps I could spend a few hours telling them about how awesome I am, then voila! A completed resume ready for me in no time at all.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Home Sweet Home. Almost.

Bon Voyage, Carnival Valor. This afternoon you will be heading out to
more lovely destinations.... And I will be driving 12 hours to
Greenville, NC.

We are on the road now, and it's bittersweet. I had a great time and
went to some great places, but 7 days on a boat is a long time. I miss
my bed, and my big shower. I am ready for the calm that comes with
having 2 roommates, not 3,400.

I'll post more pictures this week.

Friday, March 13, 2009

6 down, 1 to go!

Spent today in Grand Cayman! So
nice! We went on a snorkeling excursion... We visited a reef and a
shipwreck! I had the best time floating around & checking out the
fishies and the ocean. I could spend all day in the water. If
reincarnation exists, I hope I come back as a fish.

Tonight was formal night. And now it's off to the piano bar to sing
along with Roger.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


Spent today back in Mexico... Cozumel to be exact. Unfortunately, it
was overcast and a bit rainy. So instead of spending the day at the
beach, we took a taxi downtown. So many people trying to get us buy
things.... Mostly jewelry. I never thought I would say this, but I
don't want to see jewelry for a long time after this trip. It's

To escape the rain, we got margaritas at Three Amigos. They were good
and cheap! But they forced us to take free shots of tequila and dance
on our chairs! Mexico is a strange, wonderful place.

Tomorrow we are going to snorkle some reefs and a shipwreck at Grand
Cayman. Can't wait :)

Sent from my iPhone

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Ok, that was cheesy. Sorry

Belize is stunning. We spent the day on a private island swimming and
enjoying the perfect weather. The water is clear and blue. The people
are friendly, and my inner coastal geomorphologist is having a field
day with the mangroves and reefs!!

I wish we had more time here so I could have seen Belize City. One of
the bad parts about cruises is you don't get to spend much time
immersed in the culture. Everything is very touristy.

I would love to come back to Belize. I wonder how to coastal GIS job
market is here?? :)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


I've never been happier to be on land... Yesterday afternoon the seas
turned rough, and the boat was rocking pretty badly all night.
Fortunately, we didn't get too sick.

This morning I am enjoying the beach in Costa Maya, Mexico. A couple
years back, this place was destroyed by a hurricane, and it's still
pretty evident. Beyond the beach are dead, broken trees as far as you
can see. There has been some re- building here... I'm sure these
cruises are helping the economy here in a major way.

There are a few shops and a restaurant. Lots of cheap diamonds, too.
Unfortunately, I haven't met a sugar daddy here, so I will likely be
getting a much classier souvenier. Like tequila.

Off to enjoy the beach and the sunshine.

Next stop: Belize!

Ps. I just got my picture taken with a monkey!!!!! I'll post it next
week. He was cute as heck!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Greetings from.... Somewhere

I am not sure where we are exactly... A few hours ago we were 20 miles
north of Cuba.

Spent last night in a piano bar listening to Roger. He is a fantastic
piano player and singer, but his English skills aren't perfect yet. We
had a blast singing along to everything from Journey to Billy Joel to
Van Marrison last night. Hope Roger is playing again tonight!

Today we are at sea... The water is the most beautiful shade of blue.
Sun bathed all morning- just what I needed after a freezing,
overwhelming ( but great) GeoTools conference!

Tomorrow morning we arrive in Costa Maya (apparently the location of
the new corona commercial)?! I'm excited.
It's supposed to be beautiful.

Missing everyone terribly. I'll update again tomorrow!

Sent from my iPhone

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Safety first

Look Mom & Dad! We're ready for an emergency! We just did our lifeboat
drill (and you know I paid close attention because the cruise director
had the cutest Australian accent!)

And if worse comes to worse, I will just beat up a little kid and take
his floaties!

Bienvenido a Miami

We made it safely to Miami, which so far is full of palm trees, old
people (love you Grammie!) and Britney Spears billboards.

I'm getting pretty excited for the cruise. In the past, cruises never
really appealed to me. I'm more of a spontaneous traveler- I like to
do what I want, when I want, where I want. But my "spring break" days
will be coming to an end in less than 2 months. Then that whole
"career" thing kicks in.

So why not!? Heading to the boat soon :)

Sent from my iPhone

Saturday, March 7, 2009

On the road

Spent the day driving to Melbourne, Florida. I forgot how long and monotonous I-95 can be.

I just realized that between March 1-15th, I will only sleep in my own bed twice (which is a real tragedy if you know how much I adore my bed)

Tomorrow we head to Miami and set sail for the week. Tonight, it's another hotel bed for me.

Sweet dreams.
Mobile Blogging from here.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Here I Go Again...

Gosh, I have been a pretty lousy blogger the past few months. But a wise man once told me I thrive on fresh starts, and he is right. So out with the old and in with the new! Hopefully I will be able to keep this updated a little more often.

More importantly, I am heading out tomorrow for my first cruise! I will be road tripping to Miami for a couple of days, then visiting Costa Maya, Belize, Cozumel, and Grand Cayman. I'll be blogging along the way, so stay tuned!

For tonight, I am going to finish packing and get rested up for a long drive tomorrow.

7 day cruise..... 7 sundresses, 12 shirts, 4 bathing suits... Why am I such a chronic over-packer? Perhaps its because I am a woman. It's probably just in my DNA somewhere.