Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Home Stretch

After Mike and Donna left, we had about a month left of our contract which seemed like both a very long time and a very short time. We made the most out of the time we had left by going on a few excursions, trying new things, and enjoying simple pleasures like watching the sun set after dinner most night on the deck chairs outside with a cup of coffee or tea in hand. 

One of our favorite activities in the last few weeks was hiking in El Yunque rain forest in Puerto Rico. El Yunque is about an hour drive from the ship. We were dropped off at the beginning of a trail and after a two hour hike through lush trees and waterfalls, we were picked up on the other end. We would like to note that it does in fact, rain in the rain forest. This is something that people regularly complain that they didn’t know about after going on this excursion. Really? Kelly thinks that’s as hilarious as when she hosted the gangway and people would ask her “Do I need a towel today?” Her response was to shoot them a quizzical look and ask, “Well, are you going to get wet?” Use your noggins folks. Anyhow, here’s a few pictures of this beautiful hike. 

Pretty huh? One interesting fact about El Yunque is that it is up for nomination as one of the "New Seven Wonders of the World." It is a pretty amazing place!

One day we decided to check out bikes from the crew office and ride around Grand Turk. We enjoyed a several mile ride to town where we sampled Goombay Punch, and poked around in some of the shops. We also stopped at Her Majesty’s Prison in hopes of a tour but it was closed that day. 

Most of our days involved tying up loose ends, enjoying our favorite foods and activities from the last six months, making plans for our time off, packing and saying good-bye.

It has been a really interesting experience living and working on a cruise ship. We’re glad we did it and are looking forward to another contract or two at most. It has given us a chance to see some of the world we would not have otherwise seen either by choice or by inaccessibility and we look forward to seeing more of it in our next ports of call.

And while we wait to hear more on what’s next, we are really enjoying our time on land. Right now we’re in Pennsylvania visiting our friends. We have both been surprised by how much PA feels like home. Having this time away seems to have encouraged our hearts to grow fonder of our first home away from home and we’re hoping that we’ll be able to move back here once our time at sea comes to a close.

Later this week, we’re flying off to California to visit our West Coast friends and family. We’ll keep you posted on all of our visits and time off adventures.

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