a fuller life

adventures… eats… laughs… life


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Our week on the Oasis of the Seas

Last winter we took our first Royal Caribbean cruise. Carnival is starting to run out of Caribbean itineraries that aren’t full of repeats for us and RC had some new ports. If you’ve read the blog or talked to me about it at all, you’ll know it was not my favourite. We had a lot of fun – thanks to great friends and fun ports. But we had a hard time getting most things sorted in advance for our group. I didn’t love the ship, I didn’t love the food, and I wasn’t in a rush to try another one.

And then Greg won a cruise with them… and having paid entirely for all of our travelling ourselves, of course we wanted something free! We thought booking a cruise we were paying for was hard with them. Booking a cruise we won was a lot harder… but you’ll have to skip ahead to the end for that rant.

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Beer, beaches, and turnips! turnips! turnips!

More super fun hijinks in the Caribbean with friends on board the Carnival Breeze.20150927_112458

Day 1 – Heading south and breaking cameras…

Adventure time!  And I can even omit the part where I whine about how we have to drive for ages to be able to get to flights with a reasonable cost associated with them… we flew from home for a price we could live with. We this time is Greg and I, and our friends Nicole and Lloyd. Arrived in Florida by noon, straight to the hotel by way of a shuttle service that looped around a bit because we were nice enough to let them wait for the other group of people (who were trashed already and obnoxious… of course.. not that we haven’t also been that group at some time or another). We stayed in downtown Miami (Courtyard Downtown), went and found some cheap eats, got some beer to have our own tasting at the hotel, and mostly chilled out for a bit. Then we walked around some, headed to the Beer and Burger joint for the obvious 20150928_082322choices in a restaurant with this name (I may have also found cupcakes and Starbucks), and then back to the hotel for the night. Crazy party animals. We were tired (we had to be at the airport for our first flight at a time you should only ever reach by staying up all night) and it was humid as fuck!  About 2 minutes before we got back to the hotel, I stopped to take a picture and my camera died. Like unfixable died. Not no more battery died. Hooray!

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Our Meeting with the Carnival Destiny

miami_beachOnce upon a time, a girl with chronic wanderlust and a boy who hates the snow decided to go on a little adventure (er, another adventure). With a dirty look or two for the snow that started to fall as they headed to the airport, the adventure begins…

Cheapest flights out of our province were out of Moncton this time (this was a proper holiday for relaxing, so we didn’t want to drive to and from the US before/after flying), so off we went on a 2 hour drive to the airport. It started to snow about the last 30 minutes of the drive, but I think somehow that just makes leaving the snow more rewarding. Checked in in Moncton and waited for a bit at the gate before getting called up to see the agent – without any prompting, asking, begging, threatening, or even attempts at mind control on our part, they had switched our seats on the first flight so that we could sit together. Hooray for Air Canada (and I can’t believe I said that). Flight to Toronto was uneventful, and we hit the US customs line there at a perfect time (i.e. no line up of people who can’t figure out how to queue, even with ropes guiding them). Grabbed some status quo airport food, waited a bit, and then on to the plane for Miami. Continue reading


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7 Day Western Caribbean on the Carnival Magic – Oh La La!

magicThanks to a wonderful holiday surprise from my awesome husband, we’re just back from our latest adventure…. another cruise (this time on the Carnival Magic), great for exploring AND relaxing… here we go.

Day 1 – As per usual, a flight out of here in the wee hours of the morning. F’ton to Montreal uneventful, fast-tracked through Montreal because we had a tight connection, and get to the gate for flight #2 to find it missing a plane. Oh well, time for breakfast and coffee! Late leaving Montreal, but we make up most of the time in the air. Arrive in Houston around noon their time, but Mich (our wonderful chauffeur, tour guide, and hostess for our brief time in Houston – thanks Mich!) is trapped in traffic on the interstate. I’m sure this is the only reason there wasn’t a marching band, parade, and/or giant banner there to announce our arrival 🙂 She gets there about an hour later (while I disappointingly note the complete lack of cowboy boots and hats in the airport and we get our fill of country music), and we’re off to find some lunch. Tex Mex at a place called Canyon Cafe – it was fine, titansbut nothing exciting. Back to her place, where we all veg/nap/watch football playoffs for the afternoon. Good Company Texas BBQ for supper (mmm brisket, jalapeno bread etc), and then off to Ginger Man (pub with oodles and oodles of beer) to meet some peeps Mich knows (some transplanted Canadians and a couple from Colombia – they all seemed really nice) for beer – which we drank outside, in January. Hooray! I tried some Wells Banana Bread beer (not great, but I had to give it a go… it has an awful aftertaste of those faux banana candies that look like packing peanuts) and then I tried a pecan porter, which wasn’t that great either. Oh well. Back to Mich’s and to bed around midnight – pretty tired from travelling all day. Continue reading


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Carnival Freedom – 8 Day Western Caribbean

1We were on the May 9th sailing on the Freedom (8 night Western) out of Fort Lauderdale. This sailing normally goes to Mexico, Costa Rica, and Panama, but our itinerary got switched to Panama, Costa Rica, and Belize because of the H1N1 virus.

May 8th – Wee hours of the morning… we’re off to the local airport to catch our flight away from Florida (we have to fly west from the east coast of Canada first to a major airport before we can catch flights to other major centers) so our trip can get started… we arrive in Fort Lauderdale mid afternoon, luggage in hand… this was our 5 year anniversary trip, so we splurged on a balcony cabin on the ship and executive class flights… going to have a hard time flying cattle class again now! Continue reading