Back in November, I snuck out of the lab for a whole 10 days on vacation. In a long and complicated story, Husband and I decided to go on a family vacation (yes, I know… I see my mother in law at least once a month, sometimes multiple weekends in a row, and I still somehow thought it would be enjoyable to travel with her). Because of limitations of his mother, we decided a cruise would be the best option at satisfying all involved… but then, at the last minute, she wasn’t able to attend (awww, shucks!). So, off we went with my own parents, who love to travel as well.
We specifically picked the cruise because it left out of Baltimore, meaning an easy drive and no flights necessary. Husband came down from Philly, I came up from D.C., and my parents came southeast from Harrisburg, and we were on our way! (Click on links of city names for more pictures from each location!)
After two days at sea consisting of lots of relaxing, reading, games of UNO and Scrabble, and a somewhat ridiculous amount of alcohol, we arrived in the first port: San Juan, Puerto Rico. We spent our time in San Juan exploring Old San Juan and Fort San Cristóbal… and of course, stopped for an afternoon drink. (Alcohol consumption is an absolutely essential part of vacationing according to my parents.)
Our next port of call was St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. St. Thomas is one of my favorite islands in the Caribbean (after Aruba, where I used to spend time every January before graduate school sucked all the fun out of life, and Grand Cayman, because of the scuba diving). We spent the morning at our favorite beach, Magen’s Bay. The day was mostly overcast and the waves were gigantic compared to previous visits, due to the tropical storm brewing further north. I had been hoping to go scuba diving over on St. John that day, but all the beaches and water were closed due to the waves! After a morning on the beach, we went to my favorite little synagogue ever, St. Thomas Synagogue (insert witty joke from my father regarding naming synagogues after saints). It is a tiny little building atop a big hill (aptly named Synagogue Hill) and comes complete with a sand floor. Perfect!
Next up, we visited Samana, Dominican Republic. It was the first time for all of us going to the DR, but instead of exploring, we were all ready for a nice, relaxing beach day. It was a gorgeous, sunny day, and we spent it swimming, snorkeling (the off-the-beach snorkeling had a better reef than some of my deep scuba dives!), and my father and I took out an ocean kayak and paddled our way up and down the coast for a few hours.
Last but not least, we found ourselves in Labadee, Haiti. The day was absolutely beautiful, but the sand was covered with coral and broken shells, which made it a bit tricky getting in and out of the water!
On the way back to Baltimore, our vacation was extended by a day, courtesy of Tropical Storm Ida. The Coast Guard closed the Chesapeake Bay, so we were unable to enter until it was reopened a day later. There are certainly worse things in life than getting an extra unexpected day of vacation… though Husband may disagree, as the rough waters made him rather seasick!
Hmm… I’m ready for another vacation! Where to next, Husband?!