Water Parks: Noah's Ark Water Park, Wisconsin Dells, WI
book by Robert D. Smith
review by Joanna
[Travel Reads: These are books that one or both of us have read and found fascinating, inspiring, or just plain entertaining. So we thought we would share them with you! ]
20,000 Days And Counting is the kind of book you could read on a short flight. Or on a hotel balcony while you sip your morning coffee. Or on the beach when you get tired of playing in the ocean. That’s not where I read it.
Just Florida Things: De Leon Springs State Park
“Never Stay Home Two Weekends in a Row.” For whatever reason, I was reading a post a couple of weeks ago written by a twice-divorced man for his sister on the eve of her marriage. In it, he detailed the things he had messed up and would ‘do-over’ differently so that hopefully she can avoid the same fate. Justin and I, although not married yet, are doing pretty well on most of them, but this one… this one stuck in my head until the following Saturday night at home…again. Justin and I are both out of the house during the week for about 12 hours each every day, so being home together on the weekends is its own sweet relief. But not the second one in a row! “We’re going on an adventure tomorrow.” I told Justin that night. As with most things if I say it with enough excitement, he acquiesced.
Travel Thoughts: Cruising
Cruising. Judging by content on the internet, most people either love it or hate it. With 25 days of cruising now under our belts – a paltry number compared to some of the people we’ve met while cruising! - we are pretty confident in saying we love it. Sure, there are some things we don’t like (that’s for another post) and we’ve been on one we considered quite “meh,” but, in general, we both think cruising is a fantastic way to travel. Here’s why.
Just Florida Things: Sanibel Island
Sanibel Island, FL was designed for bike riding; you can literally go anywhere on the island by bicycle. And so, on the second day of our first trip there together, along with a friend from college, we found ourselves at a bike rental shop. On the way there, I tried to convince Justin that a bicycle built for two would be the perfect way to see the island. But as soon as we pulled into the lot, I spotted a surrey: part bicycle, part Flintstone-mobile with an enticing sunshade but only a single speed. We had to have it.
Ports of Call: St. Maarten
Last year, Justin took me on an 8 day Caribbean cruise for my birthday (swoon!).To date, the whole trip has probably been our trip-of-a-lifetime so far, although we'll certainly keep trying to top it! One of the ports of call was Philipsburg, St. Maarten. For any of you who watch Travel Channel or Caribbean Life on HGTV, you probably already know that the thing to do is to go to Maho Beach, at the end of the questionably short runway of Princess Juliana International Airport. Initially, we were surprised when there were no excursions listed going there. I wanted to do this so badly that I was willing to risk a taxi ride in a foreign country – we don’t even take taxis in the U.S.! Much to Justin's relief, an excursion sheet showed up in our cabin the night before with the sole purpose of taking us there. And so we went...
Just Florida Things - Disney's Typhoon Lagoon - Shark Reef Snorkeling Adventure
On account of where I worked at the time, I had two tickets to Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon, and so, on one perpetual-summer Saturday, we braved the tourist hordes. As dreaded, our fun was not immediate. In high tourist season, the first water slide we went to go on had a 45 minute wait! Fortuitously, after only 10 minutes in line, one of Florida's infamous downpours started, the slide closed, and we were spared another 35 minutes. The park cleared out almost immediately, tourist families grumbling about their rained out day and moving on to other, drier adventures. Not us! I had lived in Florida long enough by then to be relatively confident the storm wouldn't last and, seeing as how we were already in swimsuits and there was no sign of lightning, we wandered around the park while we waited it out. Eventually, we came upon the Shark Reef Snorkeling Adventure...
The basic gist of the experience is that you get to snorkel across a tank with non-aggressive, mostly bottom-dwelling sharks that is fairly close to their natural environment. And by this I mean… it's cold! Now, if you're a thrill seeker, you probably won't get your adrenaline jolt here, but please reference the name of this site. We aren't exactly the kind of people who jump out of airplanes for fun! Yet, anyway.
I have never knowingly been in the water in close proximity to sharks before, but with this being a Disney adventure, I felt relatively assured of safety – I mean, probably millions of people, children included, have swam across this reasonably-sized tank without issue! When the storm let up, Justin and I were second in line behind a nice looking family. Mom, dad, children all made it across without issue. Okay – here we go!
US of A: San Francisco
The trip that started this blog is one I didn’t even want to go on. For a variety of reasons, I tried to get out of going, but right before Justin finally acquiesced, I realized I would regret it if I didn’t go. By the time we saw the top of those bright red towers, we had endured quite a few of the worst parts of traveling, but I knew I had made the right choice.