Hello lovely people! I’ve just returned from the beautiful Caribbean, and although I’m in between my return and part 2 of our winter vacation in Arizona next week and doing lots of laundry, sorting out emails and details for the next trip, and having a few follow up doctor appointments for hubby, I’m dropping in here with a short post.
We had a spectacular vacation of fun and sun. We were blessed to have everything flow beautifully from our departure to Fort Lauderdale, all the way through our return journey home.
I had hoped to post more on social media, but between our constant busyness and unpredictable internet, as anticipated, I was pretty much absent on the web. While at sea, the days magically turned into night so effortlessly that time drifted by.
We were up early daily, eating breakfast on the balcony before we headed out by 9am-ish to either our lounge chairs at the pool or exploring on the shores. All the years I’ve been with my husband on vacation, he’s been the one to get out by 6am to secure the deck chairs with a towel and chair clips to ensure we ‘got a good spot’ to soak up the rays without being squashed in by too many other chairs enabling us to turn our chairs around as the sun moved. This time was different.
Our friends who my husband had always got chairs for as well, repaid the favor to allow him to sleep in, and took turns waking at dawn to secure our seats. Chair saving and positioning is an art, and one the six of us are conveniently all fussy about.The weather was gorgeous and hot, particularly when we got out of the Atlantic into the Caribbean.
We traveled with our friends Lynn and Gary who we’ve been friends with for 6 years now and actually met them on a cruise. They also live in Toronto, and now book our cruises together. We also met up with other friends we’ve made on past cruises, Deb and Sean from the U.K., who also booked the same cruise to once again spend time together. We soaked up the sun daily, laughed a lot, and met more interesting people, Holly and Brad from Vancouver.
The routine was simple: Get up early, get into the sun or off the ship and back into the sun after a shopping trip, grab a cocktail to go at 4pm back to the room to shower, lounge on the balcony and get ready for dinner, meet at the bar before dinner then go listen to music or dare to visit the casino, or on occasion head to bed at 930pm when we’d all taken in too much sun and fresh ocean air that knocked us right out. That combination is a great sleeping tonic and had me hitting the pillow and knocked out many nights before I could even read a book.
So, with our busy agenda and lounging life, I didn’t have much opportunity get on the computer. When I did attempt to use the computer by getting up at 6am to try to steal an hour’s time on it, I found every page load was taking 5 minutes and decided I wasn’t going to spend hours in my room on the internet. Intentions were there but I wasn’t going to allow shaky, lagging internet to take over my vacation. Thus, I didn’t visit many blogs or even get to post pictures more than once on Facebook. Eventually I got over the computer withdrawl stage and relaxed in island time. I have to admit, it was quite freeing to do nothing but relax, laugh, chat, and of course, shop, lol.
I hope to post some notable moments of our trip and some of the places we visited by the weekend. I have a few short days this week to get organized here and get ready to leave for Arizona early next week. And for many of you who have read my book, Have Bags, Will Travel, and know about my struggles with all my luggage and Canada customs, I’ll share an enlightening recap here of my return home to Toronto airport.
First off, I’m proud to announce that I was quite disciplined when it came to shopping this trip. Subsequently, I stayed within my customs allowance, AND BAGGAGE ALLOWANCE. I’ve made a bit of travel history for myself! But, just because I stayed within the limits doesn’t necessarily mean that Canada customs would take my word for it and may want to have me pulled over for further inspection, so I still felt a little apprehensive.
This time, as usual, they asked me questions about how much I spent and what I was bringing back. And as part of the system, they hand back my declaration card stamped and write a ‘secret code’ number in big red numbers on the card. These numbers always have me perplexed, leaving me guessing as to what fate will be in store for me, so I try to snoop at other people’s cards to see if anyone has the same number as me, or if mine is different, as has been the case many times in the past.
After picking up the luggage from the carousel, we get to either exit the terminal to freedom once handing over that card, or find out we’re being pulled over to the investigation room where they rummage through your luggage to see if they can find something we haven’t declared. I call it the ‘scary room’. I’ve been sent there too many times and done some fancy talking, and gratefully I always managed to get out unscathed.
I had a glimmer of inspiration this time when I noted that the number written on my card this time was ‘111’. Many of you who know my obsession with being guided by angels, may also know that triple sequence numbers, particularly 111 are messages that the angels are around you. I immediately felt calm when I noticed that number.
This was the first time of all my returns home from the Caribbean that I handed in that card after picking up my luggage, and sailed right through customs through the exit doors! A fantastic finish to a fantastic vacation!
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