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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Bon Voyage 2014

What's It Wednesday #131

My husband and I are always trying to find ways to make memories with our two children. Those of you who know our story know how extra special this is for us. I wrote about it in my Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice post Mother's Day of 2013.

In Cozumel, Mexico
After the kids attended the summer camp at the zoo we decided to take the kids on their first cruise. Plus there was a Groupon for $299.00 which my dear friend Donna hipped us to. So off Donna, her son, and my family went.

The kids experienced their first formal affair. Our ship, the MSC Divina, is known for it's Swarovski crystal staircases in the main lobby. My daughter calls them the Elsa Stairs (From Frozen...of course).



We took the kids on an excursion to experience their first Mayan Ruins in Cozumel. My son was amazed at the history and how old these structures were. My husband and I felt the place was absolutely magical. 


Once we left The Ruins, lunch and a dip in the Caribbean Sea was in order. 

Our next destination was very special to me. I was so excited to show my family the island I once called home, Grand Cayman.



My dear  friend Renee and her grandsons took us out on her boat to Stingray City. It was an exciting adventure and the boys could not wait to get into the sea to feed and swim with the stingrays. Well all three of them absolutely freaked out once the stingrays approached us and my dear friend and I had to struggle to get three terrified boys out of the water. My daughter, on the other hand, would wave at the stingrays and say hello to them, but she wasn't crazy about them. She was not afraid of them either and actually thought it was hilarious that the boys were all terrified.

Victoria was absolutely fascinated by the live starfish. She then released it back into the sea.

About to sail back to shore and catch the ship.

In Jamaica we got to sail down the Martha Brae, which is something I never did when living there. It was an amazing experience. 

From right below Mick Jagger's house we could see our cruise ship. 

In Jamaica, the "touristy" thing to do is to go to Dunn's River Falls which I recommend highly. We don't actually go there when visiting Ocho Rios. Instead we hang out at an amazing waterfall that is more known by the locals. This is my son's favorite place to visit when in Jamaica. 


Our last stop was Stirrup Cay, Bahamas where we soaked up a little more of the Caribbean sun. 

This getaway ended with the kids sliding down the big water slide on the beach. It was the perfect way to slide into the new school year. All-in-all it was a "Bon Voyage".

What were some of your favorite Summer of 2014 memories?

xoxoxo
Paula



Thanks to all of you who partied with us last week. Please link-up and join us again. Remember, it's not a party without you!

Here Are This Week's Features:

Paint and Style


The Heathered Nest

The Little White Cottage in the Woods

One More Time Events
Grandparents Plus

Jennelise



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Ivy and Elephants


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68 comments:

My thrift store addiction said...

Hi there! I love your vacation photos--what a beautiful family!Thanks for hosting! Blessings, Cecilia

The Polka Dot Closet said...

I think cruises are great affordable family vacations, what an education and fun for the kids. I Jumped to your mothers day post,,,,What a great story! I don't think I have ever seen cuter kids....You sure hit the cute kid jackpot, love all of your daughters girly clothes. You have the perfect family!

Carol

Suzan Sweatman said...

What an amazing vacation to give your children - it looks absolutely amazing ! ( and your kids are beautiful - love love love the photo of the formal dinner )
We're off on our first cruise ever in October so I especially loved this post
Thanks so much for the party -
Hugs,
Suzan

bj said...

We went on this very trip and did all the things you mentioned...and if you think your boys freaked out at the stingray affair, let me just say I totally LOST IT. All our family was on this cruise and they all got in with the rays and said, "Come on, Mom...don't be chicken." Well, I went in but I barely touched a ray, bounced right back up on that boat. hahhaa...scared the heck outa me then but now it's funny....
So glad ya'll had such a good time. Now, I'm ready to go on another cruise.

Red Rose Alley said...

Paula,
What great pictures these are and such special memories for you. I love this picture of you and your son, it's such a special one. It's so nice to see your sweet face after all this time. Family trips are the best. And you've been to some wonderful places. I've always wanted to go to Jamaica.

love,
~Sheri

Jill Harrison said...

It looks like you had a wonderful holiday. Travel is so fantastic for children. It really broadens their experience and knowledge.
I guess school is back in for you guys. Happy school days.
Thanks for hosting.

Shenita @ Embellishments by SLR said...

What a great vacation! The scenery is amazing; and all of the children are beautiful! Thanks so much for hosting this great party! Have a great week!

Trish Martin said...

Thanks so much for hosting the party. You have some beautiful kids. Looked like ya'll had an awesome time.

One More Time Events said...

First I want to Thank you for featuring my Coffee Station and second, Thank you for hosting... Your vacation looks amazing and your kids are absolutely adorable!

One More Time Events said...

First I want to Thank you for featuring my Coffee Station and second, Thank you for hosting... Your vacation looks amazing and your kids are absolutely adorable!

Liz@ Infuse With Liz said...

What an exciting trip for the kids! They're adorable and it looks like they had a blast! You look beautiful and I bet it was so nice to go back where you used to live!
Thanks for hosting!

Amy at Ms. Toody Goo Shoes said...

Looks like wonderful family memories were made. How special that you got to show your children Grand Cayman!

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

Wow, this looks like an amazing vacation! Lovely family photos!

La Vie Quotidienne said...

What a wonderful, wonderful vacation You and your family are so lovely. This must have been a very memorable time for you. Thank you for taking us along. I have never been to the Caribbean and now I feel I have been there.

Treat and Trick said...

Lovely family photos and thanks for sharing your wonderful vacation with us..

Judy at GoldCountryCottage said...

Hi Paula. That sounds like a trip of a lifetime. Such a great thing for the kids to experience. Wow, are your kids beautiful. Cruises are the best type of vacation I think. We've been on three and loved every minute of it. Happy Wednesday..Judy.. Thanks for hosting today.

Doreen@househoneys said...

Your children are adorable, and they looked so happy! You are definitely making fabulous memories they will cherish.

Thanks for the party!

Jody and Stan said...

Love your family photos! What a fantastic vacation!!
Thanks so much for hosting a fun party too!!
Hugs,
Jody

Mystica said...

These memories will be such great ones for the whole family.

Poppy said...

Sweet and smiling faces, family memories in the process! What a fun time had by all! Thanks so much for the party and have a wonderful day!

Poppy

Diane said...

Really adorable pics of your kids on your cruise. Love the beautiful photo of the starfish and the waterslide looks like so much fun. Jamaica looks like a terrific place to visit, gorgeous scenery. Thanks for the party!

Art and Sand said...

Thanks for hosting the party.

What a wonderful family vacation - such memories you created.

I don't think I knew about your Jamaican connection. Were you born there? My husband and I were in the Peace Corps in the mid 70's in Jamaica. We lived in Mandeville and Port Maria - did our grocery shopping in Ocho Rios. Our son was born there.

Muscetta said...

Wonderful trip, beautiful memories. Thanks for hosting. Have a great week. Tina

Nellie's Cozy place said...

Hi Paula,
Looks like a marvelous vacation.
That big slide sure looks like fun,
and the smiles on your childrens faces sure say they are having a good time. They are such cuties. Nice you got to visit where you
grew up, and to show your children.
Beautiful pics, the water looks
amazingly beautiful.
Glad you had such a good time.
Blessings, Nellie
Oh yea, and thanks for hosting as always.

Rita C. said...

Paula, your family is gorgeous! I loved hearing all about your vacation. Grand Cayman is the most special place in the world to my husband & I, and now my grown daughters and sils. We scuba there almost every year and love it and the people. Many thanks for hosting. I'm having an Indian Summer in my sunroom as we head toward the end of summer. :)
Rita

Gail said...

Thanks so much for sharing your fabulous vacation memories with us! You're so descriptive that I feel I was right there with you enjoying it all!

Lynn @The Vintage Nest said...

what a beautiful family you have Paula and such great memories to store in your heart for those cold winter days! And wonderful features this week. xo Lynn

Crystal said...

Cruises are the best vacations with kids. They have tons of things to do and see. A few years back we went on almost the same cruise and visited Tulum with the mayan ruins. Awesome photos.

Cathy Carroll said...

I love cruises - they are such a wonderful family vacation. We have taken several with our children and they loved them. Looks like you all had a wonderful time. Love your pictures - such cute kids. Thank you for hosting. Cathy

TheMoonAndMe said...

What an awesome family vacation! You guys look like you had so much fun! :)
Kelly

Julia - Vintage with Laces said...

Hi Paula, It looks like you all had a great and memorable vacation. Your kids are so cute. It's wonderful that these two sweeties found such a loving home.
Hugs,
Julia

Junkchiccottage said...

Oh Paula what a wonderful trip. I too love the picture of the kids on the stairway. So precious. Thanks for your lovely party.
Kris

Patty Antle said...

What a lovely family you have! Such wonderful memories. Thank you for hosting!

Curtains in My Tree said...


Oh Paula
Your family is so pretty all of them and you also of course.
What a great family vacation and the kids looked so sweet all dressed up in their cruise wear .
I love the picture of all the beach chairs it reminds me of last year when I went to Negril Jamaica to my nieces wedding.
I was on the beach the entire week except for the wedding and eating

All The Pretty Dishes said...

You have a beautiful family and what an amazing vacation!!

Lori L Lehman said...

I love your blog! I always learn something new and now I feel like I went to Jamaica! Great photos, absolutely adorable family! Thank you for hosting the party! Have a wonderful day

Susan Freeman said...

This post brought tears to my eyes. It took me back to my own family vacations. You are creating life long precious memories for your darling kids. Nothing better! Thanks for a lovely, touching post and a great party.

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Emma Kate at Paint and Style said...

You have a gorgeous family and it looks like a great holiday. Thanks so much for featuring my dresser! xx

Teresa said...

Imagine being saved by you and your husband. Makes everyone believe in "Angels Among Us".
Blessed be and Happy Vacations,
Teresa

Gigi Harlan said...

What a wonderful trip you and your family had visiting so many exotic places! I love that you took your family to where you once called home, so many memories for all of you! That starfish is so big and beautiful!

Jacqueline~Cabin and Cottage said...

Wow! Fantastic features! Your vacation looked fantastic too. Terrific photos!

Vickie @ Ranger 911 said...

It looks like you had a wonderful time creating memories with your beautiful family, Paula!

Barbara said...

Wow what a fantastic trip you had!!!And the color of the Caribbean is just spectacular. Looks like it was a fun filled vacation, so happy you had a wonderful time.
Thank you too for the party...have a great week!
XO Barbara

Tretswelt said...

Hei!Ich finde es wunderschön die fotos...deine Familie entzückend.Schöne Woche wünsche ich dir.Luciene.

Deanies Stash said...

Your trip looked amazing. What great memories you made with your kids.

Terra said...

Your kids are so joyful and they will always remember this trip. I want to go next time! The waterfalls, sliding on the water, their cute dressup outfits, fun for all.

Charm Bracelet Diva {at Home} said...

Paula I'm so jealous! What a fantastic family excursion it must have been. And the pictures are gorgeous. Our vacation was at the NJ shore where my husband's family lives. We do it every year. It's hard being in the Midwest with all our family on the east coast so the kids love it! Are you really from Grand Cayman? How awesome! I visited Little Cayman when I was in law school years ago (in the 80's) and went on my first dive boat there. Also snorkeled for the first time there. So beautiful and peaceful! Glad you had a nice vacation.
xoKathleen

Jolene said...

I love this post! Making memories are so important as a family. I cherish mine and have relied a lot on good memories of my father this year. I am so glad your family enjoyed this special get away.

Home Bohemia said...

It was so nice to see your cruise in the Caribbean. Beautiful children!! it must have been amazing:) I saw a big ship like that in Stockholm just a few weeks ago on its Scandinavian tour. I´ve never seen a bigger boat:D I did join your party this week and I´m taking you to Copenhagen in Denmark:) Love Maria

Home Bohemia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Summer Kitchen Girls said...

We took our kiddos on a cruise when they were about the same age...so fun! They've reminded us of course that it has been 10 years...and time for another lol!!!

Bonnie said...

Loved seeing all your family. Precious children and a delightful vacation. Beautiful and exciting.

CIELO said...

It looks like you guys had so much fun in Consumel! And your babies are so cute! Enjoy each moment with your lovely family Paula and may you all be blessed. Oh, and thank you for featuring my little acorn tree in your post... what a lovely surprise that was! ;)

Hugs

Cielo

Maria Brittis said...

I just linked up
I love the photos of the vacation..looks like you all had fun.
If you have a few stop by my party and bring your gorgeous stuff
Hugs Maria

Jacoba said...

Paula, such fabulous holiday pictures and wonderful things experienced! I visited all the places you mentioned so know how it felt to have done this with your family. The crystal staircase is quite something! Gorgeous picture of your beaming kids.

Bente said...

Oh my, what a fantastic holyday for you and your gorgeous family. Love the beautiful photos.

Hugs from here

Betsy@My Salvaged Treasures said...

Wow, what a fun time! I love your pictures and the sweet smiles on all their faces. I can't believe how much for children have grown. Thanks so much for sharing your family vacation.

Ann@A Sentimental Life said...

Looks like a wonderful time, your children are adorable. Beautiful pictures to remember for years to come.
I guess my highlight is always our family reunion, #108 and counting!

Mari said...

Patti, you vacation looks like you and your dear family had a wonderful and fun time....I'm leaving on Thursday for my vacation I can't wait....

Hugs~
Mari

Jillian's Bella Rosa Antiques said...

Gorgeous! How you don't have the urge to pack it all up and move back there. Beautiful vacation.

Thank you for sharing it with us.

Adorable children, too. I had to giggle when she said the stairs were from "Frozen." My daughter too, of course, loves to refer to that movie!

Margie said...

You have a beautiful family.
Great photos ....I enjoyed seeing them ...

Pura Vida said...

sweet photos...cute dimples!

Jemma@athomewithjemma said...

Aw...so enjoyed the sweet smiling faces, love and treasured moments!

FABBY'S LIVING said...

What a fabulous trip! Your children will definitely have tons of memories from their dear parents! I too was away to the beaches of Peru, so I didn't see or joined your party.
See you later.
Hugs,
FABBY

Sarah said...

First let me say that your children are adorable. They are very fortunate to have parents that give them such awesome experiences. What an education!
Thanks for hosting each week.

Phyl Van said...

Such a wonderful vacation! What nice memories your family will have of this time.
Thanks for featuring my Fresh Peach Pie and hosting this party!
Phyllis@grandparentsplus.com

bj said...

I can't decide when your WED. link party goes up.
ANYway, I am linked to you in my post today. Thanks...

Kimberly Lewis said...

Hello cute lady! What cute kids! It is always a pleasure to stop by your fabulous party each week. Please come and party with us. We love having you! http://loulougirls.blogspot.com
Happy Wednesday! Lou Lou Girls

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