Hiking Along the Blue Ridge Parkway

Due to camera issues, I never got around to posting pictures of the little trip that Perry and I took to the NC mountains last weekend. While I generally consider myself more of a beach person, hiking in the mountains was a great experience as well.

We decided to go along the Blue Ridge Parkway, and found some awesome hiking trails off of the highway.

 Waterrock Knob was our first hike. The trail was paved most of the way, but the hike up the knob was a bit strenuous. It felt like we climbed stairs continually for most of the journey; Perry and I both gasped for air at the top of the ledge. We also found a little side trail that followed the high way for about one mile, and enjoyed exploring. The views were incredible!

I loved that the weather was almost ten degrees cooler up there, even though we were only a couple of hours away!

The second place we hiked (and swam at) was Graveyard Fields. We did not have time to make it to the Upper Falls, but the Lower Falls were only .3 miles down the trail. Perry convinced me to jump the pool at the base of the falls. The water was freezing, and I was hesitant at first. But after my legs and feet went numb, swimming around wasn’t too bad ;). Graveyard Fields also has tons of wild blueberry bushes. Lots of people were picking the berries, so Perry and I picked and ate our fill!

Unfortunately, before this hike is when I realized that my camera was no longer working. However, I did get a great last shot.

 

My resolve to wait to buy a camera lasted about 5 days. On Friday I ordered one online; now I am obsessively checking my email to see when it’s going to be shipped!!

In other technology-hates-me news: my headphones broke a couple of days ago, and I used them almost exclusively for running. I decided to get a pair of running head phones in hopes of having something that will stay in my ear better than my old ear buds. I bought this pair from Sony.

source

I’ll let you all know how they work out in my next couple runs!

Advertisements

Cruisin’ Summer 2012: Haiti, Grand Cayman, Jamaica, and Cozumel

I am moving to Charlotte today, so instead of a boring post about the smoothie I am making, here are some more cruise pictures from our excursions in Haiti, Grand Cayman, Jamaica, and Cozumel 🙂

Labadee, Haiti: Beach Day

Falsmouth, Jamaica: Zipline through the forest

Jamaica Jerk Chicken-soooo good

Grand Cayman: Sting Ray Beach and Snorkeling

Cozumel: Snorkeling and Shopping

We rented a snorkel camera and were able to get a couple neat underwater shots

And last but not least, our favorite towel animal

Cruisin’ Summer 2012: Life Onboard

I am finally back in blogging action after a lovely week cruising in the Caribbean with my family. It was great to have a week of relaxation and pampering. I want to give a huge thank you to my three lovely guest bloggers: Lora, Kath, and CJ.

This week, I am rudely confronted with the reality of moving to Charlotte to start my first “real” job next Monday. But first I want to relive a little bit of my vacation and share some of the highlights with you all.

We cruised on the huge Freedom of the Seas.

The ship offered a lot of activities throughout the day, so we were never bored!

There are were several pools to swim in (but we mostly used them for tanning around;)).

Speaking of tanning, my family is drastically separated by skin types. My mom, sister, and myself naturally have olive-toned skin that tans very easily-yay for Asian genes! However my dad is super pale and sunburns very easily. Even when he tans, it is to a pink-brown. For the trip, my mom bought these two bottles of suntan spray to cater to the different needs of the family.

A 102 SPF difference.

I didn’t even know SPF 110 existed! To be fair, the girls actually prefer an SPF of 30 and we used 50 for most of the trip. So the difference is not that huge, but still I thought it was an apt depiction of the differences in our family.

____________

Mini golf-one of my favorite cruise activities.

A rock climbing wall and basketball court.

I will say that climbing the rock wall was probably the scariest venture of the whole vacation! I have climbed several rock walls at camps and in indoor centers, without ever being afraid. However when I started to scale this wall on the last day, the wind was blowing at a fierce 25 mph. During the harrowing climb it took all my willpower to push away the visions of me losing my grip on the wall and flying out into the ocean. I really didn’t want to quit without reaching the top, so I focused on scaling the wall as quickly as possible so I could return to the ground.

We ate amazing food every night. The daily desserts and ice cream did not coordinate well with my goal of staying trim on vacation, but vacations are for indulging!

Despite my goal of working out 3-4 times, I only made it to the gym once.  Running on the treadmill while the boat is gently rocking was a little unnerving, and I clung to the handle bars to keep myself upright while running in serpentine patterns. This form of exercise was exhausting for my body and my sanity, so I never attempted it again.

Claire and I shared a room/cubby hole. I loved that it was pitch black with the lights off, we could sleep in until noon and never know it until we looked at the clock.

Tomorrow I will share a bit about our adventures in Haiti and Jamaica!

I’m Off!

The bags are packed and we are ready to hit the road for our 10 hour drive down to Florida and then we will be cruisin on Sunday!

We are going to Haiti, Jamaica, Mexico and Grand Cayman. I am so excited to see beautiful beaches and swim in the gorgeous water.

source

While I am gone, Perry is going to be running the blog for me and I will be featuring several guest bloggers as well as some sweet summery recipes. Thanks for bearing with me during these next couple of days. I’ll be sure to take lots of pictures of all the food I will be gorging myself with eating on and off the boat.

I hope you all enjoy the week 🙂

Dreaming of Vacation

Things have been kind of slow around here, and the weather is so dreary now that I cannot help but daydream about our cruise leaving on Sunday.

As a graduation present for my sister (Claire graduated high school) and I, my parents are taking us on a family cruise. Our ports include Labadee, Haiti; Falmouth, Jamiaca; and Cozumel, Mexico.

I think one of these long zipline rides would be so fun!

I have not been to any of these islands, and am looking forward to experiencing the gorgeous beaches. I also am excited about returning to Mexico.

My study abroad sophomore year was a joint program in which we were in Tanzania for 8 weeks and Mexico for 8 weeks. I loved living in the colonial city of Oaxaca for two months. The area is famous for their mole, a pepper based sauce that generally goes over chicken and rice. It can be black, red, yellow, and green depending on the peppers used.

a big pot of poblano mole our host family cooked

I also really enjoying learning about the culture and history of the country.

dancing with a skeleton during Day of the Dead celebrations

In front of a pyramid ruin

One thing I am really looking forward to on this vacation is the food! I loved our (non-stop) cruise food over spring break, and I am ready for more extravagant four course meals. Of course the local cuisine can be just as mouth watering! [I am thinking about my fried fish in the Bahamas]. In order to balance all this eating out, I will have to do more swimming and walking than laying in the sun, but it will be totally worth it 🙂

I guess it’s not too early to start packing…

Day at the Beach

Yesterday Perry and I headed out to Topsail Island, NC to enjoy a day at the beach.

We left around 7:30, so I packed some smoothies for the road.

Along with some grapefruit

We spent much of the three hour drive listening to the 3 beach CD’s that Perry had burned (since my car ipod player is less than reliable)

It included some of our favorite artists: John Mayer, Damien Rice, Lisa Hannigan, Sara Bareilles, John Legend, Adele and other random artists

These CDs took compromise out of the music choice, since I am more of a Top 40 girl and Perry prefers southern rock and classic rock. But we do both really enjoy all of the above artists, so no one had to suffer through less than ideal music…although I did sneak in some Pit Bull and Mika when I took a turn driving ;).

When we arrived at the beach, we decided to take a walk before lunch.

Lunch was a delicious seafood feast!

Most of the fish was fried, but I loved it all the same!

After that huge lunch, we returned to the beach to lay out and swim and build sand sculptures 🙂

I want to go back already!

Now the family is off to Claire’s baccalaureate for her high school graduation.

Hope you are having a great weekend as well 🙂

Does anyone else have different music tastes than your significant other?

Any strategies for keeping you both happy?

 

Cruise Recap # 3: Paradise Island

Last cruise post! It feels like I have been back in school forever, so it’s nice to inject a little vacation time into my life. I hope you enjoy it as well 🙂

On Thursday we had another chance to explore the Bahamas and decided to take the ferry over to Paradise Island.

We walked around the Atlantis hotel lobby-which was ginormous and gold plated. Perry and I decided that we need to come back and visit their epic water park!! It looks like soo much fun.

source

After much direction-asking we found our way to the public beach nearby.

Jet Skis for rent!

Next we caught a taxi to the Fish Fry in Nassau. Our driver, Clint, was very informative and we got a good tour of the city during the ride.

Per Clint's suggestion, we ate at Twin Brother's

At this point we were getting a little bit nervous about making it back to the cruise ship in time. As much as we loved Nassau we did want to return home! The walk from the Fish Fry to the boat was about 20 minutes, and depending on how long it took our food to come out we might not have much time to eat. So we ordered everything in to-go containers.

I feasted on this bad boy, with a side of rice and beans, fried plantains, and coleslaw

Someone might have gotten a little jealous…

We were all so hungry and I managed to eat most of my food before we had to head back to the ship.