Posts Tagged ‘vacation’

Bahamas Trip (Part 7): Snorkeling in Barbados

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012


Our first stop was Barbados, where Alan and I went on a catamaran to go snorkeling with sea turtles. We looked out at the tropical paradise going past. I didn’t pinch myself for fear of giving myself a bruise, but I really did feel like it was a dream.

It was so relaxing, and the sun was shining, and it was the perfect temperature. After a while, the catamaran stopped, and everyone put on life vests and snorkels. Alan splashed into the water before I did, and when I splashed into the water, I felt like I was suffocating. I calmly swam back to the boat and pulled off my snorkel.


People who go through a panic feel like they are being rushed. I decided to sit on the step and relax and not feel rushed. I looked at my snorkel, analyzing how I could use it without feeling suffocated. Alan said to put on the face mask without the snorkel, to just hold my breath, and it worked. The sea turtles were absolutely stunning and beautiful, and one of them even touched my leg by accident. They were so close.

Later I thought about how that situation was a perfect picture of how we respond to life’s difficulties. After panicking for a moment, I could have decided to give up, and I would have missed something spectacular. Trusting God is like that. You have to calm your heart and reach upward, even when you want to rip the mask off your face so you can breathe. Or get out of the difficult situation that you’re in. You can stress about it and worry and have a negative reaction, or you can choose to trust. Whenever you trust God in a situation, there is always something spectacular. It’s the transformation that happens inside myself, when God makes me more into His image.


We swam over to a coral reef and looked at the fish swimming in and out of the white coral. The water was turquoise, and the seashore had white sand and palm trees. Treading water for a whole hour was exhausting, and when we climbed back onto the catamaran, a hot lunch was ready for us.

After lunch we went to another part of the island that was even more beautiful. We saw lots of tiny turtles hatching on the shore, which is an extremely rare occurrence. Most people who live in Barbados have never seen turtles hatching. Alan splashed into the water to go see them. I said I was fine watching from the boat.

The day couldn’t have been more lovely. We just buzzed around on the catamaran, watching the lovely scenery go by. Then we went back to our cruise ship, where we had a lovely dinner. All the waiters started dancing to the YMCA song. Every night after dinner, the waiters would start dancing in a cheesy way. Our waiter was a total ham and did funny things just to amuse us.

(Stay tuned for part 8 of our amazing Bahamas trip story, where we go on a high-adrenaline zip line…)

Bahamas Trip (Part 6): Outrunning the Hurricane

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012


If you’re sitting on the edge of your seat biting your fingernails, wondering if we outran the hurricane, you can rest assured that we did. We miraculously had sunshine every day, and it was an absolutely idyllic vacation. Meanwhile back at home, my parents, sisters, and friends were all worrying about us, because there were red swirls all over the radar. It seems impossible that we had such gorgeous weather every day, but I’m telling you that we serve a God who is in charge of the weather, and He can do whatever He pleases. He happened to want to give me my honeymoon back, so that’s exactly what happened. God rules.

Our first port-of-call was canceled, since we were high-tailing it out of the way of the hurricane. (This was Hurricane Irene, by the way, in late August 2011, so I’m sorry for the people on the east coast that got hit by it. Apparently there were many deaths and billions of dollars worth of damage.)

But God protected us with His hands around our ship, where exotic-looking black guys with dreadlocks were playing Reggae music while people swam in one of the many swimming pools. I think there were 3,000 people on the ship. Yes, it was a large ship, almost like a floating city.


The food was exquisite. Every night we would have a three-course meal, and twice we had formal dinners where I wore an evening gown. Once I wore the turquoise mermaid-looking dress, and the other time I wore the red dress that I got for 50 cents at a yard sale, the same one I wore to Clinkerdagger. Except that here on the ship, I ate food that tasted like Clinkerdagger food every day. And our waiter just loved us. He smiled whenever we came to the table. One night he asked me if I wanted another lobster dinner, and he brought me another lobster smothered in melted butter.

If you’re wondering if I blimped out and got fat, the answer is no. We went swimming and snorkeling with sea turtles, zip lining through a rain forest after hiking, parasailing, jet skiing, etc. If you think jet skiing doesn’t make your muscles sore, you’ve never gone when your husband is driving at full speed. Your thigh muscles will ache afterward from trying not to die, but more about that later.


What I wanted to say about the cruise in general, was that I felt like I was alone with my husband. We had a long table for dinner, which was supposed to seat 8 people. But day after day, there was only one other couple who sat by the wall. We sat on the opposite side of the table. God knows that I hate small talk with strangers, saying “How are you?” and “Where are you from?” over and over. (I don’t even know where I’m from, to be honest. Guatemala? Texas? California? England? Washington?) I don’t mind talking to a stranger about God or any other real subject, but superficial chit chat is annoying to me. Well, God catered to that idiosyncrasy. He also prompted my sister to pray toward that end without my knowledge. Yes, when I got back from the trip, my sister told me that she prayed that there would be no annoying people around me. What an odd prayer. It would have never occurred to me to pray that, because I don’t really care that much about annoying people. I just walk away from them.


Our cabin boy was a 20-year-old from Jamaica. He was such a sweetie pie, and he was overjoyed every time we passed him in the hallway. He made wonderful towel animals to surprise us. Every time we returned to our rooms, our bed would be made and our room tidied up. A comedian on the ship made a joke about it when he said that he went to the bathroom in the middle of the night, only to return to a bed that had been made.

(Coming up next… snorkeling in Barbados with sea turtles. Stay tuned for part 7 of our amazing Bahamas trip story.)