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Belize by Cruise Ship

20 Dec

The second stop on our cruise was Belize. There, we decided to take a trip to the Altun Ha ruins. The ruins are about an hour and half from the port. We decided to purchase a tour of the ruins after we tendered from the cruise ship to shore (due to the sensitive nature of the coral reef surrounding Belize, cruise ships cannot actually dock in port. The cruise line provides a small boat to take you to and from shore). We paid $40 per person for a trip there and back and for a tour guide while we were at the ruins. It is definitely worth it to pay more for a tour that has a guide. Our guide knew a lot of information about the significance of the Altun Ha sight and Mayan culture generally. He really enriched our experience.

The ruins were amazing. They are partially excavated and you can climb to the top of some of the temples.

And on our way out of the port, we enjoyed watching sailboats sail past our cruise ship:

However, as with Roatan, there is a lot of poverty in Belize and while it is a nice port to visit on a cruise ship, I don’t think it would be a destination I would stay at for more than a day or two.


Roatan, Bay Islands, Honduras by cruise ship

14 Dec

Paul and I went on an amazing and very relaxing cruise last week. Our first stop was Roatan, Honduras. It was beautiful, as you can see.

However, there isn’t much to see in Roatan besides port area (pictured above), which was built solely for the use of cruise passengers, and the amazingly beautiful beaches (not that we are complaining!), so without much debate we headed to West Bay Beach. If you’ve ever cruised before, you know that the shore excursions on the ship are quite pricey. For example, to go to West Bay Beach via cruise ship excursion, it was $59 per person. We paid $12 per person, round trip, to take a “tour” to the beach. Since we were on a tour instead of just a taxi, they pick you up and drop you off. You can also ask to to go specific spots on the beach. We wanted to go to the private portion of the beach, because they have more facilities there (bathrooms, restaurants, and chairs for rent). We were dropped off at a restaurant called Beaches. You can rent chairs there for $10 per chair for the day, but Paul and I were content on our towels (and there is no obligation to rent a chair simply because you are dropped off at their beach). After lounging on our towels and enjoying the water (which was warm, even in December!), we bought some local brew and a snack at the restaurant before heading back to our ship. We spent about 3 hours on the beach and it was perfection!

I would have only two things that I would warn you to watch out for. First, private property signs, like the one below. The beaches are public, so the private property signs refer to the off-beach property, not the sandy area.

Second, there are a lot of people on the beach trying to sell you things. I found that if I laid on the beach with my sunglasses on, they left me alone. Even considering those small things, it was a wonderfully relaxing day at the beach on a beautiful island.

Overall, it was a beautiful stop on a cruise, but with the limited number of attractions, I am not sure that I would ever fly there to stay for a more extended trip.

Sweet Shot Tuesday – Holiday Decor

30 Nov

More photos to follow once everything is finished! If you want to see more holiday decor, there is a great link up here.

Sweet Shot Tuesday: Capturing Perpetual Motion

22 Nov

My husband and I are getting to that age where most of our friends have babies and toddlers. One of my motivations for learning more about photography was to capture my own children’s lives. So, I figured I would practice on friend’s children. 🙂 I have learned something very important from this – infants are fairly easy. They are perpetually cute and usually don’t move too much.

Exhibit A:

So cute. So still.

Toddlers, on the other hand are perpetually cute and perpetually in motion. There’s dancing, running while in a perpetual state of falling, wiggling, and, occasionally  walking at a pace that doesn’t make you fear for their lives. Occasionally. When I set out to capture a few shots of my friend’s toddler I discovered just how difficult it can be to capture the elusive perpetually moving toddler. She was being excessively cute by collecting leaves around our tailgating site. I tried to get a photo of this cuteness, but just as soon as she was in perfect focus, she stood up and ran towards me. The result?

Out of focus toddler:

At this point, I was about to give up. This is a photo of the leaf she gave me. It stayed still, let me compose the shot, get it in focus . . .

But her cuteness convinced me to try some more. So I found strategies to keep her still. For, example, I used Paul:

Her mother:

And a juice box:

How to you corral the kids into staying still for long enough for photos?

Sweet Shot Tuesday – Art Festival

15 Nov

Sweet Shot Tuesday! Paul and I went to an art festival over the weekend in beautiful downtown!

This is the old post office, which is now a play house.

This is Paul, he is amazingly handsome, no?

I loved these blown glass pumpkins! They are perfect for fall home decor.

And they had them in all sorts of colors, so you could find something that suited your home’s color scheme. How could I say no??

Sidewalk art – amazing!

Now this last shot, I know you are all thinking “um, what is that?” Well, it was supposed to be a picture of the crowd at the art festival. I loved the fact that the streets downtown were all closed off and people ruled the streets. I took several shots of this, but I found I didn’t like the ones that were completely in focus, but then I found I also didn’t like the ones that were slightly out of focus, like this one. Do you all have any times for photographing crowds like this?

Sweet Shot Tuesday: Botanical Gardens

8 Nov

Sweet shot Tuesday!

This is what Florida looks like in November: (Sorry, New England!)


Sweet Shot Tuesday: Butterflies, gators and turkeys (oh my!)

1 Nov

Sweet Shot Tuesday!