Friday, December 27, 2013

A Musical Christmas

Well, in my last post, I wrote, "See you next year!" but I'm backing out on that because these pictures are too fun... I just couldn't wait 'til next year to post them :)

Catrina & I served as models for Allison. We dressed up in Avonlea-style outfits and tuned our instruments for a Christmas-y Anne/Diana themed photo shoot! It was quite chilly (that is, if you can call 47 degrees in December chilly!) but we smiled through it all, and the results were wonderful!

I suppose I also forgot to tell all of you that I started playing cello this year! I quit piano lessons when I was seven but after admiring the talent of several musically-inclined friends and The Piano Guys, the desire to learn to make music burst forth... I chose the cello and thanks to a wonderful teacher and encouraging family & friends, I have been making much progress and enjoying it immensely! I thank God for giving me the ability to play and enjoy music!

All photos below are copyright of Allie Dean Photography.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Joyeux Noël...

...and Merry Christmas to all :) Have a blessed day with your family, remembering all the blessings the LORD gives! 

See you next year! :)

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Our Disney Cruise - Day 6 - Cozumel, Mexico

I hope I didn't leave you waiting too long. :)

On this day we arrived in Cozumel around 11:00 AM, and our excursion for this port was snorkeling!

The three of us (Grandma stayed on board) boarded a small boat and met our guides. They had us recite their names 3 or 4 times so we'd remember and recommend them :) - Julio, Joe, Milo and... unfortunately, I have forgotten the fourth guy. They were all very friendly, helpful and Julio, our main guide, spoke English very well.

We cruised along for about 20 minutes to our first snorkel stop. Here, a "professional" photographer jumped in the water with us and took our picture (below). I think we look a little silly with those masks on, but oh well. :)

The following photos were taken with a disposable waterproof camera and lightly edited in Lightroom. Not bad for a disposable, I think.

There were several different kinds of fish, a crab, and two eels. The yellow fish with black stripes is called a Sergeant Major.

Snorkeling selfie! :)

The above picture features a "man-made reef" - a piece sunk on purpose for the coral to grow on and somewhere for fish to congregate, apparently.

My feet with flippers on :)

After we were done, we briefly re-boarded the ship, changed clothes, and disembarked again to go shopping, which involved my first experience with haggling, although Dad did most of that. We bought a few pieces of jewelry and some souvenirs. I re-boarded the ship to grab my camera and we took some pictures of the stern of the Wonder.

After re-boarding, I noticed some of the characters had come out, and, since I hadn't gotten any pictures with them yet and the lines were short, I took the opportunity.

And then, he said, "Will you marry me?"

Well, actually, I inferred that. He can't talk. He's a dog. :)

Did I fool you? Probably not. :)

We then re-joined Grandma and enjoyed the view from the bow...

When it was time to leave, we watched a crew member take down the Mickey flag...

And then, it was time for dinner. So we made our way down...

And it was quite windy. :)

This night was the Captain's Gala Dinner... lobster!

The girls were feeling nostalgic, so we asked for Mickey ice cream bars. :)

Me, on the Disney Magic, with a Mickey bar, 10 years ago...

and me, about a month ago, on the Disney Wonder, with a Mickey bar.

That's about it for today! 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

4 Years...

Happy Adoption Day, Papa Bear. It is a privilege to be your daughter. :)

Dad, Mom, Me, Judge Haughney, Matthew & Grandma on this day... In Wisconsin! :)

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Our Disney Cruise - What We Ate

So, here's the deal :

On our last port, Cozumel, we went snorkeling. I have pictures, but they are on a waterproof disposable camera and I have yet to develop the film. So for now, I will post pictures of what we enjoyed at meals!

Everything we ate was crafted carefully and presented with the utmost of care...

Swordfish on Rice
Fried Ravioli
Pasta "Pursiettes" with a truffle-scented sauce. This was amazing.
Unfortunately, I did not get a picture, but I did work up the courage to try Escargot (Snails!) at one of the restaurants on board. They were pretty good, as long as you didn't think about what you were eating. :)

And now, as our server, Savio, always says, the best part: Dessert! It was quite funny - every night at dinner, when it was time to order our dessert, we would order one item, and Savio (our server - he was great!) would ask, "That's it?!" And so of course we had to order two desserts. :)

Crème Brûlée
This was basically strawberry shortcake in sundae form. It was really good though!
Grandma tried this one - I think it was a pineapple-coconut cake of some kind.

Every night there was an option in the menu for "Sweet Temptations" - a sampler of three desserts. We often went for this as we got a little taste of three things.
We celebrated my parents' anniversary early on the cruise, and they presented this to Mom & Dad. The "Happy Anniversary" piece on top of the cake is chocolate with words printed on it.

Of course, we ate all of this awesome food, but I must mention our wonderful servers, Savio and Maggie (below). Savio is from India and Maggie is from Trinidad/Tobago. They took great care of us and we were great friends by the end of the week! (Even though you rotate restaurants, your servers stick with you for the whole cruise.) Thank you, Savio and Maggie! You are awesome!

About the picture: on the last night of the cruise, all the servers paraded around the restaurant to the tune of "It's a Small World" while carrying flags from various countries. There were people from all over the place! England, Scotland, France, India, Africa, Thailand, Canada, Italy, Brazil, Russia, and many other countries!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Our Disney Cruise - Day 5 - Grand Cayman & Pirate Night!

On this day, we were in Grand Cayman of the Cayman Islands. This was their "seal".

They are very protective of their coral reefs, so we anchored a bit off-shore and boarded "Tenders" to take us from ship to shore...

We booked a bus tour around the island. Notice which side of the road we are on! :)

The scenery was very pretty...

This house has survived over 100 years through hurricanes and all kinds of storms. 
It is known as The Old Homestead.

Yes, Hell is real - it's in the Carribbean. :) This town is known as Hell because of the rock/coral formations. I guess they look like something that belongs in Hell.

This little fellow was very intent on something. Another photographer and I kept waiting for him to pounce but our bus had to leave before he did anything!

Our final stop on the tour was a turtle farm/preservation.

We took a few pictures while waiting for our turn to go inside...

We got to hold baby sea turtles. The ones we held were all around 2 years old.

Grandma seemed a bit nervous, but she held one! :)

These iguanas were all over the place - apparently they do no harm to the turtles or their eggs.

On the way back to the pier, our bus driver stopped by Seven Mile Beach (which seems to be a bit famous) and let us take pictures.

Someone on our bus took this picture for us. 

We then returned to the pier and were tendered back to the ship.

Mom & Dad played a little basketball...

And we "just happened" to run into Mr. and Mrs. Mouse,
who were kind enough to pose for a picture!

Mickey & Minnie are still very much in love. :)

That night, our ship threw a "Pirates IN The Caribbean" dinner and deck party. We dressed up for a pirate-themed dinner...

We safety-pinned the toucan Beanie Baby to Grandma's shirt. :)

So, all of our favorite pals re-appeared in pirate garb, as well as a few new friends, including 
Captain Hook, Mr. Smee, his first mate, and Stitch.

The party finished with a bang - literally. Disney Cruise Line is the only cruise line given permission to shoot fireworks right off of the ship! (the crew was joking that the Carnival ship in the distance was following us just for the fireworks.)

After the deck party, we headed to a buffet of fruit, desserts, an ice cream bar, and massive turkey legs. The pirate head below is a carved watermelon!!!

After partying and munching, we headed downstairs and to bed. :)

P.S. Happy Birthday, Evvie! :)