Friday, January 27, 2012

This Winter in Buffalo

So, last winter was so so cruel here in Buffalo that Jake and I decided to go on our cruise over Christmas break.  By the time we got back I was bracing myself for the cruel and unusual punishment of a Buffalo winter to strike us, but luckily this year has surprised us and hasn't been nearly as cruel as winters past.  It's strange but sometimes I actually find myself yearning for it to snow.  That probably is because we happened to get some good snow over a long weekened and Jake and I took advantage of it by snowshoeing.  Buffalo may not have the mountains that Utah do, but there are some beautiful areas to explore.  These pictures are of a trip we took down to Allengany State Park about an hour and a half from Buffalo.  Enjoy.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Merry Christmas From Miami

Jake and I know that there are only so many chances that we have in this life to enjoy a trip with just the two of us, so we decided to take advantage of that time by going on a cruise to the Bahamas for our anniversary and by spending Christmas in Miami.  I have to say that although I loved the warm weather and the sunny skies I found myself missing family and longing for home over the holidays.  Nothing quite tops visiting temple square to see the lights before Christmas in order for the Christmas feeling to settle in for me.  I guess I just can't help craving what I don't have at the moment sometimes. 

That being said, I think we managed to make the most of our trip.  How often can you say that you got a tan over Christmas by sitting on the beach??  We started out on our cruise and visited Key West, Nassau and Cococay before heading back to Miami for a couple of days before finally heading back home to Buffalo just in time for winter.  The "feels like 0 degrees" ain't no joke.  But enough lamenting, here are some highlights of our trip.

The Cruise: Aboard the ship, ready to take off!

The Cruise: Leaving Port Miami

The Cruise: Stop 1: Key West
To satisfy Jake's appreciation of Ernest Hemingway, we went on a tour of Hemingway's home in Key West.  Although I'm not a huge fan of the guy, the home was beautiful and I like learning about stuff and people, so I enjoyed it too.  A bonus is that we also got a pretty in-depth tour of the city of Key West and learned some interesting stories of some of the earlier inhabitants.  Although some of these stories are a little too gruesome to tell on the blog, I'll tell you about them sometime.

Eating some infamous key lime pie.  Jake chose the dipped in chocolate variety.

The Cruise: Stop 2: Nassau
Our second stop in the Bahamas was the island of Nassau.  As you can see we booked an excursion to snorkel.  My association with snorkeling involves snorkeling in Hanama Bay in Hawaii which entails taking a leisurely stroll from the beach into calm and protected water--whenever your ready, no rush.  This is naturally what I expected this time as well, so I wasn't sure why they were handing out our gear while we were still on our boat on the way to what I thought was a secluded beach.  It wasn't until the boat was anchored in the middle of a large body of water and we were told to jump that I realized that this snorkeling trip would be a little different.  Here I am trying to look happy about it.

And here I am after all was said and done...genuinely happy.

The Cruise: Stop 3: Cococay
Cococay is a privately owned island exclusive for Royal Carribean cruisers.  We spent the day doing some yoga out on the beach, laying out on the beach and walking around the island.  All in all a pretty relaxing day.  I don't really have any pictures, but just imagine white sandy beaches and crystal clear aqua water and you should get the idea ;-)

The rest of our trip we spent a couple of days in Miami to tour the city and explore the beaches.  Here are a few of our attempts at some "artistic" shots while we were there.  Gotta love the blue, sunny skies!
 It was a wonderful trip and I am so grateful that we had the opportunity to go and unwind and spend some time with each other after the craziness of December!  It was good to get away and have a break before another long semester!  I hope all of you enjoyed your Christmas as much as we did!