1st time Carnival cruiser (DREAM) complete review & pictorial (from a NCL cruiser)

Day 6: Roatan, Honduras

So here we are...time to get up and go to what I "think" is going to be my favorite port. I'm excited and can't wait to get the day started.

 

We head down to the buffet to get our usual runny eggs. What's this on the deck? There was a towel animal explosion over night. They all multiplied. It must have been one busy night out on deck because when we walked by last night, people still had the chairs occupied and was watching the nightly movie.

 

WOW!!! A++++++ Carnival. I have never seen anything like this before.

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Is this something they normally do on Carnival ships? I was blown away and Sakari was completely excited. I was able to view towel animals I have never seen on any of my cruises. They were pretty neat. I won't bore you with the individual pictures I took of them, but I think I was as excited about them as Sakari was. We gave them each the appropriate attention they deserved and moved on to breakfast.

 

The lines were extremely long this morning at the buffet. I happen to look over and there was only 1 person in line at the Omelet station. Hmm, I think it's time I tried one of their Omelets. So we jumped in line real quick. Made to order and they did the big flips of the eggs in the air. I patiently waited to watch them drop one and it never happened. Kids, don't try this at home...I have, it wasn't a pretty site.

 

So since I had my Omelet in hand, all I needed was some BACON to go with it and I would be satisfied...but look at that LONG line. Would it be possible to just grab a plate and cut in at the bacon station when others were still filling their plates with runny eggs? Of course it was. No glaring stares or anything. I was in and out like a Ninja in the night. I wasn't even noticed and was gone before the others in the line even got up there. :D

 

I have to say, I had found my "new" breakfast item for the rest of the cruise. No more runny eggs. It was only the fight for bacon that I would continue to encounter the rest of the time.

 

We quickly ate and was ready to head to shore. But wait, where was Kendra and family? Oh that's right...just now coming out on the deck as always and headed to breakfast. Sigh. They are so slow and I was so impatient...especially since I KNEW this was going to be the highlight of the ports kinda day.

 

We waited for them to eat, while I tapped my fingers on the table, tapped my foot on the floor, grabbed a fork or two and shoved the food in theirs mouths (just kidding, but I felt like it) and we rushed down to get off the ship. Time was a-wasting!

I took a few pictures before leaving the ship of the port...Mahogany Bay. It was a pretty port with a great opportunity for pictures.

 

I think I found the next cruise line to book with.

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It may need some repairs, but hey, I "hear" Carnival ships are in need of much repair and maintenance as well. (Rolling eyes now).

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A view of the beach area at Mahogany Bay from the ship

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You could see all of the people that were getting off and headed for their day in the sun in the beautiful port of Roatan (my favorite port ever now).

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The bridge you walk over to head toward the beach, or you could catch the skyride people mover over for a cool $12 a person for a daily pass.

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We were there with another Carnival ship docked. I believe it was the Conquest? I know the Conquest was docked in Roatan when I was on my NCL cruise back in December and we had went to Maya Key. I met some nice people there that day that were Carnival cruisers. They were enjoying their cruise.

 

Once you get off the ship, they have a picture opportunity. There was so many people here, getting pictures, in the way, it was a mad house. So, I was able to extend my hand up and over everyone to snap this picture. Otherwise, I was never going to get a picture of it. I mean I had to have a picture and we were waiting while Brayden was whining and dragging along like always.

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I have to say that I had seen pictures of a day at Mahogany before and we had considered going here and making it a "cheap" day since you didn't have to pay to be here since it's Carnivals own little man-made port area for the cruisers. But I really have no intention on booking another Western Caribbean cruise for awhile. We have done it so many times before and it's time to head back to the Eastern side or Southern (which I have never done before). Of course with the exception of the cruise we already have booked for 6 months from now going to Cozumel, Grand Cayman and Jamaica. Then no more Western for me for awhile. Since this would be my last stop at Roatan for awhile, I just KNEW I couldn't pass up going to Little French Key. I felt that it would just be one of those "Once in a lifetime" events.

 

So we made our way to the exit, taking pictures along the way of the beautiful landscaped scenery.

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At this point, Brayden was crying and dragging so far behind and Kendra was now complaining and saying, I really don't want to spend a couple hundred dollars on a place when he is going to do nothing but whine and cry the entire time. I gave her one look and said, "That's entirely up to you, but I can tell you now that I have been looking forward to this place for a long time. It's going to be my favorite place I just know it. You can come if you want. You can stay if you want. Either way, I'm not stopping and I'm headed out." I glanced back later and she had to have been somewhere lost in the crowd and we never seen them again on the way out. I was on a mission and nothing was going to spoil my day.

 

We made our way out of the port and this is what it looks like:

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We knew they said you had to go outside the port to catch a cab. I THOUGHT we were outside at this point...boy was I wrong. When we ask about getting a cab to LFK, we were pointed in a direction toward the road and were told to walk up that road to the taxis.

 

We headed toward the road and started walking...and walking, up the hill, in this area that was part of the road and had a white stripe which I assume was suppose to be for the sidewalk area to walk in even though it was in the street.

 

I'm looking at my husband and saying "Really? We have to walk this far out to catch a cab? Are you sure we are going the right way?" Well, it had to be the right way...it was the only way...and it was a hill. I now know that there was NO way that Brayden would have done this. Just no way at all! So, it's probably best that they didn't come because it could have taken hours to get him to the taxi place.

 

So what seem like a forever walk, really wasn't as bad as I thought. I remember doing this same thing to go to Almaplena in Costa Maya back in December, so it was worth it.

 

We came over the hill and could see people lining the streets and cars right beyond that. We were reading the signs as we walked by. The first sign that was being held, I couldn't tell what it said. The others, well they weren't ours. So finally I ask someone and they pointed at the first sign. When we went up to them, they said "I yelled Little French Key when you walked by, but you kept walking." I must have not heard them. So they marked my name off the list and informed me that they were still waiting on others to arrive. I let them know that we were originally a party of 6 and that the other 3 in our party would not be coming. So he told a kid that was there (at least he looked pretty young to me lol) to be our driver and take us to Frenchys 44. His name was Justin and he was in a private car.

 

Frenchys 44 is a restaurant. The owners own it and Little French Key. The driver takes you to the restaurant where you get on a boat and go over to the island. The drive wasn't very long at all. Maybe 15 minutes if that.

 

We pull off the main street and on to a gravel road. You could tell that this "area" was the "high end" area for sure. The houses were huge and amazing and I just wanted to live in one of them.

 

We arrived at Frenchys:

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They had a horse in the yard and my husband and daughter went over to say hello while I checked us in and paid the fee.

 

You walked out on this deck hanging over the ocean. I assume this was the restaurant because there were tables and chairs there and a bar with the register. There were mangroves along the side.

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This was the house next to the property. I thought maybe it was the owners house, but later found out the owners actually live on the island at LFK.

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We only waited maybe 10 minutes and it was time to get on the boat to go over to the island. My excitement was still building. It's not a "regular" boat you get on. It's like a flat barge type boat. I'm not sure what you call it. It was just flat and had a bench around the outside and plastic chairs on the inside.

 

Here we come LFK. You can see where it's at from the restuarant. So it's just a 5 minutes ride over.

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Getting closer you could see the beautiful aqua water.

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Well I hate to leave everyone hanging...but the wait will be well worth it. It's time for me to leave for an appointment with Kendra and then on straight to work. I will try to maybe get a bit more of the review in tonight when I return home. Trust me, the best is yet to come. The water only gets better. :D

 

One last picture to show you as we are coming around the corner. You'll have to wait to see what's actually around there. :p

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A beautiful scene of what was coming up around the corner.

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I felt as though I was looking at a postcard. It's sure to be the best day ever. I think I had found paradise. There was the famous 2nd story deck that I watched videos of people jumping off of over and over. Yes, it was becoming a reality. I was actually here. I was actually going to be able to experience this place AND jump off that 2 story deck that I have seen so much of.

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Could this water be any more perfect? I mean really?

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There was the little "island" on the island that I had seen in the pictures. Even though I had seen pictures and people told me there was a deck to get over there, I still couldn't quite picture me being there and now I was.

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I think I have only seen 1 person post the picture of the mermaid with the fountain dolphin. I had always wondered why this was never really including in most pictures regarding LFK. I thought maybe it was because it was off the beaten path or something. But no, it's as soon as you get off the boat.

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We decided to walk down the deck toward the bigger part of the island first. We wanted to take a look around the grounds and check out the animals prior to settling in at the beach. I knew once we made it back to the beach, there was no dragging me away from that paradise.

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I was just snapping pictures as I walked along, trying to take in all of the beauty.

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This place had several boat docks all around it. I'm not sure what they were all used for. This was looking from the back of the 2 story deck that people jump off of.

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This was the "yard". They actually had grass growing there on the island, which kind of shocked me. I guess I expected all sand for such a tiny island.

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More statues around the place. I definitely do not recall seeing any other statues in any reviews other than the mermaid one.

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Wait, what is this? A pony? Just running free around the island? Wow, that was really neat. He was not fenced in or tied up or anything. He had free range of the entire island. Of course my husband and daughter had to go check it out.

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Beautiful lush scenery. The grounds were landscaped to a tee and you could tell they took great pride in everything there by all of the little details.

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More of the pony. He wasn't too friendly. Well, I guess you could say he was more scared than anything. He was a rescue pony and even though you could get fairly close to him, once you got within a good 5 feet of him he was turn around or back up and try to get away from you. There was just no petting him. Poor thing.

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Then we got to the birds. There were huge cages up and down one end of the island. They had tons of birds and every one of them talked.

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It's funny because at first we had no idea that the birds talked. I don't remember anyone every saying this either. We were going by and I hear "Hello" and did a double take. I was like "you talking to me?" and it continued to tell me hello.

 

Then I heard "Hola". LOL This is the first time I had ever heard a bird say Hola instead of Hello. But hey, then again I have never been around a talking bird in another country that speaks Spanish either. (Well, I take that back, some of the birds at Maya Key talked and said Hello).

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The pony (well actually I think it was a miniature horse, came closer to us as we were looking at the other animals.

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These birds loved attention and would come over to the edge of the cage and my husband would pet them and stroke their beak. They seem to love it.

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This was Sakari's favorite bird. I'm not sure why. She said "I like green birds. I wish I had a green bird." Any time she wants something, whether it be an animal, a toy, some candy or anything in life...you get the "I wish I had..." She never comes right out and ask "can I have". I don't know where she picked this up at but the tone in her voice when she says it is completely adorable.

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I kept telling my husband he was going to come back with less fingers if he kept putting them in the cages. He wouldn't listen. Sakari was watching his every move. She's a typical 5 year old. They watch you like a hawk and take in every little thing you do. They are a mini-me.

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What happens when you have a mini-me you ask? Well, monkey see, monkey do and she did exactly what her daddy did...stick her fingers in the cage. I don't even have to tell you what happened after that because I'm sure you all guessed it by now. One less finger! Well not really, but you get the picture. She got what she calls a "my bleed is coming out" boo-boo.

 

So it was on to the monkeys. This little guy put his back up against the cage for my husband to rub him. Still.sticking.his.fingers.in.the.cage=bad! Just stop it, just stop it now. You are a bad influence on our daughter.

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There was a lot of noise going on. I kept hearing some banging sounds. I was off to explore the noise. There were a bunch of men working on a HUGE cage. Of course I had to be nosy and see what was up, what they were doing and what was it for?

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Well, I guess they have some baby jaguars. They were getting a little bit bigger and they needed to build them a bigger cage and that's what they were doing. Where were they at? Some place safe until next week when they would be bringing them back to the island when their new cage was finished. AWWW MANNNN! REALLY? We were going to miss out on the baby jaguars. Darnit. Yes, you are able to hold them too!!!! We were just a week too early. I'm pouting now.

 

The man I was talking to continued to tell me that all of the animals here are rescue animals (just like Maya Key). He said when you have rescue animals, they are very strict with you. Everything has to be perfect and the rules have to be followed. They have to have permits and be inspected. They have to have a certain amount of space and requirements. That is why they were building a bigger cage. I guess I didn't realize there were so many rules in a third world country. There sure doesn't seem to be rules anywhere else. It kind of brought a warm fuzzy feeling to me to know that they were taking such good care of those animals.

 

The hubby STILL petting more animals

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They also had several deers. They were a little too quick for me to catch. They were always in motion.

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There is was. The monkey cage we were about to enter. Anyone who read my Victor Bodden review with the zip lining and monkey adventure will know that Sakari (being the dare devil she is) zip lined all by herself there and then went in to see the monkeys and was attacked by one and bitten. It was a very bad experience for her and a little traumatizing. She hasn't viewed monkeys the same since then. I wasn't sure if she was going to step foot in the monkey cage at all. Everything was all up in the air at that moment.

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We stood outside the cage for a LONG time...it seemed like eternity, but I'm sure it wasn't since our day was much too short there. We begged, we pleaded with her and she put her foot down and said "no". So we did the only thing we could do when she refused something...."ok, bye and started walking without her". That gets her every time. For the smart little 5 year old that she is, you would think she would have picked up on this yet...but it still remains "our little secret" for the moment and still works.

 

So in the cage we all went. We reassured her over and over that it would be ok. They were not going to bite her. They were nice monkeys. At this point I was praying it wasn't a repeat because if she was bitten again, that would be the end of any future monkey business. She would loose all trust in us.

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They had several monkeys in that cage. They did let me know that there was one called "nippy". He was called nippy for a reason. We made sure we stayed away from that one and didn't let Sakari anywhere near it.

 

They had a baby one. It was the absolute cutest thing ever. Sakari wanted to hold that one and when she did, she didn't want to let go. It just attached itself to her like a baby and oh my gosh adorable.

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Inside the monkey cage was a RABBIT. Um ok, I have never seen a "rabbit" that looked like this but that's what they said their rabbits looked like. I was just wondering why it was in the monkey cage??

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This was one hilarious. It attached itself to Sam and didn't want to let go. It would throw it's head back and it was so cute.

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The huge monkey cage beside the one you go in.

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So I guess my question is...why are there so many animal rescue places in Roatan? It seems to be the big thing. Where do they get these animals from? Are there just monkeys, jaguars, big cats and such just running all over Roatan? It just makes me wonder.

 

We decided to keep walking on. We were at the end of the animals and I wanted to continue to go full circle around the island.

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Another boat dock area? There was the boat that brought us over and it had huge barrels of food or cookers. I couldn't tell what. But that's what they did was bring the food over from Frencys.

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It can't be a beach area without a hammock of course.

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Of course, everyone has to have a "posed" picture in the hammock as always....to make it look like you spent the day there basking in the beauty of the Caribbean of course.

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About this time Sakari is saying "Are you done yet? I'm falling out"

 

Anyone for some volleyball? Nah, I didn't think so either. It was too hot and I had to get to the water. Let's keep going.

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What appears to be another docking area maybe?

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So we come across a beach area. Hmm, I was unaware of this area.

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I knew this wasn't going to be prime Real Estate and we wouldn't want to stay here very long, but hey I was willing to do a short term sale for awhile and explore the place.

 

They had some really weird looking wired chairs. Don't worry, they had regular chairs too.

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Guess who was the first out to the water this time??? Yep, it wasn't Sakari this time around. For once moma was first!!! I mean how else did I obtain a picture of her entering the water from the water right? One might ask how did I manage that? (You did ask that right?) Well, she was busy getting her goggles out of my bag. hehe That took her awhile to find. I dug mine out as we were walking up to the beach. Yep, check one off for the smart mommy today. I'm in the lead!

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Here is the view from the beach

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To the right there are mangroves. Now I have never snorkeled among mangroves, so this was going to be a different experience for me. The far upper right of the picture is looking over toward the other beach...you know, the one that is paradise?

 

Out in the distance you could see these black things in the water. They are actually chairs that you could go out and sit in. Pretty neat.

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To the left there was a palapa sitting in the water.

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Yes, people were using them. This area was not too deep and the area where the chairs were out there wasn't very deep at all. It's like most of this little island area. Shallow-ish around the edges of everything and deeper toward the middle.

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So off to exploring I go.

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These little guys where EVERYWHERE. I don't know if it's the "season" for them but actually every port I snorkeled at they had them. But this place was just full of them. The name escapes me at the moment since I'm in a hurry. I listed them by name in an earlier part of my review.

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Now I have to say when I seen this, I wasn't quite sure what it was. It was kinda weird looking and I snapped the picture and hurried off. (More on this later...because I find a lot more and they were out in the open and I knew what it was-sea cucumber) but being in the area I was in was just kinda creepy and weird I guess.

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A shot of looking in to the mangroves. It was eery and neat at the same time. I'm now picturing a horror movie where jaws comes out at your or some half octopus man eating barracuda snake devours you. There were tons of neon fish everywhere in this area.

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I remember seeing these pictures that were just amazing where people have half the lens above water and half below water. I thought I would try it out. I have to admit, it's not as easy as it looks!!! Plus, I'm shooting with a small point and shoot that doesn't have a wide lens to begin with, so the odds are against me for sure. I took A LOT of pictures, just to try to get 1 decent one. It's not easy when the water is moving either (from me floating around)

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Sakari found a shell with a crab in it. It would remain her friend for the rest of the day (the poor thing).

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He had a faulty shell, but it was the place he called home.

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There was fish everywhere and even some coral.

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It started getting a little dark...oh no!!! Was it about to rain and spoil our day? (Pssshhh, nothing could spoil my day at this point, I'm already wet and I'm in the water so who cares?)

 

I seen this windmill type of thing. I wonder if they use it for their electricity out there? I mean how does an island obtain electric? I have always wondered that.

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Along side of the water. See there are normal chairs for those of you that are not wanting to be adventurous and go for the wired man made chairs.

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We decided it was about time to head over to the other beach (the one I knew I was going to love with the aqua blue water). So we started walking back, but not the same way we had come...we were still going full circle.

This is the owners house.

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If there are animals to be found, my husband and daughter will be the ones to find them. They took off running toward something and I hear this "awwwwww" and when I catch up, this is what I find.

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This would be the bathrooms

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Looking in toward the bathroom area and the sinks to wash your hands are outside of it.

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We are almost back to the paradise beach area....we have come full circle around the island.

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More neat things for landscaping around the place.

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We walked over to the itty bitty small island part and they had a deck that runs along the water facing toward the area/beach I had just came from.

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The clouds were rolling in and we started to feel a little drop here and there. The hubby ran to the cabana type structure that had plenty of seating in couch like chairs or up at tables. We weren't going to actually sit there, there was too much to do and see. We just wanted to find a place to put our things so it wouldn't get wet.

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I looked at him and said "There's no time like the present to get in the water and snorkel. I mean after all, we were already wet, it was starting to rain, and there's the water....off I went.

So, here I go.

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I have never taken a photo of it raining before while in the water...so I thought this is neat...it'll be my first. I like first. First are good. There were several first at this place and that always make a place worthwhile. I have done "drops" in the water before, but not rain.

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Yep, still raining

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Others had the same idea I did. Copy catters!!!

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Awesome self portrait while snorkeling. No those are not my lips at all. Who is this imposter? Remember the unflattering butt plop in to the tube while cave tubing? Well this is another one of those unflattering pictures. It's late, I just got off work and I'm a little delirious. So why not.

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The idea behind the self portrait was to have me snorkeling with the rain drops above my head. I don't think it turned out the way I had wanted or expected.

 

Well, it had been about 15 minutes since the rain started and just like that, it stopped and the sun started to come out again. The sun would remain out after that and it would be nothing but perfect weather from here on out.

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Now I have to say, I d