A Travellerspoint blog

Knoxville Zoo ~ March 2009

if we could talk to the animals....

Visited the local zoo for the first time in years. As with most day trips, had good weather. Not much to say about the day, so here are some photos of the animals.

DSCF1784.jpg

DSCF1732.jpg

DSCF1726.jpg

DSCF1696.jpg

DSCF1677.jpg

DSCF1672.jpg

DSCF1669.jpg

DSCF1666.jpg

DSCF1645.jpg

DSCF1658.jpg DSCF1642.jpg

DSCF1643.jpg

Posted by lilinando 16:46 Archived in USA Tagged family_travel Comments (0)

Atlanta, GA ~ Jan 2009

mummies and bodies galore

Shastina and I went to Atlanta for a weekend in January to see both the King Tut exhibit and the Bodies exhibit (BTW, neither exhibit allowed photos inside so I had no choice but to grab their official pics to show a little of what they were like). . Both were very interesting. We also ate at Maggiano's (yum!) and checked out the huge and incredible Ikea store. And, we also went clubbing and tried to track down T.I. but my man was nowhere to be found, guess he was getting packed for prison :)

We stayed at the Marriott downtown to be close to the exhibits.

marriottdowntown1.jpg

Saturday we went to Atlantic Station which is a great shopping district, kind of like a planned community. We saw the Bodies exhibit and then shopped.

IMG_0858.jpg

IMG_0861.jpg

bodies1.jpg

bodies2.jpg

IMG_0859.jpg

IMG_0862.jpg

IMG_0844.jpg

IMG_0843.jpg

IMG_0842.jpg

IMG_0841.jpg

We ate at Maggianos and late that night, we ate at the hotel's Liquid Bar Lounge before getting ready to go check out a couple of bars/clubs. The timing on all that eating is a little fuzzy at this point :)

maggianos.jpg

liquidbarlounge.jpg

The hotel was nice, but not in an area we wanted to be walking to and from at night although it was centrally located downtown. So, we grabbed a taxi and went to a nearby bar, but it was tiny and slow, so we went to one I had heard about as being cool, Opera. It was packed and had multiple dance areas. Here are some photos and a video:

IMG_0853.jpg

IMG_0852.jpg

IMG_0851.jpg

We got home about 3 or 4 a.m. and got up Sunday with only minutes to spare before check out time! We quickly packed up and got ready. We went to see the King Tut exhibit, then went back to Atlantic Station to check out the wonderful Ikea store.

kingtut1.jpg

kingtut7b.jpg kingtut2.jpg

kingtut3.jpg kingtut4.jpg

kingtut5.jpg

kingtut6.jpg

IMG_0879.jpg

IMG_0877.jpg

IMG_0874.jpg

IMG_0873.jpg

IMG_0872.jpg

IMG_0871.jpg

IMG_0869.jpg

IMG_0868.jpg

Then we tore ourselves away from Ikea and drove home.

~The END :)

Posted by lilinando 16:08 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Bahamas & Disney ~ Dec/Jan 2009

will's 20th bday trip

When I asked Will what he wanted to do for his 20th birthday, he said he wanted to spend it at DisneyWorld. So, we made plans to spend New Years Eve and Day there (his bday is Jan. 1). What he didn't know, was that I also made arrangements for us to go back to the Bahamas. He had mentioned in a text that it would be great to do that, but I played it off as something we couldn't do. On the way down to Florida, I forwarded his text back to him with the reply "well, if you really want to go, ok" - he was very surprised and I was glad that I pulled it off :)

We left the day after Christmas and made the long drive back down to Port Everglades, FL. We stayed at some hotel, I can't remember where right now, sad b/c it's only been 8 months, but oh well. Had to be at the port around 5am to check in for the Discovery Cruise to Grand Bahama Island. It's called a "cruise," but it's really a down-and-back day trip that also offers the choice of splitting your sailing dates so it can be transport to a vacation in the Bahamas. We took this ship back in August too when we visited Grand Bahama Island for a week so we knew what to expect. It's fairly run-down and unspectacular, but it's reliable transportation that doesn't run the risk of death at 30,000 feet so it works for me! :)

Discovery Cruise:

Here are pictures of sunrise at port while we were waiting to sail, pics around the ship, ruffians who had to spend 4 hours on deck because they didn't book a "superior" special cabin like we did, our spacious lovely cabin, will's activity for the whole journey, and arriving at the port in the Bahamas.

IMG_0250.jpg

IMG_0248.jpg

IMG_0258.jpg

IMG_0264.jpg

IMG_0459.jpg

IMG_0266.jpg

IMG_0267.jpg

IMG_0277.jpg

IMG_0275.jpg IMG_0282.jpg

IMG_0288.jpg

IMG_0470.jpg IMG_0471.jpg

IMG_0290.jpg

Grand Bahama Island - Pelican Bay Hotel:

Last time, we rented a car and the company picked us up from port. But this time, we were only going to be staying at our hotel, the Pelican Bay, since it was in walking distance of everywhere we planned to go, so we got a cab. The hotel was very nice and was literally right next door to Port Lucaya and all the shops, restaurants, etc. The suite was great and had a balcony with a view of the infinity pool and the bay. Here are some pictures of the room, the grounds, and us enjoying it all.

IMG_0453.jpg

IMG_0291.jpg

IMG_0296.jpg

IMG_0292.jpg

IMG_0295.jpg

IMG_0298.jpg

IMG_0327.jpg

IMG_0299.jpg

IMG_0326.jpg

IMG_0301.jpg IMG_0302.jpg

IMG_0342.jpg

IMG_0339b.jpg

IMG_0348.jpg

IMG_0407.jpg

IMG_0411.jpg

IMG_0304.jpg IMG_0413.jpg

IMG_0398.jpg

IMG_0400.jpg

IMG_0405.jpg

IMG_0414.jpg

IMG_0450.jpg

IMG_0451.jpg IMG_0452.jpg

Taino Beach:

One day I took the boat taxi around the bay to the resort at Taino Beach. It was very nice and not too crowded. The weather was great and I enjoyed a lovey veggie burger at the restaurant before heading back. The hotel had a grotto bar and huge pool too. Will decided to stay at the hotel since we had brought the xbox with us and he wanted to get online and play with some of his friends. Here are some pics from the beach:

IMG_0358.jpg

IMG_0364.jpg

IMG_0365.jpg

IMG_0366.jpg

IMG_0367.jpg IMG_0368.jpg

IMG_0379.jpg

Port Lucaya Marketplace:

We had discovered Port Lucaya when we were here in August and really enjoyed spending time here. So most days on this trip we went there for lunch, to shop, and always went for dinner and to hang out. Our favorite place is Shenanigan's Pub and we would usually spend a few hours there. The bartender remembered us from August which was nice. These pictures show some of the places we visited, and some of the christmas decorations they had up.

IMG_0325.jpg

IMG_0322.jpg

IMG_0323.jpg

IMG_0318.jpg

IMG_0424.jpg

IMG_0350.jpg

IMG_0440.jpg IMG_0439.jpg

IMG_0313.jpg

IMG_0356.jpg IMG_0355.jpg

All too soon, it was time to leave the Bahamas and head for DisneyWorld. I was excited about getting to Disney, but the weather and atmosphere at Lucaya were so nice and refreshing that I hated to leave. We took the Discovery ship back to Port Everglades, grabbed our car, and took off for Orlando. Unfortunately, there was a delay between docking in port and them actually letting us off the ship, so we didn't get started for Orlando until around 10pm. We were really worn out and had to pull over at a rest stop for a little bit on the way, so it was 3am before we actually arrived at our hotel.

Hilton Resort at Downtown Disney:

Luckily this hotel is counted as a Disney hotel so we get extra hours and guaranteed entry (which I definitely needed on New Year's Eve!) The hotel was very nice and had a great view, but I missed the Disney decorations and atmosphere.

IMG_0478.jpg

IMG_0479.jpg

IMG_0480.jpg

IMG_0481.jpg

DisneyWorld ~ Magic Kingdom:

We slept late on New Year's Eve and then I went over to Magic Kingdom that afternoon. Will wasn't feeling well, so decided to stay at the hotel. I was a little leery of going to the park on my own, especially on New Year's Eve, but it turned out to be one of the best days I've ever had at Disney! It was nice to just do what I wanted, when I wanted, without having to accommodate other people :) When the bus came to take us from the hotel, the driver said the park was closed because at capacity. We told them our hotel had guaranteed entry so they said they'd give it shot and when we got there, they waved us in with no problems, thank goodness! The decorations in the park were gorgeous, especially the castle. The crowds were bearable and everyone was in such a festive mood. Here are Magic Kingdom pics:

IMG_0482.jpg

IMG_0483.jpg

IMG_0484.jpg

IMG_0485.jpg

IMG_0486.jpg

IMG_0493.jpg IMG_0499.jpg

IMG_0538.jpg IMG_0542.jpg

IMG_0546.jpg IMG_0548.jpg

IMG_0500.jpg

IMG_0533.jpg

IMG_0557.jpg

DisneyWorld ~ Epcot & Boardwalk:

The next day I went to Epcot, again by myself, and again had a great time! I rode my favorite rides, walked around the World Showcase and ate lunch at Morocco (as usual!) That evening, I kept our reservation at Spoodles, wondering how it would be to eat dinner there alone. I took the walkway from Epcot's International Gateway to the Boardwalk and bought a magazine from their gift shop to give me something to do while I was waiting on my order. The waitress was super nice and felt bad about Will missing out on his own bday dinner so she sent him a bday cupcake and the hostess sent him a happy birthday button with his name on it. I had a blue glowtini and it was great. They made me a potato gnocchi/veggie/marinara dish that was delicious. So again, another great solo experience.

Went back to Epcot after dinner and called Will - he finally felt good enough to come to the park. Since it was his birthday, he got in for free. And even though it was about 8pm before he got there, it was extra evening hours that night so they were open til midnight. We had a great time walking around the world and doing our usual stuff. All in all, a wonderful day. Here are the Epcot pics:

IMG_0568.jpg

IMG_0572.jpg

IMG_0578.jpg

IMG_0588.jpg IMG_0591.jpg

IMG_0593.jpg

IMG_0597.jpg IMG_0598.jpg

IMG_0600.jpg

IMG_0601.jpg

IMG_0602.jpg IMG_0604.jpg

IMG_0605.jpg

IMG_0608.jpg

IMG_0606.jpg IMG_0610.jpg

IMG_0611.jpg

IMG_0613.jpg

IMG_0617.jpg IMG_0622.jpg

IMG_0623.jpg

IMG_0624.jpg IMG_0635.jpg

IMG_0636.jpg IMG_0637.jpg

IMG_0638.jpg

IMG_0648.jpg

IMG_0663.jpg

IMG_0665.jpg

IMG_0666.jpg

IMG_0672.jpg

IMG_0668.jpg

IMG_0670.jpg

IMG_0678.jpg

Then we drove home and back to reality - again :(

~ The END

Posted by lilinando 15:38 Tagged family_travel Comments (0)

Disney Cruise & Destin ~ Jul/Aug 2007

a trip report from our 2007 Disney Cruise & Destin FL Vacation

This trip included a 3-night Disney Cruise to the Bahamas followed by 5 or so nights in Destin, FL (can't remember exactly since it's been two years). Here are brief highlights and a bunch of photos.

Disney Terminal @ Port, Exploring the Ship, Heading out to Sea:

We drove to Cape Canaveral, FL and spent the night at the Radisson Inn at the Port (not overly impressed with it btw). Took hotel shuttle the next morning to Port Canaveral and checked in at the Disney Terminal. Got on the boat, ate buffet lunch, then explored the ship and watched from deck as we sailed out of port.

5discruise0707_168.jpg

discruise0707_193.jpg

discruise0707_191.jpg

discruise0707_192.jpg

disneywonder.jpg

discruise0707_207.jpg

discruise0707_206.jpg

discruise0707_204.jpg

discruise0707_187.jpg

discruise0707_205.jpg

discruise0707_178.jpg discruise0707_175.jpg

discruise0707_170.jpg discruise0707_172.jpg

discruise0707_173.jpg

discruise0707_174.jpg

discruise0707_12.jpg

discruise0707_65.jpg

discruise0707_63.jpg

discruise0707_60.jpg

discruise0707_3.jpg discruise0707_8.jpg

discruise0707_6.jpg

discruise0707_7.jpg

discruise0707_69.jpg

discruise0707_165.jpg

discruise0707_164.jpg

discruise0707_156.jpg

discruise0707_163.jpg

discruise0707_153.jpg

discruise0707_152.jpg

discruise0707_150.jpg

discruise0707_146.jpg

Stateroom:

We got to our stateroom and it was nice, had split bathroom - one room had toilet and sink, one room had bathtub and sink, this was very handy especially when getting ready for dinner. The staterooms on the Disney ship are bigger than staterooms on other cruise lines. Ours was a category 6, Deluxe Stateroom with a Verandah. It had 268-sq ft and a queen bed and sleeper sofa (although I found out later any stateroom can have the queen bed set up as twins - oops, next time maybe Will won't have to cram his 6'4" body onto a 5'-something sofa :))

discruise0707_202.jpg

discruise0707_124.jpg

discruise0707_123.jpg

discruise0707_125.jpg

discruise0707_126.jpg

discruise0707_11.jpg

discruise0707_103.jpg

Verandah and Sunset:

discruise0707_145.jpg

discruise0707_122.jpg

discruise0707_120.jpg

discruise0707_199.jpg

discruise0707_111.jpg

discruise0707_110.jpg

Dinner and Pirates in the Caribbean Party:

We had dinner at a different restaurant each night, and one night was Pirate Night - Will dared me to wear my Mickey pirate ears, thinking that I wouldn't, so I went back to the room and put them on and came back to dinner. I couldn't let a challenge go unanswered!! After dinner there was a Pirate party and fireworks!

discruise0707_109.jpg

discruise0707_198.jpg

discruise0707_197.jpg

discruise0707_102.jpg

discruise0707_94.jpg

discruise0707_70.jpg

discruise0707_100.jpg

discruise0707_89.jpg

discruise0707_88.jpg

discruise0707_84.jpg

discruise0707_74.jpg

Disney Shows:

Each night in the Walt Disney Theater, which seats like 900 or something, there was a production of a Disney Stage Show. I saw Hercules, and Dreams, but missed the Golden Mickeys the first night.

discruise0707_129.jpg

discruise0707_133.jpg discruise0707_134.jpg

discruise0707_135.jpg

discruise0707_136.jpg

discruise0707_139.jpg

discruise0707_30.jpg

discruise0707_21.jpg

discruise0707_20.jpg

discruise0707_17.jpg

discruise0707_14.jpg

Port of Call # 1 - Nassau:

We didn't do any excursions in Nassau, instead we decided to rent a scooter and explore on our own. It was a little stressful because they drive on the left, and Will wasn't used to driving a scooter with someone on the back of it. But we saw alot of the island, stopped at a little beach, did some shopping, ate at the Hard Rock (where Will was happy to legally order one of their specialty drinks). We stopped at the famous "Straw Market" on the way back to the ship. I hate to haggle for pricing on stuff, but that seems to be the norm in the market. Will got to buy some Cuban cigars.

bahamas0707_32.jpg

bahamas0707_25.jpg

Here we are scootering down the road in Nassau, just exploring the island.

bahamas0707_17.jpg

bahamas0707_18.jpg

bahamas0707_19.jpg

bahamas0707_23.jpg

bahamas0707_24.jpg

bahamas0707_22.jpg

bahamas0707_11.jpg

bahamas0707_13.jpg

bahamas0707_10.jpg

bahamas0707_1.jpg

bahamas0707_7.jpg

bahamas0707_3.jpg

bahamas0707_2.jpg

Port of Call #2 - Castaway Cay:

Disney has their own private island in the Bahamas called Castaway Cay. They have a family beach, an adults only beach, hiking trails, biking, snorkeling, stingray encounters, jet skis, and much more. They also serve a buffet for lunch. We did the jetski excursion first thing that morning and it was really fun. Then Will went back to the ship for the rest of the day but I stayed and swam and laid out at the family beach, ate at Cookies BBQ (they had plenty of veggie options (as they did at all restaurants and counter service on the ship too btw), and then had a drink at their bar. Next cruise I plan to explore alot more of the island, just didn't know what to expect or plan for this first time. It was a fun, relaxing day.

discruise0707_48.jpg

discruise0707_47.jpg

discruise0707_43.jpg

discruise0707_41.jpg

discruise0707_51.jpg

discruise0707_52.jpg

discruise0707_53.jpg

discruise0707_54.jpg

discruise0707_55.jpg

Sadly, our cruise was over too soon, but we were also going to Destin for several days during this trip. Here is a picture of Will when we were waiting for the hotel shuttle to take us back to our car once we docked at Port Canaveral.

discruise0707_1.jpg

Destin, FL - Condo rented on VRBO:

We rented a lovely condo via VRBO. It was right on the beach and had a rooftop pool that was mostly deserted so I enjoyed swimming there every day. I also got in the ocean a few times but not for long (thanks Steven Spielberg and Jaws! :))

fwb0707_3.jpg

fwb0707_4.jpg

fwb0707_5.jpg

fwb0707_9.jpg

fwb0707_15.jpg

fwb0707_21.jpg

fwb0707_22.jpg

fwb0707_24.jpg

fwb0707_28.jpg

fwb0707_29.jpg

I went shopping several days and Will actually accompanied me on a few shopping trips. We found two really cool places - one was Destin Commons which is an open air mall type place that looks like a modern downtown area with shops on streets (but interior streets from parking lot so no cars on them). For some reason I didn't get pics of the shopping areas so I'll steal some of the official ones instead:

commons1.jpg

commons2.jpg

The other was called Baytowne Wharf and was in a gated community which was kind of weird. But it was nice and had kind of a tropical theme and had plenty of shops, restaurants, and bars.

baytowne2.jpg

baytowne3.jpg

Then we drove home and back to the real world :(

~ The END :)

Posted by lilinando 13:24 Archived in Bahamas Tagged cruises Comments (0)

(Entries 6 - 9 of 9) « Page 1 [2]