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Posted on Jan 27, 2011 in Dear Diary, Food | 6 comments

Final Vacation Post – Adios Miami!

Before I jump into things, has everyone had a chance to see the article on Honey, I Shrunk the Gretchen! in the Falls Church News-Press today? Okay, sorry, had to do another shameless plug. Onto the actual post!

Well, here we are mi amigos, the final (and extremely belated) vacation post! Where we last left off, we had just finished the final port stop: Roatan, Honduras! All that was left on the cruise was a final day at sea (sorry, not too many pictures taken of that rainy day!) and then our couple of days left in Miami before heading back up north!

We did get to have one last delicious dinner on the cruise that day, but because of I was so stuffed from eating throughout the day I only partook in 2 of the customary 4 courses, hahaha.

Entree:

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A delicious, perfectly cooked medium-rare filet mignon (wrapped in bacon, naturally!) with a pea puree pyramid and carrot mash.

Dessert:

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An almond amaretto cake. Mm-mmm. It a nice portion (a small sliver) and I looooove almond-flavored anything! It was the perfect finish to all of the amazing meals we (over)ate while cruising.

Admittedly, it wasn’t as good as the almond-pistachio cake we ended up having at Icebox Cafe in Miami, but then again, Oprah did declare their cake “the best cake in America” so I don’t think our sweet little cruise could compete.

Here’s a photo of that deliciousness that Ben took while while we were visiting Icebox:

Seriously, Oprah. You know your cake.

We spent the last two days of vacation lounging around Miami Beach, including eating at the famous Joe’s Stone Crab in South Beach! We hung out by the pool, walked along the beach, and got to check out the awesome Art Deco fair that they had going on!

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Hokay! So, here we are. I promised you pictures of me, lounging in all my swimsuited glory. While yes, you have probably a few already via some past cruise posts (here and here), the fact that I was wearing a swimsuit was kind of incidental. So I forced myself to pull out all my knowledge from watching 16 cycles of America’s Next Top Model, channel my inner Tyra, and posed for a couple of pics. Mortifying though it may be is.

Click the “Read More” to see them… if you dare (does this qualify as “NSFW”? I have no idea. Well, at least you’re prepared.) And try not to judge too harshly. I’ve still got at least 30 pounds to go! And also bear in mind how hard I would have laughed in your face had you asked me to do this 40 pounds ago.

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Posted on Jan 16, 2011 in Dear Diary, Food | 0 comments

All Aboard! From Miami to… the Ocean off the Coast of Miami.

My post titles just get better and better, don’t they? ;) So! Now that you’ve gotten a little bit of an overview of the whole cruise experience, let’s dive into some detail — just a li’l bit! I pwomise. :)

We began our cruising journey after spending a night in the Springhill Suites Miami, since Jenny, Ben, and I all flew in late the night before embarking. We headed to the Port of Miami after a leisurely start to the day (boarding started at 1:30 PM) and passed through customs, security, and all that jazz.

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Greeted by champagne and some friendly staff, we headed to our stateroom first thing to dump our things, and then set off to explore the ship! I posted most of the cooler details in my previous post , so be sure to check them out!

The sibs and I wandered all around the ship, making sure to spend lots of time on the real grass lawn up on the tippity top deck!

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It’s called “The Lawn Club” and it’s a big thing for Celebrity to brag about, I guess, because their Solstice class ships (the class to which the Eclipse belongs, of course) are the only cruise ships that have a lawn.

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It was actually really nice to feel the grass between your toes at sea (if not somewhat counterintuitive, haha.)

Most of the rest of that first day was spent just touring the ship (it’s HUGE, in case you didn’t get that), lounging about, and taking LOTS of photos.

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What’s the point in having a DSLR (or two) in the family if you don’t make use of it, right? Hahahaha. Each night we had dinner in the main dining hall, the Moonlight Sonata. We had the “early seating” which was at 6:00 PM each night. They offer you a menu that included choices for your appetizer, soup/salad, entree, and dessert. ALong with the specials that changed each night, there was also a classic menu that had standards like salmon, steak, shrimp cocktails, and lobster bisque. Dinner that first night went as follows:

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Appetizer(s): I ordered a goat cheese tart, which was INCREDIBLE. Jenny ordered a beet salad, and we basically split them with each other. The goat cheese tart definitely won out. It was creamy, herbed with a balsamic reduction on top… simply heavenly.

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Soup/Salad: For my second course, I ordered the apple and arugala salad. It was yummy, with a lemon vinaigrette on top and candied pecans that were to die for. Jenny got a gazpacho, which I sampled as well – it was yummy (though I’m still on the fence about cold soups, gazpacho is always a solid choice.)

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Entree: My first meal on the boat was red, red, red meat. Bwahaha! I got the prime rib, which came served with mashed potatoes and glazed carrots. It was amazing! Way too much red meat, of course, considering how little of it I eat normally throughout the week, but totally worth the heartburn that followed, hehe.

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Dessert: Of course I ordered the creme brulee for dessert. I mean, c’mon. It was good, although a little runnier than I think I would have preferred, and the caramelized sugar coating on top wasn’t very thick (and thus didn’t have much “crack” to it) although I guess that’s not a bad thing in the nutritional scheme of things. Don’t worry, Jenny helped me eat it. :)

After dinner, we went see a little variety show in the Eclipse Theatre that gave a preview of entertainment to come. It included a performance by the on-board a cappella group, Sound Decision, that I really enjoyed (of course!) Who knew that cruise a cappella was a thing? It was a long, exciting day, so we pretty much crashed right after that. And there you have it, one day down, seven to go! :) Read More

Posted on Jan 8, 2011 in Dear Diary | 2 comments

Bon Voyage!

Good morning from sunny Miami!

Last night the sis, the bro and I all boarded the plane to head south for our cruise vacation!

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We met our parents at the hotel we’re bunking at for the night (all 5 of us + my parents’ infamous snoring = an interesting experience, hahaha!) and in a few hours we’ll be boarding the cruise – it sails from the dock at 4 PM!

Don’t worry, y’all, I already went to the gym this morning (!!) so I’m getting this vacation off to a good start. Had a breakfast of oatmeal, yogurt, and part of a small blueberry muffin for breakfast. I’m feeling good! Hopefully I’ll be able to maintain working out each morning and slightly less the blow from this deliciousnessfest. ;)

Until we head to the ship (the Celebrity Eclipse – fitting name for a cruise I’m going on, huh? Haha) I will be lounging in the sunlight – oh sunny days, how I’ve missed thee! :) Looking forward to catching up on my reading (thanks Kindle!), gaming (thanks, Nintendo DS!) and taking lots of photos (thanks, Canon!) Blogging opportunities from here on out is likely to be slim pickings, but I promise to give you all the full scoop (including what I’m sure will be an absolutely mortifying experience of seeing me in a bathing suit) when I get back!

Adieu for now! <3

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