Originally I intended to write about our entire vacation. But, for the sake of time, and your boredom, I decided to pick the top five experiences to share with you. So here it goes:
5. Finding dog stuff to take photos of/with.
At Universal, the gift shop had stuffies of Hagrid’s dog.
Apparently in this photo, taken at Toon Town in Universal, I was supposed to pretend that Marmaduke was dragging me. Now, it just looks like I’m floating.
On the cruise ship, there was a statue of a bulldog.
I have to be honest, I tried NOT to look for dogs when we were in port. Some of the islands (Haiti and Jamaica) are pretty poor, so I was afraid what I would see. Luckily, I didn’t see too many strays, as we tended to stay in very ‘touristy’ areas, when we weren’t on a beach.
4. Getting to hold a baby turtle.
Grand Cayman is home to the world’s largest turtle farm. They breed thousands of endangered sea turtles and release them into the wild. It was awesome to see all different species and turtles in all different life stages. We even got to hold baby turtles! They like getting their chins scratched. Apparently it calms them down.
Sparky is the oldest and biggest turtle there, weighing in at 500 pounds.
We saw the breeding turtles get fed. It looked like large bags of dog kibble! I can’t adequately say how cool this experience was for a turtle lover like myself!
3. Exploring the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
The Mr. and I love Harry Potter, so it was only natural for us to plan a day at Universal when we decided to fly into the Orlando airport. The replica of Hogwarts was massive, and looked exactly like it does in the movie. You walk through the whole castle and at the end it’s a ride that simulates riding a broom. I really only saw half of the ride, because it shut down right in the middle! It was such a bummer because it looses a bit of the ‘magic’ when you can see the screens and the tracks that the ride is on. I was just thankful that the car I was in was right side up and I wasn’t stuck dangling upside down!
While at Universal we also saw a Matchbox 20 concert and a Mardi Gras parade. It was a great way to kick off our vacation!
2. Seeing the Cozumel Humane Society booth in the cruise terminal.
It was such a surprise to walk off the ship and find an animal shelter booth set up in amongst all the touristy shops. But I was so happy we did! It was toward the end of the cruise and I was missing Nola terribly. When we turned the corner and saw the puppy, the Mr. and I stopped dead in our tracks. We went right over and gave her belly rubs and ear scratches. We spoke with the gentleman manning the booth for a while. He said that he brings a new dog to the terminal every day to get donations and spread the word. He said the stray dog population in Cozumel has been reduced significantly since the Humane Society got involved. They are a no-kill shelter and try to educate about spaying and neutering. They had all sorts of little souvenirs for dogs, so we donated and got Nola a bone. Even our mere $20 was received by the man like it was a million dollars. He told us that even just $20 could help 4 or 5 (out of the 60!) dogs already in the shelter.
We went back after we got back from the beach, but the puppy had left for the day.
1. Coming home to this face.
The Mr. and I had an amazing time on our vacation, but by the end we really missed our Nola Muffin. She had a great time with my parents, and even though I purchased an international text plan to be able to check in, everything went fine. Nola got to go to the beach with Pepere everyday for an hour or two! She was so tired when we finally got home, that she went right onto our bed and didn’t move until the next morning. We had a great time, but it’s nice to get back into the routine of ever day living. Next time we go away on vacation it will be with Nola and somewhere in the U.S.!