Friday, August 24, 2012

A Lesson in Beekeeping

Scott cutting off the comb wax caps
Scott's dad keeps bees. Pretty cool, right?

On Tuesday, he had an appointment for honey extraction and we all went along to see the process and help.

The process was so fascinating.When bees are making honey comb they will fill the hexagonal container with honey and when its filled, they will cap it off with wax. To extract the honey, all of the wax caps need to be removed. Each of the individual comb frame need to be cut or cleaned so that the honey can flow out of the combs.

Then all of the combs are placed into a cylinder with a motor that will spin them for about a half hour to pull all of the honey out of the combs. The honey will drip down to the bottom and fill containers through a spout.

It took six hours to extract all of the honey! We ended up with 26 gallons worth. Honey for everyone!!

The next day, I donned a bee suit and helped put the bee boxes back in the hives. The bees would clean out any excess honey on the frames and then begin making new combs and filling them with honey.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Grand Caymens

Our final stop on the cruise was in the Caymen Islands, which means one thing: another dive excursion!

We enjoyed this dive, but we had some problems. Scott was struggling a bit with his mask. It kept leaking and wouldn't seal properly. This coupled with the water pressure on his mask resulted in an uncomfortable dive and some popped blood vessels in his eyes.

We don't have an underwater camera,  and on this cruise, a fellow diver offered to take pictures of us underwater and send them to us.

Aside from the problems in the dive, we enjoyed it. There were a bunch of coral tubes that we were able to swim through, which was exciting and different. It felt like we were swimming through these coral canyons and trenches.

Diving the Grand Caymens was pretty good, but felt like the diving in Cozumel was better and more enjoyable. The sites in the Caymens had a lot of hard coral structures, but didn't have as much soft colorful coral and fish as Cozumel did.

We really enjoyed our cruise. We had so much fun and definitely would enjoy taking another one. It was an easy and relaxed vacation and we loved every minute of it!

Belize & Roatan

Belize was our second port. We didn't have a planned excursion for this stop, so we got off the boat when we were ready, and then explored the area. Outside of the port dock, we met Michael and he was willing to drive us around the city.

He told us Belize's history as well as the history of the city we ported at. It was fascinating seeing how things were built, and you could see a drastic difference between the commercialized area right at the port dock and the run down city outside of it.

Scott and I enjoyed driving around and learning about the country from Michael, as well as walking around after the tour. We enjoyed stopping at Belize. 

Roatán, Honduras was our third port. We LOVED Roatán. It was lush and green, and the ocean views were to die for. We met another couple while walking around, and decided to team up with them on another tour around the island. 

On our island tour in Roatan
The entire time we were there, Scott and I talked about what it would be like to move and open a dive shop here with the family. We heard the diving in Roatán was great, and the entire island is surrounded by dive spots. It looked like divers paradise. 

The view of Roatan from our room


Our first stop: Cozumel, Mexico. Hello scuba diving!

Cruise excursion companies lined up
Scott and I are both certified scuba divers and we love being under the water. So the only cruise excursions we planned and booked were dives in Cozumel and the Grand Caymans.

When we arrived in Cozumel, we walked around the little port town before finding our diving company.

Cozumel was beautiful. The water was crystal clear and bright blue. The visibility was perfect. You could look down from the boat and see coral and shapes that were 60 or more feet under the water. The diving was enjoyable and relaxed. We jumped off the boat and made our way to the bottom. These two dives were drift dives because of the current. We were carried slowly along the coral and were able to see amazing soft and hard corals with a variety of fish.

We loved the Cozumel dives.

On the first, we saw a giant sea turtle swim by us and then soar up to the surface to take in some air. It was beautiful and was flying in the water.

We saw a couple rays - one white and brown, and the other was larger and gray. The gray ray that we saw had a fish swimming with it, gliding with its back. Where ever the ray turned, the fish would recalculate its course to be with the ray. Yellow trumpetfish hid in the coral as we found eels poking their heads our of their coral caves.

Carnival Liberty docked at Cozumel

We loved Cozumel so much that we are trying to figure out a time when we can go again, and maybe work on our advanced scuba certification there. This was one of our favorite memories from the cruise. We will definitely come back and spend some more time in Cozumel.

At Sea

There were two sea days on the cruise - one at the beginning and one at the end. Because we were at sea, we took some time exploring the boat and soaking up the rays.

The day started out by finding the breakfast buffet and it was delicious. The buffet area was packed and completely filled with people. There was a breakfast grill that would change menu items. Every day there would be scrambled and boiled eggs, toast pastries, and oatmeal. Depending on the day, the grill would also serve pancakes, waffles, french toast, sausage links or patties, bacon, and various forms of potatoes. It was delicious.

After breakfast, we found a couple chairs on the upper deck and enjoyed the warmth and the breeze. It was just a lazy, relaxing day. We laid in the sun, ate when we wanted, slept when we wanted and were finally able to enjoy having the wedding stress gone and both be done with school.

The Lido Versailles Pool

The Lido main pool deck filled with people at the Sail Away party

Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Journey

Scott and I have been offline for the past week - we were kickin' it up Caribbean style on a Carnival cruise. And we are ready for a little vacay! So let me start recounting the stories from the trip.

The cruise was from August 11th through the 18th with two days at sea and stopping at four ports: Cozumel, Belize, Roatán and Grand Cayman. We were ready for some sun, sand, and sea. Well, it seemed like the cosmos was pitted against us and tried to foil our plans of making it to Miami. 

Our flights were originally scheduled to leave Friday night out of SLC at 11:59 pm - gross - with about a 2 hour layover in Charlotte, NC. Then arrive in Ft. Lauderdale and take a shuttle to the port. Not that ridiculous of a schedule.

Well on Friday, Scott got a call from US Airways, saying that the flight was delayed until 1:30, meaning that there was a short window of time now to make our connection. To be on the safe side, we changed the flight from Charlotte to leave just a little bit later so we wouldn't have anything to worry about.

A few hours later, the airline called us again saying the flight was now delayed until 3am, so there was no way we would make the new connection. We changed our flights completely to accomodate. We would now leave at 8pm Friday night, stop in Phoenix and Philadelphia before getting to Ft. Lauderdale - with lengthy layovers. 

When we arrived at the airport, our first flight was on time and no longer delayed. Of course.

But at long last we made it. Let the cruising begin!

Carnival Liberty

Thursday, August 9, 2012

One Week In

Scott and I have been blissfully married for a full week now. It was a beautiful and memorable day.

Gramps Gailey performed the sealing and had very touching and heartfelt words of love and advice. There was so much love that filled the sealing room - from two of us, but also from all of our family and close friends surrounding us.

It's amazing how fast the day went by. I remember waking up that morning and I swear I blinked and we were walking out of the temple as husband and wife.

I am excited for the life I get to share with this man.