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Stingrays and Barracudas and Mexican Food, Oh My!

We just got back from our first childless vacation as a married couple. It went by far too quickly, but at the same time I’m ready to be home so that I can sleep in my own bed and hang out with my two little girls.

Here’s a little recap of our vacation:

Casey and I hung out with my sister our first night of our vacation in Tampa Bay and had authentic Cuban food at the Colombian. My sister confirmed that her OCD-ishness is still in full force as her car, which is several years old, looks and smells brand new on the inside. The hotel where we stayed in Tampa Bay will go down as one of my all-time favorites. Not because there was anything especially fantastic about staying at a Wyndham, but there is something fantastic about staying in a hotel with M&M dispensers that dispense free peanut and plain M&Ms.

Our first full day out to sea was spent inside, where we tried to pretend that there weren’t so many people on the cruise ship. We may or may not have taken 2 to 3 naps.

Our first stop on our cruise was in Cozumel, Mexico. We hopped into a cab and headed to a private beach resort for the day. It had a very limited number of guests and provided free food and drinks. The drinks didn’t do all that much for us since we don’t drink alcohol, but we are firm believers in consuming excellent and authentic Mexican food. The food we had in Mexico was by far the best Mexican food we have ever had–go figure, the best Mexican food we’ve ever had was from a place in Mexico.

Our second stop was Belize. A small group of us were rounded up from the cruise ship and loaded into a boat and transported to a random location on the Barrier Reef for some ocean snorkeling. This little adventure had Casey nervous to the point of gaseous stomach pains. The lady does not like being dropped off in the middle of the ocean. She learned pretty quickly, however, that she was born for snorkeling—middle of the ocean or not. I, on the other hand, learned that drowning in a body of salt water would be a painful way to die. After we finished, our group was transported to a small private island off the coast of Belize City covered in coconut trees.

Our third stop was at Isla Roatan off the coast of Honduras. This was by far the most beautiful site that we visited. Honduras is an amazing looking place with jungle like woods, beaches, visible ship wrecks, and mountains. Oh, how we Utah natives have missed the mountains! We spent the day snorkeling offshore of a local beach resort. The snorkeling in Honduras was better than in Belize and Casey once again proved that she is a skilled snorkeler. (She also ran into a five foot barracuda with lots of teeth.)

Our final stop was in Grand Cayman where we got to swim with the stingrays in the most crystal clear water that I’ve ever seen. You want a bit of a rush?  Go stand amidst the stingrays and let a five foot stingray swim between your legs. Woo. Some random lady who was a complete stranger got so scared when a stingray swam up against her that she grabbed hold of my arm and pulled herself as tightly to me as she could. When the stingray was gone, she had no shame admitting that she was terrified of the stingrays even though I’d already figured that part out.

After our stingray adventure, we headed a few 100 yards from the stingrays for some more crystal clear snorkeling along the Barrier Reef. This was the best snorkeling of the trip. Grand Cayman has some amazing water and would be a fantastic and expensive place to live. Oh, and the natives drive on the wrong side of the road.

One final day at sea and here we are, back to our regular lives and back to the stresses that come with being a parent.

Oh, and back to the joys that come with being a parent. Yeah, the joys.

Read more about my family on Moosh in Indy or follow me on Twitter!

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More on Dadding:

Pregnancy Crazies and the Flying Box of Crackers

Vacation: Excitement and Relaxation Tempered by Sadness

The Fear of Preferring one Child Over the Other

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