Monday, October 21, 2013


Cruises are a great way to travel, in my opinion.  A cruise is basically an all-inclusive resort that travels across the ocean and drops you off at a few beautiful tropical places for you to explore. My favorite part, though, is the 24-hour access to free food. Oh, it's 3:00 a.m. and you want pizza? Great. Go upstairs and get some. Actually, have as much as you want. Oh- now you're craving ice cream? Great. Go over and get some of that, too. Not to mention that at your fancy dinner every night you can order AS MUCH FOOD as you want. Appetizers, entrees, desserts.... (The one thing cruises are NOT good for, however, is your waistline. But if you're feeling ambitious, you can always go to the gym while you're on the ship. Because going to the gym is what stupid people do while on vacation. And I can only say that because I am one of those stupid people.)

[WARNING: I am going to overload you with pictures. Take a seat.

The Cruise

This is the beginning of our adventure, when we left from the port of New Orleans. Apparently Brandon was so tired from all of the waiting, that he was falling asleep standing up.

If you've never been on a cruise, I'd highly recommend it.  But only if you like to eat, see new places, and have fun. Oh- and as long as you don't get too sea sick.

There was always something to do on the cruise. ALWAYS.  Like karaoke. And talent shows (where Brandon played an impressively beautiful concerto for everyone). And more karaoke. Of course we all participated in the karaoke. 

There were also comedy shows nearly every night. And since we really like to laugh, Casey and I went to a few of them. Isn't he handsome? Yep. 

We also went to a few cool concerts (not pictured), swam in the pool, ate a LOT, played mini golf, and most importantly- relaxed.  How did we relax with KIDS, you ask??!

Don't get me wrong- we had a LOT of fun with these crazy goofballs. But sometimes they just get sick of us old boring adults. And let's be honest- the word "relax" doesn't usually involve hyper children.

So when they weren't hanging out with us boring old folks, they were making new friends and playing in the super fun daycare! They met a lot of other kids, and had so much fun. Aysia had a little bit harder of a time than the older girls, since she was too young to be with her sisters. So sometimes she came and played with us while her sisters (and cousin) played in the daycare. We had fun with her :)

Gosh, I love this little girl. 

Here are all of us, dressed up for the cruise's "elegant night."  It's kind of a crappy picture, since we didn't want to pay $$$$$ for a professional picture. We just asked a random fellow cruiser to take our picture, instead. 

As much fun as it is to be playing on a cruise ship, we had even more fun when we stopped at the different ports of call.  The cruise stopped at three different places: Roatan, Belize, and Cozumel.

Isla Roatan, Honduras

This port was our "beach day."  The beach was absolutely beautiful. The only problem was that there was a huge storm the day before, so there was quite a bit of debris on the sand and in the water, so it made the snorkeling not as enjoyable. :( But we snorkeled anyway.

Hello fishies!

Locals were walking up and down the beach trying to sell their goods.  Kennedy wanted her hair braided. Casey also offered to pay for Brandon to get his hair braided, too.

So pretty.

Remember how I said that I had some big news? Well I do.  Casey and I are engaged!! He proposed to me under a tree, on the beach (which is my happy place), about 20-30 feet away from the ocean. *Sigh.

It was so romantic. I couldn't have asked for anything better.  This man obviously knows the way to my heart.

Isn't the ring beautiful?! I told him I wanted the stone to be the same color as the Caribbean ocean. He totally nailed it. 


I am so excited to marry this man. We've been together for almost 2 years. And the more I'm with him, the more I realize how perfect he is for me.

Also- I am probably just biased, but I think we look pretty dang good together.

And don't you worry. Kennedy is beyond excited, as well. She completely adores Casey.
(She knew about the engagement long before I did. I didn't know whether to be proud of her or nervous that she kept a secret from me for so long...)

*Sigh again.  Well, the rest of the cruise is rather inconsequential, compared to this. But as a matter of formality, I will finish up writing about the other 2 ports.


According to TripAdvisor, the number one top rated activity to do in Belize is to go cave tubing.  We went through, and I would highly recommend it. The tour guides were very fun, knowledgable, and helpful. We had such a great time!

After cave tubing, Brandon and his family went and had lunch while Casey, Kennedy, and I went zip lining.

And played with this little fella.

Or not-so-little fella.

After zip lining, we met up with Brandon and the fam where we joined them for some delicious lunch (provided by the tour company), and then it was back to the ship.


The last port was Cozumel, Mexico, where we went to Chankanaab National Park.  Unfortunately, that day was super rainy, so we weren't able to play at the beach as much as we had wanted. That didn't stop these girls, however. 
(Apparently Kennedy was trying to warm up the ocean water.........)

We didn't mind the rain that much, though, since we were going swimming with dolphins. Which are wet. While Brandon, Jen and the 2 older girls played with the dolphins, we played with Aysia, since she was too young.
Kennedy was just a little bit excited.

Then it was our turn!  Being pushed on your feet by 2 dolphins is a pretty cool feeling.  (Don't worry- the fence is actually about 20 feet away. The camera is zoomed in so far it makes it look like I'm about to crash into it. Luckily I didn't.)

Kennedy loved the dolphins, too. Although she was too afraid to get pushed on her feet. So she just held onto their fins while they pulled her. And she pet them.

Back to the cruise ship.  Did I mention I love this girl?

Did I also mention that I love my boyfriend? I mean - my "fiancé"? (That word is so weird. It's going to take some getting used to.)

And that was the end of our cruise.  We spent a few days in New Orleans with my brother, but I am not going into any detail about that right now. Because I am presently exhausted. MAYBE if I get around to it, I'll post some New Orleans pictures. (Although past experiences would say the chances are slim.) Or, better yet, you can just go to my brother's blog and see what he had to say about it. :)

(Time to start planning a summer wedding!!)


Sarah Jane said...

Congrats on your engagement. I'm so happy for you two! What a wonderful trip and a wonderful place to get engaged and be in love!


Brandon said...

Such a fun time, Ashley!!! Great pictures and descriptions. I'm so happy for you and Casey and glad we got to be there as the exciting news unfolded. :)

Kendrick and Desiree said...

I knew it! Congrats lady. You two make such a beautiful couple and I am sure you will make even more beautiful babies;) I'm so excited for you.

the mom said...

So happy for you AND the rest of us :) Casey is a keeper and definitely mother approved.

Wish I could have been there to share in the engagement joy - but was delighted to have a preview of the ring beforehand. I must say it looks even better on your hand...

Jennifer said...

Such a beautiful couple!! What a lucky pair you are to have each other. :) It was so nice spending time together with the two of you and Kennedy. I love your description of a cruise at the beginning of the post. Perfect. :) By the way, I went to hold Aysia yesterday, and she said, "Ashey hold me?" She wanted you to hold her. So, yes, she loves you too, obviously :)

Raising Helm said...

Wahooo!!! holy smokes i haven't checked in for a bit:)well congratulations on the engagement!!! You two look so cute and happy together. I am sure excited for you. Keep me posted my friend. Good luck with the planning:) I will be anticipating the details:) love ya lady. Soooo excited for you!

Ashley Rae said...

Thanks everyone! We are so excited!! :D