Sunday, January 2, 2011

The house that we built

Last September we moved in furniture and took an extended leave from working on getting this house complete. I'm just going to say it - We got L.A.Z.Y! I blame the TV, the stove and the couch. Yes, we needed a break, but I don't think we thought it would be this long! Not that we didn't do anything during the last few months, but we just concentrated on other projects - like chickens, bees, farming, yard work, etc. I've recently mustered up some enthusiasm to begin work again on the house.

First up, we will work on finishing the kitchen. We need to make the cabinet doors and finish painting. More to come about all of our upcoming projects and the projects that we've been working on since last year.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


After 2 years of very hard work on the house, we treated ourselves to a super great vacation! When we planned this vacation we were sure we'd be finished with the house by now and ready for a much deserved break. Yes, we are living here, but we are a long way from being complete... Putting that fact aside, we were due for a vacation!

We spent nearly 2 weeks traveling the Caribbean via the BEAUTIFUL Celebrity Equinox. It was the most amazing vacation ever! We traveled to St. Thomas/St. John, St. Kitts, Barbados, Dominica, and St. Martin. We've been to St. Thomas/St. John and St. Martin multiple times in the past but never to the other 3 islands. We were stoked about visiting 3 new places and did some really cool things on each island. Being the dare-devil/adventure seeker that I am, I had every crazy journey planned out and Russ followed along with my "Julie the Cruise Director" way! He was so great about all our journeys and really enjoyed himself! I was super proud of him for trying new things, stepping outside the box, and NOT complaining about anything. My self-planned excursions were not through the ship, sometimes tracking down people that I'd only heard about online, and basically going on a goose chase, on more than one occasion! What a blast!

Below are lots of pictures from our adventures... we are now home and have a renewed work ethic and desire for finishing the house! (I knew this vacation would help out!)

The view from our hotel balcony in Fort Lauderdale the day before we sailed away.

Supper at Casablanca Cafe front beach FLL.

Our home for the next 10 days!

Tour of the ship's kitchen... it was HUGE! This is the guy in charge of carving all the fruits and veggies for decoration.

The wall of dishes they were planning to prepare that evening.

This dude is stirring rice with a paddle!

Basket and flowers made out of bread.

First of many Hot Glass Shows. This was one of the coolest things to watch. Russ wants to pick up a new hobby... Oh boy!!!

The REAL grass lawn on the ship.

Visit to the Molecular Bar... Yes, his drink is really smoking from liquid nitrogen.

Our trip to St. John, USVI. This is me driving a jeep on the left (correct) side of the road.

One of the many beautiful beaches on St. John!

Our view during lunch on St. J.

Our snorkel spot.

After a long day on St. John, we made it to St. Thomas for a quick stop at Glady's Cafe to pick up some of her AWESOME hot sauce. We found her place many years ago and try to visit her every time we are in town. Gladys is doing great and she even has new, fancy labels on her hot sauce bottles!

A quick view of the St. Kitt's volcano we are getting ready to hike/crawl/climb to see! It was, by far, the most physically demanding adventure we've ever taken. But the view from the top and feeling of accomplishment was well worth the hard work. What a great day!

Royston, our guide, after our MAJOR hike. He never broke a sweat! I randomly heard of this guy by reading a message board about St. Kitts. He doesn't have a website, doesn't advertise, and is VERY hard to rack down. Well worth the search as he was so great! This picture shows the inside of the volcano wall - we were inside the volcano! It hasn't been active in YEARS so trees have grown and a lake has formed in the volcano mouth.

We finally made it to the very top! It was so hard! We hurt for days afterward...

Looking down into the volcano lake.

St. Kitts Island - You can see the Atlantic Ocean on the left and the Caribbean Sea on the right. So pretty!

My favorite island! Dominica... it was so beautiful. Lots of rain forests, rivers, and waterfalls. We went "extreme canyoning" while on the island. Think jumping off waterfalls into unknown waters, climbing and repelling waterfalls, and freezing our butts off! Visit to see videos and pictures that better explain what we did. We took lots of pictures with our waterproof cameras but I haven't had the film developed yet. Such fun! We would love to go back and spend some more time on this island.

Helmets, check. Wet suits, check. Excitement about jumping off waterfalls, check. The reaction when Russ finds out I posted this picture... extremely costly, but well worth it for the laugh!

Our catamaran ride around the Island of Barbados. We had a great day on the water and even got to swim with sea turtles. It was so cool!

Eating at the Green House on St. Martin after a relaxing day at Orient Beach. We couldn't take pictures on the beach because they don't want you taking pictures of all the naked/topless people! We did see an old man taking plenty of "scenery" pictures with a really long camera lens... GROSS!

Our last few days on the ship were at sea... a much more relaxing pace. Our favorite bartender, Numan, showing us his "cocktailing" skills... he was much better than Tom Cruise.

Lewis putting a foot on his vase during the Hot Glass show... again, this was such a great show. I'm wondering if Russ will insist on building a furnace and start making paperweights before long!

Ryan and Lewis working on a vase. Yep, that is fire from the hot glass! Yikes!

Our fabulous supper at Murano, the ship's French restaurant. Next to the Woodlands in Summerville, this was the best meal we've ever had! Great, night, great cruise, great vacation with my wonderful husband!