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Welcoming 2018

Welcoming 2018

2017 has officially passed and 2018 is now here. Every year people make New Year’s Resolutions in hopes of bettering themselves for the new year. This year I have made a couple that I will make a conscious effort to achieve.

  1. Be a better mother. – Now this isn’t because I think I’m a bad mother, in fact I think I’m a pretty good mother, but there are things I can do differently. I can be more patient, I can give my child more of my attention, and I can improve myself as a mother overall.
  2. Travel more. – 2017 was a rough year for my travels. My son started Pre-K making it hard to travel because now he can’t miss school. I will have to make more of an effort to travel whenever he’s off from school.
  3. Don’t stress every little thing. – I often find myself over thinking situations, and really letting them eat at me. I let people’s actions affect me instead of brushing them off. This year I plan to stop over analyzing everything.

What are your New Year’s Resolutions this year? I’d love to hear them in the comments section below.

I hope everyone has a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year. I hope the world becomes more kind. Lastly, I hope everyone gets the opportunities to travel, and discover the world.

Until Next Time,

Ela

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Governor’s Beach

Governor’s Beach

I have been to Grand Turk, an island of Turks and Caicos, 3 times. Each time I have been here was thanks to a Carnival Cruise ship. Usually I book an excursion with Papa J Tours and then hang out at the port after that. This time I decided to change things up, since, it was my 2nd time at Grand Turk in 2017. I decided to explore the island a bit further. A quick Google search brought me to the conclusion that Governor’s Beach would be the best place to spend my day.

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I walked to the taxi stand at the edge of the port and grabbed a cab to Governor’s Beach. $4 a person and a 10 minute ride brought me right to the beach. You can tell that there was damage to the area from the recent hurricanes, but it didn’t distract from the beauty of this beach. Although there was some damage, there were still huts with working plumbing incase you had to use the restroom.

When I arrived at the beach I was immediately in awe of the white sand, so soft and warm on my toes. This crystal blue water rolled up onto the shore, bringing seashell fragments with every wave. The water was amazingly clear, to the point where you could see all the way to the bottom. Although this water did have some waves, they were extremely small, you were able to just wade in the water.  This beach has definitely made my list of favorite beaches.

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By the entrance of the beach there is a shipwreck that you can’t miss. This ship is the Mega One Triton. The Mega One Triton started as an oil rig but was later decommissioned and began a journey as a cargo ship. During Hurricane Sandy in 2012, this ship was washed ashore on Grand Turk. There have been several attempts to remove the boat but due to size, and lack of funding this ship continues to stay on the shore. Some may see it as an eye sore, but I see it as a unique landmark. Also if you are into snorkeling, there is a lot of sea life to be found near the rocks off to this side of this ship.

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After enjoying the beautiful Governor’s Beach it was time to grab some food. I decided to head into the town, Cockburn, for some local food. All of the locals recommended going to Barbie’s Restaurant so of course I went as per their recommendations.

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I ordered the jerk chicken and rice which was VERY GOOD. The jerk chicken had just the right amount of spice, and cooked to perfection. I was also with a couple of other tourists from the cruise ship that ordered honey garlic wings, fish fingers, and conch. Each person agrees that the food here was very good. If you are in the area you should definitely stop by Barbie’s. She gets the “fish of the day” fresh every day!

While here I used a driver that was amazing. He was extremely friendly and trustworthy, his name was Tony. He brought us around the island and showed us many different points of interest for no extra charge. Tony brought us past his house to show us his horses, and he also waited for us in town, holding our bags while we did some souvenir shopping. If you’re heading to Grand Turk and would like his contact information please leave a comment below with your email address and I’ll email you his information.

I can not say enough good things about the little island of Grand Turk! All lovers of the Caribbean should make a stop at Grand Turk.

Until our next adventure,

Ela

Happy Birthday To Us!

So, it’s November 6th, also known our birthday! It was a “Fun Day At Sea” aboard our Carnival Cruise Ship.  My son and I started the day with room service bringing us breakfast in bed. It felt so nice not having to move in the morning and just having breakfast brought to me. After that we took our time getting ready and then ventured around the ship. We walked past a show in the lobby and decided to sit and watch for a while. While watching the show Elijah ordered a kids Piña Colada and kicked back. 

After the show Elijah told me that he wanted to spend his birthday in the kid’s club. My son absolutely loves the kid’s club onboard the cruise ship, he always begs me to spend the day in there. I wanted to spend the day with him but I obliged, and took advantage of the fact that I had some adult time. I went to the adults only section of the boat, got myself a nice Mudslide, and relaxed until dinner time.


Dinner was absolutely delicious. For an appetizer I got the shrimp cocktail which is my go to appetizer. My main entree was a flat iron steak, cooked medium rare, and seasoned to perfection. Just when I thought I couldn’t be any more full it was time for desert.

For desert I ordered the “Carnival’s Melting Chocolate Cake” with vanilla ice cream on the side. Just as I thought I was finished with my desert the servers came out with mini birthday cakes for my son and I. There was more desert than I knew what to do with.


After dinner we went to the theater to watch the show. The show of the night was “88 Keys” it was about very popular piano songs. This line up included a lot of Long Island’s own, Billy Joel, so I was in heaven.

All in all I had a very good birthday. Nothing is better than spending my birthday with my son.

Until our next adventure,

Ela
(Updated November 12, 2017 to fix picture issues!)

Miami Seaquarium & Boarding Our Ship

My son woke up super excited yesterday knowing that it was time to “go on the big cruise boat”. Our boarding time wasn’t until 1:30 though so we had a good amount of time to waste before we got on board. We started the day with some breakfast at a nearby hotel. Walking distance from our hotel was a Holiday Inn, that offered an inexpensive buffet breakfast; kids under 10 eat free so that was an added bonus.


After we filled our bellies we decided to head to the Miami Seaquarium. There was a groupon online which gave us 50% off the entrance fee. I thought this would be an extremely nice aquarium given the price to enter was very expensive, but I was highly disappointed. Large mammals swam in tanks that were obviously too small for their size, and to top it off there wasn’t much to see. We got to the park at 10:30am and we had seen everything, and even had lunch, by 12:30.


We left the Seaquarium and made our way to the cruise port. We had the perfect boarding time! It’s the first time I’ve selected a late boarding time and I will absolutely do it every time in the future. When you boarding at 1:30 you aren’t forced to sit with your luggage on the Lido Deck, because, your room is ready for you upon arrival. After checking in we went straight to our room to put our stuff away then off we went to get some lunch at the buffet. I always enjoy the food aboard Carnival ships, so I have no complaints there.


After eating lunch it was time to explore the ship. This ship is a bit confusing to navigate (The Carnival Splendor), but thank goodness I have the Carnival Hub app so I was able to navigate a bit more easily. We quickly discovered the splash park, which my son spent an hour at before we headed back to the room to get ready for the night. We were both exhausted, so we decided to watch the “Dive-in” movie and then call it quits. We absolutely love movie night on board. Sitting outside in the fresh air , and eating freshly popped popcorn is so relaxing! All in all it was a good first day on board our Carnival cruise. Can’t wait to see what the rest of this vacation has in store for us!

Until our next adventure!

Ela

Let The Birthday Fun Begin!

Let The Birthday Fun Begin!

There’s one time of year that this low budget traveling mama goes way beyond the normal spending. That would be my, and my son’s birthday (first week in November). We’re going on a fun cruise and I’ll be posting about our birthday adventures on the blog posts to come! Whenever I take a cruise, I always leave a day early to the port. So this time I’ll be overnighting in Miami.


This year I decided to splurge on some first class plane tickets. Now the tickets are only from New York to Miami but it’s something special I could give to my son, and myself for our birthday. My son quickly sat down, put on his headphones, and selected a movie, “The Polar Express”. I sat down, drank mimosa after mimosa, and flipped through Instagram for a bit before deciding to watch “Kidnapped”. Eventually it was time to each lunch, we both chose the chicken ramen, and it was actually really yummy. The chicken was tender and seasoned to perfection. Our plane ride was smooth, we landed into Miami 10 minutes early, and went directly to our hotel.


We stayed at the EB Hotel Miami. This isn’t a budget hotel but it’s also not very expensive. This hotel is about a 10 minute car ride from the airport and walking distance from fast food restaurants. Burger King and Pollo Tropical can be found right next door to this hotel. The lobby is very nice, with a bar that offers happy hour every night. Our hotel room was very spacious with plenty of storage space. This hotel also has a very nice pool area, the pool itself is nothing special, but the seating area around the pool is very nice and furnished with couches and tables so you can enjoy yourself and relax outside. My son and I hung outside for a while and enjoyed the sunshine before we left for dinner.


When dinner time rolled around we decided to grab a bite at the Monster Bite Food Truck. This was about a 10 minute walk from our hotel, and was actually right in the parking lot of some other Miami Airport Hotels. Although the food was a little bit expensive for my taste the portion sizes were plentisome, we had so much food left over. If you’re looking to try something a little different I’d definitely keep the Monster Bite Food Truck in mind. My son and I enjoyed our food very much.

Stay tuned to hear about what we do next!

Until Our Next Adventure,

Ela

Fall On Long Island

Fall On Long Island

It has been a weird fall season in New York this year, the weather has been 80 degrees Fahrenheit one day and 40 degrees Fahrenheit the next, making it hard to plan fall festivities accordingly. That hasn’t stopped my son and I from enjoying some of New York’s treasured fall activities.

We started our October by visiting Hank’s Pumpkin Town in Watermill Long Island.  This location has the best apple cider and pumpkin spice donuts that you’ll ever eat.  Also on weekends they have a huge assortment of freshly baked pies and breads. Let’s not forget my absolute favorite fall staple, roasted corn, dipped in melted butter, with seasoned salt. Just thinking of their delicious corn makes my mouth water! Besides the food, Hank’s Pumpkin Town has a lot to offer.  Hank’s offers apple picking, pumpkin picking, a train ride, 2 corn mazes, and many activities for the kids.  You can easily spend hours at Hank’s Pumpkin Town without getting bored, the larger corn maze by it’s self is given an hour walk through time

The next place we visited was Harbe’s Vineyard (Harbe’s Family Farm). This location has a vineyard, along with activities for kids, snack shacks, live music, pumpkin picking, and a corn maze. Harbe’s Farm has multiple locations but the Harbe’s Vineyard (Family Farm) location has so much to do for the children. This was my first time visiting Harbe’s and I enjoyed it very much. The roasted corn is not as good as the corn from Hank’s but it is enjoyable.  The activities they had for the children at this location were plentisome; my son easily spent 4 hours just in the activity center. I recommend that families with children, and even couples without children should make a stop at Harbe’s during the fall season on Long Island.

There is so much to do and see on Long Island all year long, but ask any Long Islander what they’re favorite season is and a vast majority of them will answer with fall, for all the fall activities this island has to offer. Along with pumpkin patches, apple picking, corn mazes, vineyards, roasted corn, and apple cider, Long Island also has a lot of Haunted Houses to visit. During the day the Haunted Houses are kid friendly, and at night they turn up the horror for the adults. Everyone should think about making Long Island their fall destination.

Until Our Next Adventure,

Ela

Puerto Rico Update!

Puerto Rico Update!

 

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Toa Alta, Puerto Rico. RICARDO ARDUENGO/Getty Images

 

Hi all! I just wanted to write a quick update on the disaster relief efforts that have been made. I have received so many donations from all of you, its absolutely amazing!  I was planning to go to Puerto Rico personally to distribute the items, but unfortunately I have been unsuccessful in finding a return trip from Puerto Rico until the end of October. I want to get all the items down there as soon as possible so I have reached out to some contacts in Puerto Rico and they are more than happy to help me distribute the items amongst local churches. I plan to ship the items by the end of this week via cargo and my contacts in Puerto Rico will take care of it from there.

I will continue collecting items and monetary donations until the last week of October. I have a confirmed tickets down there in November and I plan on delivering more items.

Thank you all so much for your help.