After frolicking with sharks and rays (see last post!), our tour group made a pitstop in a little restaurant. The tour guides already had us order ahead, and we were pleasantly surprised by how American-ized the food was. My kebab could have come from any food stand in NYC. We also had some time to walk around and admire the colorful buildings on the island, and I took way too many pictures because everything was so colorful and bright.
I didn’t end up getting a souvenir, but if I had my choice, I would’ve gone with these sassy bags:
The weird thing about Belize was that you had to take a ferry from the cruise ship to the pier because the cruise ship couldn’t dock in the coral reefs near the shoreline. This meant that it ultimately took us 1.5 hours to ferry back from the cutest island of Caye Caulker to our ship. I ended up sleeping most of the way, thanks to the filling meal and the lull of the waves. I already miss the bright blue waters and huts on Caye Caulker though; I plan to return one day!
I’m the kind of girl who hates roller coasters but loves to pet sharks.
Dress: Shein (last summer), love this year’s version here // Shoes: Jack Rogers // Bag: Primark, similar here // Hat: Primark, exact copy from Target here // Sunglasses: Forever 21 ($7.90) // Choker: Forever 21, Boohoo has it for $5
I found out how much I love sharks and rays on the Belize leg of our vacation, which had to be one of my favorite experiences ever. Once we docked in Belize, we took a boat to Caye Caulker, a little island that had been split into two by a hurricane (!!). Once there, we were led to a snorkeling area where my sister and dad finally got to see some coral (if you read my last post, they both hated snorkeling initially because they kept getting salt water in their snorkels).
Then we boarded a small guide boat and moved into shallower waters where the captain began throwing small fishes overboard. Within seconds, a swarm of curious nurse sharks came close to the boat, followed by giant rays that were easily 4 feet across. We got to swim in the midst of these cute creature and I was shocked at how they were unafraid of humans. I didn’t bring an underwater camera but I wouldn’t have used it even if I had one. I was too overwhelmed because I was surrounded on all sides by sharks (they actually have huge heads and look really adorable, like a stuffed plushie come to life) and rays the size of a blanket were swimming under my feet. I felt like I was in a moving tapestry of sea life and I could only gawk in awe.
The guide brought a shark and ray up to the surface so we could pet them as well. The sharks felt like sandpaper and the eels were slimy and soft! An errant eel also came up to the group while I was standing right next to the guide (who was feeding all these creatures) and the eel swam straight through my legs on his way to get his share of the food!
I can’t recommend this experience more; it was the highlight of my cruise and worth the 2-hour boat ride back and forth to Caye Caulker. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m about to order a life-sized nurse shark plushie from Amazon.
My family sailed on the Carnival Freedom during winter break and loved the experience. The Freedom had 14 decks, and the upper decks were cut away to open onto a pool and movie screen that dominated the center of the boat. You could sit on the upper decks and watch the movie or the kids playing on the decks below.
My sister and I loved spending time on the upper decks (away from the littler kids). Tucked away near the adults-only area was this relatively calm balcony near some giant chess pieces. I thought the chess set was hilarious (who wants to play chess on a tropical cruise?) and insisted on using them as props for a photoshoot.
Boston is currently sitting in 6 inches of snow, so I think I’m going to take a break from taking outfit photos for a while and use up all my vacation photos. I know it’s January and no one is thinking about spring break yet, but I’ll start linking up some of my favorite swimsuits and accessories in case you’re going away in March. Trust me, searching for swimsuits makes me feel a lot better than watching the snow outside bury me in my apartment. Let’s just call this month Tropical Vacation Month on BeautyVBrains.com.
After my last post raving about Los Angeles, I do want to let you know that I’ve become a little more rational about living in Lalaland. My family was supposed to drive into the city to meet my friends, and the trip took double the time because of a thing called LA TRAFFIC. I had previously been unaware that any traffic could be as bad as Houston’s 610, but the clog was so bad that I missed seeing the sunset from my friend’s house on the mountain.
(Although once I got to their house, we did have a very interesting conversation about house location. Since my friends and I are self-identified “bougie” people, we agreed that if you were going to have a house on a hill, you had to be at the top, or else you would be reminded of your status on the totem pole every day you drove to work).
By the way, this is what we’ve been riding around in this whole trip. Here is my sister modeling the car wonderfully (She was always better than me at posing—I feel like I’m too stiff, while she just hops on the car and makes you wish you could buy one right now).
We ditched the car the next day for a cruise around Hollywood Boulevard. My sister was actually assaulted here by some people dressed up as famous celebrities: these cosplayers wanted her to take pictures with them (in exchange for money), and they even went as far to steal her phone for selfies.
My mom would have none of that nonsense though. She walked right up to the offenders and pilfered the phone back while cursing them out in Chinese and English. If you want to know where I got my short fuse from, look no further. Luckily, the rest of the day went much smoother. We visited Santa Monica beach, a beautiful shoreline bordered by a pier filled with restaurants and carnival games. You could ride roller coasters, or just walk on the beach.
I couldn’t believe that Californians could be so lucky to have a beach, funnel cake, and mountains all in one location. You might think I’m being overdramatic about my love, but Texas beaches are rocky, full of shells, and usually grimey from shore pollutants. To see blue waters and smooth sand opened me eyes to what a beach should actually look like.
We spent the rest of our time in LA in art museums (where I took the following picture of “pasta art”), but I’ll save the recap for later. Note on the “pasta art” installation: You’re allowed to walk through it and whack people with the noodles hanging from the ceiling. Let’s just say I did not enjoy walking through this art piece once I saw the condition of some of the kid’s hands and feet..