Barefoot in Suburbia

Homeschooling & Special Needs, Inspired by the Montessori Way

Vacation Recap #6: Misc. Ship Pictures December 23, 2011

Filed under: Field Trip,Nature Studies,Preschool Learning,Toddler learning — Barefoot in Suburbia @ 5:27 am
Tags:

Since 2 1/2 days of our 7 day trip were spent on the ship, my last vacation post is just a miscellaneous selection of pictures from on the ship.

Monkey and a giant towel elephant

 

One of the activities for kids that the ship had was a "make your own stuffed animal" workshop. All three kids loved it!

 

Monkey busy stuffing her bear

 

Bug with her cat

 

Monkey with her bear

 

Jedi with his moose

 

Formal night #1

 

Family picture on formal night

 

Jedi on formal night

 

Monkey being a goofball!

 

Towel animal...frog

 

Bug with the towel elephant. Every night a new towel animal was left in the room by the room stewards. The kids LOVED these!

 

Towel pig

 

The kids on formal night #2

 

Chilling at dinner time

 

Handsome little man

 

I love her "sweet" face

 

Bug really really enjoyed this view....

 

This is what Bug was looking at...the huge atrium

 

Towel turtle

 

Towel Sloth

 

Advertisements
 

Vacation Recap #5: Costa Maya, Mexico

Costa Maya was the final port of call for the ship.  And, I’m pretty sure that Costa Maya was also the favorite port of everyone in our family.  It had such a rich culture, beautiful beaches, a fun shopping experience, and a wonderful tour guide!  We couldn’t have asked for a better way to end the trip!

 

Our ship, the Carnival Dream, at sunrise in Costa Maya

 

We were in port by 7 AM (which was only 6 AM in Mexico) so we got to see the sun rise

 

The water was a bit rough though

 

The cruise port

 

Bug by the fountain

 

Beautiful morning!

 

We found a huge lookout tower and decided to climb it to get a good look at the surrounding city

 

It was a tall staircase!

 

My three little goofballs!

 

Feeding a baby tiger--he was there as part of a fundraising effort to raise money for a wildlife preserve/rescue

 

Isn't he precious?

 

Mexican flag waiving in the breeze

 

Once we were done exploring the port, we got on the tour bus for a tour of the city and an afternoon at the beach. Here is one of the several roadside restaurants we found.

 

Some little cottages

 

We stopped off at a small fishing village for exploring and shopping

 

Some of the handpainted items inside the main shopping area

 

One of the local restaurants

 

A building being constructed....we decided not to get too close. 😉

Some brightly colored blankets

 

After some shopping, the kids decided to hit the first of two beaches we visited

 

She's always happiest at the beach

 

Jedi and Monkey

 

The water calmed down a bit after the morning waves

 

Daddy with his baby girl

 

The kids were having so much fun!

 

After a bit of time on the beach, we boarded the tour bus to head to a private resort for some snacks and more beach time. Here, the water was a bit rougher, but the kids had fun chasing the waves

 

Digging a giant hole

 

The waves were getting pretty high

 

Bug decided to go pick up some shells....

 

...then quickly changed her mind

 

She did find a coconut she was pretty proud of

 

Afterwards, we headed back to the port

 

The kids loved this guy

 

 

Together, they decided to stage this. Everyone around us was cracking up laughing

 

Bug wanted a doll from every port--from bottom to top it is the doll from Belize, Cozumel, Honduras, and Costa Maya...and then a very happy Bug.

 

Vacation Recap #4: Belize City, Belize

The third port of call on our trip was to Belize.  Belize was very interesting–as the only Central American country where the official language is English, all of the signs were easy to understand (although kind of funny because the English in Belize is slightly different than the English in Ohio. 😀 )  In Belize, we boarded a bus to take a tour of Belize City before heading off to the Belize Zoo for the afternoon.

One thing about the Belize Zoo is that it’s not like a typical American zoo.  All of the animals in the zoo are native to the country and were rescued due to injury, death of a parent, poachers, or people who illegally purchase the animals as pets.  So, the zoo was a great way to learn about Belize’s native animals.

The other interesting thing is that if you’re used to the cages and barriers of an American zoo, you  have to be pretty careful in Belize.  The  cages are a lot less…thick?  Many of the animals were able to reach right through the cage, and there are no barriers between the cages and the guests.  Watching little fingers to make sure there aren’t any near the puma’s cage was a pretty big task for the day. 🙂

Belize, from the cruise ship. It was raining at this point, and the ship also has to anchor a few miles from shore. So, we had to take a tender in, which was an interesting ride--it was pouring rain and windy, so the poor little boat was being tossed around!

 

This cracked me up...a tiny shed acting as an immigration office.

 

Some houses in Belize

 

These were some of the houses in the area of town where teachers and lawyers tend to live

 

Downtown

 

Jedi and Bug on the tour bus

 

One of the grocery stores in Belize City

 

This was a huge church where some middle school kids were doing cross country practice on the sidewalk

 

Bikes in the rain

 

Small markets and restaurants near a park

 

This reminded me so much of our time in Vietnam....people just working on the sidewalk quietly while the hustle of city life surrounded them

 

The channel that separates the two parts of the city

 

Jedi and the Boa Constrictor

 

Dave wanted to hold it as well

 

Tapir

 

Spider monkey waving hi

 

Pretty native flowers

 

This was a really unique looking bird!

 

This bird was just gorgeous!

 

Ocelot

 

I couldn't believe how close we could come to this one!

 

I think this is the Gibnut

 

Jedi trying to see how the wingspan would compare with his own size

 

An alligator

 

But found an alligator to ride on

 

Leopard

 

After the trip, the kids found a playground to play on for a couple minutes

 

Vacation Recap #3: Roatan, Honduras

Our next stop on our trip was Roatan, Honduras.  For this port, we chose not to go on the cruise excursion and instead we hired a private tour guide.  This proved to be quite the adventure–we were able to see a ton of things that are not available on cruise excursions.  We were also able to eat from a cute little local restaurant (although with Bug’s FPIES, even though we ordered something that should have been safe for her, she had a serious FPIES immune reaction to her meal).  But, I had the most delightful garlic fish, and the fish was caught right on the island that day!  We are not the type of travelers that enjoy sitting in the typical tourist destinations.  We love to see the culture, the day-to-day life, and experience the local cuisine and customs.  Our tour gave us that, and a lot more!

Our tour guide, Ann, from Victor Bodden’s tour company (Bodden Tours) was fantastic!  She was really patient with the kids and it was a pleasure having her show us beautiful Honduras!  And it was extra nice that her van was air-conditioned!  That was very much appreciated. 🙂

Beautiful Honduras early in the morning

 

We started off on the Mahogany Bay end of Roatan, but we ended up seeing most of Roatan by the end of the day.

 

Some music being played at the cruise port

 

I tried to take a lot of pictures of the "real life" aspect of Roatan

 

Look at this gorgeous view!! We did learn a very important lesson though..........always keep both feet on the dirt. The tour guide and our family went up to a deck that overlooked a very very steep cliff down to that beautiful ocean. I was holding Bug and the board we were standing on collapsed (it must have rotted out from underneath). Thank God all that resulted was a lot of bruises on me...my foot had gone all the way through the board though. For the first time ever, I think I was thankful for my "childbirthing hips" which stopped Bug and I from falling all the way through. LOL!!! But hey, it was an amazing view, and a little adventure to boot!

 

There were some beautiful vacation properties and villas along the ocean

 

This was another gorgeous view of the ocean.

 

There is so much green in Honduras! Beautiful!

One of our stops that day was to Victor Bodden's Monkey Business. This place was so much fun!!! You actually got to go in the cages with the capuchin monkeys. This was probably the highlight of the day!

 

Bug wasn't fond of the monkey climbing on her head, so she very willingly let the employee hold her.

 

There were also parrots and macaws to hold.

 

This little guy was so friendly!

 

Monkey wasn't too fond of any animal that attempted to touch her.

 

Jedi and his bird

 

These are my new little buddies!

 

I love the monkey's face.... "Holy cow, this person's short!"

 

This little guy was a pickpocket

 

Toucan Sam

 

After playing with the monkeys and birds, we went for lunch. Here was the restaurant we ate at--the food was delicious, even though poor Bug had an allergic reaction to it. I'm glad we were able to eat in a local restaurant though, but we did learn not to have any more meals off the ship with Bug.

 

Beans & rice, garlic fish, & fried plantains.

 

After lunch, we took some backpacks full of school supplies to a local orphanage. The kids at the orphanage were all boys around Jedi's age...it was fun to watch them all play soccer in the yard, even if my kids were too shy to join in.

 

The boys at the orphanage teaching another tourist (from a different tour group) how to play soccer.

 

At the end of the day, Ann took the kids and I to the beach, while Dave went ziplining through the jungle!

 

A warm day, beautiful white sand, and a gorgeous blue sea...what's not to like?

 

Vacation Recap #2: Cozumel, Mexico December 22, 2011

The first day and a half of our vacation, as well as the last day, were spent on the cruise ship.  I’ll recap those in a later post.  For this post, I’m going to recap our adventures in Cozumel!

In Cozumel, we explored the port, and then took a walk outside of the cruise port to see life in Cozumel.  We walked quite a ways in both directions just taking in daily life.  When it was time for our excursion to leave, we went back to the port to meet our tour guides.  They were going to take us to the same park that Dave and I went to on our honeymoon…Chankanaab National Park.  The first time we went, 9 years ago, we went snorkeling.  Obviously, snorkeling is out of the question with a toddler in tow.  Instead, we went swimming with the dolphins!  It was a wonderful experience (even though Monkey was freaked out the entire time.  She would not let the dolphin very close to her, and for sure would not let the dolphin kiss her.  LOL!)

Dave being pushed by the dolphin

 

Me, riding on the belly of a dolphin

 

Jedi dancing with the dolphin

 

This was about as close as Monkey wanted to get

 

Bug got kissed right in the face. She returned the favor by poking him on the nose.

 

Bug petting the dolphin

 

Monkey was freaked out. She did NOT want to touch it.

 

Gorgeous blue water in Mexico

 

The part of Cozumel we were in was called Puerta Maya

 

Beautiful buildings at Chankanaab

 

Towards the back of the park is an area of replicas of Mayan ruins

 

The park had tons of these guys running around the sidewalks as well

 

Jedi vs. an Iguana

 

Two of the kids and I in front of a waterfall

 

This was a funny replica...the kids all thought he was dancing

 

An alter set up

 

Dave and the kids and a replica

 

My babies in the sea.

 

Paradise!

 

A hermit crab the kids found

 

Playing in the lagoon

 

 

We're back! Vacation Recap #1: Legoland Florida December 21, 2011

We’re finally back from vacation!  What a wonderful adventure we had too.  I have approximately 2 1/2 billion pictures from the past week, so I’ll break the trip review up into several posts.  We drove from Ohio to Orlando, went to Legoland (Jedi is obsessed with Legoland) and then boarded the Carnival Dream for 7 days as it sailed to the Western Caribbean.  We stopped in Cozumel Mexico, Roatan Honduras, Belize City Belize, and Costa Maya Mexico.  It was such a great experience and I’m so glad the kids were able to experience it!

Here are pictures from the first day….Legoland Florida.  🙂

The entrance to Legoland. The kids could barely contain themselves and kept running to get in.

 

Monkey with some of the Legoland characters

 

Jedi, Monkey, and a Darth Vader made of Legos

 

Check out the details!

 

R2D2

Bug and her friend at Duplo Village

Monkey riding the lego horses

 

Monkey and Jedi on one of the rides that would freak me out. 😉

 

Mini Land...this was incredible!

 

The little soldiers all moved too!

 

For my Tang Soo Do friends....

 

Monkey and Bug building towers

 

Jedi with the car he made to test on the race track

 

I can't believe the details in some of the lego displays! It was amazing!

 

Monkey and Santa

 

Legoland's 30 foot Christmas tree made entirely of Legos and Duplos

 

All lit up!

 

 

 

New Montessori e-book! December 8, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Barefoot in Suburbia @ 1:10 pm

I contributed to Mom Bloggers Talk Montessori!

I’m just popping in from vacation to let you know that John Bowman’s new book “Mom Bloggers Talk Montessori: Favorite Ideas and Activities” has been released.  It was co-authored by Living Montessori Now’s Deb Chitwood.  I actually have a couple activities that were included in the book, as do several of your other favorite Montessori bloggers!  The e-book is free right now and can be downloaded at  http://livingmontessorinow.com/2011/12/08/free-ebook-mom-bloggers-talk-montessori-favorite-ideas-and-activities/ .