Hiya, Welcome back to PEP! I am back from my vacation! This post is a little later than usual as I’m still working on getting back into the normal swing of things but didn’t want to just throw a post together yesterday for today. I want to tell ya’ll about my trip. It was my 3rd cruise but my first Carnival cruise. The ports were Roatan, Belize and Cozumel. I’ve been to Cozumel, sailing out of Galveston, most cruises make a stop at Cozumel regardless of line. But Roatan and Belize were new. The ship itself was good, it’s was the Freedom-one of the older ships in Carnival’s fleet. Honestly, if I compare it to the line I’ve taken previously, which was, for those that know me won’t be surprise, was Disney. I am a Disney fanatic. But even taking the Disney connection out, I favor Disney over Carnival. The food was satisfactory but not as good as Disney nor with as much variety. The ports were good but that’s on the excursion choices more than necessarily the actual cruise line. Disney had so much to do every at sea day and Carnival was significantly lacking. Not only did I do some writing, which I did want to do and planned to do, but I read 2 books, one of which was from Carnival’s library, started a puzzle book and watched way more Spike than I have in a long time. I discovered I like Auction Hunters, Lip Sync Battle and rediscovered Bar Rescue. They had very limited channels, 6 news channel, two cartoon channels, and 3 miscellaneous channels along with their 12 Carnival Cruise channels. Understandably so since you’re not supposed to need to watch much TV on a cruise. But if you didn’t drink, gamble or want to lay by the pool all day, there wasn’t a lot to do. Plus, everyone always talks about all the kids that there’ll be on the Disney Cruise line. However, I actually saw more kids on Carnival running all over the place than I did on either Disney cruise. However, Carnival isn’t a bad line and for short cruises, 5-7 days, it would be satisfactory and I do intend to give them another chance on a different ship that has all of the amenities. But I already know what my next cruise will be, more information on that later as I don’t like to jinx my trips talking too much about it too far in advance and it’ll be mid-late 2018 before my next trip-cruise or not.
Roatan and Belize were beautiful. I have pictures which you can see below, though I won’t post pictures of it all as they aren’t all just me and there are a lot of pictures, as well as iCloud was being a pain and didn’t let me get all of them downloaded just yet. It was my mom and myself and we went to the Gulimba Reservation on the Pirates, Monkeys and Birds excursion. I definitely recommend it. We actually got to hold macaws and parrots as well as white-faced capuchin monkeys. One liked petting my hair and then, I’m either average or tall for a female, depending on your point of view, and one decided I’d be a great platform up into the tree. In Belize, we took the city bus and airboat swamp tour. I’ve white-water rafted-twice actually, parasailed; snorkeling with stingrays and ridden a jet-ski, climbed Dunn’s Waterfall in Jamaica, (I have an extensive bucket list) but I hadn’t ridden an airboat before this. It was awesome! We didn’t see any manatees or alligators but we did see a lot of birds. I enjoy bird-watching so it was fun for me. Cozumel, I’d been to so I just went to the port, Carnival has their own exclusive port there, and did some shopping.
This week’s question: Best book you’ve read this year.
My answer: That actually just changed. I read a really good book on the cruise, #GirlBoss by Sophia Amoruso. I had never heard of Sophia Amoruso or her company, Nasty Gal before as I’m just recently really taking a liking to fashion, but the book was really inspirational. Especially for the point of my life I’m at right now.
What’s your answer? I’m a bookworm, reading multiple books each year, so I’m always looking for recommendations.
This week’s baking: I didn’t actually do any this last week as I was on a cruise ship. But I did have some delicious desserts. My favorites would have to be a chocolate cake with what I think was a pistachio cream filling and a Grand Marnier Soufflé. They were both delicious and not something I would either bake-never considered pistachio- or have tried my hand at such as the soufflé. But I do have plans for this next week in terms of my own baking experiments.
This week’s writing: I’m actually going to share a little something I wrote on my cruise instead of writing something brand new this week.
The yellow deck chair moves on its own. Instead of shrinking back, Maya smiled, “Back for the sunset, Ellie.”
No words, simply a breeze scented with cinnamon, not a common scent on a island. Footsteps sounded behind Maya, clear human steps. She turned and spotted the brunette head of her roommate, Leila.
“Yep. Daily sunset visit.”
“I wonder what holds her here.”
“I think she’s looking for something.”
Leila smiled sadly as Maya simply gazed at the gulf. Maya still wasn’t over the a-hole of an ex-fiancé back in the metroplex. She used to be the more romantic of the two of them. © Paula Crofoot
I have plans to continue this as well as two other little pieces I jotted out. I’m currently doing a 1000 writing prompts book and I gave myself a challenge. 1000 days, even if I miss one or two, I need to catch up before continuing with the current day. So far, due primarily to the vacation, I haven’t been able to keep up with every day but I’ve stayed caught up. It’s something to kind of keep my imagination rolling alongside any novel I’m working on. Currently, I’m working on editing. This one was completely freeform but the other two pieces are inspired by one of the prompts.
Monday Motivation: What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.
Writing Prompt: I’m actually doing something a little different this week. I want to try this once a month as I think it’ll be fun for us as a community. As such, I think it’ll be the first Monday of each month.
I’m going to give a writing prompt, then write on it myself. Afterwards, I’d love it if ya’ll want to contribute and continue the story. A bit of a writing chain, I think it could be fun to see what we all come up with together. It can continue until the next month’s prompt while I’ll continue giving a weekly for ya’ll to use yourselves.
This month’s chain prompt: Chat deleted. Photos deleted. Memories? Not so much.
Matthew gazed at his phone solemnly. He’d deleted their chat box and texts. Every photo involving her were gone. The memories, though? Not so much. He was still swallowed in memories involving her everywhere he turned. Every room of his home still smelled of her, every place in this city he was a regular of, had an image of her overriding it. His hair was constantly a mess now due to running his fingers through it to keep the tears back, to try to rid himself of the unwanted, unnecessary memories.
Anyone want to take it from here? Just comment below.
Music I’m listening to as I’m posting this: Bang a Drum-Selena Gomez: A Cinderella Story
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