Friday, August 31, 2007

A Day at the Waterpark

With all my sisters and I grown up and moved out, we don't get together as a whole family very often. For 4th of July, my parents took us to a resort here in Phoenix, so we could have some fun in the sun, and get to see each other.

My favorite is the one with my Dad and my nephew, Zander. My sister had the shot printed in black & white and gave it to my parents as an anniversary gift!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Landscapes-Muir Woods

In reviewing photos I've taken over the past couple of years, I tend to take a lot of landscape photos. As I've said in a previous entry, growing up in a desert, I am fascinating by green landscape. Not that I don't love the Sonoran Desert for all it's beauty, but the desert is a beauty you learn to appreciate. Muir Woods, just outside of San Francisco, has a beauty that you don't learn to appreciate, it is just there, for all to wonder in. This day, my family and I had just finished touring some wineries, and I found the woods to be very peaceful, and walking through them you wouldn't believe that the freeway was just a few miles away. It was like entering an enchanted world, and you didn't want to speak for fear of ruining the spell.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Choosing A Daemon

I love to read, and my most recent novel was "The Golden Compass" part of the His Dark Materials Series written by Phillip Pullman. I thought it was an excellent book. It is a young adult fantasy novel, and has many interesting ideas about the human soul. In the book, the soul has an external part, known as a Daemon, which is a human's lifelong companion. The Daemon appears when the child is born, and during childhood, the Daemon can change forms (always an animal) but as the child reaches puberty, it takes one form and remains that way permanently through the rest of the person's life. The movie is coming out this December, and on the website you can take a quick 20 question to test to determine your Daemon. Above is mine, with a link to the test to see if you agree or disagree with what it chose for me. Please take the test and let me know what you think!!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Live to Run, Run to Live

One of my main hobbies is running. I have also recently competed in a Triathlon, which was one of the hardest things I've ever done, but also the most rewarding. I enjoy the competition. Primarily, I am just trying to beat my own times, but I also try to beat my running buddies. Here is a picture of us from our December run. These are also my good friends, so there will be plenty more pictures of the group.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Going Home A Winner

This is out of order, but the last port of call was Cozumel. The water there was also very beautiful; a gorgeous shade of blue. I was out of energy, so the day consisted of shopping and Margaritas. The last day at sea, my mom won the slot machine tournament!! That was the best moment of the trip, when the casino lady lifted the magnet, and showed my mom's score. My mom had the biggest smile on her face!! My sister Danielle, my mom's brother Jeff, and I were there to witness her triumph. In addition to the cash prize, she received some other trinkets, and a genuine plastic trophy. But the exhilaration of the moment was the best prize.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Going Home

Ahh traveling. My crew and I are sitting in the Houston Hobby airport, waiting for our flight. We got to the airport around noon, and our flight home is at 7, so there has been plenty of time for eating, rearranging suitcases, reading, and finishing homework. Luckily we were able to get all of our bags under the 50lb weight limit, and still get everything on the plane. I'm glad to be going home. The cruise was fun, and it was nice to see my extended family, but I'll be glad to get back to my usual routine.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

If you like Pina Coladas. . . . .

What is a cruise really, without a fruity drink in a coconut, especially when your coconut smiles back?? As you can see, the coconuts were a big hit, and the drinks made the karaoke we were enjoying even funnier. Karaoke of course, is also a big part of the cruise. There were some very good, and some not as much. But the point is they all had the nerve to get up on stage, and belt out their favorite song. And once you have enjoyed your coconut & karaoke, you can return to your room to find a lovely Towel Walrus waiting for you.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Where Has All the Rum Gone??

Today was our first day on land. We arrived in Montego Bay, Jamaica at 8am local time (6am AZ time). Our shore excursion was a visit to the Appleton Rum Estate. For detailed info on the estate, please check out their website. I'd love to go into more detail, but it deserves better than a few lines in a blog.
It started to pour as we left, but luckily we were all safe inside the tour buss. Safe is an operative term given the road conditions and the nearness of the oncoming traffic. We got sideswiped on on blind corner, but luckily both vans were going slow, and no real damage was done.

The nice thing about the tour (other than the Rum!) was the chance to drive all over the island, and go through many of the small villages, see the landscape, and see how people live. There were some nice houses, some shanty villages, open air shops, roadside restaurants, people bathing and doing their washing in the rivers, a beautiful Sandals resort, basically all parts of the Spectrum. The scenery was gorgeous, of course being raised in the Sonoran Desert, I'm fascinated by anywhere GREEN, which can be seen in the hundreds of pictures I took. The water was also the bluest I've ever seen in person, and I took many pictures of that as well. I hope you enjoy the few of my favorites in the post!!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Formal Night

What little girl didn't have a trunk of hand me down dresses, or play costumes? Little girls all love to play dress up, and it's something we never really grow out of; the dresses and accessories just get more expensive. Formal night on the cruise is always fun, because it gives us a chance to put on our nicest dresses, get pictures taken, dance, and have fun. Before dinner there was a cocktail hour, with dancing, free cocktails, and plenty of settings to have professional pictures done. Here are some of the not-so-professional photos, taken by me and my companions.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Beginning of a Blog

A couple of my good friends have blogs, and while both are much better with a camera than I, I do enjoy taking photos, and thought this would be a good way to share my photos and thought.

I chose Amber Observations as the title for my blog, not so much as a reflection of my name, but for the fact that most people tend to see the world through some sort of shaded glasses, and while my view may not always be rose-colored, amber-colored is a good start.

I hope you enjoy my observations!