Bless my parents. Bless, bless my dear parents!! 

While we were in Florida visiting my parents for Christmas (catch up here and here), my dear parents voluntarily took our kids babies for four days and three nights while Geoff and I snuck away for a mini cruise (a vacation away from our vacation - it truly doesn't get any better than that?!). 

I was a little nervous leaving my babies for that long as it was the longest I had ever been away from them and Miss Maddie was so close to taking her first steps I just knew she would while I was away (she was a good girl and did not) . But in all honesty, I thought about my kids but not as much as I anticipated I would (I know, horrible!). It was so wonderful having a break from "real life" and just being with Geoff, focusing on the two of us and enjoying our time together. 

Here's another picture dump from our amazing trip!! I highly recommend a mini cruise like this for any couple thinking about getting away but having young children at home still. It was not too short but also not too long. It was simply magical!

^^Arriving into our first port. Hello Bahamas!! 
^^Our first day in the Bahamas we headed to a private island for a Sea Lion encounter excursion. We had to hop on another small boat to take us to the island which made me very nervous. I am not a fan of small boats as they make me sick (literally I have multiple experiences of throwing up over the side of boats! glamorous, I know) but I felt great on this boat and how amazing are the views?!
^^The infamous Atlantis!
^^Don't mind if I do. 
Once we arrived on the small island we were taken to our excursion area. I am not sure what I expected us to do when we purchased our tickets for our "Sea Lion Encounter" but I thought we would watch a fun, little show that these adorable animals would put on for us and they would wave at us from a distance. I don't think my expectation could have been any further than what we actually did. 

Obviously we do not have photos or videos documenting everything because they were around $500/package (not kidding here) and they wouldn't let any other photography around the area when we were "encountering" the sea lions, but to summarize, we actually got in the water with the sea lions (waist deep) and were able to pet them, kiss and hug them, feed them, and then they did tricks around us (which involved splashing us until we were soaked head to toe ... also did not expect to get wet during this excursion). 

It was the most incredible excursion I have been on (and I have done the dolphin one already)! These animals are smart, beautiful and so funny. Though it was totally different than what I expected, I am so glad we jumped right into the water with these creatures and got to interact with them. It truly was an amazing opportunity. 
Right next to our sea lion encounter area was the dolphin area which we visited for quite some time after our excursion. These dolphins were some of the most social I have ever seen. We were standing on a bridge over their area with my camera out in hopes to try and capture one decent photo of these beautiful animals and to our surprise they immediately began putting on a show for us. Three beautiful dolphins swam in circles, jumping in and out of the water for at least 15 minutes for us. They kept popping out of the water as if they were posing for the camera. It was breathtaking to watch these animals play like this.
Day two port was on a private island owned by Royal Carribean called CocoCay. Day one was amazing as it was filled with adventure and exploration, but Day two won the prize on the trip. We did Absolutely. Nothing. For 8 hours we laid on the beach as we napped or cuddled up in a hammock as we read. It was amazing and I can't remember the last time I was so relaxed and felt that carefree. 
^^My view from the hammock. It doesn't get any better than this people!

Bye beautiful sunsets. Bye beautiful ocean. Bye quiet, still air. Bye sleeping in, no cooking, no schedules, no responsibility!!! Until we meet again... (soon I hope!).

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