Thursday, February 20, 2020

Disney Cruise: Flamingos, Salt, And Animating

I'm going to start with a disclaimer. My plan was to finish blogging about our cruise before February ended. However, February has been insane. And yes, I just bolded, underlined, and italicized it because that's the only way to get across how crazy this month has been. Well, that and the fact that I've barely blogged this month :)

We've had school strike days (which is a whole post in and of itself (the kids have been off six days already in February and we still have a week left of the shortest month of the year)), a small road trip, two sick family members, and I've worked almost every day school has been in session. Plus Rachel has had four extra dance classes and yeah, we're twenty days into the shortest month of the year. Yikes. So I still hope to finish blogging about our cruise soon but I'm not making any promises.

And with that disclaimer, back to the cruise posts...

On this day of the cruise we visited Bonaire, one of the Dutch islands off the coast of Venezuela. We decided to do a shore excursion this day because there were a few places we wanted to visit which were outside of town. But first we had to get a picture with tropical Mickey!
Bonaire was so pretty. I loved looking at all the islands as we were docked and trying to imagine what we would discover on each of them.
It was always fun to get a picture of our docked ship.
One of the things Bonaire is known for is its salt. And I wanted to see the salt process in action. Ocean water is brought into these holding ponds, and after about a year, the salt settles down to the bottom (or gathers on the top -- I can't remember now). Then it is harvested into these "mountains." If you look at the pictures closely, you can see salt pouring down from the machines. This process reminded my parents and me so much of harvesting wheat in Saskatchewan.
And if you exchange the water in this picture for wheat, this picture could have been taken in Saskatchewan. Was it any wonder I loved Bonaire so much?!?!?
Okay, except now we're at the ocean, so clearly we're not in Saskatchewan :)
I will never get tired of ocean pictures. I'm sorry if you will :)
We also had a chance to stop at the slave huts. It was so sad to me to think that other humans treated people so badly. (And sadly, we still do.) Look how small the huts were. I got pictures with my dad and with Sam and Rachel to show the perspective. And these were about twenty feet from the ocean, so I can only imagine the waves getting into the huts as well.

I am glad we got a chance to see these but I was seriously shocked by how much smaller they were in person.
After the slave huts, we spotted flamingos. It was so cool to see them. It's hard to see in these pictures, but towards the back of the bottom two pictures, there is a sea of pink because there were so many flamingos back there.
I was really excited about the flamingos because we weren't guaranteed to see them and we saw so many. We couldn't get out of the vehicle, because they are protected, so I took a ton of pictures through the window.
I'm glad Dave captured this picture of windmills. Bonaire hopes to be using only renewable energy in the next year or two, which is pretty amazing!
After we saw flamingos, we had a very short stop at a beach. It wasn't long enough to enjoy the water, but I loved seeing all the windsurfers. Next time I'm in Bonaire, I definitely want to try this!
One thing I thought was really neat about Bonaire was all the cactus fences. The cacti were growing up along barbed wire and created a cool natural fence.
And then we got some more pictures of our ship.
And us with our ship too!

Bonaire is very proud of its flamingos and you can spot them anywhere. Dave didn't even see the one in stones in the sidewalk until I stopped to take a picture of it.
I can't remember what we did on board the afternoon of Bonaire -- probably the kids went to clubs and Dave and I read -- very exciting! That night, however, was semi-formal night. (And Rachel clearly went to a face painting event in club that day -- HA!)

It was also our second night at Animator's Palate, which we hadn't gotten to experience before. We got to draw our own cartoons.
My final creation
After we had finished eating, the lights in the restaurant dimmed, and our creations came to life!!! It was so fun to watch!!! Each group of tables had about three screens their drawings were on so we didn't have to see all three hundred creations from the whole restaurant.

After we saw all the drawings, then they added our drawings to famous Disney scenes which was really fun. I was too busy trying to see all six of our characters to take pictures at that point but it was so cool to see our character swimming with Ariel or stirring up potions with Mickey!
I think this was the night the Frozen musical was playing. Rachel got a picture with a formal Chip and Dale and unfortunately, by the time the musical was about to start, the excitement of the day had caught up with her and she had a headache and wanted to go to bed :( So Mom, Dad, Sam, and I enjoyed Frozen (it was good but not as good as Broadway), and Dave and Rachel watched a bit of it from the stateroom before Rachel fell asleep.

We ended our night early-ish because the next day we were hitting a beach in Aruba!!! I wish I was hitting the beach in Aruba today. Sadly, I'm not but I am heading off to my first ever library shift. I just wish it was a little warmer than -11C (13F). And that's not taking the wind into account. Brrrrr.

*You can read about Day 7 here.


  1. Bonaire looks amazing!! And the Animators restaurants sounds so neat; I didn't know you could do your own cartoons, how fun. I hear you about wishing we were on a beach, it is cold out there today! But at least the days are getting longer, it's brighter when I leave for work now, there is hope!

    1. I do love that it is getting brighter every evening. It makes these last days until Spring more bearable for sure!

  2. OK... I want an animators plate in my home please!!! That is so cool!!!


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