ericaamber

Archive for the ‘friends’ Category

Beyond the Mouse

In adventure, Disney, fitness, friends, fun, holiday, orlando on February 13, 2015 at 4:03 am

In my personal experience, the more you visit a place, the more new things you tend to discover. At least if you possess an adventurous soul you do. Of course there are lots of people who go places and do the same thing every time, and that’s just fine, but it’s not my style. I like to explore. As I am currently on vacation and spending time with some friends in Orlando, we have been making the usual theme park rounds, but we’ve also been on a few random adventures. Today we drove to Winter Garden and rented bicycles, determined to discover places we’d never been.

First of all, Winter Garden itself is delightful and I want to live there. Its a beautiful sleepy town with ambiance music and fountains and benches!! Something about it feels charming and welcoming. If a town could embrace you, Winter Garden is like a warm hug from an old friend. i did not want to leave.

Winter Garden is a haven for triathletes, cyclists, and athletes of all kinds and the bike shop we went to was staffed by some very lovely people who made us feel right at home. Our bicycle adventure took us around the West Orange Trail which runs partially alongside Lake Apopka and reminded me of the Galloping Goose Trail at home in Victoria B.C. I got to see the lake, gazebos, country fields, trees, and random animals. As much as I adore all of Florida’s many theme parks and attractions, I am very excited to have explored a whole different slice of what the sunshine state has to offer. The moral of today’s story is: STAY ADVENTUROUS my friends!!

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Ponta Delgada, Azores, Pourtugal

In adventure, Carnival, Carnival Cruise Line, friends, fun on June 11, 2013 at 7:07 pm

I’m still trekking along in my quest to update all the blog posts I’ve been missing since the crossing, so this one come right from that particular cruise!! When we got to Ponta Delgada we were all very excited to see land again after four long sea days. Debbie and I were particularly excited because Debbie is Portugese and had never been able to visit Portugal before. For her it was almost a religious experience and her enthusiasm rubbed off on me as well. We had an amazing day. We considered going on an excursion but our schedules didn’t really allow for it and so we bartered with a taxi driver who gave us a very reasonable rate for a few hours of touring wherever we wanted to go. He ended up being a fabulous tour guide as well as an excellent photographer. It was an amazingly beautiful place, one I hope to visit again. We had an amazing tour and afterwards we had a magnificent lunch of freshly caught fish and local wine.

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The Vacation Story

In adventure, friends, fun, Uncategorized on March 30, 2013 at 7:56 am

Well, I’ve been promising a more detailed vacation blog post for almost a month now. And I figured now is the time to do it, as I head back to work!!  I love writing while traveling! Currently I am in gypsy heaven, the two seats next to me on the plane are empty, and being a human of the long-legged variety, I am taking very great pleasure in stretching out over ALL the seats.

Vacation has been amazing. For the first two weeks I actually went to cruise with a friend on another Carnival ship, the Carnival Inspiration, for two weeks. I had the best time being a guest. It’s a very different experience than being a crew member. I really learned a lot about what it’s like to cruise from the guest perspective. I went to all the shows, ate on lido deck, and lounged! I also got to see what it’s like to board the ship as a guest, which is something we never experience as crew. The Carnival Inspiration does 3 and 4 day cruises to Ensenada, Mexico and Santa Catalina out of Long Beach, California. So since I spent two weeks on board, I got to do a lot of embarking and debarking. As technically I was a guest, even though I was crew traveling, I still had to debark the ship with the guests and embark again a few hours later with the next group of guests. It’s in my nature to make friends with strangers and every time I got off the ship, there were usually the same staff working, so by the time I debarked after my last voyage I got hugs and high fives from the security, the shoreside crew, and even some CPB officers. I think that having the experience of cruising from the guest’s perspective will really help me be a better Guest Services Associate. The ports were fun too! Santa Catalina is gorgeous!! A tiny little marina town with beautiful yachts, colorful Spanish style villas and palm trees! There were seals and dolphins leaping around the small tender boats used to take us ashore and some cheeky seals even hopped up on the marina buoys as if they were circus performers!

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Ensenada, Mexico is also a cool place. We found lots of delicious little restaurants and one day there was even a really fun street fair celebrating something fantastically Mexican. It’s a very different Mexican experience than Cozumel. Cozumel is quite commercialized, with a very well developed cruise center. Ensenada is beautiful, with the LARGEST flag I have ever seen, Mexican or otherwise, but less developed than Cozumel. There are many families on the streets trying to sell you beaded bracelets and scorpions shaped out of wire. It’s very interesting to see the differences after being in Cozumel every two weeks for the last 6 months.

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Once I came back from cruising, I went to visit a friend who lives on Gabriola Island, one of the gorgeous Gulf Islands! We went for forest runs, beach walks and even kayaking in the ocean. I actually had a small incident where I fell in the ocean and it was almost a catastrophe, but it all ended up just fine. There was a pair of sea lions playing about 10 feet away from me and I was on the fence as to whether they might eat me or assist me back into my kayak, neither of which happened. Gabriola is beautiful and quiet and I really enjoyed the time to relax.

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After a few more days back in Victoria, my sister and I went to Vancouver for the weekend, as she was invited to attend Vancouver fashion week, and I was her plus one!! It was so much fun. My sister is my very best friend in the whole world and getting to spend a whole weekend with her was just the best ever. Plus we got to see some really awesome new fashion, and hang out in downtown Vancouver!

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In the time I got to spend at home in Victoria, I visited some wonderful friends, my amazing family, and even some of my favorite animal friends! Ship work, although it is wonderful, it is certainly tiring and after a contract, it’s really necessary to take downtime to find yourself again. I’m so happy and refreshed and ready to go back to work!! I have so many thoughts to share about my new ship, but we’ll save those for tomorrow!!

Ziplining

In adventure, Carnival, Carnival Cruise Line, friends, fun on March 3, 2013 at 2:53 pm

The one and only time I went on an excursion in San Juan, Puerto Rico, I went ziplining in the rain forest and it was brilliant!! I had so much fun!! The guides were so much fun, and the views were breathtaking! Of course I felt the need to zipline upside down like a crazy person, prompting the guides to exclaim that they’d never seen a guest do that, only they usually do it.

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The course had multiple rope bridges just like this one!! Very fun!!

 

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I’m all ready to zip!!!!

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One of the many towers we climbed to start zipping!!!

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Beautiful views like this!!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Danger!!

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I’m upside down!! 🙂

When Breeze Met Liberty

In friends, traveling on February 2, 2013 at 11:36 pm

So most of you will probably remember my lovely friend Valeria who worked with me on the Liberty and then went on vacation a few months ago. Well she and her boyfriend are back and working on the Breeze right now, soon to be transferred to the Legend (which they really want me to join them on, but that’s another story). Luckily for us, the Breeze and the Liberty meet up at least once a week right now, so we get a chance to meet up. I got to hear about their vacation, and I got to tell them all of the fun tings that have been happening on the Liberty. It’s so amazing to get to meet up with friends in random places like St. Thomas or Miami. This time is was St. Thomas.

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Always have fun

In Carnival, Carnival Cruise Line, family, friends on December 19, 2012 at 11:49 am

It’s really important in life to have fun…I like to surround myself with people who make me laugh……like this

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Best ever

Bacab Eco Park Kayak

In Carnival Cruise Line, Cruise, friends, fun, travel, traveling, travelling on December 17, 2012 at 11:13 am

Wow it’s been SO long!! I’m so sorry, I’ve been so distracted with my parents visiting and work and all that. No excuse, I know, but I knew I’d be back eventually. HERE I AM!!! So many things to talk about!! First of all, I’m so so happy to have been lucky enough to have my parents on board with me. It was truly amazing!! Not only did I get to see my wonderful parents, but I also got to experience life as a guest, and they got to see the world that I’m living in!! So we did all kinds of fun things while they were here. One of those things was a wonderful visit to the bridge. I love the bridge, it’s so peaceful (most of the time) and i love being able to see that much ocean at once. So I got permission from the captain to bring my parents up for a visit!! Another wonderful thing we did was go on a kayaking adventure through the Belizian rainforest at Bacab Eco Park. First of all, the tour guides were amazing!!! They were so knowledgeable and fun. They really took care of everyone on the tour. We had a blast!!

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Beautiful views!!

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Formal Night

In Carnival, Carnival Cruise Line, Cruise, friends on October 30, 2012 at 2:48 pm

This week we had a goodbye party for several of my lovely friends who are leaving in the next few weeks. We kind of had two parties actually. For one, we got dressed up in our blue uniforms (we refer to them as our ‘blues’), and went to the nightclub and the Alchemy bar. Since these places are in guest areas, we had to have our blues on. Since I don’t have my blues, the girls were kind enough to lend me theirs. Everyone gets two sets of blues so there’s always someone to borrow from. I’m still waiting for mine to arrive, one day they will get here!! The second party was in the crew bar, we had food and drinks and invited everyone! Both were lovely, and I wanted to share some photos from the nights because we all looked so lovely dressed up in our blues!! I can’t wait until I get mine!!

The whole gang!! Having a blast!

The ladies!! These girls are so fabulous!!

My SGSS on the left, myself in the middle and my GSM on the right!

Snapshots of Roatan

In Carnival, Carnival Cruise Line, Cruise, friends, travel, traveling on October 8, 2012 at 12:03 pm

I’m not really sure why I didn’t post these photos sooner. I think I forgot I had them! These are my photos from Roatan!! Absolute paradise!!

Pretty self explanatory!

The beach sign with the chair lift behind it!

The Liberty

 

 

Time Warp

In Carnival, Carnival Cruise Line, friends on October 6, 2012 at 12:31 pm

It’s funny how time passes here on the ship. It’s a strange juxtaposition of time passing really quickly and really slowly all at once. As far as the outside world, it feels like we are trapped in a black hole, I have no idea of how quickly or slowly time is passing in the real world, because we are so disconnected. Sure, I have the time and resources to skype and blog and update all my crucial social networks, but that’s not the same, and internet time is so precious that you only do the important things. Gone are the days of streaming my favorite TV shows or texting my friends daily to see what’s happening. Ship time, however, is a whole different thing. Days pass so quickly here because we work so often, and have so much to do in the hours we work, that before you know it, a whole cruise has passed (a week, in my case). Even typical human interactions feel sped up. When you start a new job in the real world, it usually takes a while before you feel really comfortable and develop friendships. On board, the people you work with are the people you eat/sleep/work/play/work out with as well. You make friends very quickly because you are surrounded by these people 24 hours a day. Obviously you get along better with some people than others, that’s just human nature. I already have several close friends onboard and one of them leaves in 4 cruises, I’m not sure what I’m going to do without her!! In the next month, our crew will be completely changing. There’s 4 people who are over their 6 month contracts and will be going on vacation, so by the time I’m finishing my second month, almost the whole team will be different!! I’m just about to change rooms and move in with my paisana from Ottawa!! She’s lovely, I think we will get along very nicely as long as we abide by the two major house rules: no talking politics, and no talking hockey!