Cozumel

Our last stop on the cruise was Cozumel. We sat by the beach, was served lunch, and relaxed. It was a nice end to our cruise. The water wasn’t as clear as we had expected, but we were still able to go in and swim.

This is the view of the ship docking. The lamps were still on because it was still pretty early in the morning. I wanted to see the sunrise and watch the docking, so while husband was still sleeping, I got up and made my way to the top floor. I realized I could only either watch the sunrise or the docking because the sunrise was on one side and the docking was on the other. I decided to watch the docking.

Once we got off the ship, we took a short bus ride to the beach resort and found a nice spot right by the water. In the photo, husband and I were in the water taking a photo of where we sat. I believe the third or fourth umbrella in the front there (right to left) was ours.

Here’s the view directly in front of where we sat. That’s an inflatable water slide. I believe you have to get on a jet ski to get over to it. We didn’t bother with that. It was nice relaxing by the water and that’s all we really wanted.

We had a great time on this cruise. The cruise members were super friendly and the food was pretty good. The best part, of course, was just getting away from the every day and relaxing.

One thing I always enjoy about cruising is how beautiful the cruise ships are. When we arrived at the Cozumel port, two Carnival ships also arrived. Husband and I were having breakfast when we saw the two ships.

We ate quickly and went to the top floor because I knew they were going to have to “spin” and I wanted to capture it. The first boat pulled in bow first but the second one spun around.

This was probably the most exciting part of our vacation for me…lol.

We’d love to go on another cruise next year. We don’t have anything set in stone yet but we’d really love to go again.

Costa Maya

Our second day on the cruise, we arrived in Costa Maya. We took the tour to see the Mayan Ruins. It was a one hour bus ride to the location and then about an hour walking around the ruins and listening to our tour guide.

We had a pretty large group of people on our tour but there were other tour groups there as well. The people in the photo were all from our group. Behind me was another tour group waiting for their turn.
Our tour guide said areas like this with overgrown trees on top of rocks were Mayan pyramids that have not been excavated but will be.

It was extremely humid on the tour. We were told that it was rain season and that it had just rained and that it was going to rain again. The roads were dry so it was hard to tell but there were moments when rain misted.

I learned so much about the Mayan people on this tour. Our tour guide was Mayan and it was interesting when he spoke Mayan to us. It sounded like he was speaking Chinese. He said the Mayans migrated from China and that’s why their language was very similar.

Costa Maya was enjoyable, aside from the humidity.

Port of Galveston

The cruise we took in late July was out of Port of Galveston in Galveston, TX. We stayed at the Harbor House Hotel which was walking distance to the cruise check-in building. We were at the hotel for one night and had time to eat at two restaurants, watch an oil tanker come through the waterway, and watch the sunset with the cutest tugboat in the view.

View from our hotel room. We ate lunch at the restaurant in the building behind the bus.

Our room in the hotel.

Front of the hotel.
Walking along the port.
The back of the hotel.
The view during dinner at a restaurant that was walking distance from the hotel.

Watched an oil tanker as it came through and docked.

Sunset. This little tug boat looked much bigger in person.

Embarking the Royal Caribbean Grandeur of the Seas.

At our muster station. We were required to simply go to our station before the ship left the dock. Someone was there to scan our card and then we were done. We watched the rest of the drill information on our phones. It was very simple and quick compared to pre-COVID (on a different cruise line).

The main pool area.

Main pool area with the movie screen in view. During cruising out at sea, they played “Dune” and “King Richard.”

Top deck.

Our cabin.

Cabin bathroom.

Leaving port.

Going toward Costa Maya, Mexico. We were out at sea for one full day before arrival. You can see all the oil tankers waiting to come into port. We counted over 20 tankers. Most of them were not in view.

More photos to come…

April 2022 Playlist

I was surprised to see the magnolia in the backyard bloom. A few years back only a few flowers bloomed, so I thought this bush was on its way out, but I’m so glad it’s still thriving.

I finished Camp Nano and hit over 100K words so I’m really happy that I was able to get that far. My goal was 80K. As a gift to myself, I purchased quite a few celebrity perfumes. Once I receive them all, I’ll probably share some photos.

Something was in the air in April and I got hooked on the song “Never Enough” from the movie, The Greatest Showman. Have you seen the movie? What did you think? It came out in 2017 but I only watched it a year ago and I wish I had seen it sooner. I knew how popular a lot of the songs were, but there is so much more meaning in having watched the movie. I love the original “Never Enough” version by Loren Allred, but also love Morrissette Amon’s version as well as Kelly Clarkson’s. If you get the chance, watch Morrisette’s version. It’s very beautiful. Here’s Kelly’s version. I believe they’ve played this on the radio. I remember hearing it driving the kids to dance practice when oldest daughter was still in high school. She’s now finishing up her second year of university!

Here are a few other songs I listened to:

Into Dust” by Mazzy Star

Je T’aime Till My Dying Day” by Enigma

Glass Palace” by Jens Gad

Unboxing Falcon Travelers’ Book of Faerie Traveler’s Notebook + Photos

I’m so excited to finally have this beautiful leather notebook cover in my hands! I ordered it early in February, and because this is a small business owned by Monique (aka Lady Falcon) and Martijn in the Netherlands, I expected some wait time. The company is called Falcon Travelers and they make leather traveler’s notebooks and folios. What’s unique about them is that they not only make your basic leather notebooks/folios, but they also make artistic-work notebooks.

The one I ordered is called “Book of Faerie.” I had been visiting their website for awhile and at one pointed wanted to get their “Pendragon” notebook cover, but by the time I was ready to order, the Pendragon leather was no longer available, however, something else caught my eye, and it was this very lovely engraved book-style cover.

I got it in the classic B6 size. Classic means there are no pockets. I regret not getting pockets because I’ve actually come to really like them, but I still love this one without pockets, nonetheless.

Unboxing and Photos of the Lancaster Leather Notebook Cover

I don’t normally use the personal size leather covers because I just find that they don’t have enough room to write, but the Lancaster Traveler’s Notebook cover was so tempting that I had to get one. I already have a personal cover for my address book, etc., but went ahead and switched the notebooks out into the Lancaster. I really like the button closure and I think it works better for the address book.

Here’s the unboxing video if you want to watch it. It’s a no-talk video with music in the background. It’s just shy of two minutes.

Here are the photos of this gorgeous leather cover.

These photos were taken after I had put in the notebooks.

This leather scratches easily but it’s okay because sometimes I just want a very rugged scratched up leather. Right now because it’s still pretty new, it looks smooth and divine, but given time it will show all the wear and tear it’s meant for.

Favorite Greens

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! I don’t always celebrate this day but once in awhile I’m reminded that I should. I’ve only gone to one St. Patrick’s Day parade and that was almost two decades ago. Today’s a snowy, cold day so we’re staying warm inside.

A few months back, I suddenly had this urge for the color green. Green has never been a big color favorite of mine, but now it is. It’s so strange how our thoughts and feelings can change like a switch. Above are a few of my favorite green colors. The only green I’m not a fan of at the moment is the muddy brownish green, but one day I might change my mind.

These are all my green notebooks and notebook covers. Clockwise from top left: Archer and Olive Blank A5 Notebook, Archer and Olive Dotted Lines B5 Notebook, Hobonichi A5 Cover from Etsy, Chic Sparrow B6 Glas Express Folio Leather Notebook Cover, 5×5 Watercolor Notebook from Etsy, and Chic Sparrow A5 Artist Gastaldi Leather Notebook.

I don’t have a lot of green-colored book covers, but here are the ones that were mostly green:

Photos of Woodhouse Personal and Huckleberry B6 Traveler’s Notebook Leather Covers

By now you’re probably super tired of seeing all these beautiful full-grain leather notebook covers. I’m obsessed by them and could never get tired of looking at them and touching them, so just bare with me. I’m still reading books. In fact, I’m reading two books right now: Bleak House by Charles Dickens and an Indie book by Rebecca Crunden titled, These Violent Nights. I also have about three books borrowed from the library in which I probably won’t get to because I just received another book request that I will accept.

What’s so special about these leather notebook covers? Nothing, really. It’s just that I love to journal, do art, write stories, etc. I love all things having to do with papers and these notebooks are just a way for me to keep everything together. And, it’s also another way for me to keep busy. I think when life gets stressful, and it could be anything from work related things to family things, it’s nice to have something to comfort you, something that means a lot to you and that makes you feel good about yourself when you surround yourself with it. It doesn’t have to be costly. These notebooks are expensive, but before I got into them, I purchased vinyl ones. I wanted to test the water first to make sure that if I fell into this rabbit hole of collecting notebooks, that I wasn’t wasting money. Anyway, let’s move on. Here are photos of the Austen Woodhouse Personal and the Creme Chocolate B6.

Woodhouse is from the Austen line. If you’ve read the book Emma by Jane Austen, you’ll know that Woodhouse is Emma’s last name. I’ve shared an unboxing of the Austen Emma B6 here and photos of it here if you want to check them out.

Woodhouse is a dark blue but not quite navy blue. I’d stay it’s like a Prussian blue. The photos look a lot darker but it’s actually a softer color in person. Woodhouse is vegetable-tanned so it will continue to patina.

Here’s Woodhouse next to the Pemberly Personal notebook (the cover I’m switching from). You could see that Woodhouse is a tad longer. The photo below it shows the height differences much better.

I went with the Woodhouse Personal to replace the Pemberly Personal because the inserts I buy are a little longer and fit the new size better, and also because I love the Austen leathers. They’re flexible but sturdy and smell so good!

The Huckleberry B6 is from the Creme line. I didn’t really need this leather cover but got it anyway because I wanted to add to my Creme collection. I now have all the colors of the Creme line. I think this is the only line that I have all the colors. Another reason why I got this cover was because Chic Sparrow was switching from side facing pockets to cascading pockets and I wanted a side facing pocket cover before the switch.

The Huckleberry leather is a muted fuchsia color. I think there’s a hint of brown in them, but this one (in person) actually leans towards purple.

If you didn’t already know, I’ve had a Huckleberry B6 Slim Folio for a couple of years now. It was made very different from a regular traveler’s notebook cover and I had wanted to try it out to see if I’d actually like the design and the color. I’m not a big fan of purplish fuchsia color leathers. They’re just a little too bright for me, but I’m happy with this one. In the photo below, the top one is the B6 TN and the bottom one is the B6 Slim Folio.

That was a lot of photos but I hope you enjoyed seeing my joy. If you want to see the unboxing of these two notebook covers, go here.

Snow Day (Photos) and Unboxing Video of 3 Notebook Covers

Daughter had a snow day today, which means no school. She’s both excited and bummed. Excited because she can relax and not worry about doing homework, and bummed because she spent an hour yesterday making Crepes for French class and now she’ll have to eat them by herself (and with me of course) or throw them away. She made about 20 crepes.

The snow is soft and light and it’s not that cold out. I went out to take photos in my short LL Bean boots, leggings, and sweater and wasn’t cold at all.

Here’s me crossing the lawn in the deepest part trying to get over to the pine tree.

As I was taking photos, this person comes by on cross country skis just enjoying the wonderful weather and snow.

And I had to share this notebook cover with the snow in the background. The little white sprinkling things is the snow coming down. This is the No. 8 Extra Wide in American Bison hide. The unboxing video below will have a closer look at all the striations and folds. It’s such a pretty leather!