Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Good, The Bad, and The Photos

FYI: This is a long one

We've had a lot going on around here since returning from vacation. Some of it good, some of it bad, and I've been working tirelessly to get pictures ready to share with you. Yes, I care that much. You can thank me later. I'll start with some talking and end with the pictures.

Let's get The Bad out of the way first, eh?
  • Ok, well you know my internship for this fall is a big mess. But regardless of all that, there is a class that goes with the internship that you have to enroll in just like any of your other courses. Well if my internship wasn't enough of a hassle, something mysteriously went wrong with my student loan as well. I say "mysteriously" because no one ever contacts you to say there's a problem. I applied in February and by the end of May hadn't heard a word or seen a dollar. So I started making phone calls and found out that the lender was waiting for my school to approve the loan. I'll never understand why the school needs to approve a private loan. I don't owe it back to them, why do they care? Anyway, I called JHU and they said, oh, there's a slip you need to fill out and fax to us. So I did that on May 27th. Shortly before vacation, fall registration opens up. Well I can't register since I haven't paid my tuition yet because I still have no check. So I log onto the lender's website and check my account and it says the disbursement date for my check is the next day. Yay! So I won't get it before we leave for vacation, but it should be waiting for me when I get home. No. Waiting for me when I get home is a letter saying too much time has gone by, we need you to resign this perfectly good promissory note we have and mail it back to us before we'll send your check. In the meantime, an email goes out from JHU that says all interns must register by August 1st. So as we speak, the internship classes are rapidly filling up as everyone tries to register before August 1st. I'm certain I'll get stuck taking the class at the Southern MD campus in La Plata. I did email them to let them know I was still waiting on my student loan, and they just said to register when I get the chance, but by then it's hard to say what sections will be open. Yikes.
  • Also, Josh returns to work on Monday morning (as if that's not hard enough) and is greeted with the news that he's been placed on a contract. That is, he has a new job that he has not interviewed for or personally accepted. He had mentioned to his boss that he felt like he wasn't busy enough and was interested in seeing what other opportunities his contract held. So while he was on vacation, the girl who works with him (not his boss) finds him a new job on the contract and accepts it for him. He's being relocated to Ft. Meade to an office built in the '50s that has bugs and mice. After being warned not to put any food in his desk, he's asked to notify them if he develops any health problems. ?!?!?!? THEN, he gets back to his current office and everyone is there waiting for him with a cake, jumping up and down and clapping their hands with excitement and congratulations. WTF. He was totally shocked and caught off guard. The whole thing was so completely weird. The girl who was behind this job change (he has a friend who filled him in on how it all went down), really doesn't like him and as far as I'm concerned took the opportunity to basically get rid of him. The worst thing is that since he had said something to his boss about making a move he can't really go back now and say, thanks but no thanks without looking bad. I'm sure his boss agreed to the switch because she thought it was something he would have wanted. I don't know if any of them realized the condition of the office or how OCPD Josh really is. But what's done is done at this point and he's just gotta make the best of it.
Tired yet? Ok, let's talk about The Good, shall we?
  • On the internship front, there is actually a glimmer of hope. I wrote my letter of appeal to the Counseling Department chair and he requested that I come in to meet with him. At this meeting, we went over my concerns and the discussion came down to the fact that I don't have enough time outside of the school day to complete such a large number (400) of service hours. He cautiously suggested that maybe he would allow me to complete these hours at my own school if my principal were agreeable. I didn't point out to him that my principal had called and emailed him saying precisely that, but got no response. So that piece of the internship puzzle seems to be coming together. Thank God.
  • Also, there is an upside to Josh's new job. While it's not a position Josh would have chosen himself, it actually holds a lot of potential for what he'd eventually like to be doing. They're going to get him into some very specialized courses that will help him move in the direction he wants to go. If he can survive in the creepy office for a little while, I think this will ultimately be a good move. He also has friends in HR from his time working in that office who have connections and know people at different companies who could pass his resume around if he found that he really couldn't hack it at this job. So that whole part of our lives is kind of blank-slate right now and we'll just be waiting to see how it all turns out. I'm hopeful though. It happened for a reason, and it will eventually prove positive I'm sure.
That wasn't so bad, was it? Those were our major happenings over the weekend after returning home. But I know you're ready to see the pictures and read all about the actual vacation so I'll get on with it already. The pictures aren't totally in chronological order. They're from two different cameras and in chronological order on each. So the first set of pictures are ones we took with the Canon Rebel (which did not leave the ship). The second set are taken with my little Olympus point-and-shoot. I'll explain all the pictures though, don't worry ;] Kay, hold on tight.........

First Set - Canon Rebel (on the ship and San Juan only)

We started our vacation with a chopper ride... juuussssst kidding! This is the channel 11 news chopper that followed our ship all the way out to Ft. McHenry to bid us farewell.

We hung out around the front of the ship while we made our way out of the harbor and down the bay. The wind did a number on our hair. Here's Josh's. We couldn't decide if it was more Edward Cullen, or Wolverine.
What do you think?

More crazy hair as we approach the bay bridge!

A pretty shot of the bridge just before we passed under it

My hair was hopeless in this wind...

... so we pretended I was a supermodel, ha!

Our first formal night - Friday. Some lady offered to take our picture. She was some kind of semi-pro too, she went nuts with the camera.

Land Ho! Arriving in Puerto Rico

Cute cute cute San Juan... Loved it!

San Cristobal - a big fort with many beautiful views

The first thing we saw on our way up to the gate of San Cristobal - amazing!

One of the many dark dungeon hallways -- but, did Josh flash to skeleton in this picture?!?

Me and San Juan :]

Completely candid. All I said was "don't move!"

A rainbow over San Juan! (and my hair doing "The Kramer"!)

Love this pic :]

My favorite building in San Juan. They were all these pretty pastel colors, and then this one was bold and bright. It's the building I would want to live in if I lived in San Juan. I'm not positive what "Se Vende" means, but I'm guessing they have a room for rent?

Me and the Puerto Rican coastline

As we were making our way back to the ship, a storm was approaching. It looked so ominous against the stark whiteness of this church building. I thought it made a cool picture, although we totally got caught in the storm and looked like drown rats by the time we got back to the ship. Oh well.

View of St. Thomas from the ship - indescribably cute!

View of Dominican Republic from the ship. This port didn't have a dock, you took a smaller boat over to the land, that's why it's far away.

The morning we arrived in Haiti

Second Set - Olympus (all of our adventures at the pool and on the islands)

Sitting on the pool deck on Saturday morning

Arrival in St. Thomas

The harbor from some crazy steep mountain road - I have a lot of these pictures at extreme angles because we were on an open bus ride over to Magens Bay where we swam for the afternoon.

Magens Bay - my favorite place of the whole trip <3

Magens Bay

Ok.... send your small children out of the room for this one. This dude walked up and down the beach the whole time we were there - obviously exhibiting himself. People were camped out at the water's edge with their cameras waiting for him to come back by so they could take his picture. I tried to be discrete and took my pictures from the towel where we were sitting, but there was a guy there who had out his professional-quality telephoto lens snapping shots of him from half a mile down the beach. In the larger picture (which you can see on my Picasa page), you can see that he has on blue eyeshadow, lipstick and long pink fingernails. WOW, was all we could say.
And JUST IN CASE you didn't think the front was bad enough.....
Can you believe this?!?!?!? I had to take pictures. A verbal description would have never done him justice.

Back to the pretty stuff.....

Our driver, Gomez, pulled off on a few stops along the way back from the beach so we could take some scenic pictures. This is a view of Magens Bay from up high on the mountain.

Josh and I at another scenic overlook

On to the Dominican Republic! This was us on our boat ride over to Cayo Levantado - a separate island that had a nice beach. We read SCARY things about Samana, the actual port. So we decided a beach excursion was our best (and safest) bet!

Roger. Good choice!

Ahhhh, postcard?

Happy to be at a beautiful beach!!

The water at Cayo Levantado wasn't as clear as Magens Bay, but it was still gorgeous. It's slight cloudiness added to it's bright color in the pictures, too.

My favorite picture from this island

Reading on the pool deck one evening

One of the perils of taking up residence on a moving vessel - you could find your husband's bath towel hanging from your toothbrush. We don't know how.

One of my favorite pictures from the trip :]

Second formal night, and the only sunset we actually saw

Josh climbed the rock wall!

Our last night at dinner.
Me, Nitin our waiter, Josh, Michael and Crystal

This was one tenth of the photos from the trip. You can see all 400 if you go to my Picasa page. There are a ton more that are so pretty from the different islands. So check them out and wish you were me :] Just kidding, of course.

And thanks to everyone who offered ideas for baby shower games!


  1. Um can I just say the Hulk Hogan drag queen made me LAUGH OUT LOUD! I'm glad you guys had such a good time, the pictures are amazing! You look so beautiful in your formal wear, and of course Josh looks uber handsome in his as well. AS for the Cullen/Wolverine hair, I think it's more wolverine, the way the front comes down a bit, but the color and foof of it all was very much Cullen too haha :0) Y'all are so funny!Hope all works out with school and work, I have faith it will!

  2. Looks SO fabulous :) I think my next land-based vacation needs to be in the Dominican - that beach was BEAUTIFUL! I think I'll go to bed and dream about vacation... since dreams are all I'll have for about the next decade...

  3. Wow. Seriously I am dreaming of a beach getaway now. Thanks a lot! :) You and Josh both looked so relaxed and like you had a great time! Also, se vende means for sale, so you could move into that purple house after all. :) I'm sure the school stuff will work out as well as Josh's job stuff, although that seems pretty sneaky of that lady. Loved all of the pics!


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