McG On The High Seas! — a vacation recap | McGowan Images Blog


McG On The High Seas! — a vacation recap

Good morning, friends!

Mack and I are running our legs off today. Three shoots and two meetings… whew! I guess that means vacation is officially over. BUT, vacation being officially over means that we have lots of vacation PICTURES to share with you!

A little techie speak — we made this a one-lens trip… we took just our 5D Mk ii and a 24-70 L. While the 85 mm 1.2 L remains my glass of choice, this wide-angle lens was PERFECT for traveling, and the color we were getting out of it was really stellar. We were going to just rent the lens for the trip, and then decided we might as well just buy it. Definitely a good choice… this is going to come in handy for our spring weddings!

This post will be more pictures than words, which I’m sure you don’t mind. I think we were able to capture some really beautiful pictures, but beyond art, for me… this was about memories. It was about being able to bring home two 8 gig memory cards full of pictures, and show our kiddos every step of our trip. I hope you’ll enjoy looking at them as much as we enjoyed taking them!

Our cruise originated in Miami. We sailed on the Carnival Glory, and had a very positive experience. Not perfect, but definitely pleasant. Here are a few shots of our ship (the first was taken in the port at Nassau, Bahamas):


I’d heard horror stories about how our stateroom on the ship would feel like a closet… which is no bueno for this claustrophobic gal. Luckily, our cabin was quite roomy, and had a huge 3 ft by 3 ft window that I could crawl up and sit in to watch the water go by.


The lounge areas of the ship were so fun and colorful!


I sneaked in during off hours to get a picture of our dining room…


We called this the “Hallway of Death”. If we came down the elevators on the right end of the boat, our room was RIGHT near the stairs. But if we happened to come down on the wrong end… well, we had this reeeeeeeeally long walk ahead of us.


Ok, ok… enough of the boat. Here’s what we did on vacation!

First thing’s first : squishy face after we landed in Ft. Lauderdale! Our vacation started with a bang when Southwest Airlines lost my luggage. *hand/forehead*. Luckily, they found it around two hours later, and the crisis was averted.


Miami, from the deck of the Carnival Glory :


Monday morning, we landed bright and early in Nassau. We were the first ship in the port, and Mack and I (and our friends Cristin & Will) were some of the first people off the ship. Our awesome cabbie took us to a beach on Paradise Island, where we were the ONLY people. Seriously. It was unbelievable.


We walked far enough down the beach that we hit the Atlantis resort, which is just as amazing as the commercials on TV. I was in awe. Mack and I put a trip back to this resort on our bucket list… this time, with the kids!


Mack got in a staring contest with a big fish… and won. 🙂


Day 2, Tuesday, we were in St. Thomas, USVI. I don’t have as many pictures from here, because we did a lot of walking, and a lot of scary cab riding. It was really gorgeous, though.


Day 3 was at sea, and I kiiiiiind of wanted to die. Choppy seas & too windy up top made for a very nauseous Chelsea.

Luckily, Day 4 landed us in San Juan, Puerto Rico! We did no beaching this day, but I got some of my favorite pictures of the entire trip. We also walked about 17,000 miles, starting with our trip from the port, passed the capitol building, and up to the San Cristobal fort.


The view of Old San Juan from the top of the fort :


One of my favorites of the week… the coastline at San Juan :


The side streets in Old San Juan are paved with these gorgeous cobalt bricks. Our friends bought a painting that was pretty similar to the following picture :


I kept my eye out all day for colorful doors, with a mind to make a poster when we got back. Here’s my finished product :


Pretty cool, huh?

Day 5 was the most relaxing day of our cruise. We were in Grand Turk, where we only walked a couple hundred yards before grabbing a beach chair and camping out for about 6 hours. Totally and completely spacing. It was ahhhhhmazing. 🙂 Here’s a picture of my hat, which some of you may have seen in my “checking in” blog post a few days back. I’m a pale kind of girl… gotta protect that epidermis!


One of my favorites of Mack and I on the trip… it was so nice with friends, so that we could swap cameras and take pictures of each other!


Finally, my view from that beach chair all day :

undefined Ahhh… wonderful, right?

We spent another day at sea, then a day and a half at Miami Beach, before finally coming home.

I will say, a 10 day vacation without my kids was WAY overshooting my abilities as a human. I missed them so much I was in physical pain. It’s just too much. 6-7 days probably would have been the perfect little grown-up escape, but after that, we were both just SUPER ready to come home.

You know what we are though, mostly? Mostly, we’re blessed. What an incredible opportunity God gave us through our sweet clients Jordan & Jennifer. I never cease to be amazed at the things that have come our way. Some of it’s luck, some is good timing, a lot is hard work. But rest assured, Mack and I don’t ever for a SECOND take for granted how incredibly cool our lives are sometimes. Not all the time… but sometimes.

And looking back at these pictures, I can definitely say that McG Cruise 2011 was one of the incredibly cool times. 🙂

Thanks for taking the time to look at our vacation pictures! Regularly scheduled programming will resume with a new shoot tomorrow, followed by FOUR new shoots (and Dottie’s last “month” shoot) next week! Stay tuned!

  1. bobbileigh says:

    Love the pictures, they are all so pretty and I agree amazing colors! It makes me barely able to weight until we are on our honeymoon in a nice sunny locale. Where did you get that hat? I may need one for a week on the beach.

  2. Amber says:

    The pictures were gorgeous! Very jealous as I am sitting at work at 6:30 in the morning browsing through them! Thanks for sharing!

    PS- the poster looks awesome!!

  3. Melody says:

    Those pics remind me of our cruise back in September. Atlantis made a spot on our bucket list as well, so maybe we’ll see you guys there in a couple years!

  4. Courtney says:

    LOVE love love these! Especially the blue brick pavement and the doors. Super cool 🙂

  5. Stefani says:

    Amazing pictures! I LOVE the doors! Makes me remember how awesome the Caribbean is and I want to go back now 🙂

  6. MeaganB says:

    The Bechtels would love a copy of that poster, if you decide to print it 😉 Love all these photos, so happy y’all had a chance to get away!

  7. annie says:

    Hi! I’m Annie. I miss you. Loved looking at the pictures, looked like a wonderful time. Let me hear from you soon!

  8. Danielle Watson says:

    Awesome pics! Makes me want to take a trip!

  9. Misty says:

    These pictures are AMAAAAAAZING! Do I see travel brochures in McG’s future, perhaps? 🙂

  10. Nicole says:

    Looks like y’all had an amazing time! Beautiful colors in the pics! The pic of the cobalt bricks was awesome!

  11. Liesa says:

    Let me just say I’m glad I’m not the only nut who takes pictures of strangely (but beautifully) colored buildings, weird bridges, and architecturally complex roots in the ground! I LOVE the third one from San Juan, as well as the one on the right in San Juan after the two coast/cityscape pictures (greeen grass and ocean). I could be here all day commenting! Great work, and I’m glad you guys could relax!

  12. Mike says:

    y’all…I’m jealous. I loved every shot. seriously. the poster idea is awesome. and the cobalt brick…canvas?! my #1 fave: Mack’s fish staredown. definitely got my much-needed Monday laugh. 🙂

  13. […] the cruise Mack and I went on, back in March? We went with Cristin & Will. We double dated with this sweet couple when we […]

  14. […] up with the sister, Cristin, and her family… we even ended up on a cruise with them in 2011 (click here for the throwback blog about that trip). And although she’s a social media hermit, Catherine & I kept loose tabs on each other […]

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