Carnival Paradise Cruise to Cuba, Day 1

Day 1


We drove to Tampa for our cruise on the Carnival Paradise to Cuba. It was a 6 hour drive, so we left on that Wednesday. We stopped several times as we were super tired and Sweetie Pie had to use the restroom.


Sweetie Pie enjoyed looking at the different things related to attractions in Florida. I was excited about the astronaut myself!

We got to Tampa and checked into our room at the Holiday Inn near the airport. The staff was friendly and Sweetie Pie enjoyed the pool,but the housekeeping left a lot to be desired. Two things I travel with- Clorox wipes and Lysol spray. Yes, they make the small Lysol sprays that are able to be carried on a plane!

After  dinner, we went out to one of the bays and walked around. We saw tons ofcrabson the trees and collected shells. Sweetie Pie makes YouTube videos, unlisted, so we did a few of those out here. She loved it!

We swam, went to dinner and then got our stuff ready to board our ship the next day. I was nervous as this was my mom’s first cruise. I had no idea what to expect for her!


Cuba Excursion

I didn’t want to take an excursion from the ship because they were ridiculously over priced. The cheapest was $89 for each person! That would end up being $356 for all of us for the old car tour.

Yes, we are guaranteed not to be left if we book through the ship, but we are docked overnight, so we are good! My sister and I are even thinking about going out that night!

I booked through Holiplus-Hotels, houses, car rentals and excursions in Cuba and we got the same tour for $128 for ALL of us! I’m sure the price from the cruise line is a mark up for them to get money as well.

I’m so excited! I can’t wait! After getting that situated, I can relax….and think about if I want to order this new luggage from Groupon!

Cruise to Cuba

I’ve been meaning to get around to posting this, but work, working on MY schoolwork and raising my daughter, it got really hectic around here!

We’ll be going on a Carnival cruise to Cuba in June!

I’ve been wanting to go, but flying in and staying at an AirBnB sounded daunting, along with the Visa! I need to feel it out first, before I try to go off track.

Maybe next time!

Paris in Spring 2017 Wrap up

My conclusion on Paris?


This trip was more of a dream for my sister and daughter as Paris was the main place they wanted to go, but I was like whatever.

Little did I know! I loved all of the history we were able to see, I mean,the freaking Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo, hundreds of other artistic pieces! Stuff that was there since forever! It was just plan awesome!

I loved going to bistros to eat and lingering. These people linger and they will not rush you, just ask about dessert or coffee. I loved eating outside and all of the gardens to sit and enjoy.

The great service was awesome as well. Everyone treated you nicely. No one was rude to you, then nice to the person behind you. It was all the same. Just wonderful!

I think it was awesome because we stayed in a neighborhood. We basically interacted with the people around,which made it even better.

Will I go back to Paris? Yes! AND stay in an Airbnb!


Paris Spring 2017 part trois

We had dinner at the cutest little bistro!

Wine! Finally!
Inside the bistro


Duck and potatoes
Lamb and couscous




Since we were nearby,I decided to take Sweetie Pie to Disneyland Paris. It was cheaper than the one in the states and I said what the heck, why not?

It’s a bit smaller than the one in Florida. It’s a land, not world, so that’s expected. They were celebrating 25 years, so they had out a lot of cute stuff.



There were different rides, like an Alice in Wonderland maze, storybook land, and a Casey Jr. train ride.


We only stayed a few hours as I was ready to get back to the city part of Paris! We rode the train out there, the RER A and man…it was an hour ride! We were SO ready to get off! One thing about that Disneyland is people can smoke inside. I don’t care what people do, but I did have to get use to seeing cigarettes everywhere. Of course, all the rides were in French, so that’s different.

The cast members were little outfits like Madeline, little French outfits. Beware, the hot dogs are frankfurts (Sweetie Pie was surprised to say the least!) and the burgers have onion jam on them.

The two parks are right beside each other, I could see the Mickey ears of the water tank of the other one when we came in the gates. You could easily do both parks in one day, but we only chose one.

I’m glad we did, as when we left to get back on the metro, we had to evacuate it. The bombings in Russia prompted all trains to be checked. At the time, we had no idea about Russia, so we were confused. We just got a taxi and went back to Paris. Ain’t nobody got time fa that!


Paris 2017 part deux

One BIG tip?

Carry COIN euros for the restrooms. The restrooms aren’t free to the public like here unless you are in a museum or something. Otherwise you are out and at the mercy of the 1 euro restrooms! We found this out when Sweetie Pie had to use the restroom as we walked along the Champs de Elysees.  No coin euros meant she had to hold it. Thankfully she did and we went to one in the Arc de Triomphe…..which ran out of tissue!

So keep travel tissue with you as well!


To get to our next stop, the Louvre, we had to take the metro. Sweetie Pie LOVED the metro! We had to sit up top so she was able to see everything, including the Seine River.


Our next stop was the Lourve. I was determined to take a picture with the Mona Lisa. I mean, come on, it’s the Mona Lisa! My sister was determined to see the Venus de Milo. The Louvre is huge, no one should attempt this museum to see it all unless you have at least two days,and that’s pushing it. There’s no way anyone could see it all in one day. Sweetie Pie did like looking at the works, but did ask why everyone was naked and I quote “Why do I keep seeing everyone’s bottoms?”



We walked around the Seine River after sitting in the gardens outside the Louvre, also known as Le Jardin des Tuileries . It was absolutely beautiful! I have no idea how I didn’t get a picture of the full effect! I think I was so absorbed in it and all I got was a picture of a cute snail shell! We ate  lunch out there–salad, sandwich and a macaroon for my sister and an eclair for Sweetie Pie and me. It was so nice!


We had a river cruise later that evening. It took us from our beginning point, at the bottom of the Eiffel Tower, down to Notre Dame.

The river cruise was really fun, but it was COLD! The wind off the water, combined with the 60 degree weather was a lot. That 60 was not the usual 60 we have here in Georgia! Not even close! I WAS excited to wear make up on vacation and not sweat it off my face though!

We also had a Big Bus Tours trip for that day. It was a double decker bus that drove around to different tourist sites. It was cold on the top as well. LOL! It also had a few questionable comments in the narration that went with it in the headphones. Overall it was a good tour…and it got us around without a taxi or the metro!

Remember….all of the activities we did are included in the Paris Pass,minus Disneyland that is! The Paris Pass was an awesome value-museums,big bus, train rides,etc. Just awesome!



Paris Spring 2017


Our flight left Atlanta, taking us to Newark, New Jersey. From there, we left for Paris!



It was basically a night flight for us. ( We landed in Paris at 12 am our time.) I got SICK of eating on that plane! We had a snack–pretzels and a drink—then we had dinner—pasta or chicken with a roll and quinoa salad—–then we had breakfast (croissant and yogurt).I think I got tired of it because it was late and I was eating in between sleeping! We flew on United going out and the plane was quite nice, I was surprised and glad! It’ll help me get out of only sticking with one line….and paying more for that choice!LOL!

We landed at Charles de Gualle and it was a really easy process. Very easy! We had a shuttle to the hotel, but I used Google voice and it didn’t work right. We had Metro passes, but we were out of the zones for it—1,2,3–so we took a taxi! A taxi from the airport to the center of Paris where our hotel was is about $50. We took the metro later though.

We could see the Eiffel from our hotel, so of course Sweetie Pie had to take a picture with it! We walked to that area, but beware, there are people with scams asking if you speak English so you can sign something while the other pickpockets you while you are distracted. They warn a lot about pick pockets. Even inside the Lourve!


No idea what Sweetie Pie was doing here, but it made for a picture!


We went to the Champs de Elysees  walked around, watched Sweetie Pie play in bubbles and then we went to the Arc de Triomphe. Sweetie Pie really wanted to climb it….so we did. There are a LOT of stairs! We took pictures of the view and video with our big bus tour.


Top, with a view of Paris. Yes,we did walk that entire street…..and stopped to buy Sweetie Pie new shoes along the way!


We then went to take the Metro. We loved this train! It was so fun to get to somewhere quickly all over the city and all you had to do was get on the train. We even rode it out to Disneyland, but took a taxi back into the Paris center. It was only a few euros to ride it. I’ve never rode Marta in Atlanta, but now I need to since I wasn’t scared to ride this one! Here’s Sweetie Pie looking at the Seine River on the metro.


We also saw people just hanging out around the river,talking, drinking wine, eating….it was essentially Paris!


I didn’t get a picture of our hotel, but it was right next to the Eiffel tower. I liked it, but next time we’ll do an Airbnb so we can live in a Parisian neighborhood for a week!