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Wow! So it has been such a fun week!

I’ve been back at work now for two days and I still haven’t come down from the euphoria and relaxation that was our vacation!
Libby and I took a much-needed cruise to the Bahamas/ Miami! It was one non-stop party!
First off, I should say the reason for the vacation was through her work with Rodan + Fields, Libby earned this fantastic reward from her team leaders. There were approximately 35 people (out of a team of almost 1000) that were on this trip, and I’m super proud of Libby for earning her spot. 
We took off out of Miami, but not here we were in Miami was absolutely beautiful. We got to stay in an awesome hotel right on the canals near the port. The view from our hotel was amazing!
We went out to dinner at Ceviche, a local Peruvian-influenced restaurant, with some wonderful people.
The food was fantastic, and I even got Libby to try octopus for the first time! There was a bit of talking herself into it, but she was adventurous and actually liked it!
Later on, we met up with the rest of the group for cocktails and introductions. I don’t know if you guys have had this experience before, but it is actually a lot of fun meeting people in real life that you’ve been only really interacting with on social media. At first, you’re actually a little nervous how it will be. After all, everyone came from different walks of life and different parts of the country and who knows how the could be in real life, but everyone that we met was as genuinely nice in person as they are on Facebook. They really are an extremely supportive group of successful women! 
Next day was cruise departure day! We (leisurely) made our way on board and began the party!
While Libby chatted with her ladies, I couldn’t help myself in taking in the ship’s amenities! After taking advantage of some very tasty adult beverages, I made my way to the water sports area. They had a couple of these multi-story water slides that cork-screw for a bit before dumping you in a chute of water. I’m not going to lie… I was racing little kids back up to the top so I could do it again… The coolest part though was the Flowrider. For those who have not had the privilege, it’s a surfing machine where a ton of water is being shot at high speeds and gives the effect of surfing a huge wave! I signed up and said a quick prayer that I wouldn’t just eat it in the first few seconds. I’m actually proud to say I lasted a lot longer than I thought!
The next day we went to Coco Cay, the private island owned by the cruise line. Libby and I ate lunch together on the beach, and while Libby met up with the group, I went snorkeling! I cannot understate how beautiful the water was…
The variety of fish was awesome! I even got to hold three different types of sea-stars and a sea cucumber! The sea stars crawled on my hand like a spider with a thousand tiny legs (it’s seriously creepy, but in a fun way!) and the sea cucumber was so slimy!
After snorkeling, we made our way to a sand bar with waist deep water. A stingray came up to check us out (it was huge!), and I had one of the best pina coladas I have ever had!
At night, we had dinner together with our Rodan + Fields crew. Each night, we switched tables so we never had dinner with the same people, and the food was very good.
So admittedly, I was feeling a bit under the weather, but Libby was there to PARTY! She went out to the karaoke bar with some of her friends and had an absolute blast dancing! She said the time spent hanging out with everyone after dinner was some of her favorite times of the cruise.

Libby with her headphones on for the Silent Disco!

The next day was the absolute highlight of our trip, swimming with dolphins!!! We took a small boat from Nassau to a lagoon where they had dolphins that you could interact with! We swam, we danced, we hugged, and even kissed a dolphin! They were so much fun to interact with and we didn’t want to go!
Alas, all good things must come to end… we made it back eventually to Houston, where we put our wonderful boys to bed.
A few things will stick out about this trip:
  • I’m really glad for Rodan + Fields. Libby’s trip was paid for by her sponsors and was the impetus we needed to take time for us. We were able to take this trip because of the women we’re now connected to. Libby worked hard and took advantage of the opportunity given to her by these women.
  • It’s very important to take time for yourselves. I don’t think Libby and I realized how much we needed to take this time for us. Time is something you’ll never get back. Libby and I, during the planning of this trip, realized we hadn’t taken time alone together for more than a few hours since our littlest guy was born. He’s turning two in a few weeks. Time is fleeting. Spend it wisely.
  • We’re very glad for our parents. My dad came down and spent some quality time looking after the boys and Memaw spent a lot of time too. We are so very grateful for them and letting us go on this trip!
  • Sitting around connecting with this group of hard-working and successful women and the husbands and partners who support them was the real reward of the trip. We learned a lot from them, and will always treasure this time we had.

Thanks guys for putting up with the long post! It’s been a while, and I wanted to make sure I didn’t forget anything!

Take care and we hope to catch up with you soon!

Derek and Libby Smith