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MITSUGIRLYS FREEDOM OF THE SEAS REVIEW & PICTORIAL


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On 5/11/2019 at 2:16 PM, mitsugirly said:

Moving on and out...

 

A nice sized parrot fish around the coral. I will have to say that I always seem to find "unique" animals here but not an abundance amount of fish. There are always some, but not many.

 

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Ahhh the colors on the ocean floor...I just love it here. Greens, yellows, orange, reds...

 

 

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Now I have read many comments, or seen pictures, of people snorkeling at various places in the Caribbean. I've seen them say "this place was like swimming in an aquarium" and think "hmmmm, really?" When I think of snorkeling and swimming in an aquarium...THIS IS WHAT IT'S LIKE!!! Seriously...it really is that good.

 

 

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These pictures are beautiful!  How far out do you have to swim to see all of this?  Looks relatively shallow - is it far from shore.  Headed there in March and reading your review has me all excited to buy a new waterproof camera.

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2 hours ago, cruisr4fun said:

These pictures are beautiful!  How far out do you have to swim to see all of this?  Looks relatively shallow - is it far from shore.  Headed there in March and reading your review has me all excited to buy a new waterproof camera.

 

It starts as soon as you get in the water and up and down the entire right side and everywhere in that area.

 

I couldn't function without my waterproof camera. :D

 

2 hours ago, fyree39 said:

Thank you for this installment. Looking forward to the next!

 

You are welcome and thanks for reading.

 

1 hour ago, deedle7544 said:

Love your reviews!  And I am so sorry to learn of your health issues. 

Thank you so much. I appreciate it.

 

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7 hours ago, mitsugirly said:

Oh gosh...I'll have to look up the review you are talking about. I can't imagine it being bad for anyone. FOTS is amazing and so are the ports and PR is my favorite place to sail out of.

 

Haha on the reading. It's quite lengthy. What are ports are you going to? I have other reviews and port reviews (some not listed) that could possibly help you out.

It wasn't the ship, but the population of passengers that was panned... I think by more than one person. BUT, maybe it was a case of cruising during a school break (?) which could result in friction wherever you sail from.

 

Our ports are: 

Puerto Rico--St.Thomas--St.Kitts--Antigua--St.Lucia--Barbados--Cruising--Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico--Cruising--Aruba--Curacao--Bonaire--Cruising--St.Maarten--Puerto Rico

 

So this review covered all of the first leg of B2B except St.Thomas and St.Maarten from the second leg. Looking forward to additional info on San Juan as we may spent a few days there pre and or post. I would certainly be interested in your coverage of any of the other ports (St.Thomas and ABC islands). Although your group is much more active than my bunch! we have two or three snorkelers out of five ppl.

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The ship photographer photos turned out really nice! Especially the family ones! I’m so sorry to hear that you are having health issues. After reading all of your fantastic reviews, I feel like I know you, and it made me sad when I read that you are having health problems. You certainly do have a great attitude though. Thanks again for all your hard work and dedication to your awesome reviews!

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2 hours ago, crystalspin said:

It wasn't the ship, but the population of passengers that was panned... I think by more than one person. BUT, maybe it was a case of cruising during a school break (?) which could result in friction wherever you sail from.

 

Our ports are: 

Puerto Rico--St.Thomas--St.Kitts--Antigua--St.Lucia--Barbados--Cruising--Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico--Cruising--Aruba--Curacao--Bonaire--Cruising--St.Maarten--Puerto Rico

 

So this review covered all of the first leg of B2B except St.Thomas and St.Maarten from the second leg. Looking forward to additional info on San Juan as we may spent a few days there pre and or post. I would certainly be interested in your coverage of any of the other ports (St.Thomas and ABC islands). Although your group is much more active than my bunch! we have two or three snorkelers out of five ppl.

 

 

Oh gotcha. Well, we cruised at Spring Break and didn't have much of a problems. 

 

Are you staying in OSJ? So much to do and see there and all walking. We love it there.

St Thomas we've been to the following: Coki (x2=amazing snorkeling and diving), Linquist, Sapphire Beach. You can find those reviews in my signature line.

St Kitts we've been to: Reggae Beach club at Cockleshell, Carambola (ship wreck down from it with pics) (review in my signature line) and then this tour this time around.  

Antigua: this was our first time

St Lucia: been twice and done the Spencer Ambrose tours. (My first time there review in my signature line). 

Barbados been to: Boatyard, Pirates Cove and now diving at Carlise. Boatyard review is in signature and Pirates...I ran out of space but can get it if you are interested. 

Aruba: Been there several times and we also land vacation there during the summer. We have been EVERYWHERE there so let me know what you might be interested in and I can almost guarantee I have pictures of it and can point you in the right direction. 

Bonaire....haven't been yet sadly. 

Curacoa: been twice and only dove both times. 

St Maarten: Orient, Maho x2, Mullet Bay, Divi, Pinel Island and a tour of the entire island that includes tons of beaches after the hurricane. Let me know if you are interested in that review (it's not listed here but the others are in my signature line). 

 

 

1 hour ago, blarko said:

The ship photographer photos turned out really nice! Especially the family ones! I’m so sorry to hear that you are having health issues. After reading all of your fantastic reviews, I feel like I know you, and it made me sad when I read that you are having health problems. You certainly do have a great attitude though. Thanks again for all your hard work and dedication to your awesome reviews!

 

Yea, they were decent...when Sakari wasn't goofing off or giving that fake smile she does. I'm standing in the background saying silly things to get her to smile right and giggle. Ahh the things you do in order to make it appear as if she's having fun during a photo shoot. LOL  

Thanks for the comments. I appreciate it. 

 

 

45 minutes ago, bartzcrew said:

I cant believe how behind I am, Im excited to read another adventure!!!

 

 

 

Haha, glad you found it and enjoy

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14 hours ago, mitsugirly said:

This was our hanging towel ________ tonight....like what the heck is it?

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Guessing a baby in a swing? Never seen that one! I love to get one I haven't had before; our stewards on Zuiderdam made a koala bear that had me guessing!

 

 

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Hi Kim, I’ve been reading your wonderful reviews for years and always look forward to your next family adventure. I’m so sorry to hear about your health. I feel like I know and care about you, even though we’ve never met. Maybe it’s like a favorite character in a book. Please keep enjoying life and I definitely wish you a long, healthy, happily ever after. Thanks for all you do! 🌺

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On 5/17/2019 at 1:19 PM, crystalspin said:

Oh gosh...I'll have to look up the review you are talking about. I can't imagine it being bad for anyone. FOTS is amazing and so are the ports and PR is my favorite place to sail out of.

Found it in my "followed" threads:

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2615067-freedom-of-the-seas-the-good-the-bad-the-ugly/

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Thank you, Mitsugirly for another Fabulous review. The Freedom of the Seas port intensive schedule gave your 

family so much to do. We enjoyed your great writing style and photos. The Scuba adventure to the Barbados shipwrecks was another first for the family. So many spectacular photos and everyone did the dive with no problems.

Good to see photos from Kendra and Sakari.

This holiday trip was a well earned Bachelors graduation reward for you. Good choice on the spacious Ocean view at front of ship. We had 2 windows at front of Zaandam for South America to Antarctica.

We are saddened to hear of the Family and Friend losses for Billy and Kendra. This adventure has hopefully helped

ease the sadness. Over time the good memories will prevail.

All the best to you with regards to your health situation. Where are you and the family off to next.

Cheers to you and the family, from all of us. 

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On 5/17/2019 at 7:10 PM, kpark895 said:

Kim, so sorry to hear about your health problems.  Hope things get resolved favorably.  Meanwhile, enjoying all of your pictures and the review!

 

Thanks so much and glad you are enjoying the review.

 

On 5/17/2019 at 11:35 PM, crystalspin said:

Guessing a baby in a swing? Never seen that one! I love to get one I haven't had before; our stewards on Zuiderdam made a koala bear that had me guessing!

 

 

Hmm, ok, maybe that's it. I definitely haven't seen this one before.

 

11 hours ago, 4ptjo said:

Hi Kim, I’ve been reading your wonderful reviews for years and always look forward to your next family adventure. I’m so sorry to hear about your health. I feel like I know and care about you, even though we’ve never met. Maybe it’s like a favorite character in a book. Please keep enjoying life and I definitely wish you a long, healthy, happily ever after. Thanks for all you do! 🌺

 

Aww thanks so much. I really appreciate it. Such kind words. 🙂

 

10 hours ago, bobmacliberty said:

Thanks for a great review AND for mentioning La Brasserie restaurant in Condado for breakfast. Just had a good ham and cheese Mallorca sandwich. Yum. Ready to board!

 

Thank you and no problem. I'm glad you enjoyed it. Have an awesome cruise!!!

 

4 hours ago, crystalspin said:

 

Thanks, I'll take a look.

 

1 hour ago, gui218 said:

Thank you, Mitsugirly for another Fabulous review. The Freedom of the Seas port intensive schedule gave your 

family so much to do. We enjoyed your great writing style and photos. The Scuba adventure to the Barbados shipwrecks was another first for the family. So many spectacular photos and everyone did the dive with no problems.

Good to see photos from Kendra and Sakari.

This holiday trip was a well earned Bachelors graduation reward for you. Good choice on the spacious Ocean view at front of ship. We had 2 windows at front of Zaandam for South America to Antarctica.

We are saddened to hear of the Family and Friend losses for Billy and Kendra. This adventure has hopefully helped

ease the sadness. Over time the good memories will prevail.

All the best to you with regards to your health situation. Where are you and the family off to next.

Cheers to you and the family, from all of us. 

 

I just love the port intensive cruises. I'd be happy if there was a port every single day. LOL

 

Thanks for liking the review and pictures. It was definitely a well-earned reward for sure.

 

Thanks for the kind words. We all appreciate it.

 

We are not sure yet. I have 2 NCL cruise certificates I have to use by Feb 20, 2020 :0  IDK how I'm going to do that. We will probably have to forego a land vacation this summer. 

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Ok gonna try to finish this up.

 

APRIL 28: SUNDAY

 

It's time for our last day....getting off the ship....or lack there of and also spending a day and night in Puerto Rico.

 

So it's sunday and  by the time we get up, we are already docked in Puerto Rico. They get there VERY early...like 6am or something like that. 

 

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This would be the last time I didn't have to actually think what day it was and someone told me.

 

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I had my somewhat usual breakfast

 

 

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Everyone met up on the pool deck at some point and we were just hanging out and talking. (Although most acted as if they were needing a nap already....).

 

They kept making announcements that there was a delay and please wait for them to call the floors or numbers you had associated with debarkation. So wait we did.

 

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I always hate the last day and getting off. Even though we were spending another day here in OSJ and not flying home until tomorrow...it still feels like things are over and it's quite depressing.

 

There were plenty of people around and they started to dwindle down after a while. Then before long, we started to notice that we were the only group up on the deck. We figured we had better take one last restroom break and head down to where they were probably making the last call for cruisers.

 

I've always said they would have to kick me off screaming and kicking...well....guess what? That basically happened.

 

We took the elevator down and the ship was a ghost! NO ONE WAS THERE!!! ANYWHERE!!! Like not a sole!!

 

Um ok....we never heard them announce everyone else...until we heard this....

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Like seriously...we were the absolute LAST ones off the ship. I think this goes down in Mitsugirly history!!! Imma blame it on Kendra...she's always the late one. LOL She HAS to be rubbing off on me or something.

 

 

 

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We made it off and started looking for our luggage, according to our number, and they were nowhere to be found. Everyone had already grabbed their luggage from that number and left. They had moved it to a different location. I'm pretty sure this location puts a target on our back and they wanted us to walk the walk of shame in front of the last group of people in the line for customs.

 

Oh yeah, well we decided to have our luggage carried for us and bypass the stares.

 

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We made it out in no time flat and said our goodbyes to Kia and grabbed an Uber to the hotel.

 

 

 

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The Hotel:   Hotel Milano

 

Now I went back and forth about getting a hotel. We were really pushing it and it was getting hard to decide. Everything seemed so expensive in OSJ this time compared to before. The previous hotel we stayed at (and loved) was SUPER expensive. 

 

I have first booked Casablanca, but it was a little pricey as well. Kendra decided she only needed a cheap place to sleep in for the night (we wasn't really planning on being in the room much and exploring most of the day) so I ended up canceling Casablanca and booking Milano with her. I was able to also find a discount code that made it even more cheaper and that was a score.

 

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Now I know this place has excellent reviews....for the rooftop dining....but the hotel itself doesn't seem to get the greatest reviews. There's always complaints of noise too but yet it's right down the street from Casablanca and they don't seem to have issues with noises. How's that?

 

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Hey as long as it was a clean room with no critters or bugs, I'd be happy with the money I saved. 

 

So when we got here we knew that check in wasn't until 3pm. They do hold your luggage in the lobby and they put a chain and lock around them, count the luggage and give you a receipt with the number and amount of luggage. Hmmm, ok works for me. 

 

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Now the guy working the front desk seemed a little rude with his attitude and comments. I'm not sure if he was having a bad day or this is what he's always like.

 

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We asked to use the restroom and they had it all locked up and you had to get a key to open the door (which is a space under the stairs) and then to the individual men and womens restroom). The door with the glass that looks like someones front door is the door to the restrooms. 

 

 

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Now even though we had a long wait for our rooms and we went out exploring...I'm going to go ahead and show you the rooms and such...

 

 

They had an elevator but....you talk about super scary!!!! Only 5 people at a time and the thing felt like it was going to break when it came to a stop with a large thump and shaking. Eekkkk!

 

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Notice the IT WILL GET STUCK!!! YIKES

 

 

We always took the stairs going back down...

 

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The hallway area after coming off the elevator looked like this on each floor. 

 

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Each floor had a vending machine as well and it was only $1 for pop. SCORE One floor would have Coke and the next Pepsi.

 

 

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The other odd thing I found was that you also had to have a key to get from that elevator area into the "hotel" hallway of your room. See the glass doors?  This place was on lockdown!!!

 

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Hallway outside our door. Now when you were in the hallway, you could hear people talking in the rooms. Those walls must have been paper thin. However, when we were in our room, we heard NOTHING at all...not from the hallway, not next door in the rooms and not outside. Weird. 

 

 

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Ice machine in hallway

 

 

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Now onto our room....we booked the "Superior Room" with 2 full beds. The superior room comes with windows. Kendra ended up booking a regular room and it didn't have windows but did have small glass blocks at the top of the wall to let in light. She said it didn't matter to her what the room looked like right? 

 

Well here's our room

 

 

Hallway coming in the door (on the right) and bathroom door (on the left).

 

 

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Bathroom wasn't anything special but clean and it certainly was everything we needed.

 

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Looked like paint chipped off the bathtub and needed resurfacing but it had hot water, it was lean, and water flow was good.

 

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Now the closets were strange for sure.

 

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There was a refrigerator in it with a "complimentary bottle of water"...like only 1 of them and I assume we'd have to share.

 

 

The thermostat was located in the closet

 

 

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And so was the heater/air

 

 

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There was a dresser and small tv along with a small table and 2 chairs. Now those beds...man were they bouncy. At one point I was laying down that evening, watching tv, and the hubby sat down quickly and I thought I was going to end up in the closet.

 

 

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Our view out the window

 

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The building directly across from us appeared abandoned and had windows busted out

 

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So after dropping our bags off, it was time to find some lunch. All this being drug off the cruise ship had made us gain an appetite. I knew right away that I wanted to head back to the place we went to last time and get some fish tacos. They were so amazing last time and I had been looking forward to this since we booked the cruise.

 

Kendra had her heart set on taking Billy to Senor Frogs for their spaghetti and MEATBALLS, which is what she got last time and their meatballs are the size of someone's head and stuffed with cheese and she HAD to show him.  The last thing I wanted was regular food/hamburgers.

 

So, we told them we'd meet that back on the streets somewhere after eating and off we went to our place. The menu said Cayo Caribe, but I'm pretty sure that wasn't the name last time we were here but I do know it's the same place. 

 

 

 

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As soon as we sat down and ordered, it started pouring down rain outside. Go figure...nice weather the entire cruise and now this.

 

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So yummy but it is so hard to eat 4 of these things. They need a platter with only 2. They also tasted a little different this time...still good, but a little spicy or hot. .I'm not sure what's different??? But they were still good.

 

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As we were finishing up, I texted Kendra and ask if they were almost done and they said they had just gotten seated...at an entirely different restaurant. WHAT THE HECK????

 

She said they got caught in the rain and it was pouring down so much that they just darted into the first restaurant and that's where they were eating. I have to admit, I wish I would have known this ahead of time because it looked like a fabulous place to eat and the food came out on these skewers that went across something that held the food up in the air. I have no idea what they were called but her picture made it look yummy. 

 

 

Well they were just starting to eat...so it was now sprinkling a little and we decided to head out on our own and they'd just have to catch up.

 

 

 

Edited by mitsugirly
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Now I have to admit that the MAIN reason why I wanted to stay an extra day in OSJ was because I had heard they put up the umbrellas along Fortaleza Street.

 

So I knew that's where we were headed for some pictures. It was beautiful and the sun was out again.

 

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Kendra and family finished up their lunch/dinner and I directed her on how to get there as we moved on to none other than.....

 

 

 

 

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PIGEON PARK OF COURSE!!!

 

Sakari loves this place. 

 

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An all white pigeon.

 

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This was definitely a weird one...red and the only one like that.

 

 

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Then I caught something out of the corner of my eye...the biggest cockroach (I think) ever. It was scurring across the sidewalk. The pictures don't do it justice AT ALL.

 

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Now you can kinda tell from the picture below...these bricks aren't small and look at the size of it.

 

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All these birds and then there's a cat....

 

 

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And then this happened....Sakari the bird whisperer

 

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Kendra and family finally made it and Kam just wasn't sure, at all, about these birds...

 

 

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She finally got used to them...and Shawna back there being calm...for the moment.

 

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Bill got into the action to show Kam it was ok to let them land on her....but she wasn't having it.

 

 

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Sakari found the white one...

 

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This is not the place for someone with a phobia of birds

 

 

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Before long, Shawna was screaming and running for a bench. "I don't like these. I have decided I don't like birds"

 

 

They followed her and Billy decided to throw about a half a bag over that way....Oops LOL

 

 

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Kendra thought she'd pay Billy back for throwing food over by Shawna...only he buster her out coming up around the tree she was hiding behind

 

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We headed out of Pigeon Park and down the street and ended up along the other side of the coast.

 

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My kid has escaped...

 

 

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Ok, they're all down there now....all the adults RUN!!!

 

 

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Brayden caught a lizard

 

 

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Then Sakari caught a crab...but we weren't exactly near the water ....hmmm...

 

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Great views from up here

 

 

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