I've been too busy to put up a proper write-up of them, but we took two vacations between jobs: one to the Caribean, and the other to visit family up in Canada for Mom's birthday. Pictures are available at those two links. Warning, this is a long post, and if you don't know us, you'll probably be bored to tears reading it.
The trip to the Caribbean was somewhat planned; we knew we'd have a bit of time between jobs, so we made some last-minute reservations for the airfare and cruise, and off we went. First stop was Puerto Rico; we stayed for a couple of days in Old San Juan, while waiting for American Airlines to find find our lost luggage. Sporting some of the finest t-shirt shop fashions, we left port aboard the Royal Caribbean "Adventure of the Seas" without my clothes, which showed up that night, thanks in no small part to some great efforts by Royal Caribbean and the wonderful hotel we stayed at, El Convento.
The next day was at sea, and I was already starting to show signs of some kind of cold or flu. The following day, we pulled into Aruba, and I was well and truly sick. So, of course, we went diving; best dive ever. I paid dearly for it, but I wouldn't have missed that wreck dive for anything. We stumbled around the downtown area a bit afterward (Erica taking pictures, me trying to remain upright), and packed it in for the day.
Day three was Curacao, which is an absolutely gorgeous island. Punto, the downtown area, is incredibly colorful, and the floating market is really something to see; it's a farmer's market, writ huge, with boats. ;-) We spent most of the day snapping pictures and wandering around, and really didn't have anything scheduled for that day other than just relaxing a bit. I'd started feeling a bit better that day too, although Erica was starting to catch whatever I had by this point.
After that we stopped in St. Maarten did a bit of shopping right off the water taxi; Erica practiced her negotiating skills in a camera shop, and we both bought far more chocolate than we should have at the Belgian Chcolate Box.
Our final destination was St. Thomas, and we spent most of the day playing tourist; we took an island tour that took us to a few scenic overlooks, gave us a good amount of time to splash around at Megan's Bay Beach, and then ended up to at Blackbeard's Castle for a historical tour. The next day, we arrived back in Puerto Rico, and had another day of flying back to Chicago.
Our second trip was almost completely unplanned; we grabbed last-minute flights to Saskatchewan to visit Mom for her birthday and Christmas, which ended up getting the whole family together: all of my brothers and my sister were able to be there for Mom's birthday. We spend a week up there doing practically nothing but helping Mom, taking pictures, and eating too much. :-)