In 2012, our family suffered a loss. My mother passed away from cancer at the young age of 55. It hit my father, brother and I in different ways. But we came together and agreed on how to spend Christmas in 2012. We went for something new and different. No lights, no Christmas tree and ornaments, no homemade cookies and cakes or sitting around watching Christmas movies. We decided to get out of town and take a 7 day cruise to the Bahamas and US Virgin Islands.

We started the cruise from Miami Beach aboard the Norwegian Epic and then it was off to St. Thomas and St. John and then back to Nassau (with a stop at the Atlantis Resort). I had a always owned a Nikon D90, but eventually purchased a second. I brought it along, almost fresh out of the box, and really had a great vacation with it: