We've just returned from the most fabulous vacation. We went on a cruise to Mexico, thanks to my wonderful parents! I have a ton of pictures. Today, I'll start you off on our trip. I'll try to give you the second half tomorrow.
After Christmas, we put away the snowsuits and pulled out the shorts and flip-flops. A week seemed like a year for the kids, however, for me, it seemed like 5 minutes with all the packing that had to be done. Just to start off the list, I had to locate, wash and fold
-77 pairs of underwear,
-42 pairs of socks,
-63 play outfits,
-35 church outfits,
-21 pairs of shoes, and
-countless hair things.
I sent the boys to begin packing, but quickly found that I was going to have to take over Mikey's bag since a few stole aways found their way in...
(note the plastic army knife that he packed, as well. I'm sure that would have gone over real big with Homeland Security.)
After the craziness of packing, we were ready to go. Our plane was scheduled to leave from Boston at 6:30 Saturday morning, so we went up and spent Friday night in a hotel. We climbed into the car and I said to Joel, "I feel like we're forgetting something." I could not think of what was being left behind.
We arrived in Boston around 6:00. So, we checked into our room, and then headed out for dinner.
We found a wonderful, New England restaurant right next door. They had the most delicious seafood.
As we were eating, I looked up on the big screen t.v and caught this on the news.
Thankfully, we beat that storm!
Conveniently enough, there was a candy store right next to the restaurant. This was our next stop.
When we walked in, it smelled like "Charlie and the Chocolate factory"...ok, not that I've ever smelled the movie, but I have seen it and like all of you, I've wished it was a scratch and sniff movie. If it was, surely, this place would be what it would smell like! Oh the choices....
After we loaded our children with sugar, we headed back to our hotel to put them to bed. We were getting up early so we need a good night's rest...did I say a good night's rest? The sleeping arrangements were, well....shall I say a little cramped. See that spot open next to Emma? That would be where Joel and I squeezed in.
Morning could not have come quick enough! I literally woke up every 27 minutes! We rolled out of bed, brushed the teeth...remember I said, "I felt like we were forgetting something?" -Guess who forgot her toothbrush?
Finally! the day we've been waiting for. We were on our way to Florida! Emma and I sat together. As the plane was taxing before take off, we had an interesting conversation:
When the plane landed, we were so excited! We knew that once this shuttle ride was over, and the doors opened, we were going to find Dad and Mom waiting for us!
We hugged and made quite the scene for the those who were sitting on the sidelines. After that, we grabbed our luggage and went outside to load up the cars. (yes, they had to bring two cars because we don't all fit in one)
Dad took us to a yummy place for lunch. Mom and I went shopping, and got some last minute stuff for the cruise.
The next day was Sunday. You know you're in Florida when you can walk right outside and pick oranges off the tree for breakfast.
We loved visiting Dad and Mom's church and we were blessed by the message that their pastor gave. That afternoon, we loaded up in the motor home to take the first leg of the trip. Our cruise was leaving from Mobile, Alabama. -10 hours away!
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9....we're all here and ready for take off.
Traveling in the motor home was so much fun! It really did make the time pass quickly. No need to stop for potty breaks, we're bringing the potty with us.
No need to pull over for naps, we've got the bed back here.
No need to stop for snacks, we've got the kitchen on board, as well!
This was a neat rest area. Matthew loves planes and along the way, we found a preserved "Blue Angel plane." -very cool for the men folk traveling with us. I just wanna know if there's a good vending machine.
We arrived in Alabama. I couldn't believe the size of the ship. It looked like a huge building, sitting in the water.
We're here!!!!! We're actually on a cruise heading for Mexico!!!
One of the first things I did on the ship was this...
(dedicated to you, DeAnna)
As we set sail that evening, we enjoyed the most beautiful sunset.
It truly was magical!
It was fun exploring all that there was to do on the ship.
It didn't take the kids long to find the water slide, game room and king size chess game.
In a few hours, we were so far away from land, you couldn't see anything but blue wavy water.
It was about this time that Annie found out there was a kid's program called, "Camp Carnival." It was jam packed full of activities from make your own pizza to miniature golf. Joel and I were thrilled to hear of this. We were actually going to get some alone time! Annie...not so thrilled. She's the baby, and she feels the most secure when she is with Daddy and Mommy, so she took the news rather hard.
like ridiculously hard...
life, as she knew it was over...
No worries though, Joel assured her of the fun she was going to have and that we'd be right back to pick her up.
Things ended up just fine. (that night!)
Dinner was a special time each day where we could get dressed up. The food was oustanding! And of course, there was always entertainment in the dining room.
Annie made friends with our waitress, "Su-Su." As a matter of fact, it wasn't long before the whole staff on the ship knew Annie by name. I told Joel that I'm beginning to feel like we're holding hands with a celebrity. Everywhere we went, "Annie! Hiii!"
Oh and trust me, Annie thought she was a celebrity, too! One night as we were all sitting around the fancy dinner table. Su-Su came over with a basket of rolls. She carefully placed a warm roll on each of our beautiful white dishes with the shiny, silver tongs. When she got to Annie, she said, "Princess, would you like some bread?" Annie scanned the basket for the biggest roll and said, "Shor." Then, without hesitation, she stuck her grubby hand into the forbidden basket of bread, grabbed her roll and put it on her plate. I thought our waitress was going to die laughing. (Excuse us, but we're used to McDonalds. No one serves us our happy meals with sterling silver tongs at that place!)
More to come tomorrow. :o)