Saturday, March 31, 2018

March Extras

It's monthly round-up time---for all those pictures that I take who don't get a post for one reason or another, mainly because I just don't have the time. 

Late night Mizzou girls basketball game with my buddy.

Visiting one of my favorite people in the whole wide world-Papa Richard.

Trenton LOVED following Kaden around.

Cousin Lovin'

Date night included the season opener for Sporting KC--it was a tad cold so we had to make a few purchases.

Hitting lessons for Lil South --he's determined to get a few more doubles this year. 

2nd grade Market Day item -- the Kindness Fortune Cookie, with a twist.
Amy's Heart of Gold Dodgeball Tournament benefiting a few of the boys' school friends.

Sunday Funday with the Walshes
Cookie dough obsessed!

Saturday, March 17, 2018

SB2018 - Comes To An End

Our last day at sea was not only Breakfast with Dr. Suess and St. Patrick's Day, it was also Justin and I's 10 year anniversary. It's crazy to think that we've been married for 10 years and that the boys are 8 and 6, almost 9 and 7 but here we are. We're pretty blessed.

So, yeah, we ate breakfast with Thing 1 and Thing 2--Cat in the Hat and Sam I am came along too.

The boys enjoyed the slides for one last day -- even got Justin and I on them a couple more times. I played mini-golf one on one with each of the boys. They played more ping pong but we ended up calling it an early day at the pools -- it was hot and we were all pretty cranky and Logan got a bloody nose from not paying attention and hitting his head on a railing. We didn't want to force more sunshine so we didn't. We spent the afternoon resting & then took in dinner out by the pool where we watched Ferdinand--one of our favorite movies as of late. Oh and one last ice cream cone for Logan.

We were up Sunday before the sun even came up. We had a flight before noon which allowed us to be among the first to get off the ship. The catch, we had to carry all our luggage on our own. The boys were troopers-especially Kaden-and we stepped off the ship about 7:30 and we were on our way home. A quick layover in Dallas--where we got to see Derrick Johnson--and we were home by 5. The entire ride home the boys talked about how much they missed Gus and Stoli and how Stoli was going to be happiest to see Logan since she sleeps with him now. I'm not sure who was more excited, the dogs or us. As great of a time we had, it was still nice to be home.

Friday, March 16, 2018

SB2018 - Port Three - Cozumel

Buenos Dias Cozumel.

When we returned to our room after having been in Honduras we noticed there had been a piece of paper slipped under our door. CANCELED was written at the top of the paper. I scanned the rest of the document for more information -- the short story, due to safety concerns inland at Cozumel our Amazing River Cave excursion was canceled. The cruise line along with the US government did not want to take any chances when it came to local ferries being attacked due to recent drug cartel turmoil which I can respect so we needed a plan b. 

Plan B was Isla Pasion -- it was another beach day but we were all on board. The sand looked soft and the waters were crystal blue. We'd be okay with this and the boys, well, they'd get to use that bucket again and maybe build a real sand castle this time.

We were picked up at the port of Cozumel by another boat and found ourselves on about a 20 minute boat ride to this private island. The private island offered all you could eat and drink, carnival like games for the kids and soooo much sand. It was a beautiful island.

They played in the ocean.

We built sand castles--bigger and better than the day before.

We saw iguanas and swung in hammocks.

We took obligatory pictures.

 A little over 10 years ago we sat on a beach not too different from this and used a photo, not too different from this, as our Save the Dates. So much has changed but yet so much hasn't.

Photo Cred: Logan South

Our time on our little island of paradise had come to an end. We packed up our belongings, handed our bucket & shovels to a family who was arriving and boarded our boat taxi which would take us back to the port. We had hoped to sit on the back of the boat again and one of the crews said we could but the captain asked us and a few others to move inside, which we politely followed his request. It wasn't 5 minutes into the trip and I looked down to this. He's still little enough to crawl into my lap for a little nap. As if the trip wasn't already perfect.

We landed back at the port and decided to do a little shopping. The boys were still on the hunt for their little souvenir but Justin and I had a little something more planned for them. On the boat ride back we sat next to this wonderful family. We have ran into them multiple times while on the cruise. The boys watched them play ping pong and they event help teach the boys how to play -- they were a little older than Justin and I and then probably my mom and dad's age too. Anyways, as we were exiting the boat taxi, they stopped to tell Justin and I how wonderful the boys are. How they have been the most polite boys each and every time they have seen us. How they have given them a new found hope for the younger generations and that we should be proud as their parents. 

We were. Words like that mean the world.

We walked up to Del Sol & the boys minds were BLOWN by the magic. They both found a shirt that they wanted and then I suggested they get a hat too -- I may end up wearing the hat at some point, they are pretty freaking awesome. The excitement of the magic NEVER wore off. 

We were loving our time in Cozumel but sadly, it was up and it was time to board our ship and head back to New Orleans. We took one last picture with our ship behind us -- it's been a great ship to us these past few years and we look forward to future voyages, if not on the Dream, definitely with Carnival.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

SB2018 - Port Two - Belize

Good {very early} Morning Belize. 

Port two was our only beach day of the trip -- until our Cozumel excursion was canceled, more on that later -- the boys were super stoked. We were headed to a tiny island called Starfish Island. There was no "port" the ship had to "dock" 5 miles out to sea because the reefs are so fragile near the mainland so we were picked up by little boat taxis--it was a beautiful boat ride.

We arrived at Starfish Island first and had our pick of chairs. We found a couple chairs and then the boys saw it, the water trampoline, think Ninja Warrior course on water. They were all about it--thankfully there were a couple really great kiddos that would help Logan pull himself up on the course when he fell off.

Next thing I know, a mom is out playing with her kids. I look at Justin and say, I can't let her be out there as I sit here, I'm going in. So I joined the boys and let me tell you, I was SOOO sore for the next three days. I couldn't believe it--I hardly did anything, guess that just shows how out of shape I am.

After a good hour on the obstacle course we headed back to our chairs and the boys played on the beach which was more like a beach of shells than sand. Thankfully we all had our water shoes. As the boys played, I went exploring, it wasn't a huge island and I had been told there was a place where you could see and hold starfish. Once again, Kaden didn't want anything to do with it but Logan, he followed my lead. 

This picture is one of my favorite pictures of the boys from the trip. Here's why. We didn't have any sort of sand castle building materials and they were making the most of the plastic cups we had but come on we were on vacation. Logan asked to go to the gift shop and see if there was anything we could buy--we told them we would get them something at each of our stops, if it wasn't crazy expensive. So I agreed, we walked through it and there really just wasn't much there, except a bucket. I didn't check the price, I kind of just shook my head and said, we didn't need to get a bucket. He was sad. Disappointed. Even a little whiny. He threw a little fit and of course since it was vacation I gave in. I told him that I wasn't sure of the price but that if it was under $10 then he could have it but he would have to take his dad. If it was more than $10, then sorry, it wasn't meant to be. He and Justin went back to the store and he walked straight to it, held it up and asked the nice lady how much it was--he actually only had $8--she said it was $5. Justin said the biggest smile he has ever smiled instantly grew on his face. He whipped out $5 handed it to the lady but Justin quickly reminded him that there was a line. That didn't stop anything, everyone in the line was smiling after watching Logan light up over a bucket that they all just told him to go ahead. He handed over that money and to beach he marched. He was the proud new owner of a bucket. With a rake and shovel.

The boat that would take us from the island back to our ship left a little after 1 so we gathered near to ensure we weren't stuck in the bottom of the boat. We lucked out and were able to sit on the very back, it was hot but the view was worth it. Port two was a great success.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

SB2018 - Port One - Mahogany Bay, Isla Rotan

Buenos Dias Honduras. 

After two and half days at sea we were finally seeing land again-we woke in beautiful Mahogany Bay, Isla Rotan -- Honduras. This would be the first of our three ports & probably would be the port that had the excursion we were most excited about which meant we were all SUPER excited to get off the boat. As our captain backed our boat into position and brought it to a stop we were planning our morning. We had to meet for our excursion after lunch so we had about 4 hours to waste--but we weren't going to waste them, we were going to ROCK them. 

First thing first---a picture--it's a must. 

The port here at Mahogany Bay wasn't much to write home about--it wasn't horrible, there just wasn't a lot to do and there was zero food, which we didn't realize until it was too late. As soon as we got off the boat we noticed there was a chairlift that would take us to a private beach. It was only about a 15 minute round trip so we totally had time to put our toes in the sand. So we did.

The boys LOVE the beach. They love running in and out of the water and they love building sand castles. These boys are funny--they are either the best of friends or the worst of enemies, thankfully we see more of the best of friends side.

While we were on this little island and the boys were playing in the sand Justin went exploring to see what there was to do. He came back telling me about FISH THERAPY. What?! They have it here--Yes, Please! I wasn't the only one that was curious, Lil Logie jumped right up and actually was the first to go. His facial expressions were amazing, and the little giggle--I mean, STOP!

Then it was Justin and I's turn -- it was so weird. Not super ticklish but ticklish for sure.

We decided to eat lunch back on the ship, it was a short walk from the port and we really didn't have many options at the port--we left them all behind at the beach and by the time we left the beach, it was PACKED--we wouldn't have been getting our food anytime soon.

As we stepped back off the ship, we were in a complete downpour. We made the most of it, I mean, we already had our suits on, what was there to lose.

The sun started to come out as we loaded in the buses and we were keeping our fingers crossed it would continue--we were headed to meet our new friend. Sadly, the rain continued but it was only a drizzle and the show went on. 

We arrived to our destination and another boat came to pick us up for a short little ride, which was just charming. 

And then there they were--dolphins. We were swimming with dolphins today.

Both boys requested to do this excursion and honestly, I was totally for it too, so was Justin. However, I knew there was a chance that Kaden wouldn't be all about it when we got there. Sadly, I was right. Kaden isn't one who adjusts quickly to new situations. He likes to know what is happening, when it is happening. He likes to be prepared, in control. Honestly, he gets that from his momma but where I can talk myself into letting go and relaxing or my curiosity overtakes my fear, he just isn't there yet. He really didn't even want to come into the water BUT he did. He held Justin and I's hands (we were suppose to hold hands and stand shoulder to shoulder) and he stood right there by us as Maury, our new friend, showed off. As Maury would swim by for a rub down (that just doesn't seem right to say) he would put his hand on top of my hand to "pet" her. I tried pulling my hand away but he was too smart for that. When it came time for the "kiss" and the family picture with Maury he was a HARD NO. I explained that he didn't have to do the "kiss" picture but if he would be so proud of himself if he pushed through to try and stand by Justin during our family picture. He wanted to try.  

And he did great! He wasn't right next to Maury but he was as close as he felt comfortable and actually got closer than I thought he would without Justin and I being able to hold onto him. He was so proud of himself and I couldn't have been more proud of him too.

After each family got their picture taken with Maury we got to use our own phones to capture a few tricks. One of Maury's specialties is picking up a "present" and presenting it to someone in the group. The trainer doesn't give Maury specific instructions on who, she gets to choose. Justin and I both looked at each other and just knew that she would choose Kaden but thankfully, she chose Logan who was all about it. Logan had to take the present--a rock from the ocean floor--from Maury's mouth. What a cool experience for him & I got to capture the whole thing with my phone.

We finished our time with the dolphins and headed back to the ship & on the way back, the rain showed us who was boss. It was another HUGE downpour. We made a run for the port & tried to hang out in the store before boarding the ship but honestly, it was crowded so we just went for it again. We went straight to the room, showered and got on CLEAN, dry clothes for dinner, which was highlighted by a rainbow. I proceeded to tell the story of why rainbows exist--something I do most every time I see one but I love it. The kids and Justin--ya, ya, ya.