Sunday, March 17, 2019

This is ELEVEN

The past two years we have celebrated our anniversary aboard a cruise ship, this year we would disembarking early in the morning and then headed back to Fort Lauderdale for the afternoon.

We weren't sure what the afternoon would entail but we decided to find a beach. The boys the love the beach and I don't hate it.

The boys played on the beach and in the water for a few hours and then we walked around the boardwalk for a little. This picture represents what the last 11 years has been about. We've gone through the ups and the downs that marriage can bring but our greatest achievement as husband and wife is raising these two boys. We aren't perfect. They aren't perfect. But we make perfect sense as a family. We lift one another up when it's needed and we are there to ground one another when that is needed too. There is honestly no place I'd rather be than with them & I am so thankful that I have Justin by my side every step of the way. I couldn't, nor would I want to, do life without him.

Happy 11th Anniversary & Happy St. Patrick's Day. Cheers to many more spent with us four.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Souths Sail the Horizon - Curacao

Good afternoon, Curacao!

Stop #3 was to the beautiful island of Curacao, however, we wouldn't be arriving until after lunch which gave us plenty of time to enjoy a quiet morning at see. Kaden decided to join me for a little breakfast on the Lido & a little soccer pool to get the day going. 

The morning seemed to kind of drag in anticipation for our port but it was certainly worth the wait. Curacao was prettiest of them all. We had booked a mini-jeep excursion but there were some mechanical issues and our excursion was canceled, leaving us with zero plans. We had tried to book a beach excursion but they were sold out so we decided to wing it. We got a couple names of beaches from the adventures desk & headed off the ship, jumped in a cab and he said to avoid those beaches and he'd take us to a closer one that was less crowded. We were all for that. I texted my cousin to where we were headed and then ended up joining us too. 

Blue Bay Beach was our destination and it did not disappoint. Probably one of the best days on our vacation because we had family, sun, the beach and a few drinks.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Souths Sail the Horizon - Hello La Ramona

Good morning, La Romana.

We didn't really have much planned for this stop, in fact we were planning on just hopping off the boat for a quick second, stepping foot into the Dominican Republic & then getting right back on the boat but as we were disembarking they mentioned a little train ride around the city. We figured it would be short so why not but first pictures!

The nice thing about not having anything planned is that we could take our time getting off and on the ship. We ate breakfast without rushing and slowly made our way down to the deck 0 to hop off the boat. As were were waiting in line we ran into my cousin and her boys so we just hopped in the train line with them and on we went. The train ride was NOTHING to write home about. It did provide some humbling moments and hopefully some thankful moments for the kids but outside of watching people run along side the train to sell you anything from cigars to necklaces to sodas and water, we didn't see much. It wasn't the longest ride so we were back in a matter of 30 minutes to do a little shopping before jumping back on the boat for lunch. It was Guy's Burgers for us all. 

Since we were at port and the ship was basically empty the boys took advantage of the no lines and went on the ropes course. And by boys, I mean, Logan, Colton and Dane--Kaden was enjoying soccer pool with Luke. Logan was a little timid the first time through but that second time around he flew through it and my worries and concerns were long gone. 

We typically don't do dinner in the main dining room when we are at port but since we were on the boat so early we decided to take advantage of a quiet dining room. The boys all found their love for salmon and crackers again and I'm pretty sure each ate their weight in chicken nuggets. I may have done the same with the shrimp cocktail. 

Monday, March 11, 2019

Souths Sail the Horizon - Hello Grand Turk & a sweet surprise

Good Morning Grand Turk. 

When we were in the Bahamas two years ago I started making the boys go out on the balcony and take a picture of us arriving and we continued with that tradition this trip to. We arrived in Grand Turk nice and early and we had a nice and early excursion too, it was a grand excursion but the boys, Colton and Logan, were looking forward to it. Justin and I would be tagging along too and Kaden had the chance, he just didn't want to do it and he had just pushed through on the SkyRide so we gave him the pass. We followed the crowd off the ship, walked through Margaritaville and headed over to the FlowRider. A wave simulator. This should be fun.

And it was. It was hard work too but I was proud of myself and of Justin, actually, Justin killed it and was pretty much able to do everything they asked him to do. He, Logan and Colton even went back for a second round and tried the surfing part--I was happy with getting to my knees on the kneeboard.   On Logan's second time around he actually stood up (with some assistance) and then held on to it for a few seconds before his epic wipeout, thankfully, he popped right up with a smile on his face.

In between the two outings we headed to the beach which was a very short walk and hung out. The water in Grand Turk was some of the bluest water I have ever seen. Kaden was right at home on the beach. He could be on the beach every single day and never get tired of it. I think I could too.

One of the biggest and best things about this cruise happened during this excursions. We found out two days before the cruise began that my cousin, Melanie, and her family were also cruising on this ship, AT THE SAME TIME. We had no clue but we were both sooo excited about it. They too were doing the FlowRider so we decided to meet up there and from that point on the boys were all inseparable. These boys are third cousins and haven't seen each other in over 4 years and have really never spent any sort of time together so knowing that this all happened by chance was something pretty special. It still makes me smile from ear to ear. 

We weren't at Grand Turk long, we had to get back on the ship by 2:00 but we headed that way a little early in hopes that we could find some good seats on the sun deck. Grabbed some lunch and then the boys, all six of them --- Kaden, Logan, Colton, Drew, Dane and Luke --- were off. And while they were off, the momma's went and played too. Becky and I did the SkyRide and then I got to do the SkyRopes with Mindy, Craig's youngest daughter. We ended the evening with some ice cream, a movie and some popcorn. Perfect ending to a great first port.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Souths Sail the Horizon- Sea Day One

It was our first day in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. I decided to get up nice and early and save a few deck chairs for everyone who was sleeping in so I was up and enjoying the sun by 7:30 and the rest of the group joined me about 8:15. We grabbed breakfast--cereal for the boys since they don't typically get it at home--oatmeal and french toast with blueberry compote, I had been looking forward to this for a little while now! After breakfast it was a full day of sun--and we underestimated it's power and strength that day.

This ship, the Horizon, had a lot more "toys" on it than our last ship. It had a whole sky course-the SkyRide, the SkyRopes, SkyCourt for basketball, SkyGolf, Sky SoccerPool and more. The only one that was tall enough for the SkyRide was Kaden and he wasn't too thrilled to go on it but when I asked he said, okay. We got to the front of the line and he was nervous and said that he didn't know if he could do it. I told him that I was nervous too but it was a good nervous, it was that kind of nervousness that you want to push through and overcome. He watched as a few more went and then it was our turn, he got up there, got buckled in and they told us we could go. We started out and the FEAR set in. I stayed right with him but I could tell that all he wanted to do was turn back but sadly, turning back wasn't an option, we just had to keep moving forward, so he did. Slowly and with tears but we were moving, until we weren't. He stopped right above the SkyCourt and he proclaimed he couldn't do it any more, so we put on the brakes and we gathered our strength and our courage & we peddled one foot at a time. At the back of the ship, halfway around, we were no longer side by side, we were on top of one another and I couldn't see anything but I kept talking to him. As we rounded the corner there were no more tears, there were actual smiles and he finished strong with not a single tear on his face. He got off and stated he was never doing that again. Again, is the key, he had already done it and he didn't let fear get the best of him. I was so incredibly proud of him. 

& then he wanted to play mini-golf--whatever you'd like good sir.

That evening was our first formal night too. How cute of these three? It was so much fun having family on this trip with us and watching these three bond a little more. Little did we know, we had lots of family on this ship and a whole lot of fun was headed our way. 

Same shirt. Same jacket. Same bowtie. Three years in a row.