Tuesday, December 9, 2008

11th Anniversary cruise....does he love me??

Okay...the header is a joke....of course he loves me!! For our 11th wedding anniversary Clay surprised me a while back with a cruise to Cozumel on the Carnival Ecstasy. We dropped the kids off with my parents last Wednesday evening and left out for our ship early Thursday morning. The kids, of course, had a great time as we were confident would be the case. Clara did not even miss a beat in her schedule....Meemaw was relieved! The boys even went to a football game with PawPaw. They had an excellent vacation. Clay and I on the other hand.....

We loved snorkeling in Cozumel as before and had a fantastic time together!! We had a nice break from work and the hustle and bustle of daily life. The Carnival Ecstasty on the other hand was something we will not do again!! I am so thankful that this was not my first cruise or it would have been my last cruise!! Clay grew up going on cruises. My family did not. I get seasick pretty easy and on vacation I always enjoy the resort-type rooms and being a bum a lot of the time. It took a while for Clay to convince us that a cruise would be fantastic. So about 3 years ago, Clay, Christian, Cullen and I along with Meemaw and Pawpaw headed out on our first cruise with Clay leading the way. We went on a 7-day Royal Caribbean cruise to Cozumel, Jamaica, and Grand Caymen. Let me tell you it was FANTASTIC!! The ship was great, service excellent, food fantastic, and our ports of call were wonderful!!! We were ready to do it all again. The kids loved it!! Meemaw and Pawpaw loved it so much they came back and then cruised to Alaska with friends not too long after that.
On the Ecstasy, as soon as we stepped on board the tacky decor, stinch of stale cigarettes slammed you in the face. Our room had a pretty bad odor of stale smoke and "nursing home" scent that lingered. I was not impressed at first to say the least. I opened up my closet and there were some bathrobes there for our "pleasure" that WREAKED of smoke. That was the smoke culprit for the room. We had our room attendant remove those and then we removed the bag mat they place on the bed for luggage when coming on board and that was the lovely odor of "nursing home" removed from our room. We then sprayed Clay's cologne all over the room and wallah!! much better!! Our room was actually pretty clean and the room attendant did very well and was pretty friendly. (Let me remind you the staff did not come close to competing with the wonderful staff on board Royal Caribbean. How could they? The staff of Carnival was completely overworked and understaffed!) Clay got us a room with a window and that was very nice! Here is a shot of the room and our little bed animal of the evening. I think our attendant missed the bed animal class to learn anything more than this cute elephant and a weird looking stingray or seal...couldn't figure that one out.
Thursday the boat got way too rough and we ended up leaving dinner early and went back to the room. I was so scared I was going to be seasick this whole trip. This is a much older boat with less stability technology I guess but most of the trip was great weather and we still rocked, swayed, and stumbled our way around ship. Uggggghhhh....I get queasy thinking about it. Also for those of you that know me at all....for me to skip a meal you KNOW I was SICK!! The food also was nothing to write home about and was less than average. We ended up buying milkshakes from the coffee bar on board. After spending that money to have to buy milkshakes and desserts stunk!! Friday was better and tolerable. The boat still swayed and moved a bit but nothing like trip-over-yourself Thursday!! The shows resembled something I did in middle school show choir. The cruise director was funny and a very talented man but he cannot do it all!! One man can only do so much to salvage that stuff.

We got off the ship very happily Saturday morning in Cozumel. We were greeted with these great looking people! This is a view of our ship alongside another Carnival boat. Cozumel made our trip again! We did not plan on doing an excursion because we have done most of it before. Last time we had the kids with us and were unable to do some of the snorkeling b/c they wouldn't allow kids under a certain age. Our kids swim better than most adults and we knew this but you cannot explain that to people and I don't blame them for being cautious. We ended up doing an underwater SNUBA or BOB think that made me puke and a puny little snorkel trip. Meemaw and Pawpaw on the other hand had a great snorkel experience because they went on a different reef farther out that wouldn't allow kids under 10. Well, we remembered this time and set out to find something similar since it was Clay and I. We SUCCEEDED!! We found a great guy that signed us up on shore that was cheaper than the other excursions. There were only 4 other people with us and they were a family. It was GREAT!!! We made 3 stops. We started off small and it just kept getting better and better. The fish were plentiful. Right at the end of our snorkel trip we encountered the largest school of fish I have EVER seen! I have only seen school of fish like this on TV. More fish than you could ever count. And who was smack dab in the middle, perfectly surrounded by these fish.....a BARRACUDA!!! It was FANTASTIC! He was about 4-feet long from what we could tell. The school of fish was so large that our guide dove amongst some of them and they parted like the Great Sea without even coming close to the other part of the school and Barracuda. It was AMAZING!! It is wonderful to see God's handy work even in places we forget about on a typical daily basis. That made our trip all worth it!! You should have heard us underwater screaming at each other.....all mumbled through our mouthpieces...."Mmmm, MMMMM, oook bawacuuudaaaa......" Okay, that was my best online sound out I could give to you that can't hear me in person.....LOL Ha, Ha. I think that cracks me the most while snorkeling with someone you are close with....screaming at each other underwater and pointing to all the cool stuff you see. Tap, tap, tapping on each other's shoulders all the time.

After our underwater adventure we then proceeded to buy the kids their surprises for back home and a little trinket mug for Meemaw and Pawpaw. The boys got a zip-up hoodie that is white and has Cozumel and a map on it. We also got them friendship bracelets. We got Clara the cutest little Mexican dress that is a size 3 so maybe next summer she will debut it. We also got her a musical instrument with bells on it and she LOVES it!! I will try to get the video up soon.

After that we went and ate at Three Amigos...it was delicioso!! Weird paying for chips and salsa though....Here was the view from our table.

It is absolutely beautiful!! The water has more blues in it that you ever dreamed God could create. In the background was where we went snorkeling. It is hard to imagine that all that wonderful world is just below the surface!!

Here is a guy we ran into and I had to get pics for the kids. The boys love Pirates of the Caribbean (finally let them watch it). He is a real person. I have video that I hope to have soon. Just check in from time to time in the videos up at the top of the blog on the right. I hopefully will have them there in the next day or two. After our day in Cozumel ended...all too soon....we took the easy way out and rode in these little bikes.

This is the only pic of Clay and I together....sad I know. We should have asked but just said we will wait until next time and that time never came. This is the sunset on the way back. Magnificent!This is the boat we wish we would have been getting back on!! Royal Caribbean!!

Of course we enjoyed our time together and the break from the hustle and bustle of everything.....it just was no thanks to Carnival. We cannot wait to go on another cruise but have the kids with us. We also want to drag along Meemaw and Pawpaw if they want to again and Matt & Candy if Matt can leave work at the same time as Clay.

I am so grateful God has blessed me with a wonderful, loving, caring husband that could not be a better father! We have been married 11 years and God has given us many, many blessings and 3 miracles!! I look forward to spending the rest of my life with this magnificent man that God made just for me. Thank you Clay!!! I love you so much and am so grateful for who you are and how hard you work for us!! Thank you for loving us with all of your heart and soul!!

Here are some quick shots from getting the kids at Meemaw and Pawpaw's house....we played some football while standing around outside and Clara just fell in love with the leaves her oldest brother raked up for her. The first shot is Clara seeing her bell instrument for the first time...she got the biggest kick from that thing. She was in a good mood even though we woke her from a quick nap.

NOTE to readers****I tried to make this post as clear as possible. I am trying to blog, cook dinner, and was watching Clara all at the same time....my mind just cannot multitask well.

II NOTE** Notice Clara's teeth in her smile. She had her 4th tooth come through all the way while we were gone. She is looking so much older. She only has the 2 on bottom and 2 on top now. She is freely giving kisses more and more often. I have gotten 2 today!! This is a HUGE step for her....she is too busy to slow down for kisses for the most part! =)


The Bobo Buzz said...

I'm so glad yall had an.."okay" time! ;) It makes me feel better anyway.. lol! YES we want to go on the next..that is of course, if Matt's big bad boss let's him off!! ;)
On a serious note, glad yall enjoyed yall's little getaway, but were happy to have yall back!! love ya!

Amy and Kyle said...

I hate that after all of that it just an ok time. All the work your hubby put into it and you were only ok with it. That stinks!

I bet your babies were happy to see you. Did Clara just cling to you? I figured she wouldn't let you out of her site!

Glad you made it back safely! We need to get together this break. We are out until the 1st of January. Maybe we can get together the week after Christmas? What do you think?

Please give the boys and little Clara love for me. Tell Clay hello. Give me a call!

Miss you guys!
Amy and Kyle

Amy and Kyle said...

...sorry it took so long to respond. we have been very sick and i had finals. trying to clean houses for some Christmas money.

but....here i am NOW!! :o)

lots of love........

Mikki said...

Hey Amy, long time no talk...;) We had a great time together and I am always grateful for my Clay! We were both let down by Carnival in itself and were hoping for more from them. But our time together was precious and well deserved!

Clara did absolutely wonderful! She stayed right on schedule and has grown out of her stranger phase and Meemaw and Pawpaw's is just another house she has with extra toys, more than usual attention and her Pawpaw lives there...She adores him!! She adores Meemaw too but we have to give a little credit...she is the first grandbaby to fall in love with Pawpaw before Meemaw....LOL Pawpaw was the first "grown-up" that she kissed. She always kisses her baby dolls and kissed baby Addi once but never a grown up. Pawpaw loved that one!!

We are not really taking a break from school but the boys no that they can get their school done and then play. They can stay up later as long as they have a good attitude the next day. Maybe we can arrange something and just hang out here.