We got home Saturday night, after an 850 mile drive in 13 hours ... with a stop for breakfast & 2 stops for gas/potty & stretching the legs. We didn't even stop for dinner until we were 2 miles from the house & we stopped at our local Subway! We were off the ship & in our car at 7:00 a.m. Saturday morning, & in our kitchen at a couple of minutes after 8 that night. We skipped church Sunday, we hadn't quite gotten our land legs back after all the riding and we were just so exhausted. We spend the day unpacking, doing laundry & trying to relax a bit. Dh went back to work yesterday and also went on-call; I spent the day paying bills (payday was last Friday), catching up on email, going through our mail, and various other things. This morning I'm going to try and do a little catching up here, but I won't have a lot of time to on as much as usual. I have to go to the grocery store & run a couple errands.
We headed out for our son's house in Florida as soon as dh got home from work Tues. the 17th; we stopped for a quick dinner at a Waffle House somewhere in NC and then drove on to Latte, SC (around the Myrtle Beach area) where I'd made a reservation at a Best Western for the night, we got there about 9:30 or so. Got up & had a 'continental breakfast' & headed back out about 7:30. We got to our son's about 5:00 or so. Had a nice visit, dinner, and then went on to our hotel. We don't stay with them; it would be to hectic at their house & with the 3 kids they no longer have a guest room & we don't want to take our grandson's room from him. We just rest better in a hotel. We can sleep til we want and then we do what we want during the morning and go over in the afternoon. Cammy & the twins have their regular routine during the morning, Tanner is in school & Mike is at work; we have the afternoon (later afternoons) all together & the evenings. We had a great time with them. We got to watch Tanner play his little league game Thursday night. Unfortunately his isn't quite into it like Mike was, which somewhat breaks Mike's heart although he understands not every little boy is going to love it (Mike is the one that played pro ball). Friday Mike got off early & they let Tanner come home from school early. Dh & Mike watched the kids & Cammy & I went and got a pedi ... it's become a tradition for us, something we really enjoy doing together. We stayed a bit later that night since it was our last night with them. Tanner really had a hard time when it came time to saying goodbye; he hated that we were leaving again ... naturally it made me cry when we got back in the car. He's the grandchild we see the least b/c he lives the fartherst, but he is also the one we are the closest to; he shows us the most affection.
We got up early Sat. & headed out for Port Canaveral, with a stop at a Dunkin Donuts for coffee & donuts. We made it to the ship in about 3 hours and b/c my travel agent had arranged for a wheel chair & assistance to get on/off, once we got the luggage unloaded, while Carroll went & parked the car a porter went & got a wheelchair & pusher for me. By the time Carroll got back the pusher was just getting to me. From there the pusher took us right through to a waiting area. It wasn't long before another one came to take us to get us all registered and then to the waiting are for boarding. When it was announced that the Captain had announced that boarding could start an hour early (at 11:00 instead of the scheduled noon), pushers started taking the wheelchair people (there were maybe 8-10). I liked that when they took us on, or mine at least, gave us a little tour of level 3 (the boarding level), which was the 'lobby' area; he showed us the guest services, the theater, the atrium, some restrooms, and the excrusion reservations area. Then he told us where the Lido deck was located, which is where the main pool is & where the main buffett is located & where lunch was getting ready to be served. We weren't allowed in our staterooms until 1:30. Then I was out of my wheelchair & on my own ... with my dh & cane. We went on up to the 10th level, to the Lido deck and got a nice table & waited a few minutes until they opened the buffett & then we had lunch. We had been keeping in touch with Diana & Skip (my bff & her dh) by cell & when they were on board, she texted & we told them where we were; dh went to the front of the pool to meet them so they wouldn't have to hunt us down in the buffett area. They got their lunch & we caught up on vacations before getting on the ship. When we were allowed up to our rooms we headed up; our staterooms were next door to each other. We decided to get settled in & rest a bit before heading out to check out the spa package we had gotten with our upgraded room. That made the upgrade worth it we decided; at least Diana, dh & I did ... her dh is a bit of spoilsport at times & only went up there 2x, but we just let him sit in the room or go off to the designated are & smoke his pipe. We then went & changed for dinner; I won't go into to whole story, but after seeing where Diana's travel agent had gotten our dinner reservations, we went the next day & got them changed. She told him we wanted a table for 4 .. we didn't have that; we could have dealth with sharing a table, but we were stuck in an room that wasn't even in the main dining room ... like being in a time-out corner! It was awful! My agent would never had done that, she is the kind to double check those things. From the 2nd night on we had a good table, just the other dining room. The weather could have been better; it was not really hot, actually it was high 70's to mid 80's and mostly cloudy & overcast, the sun was in & out. It sprinkled a little while we were on the ship, but on one of our excursions it even came a heavy rain, but only for about 10 minutes and then the sun came out full and the rest of the time it was very nice. The spa package had a therapy pool included that was just out of this world 'feel good', better than any regular hot tub. Then they had 2 steam room, one was an aroma steam room & it was so good; the 2nd morning I woke up really stuffy, and that room just cleared me up in seconds!! Then there were 2 rooms - one with sitting up chairs, one with lounging chairs - made of glass tiles (beautiful shades of pinks, light lavendars, oranges) that were heated .. we'd lay on the lounging ones and almost fall asleep it was so relaxing.
In Nassua, we just went off the ship & into the shopping district; we were not impressed one little bit. Been there, done that ... will not go there again, ever!! We were back on the ship within an hour.
St. Thomas we did an excursion that was to St. Megean's Beach & shopping in the Downtown district. Big disappointed also. The beach was supposed to be one of the top 10 beaches in the Caribbean, don't bother; there are much better beaches in Florida, SC & NC. And the shopping district, dirty and & way expensive; and they were expericing a power outage ... apparently they have them often we heard.
St. Maarten ... beautiful!! Our excursion there was a bus tour of the island & then a boat tour - an open, 2 level boat. The guide on the bus tour was extremely knowledgable and the tour was great. The place is beautiful and we had a great time. The boat tour also was great - except for the 10 minutes of rain - the people who had gone to the uppper level, they suddenly all came to the bottom level!! After that then we came back to the shopping area at the dock and bought some things.
I came home with a Mystic Topaz necklace, sterling silver .. can't remember if it's 1/2 or 1 carat, I know ... how do you forget ... & an unset one the same size as the one I bought, that they gave me when I bought the one. Then at another store I got a another one that's a cheap one that was a freebie. We also bought our daughter a Mystic Topaz necklace, but one that is a different color one ... I can't remember the name of it, I've seen it on DirecTV on JTV before. Both the necklaces we both were on sale, and the prices were much better than had we bought them in the US ... I wouldn't have been able to afford them here (unless I got them on JTV, but I'd be lucky to catch them them since I don't watch it that often to catch them on sale). We also bought her a ring on the ship. Duty free is a nice option!! Of course we ended up buying more professional pics this trip than we did last time; the ones of dh & I were better this trip than last trip for some reason.
Our last 2 days were at sea entirely. We saw a show almost every night and they had some fantastic shows. There was entertainment everywhere and lots to do, or you could just relax and do your own thing. Skip, my bff's dh, brought 2 games we often when we all get together and we played those also. Dh even got me to walk completely around the ships track once, I managed it; I told him he was getting me ready for walking the high school track here at home this summer. I promised him I'd start doing that with him.
This is a long post. I'll post some pics later ... when I get them all organized.
Family and friends are a treasure from this life that we may keep in the next ... Unknown