I know, I know, I know I am a slacker. But I have been trying to make my last week home with the kids a really special week. And at night, I have been neglecting my computer and watching the Olympics instead. I think the Macs are starting to get hurt feelings. But trust me, I will have plenty of downtime next week as I sit through lovely faculty meetings and training.
Monday, July 21, 2008
What a pleasant morning we had! It all began with a little dance act by Miss Emily and her new feather boa. I would have felt sorry for the housekeepers due to all of the feathers we left behind, but we were too frustrated with the hotel at this point.
We took the kids out for breakfast to Mother's which was right next door to our hotel. We got there just in time to get the early bird special, too. It is definitely a "greasy spoon" type of establishment, but that's how I like my breakfast. After breakfast, we returned to our room, dressed everyone for embarkation (I had purchased special outfits for the kids a YEAR ago), and found we had an hour to kill. So I did what any mom with a camera would do. I took the kids to the lobby for a pre-cruise photo shoot. As it turns out, I am glad I took these pictures because I didn't really get any other pictures of the kiddos on this day. As you can imagine, boarding a ship with 2 little ones does not leave free time (or hands) for picture-taking.
There was a really cool mirror coffee table in the lobby. I love these!
Funny story about Emily (so I don't forget it). There was a convention taking place at our hotel, and two of the attendees walked by Emily while I was taking pictures. One of the women made a comment about "all these little girls and their bows...it must be a Southern thing." So we started talking about mommies, daughters, and accessories. She walked over to Emily and said "What is your name, princess?"
Without missing a beat, Emily replied, "Briar Rose." For those of you not up-to-date on your Disney princess stories, Briar Rose is the name that the fairies give to Sleeping Beauty when they take her to hide in the woods. What shocked me is that the lady said to me "Did she say Briar Rose?" I couldn't believe she understood what Emily said! Well, as it turns out, her 6 year old daughter also loves the movie Sleeping Beauty. She got a kick out of Emily's response.
After the princess conversation, Emily decided to do a little catching up on periodicals.
And we can't forget Mr. Ty!
I have to say that the W redeemed themselves by comping our parking when we checked out. With all of the inconveniences we had the day we checked in, I didn't feel like the free, nasty room service quite made up for it. But refunding $90 worth of parking was quite nice. It has also kept me from writing a terrible review of the establishment.
Before heading to the terminal (we had some time to kill), I had Dee drive us around the French Quarter. He still hadn't seen Jackson Square or Bourbon Street. I didn't want to get out and go for a walk, but I felt that he at least needed to see it.
As we were waiting in a line of cars to park in the parking garage, Emily kept talking about the HUGE boat and a roller coaster. I was just kinda nodding and saying "yes, that's right" because I had no idea what roller coaster she was talking about. Then, as we started to ascend the spiral ramp up to the parking, she got giggly and excited. Apparently, she had seen this ramp while we were waiting in line or perhaps the day before when we drove to the terminal just to be sure we knew where to go. She thought the ramp was a roller coaster! For the rest of the time as we unloaded and waited to board, she kept talking about how the boat is going to be really huge. I loved how excited she was. It makes it worth all the hassle of bringing her ;-)
My biggest words of advice for people going on a cruise--TAKE YOUR CHILDREN--or at least borrow somebody else's while you stand in line. Put a baby doll in a stroller; trust me, it will save you time. We got to cut most of the long lines and go through VIP check-in. It was extremely fast and convenient.
We ate lunch as we waited to set sail. Then, we headed to our room for a little downtime before the safety drill. The safety drill was not a fun aspect of our trip. We hadn't expected it to be. But the kids did get nifty little bracelets to wear in case they were separated from us.
After the drill, we headed to the top deck as we took off down the Mississippi. It was extremely hot and windy. I was too nervous having the kids up there, so we didn't hang out very long. I also took no pictures because I was too busy holding my children to hold a camera. This was the theme of the day. I was a nervous wreck that the wind was just going to blow one of my little ones overboard. Just so you know that I was not over-reacting about the wind (okay, maybe a little), I stole this from my mom's facebook. This is my brother, his wife, my littlest sister, and her husband. It was VERY windy.
Dee and I spent the rest of the day counting down until 10 p.m. when Camp Carnival would open for the first time. We were dying to have the kids safely in the babysitting room while we explored more of the ship. Dinner was a fun affair. Everyone in our family was sitting at two tables, side by side. I enjoyed my shrimp, soup, and steak. I had something chocolate for dessert, and this was the only night that I didn't eat the molten chocolate cake. My kids ate macaroni and cheese with vanilla ice cream for dessert. If I had $22 to spend for each picture, I would show you the many cute photographs that the cruise photographer took of Ty eating every night. I kinda just let him make a mess because it kept him occupied. But we decided not to purchase them.
Before we knew it, it was time to get the kids in their PJs and take them to babysitting. We attended a show and walked around the ship. Dee won around $60 playing blackjack. When we picked up the kids, they were laying side-by-side on the floor sleeping. They were snuggled up on some blankets and pillows. It was just too cute! We decided this babysitting is a GREAT thing!
The question of the night was also answered. Hurricane Dolly was ahead of us, and we learned that we wouldn't have anything to worry about as far as our trip or ports of call being interrupted.