Friday, August 17, 2012

Ready to begin our Lost Pines Vacation...suits on and ready to roll!

Valet parking...tell our car bye-bye!

First activity...cookie decorating! It was the nastiest cookie I've ever tasted!

Jake ready to swim....my rockstar!

One of a couple waterfalls...

Man! This feels good!

Jacob couldn't make it any longer! He fell asleep on Papa's side of the bed - his ticket to get to sleep with GeeGee and Papa! It worked and Bryce and Mia were only a little upset! 

Lilly made the trip, too! Since she decides to run away when Mom and Dad leave!

WORD

The blow up water slide

Such animation

Silly boy...

Wow, Mom! That was fun!

Papa..."Jakie! What's going on, man!"
Jake..."Papa, I'm going swimming. Wanna come?!"







Thursday, August 2, 2012

Vay-Cay for ME!

This year I was able to join some of my friends for a little get away...a girl's get away! We set sail on The Carnival cruise line The Magic! I have to say it was an amazing trip and the memories made are surreal!

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July 15, Sunday...
We left Shiner around 9:00 and made the 3 hour trip to Galveston. I was anxious, nervous, and excited all in one! I was leaving my boys for a whole week and then they were spending the next 2 weeks with their dad. It made me sad that I wouldn't see them for almost 3 weeks. Luckily the weekend of the 27 they came home until that Monday! We all needed each other by that point! Anyway...back to my trip! We arrived in Galveston, parked, and boarded the big boat (as my boys call it)!
These guys were already taking advantage of the basketball court onboard! My boys would love this!


As we were leaving, we (Rachel, Allison, Michelle, Kelly, and I) stood  at the front of the ship and watching the land disappear - no tears were shed...until we realized that our drinks were empty and wifi was GONE! 

Of course all that people talk about is the food, the dessert, and the relaxation...well, I must say that believe whomever tells you these are the most amazing elements of a cruise - they are telling the truth! We got settled in our room (a whole other story), toured the ship, found the buffet (yummy!), and then got ready for supper! I felt like all I did was eat or get dressed to go eat!

Kelly had top bunk! I was on bottom!

Never falis...I always have a bed that was stained up! This was there before we even put our luggage away!

Kelly, Michelle and I stayed in one room...yes, we had 3 grown women dressing, getting ready, showering, and sleeping in the same room! We survived and learned much about sharing and time management! 

Before dinner, I decided to try my hand at blackjack! We were far enough that the casino was open for business!!! I cashed in only $40 and sat down....my biggest mistake! I didn't want to get up - it was not a dealer's game!  I doubled my money in just a short amount of time, and then my keepers were telling me it was time to eat! UGH! So I left my spot at the table, joined them for dinner, and then passed the casino to was a show that evening...

video

Carnival and the Dancers welcoming us aboard!

So we decided to call it an early night...

July 16, Monday...
Michelle wakes us up with a bright light and "Yall, better get up! All the fucking chairs are going to be gone!" Well, Kelli and I had no choice...we got up, put on bathing suits, went to the Pool Deck, found a spot, and then got right!!! 
This was our view the first day at sea! The pool was packed!

This was a beautiful cloud! See the colors on the top? 

So this day was a little rainy...didn't hold us back tho! Michelle, Kelli, and I spent our days listening to music, trying to read, and partaking in naps! A couple of times we were sitting on our chase lounges with Carnival towels over our heads while it POURED down on us! I was so full from last night that I couldn't even look at food...until about 2:00! Then it was lunch time! We continued our relaxation until about 3:00...then Michelle, Kelli, and I took turns about every 30 minutes going to the room to begin getting ready for dinner! 

Tonight was the dressy night...well we didn't pull out the prom dresses or bridesmaid's dresses, but we did get a little more dressed up than the nights before! It felt good to take a shower after being in the scorching sun all day long - tho the sun felt amazing too!!! Of course I couldn't NOT sit at the blackjack tables - and tonight was the night we played for HOURS - after dinner of course!!!


Of course we didn't pay for the shots...I took a picture of the picture! Aren't we gorgeous?!

We finished up this night with drinks, gambling, and pizza...there is pizza 24/7! 

July 17, Tuesday...
Another day at sea! This time we decided to change up the deck that we sat on...it was a little too loud and the music sucked!!!! So we went to Deck 11...which became our home during our days at sea!


Okay...so during one of our naps, I all of a sudden feel Michelle wack me on the arm to wake up...no I wasn't snoring, this time!! She's laughing uncontrollably and all she can do is point. Let me explain where we are sitting first. We are on the side of the ship, against the rail, and out but under the sporting/workout/track of the ship. So anyone that is walking or running, they have to come by us. So this lady is just getting after it...walking and moving her arms! So Michelle has to point this out...my first response was damn, she's kinda smart - walking and swimming - killing two bird with one stone. Well, we started giggling which turned into the laughing-so-hard-nothing-comes-out- laugh! This was one of many laughs...memories!



This was my view for most of the day today! It was calming and beautiful...

We enjoyed a delicious meal, but called it an early night! 
Alligator bites...I've tried them before, but these were delicious!!!

 The famous Carnival Cruise Melting Cake...the outside of the cake is backed, but the inside is NOT...it's warm & melted & falls out of the baked part! It is amazing! 

We called it an early night tonight because the next day we were porting in Honduras for our Ziplining adventure...I worked myself up to being okay with putting myself in a little-bitty harnass and hang from a cable cord that has a load limit! I met the load limit, but it still made me quite nervous!! Oh well, I was ready!

July 18, Wednesday...Honduras Port
We woke up early because we had to be off the boat and en route to the jungle in time to zipline. Our alarms were set for 6:30/7:00, so that we could EAT and be ready to go! All of a sudden Steffano, our captain, comes on the loud speaker saying that the weather is too bad so we would not be going into Honduras at the moment. We could see the land - and I was pretty ready to step on land, eventhough Honduras would not have been the safest place! So after some time, Stefano gets on and says that we will be enjoying another day at sea and will not be porting in Honduras, Roatan Island, or any other part of Honduras. Though we were disappointed, we knew that a day laying on Deck 11 would be as interesting! So, we ATE, changed into our bathing suits, and waved good by to Honduras! After finding our lounge chairs, we began talking to others...One gentleman said that he was walking the track and at one point he was walking up hill because the ship was tilted so much. It was funny because Kelli said that she dreamt that it was raining and thundering/lightning. Well, this man confirmed Kelli's dream...he said it was bad last night. Another lady said that she heard (how I don't know) that there was a strong sand storm in India and that Honduras was catching the back winds. Either way, they refunded us our excursions and our day didn't really get any better! We lost our asses at gambling, but I was still doing okay and playing on the $40 I put down on Sunday!

Cloudy...hazy...bleh!

Look, Mom! There's Honduras...that's as close as we will get!

There we are in front of Honduras....

Look, kids! There's Honduras!


So again we spent our day people watching, laying in the sun, and eating...this time we added lots of drinking to our daily tasks! I was able to get a bottle of Capatin Morgan aboard...it was wrapped in a ziplock baggie, some of my padded undergarments (hehe), and between shoes. When I opened my luggage, the bottle was still in the baggie, but it was unwrapped and untouched. I don't know if it just came up wrapped or if it was looked at and allowed because it was new, sealed, and in the original container - either way I was a happy camper!!! We did our normal daily routine and around 4:00, we went inside to shower and get ready for dinner and our evening fun!! Of course tomorrow we were porting to tender to Belize, so we called it an early night...kinda!

July 19, Thursday
We were a little anxious to see what Steffano was going to allow us to do - tender to Belize or stay at sea, AGAIN! Well, he allowed us to go to land. I really wanted to see Belize - the flowers, the lands, the people. But we learned that our tender left from the ship, not from the island. This means that it would be a tough trip for us to take a little-bitty boat to the island, take a city tour, take a little-bitty boat back to the ship, and then tender out to do our excursion - beach and snorkel! SOOOO....we stayed on the ship until it was time to tender to our beach and snorkel. The weather was not the best, so we had to make due with what was given to us!

We got onboard our tender boat (I took a Bonine...the waves were pretty rough)! The guy that was our excursion organizer was great! The trip included rum punch AFTER SNORKELING and ONLY ON THE LITTLE-BITTY BOAT! So we're off! They are handing out our snorkeling gear and preparing us for our adventure exploring the beautiful barrier reef. Well, apparently the weather gods had other plans for us because the skies opened and there was no getting into the water to snorkel - at that point and time. So we went to the beach - just cloudy!!! 


Our Tour Guy Coordinator...between him and me, we perfected the rum punch to be served later!!

Getting fitted for flippers!

Why are mine blue?!

Oh, yea! Everyone is all smiles now...the little guy hasn't tried to push you off the side of that little-bitty boat yet! Never fail, we take the stairs, laughing all the way down!

Another interesting group of people! If this lady can put on the LITTLE life jacket, then so can I...Damn it!

Look how hard the wind is blowing...the trees are just bent! This was our beach stop - not much of one!

Changing room...all the buildings and houses look like this!

The beach...full of shells! Not a fan of this! I much rather would have taken a tour of the city!
The beer that Kelli and I tried for my dad...Papa, I wasn't a fan, but I drank it for ya!

One of the kids that made me look like a real winnie while snorkeling was finding crabs....

I don't think I was ever so ready to BE BACK ON THE SHIP as I was at the end of this day!!!

July 20, Friday
Our excitement grew even more when we reality hit that we were getting off the ship and doing some beach/shopping/drinking...our favorites! While Michelle, Rachel, and Allison had their dolphin encounter - which they say is awesome by the way - Kelly and I hit the shopping! 
Cozumel waters...there were fish swimming around - I promise!!!



Welcome to Cozumel!

Uh, okay! Well take a picture with you! And you want us to pay to??? Um, no thanks!!

They weren't really having fun at 10:00 this morning, but hold onto your pants, because they crank it up!!
After we did some looking around, we needed a drink and some beach! We took a taxi to Playa del Mia beach....ahhhh, can I go back there!

Beach day at Playa del Mia...we, Kelli and I, took a taxi over to the beach. The driver was really nice and talked a lot! Of course, if you know me I'll ask questions and talk until somebody tells me that's enough! So what we learned was that he is a school teacher and wanted to teach in the US, but couldn't make it financially. Apparently in Mexico, according to him, the jobs pay very little, but the government takes care of  them in other ways - cheaper insurance, cheaper everything, nice houses for not a lot of money! Now he could very well have been blowing smoke, but I didn't care....he got us from Point A to Point B quickly, safely, and cheaply!

Play del Mia....
Yes, it was a little cloudy, but the drinks were free (well we paid for them at some point) and the chairs were comfy! Of course there was some sun, but as you can tell from the picture, it was getting darker quick! Kelli and I took pictures with the Rio birds - and kissed them, too! The water was freezing, but as hot as it was felt good on a couple of different occasions!

Any kid would have eatin this part up! As you can tell there are paddle boats, kayaks, floats, and the big blow up things out there in the water! The kids were having a blast! It was too much work to get out there just to jump around and then jump off! My luck a shark would have shown up! Fun, nonethless!!!

Drink...Chair...Music......check!

So the mankini is apparently the big thing! This guy sported his better than most!

The sand was so soft!

In the famous words of Kelli Stewart, um, no ma'am! She did not need to wear this! And of course she really didn't need to wear it as long as I had a camera in my hand! For the love of God...there were children!


We ended our beach day when we got hungry and the annoying douchebag showed up! Yes, he was annoying - from smoking cigars to holding a glass of wine like a girl to just being a douche!!!! 

So we headed back to Fat Tuesday...and boy am I glad we did!!!
It was packed and the food was good, the drinks were great, but the MUSIC was AH-MAZING!!! 

This was the ashtray at Fat Tuesday...love it!

We had so much fun together!!


Our drinks....

 We ended our evening by coming back to the ship and of course getting ready for dinner! Kelli and I were working on a pretty good buzz, so we ate and decided to cut dessert! And you guessed it, headed to the casino where we lost more money - tho I was still doing pretty good!!

Frog Legs...and damn they were good!!!
Well, never underestimate the power of Michelle! Kelli and I left dinner early the night before. Well, Michelle asked our head waitress if they could sing Happy Birthday (a favorite of our table...you know why in a minute!) to Kelli even though her birthday wasn't until the following week. Of course she had no problem with it...and neither Kelli nor I knew anything about it until......
Singing the last night...

Kelli (and I) just realized what was going on!!! Thanks ladies! 


The Bunny ears Toshi made for Kelli

Happy Birthday tuuuuuu yuuuuuuuuuu!

And of course a day for me would not be complete unless I could do some people watching! Fortunately, I was seated at dinner (the same spot all 7 days!) so that I could stare at a particular couple, their family, and some friend (of course they exact relationships are all questionable!!!). By about night 5, they caught on to me and decided to make my glance (some rather long) worth my while. Let's just say that they needed to get a room - even though they came to dinner about 10-15 minutes late each evening doing....well, I'll let you be the judge of that! So that we could remember them, I snapped some of their dinner pictures...they say it all!!


So we did some gambling, some shit talking, lots of drinking, and made new friends, got ugly looks, and gave many of them the same looks back! We called it a night...unfortunately the next day was our last day on the ship! I really didn't want to call it a night, but my body told me different! 
July 21, Saturday...our last day - spent at sea! 
Today was the dreaded day...I was okay with Sunday showing up because I knew it meant our trip was over. But Saturday meant that was the last day!! So we got up, found OUR place on Deck 11, got food, ate, and began our day of NOTHING!!! So, I didn't do much sleeping today because I had a feeling that the people watching might be better...and let me tell ya, it was!!! As long as my sunglasses were on no one knew what I was looking at or if my eyes were even open!! 
Here we go!!!
I shifted positions and caught a glimpse of a gentleman preparing his body for the sun - now it was a pretty cloudy day, but still his skin would burn...so I watch. When it was no longer interesting, I turn my attention elsewhere - obviously not as interesting because I come back to the other guy WHOM HAS A WIFE!!! As I look past the wind breaker, just on the other side, I see the guy who had applied all the suntan lotion that Target has to offer! He has pulled his shorts up, so they look like a Speedo. He has his shirt pulled up like a bra-like bathing suit top! And apparently he is having a great dream! The picture doesn't do it justice, but he was enjoying himself and didn't mind that it was there for others to TAKE PICTURES OF!!!


There is always an explanation as to why we - as women - do what we do! So for 3 of the 4 days that we were out at sea, we sat in the same place - Deck 11! At one point - day 1 at Deck 11 - we all (Kelli, Michelle, and I) had the same thought at the same time...Holy SHIT!!! This was our view for many of the days we were laying in the sun! He was the most beautiful man I have ever seen! He was absolutely gorgeous and pretended as though the cougars we are weren't staring at him and acting like we were 16 (tho, 32, 34, and 38 was more like it!)!!! And no we are not talking about the guy laying down!! 

Okay, if you look closely you can see the black man in the blue Speedo! Now, I normally don't I couldn't help but giggle when this guy would walk by! I caught him a couple of times walking the track above Deck 11, but I could never get a picture of him! Well, on the last day, I found him and screamed like I just won a prize for finding Waldo!! Anyway, it was picture worthy because each day he wore a different color Speedo and needed to have more clothes on to cover the many parts of his body! I'm no skinny-mini or beauty queen, but I also don't flaunt all my stuff like some do! Lesson learned - less is not always more!!!!
And our night begins....I'll let the pictures speak for themselves!! We had a BLAST and left a lasting impression on the many people we ran into this night!!!
Our night begins at the back of the ship...Captain Morgan & Coke! 

What a face!?

Obviously I forgot that I had a Band-Aide on my foot ALL DAY LONG! Check out that tan!!

This is Fredrick...I know you aren't supposed to take pictures in a Casino, but WE were an exception! Fredrick from from France! He opened his mouth to say something and we would melt! Kelli was a little Fredrick hogging, but I got in the picture none the less! 

Ah, so-dee...this was Tony! He was wonderful! His famous words were ah, so-dee every time he took our money! He was great! Again I know you aren't supposed to snap pictures, but at this point, it's 4:30 am and the casino is shut down...yep we shut it down!! 

And the Pit Boss... he had about every letter of the alphabet in his name, so we just called him T. T was married to Fiona who was one of the most beautiful women I've seen! She had the most gorgeous skin, a soft voice, and the personality that would make anyone fall in love with her! We didn't get a picture of her, but as we were leaving the ship on Sunday, she was standing at the elevator, called us by name and said that this is the most fun they have had at the casino (mind you they were working) ever! It was very sad!!
It was time to call it a night! At 4:30 in the morning, 8:00 was going to be there FAST!!
July 22, Sunday...Biggest headache ever
Today was it..We would be leaving the ship around 10:30! So we dressed, cleaned up the room, at breakfast in the dining room, and laughed again at many of the memories we made that week! Kelli and I made one more trip to the buffet... burger/hot dog buffet! After scarfing down our food, we decided we were going to cut in line and get off the ship - or try to anyway! It worked...of course our Karma caught up with us because it took 2 hours once we got off the ship to get our luggage, go thru customs, get to our EZ-Cruise guys, get to the car, and then load up! I was TIRED, and all I really wanted was Cheetos and a Big Red! Thank you Allison for stopping right away! But of course she was probably tired of hearing me say that's all I wanted! Well, before we could stop I got a text from the boys' dad. He wanted to tell me that he had Bryce in the ER in Edna (they were camping at Lake Texanna) Saturday night. Apparently Bryce got into a fight with his bicycle while racing a new friend and lost... He ended up with 5/6 staples in his head to help seal the gash! I felt sorry for him because all he kept asking me was when I was going to be home and that he missed me and that he wanted to play Legos and on and on and on. I know that Jason and his family took care of him and he was fine, but I guess it's something about talking to your mom that brings it all back up again! So here are some pictures of us waiting to get our luggage and of Bryce's head!
This guy was walking back and forth the walkway that got you in the lines to get on and off the ship! He had no luggage, nobody else with him, and just kept walking...he was annoying and not half as easy on the eyes as what he thought he was...Of course his nickname was Miami Vice!
Thank you Allison!!!
Here are just some random pictures...
I couldn't bring myself to buy them...but I sure wanted to!

Chocolate Melting Cake

Towel guys that Michelle kept destroying before I could get a picture!!
 

Couldn't stop thinking of these guys the whole time!!

Until next time Carnival Magic.....