Sunday, May 30, 2010

Cozumel, Mexico

WOW. It's beautiful. And, it's HOT. Now, mind you, I didn't venture off the beaten path in Mexico. It wasn't that kind of trip for me. Keep me in the pretty part that looks like a piece of Disney World. I did tend to tip our drivers a bit more there, though. I don't know why, because the touristy parts are gorgeous, and the beach? Think Kenny Chesney beautiful :) "Toes in the sand, a drink in my hand with no bottom...No shoes, no shirt, no problem..." When we walked from the pier our first sight was the Three Amigos Cantina...yes, from the movie!! LOL That is a family favorite, so we took lots of pictures there, but didn't get anything to drink. I hear they were servin' it up pretty strong!! LOL

My first impression was that the sun was literally boring down on me. I didn't have straps on my bathing suit, and my cover up was halter-style, so my shoulders were bare. Even though I had put on sunscreen before we left the ship, I was starting to worry that it might not be enough, and once we got to the beach, I did, actually, reapply liberally!! LOL

But, before we went to the beach, we perused the touristy gift shops. The buildings were very colorful, and there were palm trees...a very nice part of Mexico :)

Finally, we found our "guide" to the shuttle bus to the beach. Those guys were pretty funny & we had a great ride to the beach. They told us that the last bus back to the pier would be leaving at 6:45. Remember that, it is a clue for what's to come!! HAHA!! :)

The beach was awesome. The ocean, once we got in it, was beautiful. It wasn't a beach that you think of with waves crashing on the sand, it was more like a lake-ish. When we reached the part of the beach where the lounge chairs were, we got umbrellas & started ordering drinks!! HA!! :) It was an open bar included in the price of the excursion, so we took advantage of that & ordered things we normally wouldn't ;) LOL I learned that even though I don't like regular margaritas, I do enjoy a BLUE margarita :) Yum :) There was also a nice buffet lunch there, too. Not cruise ship quality, but it wasn't bad, either :) I believe the beach made up for a lot of the negatives!! HAHA :) They had blue rafts we could use in the ocean that were awesome!! :) It definitely made floating in the ocean more fun :) And, we used those mats when we were done as a lounge chair cushion. Delightful!! Just laying there, with the sound & sights of the ocean, the breeze, the pina colada, it was refreshing!!

But all good things have to come to an end. So, we decided to check out the shops before we made our way back to the shuttle buses. Funny side note... While I was washing the sand off my feet, a couple who had been to Karaoke the night or two before was there & the guy asked in a very thick New York accent, "Hey, you the girl who sang karaoke the other night?" I smiled & said I did. He says, "You were awesome! You should cut a rec-ud."!! LOL It was a struggle to not respond, "You know a guy?" LOL

Then, the co-parenting of my Mother started!! LOL But I think this is enough for one post!! LOL We can revisit Cozumel next time :)

Have I mentioned that I had a blast? I can't wait for the next cruise!! :)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Busy Spring!!

So, while I've been away, I have PLAYED HARD, now have a 2 year old, and am obsessed with cruise ships!! LOL

First of all, homeschooling is going great, even in the midst of our chaotic schedule. I hope to have Abbey tested before the summer is out!! HA!! :) By state law, we don't have to report to the school again until the day before the beginning of school, so I technically have lots of time, but of course, don't want it hanging over my head all summer. So, we still have some ground to cover, and I have learned a lot that will help us next year!! Yes, I said next year :) I'm feeling more confident, especially since she started READING :) I can not tell you how awesome a feeling it is to know that I have had such a major role in her learning to read!! It's amazing to watch her :)

OK, now let's talk about the PLAYING HARD :) LOL I went on an ALL GIRL'S CRUISE just a few short weeks ago!! I can't believe it's been two weeks!! Last weekend all I thought about was "This time last week..." It was an AMAZING time. Of course, there was nothing to compare to the company :) I am not exaggerating or over-dramatizing the fact that I have been so blessed to call my closest girlfriends my family. I absolutely realize how rare that is, but for whatever reason, I have been blessed!! :) Not only cousins, but the "Aunts" were fun, too!!

For those of you interested, or who went, here is a recap of all the fun!! :) If you're bored already, skip down!! LOL :)

Wednesday we met for pedicures & got matching flowers (for FREE) on our toes!! :) They are super cute, and I am going to be really bummed when it's time to re-paint my toes. Anyways, that was our pre-cruise get-together!! LOL :) It was so much fun, & the ladies that did our pedi's were fun!!

I had already said my goodbye's to my Hubby & kiddos before I left for the pedi. They were headed to Pennsylvania to spend the weekend with his family while I was gone. It was really weird, and kinda nice, to be home alone Wed. nite. Even if I didn't get to bed until 1a.m.!! I was packing & excited & getting my house somewhat straightened up because Steve was bringing his mom back with him for the week after I got back. More on that later.

We got up ridiculously early on Thursday morning (I got literally 2 hours of sleep before I had to be up & ready). But I was so excited anyway, it didn't really matter!! LOL I took some Bonine because I wasn't sure how I'd travel on a basically empty stomach, and I am SO GLAD I did. Our flight from Dayton to Detroit was pretty scary with some really bad turbulence. My Mom said that all she could think about was that there were an awful lot of people from the same family on that plane!! It was pretty scary, especially first thing in the morning. Although, the view from the window seat was beautiful. I got the side facing East, so I saw the sunrise in the clouds.

Detroit was BREAKFAST!! :) And, we had a pretty easy, kinda bumpy but NOTHING like Dayton to Detroit flight to Miami. Again, I scored a pretty awesome window seat & could see us fly down the East Coastline. SO beautiful!! :)

Then, after getting our bags, we followed all the people with signs that said "Carnival"!! :) We bussed over to the ship & when we got out, THERE. IT. WAS. Those ships are HONKEN. SO AWESOME :) We boarded, found Aunt Di, Missy & Jodi waiting on us, already drinking some pretty "drinks of the day." Found our room, freshened up just a bit, and we headed down to the lunch buffet.

By dinner Thurs. night, I was ready for another Bonine, because I was NOT feeling well. You can ABSOLUTELY feel the boat moving, and I wasn't really prepared for that. So, halfway through dinner, I had to go back up to the room to get some more med & by the time I got back down, I was ready for chocolate melting cake. There are no words to adequately describe that dessert. I am going through withdrawls. Although, Jodi has since found the recipe, but I'm not sure I want to try it, because I might decide it's not hard to make & make it A LOT. Delicious infinity. LOL

By the time we got to the karaoke lounge, I was feeling MUCH better & sang a song with the Cousins ("Cruise Chicks") & sang a solo. I was starting to think it was a bad idea cause Missy sang "Killing Me Softly" & a lot of people got into that one, and my choice was a pretty lesser known country song "I Try To Think About Elvis" by Patty Loveless, and it was fine!! LOL After I got done, it was kinda cute, because the man after me sang "Teddy Bear" BY Elvis :) LOL Fun. I {HEART} karaoke!! :)

I was DONE after karaoke that night, but the rest of the girls went to the live band lounge next door & discovered the best live band I've ever heard that didn't have smoke & lazers on the stage!! We went down the next night, and the last night. The night in between they were on the Lido deck & I guess the crowd was pretty wild.

Friday we went to Key West, FL. Think Yellow Springs meets the beach!! LOL :) Very cool & eclectic place. It would be neat to spend a lot of time on the historical side of things, but we stayed pretty close to the touristy parts. Some of the girls went to the Original Margaritaville, and had I realized it was there I'd probably tried to stop in, too. I do regret not trying some Key Lime pie. I know, weird that I didn't, right? LOL

Friday night was Formal Night, and that was SO MUCH FUN!! :) It's not everyday ya get to dress all sparkly & over the top, but it was awesome :) It was also a GREAT night to people-watch. There were some pretty cool dresses. I also tried lobster tail for the first time!! :) Delish!! :) I don't know if it was the lobster or the butter I liked the best!! HA!! :)

And, guess what I had for dessert? LOL :)

Saturday was a day at Cozumel, Mexico. I have never been outside of the US, so that was neat. It didn't really feel different from the states because we didn't go off on our own, again, we stayed pretty much in the touristy areas. BEAUTIFUL, btw. The water is really pretty there. We went to Playa Mia beach as our excursion that day, and it was pretty neat. It wasn't a "waves crashing on the beach" kind of beach, it was more like a little lake, but it was neat to see straight to the bottom, usually, in the water. It was kinda cloudy, so it probably wasn't even as clear as normal. That was where we just laid on the beach & chilled...well, we were sweating, but you know what I mean!! LOL The sand was white, the sun was hotter than I have ever experienced, and it was most likely a blessing the clouds were around that day, or I would've roasted!! LOL

OK, since this is really long, I'm gonna have to do this in two parts, so I'll leave you there, with that beautiful picture of Mexico as I say goodnight :)

Til next time :)