Thursday, October 23, 2008

Cruisin' with Jeff

For once I am at a loss of words. I am not sure where to begin to describe the 9 days away. It was so much fun being with Jeff. Even just being on the airplane with a book was relaxing. There were so many great things. One of my favorite parts was listening to John Lund speak. He knows a lot about the Book of Mormon and a lot about marriage. I felt so uplifted. We saw many wonderful things and I am sure I can't think of them all, s0 here goes my attempt and my travelogue. This is more for journaling purposes than anything else.

Day 1: We had a 4 hour layover in Atlanta, so we decided to brave the public transportation. We went to see Millenial Park, but it was closed for a private event. It looked beautiful from the outside. We also walked around the World of Coke, but didn't want to pay since we only had about 30 minutes by the time we got there. There will definitely be more to see when we go again someday. It was much better hanging out there than in the airport!
Somehow I had picked to fly into Fort Lauderdale when our hotel was in Miami (Only me!), so my good friend Ranell (from Oregon), used her investigative powers to find us a shuttle to Miami. There was a crazy lady in our car and it took 1 hour and a half to drive 20 miles. We eventually reached our hotel! We watched the Red Sox game (which we didn't even stay up to finish as it went into extra innings- they eventually lost-doh!)and ate at a sports bar.
Day 2: Met up with our group from Cruiselady. I was excited to have all my activities planned for me. We did notice pretty quick that we were one of the only younger couples there, but everyone seemed really great and excited to be there. They were a neat group to travel with. We went on an airboat tour through the Everglades. It was a gorgeous day. We even held a baby alligator and watched trained alligators. We met a couple from the Northwest and hit it off immediately with them. It was nice to meet new friends.

We got on the ship around lunch time and then just enjoyed the sun and the view of the harbor. It was Sunday and since it was an LDS cruise group, we were able to have Sunday services. The speaker was John Lund, who is incredible, and we were lucky enough to have a concert by Michael Ballam. It was a beautiful way to spend a Sunday.
Day 3: Day at Sea We were able to hear John Lund speak again and we just explored the boat. We were able to sleep in, work out, read, relax and enjoy time together.
Day 4: We went to Grand Cayman. We signed up with the group to swim with the stingrays. I don't have any pictures of this because my underwater camera fell off the strap-doh! But let me tell you, it was so cool! The water was not very calm, but it was crystal clear blue. Exactly what I pictured and more when I thought about the Caribbean. The stingrays were kind of scary at first because they were so big, but they would just come up and hang out with us. I got pretty sick, I think from all the salt water and the next part of the little boat ride was not so fun for me. Luckily I felt good enough later to snorkle some more. It was pretty rainy, so many of the people we met went back to the ship. We figured we were already wet, might as well enjoy the island. We went for a "run" to find the nearest beach. We ended up at 7 mile beach and enjoyed a nice afternoon. I am glad that Jeff is such a good sport!
Day 5: Due to crazy circumstances, this ended up being another day on the boat. There were riots in Honduras, so they didn't feel it was safe to go there. (I personally didn't want to be in a country I didn't know with civilians having guns and protesting, hmm...)We spent the day working out, listening to John Lund, eating, reading, and eating.
Day 6: We were rerouted to Cozumel where we went to the ruins of Tulum. This is a beautiful site and it was great to have the local guide, Lemuel (yep, his real name!) talk to us about the Book of Mormon correlations. You could feel his love for the site.
Our new friends Matt and Ramie!
After riding on the "Mexican Limo" on the way up, we decided to walk back. Then we started our search for a beach!

Day 7:We had found out our plan to go to Belize was also waylaid, this time due to weather. How can you be disappointed when you are still being waited on hand and foot? The replacement port was Progreso Mexico, and we were lucky enough to go visit Chichen Itza. It is one of the new 7 wonders of the world and it was magnificent. I was in awe the entire time we were there. I could have stayed there all day and I could do one post all about it. Maybe I will. :-)It is amazing to think of the ancient civilizations who built these temples and what their lives were like. Our guide was Helaman this time and he was incredibly knowledgeble.
(Here is Jeff proving he did wear his nametag every once in a while!)
We also watched a movie on the big screen on the ship. (Well, Jeff watched it, I fell asleep. Some things never change!)
Day 8- Day at sea- This was the first time we participated in "cruise" activities and we had a lot of fun. We joined in some competitions and ended up dancing, singing karoke (Steph, you would be proud) and dancing some more. We also took a latin dance class, which was a lot of fun. We did some more relaxing and reading and hanging out with new friends we made. We also saw some great shows while we were on the ship- my favorite being the amazing juggler, Jeff's favorite being the show dedicated to 80's music!

(These are the waiters responsible for feeding me lots and lots of food!)
Day 9: Time to check out and head home.
I couldn't believe it was over. I had a great time, but I was definitely thinking about my kids. On the plane ride home I found out Emily had had a febrile seizure while I was gone and it just made me so sad. My mom handled it perfectly of course, but that is something no grandma should have to see. Emily was very excited to see us as was Bryce (who came running!), but Dallin kept on playing video games. It is good to know they are so loved and well taken care of. We were supposed to just miss my mom's flight home, but her plane was delayed so I was grateful to tell her thanks in person. She is a fantastic mom and grandma. They had such a good time with her and I feel so lucky that I could enjoy myself and my time with my sweetheart while they were in good hands.
This was the first vacation that I felt rested when I came home. I was ready to take on laundry and cleaning again, and ready to play with and love on my kids! I am grateful for my marriage and my wonderful husband of 10 years and this chance to enjoy just being together. Thanks for the hot chocolate every night. Love ya babe! You are the best!


emily said...

it looks SO GREAT! but I gotta say...who would name their kid Lemuel, after reading the BOM? Seriously? Sad. I love how clear the water is. It really looks amazing. happy anniversary!

Jennifer Lomenick said...

That is so neat. We hit the 10 year mark next year and want to do something but we will have to see. I do post a comment the last one was about the ticket.

Jamie said...

Kelly how fun. You guys look so happy. I am glad you were able to do that for your anniversary. Welcome home.

melissa said...

What a wonderful adventure! I loved the pictures. . . you look so happy. Happy Anniversary!

Ranell said...

Sounds like a great trip. Thanks for the shout-out about the airport shuttle, but really, it was no big deal ... took about 4 minutes. I adore you Kelly and I'm thrilled that you had such a wonderful trip! You deserve it!

amydear said...

I'm so glad you and Jeff had a great time. Your Mom is so sweet to come watch the kids too. Glad your back in the blogosphere. Are you going to do sugar now, or just stay off?

Jadie said...

I can't believe you held that thing!!!! It looks like you had a fabulous time--now back to the real world, eh?

JP said...

How awesome...I'm so excited for you guys!! I can't wait for a vacation with my hubby. SOMEDAY!! (Probably after the Master's program is finished...but still.)

So jealous of your visit to Tulum. :)

Brittany said...

Wow! I am so jealous! It looks like you guys had so much fun! What a great vacation... I love all of the pictures! Happy Anniversary!

Tiffany J said...

Wow! What a trip! Congrats on 10

Matthew said...

Sorry it took so long long to post. I still need to get you guys some of the pics we shot, plus the CD from the cruise. Hope all is well.

Cheers,Matt and Ramie.