Category Archives: Vacation

Welcome to 2007

Welcome to 2007

Fine. Technically 2007 started somewhere around 3 days ago, but I believe we have already established that I live in a cave and am semi-conscious most of the time so let’s just embrace the fact that I remembered the year had changed at all. Unlike last year when I had to change the dates on 3 checks from 2005 to 2006. A feat which would have been easier than changing a 6 to a 7. Although, I have managed to make an 8 look like a 2, so I suppose anything is possible.

But I digress.

We’re back from Wisconsin where we spent the week of Christmas. My family is doing well, and there’s the possibility my grandma is now reading this blog so, “Hi Nana.”

Got some cool stuff for Christmas and had a good time seeing my family again.

I will not for a second pretend the whole thing with my parents wasn’t incredibly strange… because it most assuredly was. Having to coordinate schedules and figure out when to do what with whom was nothing short of awkward. We were successfully able to see Mom almost every day we were there, so that was good.

I did miss our church though. VERY MUCH!

When we came back, I decided it was time to make the switch to a different web host. I didn’t like the fact that smodifying people’s e-mail accounts required me to send someone else an e-mail. I wanted tat control myself. I got a heck of a deal too. For $7 a month I get 200 GB of storage and 999 GB of transfer. That means we now have somewhere to store the podcast… once we record one.

I think that’s pretty much it. No news on the job front, but my uncle did help me touch up my resume again, so we’ll see if it makes a difference.

Oh yeah. I applied for classes at the local technical college. I figure I’ll finish out my AAS in Computer Information Systems and then explore the BS in Emergency Management. Both schools offer distance education classes you can do online, and I think I am going to go that route. I’ve always learned things better that way and traditional classes have a tendancy to bore me to tears. Hopefully at least one or two of the classes I’ve taken in the past will count for some sort of credits and I won’t have to start completely at the beginning.

Labadee, Hatie

Labadee, Hatie

I didn’t have a chance to post yesterday, I was way to tired when I got back and crashed before I could even think about writing. It was a fairly relaxed day. We got up around 9:00 and didn’t actually go anywhere until about 10:15.

We met up with some family members and we lounged around in the sun for a while.

Treva and I ate lunch at Johnny Rocket’s and, unfortunately, filled up on onion rings and fries before our burgers arrived. After lunch we made our way back to our deck chairs. The rest of the afternoon was spent lying out and tanning. I came in and napped for a while, then it was time to get ready for dinner.

It was the first of the two Formal nights. We got all dressed up, Treva looking exceptionally hot, and had a family portrait taken. I had a chilled pear soup, cesar salad, roasted duck, and strawberry cheesecake. Mmm, good stuff.

The post-dinner show was a 13 time Starsearch winner, singer and dancer, Kenny James. He was really good. Had the audience singing, dancing, and full of energy.

After the show, Treva, Danny, Katie, and I started a game of Phase 10 and ate pizza.

We wrapped up around 1:00 and crashed in preparation for today’s activities.

We dropped anchor around 8:00 at Labadee off Hispanola. This is a private island owned by Royal Caribbean. The island has a lot of beach areas, water sports, and a craft market.

We went over and hit the beach, scoping out a spot early, and looked around. After exploring the high pressure Marketplace Treva and I went for a swim. We had a wonderful time until…

I lost it.

No! Really. It. Is. Gone.

My wedding ring fell off in the ocean and got swept away before I could grab it. AAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!! So. Not. Cool. At. All.

Some of my family scoured the sand where we were, but it was nowhere to be found.

Even still, it was a good time in the water. Treva is pretty sure it was her first time in the ocean and she was amusing herself by splashing me and seeking revenge for being dumped. I would like to point out that it took her, and my aunt Amy, to dunk me. Ha. Someone forgot to tell them I am a shark in water.

We left the water and got some food, american picnic style, then layed around on the beach until it was time to leave. There is, somewhere, a picture of Treva holding two, the lush, tropical drinks at the same time.

I’m just hanging out in the room now, relaxing before dinner. Think I might have to go find a snack.

Ocho Rios, Jamaica

Ocho Rios, Jamaica

“left is right, and right is wrong,” were some of the first words to greet our tour group as we set out to explore Ocho Rios, Jamaica. They drive on the left side of some rather narrow streets leading to us being informed that, “the driver greased the van just this morning.”

Since we had a fairly large group Aunt Amy had arranged for us to have our own van. Our first stop was Dunns River Falls where Amy, Mike, Danny, Jarrod, and David, climbed the waterfall. Bobby, Treva, and I, stayed behind and watched from an observation deck where a seemingly euforic local tried to get us to take a stray dog home with us.

After the falls we drove through Fern Gully. This is a rainforest area which contains over 550 different species of Ferns. It is usually 10 degrees cooler in the area than in the city because of the foliage. Ten years ago you could drive through and only see if you had your headlights on. Due to several hurricanes hitting the islnad it is now possible to see daylight in the Gully.

Our guide next drove us through a local village and provided us with information about life in Jamaica’s villages. She informed us that the villages are all self-sustaining and only need help from the outside on things like emergency services or luxuries like attending theater programs. We also learned that houses are built from cement blocks and that rooms are added as money is available. It can take up to 3 generations for a family to finish their home. The guide said that it was a nice way to do things since you knew you owned it and weren’t tied to the bank. The minimum wage sallary for a Jamaican is $46.00 US a week. The exchange rate is sixty jamaican dollars to one US dollar.

Following our tour of the village, we explored the offerings of a local shopping area and craft market. We purchased some Blue Mountain Jamaican coffee, a sweatshirt for Treva, some sunglasses for me, and presents for Treva’s family.

We decided to have lunch at Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville restaurant. The place was pretty nice with a pool and waterslide in the middle of the outdoor eating area. Service was a bit slow however, and we were all pretty hungry and cranky by the time our food arrived.

That’s about it for Jamaica. Others in our group went on a jungle Canape tour where they ziplined through the trees, but they’ll have to tell you all about it.

Tomorrow is Georgetown, Grand Cayman.

Hello Love

Hello Love

Looooooong day. Full of fun and excitement.

We began by braving a 4-lane highway to get to a Waffle House for breakfast. Eleven happy stomachs later, David Lieu was still recovering from 28 hours without sleep and missed breakfast, and we were back at the hotel making final preparations to head for the ship.

Shortly after noon we all piled into a 24 passenger mini bus, complete with luggage trailer, and were off for the ship terminal. Upon arrival we dropped off our bags and went to check in. Security here was similar to that at an airport complete with the usual wanding of yours truely. After clearing the metal detectors we were handed medical release forms. Seems there was some concern about a recent instance were Gastro-Intestinal disease, and the cruiseline wanted to screen for potential problems. In fact, we heard a rumor that, a family was denied boarding because they had recently been sick.

We soon made our way onto the ship and found our stateroom. This ship is huge. Fifteen stories of guest rooms, dining facilities, theaters, an ice/inline skating rink, a rock climbing wall, a fitness center/spa, hot tubs, a cassino, a shopping mall, and so much more are all onboard.

Treva, Dad, Melissa and I explored the ship for a while after which point we stopped for a quick bite to eat. Then came the mandatory lifeboat muster drill. Man, all I have to say is, I hope I never have a reason to wear a cervicle collar. The life jacket felt just like one only with more padding in front making me look pregnant too.

We waved good-bye to the port as we shoved off. Our luggage arrived just in time to change and catch the Welcome aboard show.

Our perpetually perky Cruise Director, Becky, gave me the title for this post by telling everyone that she was from Coventry and we should all make new friends by saying “hallow luv.” After an entertaining show it was time to go to dinner.

What a magnificent affair that was. Incredible food, wonderful service.

Following dinner was a parade of staff on the prominad. Then we finally retired for the evening, unpacking, enjoying a snack from room service, and now sleeping.

Tomorrow we’re at sea all day.

On Our Way

On Our Way

We’re in Orlando for the night. Tomorrow we head for Port Canaveral and set sail.

We made it safely and without incident from Indiana. We were the last ones to arrive. We caught up with the other 12 family members who are here for dinner. Five others are coming, but they’re already in Port Canaveral.

The flight was good. Excellent, actually, considering we got a free upgrade to First Class. Ironically, as Treva pointed out, it’s not like either one of us is tall enough to appreciate the extra leg room, but the drinks right when you board were pretty cool.

Everyone is really excited and 14:00 tomorrow cannot come soon enough.

Almost Here

Almost Here

In slightly over 24 hours the big trip will have finally arrived.

We will be leaving for our 7 day Western Caribbean cruise tomorrow. Here’s a quick rundown of the events.

Fly to Orlando, meet up with the 15 other family members making the trip.

Drive to Port Canaveral; board the ship and set sale at 17:00 local time.

At sea all day.

Labadee, Hispanola, Hati. RCCL has a brivate beach island here. Water activities, beach, fun.

Ocho Rios, Jamaica. We’ve got an excursion planned that will take us on a tour of the island, plus allow for some shopping and sampling of the local food.

Georgetown, Grand Cayman. We’re going on a Rays, Reef and Rumpoint tour. We’ll hit the Sting Ray Sandbar, some reef thing, and Rumpoint beach.

Cozumel, Mexico. I’m going SCUBA diving. WOOT!

At sea all day.

Return home

This is going to ROCK! Man, what a way to celebrate the grandparents’ 50th anniversary.

I’m going to write entries and take pictures while we’re gone and upload when we come back. So stay tuned.