Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Of shoes and ships and sealing wax

The time has come the Walrus said
To talk of many things,
Of shoes and ships and sealing wax
Of cabbages and kings
And why the sea is boiling hot
And whether pigs have wings.

Lewis Carroll

We just got back from a wonderful vacation to the Caribbean. Rob and I took a Princess cruise for our anniversary. We took our first cruise about 6 years ago. At that time, Joseph was 2 and had just been potty trained. We couldn't get any family to come watch the children and eventually had to pay a young family in our ward to watch them. It was very traumatic to Joseph and I swore we would not leave our children again for a long time until they were all old enough to understand what was going on and that Mom and Dad were coming home. For some reason I fixed that age at 5 in my mind. Last year my husband's mother wanted all her children and their spouses to go to Hawaii for a week. Max wasn't 5 yet, so I said, not unless everyone could come. She agreed. In the end, the other brothers brought their children as well and we had a great family reunion in Hawaii. This year, Max turned 5. We had reached the magic year! So I said, Mom and Dad are going on vacation!! My mother generously agreed to come and watch the kids and even did it on her own dime (although, I promise we tried to pay!) This also happens to be the only real vacation Rob will get in his next 3 years, so I figured I had to grab it while I could.
My Aunt did a fantastic job getting us a cruise at a reasonable price and Capital One rewards paid for the airfare. Princess even gave us a $100 on board credit, because Rob is military.
We went out of Puerto Rico and went to Barbados where we swam with turtles, sting rays and over a ship wreck; St. Lucia where we took a catermeran around the island, walked in a volcano, went to a working plantation, and had a Cajun lunch; Antigua where it rained and we enjoyed food and movies on the boat; Tortola where we enjoyed the beach;
and St. Thomas where we snorkeled and saw Black Beard and Blue Beard's castles.
We were sit at 5:30 in traditional dining. I didn't get it changed in time and was planning to do so the first moment I could, but we really enjoyed our tablemates- Gina and Frank and Deb and Bob. Gina and Frank were loving the ease of remembering everyone's names! The last day we had planned to go to dinner at one of the alternate restaurants for our anniversary, but we enjoyed their company so much that we decided to go to dinner in the main dining room as regular. Our waiters knew it was our anniversary and brought out a cake and had all the waiters sing for us. It was a good evening!
On board we watched tons of shows and movies and even did trivia one day. I loved the movies under the stars. They have a big screen set up on the ship and they have movies 4 times a day on it. It is the ultimate drive in movie experience, except it's swim in or lounge in the lounge chair in. So very cool! We did really bad at the trivia. At one point I couldn't even remember the name of the flap of skin that covers the trachea when you swallow. Don't worry, though, the answer did come to me before we were done! Whew! What I have learned about that, is that I would never make it on Jeopardy with their song ticking away your time in the background!!
It was a nice relaxing time. It was hard to feel in the Christmas spirit, though. I don't think I would ever do it at Christmas time. I was so glad to get back and enjoy the snow and the cold weather and people scurrying around trying to get their last minute shopping done. I will, of course, be so done with the cold right after New Year's!
We came home to happy kids which was the best part! Thank you Grandma for doing a fabulous job and helping us enjoy a great holiday!!


Searls Stuff said...

You two look like you had a wonderful and relaxing time! Ron and I are taking our first cruise in July. Due to the lack of bathing suit bodies, we are opting for Alaska. That way I can hide the flab with sweaters! Thank goodness for you mother's generosity. Merry Christmas!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the wonderful grandchildren and all you pre-preparation the "tending" was not difficult. Especially with Big sister Emma to guide the boys. Uncle Timmy says he is jealous of the man cave the boys have down stairs. Merry Christmas to all the Kresses or is that Kress's

The Johnsons said...

I'm glad you guys had a blast!!!!! it is so worth going on vacation with your man