Our first Carnival Conquest stop was Key West. I told the fam that all I wanted was beignets and Key West and they better give it to me. I thought nothing of the walk from the ship down to the Southernmost Point, but we made it about halfway when everyone was complaining. So, J made the wise gametime decision to rent on of those electric cars. Best $90 he’s ever spent! We were able to breeze through the things I wanted to do in a couple of hours vs it taking all day for us to hoof it.
Shortly after these pictures, I thought Claire had erased my memory card and I almost cried. Turns out she just created a new album on the CF card. I had no clue that was even possible. I’m really glad I checked before I just chunked her in the ocean or something.
A stroll down Duval Street found us inside the Flying Monkey with a drink of some sort. Y’all would not believe how the kids thought that bar hopping was “the most boring thing ever!!” Let’s just keep it that way, reds.
No one else thought this was cool. Haters. I live with a bunch of haters.
We made it back on the boat in time for it to start raining… an excellent way to take a nap, if I must say so myself!!
*My family and I were given a complimentary Carnival cruise in exchange for my honest opinion. All thoughts are mine.*
We are certainly enjoying ourselves in the Bahamas today…doing a bunch of nothing. We didn’t even get off the ship, just enjoying the morning with the pool basically to ourselves. Of course we are equipped with enough sunscreen for an entire pirate fleet and let’s just say that any sunscreen that can A) take off the finish of a Tervis Tumbler and B) Eat off your nail polish (no I’m not kidding) is good enough to keep the Reds from burning in the Caribbean sun.
Of course no lazy day is not complete without a good book (An Echo in the Bone– the 7th book in the Outlander Series) and a Miami Vice, which is a combination of a pina colada and a strawberry daiquiri.
I also taught Addy some sweet stunting moves in the pool. Not sure when those will come in handy, but now she knows. The pools here are salt water and it is always some good entertainment to watch people when they find that out for the first time.
We opted not to go to the dining room tonight for dinner and instead ate at Guy’s and watched us sail away from Nassau and sadly, The Atlantis.
So far so good… everyone seems to be enjoying themselves and we haven’t turned on each other yet, although, I think that come Saturday, we may lose J to the EA Sports Bar for football.
I’ve hinted at this story before.
Once all of the reports of all of the crazy stories on cruise ships starting hitting the news stations, I knew it was time to re-visit it for the Interwebz. I must apologize in advance for the lack of pictures, once you read the story, you will understand why.
I feel like I should give you some background story. About 6 weeks after I had Addison, John’s family decided to start planning a family vacation. They wanted to go on a cruise. Well, I am generally not a fan of cruises. I think everyone should go on at least one, but it’s not how I would choose to vacation.
Being a new mommy, I couldn’t possibly fathom leaving my child to go out of the country for a week and be out of touch from the world. I mean, this little bundle depended on me to care, love, feed, and nurture it, right? So, I insisted she go.
The family told me no, but ultimately, I won that battle. So, a year later, 16 month old Addison set sail on her very first cruise. Did I mention that this was the week before Christmas? No. Okay. Are you ready? Here we go…
Addy fell in love with this big red dog.
Moving on… part of the awesomeness of this family vacation was, we were all going to stay in the pimp daddy Presidential Suite on the back of the boat. All 8 of us. 1700 square feet. Dining room. 2 Master Suites. A hot tub. Wet bar. and an 1100 square foot private deck. Oh? And our view? Was off the back of the ship. It was an amazing room. It had the potential to be a vacation that was talked about in years to come.
Our first night at dinner… it was a dress up night. Look how sweet and cute little Addy was!! Oh, what a beautiful dress.
Joseph and Tracie
The first night, Addison threw up a little bit. I figured it was seasickness. The second day, was our first day at sea, we played on the balcony, sat in the hot tub, etc.
Now, I don’t think I’ve talked much about the fact that John battled panic attacks in previous years, but this was right smack in the middle of some of the worst of it. On the second night on the ship, he ended up getting very sick. The 3rd day, we were in port at Grand Cayman. John wanted to go to infirmary, because he thought he needed fluids. I agreed to go with him, just trying to pacify him with his increasing panic.
They said he was dehydrated, needed some IV fluids and they were going to run some tests. I remember curling up on one of those cots and taking a nap. When I woke up, I didn’t feel as chipper as I thought I should, and the doctors informed us that John had the Noro Virus. They gave the option to be flown by helicopter back to the United States or we could be quarantined to our room… EVERYONE in our room had to be quarantined. For at least 48 hours of the last person being sick. They told us that it was highly contagious. Now, maybe you are wondering what the Noro Virus is? Well, simply. YOU WANT TO DIE. It is intense abdominal cramps, vomiting, diarrhea, all while wishing the end of the world would come so you didn’t have to endure it any longer. Since we were in port that day, John’s brothers refused to come back to the room because they knew they were quarantined once they did. They stayed out all day.
He felt better after some fluids!
Sweet little Addy
Right after this picture was taken, I went down. I can remember actually calling my mom and telling her I just wanted to die on American soil. Without going into extremely gross details, just know that the sickness is INTENSE. And at times, completely uncontrollable.
With the entire room unable to leave, they brought us food, drink, took our clothes to the laundry, and cleaned the room twice a day. They even had a concierge go out a shop for my mother-in-law at one of the stops we missed. On lobster night? We ordered 12 lobsters… no one ate them, but they were there. They were very accommodating to the sickies. But still, we were sick, trapped on moving vessel at sea. Slowly, every single one of us went down. Maybe you’re thinking, “48 hours of sickness doesn’t sound that intense.” Let me assure you, the effects of this sickness lasted for over 2 weeks. You felt like you had been beaten with a baseball bat and then run over by a Mack truck for TWO WEEKS.
The one stop we did get off on was at Cozumel.
And we ran into these guys. Don’t know who they are? Well, they are Nelson. The amazing twin duo from the early 90′s. I was obsessed back then. I was equally as starstuck as an adult.. they were my first concert and I talked to them for forever about it.
Nelson was the on ship entertainment. They even pointed me out in the audience and told my story. Yep. Childhood dream came true!!!
I have never been happier to see the city of Miami, and get back onto dry land. Maybe you think the story ends there? Nope. You would be wrong. You know how at Christmas time you run from family gathering to family gathering? Well, that’s what we did. And what happened, we couldn’t have predicted. You see, with the Noro Virus, we learned, that you have a carrier. One who really doesn’t ever show the same symptoms. That person was Addison. So, at every gathering, Addison infected everyone. My aunts house. Both sets of parents. My grandmother, who took it back to her nursing home and passed it around. Several of them ended up in the hospital from dehydration. The week after Christmas, we saw where an entire town in Europe was infected with it.
So, my advice to anyone going on a cruise is to WASH YOUR HANDS. Seriously. You do NOT want this mess. This story is the reason that children are no longer invited or welcome on J’s family vacations.
It has only taken 5 1/2 years for me to be convinced to go on another cruise. We set sail this summer on the Allure of the Seas. And you can best bet, we are staying in separate rooms!
So, I realized, I never finished my DC trip..
After the race, we crashed on the couch and Sunday Molly fixed a delicious breakfast and we did a few family pics– which I basically had to beg to do for feeding and housing me for a long weekend.
Here are a few of my favs.. Molly posted the rest of the pics here.
After that, they took me to my very first winery. Which, I highly recommend doing. SO FUN!!
I think I may hire B as my assistant.. sadly, the pay is nonexistent.
I must say… I really do have the best friends ever. They take care of me. EVERY. ONE. of them. I am so blessed.
The power of the Internet brought me this one.. who may have been scared the first time we met at a PF Changs when they moved across country. They invited me into their home and force fed me amazing home cooked meals, which made me gain 3 lbs. They drove me to and picked me up from the Baltimore Airport. I feel like these few pictures don’t do enough justice for my amazing weekend in DC, nor do they repay the hospitality I was shown by this incredible family. Hopefully, B got to know me a little bit better and he is either frightened by our friendship, or approves.
I sincerely hope it’s the latter.
|Addison looking into the wishing well outside the castle|
|I promise Addison was more excited than this picture shows|
|While we waited for Turtle Talk, Addison wanted to sing a duet.. “Fire”– the Glee version|
|Giving Donald a kiss
John, Mom, Bill and I rode Soarin’… Wow. Everyone must ride that ride! So awesome!
|The Hogwarts Express|
|Honeydukes!!! They really had Chocolate Frogs and Bertie’s Box of Beans!|
|“I wanna go to Hogwarts”|
|Hi. I’m weird and don’t know how to pose for pictures.|
|I love Fantasia!|
|No one rode the Tower of Terror.. they had scaffolding all around it.. No thanks.|