Saturday, November 3, 2012

Surprise Vacation - Day 1

OK, so back to the magical vacation that I mentioned two weeks ago...

My mom showed up on a Wednesday night. Before bed that night Ben informed me that we would be leaving for a trip on Monday. And not coming back for FIVE (5) days. That may not seem like a long time to most of you, but for a girl who has never ever left her kids before, it's a very long time. I was worried about my poor Mom who volunteered herself for (what I was sure to be) a week of pure hell. I was sure the kids would take advantage of her and drive her insane.
Over the next few days I had my mom drive and gain her bearings on town. She tried to learn the routine around here, and by Sunday night I was pretty confident. Although, I still thought the kids might torture her.

Ben told me he had to go to work Sunday afternoon for a bit, so off we went around 4:00. While he was gone my mom stayed upstairs and did laundry and stuff. I just played with Lucas. When Ben came back about an hour later and I saw someone in the garage with him.  Lo and behold, Ben had not been at work! He had been at the airport picking up Chris and Amy!! (Chris and Ben grew up together and got into all sorts of trouble together). AND, Chris and Amy's anniversary just happens to be the day after our's, so they deserved a little vacay, too. Plus, we were supposed to go to Cancun with them back in 2005, but then Hurricane Wilma came and ruined our plans. Instead Ben and I ended up going on a cruise... alone. So, now we got to make up for a lost vacation.

Anyhow, we had a fun dinner Sunday night. Bedtime was hard for me because Evan wanted me to hold him instead of getting in his bed and it made me cry and Ben had to intervene. Lucas was a stud though. Monday morning we had to leave around 8:00. Lucas was awake (of course) and Evan was asleep (thank goodness). We said our goodbyes and Lucas was a champ - and so was I! We headed down the road and I still didn't know where we were going. I was guessing either South Padre Island, a cruise, or a flight to somewhere like Florida or some cool island off the coast of Georgia or the Carolinas. A cruise out of Galveston was most likely, but I also considered a cruise out of New Orleans. Ben took a road away from the airport, but then went back by the airport and was trying to trick me the whole time. Along our way we wanted to stop at a Buc-ee's gas station because they are supposed to the the paradise of gas stations. We stopped by one that was almost done being built in Bastrop and that was where I found out where we were going! See, Ben almost (and by almost I mean within 30 feet) got backed over by a tractor. And then he said, "That'd be awesome if we missed our cruise because we got in an accident at Buc-ee's!" Then I looked back at Amy and Chris and stared. Then Ben realized what he had said. He felt bad, but I was happy to know because THEN we could start talking about our trip and what we wanted to do, etc.
Anyhow, we kept driving and eventually got to Galveston, parked our car, and waited in a bazillion long lines that finally led us to our ship, the Carnival Triumph. A few things about starting off the cruise - we were glad we kept our bags with us, the lines are lame, but good for people watching, people brought a lot of water with them. A lot. We didn't and we didn't die. Actually, we brought a lot of Gatorade and didn't drink any.

We got on the boat where they promptly offer you a $10 fancy drink in a ridiculous souvenir cup, and we found our rooms. Chris and Amy got a balcony room on the 7th floor. We had a window room on the first floor, under the restaurant area. We considered upgrading to a balcony room, but I was happy being contained in my room (you know all those stories about people getting "lost" on cruise ships... Plus, I'm weird. I'm afraid of boats, dark water, dirty water, and algae, so I prefer being behind glass). Our room did smell a little funky from time to time b/c it was by the restaurant, but it was ok. (Next time I'm bringing a plug in air freshener).
This is a pic of our room as we were packing up on the last day.

The first afternoon we just explored the ship. Tried to find where everything was, etc. We were in the 8:15 dinner group, which seemed so crazy, since that's normally when kids are going to sleep. But we got used to it and really liked that it gave us more time to do stuff before dinner like workout or take a nap!
Dinner was awesome. We had great servers and we scored a table for just the four of us on the upper level of the dining room so we had a great view of all the people. For dinner the first night I had broccoli soup, salmon and black forest cake for dessert. Ben had a yummy cinnamon/pumpkin/squash/parsnip pot pie.
After dinner we played games in a lounge. We like to play games a lot, so we spent HOURS playing games with Chris and Amy.
And I love sleeping on cruise ships and being rocked to sleep. LOVE it.
I'll blog about the rest of the trip next. And I'll try not to write so much. Sorry, but this is my journal!

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