Thursday, December 04, 2008

The Big Trip

I'm finally getting around to posting the vacation summary. As I feared, within hours of arriving home we gradually joined the ranks of EVERYONE else we know and got sick. Seriously, do you know anyone who hasn't been sick in the last 2 weeks? So that has made catching up a little difficult.

But the trip: as nervous as I was about the details, things worked out and went about as well as they could have. Of course, it took a lot of planning and preparation beforehand, and there were aspects of the trip that were hard, tiring, and stressful. But we had a really good time with our family and I know I will always remember it fondly.
The 11 of us, ready to board. We flew down a day early, which really cut down on the rush and the stress, and gave us extra time on the ship. We were among the first 20 or so people to board.
David and I spent a lot of time like this, starting here at the Castaway Party.
The Disney Wonder is a beautiful ship. We also had the apparently unusual opportunity to pass the other Disney ship, the Magic. It's been over a year since they passed each other at sea, and it was really hilarious. They did this cruise ship mating call kind of thing back and forth, blowing their horns to the tune of "When you wish upon a star..." (that's a different ship in the background, not the Magic)
Leah and Kimmy show off those beautiful (and timeless) smiles! Leah was about to lose another tooth while we were there, but she was hanging on to it...maybe she was nervous about whether the tooth fairy would come all the way out to the Caribbean.
Carrie likes to play "Big Cousin" to Katy - she isn't used to having anyone around who is smaller than she is!

David was such a ham the entire trip - flashing this grin to everyone we met. And that was on late bedtimes, short naps, and sleeping next to his sister the whole week! (You wouldn't believe how much he slept when we got home - poor baby was exhausted!)

Katy had the Best. Time. EVER. Every moment was more exciting than the next, you would've thought she was in heaven, the child was so happy. Grandparents! Cousins! Swimming! Exploring! Dessert at every meal! By the end of the week she kept saying, "I can do anything I wanna do!" Umm...yeah...about that.

Speaking of happiness, she absolutely adored all the characters. And I couldn't believe how many she got to see. They were around every corner. And she learned very quickly that she had to stand in line, and she waited very patiently. But when her turn came, she shrieked with joy, ran up and gave them hugs, posed for her picture, and talked their ears off. We let her pick out a stuffed animal to take home, and she selected a Minnie Mouse wearing a pink pirate outfit (they do a theme night called "Pirates in the Caribbean.") She has been showing Minnie the ropes since we got home.

Aunt Kelly and all of the other adults on the trip helped us out with our little ones. It was nice to have some extra eyes and arms to corral those two throughout the trip. You can see their pictures from the trip over on their blog.

Here's Grammy with her troop. Brian's mom Kathy is the one who treated us all to this trip, including planning and arranging all the details. She did a fabulous job and everything went smoothly.

David started blowing raspberries on Brian's shoulder - it was too precious! Also - the weather! The captain commented that it was the best weather they had had in 6 weeks. Highs around 80, perfect amount of sun and calm water.

One of the ports is on Disney's private island, Castaway Cay. It was beautiful, and once you got set up on the beach (a short walk/ride from the boat), the ship's crew were serving drinks, lunch, entertainment, anything you could ask for. Those Disney folks know how to do it!

Of course on the boat there was great food, excellent shows, and areas to play and swim. There were a lot of things going on that we couldn't realistically do with our young kids, but we would go back when they kids are older and catch the rest of it. Disney is such a great experience, we truly enjoyed it!

I'll be back with those other trip-related posts...


PAM said...

Welcome home! I'm glad you had a good trip (but also looking forward to hearing the other stories!)
When I look at that picture of Kathy, the 4 girls, and David I wonder if future family holidays are going to involve those girls spoiling David to death, or whether they will be dressing him up and painting his nails!

bluedaisy said...

I did miss this post, thanks for letting me know! It looks wonderful- the beach is gorgeous. I am so glad things went so well :) The kids are so adorable!

Jen said...

I just finally had a chance to see your vacation pics. So glad you had a wonderful time!