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Old 01-02-2010, 07:14 AM   #16
Hypermommy
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Hey there, hi there, ho there all!!!!

Wow... KC made it sound like there was pages and pages over here that I'm falling behind on. Actually, for me, this is pretty quick. Those of you that know me know that I'm telling the honest truth. You'd think that my life would have settled down some now, huh? Ha!!! The job, the Young Marines, working on my website, trying to get the house in order and figure out what can go in a yard sale (yeah, let's move all our stuff to Orlando and have the yard sale THERE!).... needless to say that Hypermommy is still hyper. Ah, you know some things will never change!!

And let me first off say that I'm pleased as punch that so many people have come over here to read this trip report. Y'all must be really bored, huh?

Quote:
Originally Posted by King Charming View Post
and other random babblings.
Oh honey, please.... you can't make it THAT easy for me. I'm trying to be nice.... really I am.

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Originally Posted by King Charming View Post
I found I enjoy writing these, and since this will be the last one for a very long time, I intend to make the most of it. You'll also have to put up with DW's input from time to time, as this will be a tag team effort, and the photos she will post. You'd think w/ over 1200 pics taken, at least a few would be viewable. You decide.
So since this is going to be the last TR for a while, I'm trying to talk him into starting to blog about just life in general. I just love reading his writing! But so far, no dice.

And a few of the pictures are okay, but first let me run a little test and tease. I've got the posted in my picasa album and I've not used that to link in here so first I just want to make sure one works. It'll work for me because it's my account but y'all let me know if you can see this...



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Originally Posted by Desi View Post
Even tho we were all on the same boat, the experience was so different for everyone. I think that is what made me fall in love with Disney cruising.
We absolutly loved our DIS group. Which added to our experience greatly.
Look forward to comparing notes with your TR.
Isn't that the truth! I thoroughly agree that they do a wonderful job at making sure each family has the vacation they want.

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Originally Posted by big jack 2002 View Post
We had such a great time--in part--because we were enjoying your PTR and Denise did such a great job with the spread sheets. I made a photo scavenger hunt for our group.
Awww, thanks. I didn't do much with the spreadsheet except make it available and all. Thank you for keeping it up with your info!

A photo scavenger hunt? That sounds like loads of fun!!!!! What kinds of things did you put on it?

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Originally Posted by gomagic View Post
Looking forward to reading your report. My mom and I had a great time on this cruise!
So wonderful to hear! So now when are y'all coming back over for another visit. I hear the Tonga Toast calling!!!!

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Originally Posted by MassDisLovers View Post
Hey there KC .... it's your Campaign Manager reporting for (reading) duty. Hope the holidays were great for you and the family!
They were wonderful, thanks!! KC even managed to figure out a way to get both boys the one thing they wanted the most for Christmas. Isn't he fantastic!!! Mickey may have the magic but it's my King that has the charm and the way to make just anything work out!!!! Hope they went well for you too! Can't wait to see ya again!

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Originally Posted by King Charming View Post
Nov 1-10 were spent packing everything up, finding a place to live, and getting stuff turned on. Most of the move was 11-13. The rest of the stuff can wait till we get back. You better believe I was SO looking forward to the 14th.
Okay, yes, you did do a lot of packing and your week before the cruise was MUCH more hectic than mine, BUT......... you make it sound like you pcaked up everything between Nov 1 and 10. Now you ladies reading this trip report would know that I would NEVER let that happen! Let the King and the two princes pack up my house???? You gotta be kidding me!!!! I'd never find ANYTHING!!!!! As it is now I know I've got some more baking pans and I know I've seen them in a box somewhere but I can't for the life of me remember where. My best guess is that they got packed in with the bedroom stuff that I still have to go through when I get a tall chest of drawers. Oh yes, ladies... if there's room in a box it doesn't really matter what room of the house you mix together in the box! That's apparently how men pack! So just to let everyone know, I packed up a BUNCH of boxes before I left and was continuing to pack every weekend while I was living down here.

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That morning was so surreal. This was the day we'd been waiting on for too long, but nothing seems right. I woke up in a new city (and house), no dogs (being cared for in Tally), and only a short drive to the port. It should be easy to get there by 10 (like we talked about), but suddenly we're in no hurry at all. Everybody shot out of bed this morning, but nothing seems to be getting done or loaded. Why does "pm" suddenly seem like an acceptable arrival time? Man, this was too different than what I expected. But I go with the flow and we eventually pull out the driveway before 10. In no time we are in Cocoa Beach, where the liquor stores are now open, then on to the port.
Okay, time to throw in another couple of pictures and just hope that they work. Y'all let me know if they don't and I'll come up with an alternate solution.

Here we are getting to the port:


And here's King Charming picking up important stuff:


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Despite the construction, there were enough signs/people to easily direct me to the rear luggage drop off area. In less than 4 minutes, the family, bags, and $10 porter tip are in the rearview mirror, and I'm following the orange cones to the parking area. It's a 2 minute walk across the street to the terminal. Check in was quick and easy, but I turn around and leave afterwards. Time for a walking tour of the port area, snooping around, making last minute phone calls, and mostly savoring the idea that I could finally relax; no more deadlines. As I re-entered the terminal bldg, I realized that the metal clips on my suspenders are no longer setting off the metal detector. This makes life so much easier during the week. Thanks DCL for fine tuning the machine.

Back upstairs, they are loading 8-12(?), so we head over to the photo area. Five minutes later we are done AND they are calling our number. Sixteens may now board! What great timing.
The Eating Machines waiting for mom to finish her smoke while dad parks the van.


Oh you forgot to tell what a "joy" it was to walk back into the terminal with the 16yo EM giving us the parental once over. Might as well let them have the FULL enjoyment of the trip. Okay, y'all... so here's the scoop. You know that God made teenagers like they are so you wouldn't mind when they leave home, right? Yeah, for sure!!! So KC and I walk back out to the car at some point because he left something in the car. We left the boys in the terminal. So anyway, while we're out there he calls his sister who's looking after the dogs. And they chat a bit and such. Okay so I GUESS we took longer than we should have because when we got back the 16yo is waiting for us at the stairs with this attitude of "WHERE have you BEEN!?!?!?". And just that type of tone too. Oh no we are not going to start out the trip like this. I IMMEDIATELY get my hackles up and tell him in no uncertain terms that we're the parents, he's the kid and those roles are NOT gonna be reversed. Of course (as all our fights go) after a while we both calmed down and I was able to talk to him about it. He understood.... he was just antsy because they were getting close to calling our number and he'd much rather be hanging out on the ship rather than in the terminal. I can certainly understand that.

And to be quite perfectly honest, he was pretty much a dream on the ship this time! Made curfew... was always on time. Was really responsible about making sure we knew where he was. Just a thoroughly different young man than last cruise. Now, little brother on the other hand.... but I'm getting ahead of myself....

But since we're in the terminal at this point in our TR, here's some terminal shots.




I loved the area where you get your security picture taken. The stands are cute for sure but the little feet that help you stand in the right spot for the pic are great!!!!



Here we go!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinkerkell123 View Post
Hi King Charming! I can't find the thread to your PTR. Can you post a link? You mentioned there was some info there I was interested in, but can't find it now!
There should be a link in my sig. PM me if still having troubles and I'll get a direct link to it.

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Originally Posted by King Charming View Post
OK, it's 1pm as we board, bypass the the photos, get announced (oh, so cool), and get the welcome aboard speel from a CM. Topsiders is full, the room will be ready soon, and the weather tomorrow will be beach perfect! We drag our booze bags up to deck nine and grab a table. Pluto's and Pinchocio's have short lines and provide a tasty lunch, then we check out our stateroom.
Just a few more pics.



See, he's a natural at this eating thing! Dad loaned him the hat since EM#1 was the one sitting in the sun.


And after a quick visit to the stateroom we met with all our wonderful Dis friends. Boy did we ever have a huge group!!! Check this out.. this is only part of us. Oh, and just leave it to our group -- here we are not an hour on the boat and we're already getting in trouble for blocking the stairways. Yep, they sent CMs to the stairs to let us know we couldn't do that. I'll bet that's just about the quickest any group has ever gotten in trouble. Woot!!!!!!!!!!! Go Double Dippers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Old 01-02-2010, 08:12 AM   #17
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Hey there Girlfriend, good to hear from you! Great photos.... makes me excited for our upcoming trip. Are the "security photos" are something new since our last cruise?? Or am I suffering from CRS way too much these days?
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Old 01-02-2010, 08:13 AM   #18
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Forgot to mention..... we are in our 3rd straight day of SNOW (your favorite!!)
here. UGH!
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Old 01-03-2010, 05:41 AM   #19
Hypermommy
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I think the security photos were new since the cruise we took together. Basically all adults (I think it was just adults) were required to have their photo taken before boarding the ship for the first time. Then, when you get disembark and re-embark at the various ports of call they can compare the person standing in front of them with the picture of what that person's supposed to look like.

I personally like the idea. I know it means if I eat some magic beans in Mexico and suddenly turn into some hot, young Latina with a body that just won't stop then it means I won't be able to get back on the Magic, but I guess that's a fate I could live with (yes, even giving up the Magic) for that kind of miracle to occur.

Settle down KC... I don't think that's gonna happen. Yer stuck with your old and getting older daily wife! But you love it don't you? Of course you do. You wouldn't trade me for the world, right? Of course, right.

Snow, snow, snow, snow!!!! You gonna bring me some??? It's 37 degrees here with a wind chill that makes it feel like 29. All we get is the cold blast but none of the fun?? What's up with that!?!?!?
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Old 01-03-2010, 12:56 PM   #20
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Oh Denise, Please say it ain't so!
It's that cold in Orlando?
We're coming down in Feb. for a week (like we didn't already give the mouse enought of our $ in November)
We gotta use our week at the timeshare before it expires. Please try to have 75 -78 degree weather for us in Feb. No snow.
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Old 01-03-2010, 01:19 PM   #21
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I can promise you no snow, but the winters are very unpredictable. If you want predictability you'll have to wait until around July or August.
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Old 01-04-2010, 09:27 PM   #22
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Sat afternoon

The stateroom was roomy enough, but it was the verandah I had really looked forward to. Oh look, there's the car in the parking lot, and the late comers scurring up. But there is no time for admiring Castaway Club stuff as the DIS meet is at 2. Off we go to the Prominade lounge for our face to face. We had a larger than usual size group, and our more veteran cruisers stepped up and made sure we had everything we needed. We had mini-navigators, personalized lanyards, and even dry erase boards on each deck for updates and notes. With our spreadsheet(s) we knew who was doing what excursions, and paired up accordingly. Our cruise logo was widely adopted and seen all over the ship. There was some confussion on where to take a group photo and resulted in only a staircase full of people being included. (Something about the group being too large and blocking the area). I'll write more about this great group and their good deeds later.

We hit the Safety Drill jackpot this time as our station was in A.P. Sitting in the A/C while waiting on stragglers was fine with me. I decided that with nearly 10K minutes onboard, I might as well spend at least 20 minutes of 'em being responsible.

I was just too physically tired (from moving boxes all week) to deal with the crowds at the sailaway party. I finally had a private balcony, and dang it, I was going to use it. I watched as the ropes were cast off and we eased away. Hearing the horn fortified me, so enjoyed a few shots as I waved goodbye to all the big white gloves.

During room assignments we were switched to early dining. I didn't care, but found I liked it better. The change was more than likely made to get a better tablemate match. We were assigned table 6, an 8 seater. We were paired with a fellow deck 8 family of 4. They were from Missouri, but stationed in the Azores. Check it out, these enjoyable folks really do live in the middle of nowhere. We had enough in common that we talked all night long and frequently were amoung the last tables to clear out.

After 4 on the go days, and an superb meal weighing me down, I was done for the night. I stayed out on the V for a long time, but I'm sure it was an early evening for me.
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Old 01-05-2010, 06:09 AM   #23
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Well, you already saw us on the staircase so I don't have much to add to the DisMeet portion. But here's a picture of the eating machines at the safety drill.


And I don't know if this is gonna be viewable by everyone but here's a video of King Charming at the safety drill. As you can tell, he isn't exactly thrilled to be there but like he said, it's only 20 min and we were in the a/c.
http://picasaweb.google.com/hypermom...56466038372050

Here's a couple pictures of our family at dinner.



KC's right... our table mates were so much fun! I had such a great time being paired with another couple. That's something I really wanted this time but I also wanted to make sure KC had a great time. Last time we didn't have table mates and he liked that idea because we were in and out quickly. This time dinner worked out to be wonderful because we were having so much fun chatting with the other parents that we really did "close down" the dining room a couple of times (i.e., the wait staff was trying to figure out how to get us out of there before the 2nd seating folks got in). After the first night we sat the adults at one end of the table and the kids at the other. That way we could have our conversation while the kids talked about whatever it is that kids talk about. We really did have a blast.

And check out this dessert I found. Creme brulee cheesecake. Now if that doesn't rank as the absolutely #1 dessert in the world I don't know what would... especially as it combines my 2 absolute favorites!!!


But you gotta see this drink. It's called "For the Love Of Chocolate". It has like 4 liquors in it and it is absolutely smashing!!!!! It tastes like chocolate milk!!!! If anyone has the recipe for this please let me know (haven't taken the time to google it yet). This, a chick flick and good girlfriends sounds like quite a fun night for me!


KC may have thought he went to bed early but it wasn't actually too early. We went to the clubs and found the game show things going on. We actually participated in the "scavenger hunt" thing. And yes, I will find the picture of KC showing off his buff upper body trying to win us points! He really got into this a lot more than I thought he would and he seemed to have a great time. Of course, I wasn't taking off my bra and giving it to him.... adult area or not there are some things that are just to scary to subject people to on a Disney cruise! And besides... gravity has had its way with me and someone could actually get hurt!


The view from our veranda. Now you can see why we just wanted to spend a lot of time there, huh?
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Old 01-06-2010, 04:04 PM   #24
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So awesome about the huge upgrade! Looking forward to reading more!
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Old 01-06-2010, 09:32 PM   #25
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awesome report!! I better make sure to pack my nice bras on the cruise! I'm too competetive! I'll let 'em swang!!
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Old 01-07-2010, 05:02 AM   #26
Hypermommy
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awesome report!! I better make sure to pack my nice bras on the cruise! I'm too competetive! I'll let 'em swang!!


That Rockin Bar D can be an absolute hoot in the evening when the kiddies are all gone. Definitely don't miss it!!!
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Old 01-07-2010, 04:54 PM   #27
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Sunday

I woke up at 7:30 to shouts of 'We're backing in!'. We were out of the room by 8 for Bfast at Topsiders. Current temp 75. All ashore was 8:30, and by 8:45 we were done eating and headed to Guest Services. DW signs a form so the boys can come and go from the ship alone while at CC (only). Now rid of the kids, Serenity Bay calls to us. Due to end of cruise family friction/conflict (OK, fighting) last time, our CC day was disjointed. With just the two of us, and being the first day, it was much nicer. Walk to the first tram, then ride, then another short walk to the second tram, a ride down the runway and TA DA, PARADISE!! We strolled all the way to the end (or at least to where the sign says to stop), took the chairs to the waters edge (Yep, there were chairs ALL along the beach), and promptly let every care in the world wash out to sea. We stayed until 11, then walked right into the adult eating area. They had just opened, so there was no line. I had a cheeseburger & ribs, DW had steak.

We met the kids at noon, and I took poor DS14 (who's walking bow legged) back to the ship (my how history repeats itself) for some dry shorts. He was fine a few hours later. I top off my Pepsi and hook up with DW & DS16 around 1. It seems this boy was actually able to pay cash for a pair of shorts using exact change! I guess his shorts didn't fit any better than his brother's did. Darn sore way to learn what to pack if you ask me. Off we go to the Grouper game pavilion, where I proceed to give an awesome display of pool shooting talent, one handed, alternating hands. I do love to show off.

We went back to the ship around 2, and I promptly took a nap. I told myself I wouldn't sleep the morning away this time (unlike the first time), and have made this allowance. Woke at 3:40 to see us about 10 minutes out from CC. The weather this morning was 'not too'. As in not too hot, not too sunny, not too windy. So it was a real surprise to see the sign on the island that parasailing, jet skis, and a few others were cancelled. We couldn't figure that one out until 11am, when the wind picked up and white caps formed. By 11:30 there were actual waves sending up a spray against the seawall. All without any change in the partly cloudy sky. I sure wish I could make forecasts that good.
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Old 01-08-2010, 10:37 AM   #28
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Great TR so far! I'm glad I found it as I really enjoyed your last one.
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Old 01-10-2010, 11:27 AM   #29
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Sun PM

Dinner tonight was in L. Yesterday we screwed up by getting there first and sitting at one end of the table. This made conversation difficult, so when we got there first on Sunday, we put the kids at one end and we sat at the other. Although I'm sure it looked strange to our tablemates when they arrived, when we explained they quickly agreed. We stayed with that seating the rest of the week it worked so well.

By 9 we had sailed 100 of the approx 120 miles west towards Ft Laud/Miami, then went south. The TV still says seas were 4-8', but the ship barely tilted (unlike yesterday evening). After 10, they down graded it to 1.5-4. Locating Miami was so easy, at it was the only bright spot in any direction. We were close enough to see tower lights onshore, and a personal highlight was being close enough to see the lights atop the twin smoke stacks at the Turkey Point power plant. I was stationed at Homestead AFB for 5 years and have many fond memories of fishing fresh and saltwater within 10 miles of the place. Also down at the point used to be the USAF water survival school, a 3 day deal. The best part was parasailing into Biscayne Bay twice. The first time scared the hell out of me going up, but the second time was a blast.

11pm finds a clear night, light breeze, and the Fla straights being nice to us as we maintain 19.8 knots. OK, so I was worried I was becoming a hermit sitting on the V, so I came up to the deck nine smoking area to hang out. This is where I spent most of the other cruise, as we had no window. I found a table to smoke and drink at, and with the custom lanyards everyone was wearing, easily found a few DIS'ers wondering around. Because we all wore our screen names, it was natural to pick up where we left off. By 12:30, the lateness and the lure of the V had me back in the stateroom.
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Old 01-11-2010, 05:29 AM   #30
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There was, of course, a reason that KC woke up to shouts. EM#2 and I were well awake. I have a note that it was about 5:30 when he woke me up and said he wasn't feeling too well. I believe he was somewhat sick to his stomach. Now when this one gets sick it scares the mess out of me because since the time he's been born (and was in Neonatal ICU for a bit) he's seldom been sick. So when he does it scares me. So we wandered down into the bowels of the ship and found the sickbay. Now as Mom I was supposed to be staying focused on my not-feeling-well child. But the Disney lover in me thought it was interesting how you got to somewhat not quite on stage sections of the ship getting to sickbay. It was much more utilitarian than any of the guest parts of the ship. It felt like I was in the utilidors, I'd guess.

But once the child had a bit of seasickness meds in him he started to feel better and I guess he went back to sleep. I have a note that I relaxed, watched the sunrise from the veranda and took a shower. I woke the guys up when the ship started turning around. Here are some pics I took that I thought you might like.

Here's one that I took of the lobby waaaaay early in the morning.


The island


Oh I feel almost more relaxed just looking at this.


Loved the difference in the water colors


Just another pic of the island


So yeah, like KC said we did breakfast and then I went to GS to sign the paperwork to allow the kids to have sign on/off the boat privileges on Castaway Cay. I figured it was safe because they'd be under Disney security the entire time. And I knew they wouldn't be left on the island because I'm pretty sure they sweep the island to make sure they don't have any Castaways on the Cay. I decided I loved the cups we got in the Castaway Club kit because OJ worked so well in it (especially with a bit of vodka in it!) But then it was off to the Cay!!!

Just loved the colors and the feel of this... had to take a pic!


Here I am with Donald. I had to get this one because I've decided EM#1's character is going to be Donald. We all have characters that we have an affinity towards and we concentrate our merchandise purchasing (usually) on our characters. EM#2 loves Stitch so he has several Stitch shirts, plushes, pins (thanks to his big brother getting him one on every trip), etc. And KC is Grumpy so he has several Grumpy t-shirts and some of them are very hilarious ("I'm Grumpy Because You're Dopey"). I love Tink so I have lots of Tink stuff. Well, EM#1 had as his character Timon and/or Mushu. Both of these were kind of full of themselves and rotten but really with a heart of gold so those were great characters for him. But just try to find Timon or Mushu stuff!!! So I've decided he has to be Donald. It fits him.... quick to anger but lovable and loving at heart. Kind of like an M&M!!! That's my boy! So anyway (KC told you this would be rambling, right?) I had to get this picture with Donald when I saw him there.



Then there's Cap'n Jack! Ahhhh.... last time we were on the island I guess we took the first tram and passed right by where Cap'n Jack would be. So this time we walked and it worked! There he was swaying on the beach in all his glory. With thoughts of missing him on the last cruise in mind I walked up and said something about how I've been wanting to meet him for so long (might as well play along with the staying in character and having fun with it, right?). His reply was pure Jack -- "I've been right here all day, luv" That's when I pointed out King Charming and said something about having to make my way over carefully so he didn't get upset. To which Jack looked at him and saw how tall he is and decided that discretion is the better part of valor! This guy was great -- totally in the Cap'n Jack character and so much fun!!!


And then of course you can NOT go to Mickey's island and not stop by and say hi to the mouse himself.


Once again KC got a flower for my hair. It's become something of a tradition (hey, we've done it on both cruises) and I think it's sweet.


KC gave you the basics of being on Serenity Bay. Being all the way down at the end of the beach was great because we couldn't hear anyone else talking and since we were looking at each other and the ocean it was wonderful! I cannot begin to describe how wonderful this was. We pulled the chairs down by the water and it was just like the song. In fact, that was the soundtrack that was running through my head.... "I've got my toes in the water, my * in the sand, no a worry in the world, a cold drink in my hand... life is good today...... life is good today." It was just wonderful being there at the end of the beach with the solitude, listening to the sound of the surf and watching a bird hunt (what an amazing thing, just watching a bird fly and dive) and just spending time with KC. I can definitely say that SB was absolutely everything I'd heard it would be and I'm soooooo thrilled. Anyway, here are the pics:

Such a busy beach -- not!


We stopped halfway down and pulled down chairs. But then we moved to where the currents didn't bring all the seaweed our way.


This was my view for the next couple of hours. Incredible!


King Charming decided that he'd had enough of the water on his feet but instead of asking me to move he built a sea wall. The thing is... it worked!!!!! My baby's got to be the only non-deity I know of that can actually hold back the sea when he wants to!!!!!


Here's KC checking out something. I looked up and saw him and had to grab the camera really quickly. The caption I thought of immediately was "now bring me that horizon."


When it was time to get up and go (after a couple of hours) I was soooo relaxed that my legs wouldn't work. Honestly, it took a few steps before I could convince my muscles that they did need to do their jobs and that their vacation was over.

And yes, as KC mentioned I had the steak for lunch. And it was yummy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Here's a couple more pics from that side of the island.


[IMG]http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cn9CdMi0jbM/SwlfTcEc_**/AAAAAAAAAPk/AM5dw0q0YMw/s640/DSCN0578.JPG[/IMG]

As KC took EM#2 back to the ship, EM#1 and I sat down and had lunch. Yes, I had another lunch! Something real light and not much, of course, because I just had that awesome steak!!! And EM#1 wasn't happy that the adults had a choice of steak. Too bad... gives him something to look forward to when he gets older! LOL But I had lunch and giggles with EM#1 while KC was refilling his Pepsi and all. I don't even remember what we talked about but those of you with teenagers will understand how much it meant to me. It's like the commercial for that other cruise line. The teenager tries so hard to be surly and all that other teenager stuff but I just know there's a sweet young man still in there.

Here's some pics on the way to the gaming pavilion and while there.







I had more pictures but there's a 25 pic limit so I'll have to put the next ones in the next posting. I'll try to get to it this evening.
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