Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Back to Reality

We spent a wonderful 7 days on the western Caribbean this last week with Vicki's mom and dad, siblings, and their spouses. We left Tibi and Landon with family friends while Kira took off herself to Phoenix for a wedding reception of a mission buddy. We flew to Miami (probably the best flight I've ever had, thank goodness) on early Sunday morning and arrived about three hours before the rest of the family. We all caught 6 a.m. flights (which meant 2 a.m. wakeup time) so that we would have daytime left in Miami with time change. Kevin and I never really went to sleep before our flight, which made it nice for me sleeping most of the way on the plane. We arrived in Miami to find record cold and wind there. Our shuttle guy complained that he finally had to buy a coat for the first time because of it. It was brutal cold. We waited at the hotel for the rest of the family to land, finally ended up together, had a relaxing Sabbath day, and prepared to board the cruise ship.

We headed out south toward Cuba on our way to our first stop. We would be on the boat all night, all the next day, and port the next morning in Cayman. It took that first day for me to get used to the movement of the boat, but after the first day, I was fine. I discovered that I needed to be at the back of the boat to get the least movement. Thank goodness that's where our cabin was, but the workout room was at the very front of the boat near the top, which got the most movement, so that first morning that I went to workout, I felt like I was going to throw up. I wanted to workout every morning on the ship (to help cancel calories that I knew I would be eating) but this was not going to work. So I decided to instead run on the track that was located on the top deck of the boat. I would rather run outside than on a treadmill anyway, so it worked out perfectly.
The ship was huge, 12 stories high, with everything you would ever need. Food was always available, and the staff was wonderful.
This is Armanz from Latvia. They have a lot of foreigners working on the ship. Armanz liked to hang out with our family whenever he could. I had taken a puzzle with me to do on the ship and he was afraid we would get it done before he could have a little time off to come and help us.

The Cayman Islands were beautiful, but crowded with tourists from the ship. We usually had two or three other cruise lines ported with us, so it made for a lot of people on the islands. We still had a great time sightseeing and walking the streets. These ports thrive on the tourists that come shopping. It's how they survive, and boy, do they try to draw you in to their store!We snorkelled around this "pirate" ship and saw some pretty coral and fish. Some of us had to get used to snorkelling, but we finally got the hang of it before the day was done. Dad even got out there with us while mom and Jeff stayed on the ship.

After each port we had a lot a down time to travel on the ship getting to our next port. We spent a lot of time on the Lido deck eating and playing games. This was our designated meeting place for almost everything.We ate dinner every night in the Washington dining room, which was very nice. We sat at the same two tables every night and had the same waiters too. The food was incredible and we tried some pretty yummy appetizers, entres, and desserts. We could order whatever we wanted, however much we wanted. One night, when Lobster tail was on the menu, my brother Scott joked about having 5 more dinners delivered, and the next thing we knew, 5 more dinners were delivered! The second port was at Roatan, a little island off the coast of Honduras. It was a beach day where we all got burnt and had to stay out of the sun for the next day. Well.....I had to. This is where we were when the earthquake hit Haiti, which was north of us by then.Mom was able to get off the ship for our beach day. She stayed in a hut right on the beach and even had waiters to tend to her. Our next stop was in Belize where we took a jungle cruise up a river and spotted crocodile, dolphins, iguanas, monkeys, and birds. We climbed Mayan ruins and enjoyed beautiful meadows.Our last stop was at Cozumel where we got off the ship and snorkeled with sting rays (yikes!) and tropical fish. We then went shopping and sightseeing before we headed back onto the cruise ship to set sail back to Miami.
The colors were beautiful. I'm a sucker for pretty flowers.
Every night after our room was remade we would find an animal made out of towels. Here's our elephant. We also had a dog and a dinosaur. The ship even sold a book that showed how to make all the different kinds of "towel" animals. We spent the next day on the ship and got back into Miami on the next Sunday, got off and headed to the airport before flying back to Las Vegas. We had a wonderful time, thanks to mom and dad, and have decided that everyone should go on a cruise at least once in their life.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Druggie For A Week

I don't take drugs, hardly ever. I will stick it out with a headache or ailment until I either can't stand it any longer, or until Kevin tells me to take something. Then I'll do it just to ease his mind, or stop his belly-aching, whichever comes first. So I consider this week to be a week of "almost" sinning for me, because I have drugs and I'm going to take them! Mom and dad are taking all of us kids and spouses on a 7-day western Caribbean cruise on Saturday, and I can't walk to Miami (believe me, I would if I could) and that means that a plane and I are going to be battling it out. I'm sure that the plane is going to win. Planes and I have never been best of friends, not even friends at all for that matter. I don't do well with them. Friends never make you sick, or nervous, and you usually like to be around them. So planes are my mortal enemy. The only enemy I have really. So these two drugs are my new best friends. The patch, (which has been a friend for a while) and Xanax, an anxiety med for nerves. It's bad enough to get sick on flights, but to be nervous too - that's just not nice. They don't go together well at all, sick and nervous. So, hopefully I will relax and find myself in Miami a lot quicker than I would have made it walking. Now all I have to worry about is keeping the ship from rocking. I hope their beds are comfortable. I'm thinking that I might be spending quite a bit of time on mine.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Another Year Older...

I love New Years, not because I have a chance to make a new list of things I want or need to do, but because I get the chance to reflect on the last year and figure out what I really did with my life for the last year. Not that I don't have my list, but I personally would rather make sure that I wasn't a slacker, or improving in SOME way. I came across an article in the Church News a couple of months ago that I tore out and kept because of it's sentiment. It was written by a 102 year old man that had given much of his life to others. Here's the poem that he wrote that was included in the article:
Age is a quality of mind.
If your dreams you've left behind,
If hope is cold,
And you no longer look ahead,
And your ambitious fires are dead,
Why then, you're old.

But, if in life you do your best,
And if in life you keep your zest,
And love you hold,
No matter how the years go by,
No matter how the birthdays fly,
You are not old.