Monday, July 1, 2013

I could get used to this cruisin' thing!

We cruised away on our vacation again this year.  The Carnival Breeze, for 8 days.  Ahhhhh....  my happy place :)  Although this is our 3rd time cruising in 3 years, it never gets old.

I don't get tired of walking up the gangway, behind my kids during embarkation.  The anticipation!  We're so close!!

I don't get tired of seeing our new home for the first time.

I don't get tired of spending the week with this

or this.

I don't get tired of this view from our restaurant

or these views out our door.

We never get tired of ice cream, even for breakfast!

And Emma never gets tired of getting a new friend every night.

I never miss the land, it is fun at sea!  "Hello, Fun!"

But just when we start to get used to our sea legs, the ship takes us to new and exciting places.  Our first stop was a gorgeous beach / pool day in Grand Turk.

Gorgeous flour-like soft sand on one side of the pier.

 The other side of the pier was rocky and was loaded with conch shells!  So neat!

Ahhhhh....  Palm trees....  blue water....

There's our ship, waiting for us...

 Hey, do we look like tourists?!?

Next day.  San Juan, Puerto Rico.  Wow was it hot in Puerto Rico.  We saw an old fort and part of old San Juan.  All within walking distance of the port, but wow.  It was hot in Puerto Rico.


Hey - do we look like tourists??!!

Did I mention it was hot in Puerto Rico??  (And apparently windy with my nice hairdo above, haha.)  My goodness.  It was hot.  So after practically melting to death after a few hours, we went back on the boat.  And there was hardly anyone on board, we had the boat practically all to ourselves!  Wheeee!!!  We hit that waterpark no less than a bazillion times, we were pros on the ropes course after doing it a gazillion times.  We fed our faces with pool-side food including burritos, tacos and burgers.  No lines anywhere.  We had one-on-one ship time!

Emma even got a medal for doing the ropes course so many times!

The next morning we woke up to a Towel Animal Take-Over.  They were on every single lounge chair by the pool.  Too cute!

Then we got off and explored Tortola. 

We took a ferry to Virgin Gorda to see 'The Baths'.  A maze with HUGE boulders.  Very neat, I had never seen anything like it!

We had no idea where we were headed.  What was Devil's Bay?

Oh my goodness, suddenly the boulders gave way to THIS!  Paradise!  Not sure why they called it Devil's Bay.  It was breathtaking.  The pictures do not do this justice.  After climbing over and under and around huge boulders, we were rewarded for our effort.

  Hey, do we look like tourists??!!

Next stop:  St. Thomas.  It was very overcast this day. 

But we had a snorkeling excursion booked, so away we went.  Literally - away we went.  They told us to jump off the sailboat.  Not sure what I was thinking when we jumped - but whatever I was thinking, it was not 'How do I help my kids calm down once they jump into the ocean with snorkle masks on and now they are scared and water went down their snorkles and now they can't breathe let alone start to snorkle so now what do I do?!' 

Anyway.  Away we go!

The water was a bit choppy because of the weather.  Poor Emma never did get the feel for it, she was a nervous wreck the whole time and cried.  A lot.  Once I put the kids back on the sailboat, I took a few minutes to look around underwater.  It really was beautiful.  I bet on a calm day, it would be amazing.

But on the way back, they served Rum Punch.  And it freely flowed.  I mean - Freely. Flowed.  Cheers!

The kids got pop.  Look what pop does to Luke!

Hey - do we look like tourists??!!

Back on the ship, we played dress up.

It's hard acting all grown up with manners and stuff!

We played.

We watched movies under the stars, pool side.  We also watched movies in the Thrill Theater, which was an awesome 4-D movie theater.  We saw production shows, we laughed with comedians. We went to dance parties.  We lounged by the pool.  I sipped on froo-froo drinks with little umbrellas in them.  We never ran out of things to do. 

And we ate.  A lot.  You know what is crazy?  When I am home, I get sick of going out to eat.  But when I am on the ship, I never get tired of having someone else cook my food - and pretty much have it ready whenever I am hungry -  or when I just feel like eating.  Again. 

Did you know we ate a lot of ice cream?  Any time, day or night.  We've got to get one of those ice cream machines around here!

It might be hard to tell, but yes, she is eating ice cream.  Again.

They made us get off the ship again this year, the nerve of them.  But not before one last ice cream!

Good bye, my Happy Place.  Thank you for making my bed, cooking my food, cleaning my bathroom, and spoiling me rotten for 8 wonderful days.  

Back to reality where I have to do it all :(  

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Fashion Runway Birthday Party

We had to have Emma's birthday party early this year.  10 days early.  Not a normal occurance, but our schedules lately, ugh.... 

But we still celebrated in style even though it was early.  Literally - in style.  For Emma's 7th birthday, she wanted a "Fashion Runway" party.  She has never watched Project Runway with me, but the day after the show airs, I sometimes show her online pictures of the designs.  She always calls the show "Fashion Runway".  So when she asked me for this party, I knew exactly what she meant.

For as much as I love planning kids parties, I had to think about this a little bit.  How could little girls make their own dresses?  I certainly wasn't going to help them sew.  Cutting up fabric would be a mess.  Then it hit me - grown up TShirts could easily be turned into "Little Black Dresses" for little girls, and they could have fun embellishing them.  Perfect.

We started with Black TShirts.  I bought Jr. Fit so they wouldn't be swimming in them.  The girls could add trim, duct tape, jewels, flowers, etc.  I used fabric glue, but it didn't dry fast enough.  There is probably a better answer, but not sure what??

 They really got into this!  Some girls could've embellished all day if I had let them!

Once the dresses were created, they got to add their finishing touches:  sunglasses, necklaces, rings, earrings, bracelets....

Then they had a runway waiting for them!  But first - one last look.  And a reminder to remember to smile!

And they did take that one last look, too cute!

Look at this cute runway!  They are actually plastic tablecloths from Oriental Trading. 

Oh my goodness, what a blast the girls had modeling their new dresses!

The crowd approved...

And so did the papparazzi!

Complete with a strobe light!  Not sure the girls understood it was supposed to be cameras flashing, haha.  I actually stood right next to this and took their pictures as each girl came down the runway - and then used their pictures as thank you notes.  Cutest thank-you's ever!

A fashionista party wouldn't be complete without cupcakes with pink glitter sprinkles. (Edible of course, lol)

Happy Birthday my Baby Girl!  I can't believe you are already 7.  I hope you had fun at your Fashion Runway Party.  And I hope you realize that you are beautiful - no matter what you are wearing!!  I love you!
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