Monday, March 31, 2008

Greg made a bet

So I was looking at my calendar and found a long forgotten note that read:
Bet w/ Greg Randall: 2 years ago he said I'd be in a diff house than (mine) by today

At first it made me laugh. Then it made me think, you know, I have been in this house a long time. I should move. I should get a place that Casey will enjoy as a teenager; a place that can accommodate guests ...

So now I have a goal. New house in 2010. That gives me two years to save save save. We'll see!

Weigh Day

I don't believe it. All I've done for the past week is eat. Worked out only once, yet managed to not gain any weight! I would have never thought I'd be happy to see the numbers 143.6 appear on my scale, but I was this morning when I saw those numbers pop up. I even checked it twice. Using the stairs instead of the elevators paid off I guess!

Unfortunately my cold has settled into my lungs so I won't be working out again for I don't know how long :( But at least I won't have so much catch up to do.

w00t w00t!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Home Sweet Home

Aaaaaaah home. My bed, my pets, my food ... I've enjoyed returning from this vacation more than any other. Still, I've spent the day uploading pictures & videos, and blogging (in between naps). Feel free to check out

Friday, March 28, 2008

Our last day at sea

Our last day on board was spent entirely at sea as we headed back to Fort Lauderdale. We got out of bed without the aid of a wake up call, ate fruit and breads ala room service, and didn't even leave our cabin until noon. Wilneau found us and spent about 15 minutes teaching the girls how to make the towel animals he'd been leaving for us each night.

Then it was off to eat yet again. I so am not looking forwarded to seeing my scale when I get home. After lunch the kids settled in with their Nintendos and I headed spa for my final service. The creme de la creme ... the hot stone massage. It wasn't as good as the massage I got in Kauai last year, but it was great nonetheless. And the massuere was adorable. I think his name was Pedro. He is from Lisbon and he can rub me down with rocks any day of the week.

$200 later I set out to find the girls who were still playing with their stupid video games. They didn't want to go the pool because it was too windy. Sailing at 15 knots tends to do that. So we settled for checking out our pictures that she ships photographers had been taking all week. $42 after that and we hear the intercom yell BINGO BINGO BINGO! $44 later we were recycling our losing bingo cards as we left the Metropolis.

We had enough time for a quick shower before dinner where we watched the wait staff parade and said goodbye to our table friends. Even though the food wasn't that great, dinner may have been the best part of the cruise. Especially this last night. It was reminiscant of the last night of summer camp when everyone is hugging and taking pictures and happy and sad all at the same time. The staff was especially happy since it was tip night for them :)

After dinner we hesitantly went back to our room to pack (and snapped this last photo on the way).

If you've never cruised before here's a little tid bit of information for ya. Your bags need to be packed and set outside your stateroom by midnight the night before you debark. It may not sound like a pain in the arse, but it is. It seriously is. How well we thought this through will be discovered tomorrow. Stay tuned!

Thursday, March 27, 2008


I don't know about you, but when I think of Belize I think of Central America ... hot, steamy, tropical. For this reason we decided that we would spend the day on the beach when we got there. Our concierge, Carlos, booked us on a Sun Beach excursion for the every day low cost of $100. We boarded the tender at 9:00 am (7:00 am Belize time) and headed to an island 6 miles east of the ship. That's right. Island ... East. The opposite direction of the main land.

When our island came into view it was very quaint. Lots of beach chairs, a couple of water trampolines, volleyball net... it seemed like a great little oasis away from the hustle and bustle. But with clouds and wind following us like the black plague, it was too cold to do too much but lay in those lovely beach chairs and cover up with anything that didn't blow away. There were no stores to visit, no locals to chat with (save the pregnant bartender & Frank, who appeared to be a manager of sorts)... basically, NOTHING to do except to play in the sun that wasn't there. Unfortunately we didn't realize this until *after* the boat informed us they'd be back at 1:00 to pick us up and left.

The kids didn't seem to bothered by it. They combed the beach for shells and waded in the water up to about their ankles. I tried to zen out and relax. Then a wonderful thing happened. I glanced at the dock and saw our boat dropping off another round of poor saps people. I ran over to ask if he'd take us back, but three other families had already beaten me to it. Next thing I knew I was handing him a $20 bill and heading back to the ship.

We immediately took another tender to the touring area of Belize, which pretty much consisted of a lot of peddlers and a lot of stores. It really felt like in Central America here, and had even warmed up a bit! So we bought souvenirs, $4 ice cream bars, and great dreadlock hats for Crazy Hat Day. The lady selling them called me Sugarplum and posed for this picture with the girls. Oh, and here's a little tid-bit I wasn't aware of ... they sell prescriptions like aspirin there - right OTC. Check out the menu at this "pharmacy!"

That's it. That was our day in Belize. No more than a few hours, and really, that was probably a few hours too many. We had more fun at the pool and at dinner with our Wisconsin friends I do believe. Casey and Mercedes, of course, deserted me for sports night in the kids club and I realized that I had a cold that needed to be slept off. So that's what I did.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Dolphins Rule (in Cozumel)

The wake up call came at 7:00 ship time. I say that because the ship stays on Eastern Time despite the actual time zone we visit.

Cozumel, for example, is in the Mountain Time zone, but the ship still sails at 5:00 eastern. They made this point over and over again since apparently the ship won't wait for us if we're late.

Our excursion for today is ... Swimming With Dolphins at Chakanaab Park at 8:00 am, Cozumel time. I had no idea what to expect as far as travel time to get there, lines, etc. so we ended up getting there before 7am local time. With an hour to kill we walked up and down the shore line and grabbed some primo beach chairs. Finally it was time to check in for our Royal Dolphin Swim!

The weather was cloudy and windy, so the waves were rockin pretty good. No sooner than we stepped into the water, Casey decided she wanted nothing to do with swimming in the deep water. So she stayed on the platform while Mercedes, me, and the rest of the group swam out to play with Tatiche and pregnant Ichelle.

Even though Casey didn't do the swimming part, she did get to kiss the dolphins, be kissed by them, and tickled them on the belly button (which she thought was very cool).

The dolphin adventure lasted for about 30 minutes, then we were escorted to a little room where they showed us the DVD and photos that they took. $200 later we left the gift store and headed to the pool & beach where the kids played.

Mercedes and I decided to go for a quick snorkel and were happily surprised by all of the fish we saw!

Good thing I glanced at my watch ... before we knew it it was almost 2:00! With the whole time change and needing to be back on the ship by 2:30, so we rushed to the taxis. At the port we had to walk past all the stores selling their seriously inexpensive wares, and got back to the boat with time to spare.

Plenty of time to spare, actually.

We were stunned when the clock in the Royal Promenade read 2:15. Yes, I am a time miscalculating genius. I wanted to head back out and do a little shopping, but Casey and Mercedes didn't care to do that (big surprise there), so we spent the rest of our day at the pool and napping in the room. We skipped dinner in the Nutcracker - the food there is mediocre at best - and I headed back to the spa for a lime & ginger body scrub & massage while the kids went to a pajama party at the kids club.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Formal Night

Our first day at sea was pretty much a lazy day. The kids swam, despite the cold and cloudy weather, then went to the Adventure Ocean kids club while I hung out and tried to locate the ships hotspots. Since tonight is our formal dinner, I went to the spa for a little cut and style in the afternoon so I wasn't sporting spiked hair with my cocktail dress.

Turns out we clean up pretty good!

We had a nice dinner and were not surprised when the monster children were back in the window again. We were surprised that the parents ignored our glares, but at least they were gone by desert. The only thing worse than monster children is monster children hyped up on sugar.

We got back to our room to find that our state room attendant, Wilneau, left us a bunny towel! We love Wilneau. He rocks.

Tomorrow we have an early day in Cozumel so we crashed out shortly after dinner. We are party animals!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Royal Caribbean Cruise Day 1 - Liar Liar Pants On Fire

Embarkation day went smoothly. We scored a late checkout from the hotel, got to the port (thanks Melissa!) around 1pm and figured out the process for boarding.

First thing we did was register the kids. The second thing on my to do list was to pick up the "cyber cabin kit" that allows me to connect to the internet from my room (so I can blog of course).

Problem. They don't do in-room internet anymore. They discontinued the program 4 1/2 months ago because it was messing up their network. So instead of having unlimited access in my room, I have to go to a net cafe and pay by the minute (upwards of $.57 depending on the package you buy). At least I won't spend my entire vacation online that way.

After the net fiasco we headed up to our room - 1282 - the Grand Suite on the 10th deck. It's a beautiful room. Big bathroom, huge balcony, a dressing table, bar, two large closets ... we're traveling in style on this ship.

We didn't spend a lot of time in the room since our luggage hadn't arrived yet, so we headed our to explore and swim until the 4:30 muster drill. Oooooh doggy that was fun. We looked so stylish in our purty orange life jackets ... the teenager down the hall even called me a rock star. Little punk :)

Shortly after we set sail. It was pina coladas for everyone on the pool deck where there was a party goin on! The kids swam while I watched Fort Lauderdale slowly drift away.

Next on the agenda was dinner. Our restaurant is the Nutcracker on the third floor and our assigned seats are right next to the window. Awesome! We met our tablemates for the first time too: a banker from Wisconsin, his wife, and nine year old dd. All very nice and chatty. Unfortunately the table next to us has a table full of children who can't seem to stay in their seats. My view was obstructed by children using the windows as slides. I broke out my camera for evidence of the monster children (they name they quickly adopted) and don't you know they even smiled for the camera.

I wonder if it's illegal to beat OPKs on international waters?

After dinner the kids grabbed their nintendos and I headed to the spa for a facial.

The vacationing is on.

He Is Risen!

Our Easter Sunday was not spent searching for colored eggs, or celebrating the resurrection of Jesus, it was spent traveling to Fort Lauderdale. I didn't think much about traveling on this day when I made our Spring Break plans, but I felt a little guilty not doing anything traditional. Good thing Jesus loves me anyway! :)

The airports were surprisingly busy, and we were very happy when we finally made it to our hotel room. A few phone calls to let everyone know we arrived safely, a little room service dinner, and minimal unpacking later, we were settled in and trying to sleep off the excitement of boarding our first cruise the next day.

So here we are, now Monday, waking up at what feels to us like 7am on our first day of vacation. Let me rephrase that. I woke up at what feels like 7am to us, opened the blinds, made coffee, turned on my computer, got lectured by Kelli for working while on vacation via IM, and am now blogging about our trip so far while Casey and Mercedes are still snoozing away.

At 10:00 I am getting their little butts out of bed so they can enjoy a few minutes of Florida before we take off for the ship place. Pretty soon I'll have the lingo down, but until then, enjoy our view!

Monday, March 17, 2008

This is what dining out will do to ya

So I've worked out quite a bit this past week - took a couple of yoga classes, a pilates class, and tried to get some cardio in before or after. I was excited to hop on the scale only to find that I put on almost a pound!

The scale taunted me with the numbers 144.4


Then I realized, I ate out almost every day last week, and when you eat out, you must get dessert.

So I am banning sweets, as soon as I finish these six boxes of Girl Scout Cookies :)

Monday, March 10, 2008


That's how much I weighed this morning, naked. My highest weight was with clothes on, but I have probably put on at least a pound of muscle weight so I'm telling myself it's a wash.

Oh, and my scale also says that I'm 35.1% body fat.

I'm no where near my goal for vacation, but I have a couple of weeks to at least get into the 130s, and I'm on track to be one hot 39 year old for summertime :)