In January my parents took my sisters and brothers-in-law on the most amazing cruise to celebrate their 40th anniversary year. It was so much fun! I had been a little anxious before leaving. I hadn’t been away from Beckham for more than a few hours on a date night so I got a little nervous leaving him for 12 days. I was also a little anxious about what if we didn’t return. I didn’t want Beckham to grow up without a mom, dad, or even both. I know…silly thoughts…but thoughts that still made me nervous.
After preparing, packing, and writing our will (yes, we really did that!) we took Beckham over to my mother-in-laws house. She and my sister-in-law were taking on the big task of watching him the entire time we were gone. We set up his bedroom…complete with pack and play with a mattress, music box (Check it out here…it is one of the most used things Beckham has), diapers galore, and a photo album so he doesn’t forget who we are. We kissed and kissed and kissed Beckham and Max before hitting the road. We may or may not have cried as we drove away. Soon enough we were at the airport and on our way to Ft. Lauderdale.
The next morning we made the short trip down to the port and embarked the Coral Princess. We were all so excited to get going and see our digs for the next 11 days. The boat was absolutely beautiful! After grabbing some lunch and a pina colada (virgin of course) we waved goodbye to the US and set sail.
Next, mustering! Can’t forget to muster! Then on to dinner and a little welcome show that night.
Day 1 on the boat was sailing toward Jamaica. We kept busy by playing wooden pony races. Erin won $6 and I won a baseball hat. :) Bring on the luck! Next we tried our hand at bingo but didn’t have any luck. BOO! That evening was a formal night. I think it is so much fun getting all fancied up to eat and enjoy a show. This is something we never really get a chance to do. I guess I was the only one who really like it because after dinner everyone wanted to change into something more comfortable. ha ha
First we headed up a chair lift in the middle of the rain forest. Talk about gorgeous. When we got to the top we made fools of ourselves with the dancers before headed on the bobsled coaster. Then Erin, Josh, and I hit up the water slide that dumped us into an infinity pool overlooking the island. Look! You can even see our boat in the distance!
Then we headed to the Dunns River Falls and climbed up….along with 2000 middle schoolers. It was a busy place but we sure had fun. Nothing gives you more inspiration and motivation to lose weight than to see your bloated and pregnant body in a bathing suit. YIKES! Good thing I will never see all those people again.
After a nice relaxing day at sea we woke up in Costa Rica! Another beautiful and tropical location. We left the boat and headed for the rain forest so we could get our zip line on! Talk about a cool experience. They hooked us all up in the most flattering safety gear known to man before showing us how to zip line from tree to tree. We were hundreds of feet off the ground in the middle of the rain forest!! SOOOO COOOOL!
The next morning we woke up bright and early to see our boat enter the Panama Canal locks. This was such a cool site to see. It was neat to watch the water lift the boat up to the next level, see the boat creep through to the next lock, and then watch the water pour in to the previous lock before starting the rotation all over again. 3 locks later we were in Gatun Lake.
Then we jumped onto the tenders and headed to shore. After a little drive we boarded boats and hit the canal to find wildlife. This was so fun. The canal water was splashing on our faces as we felt itty bitty next to the large ships transporting all kinds of cargo. We stopped by some trees just off the water and saw monkeys! Real life monkeys in the wild! It was really amazing. After another ride down the canal we pulled up to some more trees and saw even more! Our driver put some apple pieces on the front of our boat and the monkey jumped right out of the tree on to the boat, grabbed the apple, and hopped back up into the tree. WHAT! AWESOME!! In all we saw about 4 different species of monkeys. We also saw a sloth (sleeping of course), an alligator, and a bunch of different birds.
After cruising throughout the night we woke up almost to our Columbia port. First we celebrated Erin’s birthday before disembarking in Cartegena. On our way to find a driver to give us a tour of the city we walked through this really cool visitor’s center. It was like a mini rain forest with all kinds of birds and animals there. We saw toucans, parrots, monkeys, lizards, bunnies, miniature pigs or something, and other funky rain forest creatures.
After Ryan used his Spanish to hook us up with a taxi driver and a good deal, we all piled in a van and took off to see the city of Cartegena. At first I was a little nervous because when I think of Columbia I think of the drug cartel and all the scary things that go along with that. After a while I just felt like I was in another Spanish speaking city. We stopped first at the fort to see some of the history. Then we headed to the “old town” to see what the city within the old walls looked like. It was beautiful. You could definitely see the influence of the founders. While we were there we stopped in a Hard Rock and celebrated Erin’s birthday again. Can’t celebrate too much. Then we headed to the “new town” to get a quick glance and stop at the beach. Can’t go all the way to Columbia and not step on the beach!!
After three days of sight seeing we enjoyed a day at sea soaking up the sun. It was nice to have a relaxation day, sipping pina coladas, eating fruit, and watching movies by the pool.
The next morning we woke up at the beautiful island of Aruba! I have been to Aruba before but not this port so it was like I was in a different place. We hopped on a bus that took us to a waiting catamaran. After boarding we set sail and got hooked up with snorkel gear. After a short sail time we stopped, jumped off the boat, and got our snorkel on. It was fantastic! The water was great and the fish were beautiful!
The last two days of the cruise we spent on the sea, soaking up the lasts rays of sunshine that we could, eating as much food as we could, playing Bingo again (I never won but Erin and my mom won TWICE!), and eating even more food! What a great way to end 11 days of awesomeness!!
After we got kicked off the boat we headed to the airport. We hung out for a little bit only to find out that our flight was canceled because of weather in Atlanta. Normally getting stuck in Florida and being forced to have another day on vacation would rock but it was raining, we didn’t have our luggage, and I missed Beckham and Max like a crazy person. But after a night in a cool modern hotel, we made it! I grabbed my little boy, swung his around, and kissed him like crazy. Actually I think Max was more excited to see Adam and I but I talked myself into thinking Beckham missed me as much as I missed him.
This cruise was a dream! I loved spending time with my parents, sisters, and brothers-in-law. I especially loved being able to spend time with them without having to worry about what the kids are doing, cooking, and cleaning up. It was just a nice relaxing time in the sun, laughing, and eating way too much food. Thank you Mom and Dad for giving us such a wonderful present, memories that we wouldn’t trade for anything, and some killer couple time. Happy 40th Anniversary! We love you guys like crazy!!!