Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Our first cruise...

Have you ever been on a cruise?  I’ve always thought it would be fun, but have never had the opportunity or money to go.  Well, for Mother’s Day/my birthday my 5 kids (& niece) pooled their money together to give me the opportunity to go on a cruise to Grand Cayman Island and Cozymel, Mexico.  To say that I was excited is an understatement.  At the last minute, Molly, my yarn ball monster, decided to stow away in my luggage and go with me.  Here is Molly trying to show me she could drive.  Unfortunately, her feet didn’t reach the pedals, so she had to let me and my son do the driving on the way down to Tampa, where we were to dock the Carnival Paradise ship. 

We left really early in the morning (about 2 am).  Unfortunately, my van broke down about 30 minutes from our destination.  My van has been burning a lot of oil lately, so we were prepared with several containers of oil to add when the oil light came on.  But the light never came on and all the oil burned out of the engine causing it to die.  So here we were...stranded along the side of the interstate just minutes away from our cruise ship.    As you can see, Molly was very distressed.

We unloaded all of our luggage and found a shady spot by the side of the road where we could rest out of the sun and wait for a couple of cars in our group to go and unload their passengers and luggage and come back for us.  Molly decided to take a nap while she waited.

Thankfully, we had left early enough in the morning to give us plenty of time to get to the Tampa Port Authority before the ship sailed.  We were amazed at how big the ship looked.

As soon as we got to our stateroom, Molly decided to lay down a take another short nap.  But then she was up and ready to go explore the ship.

One of the first places we went was to the kids’ area...Camp Carnival.  She found some friends there and told my 3 grandkids that she was sure they would have fun there.

Then we checked out the pool area with its fun water slide. 

And the putt-putt course and ping-pong tables.

Finally it was time to set sail, so everyone went up on deck to watch as we made our way out of the port into the wide open ocean waters.

Molly stayed in the stateroom during supper to rest from her long journey...and because quite honestly, having a fancy sit-down dinner is just no place for a yarn ball monster.  We enjoyed the dances of the waiters...and our favorite dessert...warm...chocolate...melting...cake served with vanilla ice cream.  Mmmmmmmm!!  It was so good I had it every night for dessert.  While some folks asked for a second serving, one was more than enough for me.  But I must say I had to restrain myself from licking the bowl as it was so good.

Almost each evening when we returned to our rooms after dinner, we had a cute towel animal waiting for us.  You can see that Molly enjoyed hanging around with her new friends.

Even my grandkids enjoyed having the dress up dinners each night.

After enjoying the beautiful sunshine on our first day at sea, we woke up the next day hoping to go to the beach at Grand Cayman Island.  But it was pouring rain.  We decided to so onshore anyway.  We rode in a small tender boat and it was raining so hard that we all got soaked.    We went shopping for gifts to bring back home and then return to the ship.  Molly seemed to enjoy seeing all the island trinkets and we enjoyed our first buying trip.

I love to eat coconut, but I’m not a big fan of drinking coconut milk.  Apparently, there are people who do because I saw this stand where you could get some ice cold coconuts.

That evening we traveled to Cozymel, Mexico and woke up to a beautiful sunny day.  After going ashore it was fun to be able to see the size of the whole ship. 

We took a taxi to Paradise Beach to spend the day.  The water in Mexico was so many different shades of blue and was very beautiful.  The sand was very different from our beaches as it was grainy and brushed off easily.  Molly enjoyed laying out in the sun and I made sure she put on sunscreen so she would not get burnt.

There were a couple of macaws there that were very friendly.  My pet lover daughter just had to get up close and personal with one of them. 

While we were there, they put up a ladder to one of the coconut trees and started cutting down the coconuts. 

And there were these beautiful trees with bright red flowers that they called “Flamboyans”.  They looked just like our Mimosa trees but with red flowers instead of pink.

After the day at the beach, we went shopping.  Our 2 little monkeys, i.e. my grandsons,  found this cute cut-out that we just had to take a picture of.

Then we got back on the ship and got ready for another wonderful meal...and more chocolate melting cake.  :~)

As our cruise came to an end, we were forced to deal with our broken down van again.  We went to pick it up and had to laugh at this fountain they had there.  What a great way to recycle an old car!

The repairs were not quite done, so we were “forced” to stay an extra night at a motel and enjoy an extra day of vacation.  It also gave me and Molly a chance to check out a local yarn shop called “Knit ‘N Knibble” in Tampa.

We had a wonderful cruise and I hope to have my hubby join me on the next one.  Molly also had a good time, even though she was toted around in a knitting bag most of the time and got some soda spilled on her at the end.  But she was a good sport and was glad she had tagged along.  I hope you enjoyed her latest adventure.

Now that I’ve had a week vacation...and the shop girls have closed down the Farragut shop and remodeled the Cedar Bluff shop...I’m looking forward to having all of our yarns under one roof again...back at Cedar Bluff where it all began over 5 years ago.  Hope you’ll come in and see what we’ve done to the shop and see the new yarns that are just waiting on you to knit or crochet something beautiful with them.