I am extremely late at posting this. But I am, from now on, sticking to my goal of blogging once a week in 2012. I could go back (and maybe I should?) and blog about what a wonderful Christmas it was, because it was, but I think I will move forward. Well, at least forward from Christmas.
4 days after Christmas Anthony and I celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary! And, we celebrated it bigger than we have celebrated any anniversary and in a way that I will hope (but I’m sure mostly just wish) to celebrate every one in the future.
WARNING: If you don’t want to read a travel log, don’t continue, because this is definitely it. (although my pictures are just kind of thrown in there because believe it or not my camera stayed in our room a lot of the time.) And because it was written over days, I’m not sure how well it flows, but I just need to post it.
Anyway, on to the post.
On the morning of our 10 year anniversary we sailed away. On this:
Just the 2 of us.
We boarded the ship at just about the time we were married 10 years earlier. That was more of a coincidence than a planned thing, but it was fun to recall the events of our big day throughout the day.
The night of our anniversary we had hour long Swedish massages and settled in for 4 days of just us. We hadn’t been on a vacation without kids…well, really ever so this was a much anticipated and needed getaway. Every part of it right down to the towel animals was so fun and enjoyable – and if anyone can tell us what the third one is, well, what is it? (We missed our 4th animal b/c our sign letting them know they could clean our room got knocked down and put up saying we were sleeping instead. Bummer.)
Dinners were always so much fun. Yummy food….3 course meals, or more (if you ordered extra appetizers, etc) and the waiters would get you anything you wanted. I may or may not have asked for extra ice-cream at one point. The first night they even entertained us with some dancing.
It was actually cold when we left the port, but when we woke up the next morning to walk to breakfast the air was suddenly warm and we realized we were in Nassau, Bahamas. We stayed on the ship and enjoyed the quiet there while everyone else went ashore and after lunch we ventured out to the shops. What a crazy experience that was. Lots of “Hey pretty lady buy this!” or “Hey pretty lady, I braid your hair!” I had never experienced anything like it before. We grabbed some goodies for the kids and for our trusty babysitters – Nana and Aunt Krystal – and we headed back to the ship.
We were supposed to parasail that day but our excursion was canceled due to lack of wind. I was totally disappointed as the other parasailing excursion the next day had said it was sold out online, but we decided not to let it ruin the day and went and took naps instead. We napped until dinner time and enjoyed another wonderful 3 course meal – ending as I did each night with my dessert of choice – a chocolate melting cake (Anthony tried various desserts, I stuck to the same one each night). It was like dipping my spoon into the bottle of hot fudge. Oh, and at some point that evening Anthony went to the excursion desk and found out that there were actually spots open for parasailing the next day so he booked us a spot. YEAH!
We had planning on staying up late that night and indulge in the midnight Mexican buffet because…well because we could! But, then we found ourselves so full and for some reason sleepy that we opted to go to bed early and get up early the next morning and go ashore in search of the beach at our next port. We weren’t sure what to expect at Half Moon Cay but we hoped the beach would be within walking distance from the pier so that we didn’t have to get a taxi from one of the crazy, “Pretty lady” people.
We left the boat at 9am the next day, it was New Years Eve. This time leaving the boat was different because you had to take a boat to the island, as there was no place for the cruise ship to dock. I am so glad that we went to bed early the night before and left the ship quickly the next day. If any place is paradise this was it. Half Moon Cay is a private island owned by Carnival Cruise line and we have decided private island ports are the way to go. It was SO beautiful! And because it was the cruise line’s private island the staff from the boat actually got off the boat (well, some of them) and worked the island too. That meant that the food on the island was all included in the cost of the cruise. The beach was amazing. White powder sand and clear water, and when I say clear I mean when I was in the water up to my shoulders I could look down and see my toes clearly. We grabbed beach chairs and settled in with our Kindle and our Nook to soak up some sunshine…although, I had a hard time not just staring at the scenery. My plans to read an entire book on the cruise didn’t happen because while I would try to read I found it much more relaxing and satisfying to gaze out at my surroundings – not to mention it was people watching at its finest. (Cruises bring out the crazy in people, and the drinks are always flowing so you know there is going to be some “entertainment.”)
After an awesome lunch buffet we headed back to the pier and waited for our boat to take us parasailing. Parasailing was AMAZING! I kept being nervous about the wind because there wasn’t much so Anthony and I couldn’t go together and we were the last in the group to go. I kept crossing my fingers that the person driving the boat wouldn’t turn around and say, well, we’ve got to go back, we don’t have enough wind. We lucked out and it was so cool! It wasn’t scary at all, and you do seriously get up there really high. It is so peaceful and calm when you are at the highest point and you can see forever.
We originally had planned to go back to the boat after parasailing but we didn’t want to say goodbye to paradise just yet. So we headed back to the beach and grabbed some chairs. We would have been happy to stay ashore and let the boat sail away, oh except those 3 kids of ours at home. Although, I will say we didn’t miss them much (does that sound awful?). At dinner the 2nd night I asked Anthony on a scale of 1 to 10 how much did he miss the kids (10 being the most). His answer 4. As we were laying on the beach that day I turned to him and said, “I think I’m at a 1.” And I was.
That night was New Years Eve. The boat had a big party but we opted for a late dinner, hanging in the piano bar singing along with the drunks and then watching the party from the top deck. We had our own kiss and dance at midnight and then walked out to the highest most point of the ship looking out over a moonlight ocean – it was a nice quiet and beautiful place we had discovered the night before. It was so beautiful there at night, and even during the day and it was typically quiet and free of the crowds.
The final full day of the cruise was spent completely at sea. This is when our scale of missing the kids began to rise because as much as there is to do on the ship it isn’t quite as distracting as a private island paradise. We slept late, laid on the sun deck, lunched, napped, watched the sun set (but where was my camera?), had dinner, watched shows and stayed up as late as we had the entire trip trying to hold on to the feeling of vacation as long as we could…and yes this included a midnight buffet – because, we could.
Returning home seemed somewhat of a culture shock. It had really felt like we were in our own world and then came back to our plain old boring one, and seriously I think we have been in a post-cruise depression for like a month – way more than the average vacation blues. It was just so wonderful. Seriously. The kids are begging to go on one, and we will take them, someday – but I am so glad we went on this one just the two of us. It was wonderful to have 4 days to be Anthony and Jennifer and leave behind Mommy and Daddy. The kids were so happy to see us when we got home, and they were so cute, they had cleaned and decorated the house for our return plus had breakfast for us (doughnuts and cupcakes).
It was a great 10 year celebration, and I am so grateful we did it. But, I am even more grateful for the 10 years we were celebrating. In some ways it seems like yesterday when we got married and in other ways it feels like forever ago because of how much we have changed and grown together. We did promise that we wouldn’t wait another 10 years to make time for a vacation together just the two of us, and I’m holding him to that!