Ahhh. My vacation. I agonized over it, planned my time, my wardrobe, where the kids would be when and with who. I figured out who would take care of our dog, Lucy. I didn't make arrangements for the fish, but that darn fish just has will to live like I've never seen. I am pretty sure she gets fed once a month. I got paperwork ready, I made lists, I scrutinized for months before vacation. And then it was here. And then it was gone.
It was amazing. Craig and I had so much fun together. Not that we don't have fun together regularly, but this was a different kind of fun. The "wehavenostressinourlivesnodiaperstochangenomouthstofeedbutourown" type of fun. It was so relaxing. So nice to eat a meal with no interruptions, to really talk to each other about things like music, books, movies, and just get away from it all. To feel like we did before we had all of the stress and responsibilities. Did we miss the kids? Like crazy. I cried nearly every night. But I knew they were having a blast. One day when I called, they were swinging at the park, and Callie informed me that she "can't talk to you right now, Mommy. I'm on a swing and I need two hands for this." So I know that if she has to choose between the swing and me, the swing wins.
Our trip started in Ft. Lauderdale. We relaxed, shopped, and anxiously awaited boarding our cruise. We ran into one of Craig's co-workers on the flight. Small world, huh? Even smaller that they were then on our next flight and leaving for cruise as well. (Not the same as ours, though.)
We boarded the Carnival Miracle on Sunday. We were all so excited to get on the ship and explore. We had so much fun people watching, sun bathing, and playing all of the silly games that cruise ships have to offer. Craig even took a dance lesson. On a stage. In front of people. (Well, about half of the lesson until he decided to quit!)
Our first island was Grand Turk. We went to the beach, shopping, and just relaxed. I swam in the ocean, and Craig just tried not to get an even worse sun burn. (Yes, just a day into the cruise, he was a lobster!)
Our second island was the Dominican Republic. We had a not so good experience there. We went to La Romana via shuttle, and were dropped off at the "market." I really don't even want to talk about what happened in our 15 minutes there. We then took a shuttle to a little village, where we got to see some amazing views, beautiful streets and buildings, and some relax time.
Our third island was Aruba. I was in love immediately. We went to De Palm Beach. We snorkeled, we ate, we drank, we did the water park, we did the banana boat. Has anyone seen "Jaws?" The one where the kids are paddling the banana boat along, ever so serenely? This is what I thought we'd be doing. We went to get on and they required life jackets. "Overly cautious" I thought. We were tied to the dock and I saw the guy let us go. And then I saw that the rope was also tied to a boat in front of us. I was so not aware of what I was in for. And I wish I had a picture or video to show you just what happened. The guy drove the boat with us straddling this tiny air raft, flying through the air, being pelted with salt from the ocean. I have never held on for dear life quite like I did this day. The guy gave us directions before we got on the raft. I couldn't remember them! I didn't think they were important! I thought we were paddling the boat! He said something about sharks, something about the easiest way to get back on if you fall off (!!XXX!!!) and I couldn't remember any of it. I remember telling Craig "I don't want to do this anymore! I don't want to do this anymore!" Oh, and he said he wouldn't go over 15 MPH but anyone on that raft will tell you that was a LIE!!!!!! He was twisting and turning and I kept holding on and holding on. Then, he flipped the raft over. On purpose. I was in the ocean straight up "Jaws" style, with my life jacket, my contacts barely intact, and no memory of my directions. They very leisurely came back around, we got back on the raft, and I couldn't wait to be on land. Looking back, it really was super fun, but I can't say I'd ever do it again. The rest of the day in Aruba was spent shopping. Much more my cup of tea:)
Aruba day was also my birthday. I am pretty sure, thanks to my husband and family and friends with us, that every single passenger knew it was my birthday. Between shouting it out when I was the "lucky" girl chosen for trivia, or shouting it out in the dining room, or elevator, or anywhere, I can say I've never had so many strangers sing "Happy Birthday" to me ever in my life.
After Aruba we were on to Curacao. I also had a lot of fun here. We shopped, walked around, and relaxed. The buildings were so, so beautiful.
It was such an amazing trip. We missed the kids, and it was good to be back home, but I am so glad that we went. We are already planning the next one. WITH the kids this time :)