Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Off the Map....

Sorry people, that seems to be where we've dropped. Blogging through our whole vacation seemed like such a good idea, until I decided internet was costing too much. And after our cruise, our living quarters had no internet, so..... there you have it. I apologize to the family who were faithfully following the blog as our means of communication over Christmas.

Now that we've been home a few days and are getting back into routine, I'll give a quick rundown of the rest of our vacation....

After Grand Cayman, we had a stop in Jamaica. I was not looking forward to this stop a whole lot because of the bad rap that Jamaica has...everyone was trying to put the fear into us before we left. But it actually ended up being one of my favorite stops. The trick is to have an awesome tour guide to take you to the right places and give you the lowdown on how to deal with certain situations. We climbed Dunn's River Falls which was absolutely amazing and then went tubing down the White River. Both excursions were fantastic...a little scary with an eight year old who's more like a four year old who has no fear of anything. But we managed and had a great time.

Chrismas day was our last full day on the ship...a marvelous day at sea and the most beautiful day we had as well. Spent most of the day on the deck in the sun relaxing.

Boxing day was debarkation day and road trip day. Somehow, with a good ol' fashioned map (Budget was out of GPS) we managed to make it from Miami to Orlando to a little suberb where we rented a five bedroom house. Then it was go-go-go for the next three days. If ever I get to plan one of these again, it will definitely be the cruise at the end of the vacation for winding down purposes!

Day one was Aquatica - Sea World's huge waterpark. Weather was a little chilly that day, but we managed to have some fun. One bonus was NO lineups for the waterslides!

Day two was Sea World. We definitely could have used two days for this, but we managed to see most of the park and catch Shamu a couple of times. After seeing two Shamu shows, we bought a stuffed version of Shamu for Emma. Took us awhile to get her to stop calling him "Shampoo." LOL!

Day three was Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. Some pretty cool stuff to see and do there, but for the $300 it cost to get in and the $200 to buy express passes to avoid two hour line-ups, I wouldn't do it again.

Day four was homecoming. Thirteen days seems to be a good length of vacation because I was READY to come home. I missed our house, our bed, our soft towels. I couldn't wait to come home and get a good night's sleep!

Well, that dream was short lived. Flights home were a nightmare! Hmm, how can I make this long story short? Here goes:

Upon arrival at Orlando airport, we find out that changes have been made to our flights and we should be at Ft. Lauderdale airport which is FOUR hours away! DOH! Someone made a huge boo-boo! So while the rest of our family checked in for their flight, I patiently sat on hold for an hour with airline reservations who told me we wouldn't be getting out of there anytime soon.

As the airline was finishing it's check-ins and we could see someone closing all the line-ups, the phone lady finally came back on and told us to run to the check-in as she had landed us three seats on the same flight our family was headed out on. YAHOO! We went through check-in ASAP and practically ran through the entire airport to board the plane, only to find out......DELAYED!

Plane was broken and had to be fixed.
Sat for hours before finally taking off.
Missed connection in Houston.
Slept at Houston Marriott.
Up at the crack of dawn to try and get a flight out of Houston.
Sat for hours.
Finally fly Houston to Calgary.
Security is CRAZY SLOW (darned Christmas bomber!)
Flight delayed.
Thank goodness that was only a half hour flight home!

So, overall we had a really good vacation. Emma had tons of fun. Up till all hours of the night and then up really early seems to suit her just fine. I was a little worried about attachment issues with all this stimulation around her plus being there with a bunch of family, but she handled it like a pro. If you would have told me last Christmas that this would be us this Christmas, I would have told you that you were crazy. There's no way we could have done this last year.

Sorry, no pics to post. For my FB friends, I've put a bunch on there. If you're not my FB friend, you'll just have to make me one if you want to see the pics! :)

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