Saturday, December 31, 2011

in the middle of the sea, sea, sea (part 1)

 December tenth found seven of us piled messily into the car and on our way to the airport, Houston bound.  Carseats are unfair to travel with, both taking up massive amounts of room in a car and becoming even more inconvenient and awkward to carry through an airport (and be cursed at by TSA officials at security).

This would be Eisley's third flight, Ruby's seventh.  We beat the pre-holiday rush and breezed through security, leaving ample time to have a sit down lunch before boarding.

Aside from Eisley choosing a most inconvenient time to projectile vomit, covering me, herself, and her blanket; the plane ride was completely laid back.  Ruby watched Sesame Street on the iPod, and Eisley slept.  Luckily, I had a sweatshirt on and could slip out of it to somewhat mask the vomit smell.  Later, I would find myself using hotel shampoo to wash our clothing and her blanket.  Washing clothing with shampoo in hotel sinks is becoming a lost art; this is something I became talented at in even the tiniest of bathrooms (read: stateroom bathroom on board the cruise ship).

We met up with Corey and Genny at the baggage claim in Houston; later Eric and Megan arrived, and we headed out to classiest of all restaurants in Houston.  Let me just say, thundering club music with nearly naked waitresses wasn't exactly what any of us had in mind when searching for dinner.  Throw an over tired baby and a toddler into that, and you have mother of the year wearing a robe of guilt.

The following day, our new home for the week teased us as we suffered through security lines for a terrible length of time.  Due to illness from the group before us, they had to completely sanitize the ship from top to bottom which prolonged the time they allowed guests on.  Had Eisley been a little more understanding, it wouldn't have been too bad, but any parent knows small children have a knack for choosing the most inopportune times for such behavior.

We sanitized our hands twice before boarding, thus beginning our weeklong forced obsession with the hand sanitizer.

We were forced to attend the lunch buffet as soon as we got on.  We were also forced to go back for seconds.  Thirds, fourths, and fifths.  I'm actually thinking about pressing charges for bodily harm with all of the irresistible foods.

the royal promenade (excellent place for people watching).

We found our humble abode on deck eight, and met our stateroom attendant, Randell (bless this man; he was amazing....and changed our sheet numerous times thanks to a twenty-something pound little Miss who has the ability to trash anything within ten feet in about five seconds).

After a misunderstanding of some sort when we booked for eleven people, we struggled to find seating in the dining room together, but the maître d' pulled it off.  Here, we met our waiter, MJ from Jamaica, and our assistant waiter/one man circus, Ronnie from the Philippines.  

 Ruby discovered her staple dinner for the week - mixed fruit in which she never ate the cantaloupe or honeydew, macaroni and cheese, with chocolate ice cream, chocolate syrup, and a biscuit for dessert.

my mom and sister.

my brother Eric and his sweet girlfriend, Megan.

We caught the tail end of the sail away parade celebration in the promenade, and cured our woes with a waffle cone dripping with Ben and Jerry's.

After a short-lived, but extremely funny production from Sam Griesbaum, we visited the promenade cafe for empanadas, pizza, and pastries.  Our spacious bed lured us in far earlier than the others in our group; me met up with them the next morning at the pool.

After inhaling french toast, bacon, sausage, breakfast potatoes, an embarrassing number of pastries and donuts, we found the crew by the pool.  Ruby swam with Meredith and Genny; Mom played cribbage with the boys.  I did a lot of convincing Eisley that it actually wasn't too hot outside and it was indeed a great idea to keep her hat on over her bald head.

One o' clock rolled around and I was embarrassingly still f-u-l-l (this would be a weeklong trend).  We mosied (waddled) back to our room to exchange swimsuits for clothes in preparation of the ice show. 

I have never seen Eisley so fixated on something (aside from her sister) - she watched the ice show intently until the end when she just couldn't keep her little peepers open any longer.

Time managed to slip away all too quickly and after a brief tour of some ship areas, we hurried back to get ready for formal night.  FYI, formal night with two small children is sort of less than charming to prepare for in a tiny stateroom.  I straddled small suitcases while looking in the mirror and babysitting the wee vacuum and twirling three year old (also while looking in the mirror).

the girls 

my brother Corey, and another sweet girl in our family - Genny.

I wish I could remember dinner this night...all of the carb-inhaling, sugar gorging, meal madness just sort of runs together in the form of a muffin top at this point.

Ruby's new best friend Ronnie turns her into a napkin version of the Statue of Liberty

and then makes napkin swans.

Meanwhile, Randell has created a Bunny in our room, where we come to gather ourselves quickly before heading off to see The Unexpected Boys which are completely breathtaking with their singing ability and tribute to Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.

Country tunes by The Mickey Utley band entertained us this night before we hit the sheets in preparation for Cozumel.


Brooke said...

It looks like you guys had a lot of fun.

LaVonne said...

Wow, you had a fun December! Thanks for sharing all those great pics. Aisley is getting BIG. Very cute. I hope you and your beautiful family have a happy New Year!

Anonymous said...

What an amazing entry. Love the pictures of you and your family. You're all so good looking :) I miss cruising. Really my new favorite way to travel :)

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