27 Jul 2013

Deering Estate.

The rotten thing about vacations is that they end and then you are stuck with reality! Yesterday whilst waiting in line at Barnes and Noble Rosie pipes up, out of nowhere, "I wish I could have room service again". Don't we all deary, don't we all.

I'm so behind in blogging. We have had such a lovely week meeting up with friends and doing all sorts of fun things. Last Saturday a friend asked us to meet her at the Deering Estate. I have never been so I jumped at the chance. Both of the girls were less than lack lustre with their enthusiasm so I gave both of them a camera and told them to snap their way through the estate. They had a fabulous time, even in the mind melting temperatures. Turns out our friend couldn't join us so we went alone. Summer time brings many many storms and she has dogs so she had to stay home and keep them calm.

It is beautiful and so easy to picture yourself living their in quieter, less complicated times.

It was HOT and they weren't happy to smile
Searching for crabs until......
they saw this. Then they made lots of noise and ran away.
looking unrealistically angelic
The cement house
The cement mixer that as used. Photo cred. Rosie
I want this ceiling
The garage
I love this house.
Looking back at the house from the bay (rose)
Hah! I bet it seemed so expensive!
Photo cred, Ro. 
Photo cred, Lily
And so I learnt something. If I want the girls to go and look at something, really look at it and learn, I just hand them both a camera and then they take in everything at every conceivable angle. Genius!

24 Jul 2013

I'm not sure I am the cruising type

We had a great time, honestly we did. In fact it was absolutely brilliant but I have to make a confession: I don't think I like cruises, I don't think I'm the cruising type. As I mentioned before the reason why we went with Carnival Cruise Lines was purely for the kidlets enjoyment. There is no debating that they cater to the kiddies. If it had been a cruise for me I would have chosen NCL or RCL or maybe even Princess. Carnival offers a lot and I can't find fault with anything.

The dining rooms didn't offer a very great vegetarian selection or many salads but seriously I am possibly the only person who goes on a cruise and wants to eat a salad. The ships are known for their food. I am not a foodie. The day they offered the Chocolate Extravaganza lunch I might have eaten my body weight but other than that I was pretty much take it or leave it. Just because it is there does not mean I will eat it.

I realised something about myself on this trip and that is that I am NOT a people person. There are a kazillion lot of people on a ship that size and I don't like crowds, AT ALL. Not that at any point were we all squished together in one place but I just knew they were all there. Sometimes walking past the pool I would see it so full of people it looked like some sort of cold exotic people soup just waiting to be ladled out. Blech. We had any time dining so the dining rooms were never packed and never ever felt cramped, there were so many shows going on at one time the venues never seemed over crowded but I just felt them. I also have that anti germ thing happening and well, no never mind...lets just leave that one right there. A picture might just scar you for life.

The ship was clean, really clean, you barely even saw empty glasses and cups on tables. Our room steward was like a magician. He knew what needed to be done before I did...he must be a mummy. LOL

I loved being waited on hand and foot, who doesn't. I loved going to bed in Key West and waking up in Mexico. All of that I loved, being on the ship....not so much.  But at the same time I loved being on the ship.

Yes I am fully aware that I am making no sense at all. Let me try it this way. I don't think if you asked me now if I wanted to get on another cruise next week I would say yes.

Allow me state for the record, cruising is not my first choice when it comes to holidays. (but this one was fabulous)

Oh and for the record my weirdness isn't only on cruise ships you should see how freaky I can get in a hotel room. Egads, my kids don't dare get near the carpet and forget about touching the bathroom floor. People....gag, wretch, heave! They don't stand a chance of growing up unscathed.

Everything was ship shape

Thursday we spent a whole day at sea...a whole day. I was a bit worried that I just might end up launching my own lifeboat just to be able to get away but thankfully the day was filled with entertainment and at no point did I feel the overwhelming urge to walk the plank. The girlies were back on the golf course and and the water slides and we even participated in a huge scavenger hunt that was really rather good fun. It was very very funny.

After lunch things slowed down enormously and we hung by the pool. At one point I could tell Lily was getting a little stir crazy so she just kicked back in her deck chair and admired the view while Rosie whizzed down the slides for the eleventy billionth time. Just being able to kick back with no interruptions was fabulous. No phones and no computers was so refreshing. I could have had both but chose not too. I loved not being interrupted. If I have them I have to use them, I have to respond to people it is just the way I am wired so leaving them behind was the best decision I could have made.

If there is water that is where you will find her
chlling...that big old bag went everywhere with her.
It's called a fun ship for a reason!

We went to back to back shows on Thursday evening and squeezed every last second out of the fun. We had to be up and at 'em quite early on Friday as the boat docked at 8am and we would receive our marching orders. I decided to have our bags carried off the ship allowing us a slower disembarkment. We went to breakfast and then waited for our eviction papers to be served.
I don't want to leave
enough photos Mum!
Never enough photos for this Diva.
and so we have been home for nearly a week and it isn't fair. Once you get back it is like you never left at all.

23 Jul 2013


Wednesday morning we docked in Cozumel. I had been asked by a friend to take a laptop to to her friend who lives there so once we got off the ship we were searching the crowds for Suzanna. We found her and her hubby Alan immediately and they were rather disappointed that we didn't want to spend our time there touring with them. I felt a little guilty but this was our one day in Mexico and we wanted to do OUR thing. I politely declined their offer and we made a beeline for the taxi's. I was already to use my best Spanish and get us to a nice beach but that was a complete waste of time as every single person that we met spoke perfect English.

After looking at a map we decided the closest beach looked a little too touristy for us so we asked to leave Cozumel and head to Paradise Beach. Sometimes you just get really lucky. I had no idea where we were or where we were going but it ended up being a perfect location for the 3 of us. The girls were able to snorkel in crystal clear water amongst some fabulous fish. I joined them for a while or sat in the shade watching them. The resort offered a fabulous pool that the girls also enjoyed. The whole day was spectacular and couldn't have been any better if we had planned every detail. A storm blew in and hung out over the ocean but only offered cloud cover and cooler temps which was a blessing as that day the weather was meant to be 106 degrees and rainy. It ended up being in the 80's with cloud cover. We didn't see one drop of rain.

Once we were ready we headed back into the Puerta Maya and I told the girls I would let them spend their money. They thought this was a great idea until all the vendors pounced on them and wouldn't leave them alone. Lily bartered with the first guy and then got completely overwhelmed and a little scared so I just took over and firmly told them to all get lost, but much more politely than that and we left. I took them back to the port where they could shop safely without being hassled to much.

Once they had spent their $5 ( bargains abound in Cozumel) their tummies started to growl and we could see the ship so we headed back to the boat. Considering how little I wanted to visit Mexico I am so glad I did. It was without a shadow of a doubt my favourite day and is absolutely gorgeous. The people that we met were all so nice...with the exception of the street vendors. I highly recommend it and want to go back but for much longer.
2 steps off of the ship and Rosie spotted this fun little sign
Not as funny as he signs in China but good none the less
Paradise Beach
I loved that it wasn't crowded
Snorkelling fun....so glad we took them with us
Pool at the beach
view of the beach from the pool
it just isn't possible to get them both with their eyes open!!!!!
Back at the Port
Lily helping the Mexican economy (safely in the port)

22 Jul 2013

Captains Dinner

As you know I have one daughter who adores being dressed up and another who would live the rest of her life in a pair of shorts and never put on a dress again. When I told the girls we could have dinner with the Captian if they wanted to, one wanted too and the other not so much.

 On the night of the dinner were slightly rushed as we had been to a show and ended up rushing to get ready on time. Lily mentioned having a headache whilst getting dressed but she only said it once and didn't mention it again. I decided if she said anything again I would give her something for it. I didn't take photos in the cabin either due to time constaints and better photo ops around the ship.

We zoomed up to the dining room in the lift and just as we arrived  Lily groaned, I took one look at her and her face was nowhere near as pretty as her dress. It was back to the cabin for us, no Captain, no dinner

The night of the captains dinner looked like this for us.

Fast asleep
Only photo of Rosie dressed up...sigh
Rosie and I ordered room service. She thought this was the best thing ever but didn't like the actual food just the concept and asked for it for every single meal thereafter. Thankfully Lily woke up about 2 hours later feeling fine and we ventured out to feed her. So that was our fancy evening. Lily was more than a little crushed that her night to shine was dimmed.

21 Jul 2013

Washed away

Day 2 of our cruise found us in Key West, just a hop skip and a jump from our home. Since we are quite familiar with the town I didn't book any shore excursions as I knew all the things we could do. Our time there was limited and I was surprised to find out we were not going to be there for the Sunset which is truly a beautiful sight to behold from Mallory Square.

The girls and I made our way just a few feet through the streets when the rain started and I don't mean just a little sprinkley shower I mean a torrential downpour. Key West has lots to offer and much of it we have seen before but one place Lily always begs to go to whenever she sees one is Ripleys Believe It or Not, so that is where we dove for cover. Once we came it it was still hammering rain. We had to swim through the streets to get back to the trolley that took us back to our ship. The streets were so flooded the water came up to Rosies knees. It really was quite amazing to see that much water fall so fast and living here we see lots of torrential rain storms but that was messy.

We are just so thankful that we live close to KW and don't feel as if we lost out but for all the people that came from miles away and it was a one time deal it must have been so disappointing.

This fellow was marching around very proudly at Mallory Square.
Lily loves all these little shops

Outside the shipwreck museum
Lily found someone to look up to
Wouldn't you know it not 20 minutes after we were back on the ship the sun came out but we had to set sail to grander places anyway. After lunch Lily participated in a Mini golf tournament and Rosie and I ran the track....Rosie ran I wasn't about to participate in such nonsense.
Fun? she said it was.
Odd locale for a mimi golf course
Now she is having fun
Crazy runner kept going round and round
Key West lighthouse
KW has a huge Naval base and coast guard station. The navy Seals are currently being trained there.
The girls spent the rest of the afternoon in the water.

and whilst they played I admired the view.
Lily loved to sit and watch the kids playing (even with her eyes closed)
The crazy one never stayed still 
That night was the Captains dinner and since Lily loves, LOVES, to get dressed up she could hardly wait........


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