Saturday, January 7, 2012

    I was up around 7 am this morning and did a little more packing before heading out to the SPCA around 8:20 am. I was there with plenty of time to spare and other people had just gotten there as well. At least I wasn't the only one there that early.

    The meeting was interesting and went a little over. I didn't out until around 11:45 instead of the 11:30 it was supposed to be. We talked about their mission, some of their fundraisers, ways we can volunteer and the like. The average time for a dog to be there is only 5-7 days, which is amazing. The average time for a cat is a little longer, 9-11 days. Even that is awesome.

    When I got out, I went straight home. I did the last of the packing and we waited downstairs for Frank to come. The ride down seemed shorter than usual for some reason. We got all our luggage and got through security with no problems. We got to go to the front of all the lines since dad had his cane with him. As much as I wish he could walk normally again, I do like him needing a cane when it comes to traveling.

    We got to go straight to our rooms, which was a first for us. We normally had to wait around an hour before they ready. Amazing what happens when you get there when they tell you to. I did some unpoacking and realized I had forgotten a lot of things. I have no make up, no capris, no tee shirts, no headband, no long sleeve shirts, etc. I did not do a good job packing. I'll buy a headband from the shops on board I guess. We'll just have to see.

    After I finished unpacking, we went up and ate. I was starving. I had to go down to Guest Services after eating because the date on my Set Sail pass was hardly readable and security said I needed to get a new one. The line wasn't nearly as long as I thought it was going to be.

    I called aunt and let her know I was on the ship. We talked for a few minutes. I told her I would call her once we got to Florida on Monday. She sounded normal, which is good. I don't know if she's just pretending like she did before, but even if she is, at least she's well enough to pretend.

    After getting back to my room, it was nap time. I have NEVER started out a cruise this exhausted. It's crazy. I slept for a couple hours and then around 7 pm we went up to the Windjammer and had dinner. It wasn't crowded at all, probably because most people were at the Welcome Aboard show.

    Before heading to our room, we went and looked around the shops. It's not like I remember. Maybe I was remembering Carnival's shops. I thought there was a lot more variety and a place to buy toiletries, but I didn't really see one. I'll have to look closer tomorrow.

    I basically went to bed when I got back to the room. I looked through tomorrow's Cruise Compass to see what all was going on. There was nothing too interesting so tomorrow will be a nice relaxing day at sea. I think I need some relaxing time.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

    I woke up almost every hour last night started at 11 pm. I finally got up around 5:30 am. We went up for breakfast around 7 am and it was quite empty, which isn't surprising. Most people were probably still sleeping.

    I had some eggs, fruit, and sausage, which I didn't like. When we got back to the room, I showered. It felt very nice. I had debated on wearing my hair down and decided against it. That means if I want to take formal portraits tonight, I'll have to shower again.

    After I showered, we went back to the room and went to the library and checked email. There was nothing interesting on my end, which I didn't think there would be. I'd sort of bee ignoring online life for a while now.

    Dad was really sleepy so he went to sleep while I went out to the shops and later to the shopping talk, which I didn't stay for. I stayed long enough to get the papers showing where the shopping was, and then left. I don't plan on doing a lot of shopping in ports.

    I ended up going to the shops and buying one of their pouches to use around the ship. My Nook fits in it, so I can read whenever I choose instead of having to come back to the room. I also bought some sun screen for dad. When I went to the ships after dinner, I bought two beach towels and a pouch thing for dad since he wanted one.

    I also went up to the gym while dad was napping. That was horrible. I couldn't bench the 39 lbs dumbbells. I couldn't even move them. Maybe I should start to doing dumbbell work on one of my days as an accessory.

    We both ended up taking a nap and missing the Cruise Critic meet and greet. Dad had set his cell phone but it decided to be on central time, not eastern. I didn't want to go all the badly anyway. When I did try to go, albeit less than 30 minutes before it was supposed to end, it wasn't there, something else was. So I have no idea when and where it actually happened as online said one thing and the invitation in our room said another.

    We went to eat lunch and made our way to the indoor hot tub afterward. That was very nice. Dad needed to soak his feet and I just wanted to soak. I was hopping it would take the kink out of my shoulder, which I probably got from sleeping on it wrong, but it didn't. It did feel good though.

    I debated for a good while about whether or not to shower and wear my hair down for formal pictures. Dad and I had checked out the backdrops and they weren't great. I do want to get a picture taken on the stairs, which they are doing. I decided to do it.

    It was okay I guess. I'm not a fan of their poses, that's for sure. I wish they'd let me do my own poses. I did have dad take some pictures of me around other ship and in the room though. Hopefully, even if I don't like their pictures, dad's will be good. They always are.

    I got changed for dinner, but left my hair down. I didn't shower and wear it down just for those 20 minutes or so, that's for sure. I haven't been thrilled with food this time. Then again, I have a sore throat, which seems to be getting worse, not better, so my taste buds could very well be off.

    We went to bed extremely early late night. It wasn't even 8 pm. I did wake up around 11 pm and do some reading in the Scientific American Mind magazine I brought with me. I bet we'll be up early tomorrow.

Monday, January 9, 2012

    I woke up numerous times throughout the night, but not as much as the first night. Around 3 am I woke up and finished reading the Scientific American Mind magazine. I woke up at 6:30 and looked outside. It was beautiful. I woke dad up so he could take some pictures.

    I journaled on the balcony and dad took pictures of the sunrise. I love sunrises and sunsets at sea. Sunsets can be more dramatic, but it's nice to start your day with a pretty sunrise. They can be so awesome because you can see so much more of the horizon than you normally can.

    We ended up docking about an hour earlier than scheduled and were cleared to disembark around 9:30 am. We went up to deck 10 and took some pictures of the birds and dolphins before getting off the ship. I LOVE seeing the dolphins in Port Canaveral. I just wish our balcony was on the other side of the ship so we could see them from our balcony.

    We headed down to deck 1 and had an easy time getting off. There wasn't a line anymore. The initial rush was over so we went right through. I got my picture taken with the person in the bird costume and had dad get his picture taken with me as next to sign.

    We walked over to where the buses were and got on. We probably took off before 11 am, which was the original departure time. The bus full though, so we left. It was a nice easy ride to Cocoa Beach. I tried to pay attention when he was pointing out the different shops so I would know where to get things.

    The first place I went was to CVS to get some lotion and something to suck on for my throat. Then dad I am went to the beach. We stayed there for around 2 hours. I tanned and played in the water some. It was cold water with waves breaking near the shore so there was no swimming. There was a lot of funny face making though.

    From the beach, we went to Sandbars Sports Grill. Dad had a couple beers and I had a vanilla milkshake to help soothe my throat, which it did. It was very good and made my throat feel better too. I was also a lot more thirsty than I had realized.

    We walked over to Ron Jon's Surf Shop. It's HUGE. Dad and I both got a shirt and I also got some car air fresheners as well as a female skull decal to put on my car. We took some pictures of the vegetation on the way to the bus.

    We had just missed the 2 pm bus so we got on the next bus and just relaxed until it left around 2:30 pm. I called aunt and talked to her for a few. I let her know I was in Florida and she gave me an update on her cats. I'm hoping I'll be able to get up to see her again before classes start at the end of the month, but realistically it probably won't happen.

    We got back to the room around 3 pm, just in time to miss lunch. I went to the Solarium, thinking they would be open, but they weren't. They I went to the Windjammer, which was closed, but the ice cream was outside the Windjammer. They had vanilla so I got some. I wanted it in a bowl, but, again, Windjammer was closed. I had to get a cone. I was hopping to get more ice cream than a cone worth. Oh well. I went back to the room and ate it out on the balcony.

    I ended up taking a nap so that I wouldn't know how hungry I was. I did get up for dinner. For whatever reason, the food here doesn't taste as good as I remember it tasting. I'm hoping it's just my taste buds and once my throat feels better things will taste better too.

    Shortly after dinner we went to sleep. Out schedule has been really weird on this trip. It's definitely been much more relaxing than our previous cruises. Even though there are things I want to do, like go to the nightclub at night, I just don't have the energy or motivation to do it really. Maybe I need more sunlight.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

    I woke up around 6 this morning. Dad was really sleepy and didn't get up until around 11 am. By that time, I had been up for hours, had breakfast, brought him breakfast, looked at the formal pictures I had taken, etc. I was worried about him but he kept saying that he was just sleepy.

    Dad didn't feel like going to lunch so I had lunch and brought him back a hamburger and some fries. That's two meals I've brought him today. I jokingly told him that one of these days he'll have to bring me breakfast in bed as a surprise like I did for him. He did call room service and get a pot of coffee delivered. He liked that and wants to do it more often.

    I took him to see the formal pictures, which I didn't like at all. The perspective was just weird and you couldn't tell that I was standing in front of steps, so it made the background seem off. The poses I could have lived with, even if they were rather plain.

    From there we went up to deck 10 so I could tan. Dad took some pictures of Florida, which we could see from the ship as well. I stayed out and tanned for about 40 minutes before heading back it. I was sufficiently tired from all the sun.

    I did a mini-workout with the bands I brought with me. I did some rear delt flys, some triceps exercises, a kind of bench press, quad/glute pushdowns, negative hamstring curls, adductors, and abductors. It will be interesting to see if I'm sore tomorrow.

    An hour or so after about an hour of so using my band gym, we went up to deck 10 so I could climb the rock climbing wall. I don't know what was wrong, but I couldn't get up the easiest one. I think of the rocks was upside down so I couldn't hold on to it and just kept slipping off. It was really frustrating since I had gotten up it two years ago with little to no difficulty.

    The climbing shoes did aggravate my neuroma a little, but not until after I had taken them off. That's something to keep in mind. I'll want to try it again but need to be mindful of the time I spent trying to climb. I don't want to aggravate it anymore than I need to.

    Around 4 pm, I laid down to rest. I ended up sleeping until around 11 pm. The alarm did go off around 6 and again at 7 to wake me up to go to the Crown and Anchor Society Welcome Back party, but I was too sleepy at that point.

    When I woke up, I went do to deck 5 to get a Cruise Compass for tomorrow since we didn't have housekeeping in. Then dad and I went up to the Solarium and got some food. He had two hot dogs and I had two pieces of pepperoni pizza. We both had some cookies and I also had a banana.

        We went back to the room and I journaled and tried to get relaxed enough to go back to bed. We arrive at Key West around 7 am tomorrow and I want to be up early enough to see us docking, and hopefully even see the bridge down to Key West that aunt talks about so fondly. If the weather is nice tomorrow, hopefully I can parasail as well.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

    What a day! I was up bright and early around 5 am or so. Dad and I went up to the Windjammer to get some light breakfast around 6 am. We thought about staying until regular breakfast started at 6:30, but decided against it. Neither one of us wanted to be weighed down for today.

    We were docked and given clearance before the sun came up. We went down around 7:30 and started walking towards the Southernmost Point. We fought quite a bit as my GPS said one direction and dad's said the exact opposite. Mine was right.

    We took pictures of chickens, trees, and other interesting things along the ~1 mile walk. The chickens were hilarious and would just stand in the middle of the road. Cars would stop and wait for them to move, which they weren't in any hurry to do sometimes.

    I took pictures for a family at the Southernmost Point and then had my picture taken. The water was so pretty and it was spraying you when you were standing at the landmark. It was cold, as ocean water tends to be.

    I had picked up a free map along the way. It was in one of the machines like a newspaper, only it was free. We sat down and planned out a course, which we didn't really end up sticking to. We did go to the Butterfly Conservatory, which was really neat, even if I did flinch every time a butterfly came near me. We could have stayed in there all day though we would have needed water as it was really hot and humid.

    From there, we were heading to Ripley's Believe It Or Not museum, but didn't make it. I saw a Fury station, and they're the ones who offer parasailing. I stopped by to see if they have room on the 12 pm ride, and they did, weather permitting. A front was moving in and it was going to rain.

    We went straight to the parasailing, which was basically back to the ship. We stopped some along the way and took pictures. We even saw a stray cat and got a picture of him as well. There were a lot of shops on Duval Street but we didn't stop at any of them. I did promise dad we'd go back get him Key Lime Pie after I parasailed.

    We got to Fury in time for me to do the 11 am parasail, which was good as the weather was changing and it was probably going to be their last one for the day. They actually split us up in two groups just so everyone had a chance to go up. It was a lot more fun this time and I wasn't scared nor did I have salt water dripping in my eyes.

    The view was amazing and the water was beautiful. I got some good pictures and since dad didn't go up with me, he got some good pictures of me while I was parasailing as well. I went up with a man who was odd man out with his two friends. They were from Asia somewhere and were visiting. He seemed to enjoy himself and I know I enjoyed myself.

    After I parasailed, as promised, dad and I went back and he got his Key Lime Pie. He was done walking so I set off by myself to get in as much as I could in the remaining time I had, which was about 2 hours or so.

    I had planned to go to Ripley's museum first but got side tracked by a tower I could climb and get a great view of the island. I went up there and took panorama pictures. I actually called dad while I was up there and we took pictures of each other.

    I did go to Ripley's after the tower. It was nice. One part startled me though. They were talking about people being buried alive and ringing a bell in the coffin to let gravediggers know they were still alive. Well, I guess when you stand at that exhibit long enough, the bell on display starts to ring. I bet my face was a sight to see.

    They had a tunnel you could walk through that was a visual illusion. It was surrounded by a blue background and a few colorful dots. They spun around you and REALLY messed with your sense of balance. I actually couldn't go through the tunnel as I was worried I was going to lose my balance and fall. I got most of the way through it and had to close my eyes and back out.

    After Ripley's I thought about going to the aquarium, but decided against it. I went to some shops near the ship and bought two shirts, one for me and one for dad, at a shop where everything is made out of bamboo. Bamboo is supposedly softer and cooler than cotton, both of which I believe. They were ~$35 a piece. I wonder is bamboo is that expensive or if it's that unique.

    I went back to the ship and headed to the stateroom. I was completely exhausted. My feet had been hurting for some time, my legs hurt from walking up the 91 steps to the tower, and my knees hurt, most likely from the hamstring curl negatives I did yesterday.

    I called aunt. She sounded so depressed, talking about how she doesn't want to live like this, that the nurses are giving up on her since they are only coming once a week, how Uncle Danny is getting tired of her and doesn't think she's sick. She may not want to live like this, but I doubt anyone is giving up on her. If anything, the nurses not coming as often is probably a good thing. I do wish they would figure out what is going with her, especially her headaches that cause her to vomit. Those worry me.

    I'm going to call her nurse when I get back to Baltimore on Monday and see what's going on. I think aunt could benefit talking to a therapist or something, or at least getting something for the depression. I'm not used to hearing other people so depressed and now I know why other people get worried when I talk like that.

    Dad and I ended up taking a nap until around 6:30 pm. We went and looked at the pictures they'd taken the past couple days. I didn't buy any. My budget is kind of dead, and we still have two ports to go. We had dinner and then went to the library to check email. I also journaled.

    I read for a little while when we back to the room. For whatever reason, reading has been making me really sleepy lately. It was another early night even if we had planned on doing things later in the night. I'm getting myself way off schedule for working, that's for sure. It will be interesting to see how easily I go back to night schedule when I go to work next week.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

    I was up before sunrise again tonight. My body is going to be SO CONFUSED when I go back to night shift on Wednesday. We went up for breakfast and I had some eggs, bacon, biscuit and sausage gravy. I didn't choke this morning, which was good.

    We got to watch the Carnival Pride go into Nassau before us, which was really interesting. We were there rather early but by the time we were allowed off the ship, it was 11 am, the time we were supposed to arrive.

    Docked next to us was the Carnival Pride, and next to it, the Carnival Magic, which was the biggest one, the one we were one being the smallest. The Carnival Magic has a water slide, a ropes course, and a big screen TV on the top deck, and that's just what we could see. It looked amazing. It had to be about 14 or more decks easily.

    We got off the ship around noon or so. Our tour didn't meet up until 12:45 pm and there really isn't anything to do at the dock. We just sat and waited until the tour left. Luckily we didn't have far to walk as we boarded a boat right on the other side of where the ships dock.

    The boat ride wasn't that bad. We stopped at the Paradise Island ferry stop and picked up some more people. By the time we got to Blue Lagoon, it was around 2:15 pm or so and our boat came back at 4 pm to pick us up. Not a lot of time there.

    We looked around for a short time and then I tanned for about 30 minutes or so. We went on the ocean side of the Lagoon and I waded on the rocks in the shallow water. There were tons of sea shells to look at and they were be in groups, which was really neat.

    On the boat ride back, one of the crew was announcing who owned some of the houses on Paradise Island, such as Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, Oprah Winfrey, Tom Cruise, and Nicolas Cage. I wonder what it's like to have that much money.

    They dropped us off near the Straw Market so we had a ways to walk back to the ship. Dad started having difficulty walking and by the time we got to the ship, he was having to lean on me and said he was having trouble controlling his legs. That worried me. I did a mini stroke test when we got back to the room and he seemed okay. He oxygen was okay as well.

    We went up to deck 9 to the Solarium to go in the hot tube. They were both full so we got in the pool. When I saw people getting out of the hot tube, I told dad so he could get in. I stayed in the pool and did a little swimming. I eventually got out and went in the hot tub as well.

    After dad relaxed some, we went up to dinner. On my second bite of food, Parmesan crusted turkey, I started choking. It wasn't a horrible one and no one came rushing over asking if I was okay. I even managed to eat some more after the episode, which is usually very difficult if not impossible.

    We went back to the stateroom and dad crashed. I went out and told our stateroom attendant that we wouldn't be going out again and I got a Cruise Compass for tomorrow. Hopefully dad will be feeling better by then and will be able to do the nature walk. I read for a short bit before getting sleepy and going to sleep.

Friday, January 13, 2012

    I woke up numerous times through the night, which wasn't surprising. When I woke up around 2:30- am I was really hungry, but nothing with food was open and I didn't feel like paying for room service. I read until I got sleepy again and went back to sleep. The alarm didn't go off at 7 am like it was supposed to but luckily I woke up around 7:15 am so all was okay.

    Ever since around 4 am or so the TV had been saying we were 3 nautical miles from CoCo Cay. It was still saying this at 7 when I woke up for the last time. Dad thinks we were just circling CoCo Cay all night. If that was the case, I wonder why we didn't stay in Nassau longer?

    By the time I was awake enough to get dressed, we didn't really have time for breakfast. We went topside and took some pictures of the two islands (keys) would could see. There was also another cruise ship at the neighboring key, a Norwegian one. It turns out they own the Key next to ours.

    We were on the first ferry over to CoCo Cay. It was a short ride. The sun wasn't out yet but it was coming out. When we got there, we walked around for a bit and took pictures. As it got closer to the nature walk we made our way back towards the tendering area and waited.

    The nature walk was nice. We saw four iguanas in a tree, lots of birds, and learned a lot of
“bushman medicine.” The guide pointed out a tree that was like poison ivy, only this was poison wood. It had yellow ribbons around it, some of which said “caution” which was amusing. She said if we see any tree with yellow on it, it's a poison tree and not to touch it.

    After the tour, we made our way back towards the tendering area. We stopped at one of the beaches and I got in the water for a short time. It wasn't exactly warm so I wasn't in long. There was a school of fish that went by. They were little though. I guess there had been a big one earlier. I'm glad I missed that one.

    By this time, it was time to eat, and I was glad. We made our way to Blackbeard's Grill and I got dad and me some food. I got dad a hamburger and I had a hot dog and brownies. The brownies were amazing and I ended up going back for more.

    When we finished eating, we continued walking back towards the ship. We stopped where we could see the ship and also the waves breaking on some surrounding rocks. We stayed there for a while taking pictures of the waves breaking and then went to the boat.

    The boat ride was wonderful. The sun was out, it wasn't too hot or too cold. It was just perfect. I wish I could have stayed in the boat for the rest of the day. That would have been nice in and of itself really. Dad agreed with me. It was just so nice and peaceful.

    We got back to our room and dad changed into his swim trunks. Then we made our way to the hot tub. Like I hoped, it was basically empty. We stayed in the hot tub for a while and then dad went to the room to order a pot of coffee while I went up on deck 10 to tan.

    Soon after I got to deck 10, the sun went behind some clouds. It stayed there for the whole time I was trying to tan. I decided to head back to the room, but I got an ice cream cone first. I saw other people had them and I wanted to get one while they had it out.

    By the time I got back to the room, dad had basically finished with the pot of coffee. He had also gotten some ice, which was nice. I had some ice water after I finished my ice cream and debated going back for more, but decided against it. I did go back around 4:30 for another one though.

    It was sad when we left CoCo Cay as it meant we were heading back to Baltimore, and the cold. Hopefully we'll have one more good day at sea before things start to get cold again. I'm not counting on it, I'm just hoping.

    We went up to dinner around 7 pm. We went down to the photo gallery and found the pictures they had taken of us on CoCo Cay. I ended up buying the one of us with the ocean in the background. It was a good picture.

    After we went back to our room for a short time, we headed for the library for a while. Dad checked email and wrote while I read. We were in there for over an hour I'd say. I was getting sleepy reading so we headed back to the room.

    I was trying to decide whether I had enough energy to go to the 70's party on deck 4, and decided that I didn't. I was exhausted. We probably went to bed around 10 pm, which is the latest we've gone to bed on this vacation.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

    I woke up around 3:30 am starving. Of course the only food on the ship would be room service, and I wasn't in the mood for what they have nor did I want to pay for it. Since it was between midnight and 5 am, I would have had to pay a small fee. I decided to go back to sleep instead.

    I woke up again around 6:30 and dad and I headed up to breakfast around 7 am. I had my usual breakfast of eggs, bacon, and a biscuit with sausage gravy. For whatever reason, I was STUFFED when I finished. I had more bacon than usual but I was much fuller than the amount of food on my plate would have suggested.

    I went back to sleep when I got to the room and woke up around around 9:30. I stayed up for a little while and had a box of cereal I brought back to the room. I have four more boxes and those are for the middle of the night. That's the goal anyway.

    I read for awhile and the swaying of the ship put me to sleep. I slept until around a little after noon. I stayed up long enough to shower and eat and then went back to sleep. The ship swaying is just so relaxing it puts me right to sleep.

    I stayed asleep until around 5 pm or so. Dad and I went up to dinner around 6:30 pm. I really haven't been hungry since breakfast, but have been eating just because I don't want to pass up cruise food, especially this close to the end.

    We went back to the room and the attendant had already been in and left us a towel animal. I sorted through all the pictures we've taken so far. It's only around 2,500 which isn't a lot for us, especially considering this is the longest cruise we've been on. It was much more relaxing though.

    I did some packing. I packed all of my summer clothes and some odds and ends I won't be needing. I'll finish packing tomorrow after I take my medication. It appears that I'm going to have more room on the way home than I did coming, even though I bought stuff.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

    It was a very sleepy start to the day. I woke up around 6:30, which has been common on this trip. I went up to breakfast around 7 am and had some pineapple, eggs, sausage, and milk. From there it was back to the room, and to bed, until almost noon.

    I wasn't really hungry when I woke up but seeing as this is the last cruise day, I'm not passing up any meals. I went up to lunch and had a plate full of food as well as ice cream. Considering how cold and windy it was outside, the ice cream was just making me colder, but it was good.

    I went and watched the International Parade of Flags and then went to the room for about an hour before checking out the Ravens game. At half time, we were winning 13-17. I decided to go back after half time and see how the game turned out.

    The last half of the game was really good. We did end up winning 13-20 but there were a lot of points where it could have turned in favor of the other team. We did have a couple big interceptions and a beautiful defense on the last play of the game. It was definitely an experience watching it on the ship.

    I went back to the room and napped until around 7 pm. Again, I wasn't hungry, but wasn't going to let cruise food pass me by today. I had a plate of food and amazing could of probably eaten more. I wasn't hungry to start with but apparently that doesn't mean I can't eat a lot.

    HIIT just wasn't going to happen with all this food in me so I showered and did as much packing as I could. I loaded up my pictures from the last couple of days on the computer and got them sorted. I don't think I've ever been this on top of things when it comes to pictures on a cruise.

Monday, January 16, 2012

    Both dad and I woke up before the alarm went off at 5:30 am. We were packed and ready to get off the ship before 6:30 am. I did go up to the Windjammer and bring down some milk for us. Neither one of us felt like eating this morning. I could have eaten, but I could always eat, especially on a cruise.

    We were off the ship and on our way home before 8 am. I had fun letting my suitcase roll down the gangway and chasing after it. We were home well before 9 am and it wasn't until later we realized today was a holiday, which explained the light traffic coming through town.