Cruise Fun

I’m so thankful we got to get away for our 3-day cruise! And I really missed the kids, so three days away was enough. (Although they had me rethinking that an hour after getting home and fighting and stuff lol.) But, as a cruise addict, I’m ready to get on a boat again and am planning. (Never mind the fact that we already had one scheduled for June for the whole family.)

Cruising isn’t for everyone, I know, but I love everything about it. If you want a few days with literally no responsibilities and nothing to worry about or take care of other than your kids if they’re along — and don’t mind being on a crowded ship in the middle of the ocean — then cruising is the best.

Cooking? Don’t have to, there are restaurants and buffets and snack bars and free room service around the clock. There’s so much variety, too, although I eat literally the same thing for breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day. Cleaning? Don’t have to do that, other than put away your clothes and the such. (And if you don’t do that and your kids leave their shit out, the room steward will take care of that, too, as we shamefully discovered on the first family cruise when they came to take care of the room earlier than we expected. That didn’t happen again.) Entertainment? Round-the-clock entertainment such as music, comedy shows, trivia, games, water slides, the casino, and more is right there. And omg, someone bringing me all of the boozy drinks I can stand.

Cruise life is the best life for me.

Our port on this trip was Nassau, which I’ve been to several times. We usually do a beach day, but we opted for doing a self-guided walking tour of Nassau this time. We walked down to Junkanoo Beach so we could get a taste of the ocean and hung around sipping on daquiris for an hour and then moved on. We saw a bunch of old cathedrals, toured a chocolate making place, and visited some other places, but our favorite was touring the rum distillery there. After touring, we settled in at the bar and got the best drinks of our lives. The pina coladas were amazing, and I’m pretty sure I’ll never have one that well-made again (until we go back). A lot of rum settled in at the bottom, and it actually tasted very good (I usually hate the taste of liquor on its own). I barely made it through my first one before buzzing and had to sit there for a while to finish the second.

We ended up walking about five miles around Nassau, according to my iPhone, and saw so much. My feet were swollen by the time we got on the boat, but it was well worth it. My husband and I both agreed that was our favorite visit to that port. Since we’re planning on only 3-day cruises for our personal trips in the future and Nassau will be the only port for such a short cruise, we want to do something similar each time. The plan next time is to hit up as many museums. They have a Pirate-themed escape room that looked like a lot of fun, too.

I was kinda nervous about coming up with the flu or another virus, but so far we’re fine. I didn’t see anyone so much as cough, and there are sanitizing stations everywhere. I still had a little bit of the crud when I got on the boat (I’m not contagious, it was still lingering from January), but started feeling good by the evening and didn’t take my medicine the whole time. Of course, now that I’m off of what should be germ central, I’m all congested again. I think all of the rum helped me fight off the crud, so I should probably start having a rum drink or two to keep the crud away. (Or maybe, just maybe, it was the Vitamin C in the drink. Hmm.)

In closing, great time, great fun, and totally rejuvenated.

To The Mountains We Went

I’m one of those people who likes to make plans but doesn’t like to follow through with them. When the time comes to go wherever, I just want to stay home. But, after some back and forth over whether we’d keep our plans to go to the mountains for the weekend, we went, and we had a pretty good time overall.

The trip started out rough due to a meltdown BG had in the car when we picked her up from school. After she screamed for a while, I finally got to the bottom of why she was upset. Her teacher wasn’t at school that day, so things were awful. Nothing in specific, just because the teacher wasn’t there. Thankfully it didn’t last long. After we picked up the boy, we headed out.

Due to some awful traffic, the drive took closer to five hours instead of 3.5, so we got there at 9:00. It’s not like we planned to do anything if we had gotten there earlier, though, other than maybe get some ice cream. That extra hour and a half did mean we got to listen to BG ask “How much longer?” and “Are we almost there?” an extra hundred times. I eventually put my earbuds in for a little quiet.

Rain from the tropical storm moved in early on Saturday, so that killed our outdoor plans. My mother-in-law suggested driving over to Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge and said it would only be a half an hour drive. We trusted her, and two hours later, we arrived. The kids were none too thrilled about a 4-hour round trip drive after the drive the night before. It turned out that my MIL just wanted to go over there, so she fudged the time a little. Sigh, next time we’ll check. We did see a lot of elk on the ride, which was really cool. At one point, we saw a bunch sitting on the ground and BG shouted, “It’s an elk garden!” That is officially my favorite way to refer to a group of anything from now on.

The kids had fun at a trampoline park in Pigeon Forge, and then we got dinner and made the drive back. On Sunday, we had breakfast, did a little shopping, and drove part of the way back on the Blue Ridge Parkway so we could see the fall foliage. That added time made the trip back about six hours total, and I’m pretty sure that no one would complain if we didn’t see the inside of our car for a week. Again, it was worth the added time.

We are usually hesitant to make weekend trips with Baby Girl. She has never done well on vacation for the first couple of days. It has always been Meltdown City. After joining an autism page on Facebook, I saw other people talk about how their kids took a couple of days to adjust to the new environment, and that made sense. She did well for the most part, though, and I think that is due to the “camper” we stayed in, as she called it. I thought we were going to stay in a hotel room, but it turned out that my MIL booked a one-room trailer in a “trailer resort.” Apparently there are lots of resorts in the mountains, and they absolutely are not what you’d expect when you hear the word resort. 😀

The mobile home was neat as a pin, though. BG was thrilled with it when she stepped in because it looked like MIL’s trailer, aside from it only having one bedroom. The main bedroom, the kitchen, the living room, the TV set, the couch, and the kitchen table were all in the same place as MIL’s, so it was a familiar layout. She commented many times over how it looked just like MIL’s house and actually wanted to stay there instead of going anywhere.

The place wasn’t as cramped as I expected it to be, but there was still only one bed. My husband and I tried to sleep on the pullout couch, but got two hours of sleep each. It was miserably uncomfortable, tilted so that you slid down, and the metal bars were in our back. LM couldn’t sleep on the blow-up mattress, either, so the three of us were dragging big time on Saturday. On Sunday, I slept on the couch without pulling it out, my husband slept on couch cushions, and we put extra blankets on LM’s mattress for extra padding, and we all slept a little better. We couldn’t have been happier to be home in our beds last night.

So, I told you that BG did well the two days we were there, but let me tell you about the ride home. We went to a store to buy some souvenirs, and then I wanted to walk over to a fudge shop to see if they had any caramel fudge. It would’ve taken all of five minutes. BG decided she didn’t want to do this and had an absolute fit, kicking and screaming.

I got pissed off and decided I didn’t want fudge anymore, so we left, and my husband took BG’s new toy from her for acting that way. For the next hour and a half, she screamed in the car. She threw her shoes at us and kicked the back of my seat repeatedly. It was miserable, and she didn’t let up on the screaming for the whole 90 minutes. We stopped a few times at overlooks to take pictures and couldn’t get some as a family for a while because of the meltdown. She eventually stopped, and when she did, it was a 180 as usual — she went from screaming to talking in her super sweet voice about the leaves and tunnels. (When asked what her favorite part of going to the mountains was, she said the tunnels.)

When she perked up, we made a few more stops and got some good pictures. We also stopped and walked over to let the kids see an area called Sliding Rock in Pisgah National Forest, which was lovely. During the summer, people slide down the rock into water that doesn’t get above 55 degrees in the summer. It’s fun but so damn cold. We’re going to try to go back next August and stay a little longer and let the kids do the rock.

We got in around 9:00 last night and are absolutely dead today, despite sleeping okay. Too bad the kids have missed too much school to take a day off! I’m glad we decided to go, because it really was pretty. My husband and I talked about doing a weekend trip for just the two of us. When we would go away for the weekend before the kids came along, we would almost always go to the mountains. I prefer the beach now, but I would like to spend more time browsing around and drive up to Grandfather Mountain and do a little hiking.

How was your weekend?