Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Lost A Friend Today

I took Mila to the doctor the day before the cruise. I planned to take her home too, but they were running a lot of test on her stomach pain and 3 hours later she texted me and told me to go home. Another friend drove her home later. I found out several days after vacation that her appointment led to a hysterectomy which led to the discovery of cancer in her uterus. They then did exploratory surgery and found the cancer had invaded nearly every organ. I went to visit her at home. She was heavily drugged and scheduled to go back to the hospital in a few days to start chemo. A week later I found out her cancer was too advanced to even bother with chemo and she was sent to a hospice. I visited her there on Saturday. She was awake, communicated, and sitting up, but not very cognitive. She was on a morphine push every 20 minutes. Two days later, another friend told me it was now family only for visitation. It turns out the last thing she had eaten was the pancakes she had the Saturday morning that I visited. Today, Wednesday, I called the hospice at 4:00 and was told she was still able to have family visitors. As soon as Sahara came home from class, I was going to head up there, if nothing else but to support the family. At 4:20 her niece messaged me that she had passed. I went up there anyway. There were at least 30 people there still over 1 1/2 hours after. Joe had gone home but I talked with Zach. He seemed to be at peace with it. It may hit him later, but he seemed ok for now. She is to be cremated and her ashes spread over the White River. It's so unfair. She had been going to the doctor's for years with stomach issues. It just seems this should have been caught earlier. 2 months ago she was working 60 hours a week. 5 weeks ago she found out she had cancer. 1 week ago she found out she had no chance of surviving. Now she's gone. I'll update this later. Details on the services to come.


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Lookie what Canyon brought home...

A little sad I won't be ordering a ring for Canyon. He won't wear it so there is no point. Man they are so expensive!


First Day Show and Tell

On the first day, Canyon's teacher asked all the kids to bring something to show the class that represented their summer. Canyon brought the scrapbook Sahara made. It was a hit. He loved showing the kids in his class all about the trip and his family.


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Scrapbook

Sahara decided to make a Cruise vacation scrapbook.  It took her less than 2 hours while we caught up on Humans.

Her organized mess :)



The finished book.
:)

video

All the Fun Times papers are in the back.

Fore!

Canyon was invited to a special golf clinic last night.


I was surprised that only 7-8 kids showed up.  It was put on by the same organization as the soccer program he was in and there were plenty of kids for that.  But a smaller group means more attention and control.  It was good.


They played golf tic-tac-toe for several rounds.  Canyon never won, but he got close.


One of the instructors giving Canyon some tips.



I wish it was a full program and not just a one time clinic.  I think Canyon would enjoy it.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Dolphin Swim Highlights

On Cozumel, Sahara and Emily ventured off on their own for a dolphin swim.  Here are some of the shots from the CD!

















All smiles for both of them so it must have been a great time and fun experience.
:)

Monday, August 3, 2015

Family Cruisin' 2015

WHAT AN AMAZING VACATION!!!!

We went to New Orleans for 2 days and then took a cruise on the Carnival Dream with Nana and Papa. Kristy, Caleb, and Emily, and Brian, Mel, Parker, Tobey, and Zoey to Roatan, Belize, and Cozumel.  
IT WAS FANTASTIC!!!

Here are some of the highlights and things we did.  
(They may not be in complete order)

Sahara, Canyon, and mom left on Friday to head to New Orleans.


We stayed at the Le Pavillon Hotel near the French Quarter.  


It was old and beautiful with chandeliers galore.

There was a pool and hot tub on the roof.


Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches were served at 10 pm every night.  YUM!


Kristy, Caleb, and Emily beat us to the hotel and waited for us to have dinner with them.  Then up to the roof for a swim.  The next morning we headed out to sightsee in the French Quarter.  It was so hot and humid, but we made it to the Mississippi River to see where we would get on the ship.  The Elation was currently docked there.


Much smaller than the Dream as this one holds approximately 1600 less passengers.



We had lunch in the French Quarter at Oceana.



Later that day, Nana, Papa, Brian, Mel, Parker, Tobey, and Zoey arrived at the hotel.  Then we all headed out to the French Quarter again for dinner.  On Bourbon Street, we ate at Felix's.  That's when Bourbon Street came alive!  








There were all kinds of interesting people out and about.  We made it to the St. Louis Cathedral.





Back at the hotel for our last pb & j.



Breakfast the next morning was right on the corner at Dee's Coffee Shop.



The next day, we checked out of the hotel and taxied to the river.  Through long twisty lines and paperwork, we arrived on board.  


Several of the elevators here were glass and glowing.  5 stories up was a glass ceiling. 


We were told our rooms would not be ready until 1:30 so we headed to the buffet for lunch.  Food. Food. Food. All you can eat, at basically any time you wanted to eat it. 


First drinks!!


Kristy enjoying the view.





Sahara and Aunt Kristy getting their groove on.


In our cabin.  No luggage yet.


Canyon and mom check out the Aft pool.


We finally get luggage and decorate our cabin doors.




And receive our excursion tickets.


Then things must have gotten really silly.... 


We didn't go to the dining room tonight, still waiting on luggage.  And we missed the first show "Welcome Aboard Show".  Still learning what there is to do and when.

We did go to the Ocean Plaza Lounge to listen to a band for a little sideline dancing.

    video


The next day was a fun day at sea.  We swam, went to Harry Potter Trivia, ate a ton of food, napped, and had elegant dinner night.
Here are some dinner pictures in the Scarlet Dining Room on the 2nd night.














After dinner we headed to the show "Get Ready".  It was great!  

Somewhere in the middle of the ocean, Sahara enjoys the breeze.


It was really windy at the front of the boat, and quiet.  No one was up there.


Tonight's show was "Viva Variety" - the fastest juggler in the world.
Party on the Lido Deck.  It was the Redfrog's Caribbean Beach Party.




video

First port is Mahogany Bay on Roatan.


Here we went kayaking, snorkeling, and took a tour of Gumbalimba Park.  
(no pictures in the water)
Canyon couldn't do the snorkeling so Warren, our guide, pulled him along in a tube as the rest of us snorkeled.  Then he found a large starfish and let Canyon hold it and show it to everyone.




This crazy bridge only held 5 people at a time, so Warren, our guide, let 7 of us travel across at a time. It was long and wiggly and our guide would not cross over it himself!


Canyon was nervous and walked very slowly.




Friendly parrot.





And these monkeys would just jump on anyone walking by.




At the port, Canyon found a great hat, but got a tee-shirt instead.


Back on board was dinner in the Scarlet Dining Room and the show was "Dancing in the Streets".

Zoey turned 8 and had a special treat at dinner thanks to Francis our waiter :)


Sahara and Emily with Joel and Francis.



Zoey had her gift opening in the elevator lobby.  Why not? :)


Not exactly sure which night this was, but there was a dive-in movie at least several of the nights.  Sahara went to some of them with Emily and Caleb.


The next day our port was Belize.


We took an hour bus ride through the city to the Altun Ha Ruins.





That's Caleb and Emily on the top!


Nana found a path to a pond, but we didn't go down it.  The rain forest was so thick!




Nana and Papa heading back to the ship.


We had a great little room stewart named "K".  Every night we had a little towel animal on our bed. :)  He took good care of us.

These were some of the amazing dinners to be had at the Scarlet Dining Room.


We didn't stay awake for the Mexican Buffet, but it sure looked great!


Kristy was smart to get some nice photos done with matching outfits no less.


We dock next to Royal Caribbean


Welcome to Passion Island at Cozumel!




It was so pretty here!  All you can eat buffet, open bar, (Blue Lagoon was my favorite!), kayaking, swimming, hammocking, water trampolines, shopping, and white sandy beaches.  The water was turquoise.  


It was paradise.




As warm as it was, the sand was not hot to walk on.






Two 'take with me' drinks to go!




We took a catamaran to get to that island and back to the ship.  



Sahara and Emily went on their own adventure at Cozumel.  
They swam with dolphins! 




It was so beautiful there.  I hope we go back some time.  Sahara and Emily had plenty of shopping time after their dolphin swim and met up with Kristy.  


Sahara had her first 'legal' drink too!  A margarita!




Back on board for dinner and the show '8 More Seconds'.  
Then it was a game of sticks.



 Some hot tub time!
(a couple of pictures from other times earlier in the cruise)



The next day was another fun day at sea.  We had a lot of pool time and got a little burned.  They gave us a chocolate extreme fest at noon so that is what we had for lunch!  


Later we ordered a room service salad to balance out our sugar. Much needed! 
We went to a short comedy show.  Canyon started feeling sick today.  Too much sun and sinuses.


Cruising into port back in New Orleans at dawn.



video

I looked over and there is Papa watching the sunrise too!


Everyone had to get off the ship early.  We shared a taxi van to the airport with a few other people and had plenty of time to wait for our flight.
This is how we feel about vacation being over.


The cruise was a hit!  Sahara said she has found a true reason to stay in school: to get a degree making enough money to cruise as much as possible!
Thank you Nana and Papa for making this possible for us!  You guys are the greatest :)