October 7, 2012

Bahamas Vacation and Time for a Change

Gregg and I took our first ever cruise. It was WONDERFUL! We had the best time and I cannot wait to book another one! :) We did a 5 day cruise that stopped at Freeport, Nassau and Half Moon Cay. Here's a recap to how the trip went:
Friday night after we got off of work, Gregg and I dropped the kids off with my parents and hit the road! We stopped on our way down and ate at Pizza Hut and then drove another hour and found our hotel. We had a LOT to discuss on our ride. Gregg had a meeting earlier that day in Montgomery and was offered a new position with BB&T. We weighed out different options and thought about what would be best for our family. He had to call his boss the next day and let him know whether he was interested in it, or not. We got up Saturday morning and I decided to drive the first leg of the drive down. While I was driving Gregg was getting our luggage tags ready and looking over the paperwork he had printed out for the cruise. We stopped in at a Waffle House, and just as we pulled in, his big boss man called and he and Gregg discussed the job and Gregg hung up the phone, looked at me and said, "Well, we're moving to Dothan!"
We finished up our breakfast, got back on the road and talked about all the changes that were coming our way. As we got closer to Orlando, we got on one particular road that had about 500 tolls! We had a few dollars and change on us so that got us through the first 2-3 but then we had to get off so we could get some more money and that required a change toll as well. We ended up having to run through about 3 tolls without change and then had to get 2 receipts from cashier tolls. I knew we weren't too far away so I grabbed the paperwork and saw on there where it said "Embarkation: 12:30-2:30" I looked at Gregg and said, "Ummmm.. What's Embarkation??" he shrugged and then I realized that we were supposed to be there by that time and it was already 2:45! I freaked out because I noticed that the Garmin said we should arrive around 3:22. Then I called a number that said, "Running Behind? Give this number a call." The lady on the line said she was trying to get a hold of the ship but that we were really pushing it. She kept me on hold for a bit and then came back and said, "Ma'am, I still can't get up with them but I've sent them an email letting them know you are on the way!" I started getting extremely nauseas! I just KNEW we were gonna miss the boat! We had lollygagged around all day and then realized we had to be there by 2:30 and we were going to be an hour late. I looked over at Gregg and we were going... umm.. let's just say way above the speed limit and I mentioned the fact that he was going ___ MPH and he told me just to look in the other direction! lol.. We reach the port and whip in to the baggage drop off, jump out of the car throw our bags at the guys and jump back in the car and whip over to the parking.. noone is in the parking booth so we just went on through and made ourselves a parking spot and ran across the parking lot, through the tunnel and in the check-in. We go through all the security and run up the escalator and up to the ticket counter. The lady hands us our Sail and Sign cards and Gregg looks at me and says, "We made it!" and plants a big kiss right on my lips! I felt a huge sigh of relief. We made it on to the bridge that connects the port to the boat and I started getting really excited about our trip all over again. We literally were the LAST people on the ship! :) We went to the "information meeting" that the entire boat was at and then found our way to our room. It was so NICE! King size bed. Couch. Walk in Closet. Whirlpool Tub. Balcony with a patio set. Super nice! I unpacked our things and settled us in to our home for the next 5 days. It took me quite a while to get my "sea legs" I think it was well after dinner before I could walk without staggering! The first Port of Call was Freeport. We left the boat a few hours before our bus was scheduled to leave and checked out the shops and harbor. It was nice and clean and had some nice music playing in the middle of it. We decided to get us a bite to eat. Gregg tried the island specialty, Conch. I got a hamburger. We then took a 20 minute ride to where our snorkeling boat was leaving from. I was a little nervous about going snorkeling, but was looking forward to trying something new. Our boat arrived at the reef and we got up and lined up towards the back of the boat. Fins and mask in hand. I ended up being the second one off the boat and had a panic attack! Seriously! It freaked me out! Gregg got in right behind me and was trying his best to calm me down but I could not get enough air through my snorkel! :) I finally convinced myself I had to go back and told him that I didn't like it and I was going to get on the boat. I was about 30 yards from the boat and a "flotation device" had fallen off the boat and was a little past me and one of the crew hollered for me to grab it so I used that as my excuse to head back to the boat. As I swam it towards the boat, one of the crewman jumped in and clung on to it with me.. Along came 3 girls grabbing at it as well. They were all freaking out, like me! :) I didn't feel so bad anymore and I actually ended up calming down and got out there and was diving down and ended up loving it!  It was beautiful! Loved seeing all the different fish. We snorkeled for an hour and then loaded up and headed back to the harbor. We loaded back up on the ship and headed for Nassau. We actually booked a spa treatment for both of us that evening. I had a 75 minute body massage/facial and Gregg had a hair cut, shave, ankle/foot massage and neck/shoulder massage. It was a wonderful treat!  That night was elegant night on the ship so we got back to our room and dressed in our best! We did group dining that night and that was.....ummm.. interesting! It almost ruined our idea of group dining! lol. When we arrived at Nassau in the morning, we had to be down at the bus stop at around 8:30 in the morning. We got down there and it was raining and looked as if it was going to rain ALL day. :( We had booked an excursion to go to the Atlantis Aquaventure (water park) and we ended up dropping down to the Discover Atlantis which was just a tour of the resort. We got back on the boat and relaxed for a few hours before having to meet the tour bus to go to Atlantis. The Resort was BEAUTIFUL!  After taking the tour, we explored a little bit and found a little Grill and Bar inside the casino called Atlas Grill and Bar. We decided to take a break and grab a burger. It was SO good. We headed back to the bus stop and got back on the boat. Next stop, Half Moon Cay. My favorite! We planned to do horseback riding and I was really looking forward to this and ended up getting a refund because the water part of the riding was canceled because the water was too choppy for the horses so we decided not to do it at all and just enjoyed the day on the beach. Carnival had a beach BBQ so we went and grabbed some lunch and went and found us a beach chair. The water was GORGEOUS and I didn't want to leave! We packed up our stuff and went to the shops before it was time to go. They had a little shop there where you pick your own pearl. You actually decide which oyster you want and they crack it open and there's your pearl. We ended up doing 3 different pearls. One for me, one for Gregg's mom and one for Kaidi. Kaidi's turned out BEAUTIFUL! It was a darker pink and we had it set on a flower charm. I was very proud of the gift we had bought her! We headed back to the ship and got back to our room and cleaned up for dinner. We did a little shopping on the boat as well. They had lots of wonderful deals on jewelry! Gregg bought himself a watch and bought me 3 pandora style bracelets. We ended up winning a raffle drawing for a pair of turquoise earrings that cost $100. I also surprised Gregg with a casual watch the last night of the cruise. He had mentioned several times another watch that he really liked, so I had to spoil him a little since he had bought me some nice things. Our sea day was the next day and Gregg took a 4 1/2 hour nap while I laid out on the top deck reading and tanning. I started Heaven is For Real on our way down there and finished that book up. Loved reading it and enjoyed having Brayden and Kenadi in my mind and what a wonderful place they are in now. Can't wait to meet them there. I came back to the room and packed a little and decided to go work out.. came back.. he was still asleep so I showered and then took myself a little nap as well. Last night on the ship we went to the comedy show. Quite Hilarious! Got back to our rooms and finished up packing and getting everything ready for the leave the next day. We were both so ready to get home to our babies.
We got up early Thursday morning and headed to the room we were told to wait in until we could debark. We decided we would carry all our luggage out ourselves instead of having to find it at baggage claim, so we could get out earlier. As we came across the bridge and down the first elevator, we were stopped and asked if we had our declaration papers. The lady told us there was a counter outside the elevator where we could fill it out. We stopped there and I was digging in my purse getting out our passports and set a gift bag up on the counter that had all my jewelry that I had brought with me and all the jewelry that we had bought while on the trip in it. I turned to Gregg and handed him his passport, finished filling mine out. Reached down and grabbed the suitcase I was rolling and walked right off and left that bag sitting on the counter. I am VERY VERY sad about this. I didn't realize it until we were 3 hours in to our drive home. Then I cried for an hour. I was so upset because the Pearl we had picked for Kaidi was in there. Along with some jewelry that Gregg had bought me over the years for Christmas and Valentines. And his new Dress Watch that he had bought himself. I called Carnival and they said it could take 2 weeks before they would know if it was turned in or not. :( Gregg told me that I didn't need to get so upset that there wasn't anything in there that was irreplaceable. He's right, but I just really hope some good person out there found it and turned it in. There are some really special pieces of jewelry that were lost. We made it home to our babies (7 1/2 hour drive) and gave them so many hugs and kisses! It was so good seeing how excited they were to see us!  We had an amazing time on our cruise. We definitely wanna take the kids in a few years on the Disney line. But We will for sure be going back soon just the two of us! And maybe a couple of friends!

On the move: Not really sure how soon we will be moving, but we are thinking probably the end of October, early November. Very Soon!! We have a LOT to do in a small amount of time. I am excited for our family and excited that I will be staying home with the kids. We do have a big transition ahead of us and I just pray that it is nice and easy! Moving from a town with a population of about 6,500 to a city with a population of 65,000 is HUGE for us. 

Here are a few pictures from our cruise:
Saturday Morning at Hotel. Super excited about our cruise!

First Night
Beautiful Lighthouse in Freeport, Bahamas
Gregg Snorkeling
Elegant Attire Night. I have one good looking husband! :)
Heading out to Atlantis!
Atlantis Resort
Gregg at Atlantis
Me at Atlantis
For my lil man! :)
Half Moon Cay. With our ship in the background.
Carnival Ecstasy
Heading out to Dinner
Last night before Dinner.


Jodi said...

Meredith, I swear you get prettier every time I see you!

I hope and pray you get your bag back <3

WOW on the move! How exciting :)

Glad things are going well for you all :)

~Jodi (in MN)

MonaJorge said...

You both are just glowing ~ only good for you all from here on out!
Best wishes to you on the move, it is so nice you will be able to be home with your babies.

Carrie said...

Love your pictures! We have taken a few cruises with Carnival and they just get better every time! They have an AWESOME kids program also if you go again and take the kids.