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Thursday, February 23, 2017

Disney Dream – Day 3, Castaway Cay, Part 1

I have to divide this post into two parts because there was just too much packed into this day to cover in one blog post!

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As usual I was up bright and early, and looked out to see that we were getting close to our next port of call – Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay!

 

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The first thing that always takes place on this day is the Castaway Cay 5k! Harry and I were both running in the 5k, so after a nice cup of coffee, we got our running clothes on and headed down to the meetup room.

 

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We had lots of good company!

At 8:15, one of the recreation directors went over the route for the 5k, and let us know that we would be the first ones off the ship once the all clear was given.

It was sunny and a bit warm, but there was a pretty good wind blowing which helped to cool us off. In fact, it was so windy that almost all of the port excursions for the day were cancelled, snorkeling, windsurfing etc., which we saw posted on a sign as we were walking off the ship. Luckily, we didn’t have any plans of that sort for the day, so no disappointments for us.

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After a pleasant run, which took just a little over 36 minutes, we received our medals at the finish line and took advantage of the many great views around to get a few pics of each other.

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16708396_10212798631307378_6735718660362874151_nThen we walked back to the ship to get cleaned up and enjoy a nice breakfast. We got back to the ship a few minutes before 10, and on the spur of the moment decided to go right over and get breakfast first. We ended up being SO glad we did. We had no sooner filled our plates and sat down at a table than they closed the buffet line down! Talk about perfect timing! I’m sure we would have been able to find some food somewhere but we were just glad that we made it to the buffet with all the many options available. It was a wonderful meal to enjoy after our early morning run.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Day 2 – Disney Dream

 

Before I begin, just want to say a little more about the check-in process. I started to describe it in my last blog post, then got rushed trying to get it finished before we had to leave for cards! I mentioned that you drop off your luggage with a porter as you drive in. Then it’s just a short drive over to the parking area. Parking is a bit expensive, but I basically think of it as part of the cruise expense. It was a little bit cheaper since it was only a 4 night cruise – $80 to park from Monday to Friday. I think it was $120 last year for the weeklong cruise.

After you park your car you walk the short distance back to the building, and go through the security checkpoint. They scan your bag, as you walk through the metal detector. Then you get in the line for the Disney check-in people. It moves really fast, because it’s one line, and there are probably 20 people at stations at the end of it. There is a Disney employee at the front of the line, and s(he) directs you to the next open station. They take your printed check-in sheet from the online check-in and ID’s. That’s it. Badges for the ships are printed and a small ticket with your group number to go on the ship is handed to you. We were #3, so that was great. Then we walked right over to a big room, and waited about 10 minutes before they started calling numbers to go on the ship. Our check-in time we chose was 10:30 – 10:45, and I think we were walking onto the ship around 11:15.


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After a really nice first day, we had a pretty good night’s sleep. The bed was ok. Not the most comfortable bed I’ve ever slept on, but not the worst either. haha I guess the positive is that I get the most out of each day because there’s not much sleeping in.

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I was up early enough to get a picture of the sun coming up, and watch us come into the Nassau port.

 

 

We didn’t really have plans for this port. On our last cruise to Nassau, back in 2010, we got off the ship and walked around a bit. Our original idea this time was to go over to Senor Frogs and have an appetizer and drink. But we ended up not being hungry enough to want to spend extra money when we could eat on the ship for free. Also, since it was such a short cruise we didn’t mind having another day on the ship.

16806913_10212795773635938_7465626048785206181_nOne of my goals for this week was to keep up my exercise. I was moderately successful. Since we weren’t getting off the ship, I enjoyed a leisurely start before heading to Deck 4 to run on the “track”. You can’t really see a track at all but there is a sign there that says 2.5 times around = mile. I also used my Fitbit watch on the treadmill function and compared it to find that it was pretty accurate.

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Not a bad view for a morning run!

 

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In the afternoon, Harry and I went to the adult area on the ship, and enjoyed a couple drinks. Margarita for me and pina colada for Harry. Yum!

 

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After a while we went back to our room to watch the last minute people come back to the ship, and sail away. Our view for the day had been the Carnival ship that was also docked in Nassau.

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It made for a pretty cool sailaway picture though! Since my mother and stepfather had the room next door, we were able to have the balcony section removed which really made our balcony feel so open.

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We had a wonderful table assignment this evening, with a table right next to the porthole.

 

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We could see the Carnival ship off in the distance.

 

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It was another great day on the Disney Dream!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Cruisin’ On the Disney Dream!

We got back from our Disney cruise on Friday, and now that we’ve had the weekend to decompress and get back to real life, I’ve decided I better get back to my blogging before I get out of the habit again!!

The only sad part about a cruise is how fast it goes by! We cruised last year also – a 7 night cruise – while this year we did only a 4 night. We had a good time, but I have to say I enjoyed the longer one more. Besides the obvious – being on the ship longer – we also found that the entertainment was a lot more streamlined on the shorter cruise. Last year there were 4 entertainers, like comedians/magicians etc, while this year there was only one. So that was a bit of a surprise.16649198_10212795271983397_7522927512934257787_n

Overall, though, we had a really nice time, and enjoyed a lot of relaxation!

Our first look at the ship! ---->

 

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Disney has a great check-in process. When you fill out your information online, you choose a check-in time. The times are at 15 minute intervals. When you drive in, you pull right up and drop off your checked bags. It’s always a good idea to keep a small bag with meds, electronics, stuff like that.

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The first thing we always do is go enjoy our first meal on board! This picture came out dark, but you can probably see Harry’s happy smile!

 

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We also had to get our first selfie on the pool deck before it really got busy.

 

 

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We were able to get into our room about 1:30 and found an awesome canvas bag waiting for us. I think we got it because we were repeat cruisers.

 

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We also checked out the adult area on the ship. I don’t think we went there at all on our last cruise. These chairs were extremely comfortable!

 

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After the obligatory safety drill in the afternoon, we headed down to the Lido Deck for the sail away party. I had my first tropical drink of the week.

 

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Disney has musical shows every night of the cruise. Here we are waiting for the show to begin!

 

It was a great first day. We were happy that we had gotten on the ship around 11 so we almost had another whole day to enjoy. A fun start to our week!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Busy Weekend

Location: Avon Park, FL

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Our weekend started out bright and early with a breakfast at the clubhouse to benefit the woodworking group 20170211_074617here at the rv park.

Both Harry and I enjoy a homemade breakfast, so we got up a little earlier than usual so we could go over there before it really got busy. It was a good time to go, but even so, there were a good number of people there already enjoying the breakfast of pancakes, sausage, eggs, and biscuits with sausage gravy. We did NOT leave there hungry.

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After that, I went for my run, which I do not usually do on a full stomach. Not a comfortable run, haha, but I got it done.

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The rest of the day involved getting stuff done in preparation for our cruise.

Enjoyed another pretty sunset last night!

 

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I never get tired of sunset pictures over the lake…

 

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We’ve finished up our packing and are looking forward to some family time!

 

I’ll have lots of blog topics next week!

Friday, February 10, 2017

Getting Ready!!!

Location: Avon Park, FL

Well I inserted a little teaser into the end of a post a couple days ago, about an exciting event that we have coming up very soon!

Let me give you a much bigger clue!!!

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  Ok, yes, I guess that pretty much gives it away.

Yes, we are going to be going on a Disney cruise next week. It’s a 4 night Bahamian cruise that has two stops – Nassau, Bahamas and Disney’s Castaway Cay.

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Soon I’ll be relaxing on our balcony and enjoying a wonderful ocean view!

 

 

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One of the great things about rv life is that a cruise ship room feels pretty spacious!

 

 

Today, we’ve been doing some of the last minute types of things. We went to Walmart and picked up a few travel size items that we needed. We also split a sub at Subway so we could hang out and get our phone updates completed on the store wifi.

The other big thing for today was meeting with a woman who has a business in the area called “Critter Sitters”. The fact that this business is here is one of the things I love about being here. Critter Sitters provides dog boarding services, but also takes care of cats. IMG_7720She will come by on a daily basis, take care of the food, water and litter box, and also spend about 30 minutes with the cats so they have some human contact. It definitely makes me feel better to know that they are being taken care of, and are in their own space. When we got back after our cruise last year, they didn’t even seem stressed out or anything. Not like usual after we are gone for any period of time.

 

We have a couple days left yet, but pretty soon we have to start thinking about getting out the suitcase!!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Dinner and a Walk

Location: Avon Park, FL

20170208_163255_001One of Harry’s favorite places for dinner is Outback Steakhouse, so yesterday afternoon we went over to Sebring so he could indulge in a nice steak dinner.

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Haha, we decided to go for an early dinner, leaving our place at 4 o’clock. We thought the place would be deserted since it was before the usual dinner hour, but when we got there, there were a lot of cars in the parking lot. The restaurant had a good number of tables that were occupied, and all the people eating their meals were of the, ahem, older retired variety. We both got a big laugh out of that. Guess we really are fitting in!

(I didn’t take any pictures of myself, since it was Harry’s big day, but I also enjoyed my drink and meal.)

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After we got home, we were both definitely full, and decided to take a nice walk. It was a beautiful evening, and the rising moon was gorgeous.

 

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Harry had a good time reading all his Facebook birthday greetings, and enjoyed phone calls from both of his children. So I think he had a very nice birthday.

Today was a very laid back day. It was one of those days when I just didn’t have an awful lot of energy, so I just went for a walk this morning, and spent the rest of the day reading and watching a little tv. Not much to talk about there. In just a little bit we’ll be heading over for an evening of cards. Didn’t do anything today, but it went fast anyway!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Birthday Boy!

Location: Avon Park, FL

It was nine years ago today that Harry and I celebrated his birthday for the first time. We had just gone on our first date in mid-January, but I think we both already knew that we had found something special.

IMG_1950We have had SO many great times together since then, but to celebrate this occasion, I thought I’d take a stroll down memory lane…

Harry on our first vacation together in November 2008… --->

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<--- The two of us together the following year on our wedding day on June 1, 2009…

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With our first grandson Schaun in 2010…---->

 

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<-----With our niece Hannah in 2011…

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Cooking our first breakfast in the rv after we started fulltiming in December 2012… ----------->

 

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<------With his sister Linda in St. Augustine in 2013…

 

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After our half marathon in Lake Placid in 2014… --->

 

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<------Geocaching in Lake Placid in 2015…

 

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Enjoying his first meal on a Disney cruise in April 2016… ---->

 

 

Just a sampling of the many good memories we’ve made over the past 9 years and looking forward to many many more!!

Happy birthday to my wonderful husband and partner in life!!