This was our first long trip together away from Addison and Mackenzie, and as the date neared, I will admit I was a little bit nervous. (All the Rapture talk didn't help the nerves any, even when I rationalized that the guy was a quack because "no one knows the day or hour", except our Father in Heaven.) We had been talking to the girls about mama and daddy's "vacation", telling them they would have lots of fun with both sets of grandparents while we were gone, so they didn't seem upset at all. I knew they would have fun, but it's natural to worry a bit, right? I just hoped they wouldn't think we had run away and left them for good!
We left very early Saturday morning to drive to Mobile to meet my sister and board our ship. We had an uneventful drive down, unless you count Jeremy's various panic attacks about the possibility of our being late. (We weren't.)
After a relatively short wait in the cruise terminal, we were on board and on our way. We were determined to make this vacation as inexpensive as possible, so we booked the cheapest rooms on the interior of the ship. Because Jeremy and I had sailed before, we were upgraded to porthole windows, but we were on the bottom floor of guest rooms...meaning we had a 6-floor walk to most of our activities. Though the stairs were a little hard on my legs and we were further from the action than we have been in the past, it really wasn't a big deal. The inconveniences were well worth the money we saved.
I even brought a case of Diet Cokes with me this time, so we literally paid for nothing onboard. (Unsweet tea, water, and lemonade are free, but soft drinks are extra.) Well, we did pay $7 (SEVEN DOLLARS!) for some crappy deodorant because Jeremy forgot his, but we had some sort of mysterious onboard credit that took care of that charge.
I told everyone that my goal for this cruise was to plant myself in a deck chair with a stack of books for the entire week, and that is pretty much exactly what I did! I finally got around to starting the Sookie Stackhouse series the week before we left, and thanks to a friend who lent me books 1-9, I was well-prepared for a week of doing nothing.
This was the view from our favorite chairs on the back of the boat. We would head down after an afternoon nap and grab a spot in the last of the evening sunlight, where we read and dozed until dinner.
Even the days we were in port, we continued the trend of doing nothing and saving money. We opted out of the expensive shore excursions this time and just walked around the port towns of Progreso and Cozumel. I didn't even take my good camera out of our stateroom the entire trip, just snapping a few pictures with my new phone.
We ate a ton of food, of course, though I neglected to get a picture of any of it except Jeremy with his beloved ice cream:
With the girls, I feel a constant pressure to take pictures. They are growing and changing so unbelievably fast, and it feels like I need to capture all the moments so we will have a record of these days. It was such a relief to put the camera down and just enjoy the day instead of trying to get a good shot.
Laura and Brynn met some people their age at the dinner table, so they spent the days laying in the sun and the evenings dancing with new friends while Jeremy and I were completely and utterly lazy. So, in summary, our first child-free vacation (and only one for many years, most likely) contained lots of food, afternoon naps, beautiful views, vampire novels (for me), a military memoir (for Jeremy), and all-around relaxation.
It was a perfect vacation, exactly what we needed and wanted. The girls had a blessedly uneventful week and seemed to enjoy their time with my family and Jeremy's. We were told that they asked for us several times, but someone would just remind them that we were on vacation or "the big boat" and we would be back soon. The only breakdown I heard of was when my mom couldn't get The Wizard of Oz (the current movie obsession) to play and Mackenzie cried and said "Mama dooooo itttt!"
As wonderful as it was to be away, we were pushing the speed limit for the last few hours of our drive home, eager to see these precious faces:
We had no trouble settling back into our normal routine with the girls, with none of the clingy-ness or sleep interruptions I feared might happen when we got back. They do intend to make sure they don't get left behind on the next vacation though!