Showing posts with label vacation. Show all posts

Happy New Year!!!

Happy New Year, everyone! I thoroughly enjoyed my break from all things blog and social media the first week in 2019. It was just great to be able to spend time with family and enjoy the moment. For their “big” Christmas gift, S. and I surprised the kids with a trip to Florida starting the day after Christmas through the first week of January. Everyone had a great time.

It was the first time in years that we didn’t bring in the New Year during Watch Night services at our church, but the family fellowship we experienced at Florida made up for it.

The kids’ faces were on smiles most of time (except the night time when they had their typical sibling bickering). We stuck to Universal Studios during this visit. All three parks—Universal Studios, Islands of Adventures, and Volcano Bay—were visited. Since my brother in loves and their significant others and family joined, the kids had ample playmates and ride companions and that made the trip even more fun.
Hanging with the Cat in the Hat and Things 1 and 2

Vacation Recap: Paradise at Paradisus Punta Cana

Hello everyone. I’ve been waiting to share this one for a while. It’s the recap of our trip to Paradisus Punta Cana! It’s been three years since we visited the Dominican Republic, three years since we stopped by Paradisus Palma Real (see that post here). This time, we invited my brother and sister in love and their spouses. Yep, S.’s brother and his wife and his sister and her husband joined us for a really beautiful trip, a couples’ vacation that we will definitely have to repeat in the future.

The lovely walk outside our room

Mental Heath/R&R Break


Hi guys! Thanks for checking in. We’re stepping away from the keyboard for some R&R. We may interrupt it here or there, but for the most part…SILENCE!

 Don’t worry! We’ll be back soon with all sorts of interesting shares including (but not limited to) back to school, FET plans, and life in general. In the meantime, we hope you all have a blessed day. 

Talk to you soon!

-K

Vacation Recap: Embarkation and Port Departure- Part 2

Embarkation
Happy Father's Day!  It really was the perfect day for Embarkation.  FatherWinter made the suggestion for a cruise this year and it seemed perfect that we were leaving on a day meant to honor fathers. FatherWinter was in a great mood and decided to share it by encouraging Superbug to wake up :)

Daddy jumping on the bed to wake Superbug


After gifting FatherWinter with Father's Day cards and getting ready for the day, we were off to the Port to go cruising!

Superbug had several great memories of the trip.  One of his favorite was driving to the port and seeing the ship as we approached.  He talked about it quite some time after we were actually on board.

Approaching the ship

Approaching the ship

Once we arrived at the port and paid for parking, we went through the boarding process.  We were pleasantly surprised that, though there were already quite a number of people, the lines were moving quickly.  After having all of our documents processed properly and posing for our Sail and Sign Cards which served as currency on the ship, we were ready to go.

Superbug is ready to board the ship

Taking the escalator to the gangway

Preparing to board
Superbug was very excited to cross the gangway onto the ship.  Our sister and brother (in love) were already on board, so we went straightway to their cabin to say hello.  After a brief conversation and catch-up, FatherWinter and I took the kids to our cabin and placed our luggage, which had been bought to our room, inside.

The cabin was a very nice balcony cabin with an upper berth for Superbug and a pullout for Honeybee We stood outside on the balcony taking in the sights and then decided to grab a bit to eat!  (Our family loves food).  Despite their being so many of us (4 adults and 6 children), we were able to find a booth section rather quickly.  The men went to the buffet line for the moms so they could bring back plates for the kids.

The food was absolutely delicious and everyone was very satisfied with their meals.  Being done, we all went to the top deck to take in some of the sights of the port before leaving. It was such a pleasant time up there.





Taking in the sights from the  ship

Somewhere over there is our car

Cousin time
 We knew our time would be a bit brief there as the ship had to prep for the muster drill.  The drill is like a fire drill for a cruise ship.  It preps the passengers for what to do in the event of an emergency requiring passengers to access the lifeboats and/or prep for an abandon ship order.  The safety briefing that accompanied the drill was a bit long, but the information was important.  I didn't mind at all.

This was our second time on the Carnival Victory, but our first with children.  We were interested in hearing how things would be done with and for them in the event of an emergency.  All of that was explained including the actions that would occur should the children be in the youth clubs while the emergency was declared.  Children under the age of 12 were all given wristbands that coordinated with their muster station.  They wore those bracelets during the duration of the cruise.  Even my 9 month old nephew had one attached to his ankle.  It gave a good feeling knowing the kids were so carefully considered in the cruise.

After the muster drill was over, the family returned to our previous activity of viewing the port sites, but this time we were also excited to see us towed to sea.  FatherWinter and I had never departed from this port before.  It's funny the comparisons one makes in their minds.  I think I might have an aesthetic preference to Miami only because you are leaving by the highway and people are more inclined to wave.  (It kind of makes you feel super special).  However, the port workers were very kind to wave goodbye, as were some of the passengers on the cruise ship we were departing.




Pretty soon, we were out on open water and were ready to head for a day and evening of fun.  We went to a show and then decided to check out the kids club.  I'd already registered the children prior to boarding the ship, but SisterWinter (that's FatherWinter's sister) had not.  We took all the kids in and allowed the younger ones to play in the club to get acclimated before we would have to return later.

They loved it.  For the rest of the cruise, all I had to do was sing to Honeybee let's go pla--a-ay".  She would giggle and sing it back.  Then would anxiously go to the cabin door ready to leave.  The staff was awesome to her and called her "cutie pie" which is now a new word in her vocab.  The older children also enjoyed the club for the most part.  They enjoyed the activities and made some new friends.  After registering the kiddies, we walked around and caught a show, caught an early dinner, and enjoyed some of the endlessly fun activities. Superbug asked if he could hang with his cousin for a while in her cabin with Sister and BrotherWinter and we were glad to let him hang out with family.

That left us with Honeybee and entertaining her.  No problem.  We got her dressed for bed and posed for a few selfies.





Soon, it was time for Honeybee to call it an evening.  FatherWinter and I watched the NBA Finals in our bedroom until my tummy started growling again.  Superbug, who'd returned to our cabin by then, joined me for a jaunt upstairs where we searched for, found, and claimed cheese and pepperoni pizza.

Without a doubt, it was a great day.

-WinterMommy

Vacation Recap: Freeport, Bahamas-Part 3

Welcome to Freeport


When we woke the next morning, we were greeted by the the inlet of Freeport.  Because we wanted to give the kids a chance to experience the cruise and didn't want to overdo it with activities, we decided not to do excursions this time.  We decided to go out an explore the harbor on our own.

There were plenty of shops and eateries available.  We walked the main drag and enjoyed looking at all that was available to see.






-WinterMommy

Vacation Recap: Formal Night and Nassau, Bahamas-Part 4

No lengthy explanations needed here.  We enjoyed beautiful singing, lots of fun activities, a beautiful beach (Tiki Beach Hut), and tons of great beverages and food.  It was a great time!  There are plenty of other pictures, but I thought I'd keep some just for us :)  We hope you have enjoyed journeying with us.  We will talk to you soon!

Singing and dancing for love

Formal night fun







-WinterMommy

Vacation Recap: Road Trip to the Cruise Port! Part 1

We're back!  Oh my goodness, what a wonderful vacation we had!  I have to admit that I was more than a little nervous about taking the kids on their first cruise, but I needn't have been.  They loved it. FatherWinter and I are already discussing doing another one when Honeybee is just a bit older.  For this first one for the kids, it was really nice.

The Drive Down
FatherWinter and I decided that it made much more economical sense to drive down to FL for cruise embarkation than it did to fly.  Round trip flights for a family of four are not inexpensive.  Buying gas for the car and going down just seemed to be a much better option for us.

Our original plan was to leave at 5AM, but some challenges had us leave about 7AM instead.  The kids were pretty excited about a new adventure and were all for pre-trip photos before our departure prayer.





After we let, the kids were sleep pretty quick.  As was I.  FatherWinter took first drive and we slept for about four hours and then stopped for breakfast at the local Shoney's.  This is sort of a tradition for our family.  When we do long road trips South, we stop at Shoney's for a good breakfast buffet. This one didn't disappoint and after a quick meal, we were on the road again.


Several hours later, we arrived at our hotel and were so excited to just to stand up lol.  We grabbed a bit to eat and then met up with FatherWinter's sister and brother in law and their kids.  The older kids went to the pool and played all evening.  I went straight to bed with Honeybee.  We were exhausted!

-WinterMommy


Vacation Butterflies


We are officially BOOKED for our family vacation! This year FatherWinter and I decided to introduce the children to a cruise! Oh my, we thought it was an amazingly awesome idea. So much so that we asked FatherWinter’s sister and brother in law and their kids if they wanted to come as well. They said yes! I have to admit I like traveling together with them. They are not afraid to step out of the comfort zone and try new things. They came with us last year to Florida and I really did enjoy their company. Plus, their children are neck and neck with Superbug and Honeybee. We knew there would be a lot for everyone to do—both separately and together. Not only will this be the kids first cruise, but also my sister and brother in law and their family. So, I’m really hoping for a great time.

Photo courtesy: Carnival.com
I’m really excited about that there are kids camps throughout the day that allow the adults to have some alone time while allowing the kids to play together in all sorts of fun activities. I also love that there are so many different food choices that everyone’s palate will be satisfied. It’s pretty safe to say that I am more than a little excited about this trip. BUT (and of course there are buts), I am admittedly nervous.

I really want the kids to enjoy themselves. I really want FatherWinter and I to enjoy ourselves. So, I’m scouting everything. I’m trying to research everything. We’re riding down in a huge RV that will allow everyone to get there at the same time. We’re proposing leaving late night so that the kids will be sleep most of the time. It should take about 12 hours to get to our destination. Then, we arrive on board, grab something to eat, and then have a little down time before heading to muster station training.

Then we’re off! I can’t wait to see Honeybee and Superbug’s faces as we pull off and wave to everyone. I can’t wait until they have their first realization that they are on a moving ship for a week! I am so extremely excited about this journey!

But, admittedly, I have a few butterflies. I am really searching through these blogs and forums on what to pack for Honeybee. She has eczema. Are there any special extras I should take with us because of the sea air. I want to create a cool “to do” kit for Superbug while on vacation. Maybe a “scavenger hunt” of things to look for on the trip. I want nice pictures and fun memories. What is Honeybee has a tantrum? What if the kids get motion sickness? What if they get homesick? Sigh.

Then I can’t forget Superbug. I really want him to be happy and enjoy his trip as well. Time to sit down with him and ask him what he is most looking forward to? Does he even understand what will be on the cruise? Eeek! Yep, we have about 70+ days to get it together lol….not to mention my weight lol.

Here’s looking forward to great fun and wonderful planning!

Talk to you soon!

-WinterMommy

Family Vacation 2015

Hi everyone!

We've recently returned from our annual family vacation.  I have to say it was an enjoyable time for the most part.  Part of what made it so enjoyable was the knowledge that pretty soon our Honeybee will be a legal member of our family as she already is in our heart.

God willing, next year this time, we'll be making our annual family vacation without having to receive permission to go. Woohoo!!!

So, for the past three years, our family has visited Orlando, Florida for summer vacation.  This year, we extended an invitation to FatherWinter's brothers and sister.  Because schedules were so crazy, only two additional families could join us.  But that was more than enough as we really had a great time with them.

FatherWinter, Superbug, and the cousins
The kids got to enjoy Universal Studios and Wet n' Wild water park everyday. Honeybee did very well with the water slides and pool play.
Water slide fun
Adorable swimsuit

We kept her in her life jacket during water play and FatherWinter held her to make sure she was secure.  Honeybee soon became so relaxed that she fell asleep while he was still floating with Daddy.  It was such a cute photo.
Favorite moment of the trip:  Honeybee was so relaxed in the water that she fell asleep while floating.
On most days, the older children went with FatherWinter and their uncles to ride the roller coasters and thrill rides or meet their favorite characters.
Superbug and Spider-man.  Love this pic!
The Green Goblin made Superbug step back for a while.

While the big kids (men included :) navigated the rides, my sister in law and I took the younger children around the park to enjoy the little people rides.  Honeybee was able to ride the carousel, a fish ride, and see a couple of shows.  It was really interesting to see her face when we saw the Barney show.  She doesn't watch Barney on television, but she was really attentive at the show.  She was a bit apprehensive of seeing them up close, but enjoyed clapping her hands at the songs.





In the rest of the park, Honeybee's diminutive size confused a few people.  She does very well on her mobility, but in such a large park as Universal Studios and with her age, we preferred to carry her or let her ride in the stroller.  Since she is only in the 2nd percentile for height and 0 percentile for weight, she looks about six or nine months instead of sixteen.  That meant the ride attendants were reluctant to let her on because they didn't think she could sit up on her own.  Once I put her on the ground and she started walking and they heard her speak, they knew she was much older (but were still amazed).

Walking through Seuss Landing

It was great spending time with all of the families and wonderful that Superbug got to spend time with his cousins.  He really enjoyed himself and I'm looking forward to doing this again soon.  We're already discussing a vacation next year...a cruise.

The first night Daddy and Honeybee were super tired after the journey.

We had a huge rainstorm while at the water park.  


Dora was awesome in the parade

Whatever we do, we'll be blessed to do it together.  We hope you have a great evening and stay blessed!