Some things really do stand out in my mind.
Ports of Call. Well, Panama Canal has to win, hands down. Even though, technically, we did not get off the ship.Doug and I loved Costa Rica and would like to explore it more. Also Aruba was a very kind and peaceful island, beautiful white sand beaches. I guess they all had something interesting to offer. Nicaragua was the first time we experienced warm, tropical rains. Thanks for that!!
Food and drinks.They were great. We never gained one extra pound! We were very, very happy about that. We had heard about all the scary stories of people gaining all sorts of weight because of all the great food. I think some call it "float and bloat". That was a relief!! Plus we did not feel like we did without lots of treats and yummy food and desserts!! (who could forget the Baked Alaskas!!)
Shuffleboard. This was tons of fun. I know it doesn't sound like it but when you get your whole family out playing, it was a blast!! The shuffleboard deck was up on level 16 of the ship, right at the back. There were lots of great sunsets enjoyed from here as well!! There was also lots of trash-talk going on too!! Of course, it didn't hurt that we were on a big-ass, beautiful ship in the middle of the warm seas either!!
Mini-Golf. I know. Another thing that sounds a bit lame, but we had a great time up there. We are a bit noisy so when we all arrived, it amazingly seemed to clear right out!! Imagine!!
Trivia in the Wheelhouse Pub. Well, this was a bit of a miserable failure most days, but we did try. Martin and Julie got us going on this and I think, at times, they were sorry to have involved us all. Maybe he and Julie could have found a more intelligent group. It was fun anyway!!
Pool time. Well, it started out innocently enough, this saving of lounge chairs. Eventually, it became obvious that Susann, Mark and Julie could not save enough for us all so they relented and only kept 4 at a time, right by the pool. Hey, when you get up there at 8 am, you can do those things!! Multiple tubes of sunscreen were used, many types of hats and so many drinks that you couldn't possibly keep track!! AND, the pool games......these were put on by the cruise director. Volleyball, which I was in. I do not believe that I actually returned a ball, not even once. The last set of games, the other day, involved Martin, Julie, Doug, Carmen and a few unknown extras. They named themselves.... Arrruuuba.com and they won the relay race in the pool. It was so much fun cheering them on!!
Mostly what I take away was an amazing time spent with some of the most important people in my life. We talked and laughed for 18 days straight...and we all came away better than when we started!! Imagine!! We thank our Mom, again and again for the opportunity!!
While we were away, due to the spotty nature of the internet and the inability to download pictures, we missed a few birthday wishes on the blog. I was finally able to post them on Facebook but not here, so in order of proper birthday dates, may I present:
October 5th - Barb Contreras!!
Sorry we missed you friend but we were thinking of you.
Hope you had a great day with your family in Illinois!!
October 12th - Helen Beglaw (aka Doug's Mom!!)
We love you and were sorry we couldn't call you on that special day!!
October 12th - Bob Bortolin
Our great friend. We are sure that your family made your day special!
(Sorry buddy, but you had to take second place to Doug's Mom here!!)
October 16th. Also, the last birthday, which was not actually on the boat was Carmen's, our wonderful sister-in-law. I don't like referring to Carmen as "sister-in-law" as she is more like our sister!! She also shared a birthday with my Dad, Les Tamas. This made her very special to Dad too!! I owe you a sign!!
Julie, Nancy, Susann and Carmen...
So, from all your "sisters" A very Happy Birthday to you, Carmen!!!
And that, ladies and gentleman is a wrap!!!