Thursday, February 26, 2009

One Dream Vacation

There is no one word that can perfectly describe our vacation and it's hard for me to believe that it was just a week ago now that we were getting ready to get on the very beautiful Disney Wonder. I was so nervous as we prepared for this vacation; nervous because I'd never been out of the country, nervous because we'd never been on a cruise before, nervous I would get seasick, nervous we would be uncomfortable with our tablemates at dinner, nervous that I was packing the wrong things or too many things or that I would be under dressed or over dressed. Seriously I over worry about everything and the day I'm not stressed about something will be the day I'm no longer among the living so I was a bundle of excitment and nerves. Of course all of these nerves were for nothing! Everything went perfectly smooth! We spent a wonderful night on Cocoa Beach, we had a balcony overlooking the ocean, we took a long walk on the beach, collected shells, talked, laughed and then had a wonderful dinner at the hotel. Of course that night in Cocoa I got almost no sleep, I was just too excited and even with the lack of sleep I had zero trouble bouncing out of bed when my alarm went off at 6:15. I couldn't wait! I got dressed, enjoyed time on the balcony, barely touched breakfast and then annoyed the hell out of Mike as we waited for the shuttle!

We were the first people in line in front of the gate to get into the terminal and though normally I'm the least patient person I know the time waiting for the porter to pick up our bags so we could head into the terminal flew by! The terminal was such a fun and festive place, there was music playing and it was bright and cheerful and after we checked in we hung out and got our pictures taken with Mickey and Goofy. I talked to my parents, grandmother and sister and sent out a few photos from my phone and then I turned the phone off! It was such a weight lifted to know we couldn't be reached, that we didn't have to constantly check our email, we were just free to be together and talk to one another it was probably the highlight of the vacation!

Those who really know me will not be surprised to hear that when it came time to board I had to choke back tears. And of course Disney goes above and beyond making you feel special as you board the ship they announce you and cast members cheer for you, and if that isn't overwhelming enough the atrium is breathtaking! Of course once you enter they point you right to a buffet and you can start eating. Now due to excitement I didn't eat a whole lot at lunch even though everything I did eat was wonderful I was just so much more interested in exploring our home for the next few days. This is where being first and getting on the ship early paid off because while we were wondering from deck to deck it was like having the ship to ourselves! It was the perfect way to start relaxing! Our stateroom was awesome, we had a balcony there too which I would never have been able to sail without and now of course we're completely spoiled. We hit the Sail Away party on deck that afternoon which was so much fun, so much energy! We saw the show that night before heading to dinner but unfortunately it was the one night I felt seasick, not really sick just dizzy like I couldn't focus so aside from the super delicious escargot I didn't really eat much that first night. This lack of eating on the first day may be a contributing factor to why we didn't gain weight on this trip, another factor - my fear of elevators so we took the stairs a lot! Poor Mike I'm sure there was more then one occasion when he wanted to toss me overboard!

Though I could easily go day by day describing our every activity I'll spare you and I'll just point out the highlights! I need not have worried about our table mates at dinner they were all fantastic and all local so hopefully we will all stay in touch. I was not overly impressed with Nassau though we did not stray far from port we went into a few stores but it was kinda like Chinatown and though naturally I found stuff to buy we didn't hang out long. It is not crazy to travel all the way to another country and go to Starbucks! We stayed in Nassau under 2 hours and then headed back to the ship and once again it was like having our own ship and it was heaven! Soft Serve ice cream in paradise tastes ten times better then it does anywhere else! Castaway Cay is the most magical place I've ever been. I'm not one to sit on a beach but this place was heaven! It was like being in a living attraction. We spent 4 hours on Castaway Cay and if I could live there I would! Fireworks in the middle of the ocean to cap off a very fun Pirate Party is spectacular!

One thing we certainly miss now that we're home - being spoiled by everyone on board especially our dining servers. We had the same server team each night for dinner and the last morning for breakfast and they were awesome. They don't blink when you order multiple appetizers, desserts or even entrees, they don't judge when you add ice cream to your dessert, they knew that even when I ordered a cocktail I would want a diet coke as well and they also knew that I loved coffee and made sure I had at least a cup each night! The food was amazing, we never ran out of stuff to do and we are already planning on cruising again!

Now it's back to real life and I'm having a lot of trouble getting back into the swing of things. Partly I think I'm fighting something off because I feel so sleepy all the time but partly I think the better the vacation the more difficult it is to wind down from that vacation. One thing I definitely want to do that will help prolong this experience is start scrapbooking it but with all the pictures we took I'm completely overwhelmed. I have to get down all the stories I want to tell, go through the photos and see what inspires me and I also want to get Mike involved and see what photos he wants to include and what stories he wants to tell. Mike did buy me a beautiful Disney Cruise Line album so I'm on my way!

Well back to real life - More Soon!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Contest Winner!!!

I know, I know I'm late posting the contest winner and not because I didn't know the winner as I was getting off the ship I just feel that as I start posting about the cruise it really and truly means it's over - silly I know!

So, before toda
y is over I promise to post a full and no doubt wordy recap of our most fabulous trip ever but for now hold on to your seats: We took 541 pictures on our trip, which I admit is way less then I thought I would, I think we just got caught up having fun! So the closest guess belongs to my dear friend Gabby - she guessed 550 photos!! Way to go Gabby! Gabby thought she didn't have much of a chance since I talked up how many photos my memory card could hold but she sure showed me!!

So this photo was taken on the Serenity Bay Beach which is the adult only beach on Disney's Castaway Cay - at this point of the trip I had no idea that Gabby was going to be the winner, this is just a running joke and I wanted to make her laugh and let her know we were thinking of her on our trip! Congrats again Gabby I will get your prize to you soon!! I have no idea why the photo is sideways it is not like that in my file. Oh well!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Valentine's Weekend Wrapup!

I hope all of you had a very Happy Valentine's Day! We had a very nice weekend, Friday I went to see He's Just Not That Into You with Monika it was a cute movie and then we had lunch it was such a nice girl's afternoon. After lunch I did some walking around and shopping on my own. I sometimes forget how much I love taking advantage of having all things Disney in my backyard and I had a really nice time just wondering around taking it all in. I had hoped that after I picked Mike up from work we might head out a do more fun stuff but my tricky husband told me he had something that had to go in the fridge and that he had to go right home after work. So we headed home and though Mike did have our farm fresh eggs that needed to be refrigerated that was not why he made the big push to come home - when we arrived home there was a box by the door which was addressed to me! I had no idea what it was but when I opened it I found that Mike had sent me a beautiful mini rose plant! I was so surprised because we had said that we wouldn't exchange Valentine's presents, that the cruise was our present! Good thing I picked up a box of chocolate for my husband!

Saturday we spent the day together, we ran a bunch of errands and then we came home and I made Orechiette with Sausage, Beans and Mascarpone. This is another recipe out of the Giada's Kitchen cookbook my sister gave me for my birthday and it was DELICIOUS! You can find the recipe here. I did make one change I used regular Italian pork sausage instead of turkey sausage because Mike can't eat turkey plus it's not as easy for us to find. I think next time I might try chicken sausage but we'll see. In addition to the pasta I also made garlic bread and for myself I made strawberry bellinis! It was a very nice night.

Yesterday we hung out at home most of the day and then we went to our friend's house for an Amazing Race viewing party. Mike and I tend to not watch much reality tv but we thought it would be fun to hang out with friends and we had food that went along with the places the contestants would be traveling so Michael and Wil served fondue and I made Swiss Lemon Cake - so another new recipe that you can find here.

Now it's big time count down to the cruise! I am keeping busy today, I gave Hooper a bath and I'm doing a ton of laundry and cleaning and then I imagine tonight we will start packing. I can't believe we are cruising this week! Speaking of the cruise that leads me to the big contest announcement! Many of you know I like to take pictures and I take a lot of them. I have my camera with me where ever I go and I really feel that not only am I taking pictures to blog or scrapbook but to capture our lives at this moment. So that being said how many photos do you think we'll take while on vacation? Keep in mind we head out Wednesday evening and return Sunday late morning/early afternoon so please post how many pictures you think we will take and whoever is the closest will receive a Cruise related prize! Please post before noon on Sunday February 22nd and I will announce the winner either Sunday evening or Monday morning. Good Luck!!

I am going to try to post again before we take off but no promises! Stay Tuned...

Thursday, February 12, 2009

In the Creating Mood

I have been trying my best to bust out of my creative funk that I've been in since Christmas and it seems that I'm finally seeing light at the end of the tunnel and I have been working on a couple of projects I'm pretty excited about and I've found inspiration and of course fun new products at a great new web site run by some very talented gals - House of 3. I've been playing with items from this site for last couple o weeks and I've been so happy with the results. Here are a few of my recent creations and I am at work on a couple of more including a new canvas that is drying as I type so I hope to have pictures of that up soon too!

Aside from crafting I've been pretty consumed with all things dealing with our cruise. I can't believe we are heading out next week! I bought a bunch of fun new clothes you would think we were moving onto the ship ha! Speaking of the cruise I've thought up a great new contest that I'll be announcing before we take off so be ready! I think most of you will get a kick out of it.

I've been working out pretty regularly which I'm happy about it does give me much more energy throughout the day. I've been using different workouts from Exercise TV On Demand I've found workouts that I really enjoy and it's given me the opportunity to keep changing my workout routines so I don't get bored. I also find that when I do shorter routines I I do more of them so instead of doing one 45 minute routine I might do three 20 minute routines. We'll see if I start showing any results!

That's all for tonight I'll be posting again real soon so stay tuned!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Making Good!

Well I thought it was time to make good on some of the promises I made in my last blog post first here is a picture of the prizes I sent to Nicole and Joy. Hopefully seeing what some of the prizes look like will inspire you guys to enter my cheesy but fun contests.

We have also made not one but 2 new recipes this week! The first Mike made on Sunday and they made the perfect Super Bowl watching food! He made Italian Mozzarella Wings from Rachael Ray's magazine. Mike used all drumettes because that's what I prefer and it took him a while to stuff each piece of chicken with cheese but it was so worth it. He paired the chicken with sweet potato fries - DELICIOUS!

I made our second new recipe for this week yesterday: Baked Orzo with Fontina and Peas! It was delicious! This recipe can also be found in Giada De Laurentiis's latest book which my sister got me for Christmas. Yesterday was rainy and gross out and this was the perfect comfort food. Another great thing I was able to put this dish together early in the day and then I just had to pop it in the oven when Mike got home. There is also so much leftover that I don't have to worry about cooking tonight!

Not much else new. I haven't been feeling good but I"m trying to pull out of it so I can focus on the cruise which I'm getting ridiculously excited about now. We did shopping for the trip over the weekend and I'm hoping to get some of the clothes I ordered online soon so I can start packing.

This morning I cleaned up the dining room and my craft room so now I can actually stand in there so I feel I will get in there and do some creating. I'm not sure what I want to work on maybe some Valentine's day projects or some scrapbook pages but whatever it is I will take pictures and post here.

Hope everyone's February is off to a great start!

More soon...

About Me

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I live in Champions Gate, FL with my husband and our four fur babies (3 cats and 1 dog)I spend my time either being creative or trying to get the creative juices flowing. I love to cook, go for swims and take the dog for long walks.