Friday, June 29, 2012


I have been putting off this post thinking I would wait to get photos from my in-laws first, but I decided to do a post with my photos and then add theirs when I receive them - so check back for their pictures. I'll let you know when the post is actually complete ;)
**Update - the post is complete minus the video from Dunns' Falls**

You'll notice that I took a lot more pictures at the beginning than at the end - sorry! Also, most of the videos taken were done on Mark's camera so you'll have to wait for those along with all the dinner photos. I wish I could share the shows we saw with you... guess you'll just have to go on a cruise and see them!

To explain about the cruise, I need to take a step back.  As I have blogged about before, a position became available for Eric in Oregon before he had completed his schooling - Eric and I felt strongly about moving to Oregon sooner than we had planned so we moved in December 2011. In February 2012 we learned that Eric's dad had cancer, again. (if you want to keep up with his progress, you can visit their blog) Only this time they couldn't just cut it out - it had metastasized meaning it had integrated itself into his vital organs. Eric and I are so grateful that we followed the promptings to pursue the position in Oregon as it would have been much harder for us to learn of Mark's cancer had we still resided in Utah.

Expecting the worst, several family vacations were planned - one of which was a cruise. This cruise's destinations are Haiti, Jamaica, and Mexico. The prospect of the cruise became even better as we learned that Mark's cancer seems to be being cured by the medication!

The cruise was an adults only cruise - in November we have another vacation planned that will include the children. It was really hard to leave Aaron and I definitely had several breakdowns on the cruise but it was a comfort knowing that he was in good hands (My mom, my brother, Thomas, and my sisters, Mikayla, Kestra, and Anna all drove up to watch him).

So, here are some highlights from our cruise!

We flew to Florida on Saturday, June 16 and stayed in a hotel for the night. We ate dinner on the pier:

In the morning, we prepped to board the ship. Here is the view from Eric's parents' room:

This is where we ate dinner the night before:

If you look to the left of Eric, you can see our ship!

Here is a zoomed in photo of the ship - it is 17 decks high! 
The Allure of the Seas - the largest cruise ship in the world!

Here we are getting ready to board - looking at how tall our ship is

After getting on the ship we went for lunch and then explored
Eric and I found a sweet hot-tub that stuck out over the ocean

Here is the view from our room - so gorgeous!
We were on deck six and our room faced the ocean - it was so peaceful

We set sail around 5pm

The Coast Guard had fun driving as fast as they could along side our boat ...
over and over and over again until we had left the bay.

Sunday evening we went to dinner - it was a casual dinner.

Every night we met in Mark, Ane, and Rachel's room to record family history - 
Mark and Ane's life stories.
It was incredible to sit and listen. Sunday night, the children told stories about Mark since it was Father's Day.
Here I am listening...

Monday morning was the Dream Works Parade! It was awesome!!!


Po - Kung Fu Panda


How to Train Your Dragon

Monday was a sea day so Eric and I explored. We went to the hot tub and walked around the ship

We also hung out up in Mom & Dad's room with Jon

 Dinner Monday night was formal so we dressed up.

I altered/made another strapless dress into one with sleeves for this occasion.
We came back to our room to find a fun swan on our bed

After dinner we went to a show called OceanAria - it was incredible! 
It consisted of dancers, high divers, and hand balancers
The beginning of the show consisted of a man dressed as a large woman doing everything that was not allowed during the show to illustrate the rules.
The man/woman came and sat on Michael's lap! Then the gentleman following him/her around sat on Heather. I should have had my camera out earlier, but these are the photos I got:

The man/woman after sitting on Michael 

The gentleman prepping to sit on Heather

After the show we had more storytime.

Tuesday we were in Haiti.
No excursions were planned so we went to the beach.

There we are - Eric, Jon, Amanda, Tyler, and I - all drowning ourselves...

I have learned that beaches and I don't get along very well...

I seriously don't know what possessed me to go out there...
I'm not a strong swimmer, in fact, my idea of swimming is a bunch of people getting in the pool
and me sitting on the side watching!
I have never gone in past my knees into the ocean and I decided to join Eric, his brothers, and Amanda in the ocean. I got slammed into a reef of coral and though the indentation on my foot and other body parts are cool, I had an allergic reaction - lots of crazy bumps and tons of itching. Medications and creams are taking care of that though.

After the beach Eric and Tyler wanted to try the FloRider - they did awesome!

After the FloRider, Michael and Tyler played BasketBall and Eric and I went to play pingpong. They all soon joined us and we had a tournament - epic!

Dinner Tuesday night was casual and after dinner was the show Chicago
Michael, Heather, Eric and I decided it would be fun to play games together so we opted to not go to the show and we had an epic showdown of Wackee Six (Michael won!) and speed chess (Michael won that too...)

At dinner, the waiters sang to us:

Following the double date was more story time.

Wednesday was in Jamaica!

We hiked a waterfall in Jamaica called Dunns' Falls
None of us brought our cameras for fear of ruining them but we purchased the video at the end. When Eric gets a chance to snag a few stills from the video I'll post them here

After the hike we found a sweet drum to bring back as a souvenir

Dinner Wednesday night was casual but Eric and I didn't go ...
We were exhausted. We skipped the comedy club as well but later heard that it was probably good that we didn't go, but we did go to How to Train Your Dragon on ice! Then we went to story time and found this guy on our bed when we got back

Thursday was a sea day so Eric and I went to see Madagascar 3 in 3d

Dinner was formal and only the ladies attended - so gorgeous!

I should have had someone take a picture of the back of my hair...
I never did get to see how it looked...

After story time we went to the hot tub - Eric and Tyler have better methods than using the stairs:

Friday was Mexico.
In the morning, Amanda, Kelsey, Ane and I all went shopping!
I got Aaron, Eric, and myself t-shirts. Eric's says:
"I don't need Google, my wife knows everything" Lol!!!
We got a fun Christmas ornament,
 A guitar for Aaron,
 And after seeing Ane's rainstick, I went on a hunt for one for Eric!

We also picked up an ornament for my parents and a bobblehead animal for each kid in my family.

It started to POUR so we didn't stay out long
Here we are huddled under a small overhang to get out of the rain

After lunch, Jon, Amanda, Tyler, Kelsey, Eric and I all headed to the beach
I decided to not get in this time except to my knees... I still ended up getting stung by something that has also developed into an allergic reaction... blah

I had a blast sitting with Kelsey though and watching Jon, Amanda, Eric, and Tyler play volleyball in the waves.

 Friday night after dinner we saw a show called Blue Planet.
It combined the casts of Chicago and OceanAria with renditions of pop songs to create an amazing performance full of cabaret (my favorite part), trampoline stunts, acrobatics, singing, and dancing. AMAZING! Definitely makes me miss dancing... once upon a time I had planned to dance on a cruise ship, though my life has turned out much better than that... better than I had planned and I most definitely have no regrets.

After story time we all just kinda hung out in Mark and Ane's room...

Amanda had fun messing with Kelsey's hair...

so hott... I could stare at him all day!

This is a view of Mark & Ane's room - it was very big, perfect for the nightly gatherings.

After story time we found this dude hanging from our curtains

After this, I have no pictures... The reason is this: Friday night we stayed up super late and Saturday we didn't get out of bed till 2. We played games, went to dinner, and had story time one last time. Eric and I went to our room, watched Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 and went to bed.

In the morning we were up early and had a long plane ride home.

Aaron was luckily excited to see us - I was nervous that he would be angry, but he was so enthusiastic.
We had a lot of fun on the way home:

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