Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

April 30, 2012

The Long Way Home

Filed under: Travel — Karma @ 5:46 pm
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The last full day of our cruise was a day at sea.  The ship departed Mexico Wednesday night around 10 pm, and all day Thursday was spent sailing back to Miami.  It was a day spent relaxing in the sun.

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I tried to take pictures of the sparkly water around me.  This is the shot that came out best:
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The previous night, we also found the last of the “towel animals” that cabin stewards often make.  Our towel creations were questionable as to what animal they were supposed to be, but they still amused us.  We found this fellow Wednesday night:
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I made a few modifications with one of my souvenir cups.
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I called him “Nessie.”

After our last dinner on board, our waiter for the week, Marlon, kindly posed for a picture with the girls.
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We pulled into Port in Miami early Friday morning.
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We had breakfast on the ship, then waited for debarkation.  The process of getting off the ship, claiming luggage and going through customs seemed to go rather smoothly.  It was the rest of our day that was not!

We considered looking into an excursion to pass the time before our 3:30 flight home, but none of the offerings seemed all that interesting to all four of us, and there was a concern about being back to the airport on time.   So, we prepared ourselves for waiting around in the airport for a long time.  In addition to the long wait in the airport, we had a long layover scheduled in Chicago and we were not scheduled to arrive back at our local airport until 12:40 am.

That day was made to feel even longer when we missed our flight, despite being in the airport about 5 hours ahead of time.  The gate printed on our boarding pass did not match the actual gate our flight left from.  While I realize now that it was apparently our responsibility to keep checking on gate numbers once we arrived at the airport, I was very disappointed in the customer service we received at the time we realized our error.  We were quite rudely re-directed to rebooking, where we were just barely booked on the next plane out, leaving 2 hours later.

Arrival in Chicago involved chasing all over the airport to find which gate our connection departed from, and then finding that flight was delayed an hour.

By the time we walked into our home in the wee hours of Saturday morning, I believe it was about 2:30am.  That was definitely  the long way home.  I swear I am not making this up, but as I drove the last half mile to our house, this song was on the radio:

With the exception of this very long day Friday (and into Saturday morning), this was a top-notch vacation for me.  How wonderful not to cook, clean, drive or make a more difficult decision than “what should I choose from the buffet?”  How awesome to experience the beauty of Key West and to spend time swimming in Mexico with one of the most intelligent mammals.  How perfect to have a vacation that contented each member of this family and hopefully created memories that will last a lifetime.

Thank you, Carnival Imagination!

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April 22, 2012

Cruise with me, baby…

Filed under: Travel — Karma @ 5:06 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Where to begin, where to begin?  I’ve got so much to tell you about from the past week I’m having trouble organizing my thoughts into possible recognizable blog posts.

Should I just start at the beginning and work my way through the week?  That seems what a logical, sensible type of blogger would do.  I’m not often known for my logic and sensibilities however.

I could try to come up with a theme for each post – flowers, birds, etc – but I doubt I could be that organized.

I had this idea to try to create a very cool slideshow with all the music that has been playing through my head since Monday.  Even if I could do it, I imagine I wouldn’t be able to share it easily on this blog.

The part about the music playing through my head is real.  My sister and I had this joke or game between us while we were growing up called, “Lyrics for any occasion” because it seemed one of us could always come up with a song to suit almost any situation.  While four sleepy-eyed travellers sat in our local airport very early Monday morning awaiting our flight to the city where we would board our ship, I called this song up on YouTube on my phone just to try to amuse and wake up my daughters:

And so began my own game of “Lyrics for any occasion” for the duration of our cruise.  I wrote the songs down as they popped into my head on a piece of Carnival notepad paper, sure that I could work these songs into my blog posts to help give you the full picture of where my head was at for the week.  I don’t, however, wish to jam up your browsers with piles of YouTube videos when you try to read my blog.  Like I said, I’m still figuring out just how to present my posts.  Maybe I’ll pop a few particularly apropos videos at the end of my posts and scatter a few lines of lyrics throughout.

Hmm, my wordcount reads 341 at this point and I still haven’t shared a single picture. I should remedy that.  How about a look around our ship, the Carnival Imagination?  That seems like as good a place as any to get started.
This is “the Atruim”; it is what you see when you first board the ship and it is in the middle of everything, with elevators to take you everywhere:
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The Lido and Promenade decks where you’ll find the pool, bars, food, hot tubs, and music:
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The Serenity Lounge, where only folks over 21 are allowed – the place to go when you need to get away from all the “happy” children:
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The Dynasty Lounge, one of several places to relax and see a show:
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Lounge near the Spirit Dining Room, where we had dinner each night:
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(Hmmm… I think I know those people… 😉 )

Carnival Water Works, the on-board mini-waterpark:
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Our little stateroom, where we spent little time:
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In just about every place on this ship, it was always possible to get one of these:
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The drink of the day in the souvenir cup! I, er, lost count, *hic*, of how many of these I had  😉

It was a fabulous week of relaxing, eating but not cooking, traveling but not driving, exploring and discovering.  I’ve got much more to share with you, so I hope you’ll be back to read more during the week.

April 15, 2012

Tomorrow, tomorrow….

Filed under: Travel — Karma @ 10:56 am
Tags: , , ,

….I love ya, tomorrow….
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big toy

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old looking boat

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Wood Island Light

Gee, what do you suppose is on my mind today?

Tomorrow is the big day.  We have a 6am flight for Miami tomorrow morning.  We should arrive in Miami around 9am.  I don’t know how long we will have to spend hanging out at the Miami airport before our transfer to the pier.  The Carnival website says embarkation can begin at noon.

Our itinerary for the week:

Monday: sail from Miami at 4pm

Tuesday: Arrive in Key West 7:30 am, depart 2pm

Wednesday: Arrive in Cozumel, Mexico 1pm, depart 10pm

Thursday: Fun day at Sea

Friday: arrive back in Miami, 8 am.

I hope 6GB is enough photo memory for me, LOL!  I have a 4GB and a 2GB card – what do you think?

By the way, our college visit yesterday was an excellent one.

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Meghan and I both loved Worcester Polytechnic Institute – WPI as it is commonly referred to.  It has a small-school feel within a medium-sized city in a nice suburban setting.  It is far enough from home to merit living on campus, but close enough to come home whenever she wants.  The programs offered and the philosophy of the school are right in line with what Meghan thinks she’d like to study and what we, as parents, would like to see her have.

This will be my last blog post until my return.  I hope you have a wonderful week,  and I look forward to sharing with you when I get home!