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Old 11-04-2012, 04:51 PM   #46
ariel1025
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Originally Posted by amandaw View Post
So glad James started doing better! I love all your pictures around Key West...I really do want to get there one day.

As for that rude family getting on the trolley first....! But, it sounds like it worked out better for y'all....getting to sit together & all!
We can't stop talking about how much we want to go to Key West!

I strongly believe in karma so I figured the line cutters were paid back with not getting to enjoy the remainder of the stops as a family. And, mine, was being rewarded with getting to sit with mine because I didn't retaliate when it happened

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So glad James started to feel better! You can totally see his big smile on the one picture where the rails were blocking his face, so cute!

Crazy how busy it was at the Southernmost Point. I wondered what it looked like down there when there was a cruise ship in port. When we went there was only about 2 or 3 other groups there! One of the benefits of going when there wasn't a ship in port I guess, or it could've been because it was November and not as busy a time of year - either way, we didn't have to wait for a picture

Oh, I don't know that I would have been able to keep my mouth shut when that family stepped in front of you to get on the trolley first, they knew you were there before them! People like that really irritate me
Goodness, he had us all so worried there for a while, and then he just acted like nothing had every happened.

Thanks for the heads up on a slower season for Key West, we definitely want to go back
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Old 11-04-2012, 05:52 PM   #47
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Key West: Day Three

As per usual, I will have to extend my apologies for taking so long between updates. In addition to the normal every day life routine, we have had some fun changes as well.


My Mom came to visit (and we went to go see Batman Live - which James sat completely still for. The entire 90 minutes!). Hands down, best memory of my Mom's visit though? James started saying "Ganma" while she was here. Pretty sure it made her day. And life!


Went to James' first costume party (at Gymboree). And he won first place for his age category!


Trick-or-treating for the first time (that he actually understood what was going on). Almost a week later and James is still convinced that all candy is called "teek ow teeps" melt my heart with the cuteness!


A new found obsession with "choo choo choo choos" has begun, landing us at the gardens at least once a week to play with them

And, probably the biggest reason for the absence this time around?

I got a second job.

I am officially working for a Disney Authorized Vacation Planning company

I now get to spend time doing what I love - planning trips to the greatest places on earth. So, so, so excited for this new chapter!!!

I also want to take a moment to say, my thoughts, heart and prayers are with all my readers (and their friends, family, and loved ones) who have been affected by Hurricane Sandy



We now continue on with Key West ...



As we rode the trolley around to the remainder of the stops no discussion was needed on what to do next. We all wanted to eat! Prior to getting off the ship we had discussed lunch plans so it was decided that the easiest thing to do would be stay on the trolley until we got to the stop we needed.

Only problem was, everybody was required to get off at Stop 1 and wait for the next trolley before repeating any of the stops. I can see how that makes sense, but none of us had considered it was going to happen.

Once we hopped off at stop 1 my Dad mentioned that he didn't remember the restaurant being too far away and asked if we just wanted to walk. We all agreed that it sounded like a great idea, so I pulled up the map on my iPhone, switched the route to "walking" and we headed off to our next destination.

I wish I could remember how far the walk was I can tell you that we made a lot of stops along the way to take pictures and I still don't think it took more than 20 minutes or so to reach the restaurant. Not bad at all!













So where did our scenic walk end at?


Wouldn't it be like a sin to not eat here while in Key West

In the end, it was super easy to find, a really easy walk and we were glad we chose not to hop on the trolley again. While we loved the trolley ride, we wouldn't get it if we came back. It was great to be able to hear all about Key West and get an idea of where everything was. And, definitely necessary to get to the Southernmost Point. But, next time I return, I think we will just use our little 'ol feet to get us around

When we got to Margaritaville it looked pretty crowded so I was concerned on what the wait time would be. Turns out, there was no need to worry, because we were seated immediately! I think this is in part to eating later than the typical lunch hour (it was close to 2, I believe). We were led to a seat towards the back, against the gift shop wall, and immediately approached by our amazing waiter who took our drink orders.

Margaritas for Mom and Candi.



Rum something or another for Dad.

Diet Coke for me

Is it strange that at 30 I still feel like I shouldn't let my parents know I occasionally consume "adult" beverages

Since we all had Palo reservations coming up we decided that we would order a couple of appetizers to split instead of individual meals. Candi requested conch fritters (they were on his "to do" list for vacation) and we added an order of nachos as well.



The four adults unanimously agreed that the nachos were absolutely incredible and the perfect "snack" to hold us over until dinner.

The conch fritters on the other hand - my Mom was too scared to try them, my Dad thought they had no flavor, I thought that it just tasted like a bunch of breading and Candi liked them but was curious to taste some that weren't commercial to see how they are really supposed to taste.

Cinco had no opinion on anything because he slept on Candi's shoulder the entire meal. Through the cheering, music, laughing. All of it. Boy was tired!

At the end of our grazing the waiter came around with the check, which we tried to grab, and my Dad completely refused to allow. I felt bad since he picked up the tab for the trolley, but he was adamant, once again. So while he settled the bill I took the baby (who had just woken up) upstairs to the restrooms to change him.

Yeah, not happening. Not surprisingly there wasn't a changing table. But the restroom looked like, well, what you would expect a restroom to look like when it is probably more utilized by those who drank too much than 1 year olds who need a new pamper In short, I was more ok with waiting to change his diaper than expose him to any liquid disease that was covering the floor. yuck!

When we came back downstairs everyone was ready to go.

Next door to the gift shop at least

I think we spent more money on souvenirs here than anywhere else. Candi grabbed a t-shirt, James was obsessed with a stuffed parrot that we couldn't bear saying no to, I grabbed a couple of items for my Mom's birthday bag (I picked something up from each place we went on our vacation), and I also grabbed a salt shaker for my friend who was checking on the house for us while we were gone. It was super cute. On the front it had the Margaritaville logo and on the back it said "searching for my lost shaker of salt." haha, love it!

After we were all complete with Margaritaville merchandise we headed out to make our way back towards the ship. We didn't feel like we had enough time to set out and do anymore real exploring so the plan was just to stop anywhere that looked interesting on the route back to the pier.



As we were walking along, Candi realized he had forgotten his phone at the restaurant. Or at least he hoped he had forgotten it and not dropped it somewhere. Luckily, we hadn't gotten very far so I offered to run back to see if they had it. The restaurant was still packed with people, but I was able to grab the Host quickly and ask if our waiter had found one. They said they did and asked me to describe the phone, the case, and the picture on the home screen before releasing it to me. Good to know they don't just hand out iPhones to anyone who asks for one!

With the phone found we all hit a couple of your typical tourist gift shops together, but then Candi and I bid my parents farewell so that we could go in search of new sunglasses for me. If you recall, James had broken mine a couple nights prior and I was struggling not having any. Problem is, I have the worst time finding any to fit my face. Most adult ones are so big they slide right off. Most kids ones are so small I just look ridiculous. We hit every gift shop along the way without any luck. So I said we should just call it a day and head back onboard.



As we were doing so a sign outside a little vendor shop had the logo for Kermits on it and Candi encouraged me to go inside to grab a chocolate covered key lime pie on a stick. It was on my list to go to the actual Kermits, but with the days events there just wasn't enough time. At first I protested, not wanting to get too full before Palo. But, Candi knows me well enough to know I would have regretted it after the fact and wouldn't accept no for an answer.

The verdict?

Completely overhyped. In my opinion. It wasn't bad, but I wouldn't go out of my way to get another one.

With that settled we made our way on board and immediately had to start getting ready for the show
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Old 11-05-2012, 10:00 PM   #48
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James is so cute in his little Halloween outfit!

And Congrats on your new job! I'm so jealous! I really want to do that. I'm a stay at home mom so I figure it would be perfect for me. One of these I need to figure out how to get into it. I plan all the trips for all of my friends already.

Mmmmm......Margaritaville! I love Jimmy Buffet and his restaurants! I MUST eat at Margaritaville if there is one near me. My favorite drink is the Havanas and Bananas daiquiri and I love the Cheeseburger in Paradise.
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Old 11-09-2012, 01:02 PM   #49
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Hi Shannon!

Just read through your land portion TR and caught up on your sea portion. James is such a cutie! Can't wait to read more!
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Old 11-12-2012, 05:03 AM   #50
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Joining in and loving your TR so far!

Congrats on your new job! Sounds like such an amazing job!

You have such a gorgeous family- can't wait to read the rest!
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Old 11-12-2012, 04:33 PM   #51
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James is so cute in his little Halloween outfit!

And Congrats on your new job! I'm so jealous! I really want to do that. I'm a stay at home mom so I figure it would be perfect for me. One of these I need to figure out how to get into it. I plan all the trips for all of my friends already.

Mmmmm......Margaritaville! I love Jimmy Buffet and his restaurants! I MUST eat at Margaritaville if there is one near me. My favorite drink is the Havanas and Bananas daiquiri and I love the Cheeseburger in Paradise.
Thank you so much. I am really enjoying the new job so far. It's doing what I actually love to do. I will send you a PM with the information of how I got started

Margaritaville was really good. Next time I hope to go with the intent of eating a full meal!

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Hi Shannon!

Just read through your land portion TR and caught up on your sea portion. James is such a cutie! Can't wait to read more!
So glad to see you over here

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Joining in and loving your TR so far!

Congrats on your new job! Sounds like such an amazing job!

You have such a gorgeous family- can't wait to read the rest!
Welcome aboard! Thank you so much for reading
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Old 11-12-2012, 10:18 PM   #52
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Thank you so much. I am really enjoying the new job so far. It's doing what I actually love to do. I will send you a PM with the information of how I got started
If you don't mind, I would love for you to PM some info to me. I told my DH that if I go back to work, I want it to be doing something I love. This is the only thing I can imagine doing that would make me happy.
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Old 11-27-2012, 05:38 PM   #53
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If you don't mind, I would love for you to PM some info to me. I told my DH that if I go back to work, I want it to be doing something I love. This is the only thing I can imagine doing that would make me happy.
Sent you a PM earlier today. Sorry it took so long
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Old 11-27-2012, 09:36 PM   #54
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Key West Day: Part Three

Let's just pretend like the last time I updated wasn't so long ago that I had to learn how to use the new Photobucket just now so I could do an update mmmkay?



After consuming an overhyped key lime pie on a stick we made our way back on board the ship so that we could get a jump start on getting ready for the night. On the agenda was the show (a "not allowed to miss" per Candi), get dinner for James, get ready for Palo and get the baby checked into and acquainted with Flounder's Reef before enjoying some adult only time. Ambitious much?

When we got back to the room we all took quick showers and then changed into comfy clothes for the show. If I recall correctly I also did a quick run to iron our dinner clothes before heading up to the theater.

Tonight's show was Villians Tonight and Candi was without words excited to see it. Not sure if I mentioned it or not but if Disney had Twilight-esque teams he would be Team Villians So, even though it was going to provide a somewhat rushed evening he begged to make sure we got squeezed it in. Seeing his enthusiasm, my parents came along for the show, knowing they would basically have to run out of the theater to hit their rooms to change and make it to Palo on time. Granted, we all could have worn our Palo clothes to the show, but for whatever reason we decided the "rushing around" method was more suitable

So, Villians Tonight, what can be said? Seen it once, don't care if I don't see it again. Candi concurs. It wasn't grit my teeth and count down the minutes until it's over horrible. But, it also wasn't on par with, say, Dreams. Of course, that's my opinion and I strongly believe everyone should see every show at least once.

After the show we all made our way up to the room. My parents to get ready for Palo and us to get Cinco's bag packed, get him dinner and get ourselves ready for Palo.


A slightly awkward angle of my parents in their dinner finest

In the midst of getting ready, we also opened up our balcony door so we could keep an eye on where the sun was as far as setting. I had been told by numerous people that the Key West sunset is basically the most beautiful in the world and I did not want to miss it.



Once we got James' bag packed with all the necessities he would need for the night, we headed to the pool deck to get him some dinner. We had talked prior about taking him to the buffet, but his eating habits were much more suited to a quick stand so we grabbed that and headed back to the room instead.





As you can see, we opted to let James enjoy his dinner on the verandah so we could watch the sunset in between applying make-up, straightening hair, alternating between dresses, and finding shoes. Or, in Candi's case changing into pants and an oxford







My that sunset definitely was beautiful and I am so glad I got to experience such a gorgeous piece of nature with my family.

Please don't hate me though when I say that I find our sunsets in NM over the tops of the mountains to be slightly more breathtaking

The sunset was perfectly timed, as about the moment I clicked my last picture we had to bolt out the door to get James checked into the nursery. I wanted to go a tad bit earlier than necessary for our reservation at Palo so that we could help him get acclimated if necessary.

I'm not sure if I mentioned earlier, but he has always been with us or his Grandparents. I am very blessed, in that, I get to work from home so he has never been to daycare or a drop-off center or even a gym nursery. I was extremely nervous how he would do and my Mommy Guilt was in full gear as we waited in line to check him in.

When it was our turn they entered him into the computer, put a name tag on his shirt and bag, asked if he was allowed apple juice and asked if we had any instructions for them. I told them he could have apple juice, his sippy cup was in his bag (they put a nametag on that also), that he had never been left in this environment before, he did not need to be put to bed (he goes to bed at 9:00 our time which is what time we would be picking him back up), but to please change him into his jammies when they changed his diaper next.

With that they took him out of my arms and he was handed to another CM working in the nursery.

I have to admit, I was a bit taken aback as I was not expecting them to just take him like that. But, I had trust in them and although he looked apprehensive he wasn't crying so I decided it best not to go in there with him. Instead we just leaned in, told him how much fun he was going to have and threw a couple kisses his way. Then we went over to the one way mirror to watch him for a minute before walking up to Palo with tears streaming down my face. Call me crazy, but I felt guilty taking time for me while on our family vacation.

When we got up to the Palo deck we still had a few minutes before check-in so I went to the restroom to get myself calmed down and cleaned up. Once my mascara was wiped up and I caught my breathe we checked in and were seated in less than two minutes. As we were led to our table we walked by my parents table, where I could tell they were having a great time. Big smiles on their faces, and my Dad gave me a thumbs up as we passed. My Dad is so cheesy. And I love him for it!

We were seated at a window table, but since the sun had fully set already we couldn't actually see anything. It made me happy to see that my parents had been sat at a windwo as well though, since their meal coincided with the sunset

Our server that night was Nikola and at first we were a bit worried. As we were awaiting our drinks the table across from ours requested a Manager and complained about the same server. I was trying not to be rude and completely eavesdrop, but I definitely caught on to the fact that they were disappointed in their service from him.

We quickly received our drinks and placed our orders for our meal. I don't remember everything we ordered, but I can tell you I had gnocchi for the first time (in love!) and we both had the steak as always. It did not disappoint and was melt in your mouth delicious as expected. If you go on a Disney cruise and are debating about Palo stop! Just do it! You will not be let down! Worth so much more than the nominal fee they charge for it.

Our meal came at a pleasant pace and we took our time enjoying it. And slowly but surely, my worries about leaving James made their way to the back of my mind and I was able to relax and enjoy some adult conversation. About James Ok, not entirely. But, if I am to be honest, we are those parents that talk about their child incessantly.

So, back to our worries about Nikola. Completely unwarranted. We were not around for the bulk of the other individual's meal so I'm not sure what happened. But, he was the top of the line for us. Always there when we needed him. Never felt as those he was there too much. Spoke pleasantly with us at times when bringing meals or refilling drinks. Smiled and did his job silently if it was apparent that we were in the middle of a conversation. So good, in fact, that at the end of our meal we told the Manager how much we enjoyed him as our server.

After a completely satisfying meal at Palo we still had about an hour left before James needed to be picked up at Flounders so we decided to head down to the piano lounge.

Of course, I wanted to stop by and peek in on James first, not where he could see me, just through the window. When I did so, however, I didn't see him anywhere. After a minute a CM came to the front desk and saw me and told me that he had completely crashed out after his juice and she had put him in the sleeping room in a crib. Seemed strange, but perhaps he was just exhausted from the heat that day. Onward to the lounge we went.

The piano player wasn't doing any special tributes this night (or at least when we were there) he was just taking requests. When there weren't any requests he would play a song and ask us to name what he played. We heard some Billy Joel and Elton John amongst others. We also enjoyed a couple of drinks. All in all a great way to end our date.

At about ten til eleven we took our drinks back up to our room and changed into shorts and tees before going to pick up the baby. When we got there we saw one CM rocking two little kids that looked to be the same age as James while the other one was sitting at the front desk. We gave that CM his full name and our password where she then went to get him and his belongings.

The second I saw her walking back towards us I knew something was wrong. Even though James wasn't facing us and I couldn't hear him I knew he was beyond upset. When she got almost to the gate she said (in a worried tone mind you) "someone gets upset when they are woken up don't they?" To which I replied "not usually" as I took my baby from her.

His face was beat red, his eyes were completely bloodshot, snot was running down his face and tears were streaming from his eyes.

Before I could say anything she said "he was sleeping this whole time and as soon as I picked him up he started wailing."

Perhaps, he did get startled from being woken up by someone he didn't know. But, I know my Son and I know he has never gotten that worked up in the less than 90 seconds it took her to pick him up, grab his bag and bring him to the front of the nursery. So, my guess is that he hadn't just been woken up. Rather, he had been awake in there crying for quite some time.

I told her as much to which she stated that she was sorry he was upset but he was sleeping the whole time and had he woken up they would have immediately brought him to the front room that is meant for the kids to be awake and play. It was no use fighting on it and I didn't want James to sense my stress (which was high as I felt my Mommy Guilt had been warranted now) so I just told her thank you and left. I did, however, call the next day and talk to someone about my concerns of what I felt had happened. Oh, and I forgot to mention, he also wasn't in the jammies I had requested he be placed in. The only real directions I had given. I'm sorry, I just couldn't let it go.

So, what to do at 11:00 p.m. with a 15 month old who is very upset and parents who feel guilty about it? Go upstairs to watch movies on the pool's big screen of course I know, I know, it was 11:00 and he was only 15 months. But, in my defense, we had worked to keep him on NM time the entire trip so his body felt like it was 9:00 (his normal bed time).

I took James to a lounger to settle in with a bunch of cuddles and Candi went and grabbed cokes and food to see if he was hungry. And hungry he was! He ate almost 2 entire slices of pizza while we watched Honey I Shrunk the Kids for a while. Unfortunately, this is the first night that the Coke machine was dispensing drinks that tasted funny. A combination of overly carbonated and flat is the best way to describe it. No matter what we got (even the Hi-C) it had this taste and none of us could stand to drink it. This lasted the rest of the cruise, sadly.

So, we headed back to the room where we ordered some room service drinks and desserts which we all nibbled on before fading off to sleep at around midnight.
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Old 11-28-2012, 12:02 PM   #55
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]

Please don't hate me though when I say that I find our sunsets in NM over the tops of the mountains to be slightly more breathtaking

Since I live in Albuquerque, I will agree with your comment about sunsets in NM. There is nothing like the setting sun turning our mountains a glorious red color!
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Old 11-29-2012, 12:51 PM   #56
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Awww....I'm sorry you had such a bad experience with the nursery. I don't blame you one bit for calling the next day...good for you! And they couldn't even put him in his jammies?!?

But I am glad y'all were able to enjoy a nice meal. You appreciate those so much more once you have a child, right?
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Old 11-29-2012, 04:20 PM   #57
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I'm sorry to hear about your bad experience with the nursery. At least you were able to get in your date night.
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Old 12-24-2012, 06:31 PM   #58
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Life

Hey everyone, I know it has been forever since I've been on here and I hate to be such a downer, especially during this time of year, but all the good thoughts, prayers and pixie dust are much needed right now. If you are the praying type I would like to ask for a couple of prayers.

1. Candi's family suffered a tragic loss two weeks ago. Out of respect for them I don't want to go into all the specific details. But, I will say that 38 is way too young and foul play does appear to be involved. If you could stop and think some good thoughts for them it would be much appreciated. It was a very close cousin to Candi (his parents were her Godparents) and everybody is struggling right now.

2. Since we got back from the funeral (in another state) Cinco has been sick. At first it appeared to be just a normal cold. Took him in to the Dr earlier this week and he tested negative for strep, ears were clear, lungs were clear etc. Got worse over the past few days so we took him to Urgent Care hours today. In addition to testing positive for strep, his oxygen levels were low and he has "crackling" in his lungs. They currently have him on antibiotics (for the strep) and sent us home with a nebulizer with instructions to do breathing treatments every 4 hours. He has a follow up on Wednesday, if he doesn't have considerable improvement they will recommend hospitalizing him for more intensive treatment. Please think good thoughts that my baby gets better!

I also want to apologize for being absent for so long. I really, really want to get this TR finished. I have so many amazing things I still want to share about Cinco's first trip.

But, I'm going to be honest and say that it will probably take me a while. In addition to the things mentioned above, we have been crazy busy with the holidays, working like crazy and scrubbing our house from top to bottom while trying to rid all the "junk" we no longer need. Oh, and I've been doing all this while battling massive morning sickness
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Old 12-25-2012, 12:07 AM   #59
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Looks like you have a lot on your plate right now, and so from one mom in a similar situation to another...take it one day at a time and prayer does help. Hope your son gets better soon...sending good thoughts!
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Old 12-26-2012, 11:45 AM   #60
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Don't worry about this TR, you have more important things to think about. My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family. I hope things start turning around and 2013 starts better than 2012 ended for you all.
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