Sunday, January 15, 2012

Christmas Cruise Highlights And An 'OH CRAP' Moment

As Ed posted last week we took a cruise for Christmas and New Years with our three children.  What a great opportunity to spend time alone as a family, learn about other cultures, take time to appreciate new places, new foods and make new friends. 

We drove to New Orleans on Dec. 23.  A long drive but air fare for 5 people was just out of our budget.  So up at the crack of dawn, actually long before dawn and off we went.  Lucky for us our kids are used to road trips.  Neither of us had ever been to New Orleans nor had we ever driven this direction from Oklahoma City and we found it to be a lovely car ride.  So lovely we’ve added it to our ‘We Need to take this route on The Wing’ list.  We found that even in December the tree’s offered up a lovely view, lots of rolling twisting roads and best off all you could even smell the pine through the vents of our van.  We both just KNOW that it would be a kick butt ride on the Wing.

After arriving in New Orleans we found we were very tired so really just hit the sack and got up early to have a breakfast at Café du Monde.  All I can say is this is so worth the calories and a MUST try when visiting the Big Easy.  Not much time to explore so we hopped on the ship and sailed for warmer waters.

Day 1, day 2 and day 3, Christmas Day, December 26 and December 27, two sea days on our way to Mahogany Bay on Roatan Island, off the coast of Honduras.  Here we were able to spend the day at the beach, have a lovely side trip to visit a bird and monkey sanctuary.  At the sanctuary we got to feed the birds and hold the monkeys.  I had one little monkey fall asleep in my arms.  Being a big animal lover I was tempted to take him home.  Roatan would have been a super place to ride the wing.  There were lots of hilly, twisty roads.  I couldn’t help but wish we were on the Wing over our guides van.  Then again fitting all 5 of us on it would have been quite the challenge.
Ed and I on the ship in New Orleans.
Christmas day sunset.
Mayan temple.
Mayan observatory.

Back on board and off to Belize.  Ed and I have been to Belize before and took our kids on a cave tubing/zip line adventure.  We’ve done both before and wanted our kids to do something that was out of the box and heart pumping action.  I was proud of them.  They didn’t bat an eye when they had to hike through the jungle, hop on an inner tube and go with a guide into the beautiful caves of Belize.  And they showed no fear when climbing up many stairs, hook onto a zip line, and took a step off the platform to fly above the jungle canopy.  Then we discovered a local lunch place that served up the best rice and beans I think I’ve ever had the privilege to eat.  Along with something called stew chicken we learned we could learn to love Belize cuisine.  It was simple but oh so very tasty. 

Off to Cozumel where once again we found a cab and headed to a beach.  The kids and I went snorkeling and Ed stayed safely on shore in a hammock and made a new furry friend.  Ed is what I call a shark chicken.  He is convinced a shark is going to take a bite out of his butt and make a meal out of him.  1st, no shark is going to eat his butt.  It’s too boney and probably doesn’t taste that good.  2nd,  I don’t know the exact odds of a shark getting him but I’m betting the lottery would happen before he meets up with a shark.  All that being said I did meet up with a jelly fish and had the joy of learning what a sting feels like.  I don’t recommend it.  While it wasn’t the most painful thing I have experienced I wouldn’t want to do it again.

Last port was Progresso, Mexico.  Located on the Yucatan peninsula and it was hot even in December.  Here we took the kids to Dzbilchataun and the Mayan ruins.  What an interesting and fun place.  Progresso is a small sleepy Mexican town with lots of scooters and crazy drivers.  We all agreed that Dzbilchataun was very educational and we loved being able to climb around on the ruins and learn about the Mayan culture.

Sadly our trip had to end.  But not before we were able to participate in an epic New Year’s Eve party on the top deck, in the fog headed back up the Mississippi river to New Orleans.  As the New Year begun I looked forward to 2012 and more travels around our beautiful world.  As I type this the cruise ship Costa Concordia has run aground off the coast of Italy.  Our heart goes out to those who did not make it out and for those who are still missing at this time.  After cruising 5 times Ed and I have never once felt that our safety was at risk.  We have put all those involved in our prayers.

And then I had an ‘OH CRAP’ moment this week.  4 and ½ months till our trip!  WHA-WHAT!! 
Yup that’s right only 4 and ½ months.  While we’ve purchased most of the items on our list we have one biggie we’re still hunting local and now the internet for; riding pants.  I am having issues with what fits me around the waist means I need to grow about 2 inches.  Or accept that I have shin guards rather than knee pads.  So the goal this week is to find pants!  Riding pants less is not on my list.  

As always time is beating us over the head and were working hard to get all this stuff done in the next 4 ½ months.  It may sound like a long time but with our lists I am wondering if I’m going to have time to get it all done.  


  1. Wow Devon, that is one ugly Christmas shirt.


  2. You had one just like it, Buddy!

  3. Which cruiseline and do you mind saying how much it was? Am looking for a christmas cruise thanks!!!!

  4. We went with Carnival. The Christmas cruise was very enjoyable and was well worth it.

    I can't recall the exact cost, but I can tell you that it is well worth keeping an eye on the cost of the cruise even after you book. The cruise line will lower your rate if you notice they have lowered it and call in. We were able to get the price of our cruise lowered three times after we booked it. If I remember correctly, we were able to get the price lowered by over $1,000.00.