Family Vacation

We returned last night from our family vacation. Everyone is asking to see photos; I don’t know if everyone really wants to see them, but either way here they are. Warning: this is a long post but has lots of photos.

IMG_2858We drove from home to Tulsa and then flew from Tulsa to Houston.

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This was Eli’s first flight. He did great; sleeping most of the way and then snacking on his ticket the rest of the way.


We traveled in style from the airport to our port city of Galveston.


IMG_1406Sorry these photos are not great. A moving dark vehicle doesn’t make for good photos. This was my first limo ride, and we enjoyed playing with the lights and the included sodas.

In Galveston we meet up with my family and enjoyed a little time together before our scheduled departure the next morning. IMG_1439Economic And Environmental Impact Of Gulf Oil Spill DeepensAs many of you know, on March 22, 2014 Saturday night a ship collided with a oil barge because of dense fog resulting in more than 168,000 gallons of oil being dumped in to the Galveston Bay. While this meant bad news for our vacation, we were also concerned about the effects to the wildlife and ecosystem. When we were eventually able to board our boat, we were able to see oil floating on top of the water.

We were suppose to board our ship Sunday morning but received notice that due to the oil spill our boat was unable to come into the port: meaning it still had passengers on it from the last cruise and was sitting out in the bay waiting to come in. We were put on hold and told to wait for an update.

We were updated every few hours; but as the day went on, we lost most hope that we would get to board that day and started to wonder if they were going to have to cancel our cruise all together. Being that we were still on vacation we tried to make the most of our day anyway.

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We flew kites on the beach. (It was much too cold to swim.)

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We ate at the Rainforest Cafe. Half our group walked as we only had one vehicle. That half got a more authentic “rain” forest experience about midway through their walk.


We received word late Sunday night that they planned to board us the next morning. Holding our breath we loaded up first thing Monday morning and headed for the cruise terminal. With few hiccups we were able to board our ship and enjoyed a late breakfast as we waited for the announcement that our boat would be permitted to travel through the bay. We spent the day on boat while its hull was cleaned of the oil that was stuck on it. The crews were unable to remove all the oil before night fall which resulted in our boat staying in the port over night.  At least we were on the boat; and while it was a cold and we couldn’t do much outside, we were able to eat and explore.



Tuesday morning we were given the option to disembark with a full refund or we could stay on and receive a two day reimbursement. We stayed on with the hopes that we would set sail but we were told that close to 1000 people got off. The ship seemed strangely quiet, but we decided it was to our benefit as we would have less wait for elevators, buffet lines, and seating in shows. A little after noon that day, the ship was given clearance and we set sail for the sunny Caribbean.

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The ride was pretty rough this time. Here he can see how much the boat was rocking. Notice the horizon line as the boat rocked.


We finally felt like we were on vacation; we even danced at dinner.

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Our mornings were spent by the pool. Eden was big enough this year to do the big slides.



And in the pool. (Eden making new friends.)


And the boys splashed.

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And we all enjoyed the hot tubs that hung out over the edge of the boat. *No the little boys did not get in the hot water, but they did have fun splashing and kicking their feet in it.

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Three or more times a day we stretched our tummies. We had made to order omelettes and chocolate melting caking everyday. Special all chocolate buffet. Dessert at every meal and ice cream 24 hours a day. Eden tried frog legs and escargot. Joseph ate two lobsters. I ordered spring rolls every night.

Each evening after dinner we would drop Eden off at Camp Carnival for their theme evenings. Sorry pictures were not allowed. But she had fun attending a Prince Gala, a Pirate Party, a Jungle Romp, and Arctic Adventure. Each night they did crafts, danced, played games, and read a book. She had a blast.

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Us adults would then enjoy some of the things that were more pleasurable without a five year old attending: things like the comedy club and casino.

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Because we left port two days late Carnival had to eliminate our stop in Jamaica. We were hoping to go to the beach there but changed our plans and went to the beach in Grand Caymans.


This was Eli’s first beach/ocean experience.


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He wasn’t so sure at first. But once we got into the water and out of the sand he relaxed.


He relaxed so much that he fell asleep in our arms in the ocean.

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This was Owen’s first time too. He preferred to play in the sand in the shade.


Eden loves everything about the beach. She played in the sand, water, and looked for shells.

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Our second and last stop was in Cozumel, Mexico. We mainly did shopping and walking around here. With a stop at Fat Tuesdays for frozen virgin strawberry dacquries, a family tradition 4 years going.

Our last day on the boat, all the girls headed to the spa to get our nails done.


Here Eden is leading us in relaxation as learned at preschool.

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If you ask Eden, this was here favorite part of the trip.

The following are photos that Carnival took of us that we bought the rights to share.8p333


Sometimes Eden was in the mood to smile; other times she wasn’t. Naps were limited, which made evening harder on everyone.

6p322  We tried several times to get a great large family picture. Here is the best formal one.


Our biggest issue was getting all the kids happy and looking at the camera all at the same time.

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Thanks family for a great vacation. We look forward to the next one.

If you made it all the way to the end reading this, I hope you enjoyed “traveling” with us.



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