My June Ipsy Glam Bag arrived and my first thought was that it’s the best one yet! Check out what I received:
Marc Anthony (wonder if it’s the same Marc Anthony/ JLo’s ex?) Dream Waves Beach Spray. OMG! this stuff smells like summer in a bottle! Can’t wait to try it. Yes, even short haired girls can have beachy waves!
Jessie’s Girl Liquid Eyeliner in Black. I was especially excited to try this so I opened it to check out the applicator. Eye liner juice went EVERYWHERE. I cleaned it up and stored the eyeliner upright for a day. Went back to use it and it just poured out the applicator all over my eye and right into my eye! My eye white turned black! It was awful. So I won’t be able to use this. Sigh.
Over all though it was a good Glam Bag!
Join me on ipsy and subscribe to the Glam Bag! You get 4-5 beauty products every month delivered to your door, for just $10. Michelle Phan curates the bags! Check it out here: http://www.ipsy.com/r/1mlq
1. Divergent by Veronica Roth
2. Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
3. The Fault In Our Stars by John Green
4. And The Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini
5. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt*
I really shouldn’t list The Goldfinch on this list. I only got to page 170 or so out of 775. I know it won the Pulitzer but I. just. can’t. I just can’t get into it, hard as I tried. Oh, and And The Mountains Echoed? I should get a reward for finishing that book. Every chapter was written from a different point of view. Drove me bonkers!
We woke up at 6am (they get you off the ship EARLY folks!) and got dressed. Put the last couple of things in our suitcases and headed up to Windjammer for breakfast. We were there by 6:50 and it was still dark! And raining! We got to our table (we were carrying our own bags for faster debarkation by the way- no looking for our suitcases in customs) and had one last breakfast on the Enchantment of the Seas.
We boarded the elevators and went down to the floor designated for debarkation. We turned the corner and WHAM there was the line. Here I thought we were being smooth getting ready so early. They won’t let you off the ship till 7:30am and we were right there in line at 7:30, with the rest of humanity. We waited in line and waited in line then finally the line started moving and we were able to make our way through the terminal to customs. At one point I got separated from the group and we didn’t get back together until we were outside. Luckily I scored a very close parking space so we were at my car in record time. We packed up and took one last look at the Enchantment of the Seas.
We paid the $75 parking fee (highway robbery!) and hit the road. Instantly we all were trying to reach our loved ones back home. I was on the phone with CSP and didn’t pay attention and missed my exit to hwy 95. Well, that was not convenient. There’s no place to turn around! There’s not another exit for over 8 miles! And that one is a toll road! So it cost $1.00 for that mistake! And I didn’t even notice the toll thingy so I blew right by it. Then everyone else in the car started yelling about it being a toll road so I stopped the car on the highway on ramp. Luckily it was early and no traffic. I backed up the car back to the toll thingy and paid the 50 cents. But I know it took my picture. So far though, no ticket in the mail ,KNOCK ON WOOD, so I think I’m safe. Maybe some poor DOT worker saw on the camera where I stopped and backed up and paid. Then we had to get right back off the toll road- another 50 cents, and drive back the way we came to hwy 95. We finally made it. I was exhausted from only getting a couple hours sleep. The ship was rocking so hard! There was thunder and lightening at sea! I’d never seen that in all my cruises. We stopped for caffeine and I totally walked in on a woman in the bathroom. She just sat there and said “Excuse me??” Then she gave me the side eye in the convenience store when we came out. SORRY LADY. Close your door next time! In other news, that convenience store had one of those machines that spits out “cappuccinos” and flavored coffees. The Almond Joy coffee was delightful! Kept me awake through Georgia!
We stopped at Cracker Barrel for lunch somewhere in Georgia. We were all still a mess! The ship was still rocking for all of us, but we were on solid ground! Sara brought Divergent for us to listen to in the car so we were all about trying to get that finished before we got home. It was really good. It rained on us the entire way except for about an hour in GA or SC. We made it to Gigi’s house at about 6:15. Nice! Mark and the boys were there and that just made me miss CSP even more. I unloaded my peeps, went inside and visited for a few minutes then drove the remaining 20 minutes home. It was so good to see CSP and the pugs! And my bed! I’d been on a rocky twin for the week! I can’t wait for my next cruise though!
Day at Sea!
We woke up and got breakfast at the Windjammer buffet again. I wasn’t feeling all that great so after breakfast I laid down for a quick nap. Then it was pool time! We went into the adults only pool area, the Solarium. It’s really pretty. It’s all enclosed so the on and off rain didn’t bother us in there. Also, I didn’t get sunburned so that was awesome. The only downside to the Solarium pool was the water was REALLY warm. So it wasn’t very refreshing. But it was nice to hang out in there. There’s a cafe and drink station plus a bar so everything you need right there!
We read and swam and hung out at the pool all day. Lunch at Windjammer again. Then more pool time. Then it was time for our afternoon nap and to get ready for our last dinner on the ship. My appetizer was aroncini (rice balls) My salad was the classic caprese salad. For my entree I chose the Garlic Tiger Shrimp. This was the only entree I was really disappointed in. I mean, once I got rid of that suspect green stuff on top of the rice and gave my asparagus and tomatoes to my mom, all I was left with were 4 shrimp and a little pile of rice. They were good shrimp though once I peeled their little suits of armor off them. Dessert for me was the creme brûlée again.
If you haven’t seen the Quest game show, you are seriously missing out. This was our first time seeing it. None of us knew what to expect. The hosts came out and said “You’re about to see what people are willing to do for a keychain.” I still didn’t expect the level of crazy that came out of these tourists! The room was divided into 8 teams. We were on team 2. A male and female team captain were nominated. Then it started. It’s a scavenger hunt type show. First the host would ask for things like a cell phone. The first team to bring up a cell phone and show it to the host got the point. Then the items needed got a little naughtier. Like a thong. Girls just ran up and lifted their dresses and showed their bottoms! Then they said Male and Female team leaders- switch clothes! OMG! People just started stripping right there! We saw boobs and bottoms and all sorts of unmentionables! By the end of the game most women in there were without a bra, most men had no pants on (still had on undies THANK GOODNESS), and the male team leads were dressed as women doing the can can! Click pic to enlarge! My throat was sore from squealing at the end of the night. It was SO funny! When the game was over one man still didn’t have pants! They were all the way across the room! WILD!
We stumbled back to the room (the ship was seriously rocking and rolling) and packed our suitcases. We tried to sleep but the ship was rocking so much that our closet door kept banging open!
Next up….debarkation and the road home.
We woke up to more cloudy skies and more rain! But it wasn’t heavy and it did let up after breakfast. We had our usual breakfast at the Windjammer buffet. We changed into our swim suits and spent the morning and early afternoon in the hot tubs and pool. Since it was raining off and on and since we’d all been to Nassau a few times we decided not to get off the ship. This meant we had the hot tub and pools pretty much to ourselves. Because we were in our suits we also had lunch at the Windjammer. We didn’t want to dry off and change into real clothes just to change back into suits after lunch. It was a laid back day. We met Eric from Manhattan (shout out! Holla!) who works for Twitter. He was fun. We were all in the hot tub and I was curious if it was salt water so I had him taste it. He thinks it’s fresh water, by the way.
After our afternoon nap we dressed for dinner and the show. The show that night was a magic show by Haines Magic. It was really good! Momo and I couldn’t get over how cheesy the magician spoke. All full of dramatic pauses. He’s the William Shatner of magic. At one point he brought up a guy from the audience. Chris! He’s a little guy Momo and Sara met at Señor Frogs! It was really cute.
Dinner was really good that night. I had a baked feta and tomato salad. I wish I’d gotten a picture of it. I’d never thought to bake feta but it was awesome. I also had the chilled pineapple and lychee soup. My entree was the turkey breast with veggies. Here we are at dinner: You may be asking yourself why is Gigi posing with a flip flop at the dinner table? She picked up her flip flops in the cabin to move to the closet and just forgot to put them in the closet and brought them to dinner!
During dessert (I had the Key Lime pie) the waiters all sang O Sole Mio. Clearly the man in the foreground of my picture is NOT impressed.
Our after dinner show was one of my favorite shows- the Love and Marriage Show. It has different names on different cruise lines (Disney is Match Your Mate) but the concept is the same and it is ALWAYS hilarious! People are willing to do anything for a gift basket! Here we are waiting for the show to start. Trust me- you HAVE to see this show. It’s modeled after the Newlywed Game with quiz show questions. Couples have to audition to get up on stage then the men are taken off stage while the women answer questions. Then they switch. Interestingly enough the questions were the same on this cruise as they were on my last Disney cruise! But the answers are always crazy and men are just nuts! We laughed SO hard!
Once the show was over Sara and Momo wanted to go dance and Gigi wanted to stay in the theatre to see RIPD. I stayed with Gigi. I love my mother but I’d rather scoop out my own eyeballs than watch that movie again! We made it back to our stateroom and hit the hay.
Next up…Sea Day!
We woke up and looked out past our balcony and saw nothing but ocean. Wha?? We were supposed to be docked at Coco Cay! I called Guest Services and they told me that because of bad weather we couldn’t dock at Coco Cay so we were making our way to Nassau instead. SAD FACE. I was SO looking forward to Coco Cay. Oh well.
We dressed and went up to the Windjammer buffet for breakfast at our usual table. It was raining so our choices of activities were limited to inside ones. We picked up a new Cruise Compass (newsletter that tells you all the activities) and decided to go to a music trivia contest. Well that was quiet and boring. We lasted about 5 minutes then we were out of there. According to the Compass they were having Battle of the Sexes in the Centrum soon so we went there to get some seats. We were early so we sat through a towel animal folding demo first. It was actually kind of cute. Battle of the Sexes was basically like Family Feud but men against women. It featured questions like “Name something you find in a garage”. Morgan represented the women for the last question, which was “Name a classic movie”. Morgan said “Titanic”. It was number 5. Then the guy she was up against named a movie higher up than 5 on the list so they got control. The boys and the girls all gathered to come up with answers, but then the boys swept the board! Poor Momo lost for all the women on the ship! The women had been on a 5 week winning streak! At the elevator bank a man said so Momo, “Thanks for losing!”
We went up to Windjammer for lunch and when we were scouting out tables we noticed a young man with his napkin on his plate, he appeared finished with his lunch. He also looked familiar to me. I got closer and noticed it was Chika from Battle of the Sexes! Coincidentally, that’s him in the top picture. So we said hello and could we have his table? Right then Momo and Sara appeared and I said “It’s Chika!” They boxed him in so he just sat down again and spent lunch with us! (shout out! Holla!)
When lunch was over we went back to the cabin for our daily nap. It was still raining by the way. By now we’d docked at Nassau. Momo and Sara decided to go with Chika and some of his friends to Señor Frogs. I’m too old for that nonsense so Gigi and I took a nap! We woke up and were getting dressed for dinner while enjoying some wine when the girls returned. I’d show you a picture from the ridiculousness that took place once the girls came back, but I’d get in serious trouble. Let’s just say that the cocktail foreshadowing I told you about in the first post was coming to fruition! Gigi and I were enjoying some wine but not nearly as much as Sara and Morgan enjoyed Señor Frog’s cocktails!
Dinner that night was formal night so we all got dressed up in our fanciest outfits and did our hair and makeup all glittery. Back in the My Fair Lady dining room, I chose the chilled banana soup, shrimp cocktail, and artichoke crepes for dinner. They were really good. For dessert I had the double strawberry cheesecake.
Once dinner was over we went to the Orpheum Theatre to see the comedian. If you’re on deck 5 you have to walk through the smokey (cough, cough) casino to get to the theatre. But on deck 6 it’s smooth sailing. The comedian was Carl Banks. He was pretty funny! After the comedy show we were pretty tired so we headed to bed. Must have been the rainy, overcast weather making us so sleepy!
Oh, I want to note that this is the first cruise in YEARS where I didn’t bring my DSLR camera. I took all my pictures on my phone. Made for a lot less to carry!
Next up…Nassau day!
Embarkation Day! Because I’m a Gold member of Royal Caribbean’s Crown and Anchor Club we were able to get priority check in. YAY. Trust me, you don’t want to be in line with the masses of people if you can help it. And get to the port early. You may have to wait a bit in the terminal before boarding but that’s better than waiting in line when it gets busy after noon.
We woke up early and went downstairs to the free breakfast at the Residence Inn. It was good and had a nice selection. After breakfast we all showered for the last time that week in a standard size shower. We packed the car and hopped in then went on a quest for a Publix grocery store for some last minute items. After Publix it was a quick drive to the port. We parked and gave our suitcases to the porters. We had to carry our tote bags on ourselves as we had wine in them. Royal Caribbean allows each guest 2 bottles of wine each. That wine (my favorite Moscato) plus my CPAP machine made my Thirty One Easy Breezy Tote super heavy (but I knew that bag could handle it!).
We went through security then up the escalators to check in. We checked in and got our Sea Pass cards. This card acts as your room key, charge card, and ID while on the ship. We were told to take a seat and then just a few minutes later it was time to board! We weren’t able to board until 11am but we went ahead and arrived at the port before 11 to get parked and checked in. So we were one of the first to board. While we were in line we actually met 2 couples from Charlotte.
We went up to the pool deck and to Windjammers, the buffet restaurant for lunch. We secured a table and wouldn’t you know it, right outside our window was the Disney Magic ship! I’ll hopefully see you next year Magic!
While we were having lunch and waiting to get in to our staterooms, Sara called home to talk to my nephews. Joey is turning 9 on January 18 and he was worried about how long Sara would be gone. He asked her “Will you be at my party?” It was so cute! Especially because Sara’s the one throwing the party!
At 1:30 our rooms were ready (deck 7, #7126 & 7128 connecting) so we went to drop off our tote bags (and wine). We put the wine in the fridge and freshened up a bit. We met our next door neighbors (Kristen and John from Nashville. Shout out! Holla!) Sara and Morgan were in one room and I bunked with Gigi. Our connecting door was locked though so we called our cabin steward to unlock it. We left the door open the rest of the trip so it felt like one big room. This is the view of our room from my bed. On the left is the bathroom (behind the mirror). Across from the bathroom is the closet. That skinny door opens to a bunch of shelves. There are 3 drawers in the closet. This picture is of the rest of the room. To my left is the connecting door to the other cabin. There are 3 drawers on each side of the chair at the vanity. The sofa pulls out to a bed. Normally there is a queen size bed instead of the 2 twins. Beyond the coffee table is the balcony. Sara and Momo would call to us from their balcony before the connecting door was open.
Next thing we knew it was time for the muster drill (my least favorite part of every cruise). If you haven’t cruised before this is the very crowded, mandatory safety drill you must go through before the ship can leave port. They sound the horn (SO LOUD OMG!) and you have to line up all pressed against strangers (good people watching though). Then a ship representative shows you how to put on your life jacket. Back in the day they would make you wear your life jacket to this but THANK THE GOOD LORD we don’t have to wear the jackets anymore.
After the drill I had to go by guest services to pick up an extension cord for my CPAP machine. There were no outlets next to the bed in my cabin for some reason. They charged me a $25 deposit and gave me a giant, green cord that got quite a few looks on my way back to the cabin. By the time we got back to the cabin our A/C was working (AGAIN, THANK THE GOOD LORD). We took a wee nap then unpacked and got dressed for dinner.
We had some time to kill before dinner (not many activities on embarkation day) so we went to the Schooner Bar and had a drink. This is a Ketel One Cooler. SO yum. I must say, they had quite a few tasty cocktails to choose from, which is a good thing because all I know is I like fun and fruity. We sat for a while next to the big centrum which was all lit up for the evening. Deck 4 in the centrum is where all the activities were held (little game shows, demonstrations, etc.).
Dinner was in the My Fair Lady dining room. Our waiter was Jon from India and our assistant waiter was Ferdi from Indonesia. I didn’t write down what everyone ate and I didn’t take pictures of everyone’s meals. That’s too much documentation. But I did note what I ate. I started with the watermelon and raspberry chilled soup. Don’t be afraid of chilled soups. They are basically smoothies. Then I had the shrimp cocktail. 3 shrimp with some sauce. My main course was the Mojo marinated pork chop with veggies. Very good. For dessert I had my favorite- creme brûlée. SO yum! It was a banana creme brûlée with a piece of biscotti. I also had hot tea each night after dinner. Sara would get the cafe mocha. She loved it.
Note- Sara is a gluten free vegan. She was able to eat heartily throughout the entire cruise. Each night she would go over the menu with the waiter and they would figure something out for her. So if you have dietary restraints, don’t worry. The kitchen/restaurant staff will work with you.
After dinner we went straight to bed! We were tuckered out! Next up…Coco Cay Day!
To celebrate my little sister Morgan’s college graduation and my mom Gigi’s birthday we decided to take a Ladies Only cruise. So on Sunday, January 5, I threw my bags into the back of my car and drove to Gigi’s house. Morgan spent the night there the night before and Sara met us there. It was misting rain (foreshadowing!) but cleared up just long enough for us to get our car packed with all our suitcases. I was very proud of myself, I packed everything in one suitcase and one tote bag! For 6 days!
It took almost 2 hours to get out of the city! First of all, Gigi and Momo both had wet hair when I walked in the house. Let the record show that I arrived exactly on time, by the way. Then we had to get gas, stop by Starbucks, and finally we were on our way- all 4 of us packed in my little RAV4.
It rained on us the entire way down to Port Canaveral, Florida. It did let up a bit when we hit the major traffic jam where we sat on the highway for an hour while they pulled an RV out of the muddy median. We listened to music for a while until the girls picked on my choice. Why doesn’t everyone love One Direction like me? Then we listened to a book on CD, Divergent by Veronica Roth. That really helped the trip go by more quickly.
Even with the traffic jam and late start we still made decent time and rolled into Port Canaveral about 7pm. We checked into our room at the Residence Inn. It’s a gorgeous hotel and I highly recommend it for cruise travelers. It’s the 2nd closest to the port. We dropped our bags off in our suite (stock photo) then we piled back in the car for dinner.
I’d heard good things about Grills on the water at the port. I looked up the menu and it looked really good so we set out for Grills Seafood. We walked in and the smell was so overwhelming we chose to eat outside instead. The hostess directed us to go outside, down the ramp and around the corner. We found an empty table and sat down. There was ketchup and mustard on the table already. George came over to take our orders. Sara & Momo ordered cocktails (foreshadowing!). Gigi got a burger (the fishy smell was bothering her), Sara got a veggie burger, Momo got fish tacos and I got shrimp skewers. Turns out I’m the only one who really liked their meal. Oh, and the view? You do see lots of boats parked there at the pier but the main view is of a cement factory! We asked George (our waiter) what was that factory we were looking at and he said he’d worked there 7 years and didn’t know! How is that possible?? I would have asked the first day!
After dinner we went back to the hotel and hit the hay. It was a long day for me driving all that way in the rain and I was exhausted! We were asleep before 10pm.
I didn’t know if I’d get the placebo ointment or the drug, which was a vitamin D derivative. Things were going well at first. Then a few weeks ago my skin started to really itch. I mean, viciously itch. I couldn’t stop scratching. And my skin turned all red. My dermatologist told me I’d been given the drug, so at least we knew why it was happening. Then things got really bad for my poor arms. The skin got really tight. And started to crack and bleed. I couldn’t sleep at night for the pain. I decided to drop out of the study. I went to my next appointment prepared to drop out. My doctor saw me and said “Take her out of the study right now”. There were only 2 more weeks of the study to go, but there were also only 2 more weeks before I’m to leave on a cruise with my family. Here’s what I looked like 2 weeks ago. No filter. My doctor prescribed me a cream and told me to come back the Monday after Christmas. Here’s what my left arm looks like now. Less red. No more pain, thank goodness. But I still look awful. I’m not looking forward to putting on short sleeves in less than a week!
I asked my doctor about getting the shot (Humira, etc) but he said even though my arms are covered I don’t have enough psoriasis all over my body for my insurance to cover the shots and they run about $15k each. YIKES. When I get back from the cruise we’ll explore more options. I’m just hoping for some more fading up until Monday morning when I board the ship in short sleeves! I can’t go to the Caribbean in long sleeves! I’ll just keep telling myself I don’t know those people and have myself a grand time!