I received a Honeywell Console Humidifier free from Influenster.com for testing purposes. All opinions are my own. This thing is HUGE! It holds 3 gallons of water! But being big is NOT a problem. It’s totally lightweight and super easy to move around if necessary. We have it on a little side table in the master bedroom now and we have noticed a huge difference in our skin since using it. When we got it CSP had a split lip from the dry air. Within a week his lip healed and it hasn’t split since! And as for my skin…when I wake up now my skin still feels as moisturized as it does when I apply my night cream the night before! And they say a humidifier is good for your furniture too. CSP has taken to the thing as well. He is the one who’s in charge of filling the tanks. And since the tanks are so large he doesn’t have to fill them every night. So it works AND it’s convenient! And it has a setting where it determines the humidity level in the room so it only runs when it needs to. Love that! My mom has always been a big proponent of humidifiers but I never saw what the big deal was until now. Way to go Mom!
Our last day of vacation! Sigh.
Day 7 October 5 Monday
We woke up and got dressed for breakfast. But this was no ordinary breakfast! Today we were having breakfast at O’hana at the Polynesian Resort. Amy made all the arrangements. We drove over (CSP’s foot wouldn’t allow us to take the boat/monorail) and sat down to wait for our reservation. We were chatting about our drive home was going to be affected by Hurricane Joaquin and I mentioned that my friend and travel agent Lisa sent me some information about highway closures. Just then this lady says “Excuse me, who is your travel agent?” I said “Lisa Reese”, and she said “I work with her”! It really is a small world after all!
Our buzzer went off and we were seated and breakfast was served. Scrambled eggs, potatoes, Mickey waffles, sausage, biscuits, fruit and bacon are served family style. Not too far into breakfast and Mickey appeared! Then Lilo, Pluto, and finally….my favorite…STITCH!!!! I’d never met him even after all my Disney cruises! He signed a painting Amy & Kevin gave us and was so sweet and careful about it. I was so excited!!! Especially when I found out that besides the cruises ‘Ohana is the only place you can meet Stitch now!
Once breakfast was over CSP rested in the lobby while I bought a couple things in the gift shop. Then it was back to the room to pack, say our goodbyes and hit the road!
We left about noonish and our route was fine up until when we were supposed to take I-26 from I-95 to Columbia. 70 miles of I-95 and large parts of I-26 were closed due to flooding from Hurricane Joaquin! CSP, being super safety conscious and conservative, wanted to drive to Atlanta then home from there- adding another 8 hours to our drive! I said no way. I just knew I couldn’t do it. We were up late last night and there was no way I could drive 14-16 hours home. So we took 95 up to just below Savannah. Then I cut over on 16. I pulled over onto an exit and studied the map then took 119 North through South Carolina to Columbia. We passed through the funniest little towns on this 2 lane highway. Norway, Denmark, Sweden, etc! They all were really just wide spots in the road but they all had a Dollar General!
Once we were on 77 North I felt better, but then that’s when we saw evidence of the flooding. There were exits closed where the entire interchange was under water. Spooky. And then we needed gas. I tried exit after exit but all the gas stations, restaurants etc. were closed. So creepy! We finally found a gas station about 40 miles north of Columbia. We filled up there and made it home by 11 pm! Only 2 hours longer than normal! The pugs were so excited to see us! And we were thrilled to see them too. Too bad they don’t allow pugs on the Disney cruise ships!
Day 6 Sunday October 4
We woke up at 6am to dress and pack last minute things and we were out in the lobby about 7 am. We decided to skip breakfast on the ship (it’s not the buffet, it’s a sit down and ours wouldn’t have been until 9 ish) so we handled our own luggage and walked off the ship about 7:30 am. We got in our cars and CSP & I followed Amy & Kevin as we tried to make our way out of Miami.
We made a turn and there was a rail road crossing with the lights going and the bars down. So we waited. And waited. No train. Then a taxi behind me started honking its horn. What was I to do? I was trapped! All the sudden this guy got out of his van. His friend drove the van through the bars. Van Dude then calmly walked over to a tree and ripped off a branch. He walked back to the rail road crossing bar and held it up over his head with the branch, all the while EATING A SANDWICH. That must have been one good sandwich! It was hilarious! But we got through! And on the road to Orlando.
Florida has a million toll roads and turnpikes and it cost us $20 to drive from Miami to Orlando. Yikes! Luckily they also have these travel plazas in the middle of the highway so you can access it from both directions. You can get gas and food. We stopped at one about an hour outside of Miami and got bagels and gas then made our way to Orlando.
We made it to Walt Disney World and the Wilderness Lodge! It’s so nice! We were staying in one of the 2 bedroom villas there. The lobby was just gorgeous! We checked in then went to our villa and got settled in and took a wee nap. CSP got about 45 minutes in but I only got about 20.
We woke up and freshened up and got dressed for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party! Amy had matching orange shirts made for all 4 of us with our names on them. CSP won’t wear anything with his real name on it so his says CSP! Ha! Amy had LED light up necklaces for us all (here’s my get up) and for us girls she had tiny witches hat headbands. So cute! Please disregard the deranged look on my face! I was excited!
We took a boat over to the Magic Kingdom and got checked in just in time for our dinner reservations at Tony’s (the Lady and the Tramp restaurant). We were all hungry as that breakfast stop was a long time ago! We had a great dinner then took the train over to ride Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. CSP & I haven’t been to the parks since 1999 so we were thrilled to get to ride some rides. And God bless Amy because she got us fast passes so we wouldn’t have to wait in line. Just standing on CSP’s foot is harder than actually walking. Getting on and off rides proved challenging with his big boot. But the staff was great and very accommodating. For instance on the Haunted Mansion you have to hop into your Doom Buggy from a moving walkway. Well they slowed it down for us so CSP could get in and out without killing himself. We rode Pirates of the Caribbean and even It’s a Small World.
Before we went on this trip I polled all my Facebook friends about whether or not I should take my big DSLR camera or just my iPhone. Thankfully I was convinced to just take my phone. I got great pictures and didn’t have to worry about lugging around a big camera! It helped that just a couple days before we left I was able to get the iPhone 6S which has a 12 megapixel camera. I was pretty impressed with its performance!
After riding our rides it was time for the parade. Amy got us the Happy Hallowishes Dessert Premium Package. So at 8 pm we went to the Town Square and had preferred viewing areas all roped off for the parade. Prime spots! The parade was awesome! I know this pic is blurry but it is of the Gravediggers, who were so great and I kind of know one of them because he’s my friend Leah’s brother! Baloo the Bear came over and kissed my hand and another character (I can’t believe I can’t remember which one!!!) high fived me! We even got to see the Headless Horseman on a gorgeous, giant black horse.
After the parade we were led through a back stage area over to the Tomorrowland Terrace Restaurant for a dessert party. There was a lovely dessert buffet with Halloween themed desserts. So tasty! Then at 10 the Hallowishes fireworks show began and we had perfect seats for it. Once the fireworks show was over we made our way back over to the front of Cinderella’s castle for the Sanderson Sister’s Show. It was super cute! By now poor CSP was really hurting. And silly boy wore a short sock under his boot thinking it would be cooler. Well instead of being cool it allowed his boot to rub his leg raw! So we decided to call it a night and headed back to the docks to take the boat back to the Wilderness Lodge.
When we got back to our villa there was a big Halloween sign on our door. We opened the door and found the entire common room had been decorated! There was a flickering candelabra, spiderwebs everywhere, luminaries all over, candy, and of course a huge Mickey Mouse on the coffee table! It was SO cool! And I totally forgot to take pictures of it all! I was so tired from our long, but amazing day, and I was just in awe of it and so surprised!
We enjoyed the decorations for a little while then went to bed. We had to be up early in the morning!
Day 5 Saturday October 3
Day at Sea!
CSP & I decided an early breakfast is a good idea so we were back at Cabanas at 7:30 am, even with losing an hour due to the time change. Then it was back to the room for a nap. I was tired as CSP didn’t get in until very late from his movie and he decided to shake my foot to wake me up and let me know he made it back. We’re on a ship! How far can you go? Then I lost an hour on top of that so I was ready for my after breakfast nap.
We woke up and dressed and went up to Cabanas for lunch. Here’s where I’m not a fan of buffets. I love a good breakfast buffet but lunch and dinner I have a hard time. I found some gnocchi and had a spoonful of that but that was it. Meanwhile CSP was chowing down on some peel and eat shrimp. I love shrimp but I hate having to peel them. It’s the prissy in me. I thought I’d have time to grab something by the pool to eat like the schwarma, but next thing we knew it was almost 2 pm.
Time for Mixology!
We headed down to Keys bar. There were about 30 of us who signed up for this class. Each class is different in that you learn different drinks and techniques. And it’s only $20 each! You get 5 drinks for the $20, not bad considering your average cocktail on the ship runs about $8! This is where I wished I had eaten more at lunch! We made a Double Crown, Ratatouille Martini, Dr. Pepper (with beer), a B 52 shot, and a classic mojito. I drank CSP’s martini and shot and gave him my mojito. I like the flavored mojitos but am not crazy about the classic.
At the beginning of the class the bartender called up 4 of the men to do what he called a Taxi Cab. It was a shot of beer and then you’re supposed to drink the rest of your Corona as fast as you can, but the kicker is the bartender filled up the Coronas with Bacardi Limon! And you’re supposed to do all this while standing on one foot. Well CSP was called up to drink the Taxi Cab. All was fine until the one foot thing! Kevin finished his cab the fastest! We were having so much fun and had so many drinks to finish that when the class was over we just moved to party next door to O’Gill’s.
You might have noticed in some pictures I’m wearing a lanyard around my neck with a card in a plastic pouch. I wanted to take a moment to explain the card. It’s your Key To The World card and it acts as your room key and credit card while you’re on the ship. You also present it to get on and off the ship. There’s a lot of information on this card. Your name, the sail dates, the ship name, A for adult or C for child, what level Castaway Club member you are, your reservation number, dinner time, dining room rotation, table number, and the big letter is your muster station.
Then it was time to go back to the room to dress for dinner. Our last dinner on the ship! Tonight was in Carioca’s and it was a South American theme. At the beginning of dinner at the large table next to us a man got down on one knee and proposed! She said yes! The room went wild! It was SO loud all night. We said our thank you’s and goodbyes to our wait staff. They were so great! Back to the room to pack. We didn’t get to sleep until almost 1 am! Yikes!
Day 4 Friday October 2
Today CSP & I woke up super early to catch the breakfast buffet at a much less busy time. It was so peaceful in Cabanas without the masses! After breakfast we went back to our room for a nap. Nothing like an after breakfast nap! We woke up and got dressed and went to Lumiere’s for lunch. On the way we ran into Amy & Kevin who were on their way to a Tequila Tasting! We decided not to get off the ship today as CSP’s foot was hurting him and we couldn’t afford a set back in his recovery.
At lunch Bianca from South Africa stopped by our table! She was our server the 2 previous cruises on the Magic. She remembered us! It’s amazing to me that they can recognize a face out of the millions they see! After lunch we went up to the pool deck and scored 2 of the coveted loungers in the shade. There are only 8 of them and they are usually all taken by 8 am! But it pays to stay on the ship when everyone else gets off! I bought CSP and I some water shoes so we put those on and got in the hot tub. He couldn’t go barefoot with his broken foot and needed some support. The whirlpool felt great on his poor feet. Our loungers were on the port side so we had front row seats to the pier when the skies opened up. There was a huge rainstorm. Remnants of Joaquin I’m sure. We spent the whole afternoon on the pool deck just lounging and getting in and out of the whirlpool. Then it was time to get showered and dressed for dinner.
After dinner we went up to Deck 10 for the fireworks. We had great seats and Disney put on a fantastic show. Then CSP & Kevin decided to go see Ant Man in the theatre. Amy and I decided to retire to our cabins and hit the hay! It was a really relaxing day!
Day 3 October 1
Our ship was diverted to Key West for our first stop because of Hurricane Joaquin. We were only allowed to be on the island from 8 am to 1:45 pm! Well, none of the fun bars open before 11 am and we’re respectable adults. :) No one wants to take day drinking to the 10 am level! So at 9 we ate breakfast at the buffet at Cabanas. We got off the ship and took the shuttle to Downtown Key West. It was when I was packing my day bag for Key West that I realized I left my prescription AND regular sunglasses in my car! Boo! Thank goodness Amy had some cute ones in my goody bag! Our first stop in KW was Ron Jon Surf Shop where I picked up some cute sunglasses so I’d have a backup pair. Then we went to CSP’s favorite, Sloppy Joe’s. We hung out there for about an hour then stopped into Irish Kevin’s so our Irish Kevin could buy a hat. On the way there I got sucked into one of those over priced lotion stores by the sales dude who was slathering sea salt scrub all over me. Before I knew what was happening he was bagging up $80 scrub and lotion! Luckily Amy came in and saved me! I hate confrontation and I know Lotion Dude was not happy with me leaving empty handed! Amy & Kevin had to stop into CVS so CSP and I grabbed drinks at Starbucks (we had been saving up our free drinks to use on this trip). It was a brand new Starbucks which was mercifully air conditioned but there was no seating! So back outside we went. CSP & I found some shade on some steps while we waited for Amy & Kevin. Then it was on the tram back to the ship! On the way back to the ship we saw tons of the famous Key West chickens. I just love how they hang out everywhere!
Our time in Key West went way too fast! We were changed into our swimwear and up on the pool deck by 2 pm! We grabbed something to eat at the lite bites counters. I tried chicken schwarma and it was so good! CSP got a coke from the bar and they served it in these cool cans. He LOVED the Coke on the ship because it was made with real sugar! We hung out for a while at the pool and people watched until we realized the Vacation Planning Desk was open. So we scooted down to deck 4 and got in line to book our future cruises. If you book online you save 10% and get a handsome onboard credit! We booked for October 2016 and a placeholder cruise (which is now February 2017) because the 2017 prices weren’t out at the time.
Back to O’Gill’s for another pre-dinner drink. Amy & Kevin had gone back to their room instead of O’Gill’s (I think) but we were able to keep in touch via Disney’s cruise app which allows texting! So cute and fun! And free! So many Disney emojis!
We went back to the room and showered and dressed for dinner. CSP enjoyed a beer in his new coozie courtesy of Amy & Kevin while I got ready. Tonight’s dinner was in Animator’s Palate. It was a Pacific Rim theme. Here’s where things got a little wonky. At the first dinner we noticed that some kids were running through the dining room. That’s no good for SO many reasons. But tonight at dinner it got out of control when Amy was hit in the head by a flying paper airplane! People! I know it’s a Disney cruise but that’s no excuse to allow your children to go wild! After dinner we went back to our rooms for bed. By now we knew our final itinerary. And we had to set our clocks back an hour. Where to next??
Day 2 Sept 30 Wednesday
Woke up and had breakfast at the hotel. During breakfast Amy & Kevin gave us a goodie bag full of fun Disney stuff! Included was a pair of sunglasses which will become important later. After breakfast we loaded up the cars and set off for the Port of Miami. Should have only taken us about 40 minutes. Well….we got lost and Nigel (my British Siri) was beside himself with all his recalculating! Miami roads are not the easiest to navigate. We finally made it and parked and lugged our bags to the looooong line. They assign you port arrival times but apparently in Miami, anything goes! We got to the port at 11:10 am and it took until 12:45 pm to get through the lines and on the ship! That’s nuts. Usually, in Port Canaveral, it’s a 30 minute or less process.
Hot and hungry we went to Carioca’s to the lunch buffet. I’m not a huge fan of buffets but Disney puts out a good one. CSP especially enjoys the big crab claws and peel and eat shrimp. After lunch our rooms were ready so we headed to 5505 to drop off our bags. Our luggage arrived soon after! That was quick! We had a cool sideways room. It felt bigger than the standard room and we really didn’t miss the balcony for the 4 nights we were on the ship! Next thing we knew it was time for the dreaded muster drill. OMG people were still getting on the ship while we were doing the drill, which just prolonged the drill and it was so hot out there in the Miami sun! When the drill was finally over we went up on deck to watch the sail away party. It rained a little bit but the view of the Miami skyline was spectacular. It amazes me how they build giant buildings RIGHT next to the water!
After the sail away party we went to O’Gill’s the Irish pub for a little while to cool down. Nuna from Thailand was there! She worked there in February when we were on the Magic and she recognized us! We enjoyed a pre-dinner cocktail (beer for CSP, coconut mojito for me) then went back to the room to dress for dinner.
Dinner tonight was in Lumiere’s and was French themed, which made CSP very happy as that meant escargot! After dinner we stopped into the onboard shops for a bit then went to Fathoms lounge for Match Your Mate. Amy and Kevin had never seen this show and I knew they’d love it. It’s like the Newlywed Game but there’s a newlywed couple, a couple who’s been married forever, and a couple chosen by the crowd via dance off! Amy & Kevin got up and joined the dance off! They were awesome and we cheered as loud as possible but alas, they weren’t chosen. Couple #1 had the funniest answer of the night when he was asked “What would your wife say is her favorite part of YOUR body?”. The man said “My nips!” As in his nipples!!! I died! He said she likes to flick them! Oh my, he was known as “Nips” for the rest of the cruise! The whole show was hilarious and a great end to the day. We went back to our room for bed when it ended.
Note- Hurricane Joaquin affected our itinerary. As of dinner we still didn’t know for sure where we’d end up stopping! We were supposed to go to Disney’s Castaway Cay island, then Nassau, then Key West. Tune in next time to find out where we stopped first!
Day 1 Sept 29 Tuesday
Left at 7:15 am. Arrived at 7:00 pm! The last 20 miles took over an hour due to traffic. Florida drivers are nuts! There were people doing 80 mph on the shoulder!
Checked in to our hotel, Hampton Inn, and met up with Amy & Kevin! We met Amy & Kevin on our last cruise and really hit it off. So much so that when I told Amy I’d booked this cruise they decided to come along, sans kids!
We were ready for dinner so we hopped back in the car and went to the Aruba Beach Cafe which was recommended by the front desk. It was right on the water, loud, crowded and had great seafood! I wish I had taken pictures at dinner but I was practically in a road coma from driving for 12 hours. CSP’s broken foot is his right foot so he couldn’t help drive!
We went back to the hotel and were asleep pretty early. Big day tomorrow- embarkation!
This is Kea Li Mei Fun Redwing. Kiki. Kiki Marie. Kiki Monkey. Baby Kiki. Squeakie. Squeaks. Today I took Kiki in to the vet for a follow up visit about her eye, but I had some other concerns. Yesterday she wouldn’t eat and overnight she threw up. She was just laying there in her bed all listless and just not herself. Dr. did some blood work and Kiki tested positive for diabetes. Dr. told us that we had 2 choices: treat the diabetes that would kill her eventually, or let her go. Let her go??? We just came in for a follow up visit!!! CSP arrived from work and the vet went over everything with him. That Kiki was elderly at 11 years old. She’s slow to heal. Prone to infection. Would require insulin shots twice daily for the rest of her life. She’s already about 95% blind as is but would develop cataracts and likely never be able to see again. That it was likely she might not make it through the night and could pass there in the veterinary hospital, alone, overnight. That it was time to let her go. We talked it over. We cried. We spent time loving on our girl. I told her how much we love her, how she’s everyone’s favorite. How in heaven she’ll see so much better and she can boss everyone around again. How all the toys there have squeakers that work. How her little elbows won’t have arthritis anymore and she can run around again. How we’ll miss her like crazy and she’ll always be my first baby. She’s my BABY. I talked to her and pet her and loved her until her sweet little heart stopped beating and mine broke in two. Then we had some alone time with her and I told her all those things again, so she’ll remember. And I told her to wait for us in heaven and that we’ll meet her at the bridge one day.
- ModelCo Bronze Shimmer. Full Size. $22. I’m excited to give some bronzer a try. Added bonus is the shimmer!
- The Lip Bar Lipstick in Purple Rain. Full Size. $20. I was scared of this color when I first opened the very cool package, but after application I really like it! Especially under some gloss. It will be fun for Summer!
- Bodyography Essential Brow Trio. Full Size. $19. I’m blessed with dark brows so I’ve never used brow powder but I’m excited to try it out!
- Bodyography Brow Brush. Full Size. $19. Perfect accessory for the brow powder.
- Lauren B. Beauty Nail Polish in Sunset Blvd. Full Size. $18. This is a vegan, eco friendly brand and if I didn’t already own a color that is its twin, I’d be all over it. So this will be a giveaway.
If you would like to receive fun beauty goodies in the mail like I do (and, really, who wouldn’t??) Click Here!!!