Monthly Archives: October 2018

Cruisin’

It is 10:00 AM. I’m currently at 24 degrees.03.72 N and 080 degrees.031.90 W. Trying to see my position on the map, but they keep showing the OTHER ships, not ours. I know I’m 426.8 nautical miles from Cozumel.

Thoughts so far:

  • Airport- Standing in line at check in, I was telling Delaney a story of how people get sneaky to get around the “one carry-on and NO personal item” policy of airlines like United. I told her that I suggested to another person in our cruise Facebook group to slip things inside her CPAP case. I then realized that we had not brought our CPAPs. Panic ensued, as the CPAPs make us not only not snore, but not…well…die when we stop breathing at night. Fortunately, we were flying out of San Jose AND our flight was delayed, so Aaron had time to drive home to get them. While he was gone, the girls and I went and got a booth for lunch at Sonoma Chicken Coop and waited for Aaron.
  • Flight- Quite relaxing when I could ignore the sibling rivalry (which was really not as bad as it could have been). I brought a ton of stuff to work on (only one thing that actually HAS to be done before Monday), and spent the entire flight playing Word Mocha, doing a tiny bit of Facebooking, and reading many, many news stories. Food was about a C-. Aaron and I barely touched ours and McKayla had about 4 grapes total over the day. The plane on the second leg was older and a little less comfortable (and my tray table was broken), but, seriously Jodi, it was first class. Get over yourself.
  • Airport- We were all cranky when we got off the flight. It was a million o’clock and we were hangry and tired. Also, the Orlando airport is about the size of Iowa, so there was that. We headed toward baggage. Delaney and Aaron heard different instructions about where baggage claim was, so there was some pissiness there. Aaron turned out to be right. Unfortunately, this was after we went to the other location and the right one was as far away as it could be- literally. By then, *I* was just done and needed space, so I went and sat as far away as possible, playing Word Mocha while Delaney was on her phone on another bench and Aaron and McKayla waited for bags. By the time they arrived, our moods had all lifted and we were ready to head to our hotel…
  • Hotel…which is INSIDE the airport. Yes, we stayed there 6 months ago, but I still think it’s the Best. Idea. Ever. Room was a normal hotel room with a ginormous patio (about the size of my classroom), where Aaron spent the next couple of hours unwinding. Planned our outfits for the next day so that we could have our bags completely ready to go in the morning. Delaney was struggling, so I tried to help by having her pick a random color. She asked Siri. Siri said “sorry..” So even our AI has a guilt complex! I tried to get comfortable enough to sleep, but the bed was clearly made of concrete. At about 2:30, I gave up and moved over to a chair. I also took a painkiller, as I felt like I’d been run over a concrete truck, looking for its family. Once that kicked in I was able to get about 3 hours of sleep.
  • I always wake up before everyone else. Always. Home, travel. Always. I was in the bathroom taking my meds when I head a loud pounding on our door. I ran out to see who was there, but by then, everyone was up. It was a Disney guy, there to pick up our bags so we wouldn’t have to carry them to the shuttle bus ourselves! This was a FANTASTIC idea, but, because we didn’t know anything about it (we rented a car last time), we weren’t ready to give them to him yet. He told us he would come back in 45 minutes. Got everyone moving and dressed in really cute clothes so that we would look great for all of the inevitable embarkation photos. Had to wait for the guy to pick up our bags and it took him more than like an hour and 15 minutes. We were feeling severely caffeine deprived at this point and I was already uncomfortable in my cute dress and shoes. This will be important later.
  • Once the guy took our bags, we headed downstairs in search of Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts (McKayla is headed to rehab on these), and shorts for me to wear under my dress. Found all 3 and headed to wait for the shuttle. During this time, though I had only been wearing my cute shoes for maybe an hour, I had a huge blister developing. Covered it with a bandaid, which was woefully insufficient. Had to wait maybe 5 minutes before they put us onboard. Uneventful ride, other than finding out YET AGAIN that we suck at Disney Trivia. Did have the Perkiest. Driver. Ever.

Terminal- Easy peasy. Aaron got a 2 plug extension cord (more like a box) taken away, which surprised me because we know better. Got to walk past a HUGE line of people waiting to get on the ship to our superspecialfancy check-in (if you’re ever considering upgrading to concierge level on a cruise, DO IT. Your kids may not be able to go to college, but it’s completely worth it). 5 minute Check-in and then they had an escort (not a hooker, that’s a whole different package) take us through our own secret entrance onto the cruise. Walked up the comparably short gangplank, passing two opportunities for cute photos.

Ship- Got inside, had our names announced, and headed to the Concierge Lounge. It’s smaller than on the Wonder or the Magic, which are the “small” ships, and there are no windows, so we didn’t stay long. We met our concierge team and got our itinerary and headed for the concierge only lunch. Somehow, we got seated at a table that wasn’t assigned to a server, so we had to wait a bit to order. McKayla actually ordered something new (mac and cheese) and had 3 bites! She finished off a plate of chicken strips without taking a breath.

Room- SO awesome. It feels bigger than the rooms on the Wonder and the Magic, which it likely is. The girls each have their own sleeping areas, separated by a curtain. The “master bedroom” has sliding doors on two sides so we can be as social or antisocial as we please. We had them shut pretty much the whole time 🙂 I napped, and it was heavenly. Headed up to the “muster” drill where the blister was bad enough that I had to stand with one shoe off. Finished that just in time to take McKayla to her mani/pedi at the spa. Chilled in the room until dinner.

Dinner- Disney has “rotational dining,” which means you cycle through the three restaurants with the same server and assistant server each time. We were in “Animator’s Palace,” which, on the other trip, is covered with “pencil” drawings of the Disney characters, who (SPOILER ALERT) get animated by the end of dinner. On this ship, there are screens that look like bulletin boards with drawings pinned up on them. About 10 minutes into dinner, the screens become an underwater scene (somewhat disconcerting on a ship…ARE WE SINKING?). Crush from “Finding Nemo/Dory” came on and said a bunch of cute things and went away. When he came back, he started having conversations with people about where they were from, etc. McKayla was one of the people and she had such a joyful response I had to capture it on video. When I figure out how to add that without internet, I will.

After dinner, headed up to the room with the intention of chillaxing and reading. Within a minute and a half, I was falling asleep. It was like 7 pm. We had gotten custom pillows the night before, and they did their job. Out like a light. Woke up once when my heel hit the blankets as I turned. Screamed so loud Delaney asked me if I was okay. Slept again until 9 am. The blacked out room made me convinced it was like 3 in the morning. Headed out to the Cove Cafe (my favorite place to get coffee and relax, and they have killer cinnamon rolls), which is LITERALLY about 30 steps from our room. I’m there now. Gonna go get Aaron and head to trivia.

Trivia: TV Theme Songs. Killed it 🙂 12/15 (missed Game of Thrones, Ally McBeal and Mary Tyler Moore, but somehow managed to pull “Thirtysomething” out of my ass…think I watched that show once and I was very much not 30). We each got a cool baseball cap (usually the prize is luggage tags or keychains. We could open a shop for these at this point).

Lunch: Did the buffet, where the food was unremarkable (like any buffet, really), but “Cheeseburger in Paradise” was playing, so we knew that we were being welcomed. Headed back to the room and McKayla was dressed to swim and Delaney was barely waking up. It was 12:15. Ah, vacation. We’re now in the Cove Cafe (yes, again. It’s 57 steps from our room. I counted). Haircut is at 2:15 at the spa- which is 27 steps the other direction from our room. My life is SO hard.

5:45 pm: Anxiety is an asshole. Haircut turned out to be color, about a 10 minute head massage (where I believe every product on the ship was put into my hair) and blow dry. She didn’t have time to cut it because she had another client coming. So yes, the color looks nice, but it’s still in my face, which pisses me off. I have to go back at 7:30 in the morning tomorrow for the cut. I asked if it was possible to get a pedicure any time before bed tonight, as we are swimming with dolphins tomorrow and my last pedicure was on my LAST cruise, 6 months ago. They booked me in for 4:45. This would have worked fine if I hadn’t been made to wait a half hour. With dinner at 5:45- and it’s formal night- I knew that I wouldn’t be able to make it, though even on formal night, my “getting ready” is tossing on the 25 dollar dress from Amazon and going. I watched over her shoulder while she was booking it, and she kept trying to find time for the fancy/expensive “Fire and Ice” pedicure. I saw that and told her that I just needed the simplest pedicure they had. I don’t want any fancy treatments, or even foot massages because of the gaping, open sore on my heel where the blister was hanging off my foot so I ripped it off. I literally just want either the last vestiges of polish that are on my big toes removed or something new put on. That’s it. I asked if they could fit me in after dinner or even in the morning, and the only time she could reschedule me was 6:45, so I would have had maybe a half hour to eat once we got served. So, frustrated, I went back to the room to get ready. I put on the dress and realized that there was no way I could wear the shoes I brought for it (the ones that caused the blister in the first place). I tried to wear my sneakers, thinking it would be fine because the dress was so long. It wasn’t fine. You could see them every time I took a step. By this time, I had ratcheted up the anxiety of everyone in the room, mostly mine. There was no way I was going to be able to go to dinner without ruining everyone’s night. I told them to go without me. I went back to the spa and told them I was no longer limited by dinner and asked if they could move me up so that the stateroom host could clean the room. They told me that it would have to be at 6:00, which was 20 minutes away, which seemed like eternity. By this point, all of the bottled up emotions and frustrations broke through and I started to cry. I hustled out of there because I really don’t like crying in front of people unless it is theatrically induced. Headed back to the room and just as I started to relax, one of the 47 phones in the room rang REALLY EFFING LOUDLY. I jumped up, answered, and it was the spa telling me to come now. I changed into flip-flops and shuffled over. From the second I walked in, they treated me as if I was a live grenade. They handed me the ridiculous “consultation form,” which is basically all of the info that they need to try to upsell us massages, facials and miraculous body wraps that would take “1 to 3 inches off instantly.” (Seriously, the before and after pictures are so fake that McKayla could’ve been able to tell….blindfolded). They wanted a list of EVERY SURGERY and medication I was on. I left it blank. There was absolutely nothing relevant in my medical history to getting a simple pedicure, other than perhaps a latex allergy, which THEY DIDN”T EVEN ASK ABOUT. Not that I’m allergic to latex, but seriously. I was very carefully led to the pedicure station and showed the…seriously…I don’t even know the word right now….pedicurist? Technician? Salesperson? I’m sure there’s actually a word, but I don’t care enough to search my brain for it. I tried to show her the giant open sore on the back of my foot and she said that she saw it. She led me to the chair and I kicked off the shoes and tried to pull the bottom of my “joggers” (sweats with an elastic cuff at the bottom) up to mid calf. She stopped me and said “I do that, Miss Jodi”-oh and that Miss Jodi thing gets old REALLY FAST. She proceeds to push them up and immediately cut off the circulation in my legs. I try to scoot them down and am immediately scolded again. I pull out my phone and start playing Word Mocha, my newest addiction/way to tell people I don’t feel like chatting. During the next 45 minutes, she grabbed me by my heel three times AND rubbed exfoliant into it. She asked me questions about my trip and my family- small talk. I HATE SMALL TALK in the best of circumstances, and these just weren’t. She laughed at EVERYthing I said, and trust me, I was not my usual, witty self. She would then be critical of the shape my toes were currently in: “Oh, Miss Jodi, it’s been a long time since you have had these done.” “Oh, this has been on so long it’s like a gel.” “Do your toenails usually grow in split like this?” I did my best to acknowledge the questions without actually engaging. She kept pressing, only now she was repeating questions from before! “Where are you joining us from?” “Do you have kids?” “Are they here with you?” Seriously. I already told you all of this and PLEASE STOP TOUCHING MY HEEL. Over the 45 minutes, she apologized for “what happened to” me about 20 times. It was clearly “hey, it wasn’t MY fault, please still tip me,” which was completely my intention anyway, as I believe in tipping heartily no matter what. We finally finished with yet another apology. Though the spa automatically adds 18%, I added another 10, because that’s what I do. More apologies with a promise of “If you need anything else, just ask for me.”

Headed back to the room, realizing that if I didn’t eat, the rest of the night would be a wash. Fortunately, I love the chicken strips and tomato soup from room service. Went to order it and the menu said “Just pick up your phone.” I picked up the nearest phone. Could find nothing but a message reminding me to take my documents with me on my excursion tomorrow. Tried another phone. Nothing. Tried the loud phone next to the bed, thinking it would be like any other hotel phone, with buttons for the different departments. Nothing. At this point, I was about to punch through a wall. I took a Xanax and looked up the lounges closest to me, with the intention of doing shots of tequila until I could erase the last few hours. Aaron and Delaney came back from dinner and listened to my saga. They asked if I was going to go to the mainstage show, and I said I was planning on trying…after copious amounts of tequila. Delaney became immediately concerned that I would end up being loud and “screaming” through the show. I get her desire to not have her mother embarrass her any more than normal, but I also didn’t need the tequila police on my ass. I left, walked the 54 steps to the cafe where I get my coffee in the morning, which conveniently has a full bar. Ordered a margarita and have been typing since. I just ordered another one, and the only bartender/barista on duty actually left for 5 minutes. She came back with a glass, so I guess they were out. But I was literally alone. I could have climbed behind the bar and stolen all of the bottles. And the plates. And the cool espresso machines.

Margarita 2 in front of me. Gonna drink it and search for food. Delaney is supposed to be finding out if there is special seating for the fancy people that we are so that I don’t have to deal with a line of 400 people under 4. This is for one of the “Broadway-Style” shows (yeah, no, keep kidding yourself) that they have- either “Believe” or “Wishes” or “Yeah, no, we’re not ready for Broadway.” Fingers crossed. (There was no fancy seating, but we still managed 4th row).

DAY TWO: You know that cool thing that your phone does when you have to adjust for a time zone change? Where it just resets itself? Yeah, not unless your WiFi is on (which makes complete sense, but my brain just wasn’t capable). To make matters worse, my FitBit clock has to sync to my phone in order to get the right time. So, when my alarm went off at 7:20 to wake me for my haircut, I was startled, but got up. Then I looked at the room clock (which the stateroom host changed last night) and realized my mistake. Reset the alarm for an hour later, got dressed in the dark and headed over to the spa. Because I was completely unable to describe how I wanted my hair cut, I ended up with almost the exact same style, but about 2 inches shorter. Whatever. It will grow. I do like the color, though it took time for me to figure that out. The manager came over at some point to ask what had happened the night before. I boiled it down to the original 30 minute wait messing the original timeline off. I didn’t mention the stuff that happened when I actually got my pedicure, because much of my reaction to that was my own anxiety working its way up. She said that they were giving me 20 percent off of the pedicure, which seemed fair.

Left the spa and headed down to deck one where the medical office is, hoping for something to cover my raw skin on my heel. The second the doors closed on the elevator (I was on the 11th floor), I got a notification on my DCL app. I opened it and saw, from Delaney, “Are you going with us? We’re leaving in 10 minutes.” I checked my watch, which said 9:36. I thought our excursion didn’t leave until 10:35, but sometimes there are steps that you have to complete first. Got out on the 9th floor and headed back upstairs. Opened the door to the room and it was completely dark- nobody awake. Quickly figured out that the message had been from the night before, and the time stamp was just when I opened the app. This is one of the stupidest parts of an already stupid app. Perhaps more later on that, but just…it’s stupid. Headed BACK down to the medical office and it was locked. I looked at the time and it said that they opened at 9:30 and it was 9:45. Then it dawned on me….time zone. Duh. Headed back up for coffee and to get ready for our Cozumel excursion-

SWIMMING WITH DOLPHINS! Seriously, this could be the coolest thing I have ever done, and I’ve given birth twice! We got to the “Dolphinarium” and, as we were waiting in this “pre-before-soon-no really” waiting area, Aaron noticed a tiki bar. And it turns out, drinks were part of the wholelotofmoney that we paid for the excursion, so we had two. The number of children under the age of ten made that completely necessary, trust me. I did everything I could to engage the less annoying ones that had obviously already driven their parents crazy. One family was really cool and let me completely lie to their children for my own entertainment- though their dad started it when he told his son that the coolest part of the excursion was when we got to cook the dolphins ourselves! He made a face and I told him that there would be plenty of ketchup. We did this to these kids all day. My favorite was when the 7 year old girl kept playing with algae and wouldn’t listen to her mom when she told her to stop playing with it. I leaned over and said “Kaitlyn, you know that’s dolphin poop, right?” She immediately threw it away from her, while her brother said “Wait, *I* wanna play with dolphin poop!”

While we waited for our group to get our life vests and instructions, the sky opened up and a storm that a Florida summer would have been impressed with poured down. Then Thor made his entrance, and the thunder and lightning started. I looked at Aaron, ready to start the process of telling our children that there was no way we were going to get to do this. By the time our group was called to actually leave the sheltered area, the rain completely stopped. It started pouring while we were waiting for the taxi and stopped just in time to head into the Starbucks where we were dropped off. I’m pretty sure my mom was responsible for all of this 🙂

So…the DOLPHIN! We went down about 5 steps into a medium sized pool-ish area with a sand bottom (loved that…I don’t do beaches, but I love the feel of wet sand on my feet). After we met our dolphin (Olympia) and got to pet her a few times as a group, noting these huge scratch marks on her, which were apparently where other dolphins had bit her. I was horrified but apparently it’s like when puppies play and bite. ANYway, I was called up to go first for my one on one with Olympia. She kissed me on my cheek and then I kissed her snout. We hugged and then we got to dance fin to hand. Then the trainer had her splash me. Not cool, Olympia. But it was all SO amazing! I was literally tearing up when I went back to the group. Everyone got a chance and we each had some variance. When we were done, we went into the gift shop, where they had monitors where we could look at the pictures they had taken. These things were so good that they looked photoshopped. We were choosing every single photo, and then we looked at the price. These are very shrewd businessmen, knowing that people like us would pay pretty much anything for photos of these memories.

Only real down side of the day was that they made me take off my necklace after we had locked everything up in our locker. I’ve had this necklace for more than 20 years and have taken it off probably less than 10 times. I was distracted by my anxiety, and I handed the necklace to Aaron, who was distracted by dealing with everything we were doing and now being asked to do more immediately. He handed it to Delaney, who told him to put it in her bag (or something like that). When we got back to the room, I asked for my necklace and we were unable to locate it. Aaron was incredibly upset by the whole thing, and Delaney was upset that he was upset. I actually held it together pretty well, though I wasn’t happy. I mean, seriously, we just KISSED DOLPHINS. the necklace was a thing- something that could be replaced. I changed into dry clothes and headed to the Cove Cafe, to give all of us a chance to chill ourselves. At some point, Delaney texted Aaron and I, asking where we were because McKayla was freaking out. Aaron told her that I was in the shower (I wasn’t) and that he was headed back to the Dolphinarium to look for the necklace. While he was doing this, Delaney and I went to guest services to see if they could call someone at the Dolphinarium (I just really like typing that word) and see if it was turned in. They called someone who called someone who called someone. Haven’t heard back from anyone, but it’s a pretty good bet that it’s gone. I will live.

Naps happened after that, and dinner was really not great. Had the sugar free dessert choice and it was not bad. I’ll probably hit up room service in a bit. Headed to Grand Cayman now, and hopefully, a much easier day.

MUCH MUCH LATER….

It’s 2:38 on our last day. I need to catch up. I know I’ll miss a lot of details, but I want to get as much in here as I can.

Grand Cayman: We did an excursion where we got to go in a submarine many feet (I have no recollection of how many, except that every child on the thing screamed out the countdown. I did not punch any of them, I swear). After about 15 minutes of taking pictures of the same small blue fish over and over, I was uncomfortable and bored. These things are not made for the asses of anyone over a size 12. I sat forward and sideways most of the time, except when Delaney pointed out that the 7 year old behind me was standing, so I sat back a bit. After about 50 pictures of the same little blue fish with one or two interesting things (stingrays, cool reef shapes, and a cinder block), I asked Delaney how much longer she thought we would be on this thing, and she reminded me that it was a 2.5 hour expedition. I immediately began to panic, feeling extremely claustrophobic. I tried to distract myself with Word Mocha on my phone. BIG mistake. You know how some people get carsick when they try to use their electronics or read in a car? Apparently, that’s me in a submarine. Blessedly, we started our ascent at the moment that it first hit me. I leaned forward, trying to get the air to blow on my face. When we hit the top, our group was going to be the last to get out and we were at the end of that line. My wonderful daughter asked if I could get out first, and they let me. Unfortunately, this was onto yet another boat, to take us back to the pier. The fresh air helped, though, and I started feeling better. Just in time to be hit by a squall that could have been in any “stranded on the ocean” movie. Rain was coming in sideways faster than the guys who worked there could tie down the panels to protect us. Lasted maybe 10 minutes and then bright blue skies. Just in time for us to get out and head to lunch. Again, I’m pretty sure that was my mom, making her presence known. Headed to Margaritaville for lunch, with no objections from either child (weird). Way more food than we needed, and they were playing loud non-Buffett music, but it was nice to just chill. The gift shop, as usual, took me hostage until I gave them all of my money, but we managed to get Delaney a shirt for pirate night (“Yes I am a pirate, 200 years too late) THAT SHE ACTUALLY WORE AND I HAVE PHOTOGRAPHIC PROOF!. I don’t remember much of anything after that. Perhaps I can fill in the blanks later.

Next day- Jamaica: When we selected the excursions for this trip, we tried to really pull ourselves out of our comfort zones. We have skipped excursions on most of our cruises because they used to be such a nightmare, before McKayla was diagnosed and she and Delaney were both medicated. But we figured that the time was right to try again. In Falmouth, we went to a place where we rode bobsleds (we did not qualify for the Olympics or have a feel-good movie made about us), rode a tram up and down a mountain (I was surprised at how nervous this made Aaron), and did 5 separate zip lines down the mountain. We started with the bobsleds, and I was REALLY nervous. It was really simple, actually. It was about the size of a rollercoaster car, but you sat in it with your legs out in front of you. There were hand brakes on either side to slow you down (which I consistently forgot to do, as I was flipping out so much that I resorted to singing show tunes so I wouldn’t scream. Ironically, “Defying Gravity.”) The zip lining was somewhere in the terrifying realm, but we had so much safety gear on that I don’t think that there was any way possible to get hurt. I was mostly right. We got to a platform with the rest of our group, similarly geared up (there were about 20 of us). We waited in line to climb up on a box, get hooked to both lines with about 3 safety caribiners, “sat” back and waited to be pushed. The first time, I nearly cried just before he pushed me, but I immediately felt completely peaceful and at ease. Unfortunately, the guys that work there think they’re funny. The one on the “catch” side started screaming “No, Ma’am, not so fast! Hit the brakes!” There are no brakes, but when you are barreling towards a tree wrapped in a bright blue wrestling mat and someone screams for you to hit them, you panic. You’re supposed to lift your legs up onto the wooden box on the platform, but in my panic, I didn’t, and scraped the Jonas out of my leg. Ugly, but didn’t hurt much. We did this down four more platforms. I have to say, I am really glad that I had this experience, but I don’t know that I would seek it out again. Mostly because the guys that worked there, particularly one guy named Michael, thought they were hysterical. However, they used the same three jokes over and over. It got old. On the hour drive back to the ship, I caught up on Facebook, carefully avoiding anything political.

When we got back to the ship, all any of us wanted to do was to cool off. We had promised McKayla that if she got through the day (well, the second half of the day) without whining, we would go swimming with her- specifically that we would go on the Aquaduck, a giant tube slide that towers over the ship that you ride inflatable rafts down. By the time we all found our swimsuits, Delaney was over it and took a shower to cool off. Aaron, McKayla and I headed out, but as we hit the top of the stairs, the lifeguard said they were shutting down until the lightning stopped. We headed back to the room to chill while McKayla went out every half hour or so to see if it was open. When it finally was, we went with her. It was fun and I acted more terrified than I was because McKayla thought it was hysterical. She and I shared a raft and I screamed the whole way down, much to her delight. We headed back to our room to dress for pirate night, a staple of any Disney Cruise. However, we do our own half-assed version of pirate night, which is basically pirate-themed t-shirts and the “buff” that they give us that says “Pirates in the Caribbean.”

We all decided to skip the dinner in our assigned restaurant, because nothing looked appetizing. McKayla did her own thing, and Aaron, Delaney and I went to Cabanas, which is a buffet most of the night but at night is a sit-down restaurant. The menu was very similar, and I was getting really bored with my choices. I also realized that there is such a thing as too much shrimp and lobster.

The next day: SEA DAY- Normally, sea days are my favorite. You get to sleep in, be a slug all day, the shops are open (they are closed when we’re in port) and just do your own thing. Aaron and I had both started books that neither of us could put down. Mine was “Adequate Yearly Progress” about a school under scrutiny because of low test scores and a new superintendent who thought he was all powerful. No idea why this appealed to me so much. Tore through that book and tried to find another one by the same author, but I only had a little of the 40 dollar internet package I bought on our second day, and didn’t want to waste it trying to download anything. Found another book to start, but napping was calling me. When I woke up from my nap to head to dinner, it was obvious that I had pulled a muscle doing the incredibly dangerous thing of laying in a bed that is so soft I’m pretty sure it’s made of cotton balls. I couldn’t walk or sit without pain, which got worse when Aaron, Delaney and I crammed into the extremely tiny booth at the restaurant for dinner. I was getting up to head to the room for ibuprofen and was stopped by the Head Server, who brought me two packs of two pills each (on a little plate…it was cute). I took those but got no relief. Headed up to the room to start my book but it hurt too much to lay down, sit up or stand. Grabbed one of the emergency Norco tablets that we keep in our travel bags, and that was magical. Settled in for a night of watching “The Good Place” on my iPad while playing Word Mocha on my phone. Unfortunately, for some reason, my iPad had not downloaded episode 4 of season two, so I was stuck. Switched on Ghostbusters on the room TV and watched that until I fell asleep.

At about 2 in the morning, I was extremely uncomfortable, but not just because of the bed of kittens I was sleeping in. I was having a massive sneezing fit and my nose would not stop running. This is problematic when you are wearing a mask on your face to keep you alive at night. After much time trying to work through the discomfort, I finally gave up and took the mask off. I’m sure that the rest of the night was difficult for everyone around me, as my snoring was likely horrible because A) I didn’t have my mask and 2) I was starting one of my patented 12-hour head colds. This was confirmed when the alarm went off at 8:30 and I just wanted to die. Normal people have a cold that makes them uncomfortable and yukky for 4-5 days. I get a cold that makes me want to die for 12 hours (and it is almost always within 30 minutes of the 12 hour mark). Aaron and the girls headed out for Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay and I fell back asleep, waking up around 10. I headed out of the room so that the stateroom host could clean. I got my coffee and sat down in my quiet nook to read, but two off-duty staffers decided to sit in the chairs opposite me and have a hearty conversation. I left, seeking a quieter place, and headed to the concierge lounge. Two of the three concierges were at Castaway (no doubt delivering the margaritas you could order with the push of a button that I had been looking forward to this whole trip), but the one who was left noticed that I was miserable. She pulled out a box the size of three shoeboxes of medicines. It was like Elvis’s medicine cabinet. I chose some DayQuil and she told me to keep the box. I headed down to the juice/smoothie bar in the spa, just outside our room, and got a 6 dollar, 8 oz cup of freshly-squeezed but grossly warm orange juice. Drank that and read until napping happened. Woke up feeling MUCH better (orange juice is almost always what makes the cold go away), so I decided to start packing, as our bags have to be outside our room by 10:30 tonight. Put some music on my iPad and worked on separating out dirty vs clean clothes and predicting what everyone would want to wear to bed tonight and home tomorrow. Organized all of the souvenirs into our duffle bag that we bring precisely for that purpose. Ordered lunch at about 2:30 and got 2 small orange juices with it, as my symptoms were beginning to return. Took another couple of DayQuil and my sneezes and sniffles are slowing down noticeably. I *am* on my third box of tissues, though. Just waiting for the fam to get back from their day of fun in the cabana/sun now. They’ve stayed out all day, so I’m assuming that there was some actual fun. I just hope McKayla bathed in sunscreen, as it was on this island on our last trip that she got sun poisoning. All-aboard time is in just under an hour. Back to my book!