Thursday, February 26, 2015

Picture of the Week - 2/26/2015

Hi everyone!

This has been one of the strangest (and most fun) weeks ever.  I know most of you are also on Facebook, so you probably know all about our foggy adventures on the cruise.  If you do, skip the next paragraph!

For anyone not on Facebook, let me catch you up...  We left last Thursday for our annual no-kids, much-beer, Buckeye Cruise for Cancer.  This is a charter cruise full of Ohio State fans and all the money raised goes to the Urban and Shelley cancer fund and the James Cancer Hospital.  It's a really great cause and these people are doing some AMAZING things to help understand and treat cancer.  This year we raised 2 million dollars.  All while on vacation.  Pretty awesome - right!

Anyway, this is our 3rd cruise and they are all super fun.  We spent Friday at sea.  Saturday we went to an all-inclusive resort in Cozumel.  If you are ever on a cruise stop in Cozumel, check out Papitos...  very nice place and the food/drinks MORE than met our expectations.  (That's code for we all, but mostly Bob, got over-served by way of a 24" margarita and some other appropriately beachy beverages.)  Sunday was another at-sea day, which are my favorite kind of relaxing days!  The next morning, Monday, we were to get back to Tampa and head home. 

When we woke up on Monday morning, we were greeted by thick fog and announcement from the captain that our arrival in Tampa would be delayed because the port was closed due to poor visibility.  This happened a couple of years ago too when we were delayed about 45 minutes while the fog cleared.  So we decided to head up for some buffet breakfast and wait it out.  Our next announcement started to paint a picture that was not at all the same as the other fog delay we had been through.  They gave us all free wifi and started talking about what restaurants and public areas would be open throughout the day.  Odd...  but we were still blissfully unaware of our real situation.

As the sun came up it became clear (well actually the opposite of clear) how thick the fog was.  You could not see ANYTHING.  The visibility was probably less than 100 feet.  We took advantage of the free (albeit very spotty) wifi and found out, to our GREAT surprise that we were no where near Tampa.  We were all the way down by Key West.  Odd... We found out that once we started moving again we still had 4-5 hours of travel time.  Hmmmm....

Bob and I had driven to Tampa so we were actually in much better shape than most of the people on board.  There was quite a lot of scrambling to rearrange travel plans.  Many people lost flights and spent $$$ on new ones. 

Around 10:30 it became clear that the fog wasn't going anywhere and neither were we.  We bought a bucket of beers and settled in.  Sometime after lunch we got an announcement that the weather service was saying that the fog was going to be in place until 1 AM so we were going to stay where we were until that time, with plans to arrive in Tampa early the next morning.  We bought another bucket of beer.

We had dinner that night and enjoyed our extra downtime.  The ship, surrounded by the thickest fog I've ever seen, was very creepy.  I kept waiting for the Black Pearl to appear.  But the Royal Caribbean crew and our fellow Buckeye passengers could not have handled the situation better.  It really is an experience we will never forget.  We survived the Great Fog on the BC4C 2015.  And yes, there WILL be T-shirts made to prove it!!

We went to bed that night prepared to get up and off the ship the next morning. 

The next morning we woke up to thick fog and an announcement from the captain in what can only be described as a weirdly Groundhog's Day moment.  Our fellow passengers scrambled once again with flight arrangements.  Royal Caribbean was SO helpful.  They set up direct lines to all the major airlines and did whatever they could to help.  We...  bought another bucket of beer. 

There were many announcements throughout the day.  There was discussion of taking us to Miami as the fog was SO persistent.  There were many assurances that there was plenty of food and "supplies".  We relaxed and had fun. 

Around lunchtime the captain announced that we had moved to the top of the priority list of all the vessels waiting to get to port.  The coast guard was going to let us start moving up the channel.  It was a little scary because you really couldn't see anything at all.  We had 2 or 3 little coast guard pilot boats leading us through the water and making sure we didn't run into anyone else.  There were boats of all variety scattered about the ocean.  Freaky!  We enjoyed the trip in our favorite spot, the Solarium, with a bucket of beer.

We made it to port around 7 PM on Tuesday.  So our vacation was extended by a couple of days and I can't even pretend to say it wasn't pretty cool.  We were able to relax and enjoy because my parents are THE BOMB!!!  They were so helpful to us in so many ways.  I never once worried that the boys were OK even though I know Berber and Pappy were exhausted.  They also helped us  make phone calls and rearrange appointments that we were missing.  I am so thankful for them!  They are awesome!!!  And Zane has not stopped talking about Berber since we got home.  The boys had a blast getting to spend some special time with them too.

So I'm not sure how we will ever top the BC4C 2015.  It may just go down in history as one of the most memorable vacations we will ever have.  But you know what...  I think we'll try to make some more Buckeye Cruise memories in 2016!  (PS - Join us!!!  It's the most fun vacation you will ever go on!  If you are interested, let me know and I will make sure you know when they release destination and booking information for next year.  It will sell out again.)

Here's a little picture of the fog from the ship.  Fog is actually really hard to photograph...  lol

PS - We didn't drink buckets of beer the whole trip.  Sometimes we had Cosmos and sometimes we had pina coladas and other times we had wine.  :)

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Picture of the Week - 2/19/2015

Greetings from (chilly) Tampa!
We are on board the Brilliance of the Seas and waiting to get this year's Buckeye Cruise for Cancer started!  Catch ya next week!!
Go Bucks!!


Thursday, February 12, 2015

Picture of the Week - 2/12/2015

Lots of stuff going on...  but it's all normal life stuff. 

I am finishing up my time at my current job (2 days left, but who's counting).  I'm trying to get ready for a quilting retreat that starts tomorrow.  And we are attempting to prepare to be gone for a week while my parents watch the boys for us so we can go on our 3rd Buckeye Cruise for Cancer.  Man...  a vacation sounds so nice!

Last night I hadn't planned on going out after work, but we had a change in after school activities and the weather was so beautiful that we had to take advantage.  So I found myself outside in some brisk, but lovely, early spring weather with the little boys.  Quinn was practicing lacrosse, Bob was coaching and Spencer likes to hang out with the team and help wherever he can. 

So I went exploring with the little guys - and their 2 very big balls.

We have been to this park a million times, but I haven't visited the playground recently.  It turns out that I completely missed an upgrade project!  The little playground got a facelift.  You would have thought it was paradise on earth with how excited Zane got to see new stuff.  Kids are cute.

Turns out that spending an hour watching this goofy guys play was just what I needed.  They had a blast too!  Win win!

Next week at this time we will be boarding a cruise ship with 2600 fellow Buckeye fans.  :)  I can't wait!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Picture of the Week - 2/5/2015

This time of year is prime cuddling time.  Am I right?

It's cold outside and still getting dark earlier than I like.  Perfect for snuggling under a blanket.

As Valentine's Day approaches there are message of love and romance all over the place.  Even the color pink seems to scream "give someone a hug and kiss!"

Little boys watching TV and getting their cuddle on!

I like the snuggle season.  Who doesn't feel better after a good hug???

Unfortunately, it seems like we are getting busier by the day.  We are up to 6 lacrosse practices a week (and Zane hasn't started yet) and 2 weight training sessions with the middle school football team.  Bright side - the only overlap we have is on Saturdays.  Woot!  By the way, ask Bob how he managed to earn the Assistant Coach Hat Trick.  He's signed up as assistant coach on all 3 boys' lacrosse teams.  It's pretty funny really...  also it might be worth pitching a tent or renting an RV to keep up at Sawnee Mt Park.

We are also trying to get ready for our Buckeye Cruise trip.  Only 13 days to go!!  I can not even begin to imagine how crazy that ship is going to be this year with a National Championship to celebrate.  I'm having fun just thinking about it!

I decided to try a quilting retreat this year.  Bob agreed to handle kid duties so I can go sew for 2 and a half days straight.  I'm pretty excited about that!  Stalk my Instagram page for quilty updates!

And in the middle of all of this, I am transitioning out of my current job.  I took a new position that I get to start at the beginning of March.  I'm pretty excited!  More on that later...  for now I will just say that while this was absolutely the right decision, it does not mean that a job change is without some extra stress and strain from the change in routine.

This is just the beginning of the crazy spring season.  We will stop and take a breathe again in late May when lacrosse wraps up alongside the end of another school year.  Crazy to think about that... (Also exciting because it marks the end of another daycare "career" for which my bank account will be most appreciative!)

For now, I will hug and snuggle and cuddle every chance I get!  You should too!