As many of you know, ever since Eric and I started having kids we haven't found the time to go on a trip just the two of us. I actually don't think we've ever had a night without at least one of our kids. They'll go spend the night here and there at Mamaw and Papaw's house, but it is never all four of them (because we'll just keep whoever the "baby" is at the time with us). We had made a promise to one another (okay, so mostly it had to be me) that on our 10th anniversary we would go on a short little trip, just the two of us. I kept my promise, and we booked a very last minute cruise. It was so last minute that I called on Wednesday several times to a completely booked ship, and then happened to call right after someone had to cancel their trip and was able to get that one last available room- and the ship left the port on Friday, just 2 days after I booked our trip. Eric still didn't believe that I would end up going, and even said that he wouldn't believe it until I was on the ship and it was actually sailing away from the port. My mom said that she would not only watch our kids (which watching 4 kids is a LOT for anyone,) but she also called my nieces and had them come stay from Thursday to Monday, too. So, that was six kids, ages 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, & 2 that her and dad were volunteering to watch! The kids were so excited about staying at "Camp Mamaw Di" (they pulled their camper out in the yard and my mom camped out in it with the kids) with Abigail and Amelia, which made it a little easier on all us for Eric and I to leave. We had several break downs before we actually left, but when we were giving one another good-bye hugs, everyone seemed okay (even me!). We dropped the kids off and left our house on our actual anniversary, July 10th, and drove about 7 hours that afternoon before we stopped and got a hotel room where we found some sweet notes packed into our suitcase from the kids.
(Top picture: A "book" Jackson wrote; Bottom Left: a drawing from Ansley;
Bottom Right: Several pictures from Elsie)
Bottom Right: Several pictures from Elsie)
We then got up and drove the rest of the way to Port Canaveral where we were able to go ahead and board our on cruise ship, Royal Caribbean's "Enchantment of the Seas."
As we were leaving the port in Florida, Eric and I were standing on the top deck of the ship, and I loved all of the sea creatures we got to see just a few miles out in the sea. We saw a sea turtle, lots of jellyfish and other fish, a sting ray, a shark, and three dolphins were playing with one another alongside the cruise ship. We were at sea and enjoyed the many activities, shows, and meals on the cruise ship for the remainder of Friday afternoon and night, and until we reached Nassau on Saturday around noon. In Nassau we enjoyed walking around the shops and the straw market, and we also found a McDonald's that we went into so we could use their wi-fi so we could Facetime the kids. When I saw that they were having a great time and didn't seem like they were too homesick at all, I was fine for the remainder of our trip.
We went back to the ship later that afternoon so we could enjoy some of the activities going on there, and then we got ready for our "formal night" dinner. There our waiters, along with a couple more waiters, brought out a special dessert and sang a little "Happy Anniversary" song. One of the waiters thought at first that we were on our honeymoon (several people had asked us if we were), and he didn't believe us at all when we told him that we were celebrating our 10 year anniversary. He looked at Eric and said, "What did you do?Marry her when she was 16?" He instantly became my best friend! ;)
The next day (on Sunday) we were docked at Royal Caribbean's private island, Coco Cay. It was beautiful with the white beaches and the crystal clear water, and Eric and I spent the day enjoying hanging out in the hammocks, swimming in the ocean, and walking around the island.
The last tender boat left at 3:30 that afternoon and then we were at sea the rest of the night until we arrived back at Port Canaveral the next morning at 7:00. By that point, even though we had had an incredible time, I think we both were definitely ready to get off the ship, drive the 10 1/2 hours home, and pick up our babies. When we got to my mom and dad's house, the kids were so excited to see us, and I am sure that Mamaw Dianne slept really good that night after a weekend of watching 6 kids. (Thanks again, Mom!!!) Eric and I now know that we can actually go on a trip and that not only us, but the kids will also be okay, and that we probably shouldn't wait another 7+ years to go on our next trip!
Happy 10 years, emc. I love you more and more each and every day.