Friday, September 5, 2014

Chicago "Train Day"

Hello there blog readers!!

I'll start by apologizing, I really should do a better job writing blog posts, but life gets busy, and we've been enjoying it!!!

So on to the meat of the post, the Chicago Train Day trip.

Our little man has quickly become obsessed with trains.  He loves to play with them, watch youtube videos of them, talk about them, see them in person, talk about them, pretend he is an engineer or conducter, and did I mention talk about them?

Well, we got the idea in our head that we would fill his day with trains, and WOW did it turn out great!!

Getting on the Train


The day started with a surprise (to him) ride on a train.  It went like this:

A: B, we are going to Chicago today, go get in the Van

B: Ok daddy

time passes....

A: B, do you wanna stop at the train station and see a train?

B: YEA!!!!  Can we Daddy?

A: Sure

We stop at the station, and walk out to the platform.  While waiting for the train to arrive:

B: Mommy, can we ride the train?

N: Daddy, what do you think?

A: Sure, why not

B: (eyes wide) REALLY!?!?!

Of course, we already had tickets, a day bag packed, and the van parked in the parking garage.

A few minutes later, the train arrives, and a very excited little boy gets to get ON the train!

The Ride to Chicago

Of course, we had to wear our engineer hat ON the train!  This little boy was in hog heaven.  

We purposely did not eat breakfast before we left, and once the train was moving, we told B that we were going to go to the dining car and eat..... yet MORE excitement!!
After breakfast, we settled in for the ride.  Its about 2 hours from Normal, IL to downtown Chicago, and B was enthralled the entire trip.  He did ask if there would be any tunnels (in his word, "time tunnels" as he loves dinasour train on PBS), and we told him he would have to ask the conductor.  He then asked to go back to the dining car to look for him, so we did.
He located the conductor, and the gracious man answered all his questions, and even fielded a radio call from "Mr Topum Hat"..... can you say happy boy?  The Conductor then punched a ticket for B to keep and we went back to our seat.

Arriving in Chicago


We arrived in Chicago at Union Station around 10am, and paused for a picture with the train.  We took some time to sort our our transportation for the day, finding the kiosk to get a CTA Day pass for the busses and subway/L.

A word of advice here, if your going to Union Station, the kiosk to buy CTA passes is by the rest of the ticket windows, and there was ONLY one, and the line was LONG!!  IF you can buy these online before hand, or have a friend who can pick one up for you, do it!!

I believe the weekend pass was like 8 bucks each for the adults, B was free, and that included unlimited rides on CTA trains and busses, but does not include the Metra trains.

We then located our bus to take us to our first stop of the day!

Museum of Science and Industry

We chose this museum, because they have 2 great train displays.  One has actual cars and engines on static display surrounding a HUGE HO scale model train layout!!


The other display was the Pioneer Zephyr train.  This is a restored 1930s train that you can tour the inside of.  It even has hydrolics underneath so you can feel the train moving like its on the track.

After seeing these two things, we grabbed a bite to eat at the cafe, which was actually REALLY good, and not badly priced.  We then headed back to the bus to head to our next stop!

Now, unfortunatly, I don't have much in terms of pictures of the next part of the trip, and I'm sorry about that!

Riding the Metra and meeting friends

The next part of our adventure was meeting up with a friend of N's and his son who is a little younger than B, and then getting on the Metra train to travel to the north side of Chicago.

B was very excited to get to ride on another train, and even went potty on the train, and he was excited about that!!

Our destination was Chicagoland Toys and Hobbies to pick up something very special for B.  We had called and pre-purchased an N-Scale train set for him. 

Chicagoland Toys and Hobbies

Its a short walk from the train station to the store, and then we entered heaven for a 3 year old obsessed with trains!  One of the employees saw us come in and immediately started a couple of model trains that were suspended from the ceiling, and B and the other little guy followed them around the store pointing and laughing, and having a good time!

We picked up our train set, and a couple extra track pieces for it, and then took B over to the used train car section and let him pick out another train car for his set!

This was all too much fun!!

After leaving there, we walked back to the train station, but still had time before the next train, so we made our way toward a park that was close. On the way, we passed a Fire Station just as an ambulance was coming in, so we stopped and watched, and one of the EMTs came out and talked with us for a while all about trains!

We made it to the park and hit the playground and swings!


Soon it was time to head back to catch the train.  B decided he wanted to ride in his new friend's stroller, and his new buddy decided he wanted to push, or at least walk along side.  They were adorable!

Metra Ride back and Dinner

Back on the Metra for the ride back to Union Station.  Once we were back, we located a place to eat dinner and chatted and relaxed for a while.


Heading Home


Back to Union Station, and back on the Amtrak, we got settled in for the ride home.  B didn't make it very long, and neither did I before:


A very nice conductor, seeing that he was asleep, helped us find a spot where he could stretch out a bit.

It was a very peaceful ride back home, and a great day was over!!


Things of Note

  • Kids under 2 are free on Amtrak, and children 2-12 are 50% off.  It was less than 80 bucks for the three of us to travel to Chicago and Back!
  • This is a VERY relaxing way to travel with a toddler.  He was so excited, could get up and move around, and just really enjoyed himself.
  • As I noted above, be prepared for CTA passes, the single Kiosk was a hassle!!!

This was an amazing trip, B had a blast, and does great with his new N-Scale Train, despite doubts from one store owner (not chicagoland) who all but refused to sell me a set... hence why we ended up where we did!!

I would strongly encourage any of you who have a city like Chicago within a few hours of your town by train to try this!  It was a lot of moving around all day, but almost stress free, and way to much fun!!

TTFN
-A





Friday, August 1, 2014

Upcoming Trip - Chicago "Train Day" Trip

I know its been quiet around here.  We've focused on spending time at home in our amazing community and on our local lake this Summer, so not much travel.

However, tomorrow, we will be headed to Chicago for a day trip on the train.  B loves trains... that doesn't really describe it well... he L O V E S trains.... probably his most favorite thing in existence!

Our Plan?

Take the Amtrak up to Union Station in the morning
Take Public Transportation to the Museum of Science and Industry for there 2 train displays
Take Public Transportation (including a train) to a hobby shop and buy B his first model train set
Take the Amtrak back home.

Its a long day, but lots of trains, and no driving!!  I can't wait!  And I'll document what we learn about train travel with a toddler right here!!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Gear Review - Post Cruise

Cruisin' Gear for a Toddler - The Aftermath!

Its been more than a few months since our cruise, and Its time I get going on my promises.  So today, I'll be taking you through a post-use review of the items we brought on our cruise with us that were worth noting.  I will say that there were some surprises and duds..
So, without further ado, the items:

Belkin Mini Power Strip

Amazon Link

As we have experienced on all our cruises, power outlets are a premium in your stateroom.  This little guy was a big hit in ours!!  We were able to keep our phones charged (used them as cameras) and added a 2 port plug in charger to this to keep the tablets charged for Mickey Time at night before sleeping.
This little power strip packs small, but really delivers.  The USB ports charged anything we threw at it, and the ability to rotate the plug allowed it to fit anywhere we needed it to, both in hotel rooms and on the ship!

PROS:   Small, rotating plug, plenty of power on USB
CONS: NONE!


Melaluca Sunblock

We had used this sunscreen before in Hawaii, and generally really liked it, however, our mind was changed on this trip.

This sunscreen goes on easily, and isn't to greasy and has a plesant odor to it.  Performance wise, however, it didn't hold up.  Its resistance to water seemed pretty awful, and on one of our excursions we ALL ended up with pretty severe sunburns despite using the product.

Now, I will admit I probably should have been more careful reapplying, drying off before doing so, and the such, but in general, this sunscreen did NOT perform the way we expected it to on a more active vacation.

PROS: Easy to Apply, plesant smell
CONS: Did not hold up to water well, and did not protect the way we thought it should.


GoPro 3 Silver Edition

Amazon Link

Unfortunately, I didn't get to use this camera as much as I wanted.. but I will say that times I did use it (and the videos I got) where great, and it was fun to use!

We used this camera to take video while snorkeling, and while playing on the beach with the little guy, as well as on the waterslides on board.

I also grabbed some shots of the ship leaving port and the night sky..  Every video we took was great quality and more than overshot what we expected.

One thing that really surprised me was the quality of the still photos.  We used it that way a couple of times and the images came out great!!

PROS: Small, lightweight, HD, easy to use
CONS: No back LCD or view finder (though there are accessories)

Go Pro "Bobber" handle


This little accessory worked GREAT!!  While snorkeling with the camera, it gave an easy to use handle, and provided a sense of security.

Outside of the water, it makes for a very stable spot to grab and hold the camera.

Not much to say about it other than it worked GREAT and was very easy to use

PROS: Floats, easy to hold
CONS: NONE





Car Seat Tray

We did not end up buying one of these or taking it with us on the cruise... so no review

Google Chromecast


Well... this review is going to be an interesting one.  If I was just reviewing it as a travel accessory it would get a pretty negative review, but thats not a fair look at this little guy... so I'll give 2 perspectives.

TRAVEL:
As of right now, this thing is pretty useless in Hotels or on a Cruise ship.  The inability to sign in to hotel WIFI or accept terms and conditions for their services makes this thing just flat out NOT WORK.

AT HOME:
This thing is AWESOME!  We use it all the time to stream B's favorite youtube videos and songs.  It gets regular use for netflix from our phones or the PC.  And it can easily move from one TV to another.

One thing to note.. it does require USB power to work, so check your TV and make sure it doesn't have a usb port on the back, or have the usb charger with you.

PROS: EASY to use, works with any HDMI TV, inexpensive
CONS: WILL NOT work at a hotel or on a cruise ship.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Cruise Review Day 10 - Off the ship, but all is not over!

And finally it was over.  We awoke from a great nights sleep and the ship was already docked.
We were in no rush to get off the ship, and neither were our friends so we all met down at the Scarlett Diningroom for one last meal.
This meal was much more quiet than all the rest.. primarily because we all turned on our phones and were inundated with the backlog of emails, facebook messages, texts, voicemails and all the trappings of the digitally connected world we live in.  Part of me REALLY didn't want to turn on that phone.  I really enjoyed being present with my family and unconnected... but the inner (and outer) geek in me won over!
We had #2 for our debarkation number, so we were in no hurry, and lingered as long as we wanted.
After breakfast, we parted ways with our friends to meet again off the ship.  We made a stop by the photo gallery to pick up our photo order.  Something that was new on this ship that we had not seen before were the self serve photo kiosks.
You were able to swipe your sign and sail card and it would try to find photos taken of you.  They actually did a pretty good job of finding photos.  Note, they didn't turn on until a couple of days into the cruise.

We gathered our last few things from the room and headed down to debark. It was at this point that we really noted how much B was loved by the camp carnival staff. Many of them were helping direct people, and EVERY one of them made a point to run over and give Bryan a big hug. He waved and said by-by to each of them. Camp Carnival was a huge hit for us, and for Bryan!

Debarkation was soooooo much smoother than embarkation. Our bags were there waiting for us by the time we got off, and the customs stuff went smoothly with no hiccups. We were off and waiting for our shuttle to Budget to get our rental car in mere minutes. Our shuttle arrived after a short wait and off we went.

Our flights home were not until the next afternoon, so we decided to go visit the Brevard Zoo which isn't far away from Cocoa Beach.  We hopped in our rental car and took off.

We quickly discovered that this place is a MUST VISIT for any family who has some spare time.  Its not a huge zoo, but in terms of exhibits and things to do, it rates EASILY as one of my favorite zoos.  

Here is my Tripadvisor Review.  I'll not go into a ton of detail here, but there were lots of hands-on things to do, a great train ride, and even a SPLASH PARK for the kids.. so bring a swim suit.  And its not expensive at all!! 


B was a little tired, but he enjoyed himself!  After leaving the zoo, we headed to a post office to grab some priority mail boxes to lighten the load in our luggage after all the stuff we bought on the cruise (thanks again to Alegiant for the 40lb limit.. ugh).

We got back to our hotel and had decided to just share a room for the evening with our friends to save a little $$, and ended up with a HUGE room that we really liked!!  Kudos again to the Courtyard Marriott in Cocoa Beach!

Our room even had a view of "OUR" cruiseship, the Dream, leaving port




























After some relax time in the hotel, and a quick trip to the store for a few things (like tape), we headed back toward Port Canaveral for dinner at Fishlips (and here is the tripadvisor review)..  This would be an amazing place to watch ships leave, but we were eating later than normal and had missed them.  Its RIGHT on the waterfront, and has a great view.  The food was good as well!!

We headed back to to the hotel and re-packed bags and dealt with packing the boxes we were going to mail. One of our friends had a 6:30am flight, so we got to sleep pretty quickly.

The next morning, my wife took our friend to her early flight, and eventually the rest of us got up and got moving. The hotel's internet was down, so we were unable to print postage, so after check out we had to find a self-service ready post office, and breakfast! 

We still had more than a case of diapers left, and had no intention of trying to fly home with them, so we were also on the lookout for a shelter or someplace to donate them. The hostess at the IHOP where we stoped for breakfast actually was a coordinator for a women's and family shelter, and she was happy to take them for us! 

Finally, we were headed to the airport. We got there without incident, we checked in without any problem, and got to the terminal to see the same family we had flown to Florida with, and they were excited to see us. 

An uneventful flight back home ended with the same bad attitude from the CIRA terminal employees of Allegiant, but once past them, all we had left was a 30 minute drive back home and our vacation was over.

It was a great vacation, and I'm ready to go again! The Dream is an AMAZING ship, and easily my favorite of the 3 we have been on. And, if you've ever considered cruising with a toddler, DO IT!! It was such a rewarding experience to have him with us and see his joy and fun. Plus, we got to spend the entire cruise just being together as a family! AMAZING!

I've got some other random pics and some videos to edit and I will post them here, as well as the Fun Times and I think we still have the camp carnival schedule. We will try to scan them and post them as well!

Ask if you have questions.


Thursday, December 19, 2013

Cruise Review Day 9 - Fun Day At Sea

Our Last Day, a day at sea, was scheduled to begin with breakfast in buffet, and then the "Behind the Fun" tour. We headed to grab a quick breakfast, and after eating, I headed up with B to Camp Carnival to drop him off.

The Behind the Fun tour is a 4ish hour tour of the ship.. but not the passenger space, no, its of the crew space and all the inner workings. Kids B's age (I think under 12) are not allowed, hence why I was taking him to Camp Carnival.

Here was the biggest hiccup of the entire trip... in an example of brilliantly stupid scheduling, the Behind the Fun tour started at 9am, and Camp Carnival didn't open till 10am! My wife was BEYOND upset... This day was our actual 10th anniversary and she wanted to spend all day with me. I offered to stay with the boy so she could go, and that was not acceptable.

In tears, she stormed down to the Shore Excursion desk. They apologized and began to work to solve the problem. It turns out there were 2 tours, one at 9am and one at 9:30. They offered to move us to the 9:30 as 2 people showed up early and could do the 9am. They also offered to have them come get me after I got Bryan to Camp Carnival. Both the Shore Excursion staff, and the Camp Carnival staff told us to make sure to mention this in our survey, and that it needed to be communicated somehow to the Cruise Director in order to get this fixed.. that it was an ongoing problem with Adult Only Events and closed Camp Carnival.

So, shortly before the 9:30 tour left, I went down with B and got my access pass, and gathered the number to call to catch up, then went back to the cabin to wait.
At 10 am I dropped B off and took the elevator down to deck 1 and called the number I was given. Shortly thereafter the tour guide appeared and took me down into the bowels of the ship to meet the group. I missed the Galley, but that was it.

In case your curious, this was the pass they gave us:


We had to give it back at the end, but we did get a drawstring bag, a ball cap, a lanyard, and a bar of soap carved by the steakhouse chef.

The tour was fantastic!! We saw the garbage disposal area, engine control room, the Galley (at least the wife did), Crew Lounge, Crew Cafeterias, the Training Center, Crew Cabins, Behind Stage in the theater, and the steakhouse kitchen. However, the highlight of the tour for me was getting to go up on the Bridge. We were escorted up there and greeted by the Captain. After some pictures were taken, he showed us around the bridge, and in particular gave us a run down of how stuff worked on the fly bridge that sticks out on the side of the ship. It was an AMAZING view ahead of us, and the equipment was very very interesting.

The end of the tour was in the Steakhouse, and we were provided complementary Champagne and a little snack, and had a chance to provide feedback. It was a great tour!

After the tour, we grabbed lunch (one last stab at the Indian Tandoor!) and hit the chocolate buffet. The afternoon was uneventful with time spent napping and relaxing on the ship, savoring our last minutes. One thing we did do was gather the final clues for the Murder Mystery and turned in our sheet.

Dinner time came and we headed to the dining room for our last dinner on board. I know tipping is an oft-discussed topic, and we handle it by not only keeping the tips added to the sign and sail, but we also give some cash to those who deserve it. We personally delivered that money to each of our 3 wait staff for their OUTSTANDING work. Jose, our head water, kept saying that the worst thing about being a waiter on the ship is that just as you get to know someone, they leave.

B headed to Camp Carnival after dinner, and got signed in for the after-10 babysitting as we wanted to go to the final show and pack our bags and do some shopping.

My wife and her friend headed to the shops and I ran to start doing the initial packing, I got it about 90% done and headed down to make sure they weren't spending all our money... realized we left something in the room and ran back up to be greeted by this on the bed:


You have never seen a 35 year old man more happy about a cheap piece of plastic!! I GOT A SHIP ON A STICK!!!! And, its happily displayed on our mantle in the living room!!

The show that evening was great, we got everything packed and set out for luggage pick up. We took a few moments without the little one to honor our anniversary, and then went and picked up our little bundle from Camp Carnival.

The entire week B had not slept at Camp at all. He's the kinda kid that when presented with something to do, he will go go go and not stop. Heck, even gained a reputation for helping clean up when the other kids moved on. Well, but the time we got to pick him up, it was after midnight, and he was curled up under a blanket FAST asleep. He was WORE OUT!! We turned in our phone, said bye to the staff and headed back to the room, with a last stop at the ice cream machine.

B went right back to sleep, and the Wife and I sat out on the balcony and finished our icecream and enjoyed the AMAZING full moon sparkle over the water. Shortly after, we climbed in to bed and off to sleep for the last time in our little slice of heaven.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Cruise Review Day 8 - Costa Maya

The next morning... Costa Maya!

Not only was it Costa Maya day, but it was international Talk Like a Pirate Day.. and the Cruise Director got into it!! The atrium was also decorated... sorry for the blurry pic:


We ran down to get breakfast before heading on shore. We were scheduled to go visit Almplena Eco Beach Resort for a day of sun and beach time, but didn't have a schedule. The arrival in Costa Maya was 7am, but we did decide to push back getting off till 8am...

I'm glad we did, because by the time 8am rolled around, we were hearing announcements about the delay in docking. The seas were quite rough and the Captain was having trouble getting us docked.... IT took over 3 hours (some before the 7am schedule) for him to get us tied up and docked. Because of this they extended our time by one hour.

We made our way down to the gangway and really got a taste of how bad it was... the plank was moving back and forth 2-3 feet as the ship rocked and rolled! I've got a crazy video of it, I'll share later. Here is a pic to give you an idea:


We got off the ship and headed through the cruise port and all its shops, headed to our instructed taxi stand. I will say, this was quite a walk, and not well marked, but we made it, got a taxi, and headed tword Almplena. About 10 minutes into the 20 minute drive, our driver (who spoke no english) stopped to talk to another driver going the other way with a full load of people. The other driver spoke english, and told us that the road was flooded and we would not be able to get there.
Our driver took us back to the port, quite dissapointed. We paid him and headed back onto the ship to regroup. We dropped B off at Camp Carnival as they were providing lunch that day, and I headed down to the Fun Zone to log on and email Almplena.
We then decided to go back out and do some shopping.

I was still pretty tired, and quite sunburnt, so I'll say I wasn't enthusiastic about shopping, but I went along. I would have been content to lounge in the huge pool and stay cool. While shopping in a jewlery store, I noticed the sky starting to get VERY dark. I warned the group, and they barely acknowledged me.... and I wish they did.
Finally it got dark enough they noticed, and we took off for the ship, just after the checkpoint on the pier (with about a 3-400 yard walk still) the skies OPENED UP!! It rained hard enough to be painful and we ran along the pier just in time to wait in line... ugh. We finally got back on board, headed up to change clothes and ran down to grab lunch in the dining room. Oh well, a bit of a disappointing day on shore, but at least we had a GORGEOUS ship to spend time on!

At lunch we had a great view of the port as the sun came out (DOH!):


I learned later via email that Almplena Eco Resort refunded our deposits, but indicated that they tried to work with the taxi company to get us there. Aparently, mini vans and trucks had no problem getting around the ONE bad spot, and she even offered to pick up travelers at the flooded section in her truck, but the taxi company didn't want to play nice.
I guess I'll just have to go back to Costa Maya and visit in nicer weather!

Continuing with the review!!

After a late lunch, we picked up B and headed back to the room for a nap. This was the 2nd Formal Night, but we opted to dress down a bit. Collared shirts and a dress, but much less formal. We got all dressed and headed to an uneventful dinner. I was feeling much better after drinking a TON of water and getting rest.
There was a football game on the lido after dinner, so B went back to Camp Carnival and we headed to do some more shopping (cheap watch sets and other stuff). I ran back to the room, and got the first glance at our "Towel Animal" for the day:


One of our friends and I then headed out on deck, secured some Beers and free Popcorn, and settled in to watch some football:


As you can see, they got the screen fixed. This is a great way to watch the game!

At half time, I decided to call it quits, we went and got B and headed back to our room to get some sleep!

The next day would be our last Day.. a "Fun Day at Sea" and we had a big plan for the morning!!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Cruise Review Day 7 - Belize


And so we come to Wednesday, a day my Wife was very much looking forward to. BELIZE!!

10 years ago, on our honeymoon, we came to Belize. We took a carnival based excursion to Goff's Caye, and despite TERRIBLE weather and us both getting sea sick, we enjoyed ourselves... SO.. we decided to go back.

Carnival no longer offers this excursion, but we were able to book a trip to the Caye through Island Marketing.

Since we had FTTF, we had priority tender, so as soon as we were ready, we headed down to the lounge where they were meeting. We were on a tender within 20 minutes:



A short 20 minute ride and we were on shore. As there was at each port, there is a little cruise terminal setup with shops and a bar, and stuff. We walked around a bit, we checked in with Island Marketing, and eventually made our way to Diamonds International to do a little watch shopping while we waiting for our tour to start.

A short while later, we were on a motor boat headed out to Paradise!

We passed by the Dream on our way out to Goff's Caye:


B was sporting his own stylish life vest:



Shortly before getting to the island, we noticed a dolphin swimming with us and had to stop and watch it. I swear I got pictures, but I can't find one!

Oh well, after the 30ish minute ride, we arrived, and it was just like I remember it!:



After getting settled, the Wife and Son headed to the beach, and the rest of us went on the snorkeling tour. I've got video of that as well!

It was a great snorkeling tour, and just as everyone was getting back on the boat to head back to the island for the "beach time", the guide I was closest to gathered a group to swim back to the island instead of go back via boat.

I decided to stay, not knowing it was the long way around the island.. and the other side was a HUGE current... I was exhausted!

Back on Goff's Caye, we settled down for lunch of grilled lobster for the adults, and a hot dog in a tortilla for the little one.. it was all VERY yummy!



The food was not included, however Rum Punch was, and it was quite potent!

Goff's Caye a TINY place, with a small bathroom, and a small pavilion where they cook food and a local sells some jewlery and other hand crafted items.





We had about an hour or so left, so we hit the beach and started playing!





Eventually, it was time to go, and we had to wave good by to the little slice of Paradise!



The 30ish minute ride back to Belize City was uneventful, and B was WORE OUT!



We got off the boat, heard the usual blurb about tipping, but even more than that, the Guides SPECIFICALLY asked us to submit a review on TripAdvisor and Cruise Critic! They are quite aware of the online community.

Island Marketing did a great job with the entire excursion. I would HIGHLY recommend this company if you want to visit Goff's Caye, and they offered trips to other places as well!

We had a little bit of time, left, and I REALLY wanted a Belkin Beer. I had heard about it, and I am a bit of a beer aficionado (wife would say snob). The Wet Lizard right there at the pier was selling Belkins 2 for $5. I ordered a light lager, and a dark lager. After a HOT day on an island, they were GREAT! I also asked if I could keep the bottle (they poured them in a glass), and they said it would be an extra dollar... no problem!! Bottle Secured (for a friend's collection).

After grabbing our beers, we headed back to Diamonds International to look at watches. I fell in love with one and it hopped onto my wrist! While completing the sale, the sales staff noticed I had finished my beer and shortly thereafter a fresh bottle of Belkin was placed in my hand!! GOOD SERVICE!!

Our time in Belize was done, so we headed back to the ship via the tender, and we actually ended up on the LAST tender back. B was awake at this point, but still very tried and content to snuggle!






Here is the Dream waiting to greet us back "home"





IT really is a BIG ship!





And soon we were back in our staterooms changing and showering for the evening's activities!

So, getting back to our rooms, we started to realize that I had gotten a TERRIBLE sunburn! Showering hurt, changing hurt, everything hurt, but we had dinner to go to!

Honestly, I didn't make it long at dinner, but I did snap a pic of some delicious enchiladas:



Even before dinner was done, I wasn't feeling well at all... my back hurt from the sunburn, and I had completely lost my apetite. Our nurse friend who was with us said I was probably experiencing a minor "sun stroke", or basic over exposure! I have to remember to drink LOTS of water when out in the sun.

I headed back before desert to get some rest and layed down. I got a couple of hours of sleep and woke to the wife bringing me some Tiramisu from the dining room (my fav). I got up and we hung out a little around the ship while B played at Camp Carnival.

The Moon tried to peek out this evening, and this was the best picture I could get of it:



Still not feeling well, and in pain, we actually hit the bed pretty early this evening.