As promised/threatened in the previous post, here's a big collection of shots from our cruise vacation featuring the sillyheads.
243/366: Bunk Beds:
The sleeping arrangements in the stateroom were pretty slick. We had a double bed that was there all the time, and during the day a sitting area with a couch. While we were at dinner, the housekeeping staff came in and flipped the couch over to become a bed, then lowered a top bunk from a hatch in the ceiling. The kids have never slept in bunk beds before, so this was considered highly neat.
244/366: Grandma and Grandpa
The trip was a gift from my parents, who came with us, and helped make it tons of fun for the kids. Thanks to their help, we had the kids outnumbered at all times, even without using the floating day care option of the kids' clubs.
245/366: Turtles All The Way Down
One of the port stops was Grand Cayman, where we visited a turtle farm. Part of the turtle side of the operation (they also had a snorkeling area and a freshwater pool) was a set of shallow tanks where you could touch and even pick up young turtles. SteelyKid doesn't deal well with heat (my Northern European genes have their down side...), and had a bit of a meltdown here, but rallied to catch a couple of turtles. They're very agile in the water, so this is a testament to the reflexes she's honed with all that taekwondo...
There were two kid-friendly swimming pools on the ship, one a shallow wading pool and the other a four-foot-deep pool next to a giant video screen playing Pixar movies. The latter was kind of terrifying, at times, because it was full of bigger kids careening around playing tag games, and I seriously thought one of them was going to swamp The Pip. So I don't have any good photos of that.
The wading pool, on the other hand, was a rich source of photos of the Little Dude, who really loved splashing and "gliding" and jumping in the water. You wouldn't guess that up until mid-July last year, he acted like the swimming pools at day care were bubbling vats of sulfuric acid.
It wouldn't be a Caribbean trip without a beach. As mentioned before, SteelyKid tried snorkeling for the first time at Castaway Cay, as seen in the photo above. After lunch, we went on an epic swim, while The Pip bobbed happily on an inflatable tube in shallower water (the second photo is after our snorkel expedition, when SteelyKid joined him for a bit).
We were very busy on this trip, especially the last day or two after the kids finally tried the water slide, then went on it over and over again. The second photo is obviously a bit of a cheat, as I'm in it-- that was at the swim-with-a-dolphin excursion in Cozumel, where I gave my father my camera with the telephoto lens, and he took a few shots from the approved photography locations. (They only let you take pictures from a good long way away from the actual dolphin swim, because they want you to buy shots taken by their professional photographers who are right up close.... And I have to admit, they did a better job than I could, as you can see in this composite I posted a while ago:
But, you know, that guy got to be a lot closer to the action, and had a much fancier camera...)
249/366: Dude-ly Dude
I don't really have corresponding photos for SteelyKid at rest, mostly because she didn't hold still for long the entire week. She got to do the dolphin thing without him, though (that was only for ages 5 and up), so he gets a couple of extra photos. The top one shows him chowing down on the ears of a Mickey-shaped waffle, which is one of the very few things he would reliably eat. He's an insanely picky eater.
The bottom shot is my new favorite picture of him, as it gets his fantastic facial expression when he tells a joke. He's a little hazy on how humor actually works-- most of his jokes involve copying the form of more traditional jokes told by his big sister, but plugging in other nouns that make no sense-- but he's so cute and pleased with himself when he tells them...
And there's a massive dose of cute-kid photos to send you into the weekend. Enjoy.
Kid jokes, man. I told my daughter a knock knock joke:
Knock, knock. Who's there? Interrupting cow. Interrupting c... MOOO!
And now she will just change it to any other animal she can think of. Her favorite is interrupting Juno (our dog's name) and instead of barking, she will just lick you.
I wish I could say I just laugh to play along, but I find it hilarious. I am apparently a 3 year old.
Those memories of playing with the grandparents will be priceless and last forever. The trip was a smart move on their part, and I now understand the marketing I see from Disney's cruise line! My only question is, did they spend much time with their own kid? ;-) I'll bet you had a blast watching them interact with your kids. Probably brought back memories of your own childhood.
The "Interrupting [Animal]" joke is a perennial favorite, though The Pip doesn't always remember that the point is to INTERRUPT, and will often politely wait until the end of "[Animal] who?" to make the noise.
It was a great trip, and we were extremely grateful both for the great memories and the adult back-up that allowed us to get the occasional quiet moment without worrying what the kids were up to... (We could've used the "Oceaneers" areas for some of that, but I felt a bit like a heel taking the kids to a cool place and then dumping them in a day-care equivalent.)