The first surprise of this trip was that we were flying to Florida to visit dad and Jo. We had hidden "clues" around the house. First was a picture of dad and Jo's camper. Then the next clue was a picture of Florida. The last clue was a picture of an airplane. We had dad and Jo on Skype watching them running around looking for clues.
We told the boys we couldn't leave for our trip until daddy was done with work. Nate and I had hte car loaded and waited for them to walk off the bus and as soon as they did we busted the doors open and said "LETS GO NOW!" We drove to Portland and spent the night before our 5:00am flight.
The following day everything was going smooth. Too smooth. Boys got up without a problem, we had our bags ready, airport went smooth, boarding went smooth. We are up in the air about an hour right as the sun was coming up and I start to notice some commotion a few rows up from us. It was a younger woman yelling "Mom, mom?" at the older woman beside her. Pandamonium broke out. WE NEED A DOCTOR! The frantic flight attendants are going down the aisle asking for anyone with medical training to help. Now, I'm sitting there thinking "I'm on vacation. I'm on vacation" when low and behold Maysen jumps up and yells "MY MOM IS A NURSE!!" 203 eyes turn and look at me so I wander up to the commotion. This plane is worthless for equipment. They had a BP cuff but it was from 1938 and didn't hardly work. Long story short, this poor woman was having either a heart attack or a stroke and we needed to land the plane NOW. The copilot comes down the aisle and starts talking to me about an emergency landing. We agree to wait 5 more minutes to land in Salt Lake.
We make a hard landing and before we know it, paramedics are on board getting this woman off the plane. I go back to my seat and avoid people staring at me wanting to know details. We were treated like royalty the rest of the flight! Free food, free drinks. But I kept waiting for us to go back up in the air. We just SAT THERE. Second Long Story: We had landed at Salt Lake City - an airport that does not contract with American Airlines. Considering we landed so "heavy" (we weren't supposed to land until Dallas, so we still had a lot more fuel on board than we were supposed to) the plane needed a safety inspection before we could go back up. Problem: the inspection had to be done by an American Airlines inspector and since SLC didn't contract with AA they had none. After about 2hrs worth of faxing back and forth, they crowned one of their techs "AA certified" and we were up in the air. Of course that meant we missed our connection in Dallas and by the time all was said and done it was 1:00am and we were landing in Florida. (I did get a $500 voucher out of AA, though!)
We had fun our first few days in Florida. We went to the beach and hung out. The boys loved Golden Corral. (unlimited cotton candy!). Maysen did get a bit wigged out of all the critters. Our wonderful little chalet did have a few centipedes and other critters and he just couldn't handle that. Luckily the very next night we were "going to Surprise Beach" and spending a few nights there.
We loaded up around 8:00am and jetted off to Surprise Beach. Of course this was where our Disney Cruise awaited us but the boys had no idea. Unfortunately diarrhea struck me not once but TWICE and after an impromptu side trip to a cemetery, fire ants, visit to the boy scout camp (I'll write more about that later) we arrived at Surprise Beach.
The boys weren't all that impressed with the beach, which consisted of a few areas where the water met the mud but then we showed them why it was called Surprise Beach:
Our room had bunk beds, which the boys loved!
Of course we met various cast members. Maysen was "almost" too cool for them, but not quite.
We went over Halloween again this year, the boys were pirates. This is them pounding on Grandma and Grandpa's door so we could go do trick or treats around the ship.
Our main waiter, Kalebo. He was such a wonderful soul.
Dad and Jo were sort of gypsies on their own adventure. That was fine with us. But we needed proof that we were on the same trip together, so above is proof that we did have them with us! Hehe.
Salt water pool in Costa Maya.
Don't worry folks, lid was on.
This was our dinner night at Animator's Palate. Our drawings were taken, downloaded, and collaborated into an actual animation up on the walls in the dining room. It was amazing!
This was Vaz, our assistant waiter. He was very helpful at helping the boys cut up their food and making Mickey Mouse faces out of ketchup.
We visited the Mayan Ruins at Cozumel. The boys stayed on the ship at Kids Club and so just the adults went.
This was the self-serve soft serve on the Disney Island of Castaway Cay. Griffin had learned how to run this machine since they have one on the ship. By now he was a pro :)
All together, minus grandma Jo :( This was our last night.
We did bring back some souveniers for the dogs. We think they like them.