Caribbean Cruise with Our Friends

We decided to join our friends from church and from Permian Homes on a cruise (February 3-10). They all talked about last year, so Mike was really itching to go along with them the next year; so we just kind of tagged along on their company vacation. I was so nervous about leaving the girls because I had never left Shalom for that long before and certainly not Eden either.  I was especially nervous for Eden because I was still nursing her.  I didn't know how she would handle me being gone.  Mike's mom, Leilani, came from Shreveport to watch the girls. We were glad we got to at least visit with her for a day before we left.  She assured me that everything would be fine and that all I needed to worry about was having fun.  It was so incredibly nice of her to come in and help.

All 22 of us loaded up in 2 big buses at midnight to drive down to Galveston.  (side note:  Mike told me to pack light since everyone had to put all their luggage in the very back of the bus which wasn't much space; so I'm really trying hard, 'til that last minute before they picked us up, to choose my outfits wisely so I could fit everything in my duffle bag.  As soon as they pull up, they have a trailer in the back of one of the buses carrying everyone's luggage.  I was SO relieved once I saw it.  I just so happened to get my new suitcase from Vera Bradley earlier that day, so I quickly threw a few things in there knowing I could put more in there towards the end of the cruise....hee hee.  One of our couple friends, Emily and Dave Cook, (that came to the door to get us) were just cracking up because I was so excited and giving Mike a hard time at once!)
I had to get my last snuggles in with Eden and Roxy (Shalom was already in bed).
This is so sweet!  He was cuddling up to Roxy while we were waiting for the buses to pick us up.
We were so excited to get the trip started!
I don't know how the 2 guys that drove through the night did it because we sure couldn't have made it through the night!  Dave Cook and Dave Martin did awesome!
2 of my best friends in Odessa, Emily Cook and April Stromberg!  We had been excited and anxious about this cruise for months!
It was so windy the first day on the boat, but we had fun anyway playing putt-putt!

There are camera men and that walk around and take your picture doing different activities so you buy the picture later in the week.  I knew I wasn't going to buy it so I did a funny pose.  I'm bad and took a picture of a picture.
I'm looking pretty hot in my get-up!  I had to borrow April's pants  in order to climb!
April did awesome and reached all the way to the top...I sadly did not.  :(

Some of the girls just lounging by the pool.  Usually if we couldn't find someone at least one or two people would be out there somewhere around the pool and hot tub.

Our first island to visit was Cozumel. We didn't pay for any excursions. We rented a scooter and drove to one the Mayan ruins. The whole time it brought back memories of our honeymoon because we rented a scooter and drove through the island and around last time on the scooter. It would've been even more cool if we would've have remembered which part of the beach we stopped at last time.  Towards the end of our stay on the island, we stopped at a beach front restaurant which happened to have WiFi so we were able to message Mike's mom and see how the girls were doing and we were excited and relieve to find out that Eden had been taking the bottle just fine....whew!
One of the Mayan ruins.

Cruising on the scooter withe ocean on the other side of us!
We stopped and relaxed in a hammock for a little bit!
Ah!  This is the life!
There's my half Mexican!  ;)
We drove through the middle and went around the island back to our port.

Our cruise ship! 

The next island we went to was the Cayman Islands. We basically just went snorkeling and ate lunch there. It was pretty fun though just swimming in the ocean with the fish! 
I had to get a picture of the place we went rented our snorkel gear from!
 The last stop was Jamaica!! While Mike went with some of the guys to play golf, some of the girls and Dave Cook took a taxi van to the beach to relax and snorkel some.
When we came back form the beach, we arrived right outside the gate  of the port.  Outside the gate and across the street is a Jamaican market.  Some of us had a bright idea to walk around.  I forgot how much the Jamaicans haggle you.  As soon as we walked into the market, a lady came up to me asking me if I wanted my hair braided.  I said, "Okay, but I just want one strand braided."  She walked me down a ways and then through and ally.  While we're walking back there, I'm getting a little nervous.  A lady and her friend lead me to their little booth and sit me down, and they say, "Don't worry!  We'll tell your friends where you are."  I keep telling them that I just want one strand, but they have their ways of keeping you put.  After a few minutes, they lead April to where I am, and they sit her down.  She tried to tell them that she didn't want her hair braided, but of course they have their ways and a lady braided the back bottom of her hair.  I'm still worried about what my hair looks like.  April took a picture and I had no idea I was getting corn rows!!  I  kept telling them to stop!  I only had $5 to give her.  She wanted $5 a strand!!!  After a while, Dave and Emily Cook found us, and they tried to get Emily to sit down.  They are seriously crazy!
I can't believe I paid even $5 to look like a freak!  Half my hair is in corn rows!!  It last about 10 minutes!  Those things are hard to get out!!
April and I decided to go back through the markets after going through all that mess because we didn't want to get on the ship yet.  Once we walked back through, this little boy, Mark Twain (aka Mark DeWayne), started talking to us and gave us a tour of...the street and taught us a few words from their language.  I sadly forgot everything he taught us, but April and I thought it was a nice way to end our Jamaican stay.
Mike playing golf with some of the guys in Jamaica.

The last two days at sea we kind a just did whatever to kill time. The last two days was kinda nice with ice skating, massages, more rock climbing, more putt-putt, more volleyball, more hot tub and laying out, more naps, etc. all looking out in to the open water!
I can't believe we could ice skate on the boat...crazy!  Mike was really good!
....and I was struggling!

And made it all the way to the top with no problem!

Mike started off on the hardest one!
On Saturday, some of our men decided to participate in the sexiest man contest!
This is Mike doing one of his bits to prove he's the sexiest man.  (That old man and the big man were both really embarrassingly weird.  The big man kept dropping to the floor and rolling his body on the floor, and the old man was close to exposing his balls....gross!)

Mike, along with our friend Dave Martin, made it to the last three! The lady asked them to share something great that they have accomplished recently since the beginning of the year. Mike made this up on the spot.
Mike won 2nd and Dave won 3rd!
We were sad to say "good-bye" to our servers at our dining table the last night. They were friendly, fun, and fast with the food. The food was SO good! We warned our server about lobster night. Each of us must have ordered like three or more entrees of lobster. He just kept 'em coming. Everything we ate at home when we got back was crap compared to all the good food we ate!
April, Sunny, and I dancing the night away!
I had to get a picture of the Dragon's Lair before we got off the ship.   Every night a bunch of us let loose on the dance floor until midnight or later.  It was so much fun.  Towards the end of the week everyone who usually went to the Dragon's Lair expected us to be there.  We were probably like the only sober ones taking over the dance floor.  The song, "Scream and Shout" will always remind me of dancing at the Dragon's Lair.
The cruise was a blast, but we were so excited to see our girls again!