Called to Serve

We have loved traveling and being with family for the past two years but we felt the call to serve another mission so here we are in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania for the next year.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Family Cruise

I know I am a bit behind but I finally am getting around to posting some activity since we returned home.

In September we gathered most of the family (we spent time with Jonathan's family in Australia in August) and headed for Florida to take a cruise ship headed for the Caribbean. My niece and nephew, Annaleesa and Corey, joined us with their two daughters. 17 of us had a great week. We went to Belize, Grand Cayman, Roatan and Cozumel. This is most of the group outside of the Cruise Terminal. Anna and Corey had not arrived yet.

After settling in to our rooms we all ended up in Grandma Lue and Grandpa Al's room. We could not believe how big their room was.

All 17 of us were in their room at the same time. The kids loved the "window seats". All the girls could sit in it together. Ashlyn, MaCayela, Adeline and Ella.

The weather was great as we headed out of Miami.

Preston enjoyed exploring the ship and finding all kinds of fun things - don't worry, the snake was not real.

The kids had a great time going to Camp Carnival throughout the week. They did lots of crafts and just had fun being together. That is MaCayela, Ashlyn and Preston.

We enjoyed movies under the stars several times. It wasn't really cold but we still enjoyed hot chocolate as we watched.

Do I detect some happy cruisers? I think they all are ready to go again.

This was Jason and Tamera's room. Ella and MaCayela had a matching setup in their room. The kids really had fun with the drop down beds.

Adeline loved the water and Ashlyn and Preston spent many hours going down the waterslide.

Adeline waiting patiently for her dinner. She was a hit with all the wait staff.

In between meals, the soft serve ice cream machines were a big hit with both young and old.

On Grand Cayman most of the group went to Sting Ray City. A few of us (my parents and I) remained behind to let Adeline nap. They took a Zodiac ride out to the sand bar.

Everyone got a chance to get up close and personal with the stingrays.

Nick, the guide, was great and let the kids try their hands at driving.

On Roatan, we took Adeline to a private beach where she enjoyed the sand and water. The beach was really beautiful but it was SO crowded and SO hot and SO humid that we did not stay very long. We were really anxious to get back on the air conditioned ship.

On Belize, the majority of the group again boarded a boat for a trip down the river to see some Mayan ruins.

They climbed a really steep pyramid and had a fantastic view of the area.

They saw monkeys and lots of other interesting sights.

We celebrated two birthdays while we were on the ship. Wayne's birthday was the 22nd and Annaleesa's was the 25th so we had birthday cake for both of them on Thursday night. Wayne got chocolate.

Anna got a white cake and our waiters led us all in singing Happy Birthday twice.

In Cozamel we went to a park called Chankanaab with Jason and his family. There was quite a variety of attractions. They had a path going through gardens, kayaking, snorkling, swimming with dolphins, a seal show and a nice little area for the kids to swim and play in the sand. It was kind of an overcast day and there was a short down pour but we really enjoyed ourselves.

Waiting for the seals to perform.

With all the eating we did, Stacy and I tried to get in our walking each day. One day we neglected it and ended up walking kind of late. We had the track all to ourselves though.


Evan Excell said...

Hope you are enjoying being home. We are, but we've found it to be a difficult adjustment. We hoping to find ways to invite the missionary spirit into our lives a little more on a day-to-day basis. That doesn't mean that we're contemplating another mission (Nicki tells me that our mission is to take care of her 85- year old dad for the next little while), even though another year on another mission doesn't sound so bad right now.

Your cruise with family sounded like a fun trip. We're hoping to get together in the summer for something similar or at least a trip together as a fam!

Our love,

Elder and Sister Jackson said...

Hi! It was fun to read about your trip and know that you're doing well. I sent you a facebook friend request today!