Saturday, September 21, 2013

Part 2 - Making a list and Checking it Twice

I think I was checking my lists (that's right plural) more than twice a day. I have been told I am a little OCD when it comes to lists and I still have my planner from 5th grade where I started making them. I have evolved and now make lists on the computer/phone but the sticky note is still one of my favorites. I like to physically mark things off, I will write something down just to mark it off.

Some of my lists included things we needed to get done around the house (ie: cleaning, finishing crown, cutting down trees etc.) others were what to pack and things to mentally and physically prepare us for vacation (shopping, swim lessons for the boys, and school schedule) But nothing like having the entire family become sick 2 weeks before we leave with an illness that is highly contagious. I know I have harped on it enough but Hand Foot Mouth is still horrible and luckily I was fortunate enough not to actually get it and instead take care of my 3 guys and the little boy I watch. At least swim lessons finished right before the illness and school was at home so it wasn't a huge ordeal, it even helped me to keep up on laundry and start packing. What it did get in the way of was doing some of our shopping and pretty much our entire to do list for the house except for the cleaning, and I'm surprised that I actually got that done.

My husband didn't know what his schedule was going to be like at work until the week we left because he had been home sick which meant we hadn't planned our trip to Port Canaveral either. We have wonderful friends in Tennessee that offered us a place to stay on the way down which helped me not worry about it as much and helped with expenses. I also knew we would be staying with my brother/sister in-law in Florida. We love spending any time we can get with them especially since we never know when the next time may be.

I knew there was some items we needed but we could pick up along the way and for the most part we have the packing side of a vacation/overnight visit down pretty well right now. A few tips I would recommend is to use gallon size zip lock backs for your clothing especially for kids. It made it so simple to just grab a bag and have their swim and dinner clothes for each day. For us adults we put all our shirts in one, pants in another, you get the idea. It helped keep everything dry and fit better in a suitcase. The boys shared one, my husband and I shared another, and one more with all our shoes, day clothes and shower/makeup/hair bags. It helps also to make sure you don't over pack as much. I am horrible about over packing for the just in case especially medications. Also not knowing how strict Disney would be with their dress code I wanted to make sure all my bases were covered, turns out they are not as strict as I thought they might be but more so than other cruise lines.

We also took 4 carry on bags containing computers (we work as we drive) camera, our day bag (swim suit, meds anything we may need before our bags would arrive at our room), and finally a bag devoted to water bottles. Last cruise the water was absolutely horrible and going on excursions we were very thirsty so we took a bag full so that way we would have an empty bag for any souvenirs we may get. The water turned out to be very good but it was still great to have the bottles for our room (we had a fridge) and going on excursions. Although Disney was also very good about giving us drinks at each port as well.

Disney also sent us a portfolio full with information about the cruise and our luggage tags. My husband and I were so excited to receive this little package in the mail. Before we had to print and staple our tags as well as any info we may want so this was a huge step up. It also contained cards to give to our family in case of emergency to contact us. Very well planned out.

About 12 days before our cruise we received our room number! I was very excited, it was the day after my husband's birthday so it was like a belated gift to him.
Thought I would throw that in there since we were trying to loose as much weight as we could before the cruise we decided to have Dairy Queen Ice Cream Cup Cakes. Very good and helped with portion control.

Driving with 2 kids is always interesting and the first day was no different. We made it to Tennessee by 8:00pm and the kids finally got on a good rhythm using the bathroom at the same stop verses 30 mins after needing to go. Oh and the wreck on the road put us back a bit as well at the very end but all in all it was a smooth trip the first day.

Day 2 was even better, even though we encountered a pretty major wreck in the first 5 minutes of our drive we knew of another way around it. We hit a Walmart in Georgia that was having a huge parking lot "party" for NASCAR and Monster Energy drinks. Very beneficial since in July we decided to quit drinking soda for 30 days to try to kick it for good. It lasted for 40 days and then only a half can if that ever since but 7 to 8 hours in the car and no caffeine we were dragging. So this event was perfect because they were just handing out these Monster drinks for free. Perked my husband up and we were off to our in-laws for a quick visit for the night.

Some key essentials to pack for a cruise:
Swim Suits(really you can just wear it all day and change in the evening especially on port days)

Jacket or something warm (it is freezing cold inside especially if you are wet)
Motion Sickness Medication, really take a little of everything you never know what may come up
Laundry bag
Good walking shoes
Lanyard for room key - much easier than digging to find it in a purse or in your pocket

Bottled Water
Snacks - has to be prepackaged if you are wanting to take it on land (we had one family that made a HUGE picnic but caught as they were leaving the ship and had to dump it all. It is illegal to take fruits and other "homemade" foods into other countries and can cost you up to a $25,000 fine.

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