Saturday, October 20, 2007

Day 4 & Day 5

DAY FOUR: St. Maarten & Pirate Night

Rusty woke up at 5:45 asking if it was morning yet…um, NO! He didn’t like having to lay back down, but it took him all of 2 minutes to fall back asleep. It was too early in the first place, but then throw in the fact that we didn’t go to bed until almost 11pm last night, & it was WAY too early to wake up!

Once we did wake up, St. Maarten was just outside our verandah. After being at sea for 2 ½ days, it was so nice to see land! It was nice to have our room on the port side, so we could watch the island come into full view. The island is beautiful, green, with lots of peaks & teal water. No more Blue Jello seas for now!

The three of us headed to Topsiders for an early (7:30am!) breakfast because Rusty was itching to get off the boat and see St. Maarten. I’m not really sure what he was expecting, because he’s never been here & other than telling him we were going to “see” the island, we didn’t give many details because we weren’t sure exactly what we would do anyway! As we eat breakfast, little yellow butterflies are everywhere…another reminder that we are no longer in the middle of the ocean!

Originally, I had planned for us to visit the Butterfly Farm on our own in St. Maarten. Clark wasn’t too hot on the idea, & once it was actually time to make that decision, I wasn’t so set on it anymore. So we just decide to wing it & wake the Water Taxi to maybe do some shopping & then play on the beach.

For just $5 per person, we can ride the Water Taxi all day long, which I thought was a good deal, especially since it’s it’s a Mega Tourist Spot and they could easily charge more for that service. Then we found out Rusty is free, so it was an even better deal!

We Water Taxi over to the Town Pier, skipping Bobby’s Marina because Clark paid attention to the St. Maarten talk on TV and knew that the Town Pier was the best place to walk around. So off the Water Taxi, and straight to the beach. Rusty was going to have no part of shopping or walking…he was determined to get in the ocean. Period.

Luckily, I had packed a swim suit in my backpack *just in case* Rusty wanted to swim in the ocean. But instead of changing into that, he just went in the water with clothes on. Clark manned the backpack & shoes, while I huffed & puffed as I got all wet making sure Rusty didn’t get swept out to sea. I had on denim shorts, & I hadn’t planned to get wet…so I turned into a 5 year old and grumped. I’m not perfect J

Everyone had on sunscreen except for me, & I could already feel the tropical sun searing my skin. Out at sea, I hadn’t been hot once…but here on the beach I was roasting! After Clark tried to suggest a few things to me (since I was grumpy and wet), we decided to just change Reese into his dry bathing suit in the beach bathroom & then head back to the ship to clean up, rest, & head back out later in the afternoon.

So Rusty & I have feet covered in sand, Rusty is soaking wet from head to toe with ocean water and sand, & Rusty’s hands are covered in sand. As we walk up to the beach restroom, I see the restroom attendant (I guess?) standing outside the door with a mop & bucket and I swear her looks could have burned through my head. But, as Clark later said, it’s a bathroom ON the beach…what do they expect?

I got Rusty’s hands cleaned up, stripped him down & wiped him off with a paper towel I happened to have in the backpack, and dressed him in his dry bathing suit for the ride & walk back to the ship. I wiped up the bathroom floor the best I could with the papertowel & apologized profusely as we walked out with the attendant sweeping the floor like a mad woman. I still don’t know if she was mad at us for messing up her bathroom, or if that’s just standard since it’s right there on the beach. Sorry St. Maarten Bathroom Lady!

We rode the Water Taxi back to the cruise ship pier, boarded the ship, & took Rusty up to the Mickey Pool to swim/get the sand off his body. Clark put his suit on and joined Rusty for a little swim & then everyone was just about worn smooth, so we headed back down to the room. Clark showered & took the time to get all the sand out of Rusty’s shorts pockets while Rusty ate room service lunch.

As I sit here now, Clark is asleep on the couch, Rusty is in the bed next to me snoozing away, & I’m enjoying the quiet and watching the butterflies everywhere.

Our plans for the rest of the day:
*After naps, put on bathing suits & walking clothes. Head back to St. Maarten and stroll Front Street. After our shopping, we’ll take Rusty back to the beach with the sand toys & we’ll play on the beach for real!

*Tonight is Pirates In The Caribbean night. I’ve got pirate costumes for the three of us to wear, so we’ll get all dressed up & head to dinner. Hopefully, That Family will have other plans and we don’t have to see them. But we could only be so lucky.

*Rusty will probably want to play in the Oceaneer Club after dinner, so Clark and I will continue our Uno war while we’re there with him.

*At 9:45 is the Pirates In The Caribbean deck party. I’ve got bubbles, I’ve got glow necklaces….we’re all set! Since our dinner seating is at 5:30 and the party starts at 9:45, I’m not sure if we’ll still be Pirates or not…but we’ll be on deck for the fireworks!

After the deck party, it’s off to bed, because we arrive in St. Thomas tomorrow morning. St. Thomas immigration has some lame rule about every single person on the ship MUST present themselves at 6:30am for immigration. UGH. But what can you do? I guess if our biggest worry of the day is that we have to wake up early to meet Immigration because we’re visiting a beautiful island on a dream vacation, life ain’t too bad J

So this brings us up to date. It’s 12:30 and while the boys sleep I think I’ll grab a nap myself. Until my next update….

DAY FIVE: Are We Closer To The Sun On St. Thomas?

Last night, oh last night. Well….we donned our pirate outfits (complete with make up and all!) and I took Rusty for pictures with Captain Jack Sparrow. We came back to the room, picked up Clark (who is the most handsome pirate ever!) and head to dinner. I loved, loved, loved having everyone dressed up together. Can I just brag and say we looked so dang cute? I have a great picture I tried to upload, but the connection out here is slow & I didn’t want to waste our precious expensive minutes online with picture uploading (it cost $55 for 100 minutes of internet connection…ouch!).

Dinner was OK…the food was so-so. We arrived at our seating assignment time (5:30) and we were pleasantly surprised that That Family didn’t show up for dinner. So it was the three of us. Come 6:15 (yes, FOURTY FIVE mintues late!) That Family waltzes in, sits down, & starts their dinner. I just cannot express how rude I think that is. There are seating times for a reason, and I’m sure it puts pressure on our waiters having them show up so late always. Ugh.

This morning we woke up around 6:30, after we found out last night that we don’t have to be ready for immigration until 7:15….sweet! I ordered room service coffee for Clark & he was able to down a few cups before we had to head to the theatre with our passports.

We rounded the corner towards the theatre and were met with quite a long line. Yuck. Luckily, Rusty had brought along two Hot Wheels cars to entertain himself with, so the wait was only semi-unbearable. We finally got through the immigration line, the Customs Agents checked our passports, & we were free to eat breakfast…along with every other person on the ship it seemed. The line for the breakfast buffet at Topsiders was looooooong.

Luckily, Clark and I tend to have a “system” for doing most things, and tackling a buffet line is one of them! While I loaded up a plate with all of our breakfast foods, Clark went outside to scope for tables. By the time Rusty and I made it through the buffet line, Clark had found a great table next to the railing so we could eat breakfast looking at the ocean & St. Thomas. So pretty!

After a hearty breakfast, Rusty went to the Oceaneer Club to play. The activity for the morning was making butter with two small marbles, a tub, a pinch of salt, & some buttermilk. Shake, shake shake! And then there was butter…. Reese had fun playing, and I read a magazine in the Oceaneer Club while he played. He still wants Clark & I to stay in there with him while he’s there, which is fine. When Clark comes with me, we usually play Uno while Rusty plays in the Club.

I had to pull Rusty away from the entertainment at the Club so we could get ready to go ashore in St. Thomas. We slathered on sunscreen, grabbed the backpack, & headed off the boat in search of a pirate store. Rusty just has to have a pirate sword.

Too bad for my crappy map reading skills, because the pirate store I found on the port information sheet from the cruise ship had a pirate store listed, but it was downtown & not where we were (unless we wanted to take a cab ride).

Luckily, we stopped by the Atlantis Submarine storefront and they had this awesome submarine control panel for the kids to play with. So Rusty spent about twenty minutes in there playing. After that & the walking around we did, we were all WAY too hot and just plain tired of walking around…we don’t do jewelry stores in islands, and that’s pretty much all there was. Oh, and a drugstore that didn’t carry the Diet Mountain Dew Clark was craving. Darn.

We came back to the ship & headed back to Topsiders for a buffet lunch. I took Rusty through the kids’ buffet line, while Clark went through the regular buffet line. I set Rusty up at a table on the deck in the shade, & Clark returned with two heaping plates full of food for us. What a guy! It was my favorite meal, by far, since we’ve been on the boat. It was their “American” fare, which meant BBQ short ribs, corn on the cob, fried chicken, mashed potatoes, shrimp, OH YUM!! It was all so tasty, and if it weren’t for the fact that I’m really afraid of what the scale will say when we get home, I would have gone back for seconds and thirds! Clark brought back some Black Forest Cake, which I also had to eat (wouldn’t want to be rude, now would I?). It, too, was beyond tasty….

After we rolled ourselves out of Topsiders, we went down to our room & relaxed. Rusty slept, Clark caught a quick cat nap, & I fought a nap until Clark put me in the bed and I was out like a light. All this activity really catches up with us and calls for some big naps!

When everyone was awake and moving, we headed up to Ocean Quest for their open house. There’s a huge computer screen on the wall & a real-life ship control panel. The objective is to drive the Magic out of or into a port without crashing. Ocean Quest is usually just for the teenagers, but they have a two hour Open House each day so we take Rusty down there to check it out. They also have computer games, & Clark and Rusty play Star Wars together.

While Rusty is driving the Magic or playing other computer games, Clark and I have been playing Connect Four. Clark, Mr. Stragety, plans his moves & thinks three steps ahead to win the game. Me, I just play the next move and don’t “see” that far ahead. Perhaps that’s why Chess never makes sense to me. I just don’t visualize all the possible solutions to win the game! Anyway, Clark won most games, and if I could catch him not paying attention, I could win one or two. I hereby crown Clark Captain Connect Four.

We planned to attend the 6:15 show tonight (a ventriloquist show!), so at 5:15 we left Ocean Quest, much to Rusty’s protest. Since we had a little time, Rusty went swimming in the Mickey Pool while Clark & I ate yet another soft serve. Oh. Freakin. Yum. This stuff is so crazy good. And it’s “free”…any time of day or night…it’s too easy!

Clark grabbed a hot dog for Rusty as we headed back to the room to dress for the show. Rusty scarfed his hotdog & fries, Mommy put on something nice along with my new, pink high heels that Rusty picked out, & Clark got dressed. I threw on some clean clothes for Rusty and we were off to the show.

The gal tonight was really funny, although Rusty said he doesn’t care much for the shows. There’s a show every night, but I can’t imagine going to ALL of them. I doubt we’ll take in any more shows this time…it’s just not Rusty’s thing, and I don’t think Clark cares all that much about them anyway.

After the show ended, we stopped by the gift shops. Rusty found the sword he so desparately needed, & Clark found some t-shirts from another Disney cruise route that were on clearance for $6 each. I don’t know how we did it, but Clark and I both underpacked for this vacation and are almost out of clothes! They do have laundry facilities on board, but a new t-shirt seemed more fun J

Let’s see….back to the room, Clark went up to grab dinner for the family, Rusty and I put on some comfy clothes. We ate burgers & chicken strips, I ran up to the Spa to make a reservation for a scalp massage for Clark tomorrow, I grabbed more soft serve and brought it back to the room. Rusty took a long bath with a bunch of glowsticks I had brought…and now we’re all in our pjs at 9:45 watching Spiderman on TV.

I forgot to mention earlier, but we found shuffleboard on Deck 4 yesterday. Clark and I played a few games, and I know it’s hard to believe, but he beat me! Yes, my total lack of skill apparently goes for shuffleboard as well. It was fun to play though, & Rusty liked taking his turn at pushing the discs. One of these days, I am going to beat Clark at SOMETHING! J

Tomorrow is at At Sea day so I’m sure we’ll find lots of exciting things to do on board. I’m glad we’re going to call it a night soon, because we’ve been going SO strong since we’ve been here that we haven’t gone to bed at a decent hour yet!

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