Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Cruise Day 1: Leaving Tampa

Day 1: Leaving Tampa!!!
Let's recap: Ashley's wedding was Saturday. The reception was Saturday night. I left the reception at 9 to drive to the SLC airport where I caught the red-eye back to Atlanta (left 2:50 GA time), got into ATL and then tried to catch the earliest flight at 7:20 to TPA (I had a ticket on the 8:40 flight, but wanted to get in asap). So Erin arrived in Tampa around 8:45ish dead tired. Justin drove down with Mom/Dad/Claire, and Katie and Scott both flew in to Tampa Saturday night. Anyways, M/D/J had errands to run, so they dropped me off with the other kiddos and the girlies took a nap to get ready for all the fun they were about to have:

We finally got the car loaded and ready to go. We had the trailer hitch thing on the back with all 6 roller carry-ons, threw Scott in the very back with luggage beside, on top, and behind him (see his hand waving from the back), and put the four of us across the middle. We just hoped no cop would pull us over :)

So finally we park the car, drop off the luggage, wait for D/J to return from parking the car, wait in line to check in/go through security etc.. and are about to get on a boat! Justin's first cruise:
It felt like coming home ;) PS - my favorite part of all these pictures is the look of excitement in everyone's faces. Even if they're waiting for their turn to walk across.

We get on the boat, and everything was decked out in Christmas stuff! There was even a darling little Christmas village in the main lobby. I wish we'd gotten more pictures of the inside of the ship. We were on the Carnival Legend and it was SUCH a beautiful boat! I've only been on 3 cruises, but my parents are now in the teens and kept saying how the Legend was the most beautiful boat they'd ever been on. The theme was "legends" - so there were statues and paintings of famous legends like Hercules, Colossus of Rhodes, unicorns, fair maidens, Gulliver, etc... Very cool.
Since our staterooms were not yet ready, we hopped in an elevator to go get some lunch and then do some exploring of the ship. Can't you tell we're happy to be here?

One thing we found was SUSHI! They had 3 different kinds every day. We usually forgot to come, but we did hit it up a few times. Bless Katie's heart, she keeps trying sushi hoping she'll fall in love with it, but every time she tries it she doesn't like it. Justin and I did, although we have a great sushi place here that was probably better. Still: free sushi? Yes, please!

Katie and Claire were quick to find the ice cream stations. Katie said her total was somewhere between 24 and 25 chocolate frozen yogurts. Yum!

As we explored the boat, Katie found the opportunity to take some fun pictures. The rest of us followed suit.
This is dad's ANTM audition picture.

In front of the iconic Carnival steam thing (what are they officially called?) What's cool about the Legend is the smoke stack (is that what's it's called?) was see-through and from the top floor on the elevator you could look right up into it and see a BEAUTIFUL painting. Did I mention what a beautiful ship it was?

Scott found the hot tub but had a hard time adjusting from the cold outside air to the hot water.

We decided to get a head start on our tanning while we could. Unfortunately it was FAR too cold to take any more clothes off.

At the mandatory safety drill. Now on the other cruises I've been on you actually wear your life jacket, which turns into a wonderful photo shoot. Not today :( So we just stood on the deck with our fellow cruise passengers. We were just down the row from K/S/C...

...who apparently DID try to wear their life jackets. They were stopped before getting too far and so they returned the life jackets to their stateroom. But who says you can't have a photo shoot anyways?

SO HAPPY TO BE HERE!!! (Although I am tired)

Somewhere after 6 we passed under the Sunshine Bridge. This was SO COOL to see. The boat clears the bridge by mere feet. If you cruise out of Tampa, I recommend you go watch this. I only wish it was light outside so Justin could see the Sunshine Bridge. It's a GORGEOUS bridge. The Travel Channel actually ranked it in its top 10 bridges in the US. I've been over it (EFY St. Petersburg, yeah!) and know how gorgeous and big it is. Still, going in night was fun.
Crem-brulee for dessert. Claire and Justin enjoyed it.
And when we came home we had a pet walrus waiting for us. Such a fluffy comforter and pillows, such a good night's sleep!!!!!!!! Stay tuned for Day 2... AT SEA.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

We are the Champions!

Our football team made it to the state championship game this year. SO EXCITING. Our team lost :(, but in the week leading up to the big game, the school had a door decorating contest. Ms. Emily Woodward and I (teacher next door) decided to combine forces and create one monster, award-winning door by combining forces. The result was life-changing. And yes, we did win the competition :)

And in picture form:

yes, we went on the ceiling!

(if we had won, our record would have been 15-0, thus the score) The students who put the most work into it Mrs. Badger and Ms. Woodward - door decorating CHAMPIONS!
ps - it was a REALLY fun day and it made me feel so cool when so many kids would come by and gawk at it and say "Oh man, that's SO cool." I swelled with pride each time. By the end of the day it was hard to get out of the building because my head had gotten so big!

Ugly Sweater Party/Ashley's Wedding

Before I feel justified in posting about the cruise, I must first blog about the Ugly Sweater Party we threw and my best friend's wedding.

Ugly Sweater Party: we had LOTS of yummy food and played some very fun games. I think we all laughed so hard we cried or snorted or both. It was SO fun to do stuff with other couples in our area. It was the first party we've hosted and I think I sense an annual tradition. Plus a lot more fun in store with all the people who came. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and loved making more friends. Yay!

Played a game called "warewolves" - like Mafia but better
Laura skinned a Sesame Street animal to make hers. And Amy's blinded you it was so sparkly with sequins and her necklaces. Kristin... love it.
Our official Badger Christmas Card picture. :) Maybe next year we'll do real pictures that are less cheesy. And hopefully we'll send out a lot more. It was our first and trial year, so we didn't send very many.

Best friend's wedding: My best friend of 20+ years got married!! I can honestly say that she was the MOST beautiful, happiest bride I have ever seen. Her dress was GORGEOUS, her husband overjoyed, and everything all day went off without a hitch. WONDERFUL DAY. I was beaming like a proud parent all day and am SO thrilled for Ashley and Brian.

Highlights of the weekend: getting nails done with all the bridesmaids, eating Cafe Rio (SUCH a treat), wedding day breakfast of chicken biscuits from CFA and toaster struedles (sp?), and of course all the wedding day magic. *sigh* I love LOVE!

Ashley's excited face when she woke up :)

Eating our YUMMY breakfast. And yes, all 6 of us slept in one hotel room (thank you dear inventor of roller beds)

Eating lunch before the temple with my other two best friends (all from PTC, GA). We've all been bridesmaids for each other and I LOVE them! We're the 4 Muskateers.

So many people love Ashley and flew in for the wedding :)
Yeah, we're cool and we know it.

Back view of Ashley's AMAZING dress. Sorry, didn't get one from the front.

Amy + Tanner = crazy dancing fun. Love that family

Congrats Ash!!!! Love you SO much and can't wait to go on couples cruises and to Disney with you!!!

*Marriage = LAST GREAT HOPE*