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Ten Things of Thankful: Apparently, I Do Like Cruising

Last week, I took a break.  I continued to blog, only because I had pre-scheduled posts for the A-Z Challenge.  I even wrote my Ten Things of Thankful in advance.  During that week, John and I celebrated our 28th anniversary by going on our first cruise.  We turned off our cell phones.  We left the computers behind.  We lived life, unplugged.  This week I've just been readjusting to "normal" life, but I still have things to say about our cruise, so this TToT post will be my own version of the vacation slide show of yesteryear.  (I won't claim to be as entertaining as Charles Phoenix, but hopefully you'll want to stick around anyway.)

1.  I'm thankful we decided to try a cruise.  We chose a Carnival ship, only because they offered a short (in case we didn't like it) cruise that left from a port we could drive to.  We've talked for years about trying a cruise, and finally bit the bullet.

Why yes, it was windy.  What makes you ask?

2.  I'm thankful that said Fun Ship was not filled with spring break revelers.  Quite frankly, I hadn't even thought about the fact that college spring breaks could greatly influence the atmosphere of the ship.  By sheer dumb luck, we missed displays of drunken exuberance.  Only once we were awakened by a couple arguing in a nearby room.  Other than that, everyone behaved civilly.  

3.  I'm thankful for the wealth of information on the internet, and for the tips I read ahead of time.  One of the most valuable pieces of advice was about "Faster to the Fun."  For a modest per-cabin fee, we could be first in line to embark and disembark.  Our room would be ready for us upon arrival, and (had we chosen to use the porter service) our bags would be waiting for us, too.  We chose to carry our own bags, and that made things even faster during disembarkation.  

When I first tried to book Faster to the Fun, no tickets were available.  Fortunately, I had read the advice to keep checking back, and sometimes additional tickets were released.  The day before we left, one ticket was available.  After double-checking that we only needed one ticket for both of us, we quickly snatched it up, and were so glad we did!  We enjoyed extra time on the ship upon arrival, and we literally had NO lines when it came time to disembark.  We walked off the ship at 7:15, walked directly to the customs agent, got in our car, found the freeways amazingly devoid of traffic, and arrived at Disneyland by 8:10!  Had we not have had Faster to the Fun, we wouldn't have even been able to join the line to get off the ship until after 9 or 10 (depending on whether we carried our own luggage.)  From what I have heard, disembarkation can be a very different experience than what we had.  

My advice?  If you book a cruise, Faster to the Fun is well worth the cost.  

We arrived at Disneyland in time to get drenched in a rain storm on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

4.  I'm thankful for the special greetings we had for our anniversary.  I had ordered room decorations to surprise John, but I didn't realize that it included a door decoration.  That made it really easy to find our cabin; ours was the door with the "Happy Anniversary" sign.  (Of course, I then forgot to take a photo of the door.)

5.  I'm thankful for the whimsical towel animals the room steward left in our room each afternoon, and for the fun towel animal class that was held on the at-sea day.  Seriously, I think I need to have some towel animals in my bathroom here at home.  They just make me smile. 

My attempt at a towel puppy
6.  I'm thankful for the unexpected surprises that met us throughout the week.  The first day, my name was drawn in a giveaway, and I won a huge spa towel.  Later in the week, John won several art prints.  When we were kayaking, a seal lion swam right up to our kayak and played with us.  He swam back and forth under the kayak, popping up on each side to snort before diving back down. Unfortunately, I did not have my camera available, so I only have memories of my seal lion friend.  

When the cruise was over, we went to Disneyland and stayed in the Ayres Hotel in Anaheim.  I had booked a regular room, but when we checked in they had upgraded us to a suite.  And what a suite it was! 

7.  I'm thankful for the pace of the cruise.  There was plenty to do, but we never felt rushed.  There was time to sit back and enjoy the view. 

view of the harbor out the porthole--or as John liked to call it, the starboardhole
sunrise on disembarkation day
8.  I'm thankful for the fun we had on port days.  Besides the aforementioned kayaking, we also snorkeled.  On another day, we visited an underground cave where cheese is aged.  That was a delicious tour, as we got to sample different cheeses, and then were served a gourmet lunch.  (Of course, the food during the entire cruise was delicious, as my scale could attest when we got home.)

9.  I'm thankful for the chance to try new things.  I'm not talking about food, though escargot is actually quite tasty.  I'm talking about the time when the cruise employee came into the audience and took me up on stage during comedian Seth Buchwald's improv show.  Let it be known, I was NOT volunteering.  During the long walk up on stage, I just kept hoping that I wouldn't be tongue-tied.  

Seth Buchwald had just finished his first skit when I was brought on stage.  There were three of us on stage:  the cruise employee who had selected me out of the audience, Seth Buchwald, and me. An audience member would ask a question, and the three of us would answer the question.  One person would say one word, the next person would add another word, the third person would add another word, and so on until the question was answered.  

Apparently I did fine.  After we answered quite a few questions, Seth asked me if I was OK.  I said yes (amazingly, I was calm and actually enjoying myself), and we continued answering questions from the audience.  At one point, Seth Buchwald brought up a young boy to join us, and we answered a couple more questions. Then the show was over.  I was up there practically the whole show!  

Of course, we had left our camera in our room, so we don't have photos of me on stage.  However, we did run from the 9th floor aft, down to the 5th floor forward, back to the 9th floor aft, in order to retrieve our camera and get this photo of me and Seth after the show:

10.  I'm thankful for John.  We have so much fun together, whether we are doing silly things like folding towel animals, or serious things like attending the temple together (which we did on our final vacation day).  It is just so nice to be married to my best friend!

What are you thankful for?  

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  1. What an amazing trip you two had! Nothing better than having a great time with your best friend like this. I'm really happy for you.
    Having some fun times with a seal-lion sound like a special time too!
    Oh, I remember those towel-animals from my trip on the river Nile (Egypt). Our steward made those too, but the last day he made an entire towel-man from blankets, towels and our pyama's, sitting on the edge of the bed. It startled the ***bleep*** out of us when we opened the door!!! Fun times though.
    I never thought about taking a cruise, but you make it sound so wonderful, we might have to consider it.
    Have a great weekend. xxx

    1. Oh, that towel-man would have been a real surprise!

  2. What an amazing way to celebrate an anniversary!

    I have to tell the truth... It took me a moment on the mention of anaheim. I was like wait, where. Disneyland, Disneyworld. Opposite sides of the USA But In my head i just thought Disney.
    I like your puppy towel.
    I will confess I have never been on a cruise.

    1. Yep, I'm a west coast girl. Disney World is fun, too, though. :-)

  3. Sounds like an amazing trip! I've never done a cruise and have often thought of considering it. Happy anniversary too!

  4. wow what a great time! I always love those little towel guys too! I love that you two always look so happy together. I would have been a wreck on stage the whole show! and sea lions! holy much in this post it sounds wonderful!

    1. I must admit, my heart pounded a bit when some guy asked the question, "Where do babies come from?" in this family-friendly show. I had the last word: "Babies. . . come. . . from. . . your. . . hospital!" Whew. I figure it's the parents' place to provide further details. :-)

    2. hahahahhahhaa! Perfect answer! Classic!

  5. What a wonderful trip you both had - the sea lion story is so amazing - yes animal towels would make me smile too, and sharing these moments with your best friend is priceless.

    1. Maybe I need to learn how to make a towel sea lion!

  6. Happy Anniversary. You know I've never been on a cruise and my husband doesn't really seem interested. There was some valuable info in your post about Faster to the Fun which I will, for sure, pass on to any friends that will be taking a cruise. Sounds like you had a great time - stage star, prize winner and maker of towel animals.

    1. Maybe you can go on a cruise for a girl's trip sometime. Hmm, maybe I'll have to call my sister and mom. . .

  7. holy smoke! little bit of a week there, no?

    (btw you have to wonder about the first person to think of towel animals… yeah, but it's like a spider with the washcloths just so and the passengers will be so surprised in the morning!!

    coolest thing had to have been the successful logistics… the getting there and leaving there can be such a big ordeal, you guys did well. and hotel suites? very cool

    1. Little bit. :-)

      I'm not sure how I feel about spider towels. Did you read Bianca's comment above? I think a spider would be less scary than a towel man made out of pajamas!

      Everything worked out wonderfully well.

  8. Happy anniversary! The trip was a perfect way to celebrate. Thanks for sharing your memories and photos.

    1. Thank you. I think we're going to hope that anniversaries come around more often. :-)

  9. Wow! Lovely pics, and you guys look well-rested after the experience!! Now, I'm going to plan one myself!

  10. Love the pictures and the stories. Sounds like the perfect anniversary get-away :-)

  11. Your cruise does look like fun! I would love to take one but Grampy is not the adventurous type! And I do think you need towel animals! They are so cute!

    1. Time for a girl's-only cruise, then! :-)

  12. So glad to hear your trip went well! I went on a carnival cruise before and we were supposed to board at 11am but got delayed to 5pm because the trip before us was filled with ravers... and one of them DIED! So they had to have the cops and detectives come in and it was crazy. That's when I realized how much a cruise can change by who's there with you. So glad you guys had a great time together. What an awesome way to spend time with your hubs.

    1. YIKES! I don't think Faster to the Fun would have helped in that situation.

  13. I like your photo of the sunrise.
    The cruise sounds like a wonderful time.

  14. "an underground cave where cheese is aged." Since WHEN was cheese made in caves?! LOL

    Towel animals! Man, I must live a very sheltered life! What a cool idea:) Your towel puppy looks great! Nice touch with the glasses lol
    Very happy for you Kristi that everything was going your way for your special anniversary trip and that you and John had such a good time. And such Good luck! What a nice surprise to be bumped up to a suite.

    1. What? You haven't heard of world-famous Mexican cave cheese? ;-) Don't worry; I hadn't either, but it should be world-famous--it was certainly delicious!

      I was just following directions on the towel puppy. We were told to accessorize, then take a photo and disassemble for the next creation. :-)

      Everything did seem to go our way that week, but I never failed to be surprised.

  15. Okay, I have to confess that, as I was scrolling through the post, I caught just the very top of the picture with you and the comedian and thought to myself, "Wow, the humidity really got to Kristi's hair!" I was relieved to see it was actually the top of the comedian's head, and you looked your usual lovely self!
    I also love the last pic of you and John on the deck. What a nice vacation you had! I still have no desire to go on a cruise ship. None.
    I'm thinking your next cruise should be a Disney cruise....

    1. Curly hair. . you never know what will happen!
      So, you aren't tempted to cruise? I'd love to go on a Disney cruise, but I'm pretty sure my annual Disneyland pass doesn't cover that, and I'm not sure my budget does, either! :-)

  16. It sounds as if you had a wonderful time. I'm guessing there will be more cruises in you future?

  17. Such a joyful post! I would love to see a sea lion in the or see you on stage someday! I'm glad you and John went for the cruise. Clearly, it was a good decision!

    1. Oh, yeah, my next comedy tour is in the works. ;-) Just kidding; I think my improv performance was a once-in-a-lifetime occasion! I do think John and I will go on another cruise, though. And if you want to meet a sea lion, come to the west coast!

  18. Kristi! What a wonderful trip!!! I am thrilled that you were able to take the time and try so many new things. I am completely impressed with your improv! That isn't easy to do!

  19. AW!!! I was smiling SO BIG while reading all of this post Kristi!!! I'm just SO happy you did this and the stories and the pics are AWESOME!!!

    Good for YOU!!!

    1. Thanks. We really did have a good time. Now to figure out when to go again--because I don't think we'll wait 28 years!


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