Cruise Picts Posted

Cruise Picts Posted

I have posted most of the cruise pictures now.

For anyone wondering about whether a cruise is a great deal or not...talk to us. It was great, mostly because there were so many that helped us get out there. But it was really wonderful. What is better than spending 24 hours a day for an entire week with your sweetheart! That is not counting all the adventure, food, new people and places.

It was great, the benefits to us and our frame of mind are beyond our expectations! Thanks to all that helped!


The Back...

The Back...

Here is the back of the Megazooka, cocked and ready!!!


Megazooka!!!

Megazooka!!!

I don't know if many of you are familiar with the Airzooka that my dad got, but this is even better. I just had to post this one. These are so fun! The Airzooka shoots out air towards where you are aiming. It is especially fun with pets, not saying I've tried it before :). This bad boy is the upgraded Airzooka, complete with a scope, trigger, second handle, bigger chamber, and a locking device. Obviously, when you pull the trigger, the locking device comes off and the air blasts your cat...I mean...those papers on the table. The extra handle is for steady aiming. It also comes in a sweat color.


Diana is happy

Diana is happy

Well, we have been on the cruise for just over 24 hours now. We are happy to have the first day over. It started out well and ended well, just lots of stuff in the middle.

Joseph and Michael got up early with us and took us to the airport at 4:30am! (just imagine what time we needed to get up to shower and prepare...then factor in that we packed the night before...we were working on not much sleep!)

Our flight was fine to Houston. There we signed up with a shuttle company to take us to Galveston. Turns out that was a long wait, a harrowing ride, and we were just thankful we finally made it to the cruise port. By the way, I don't think Galveston is going to win any contests for the most beautiful city, at least the parts that we went through. You board in a real industrial district, it looks like there are petroleum processing plants, sand and rock processing and lots of warehouses. There was no sand, no beach. In fact we walked into a large warehouse, showed our documents and climbed what seemed to be painters scaffolding to get into the boat.

pictures

Once in the ship though, you entered another world. Everyone was there to help you. Things are beautiful. We found our "state room", we are in room C105 on the 10th floor. There are no rooms further to the front on our side of hallway. We have heard from some that you could feel the moving of the boat more in the front. I think it is true. I feel the movement much more in the room than elsewhere.

There seem to be two major decks where most of the stuff happens. Deck 14 is near the top with many pools, buffet, burger and pizza places and entertainment. From there you can walk up to the top levels where there are ball courts, minature golf, running track, etc. The large video screen is also on this level.

The second most used level is deck 7. Most of the theaters and restaurants are on this level. Since there is no real level 13 (goes from 12 to 14) then are room is right in between the other levels. 3 down or 3 up. One thing we didn't expect was how much walking we would be doing. Wow, from the front, where our room is, to the back of the ship is way down there. The elevators are used a bunch so that can really slow you down. So we just took the stairs everywhere. Everyone says you gain weight on a cruise, I know I didn't on that first day. We are going to have some pretty buff thighs by the end of this week!

The food is a big part of a cruise. That first day we only had a cup of yogurt before our flight in the morning. Southwest gave us some vanilla wafers and orange juice. We didn't eat anything again until about 4pm! We got on the ship at about 1:30pm. Then we went on a tour of the ship with one of the assistant cruise directors. When we made it back to our room our bags were at our door so we unpacked. Then the ship had to do the equivalent of the "put on your seatbelt" thing airplanes do. Except we each had to get our life preservers and then carry them to our "muster station" (we are to go to station "A", by the way!). They then showed us how to put them and let us go. We came back, dumped the life preservers and nearly ran to eat at 4pm! We were very hungry.

We decided to eat at the Buffet. It was nice but not outstanding, and we were hungry. We relaxed then. We started wandering around the ship investigating. We knew it was supposed to depart soon so we wanted to be where we could see that happening. So we walked from the bow to stern from the port side to the starboard (getting the lingo down eh?...by the way, port is left when you are looking to the front of the boat). Anyway, it is a very tall ship. The wind was always blowing up there even when we were not moving.

Finally the boat pulled away (about 2 hours late) and we decided to go into the theater for the 7pm showing of the first show...a welcome to the ship and a comedian. The welcome was fine, the dancers were good but we decided we would probably not go to the events with the dancers in it, not dressed the most modestly and how did Grandpa Free put it? "Vulgar hip movements"...yea I think that covered it. The comedian started out slow but really got us going as he started describing his adventure getting to the cruise and especially as he described the small rooms, bathrooms, soap, etc. The audience really responded because we had just been through that ourselves!

After the show we decided to go to our dinner in the restaurant. We chose "personal choice" dining. This means that we can pick any time to go to dinner from 5:30pm to 10pm. Each time we sit with several other couples (we could sit alone but are anxious to meet new people). We had a nice dinner. I couldn't decide between the beef filet or the salmon so I got them both! hee hee. Diana got the Salmon. We had fun talking with the four other couples at our table. We usually talk about where they are from, how many cruises they have taken and what they like best. It takes a while to get through the appetizers (I had scrimp cocktail) salad, soup and finally the entree. Then they come with desert...I had a scoop of rocky road ice cream and Diana had a strawberry and carmel sundae.

It was then about 10:30pm, we had been up since 3am, had walked miles. We were now fed, tired, and ready to relax. So we went to bed. We are definitely different than many people on board. Some of the activities don't even get started until 10:30pm! They have a Princess Idol contest. It is essentially a karoke event that everyone can sing and two make it from each night and then the final night the six perform and the winner is chosen. I guess it is a pretty hot ticket.

Oh I forgot to mention that at the buffett we sat with couple that turned out to be members from Salt Lake. They were on a special cruise sponsored by Joseph Allen and his two sons. A special Book of Mormon cruise. So there were about 190 people with that group. They had a sacrament meeting planned for the next morning at 9:30am and so we were invited.

Anyway, we were tired and finally felt like we could relax from all the stuff we were doing to get going and to get here. So sleep came easily. Too easily. Diana woke up and wondered what time it was. That is not an easy question on a ship...I finally found the time on one of the channels on the tv. It was 8:45am! So we each showered quickly and made it to sacrament meeting at 9:30am. It was wonderful to partake of the sacrament and have two wonderful talks. The sister talked about the scriptures and the brother talked about things their stake president had asked them to do. The meeting was under the direction of the Riverton 2nd ward I think. A member of the bishopric (I think), the High Priest Group Leader, the Elder's Quorum president, and others were there.

What a blessing that was for us. We were a bit anxious about how we could keep the sabbath day holy on the ship. But this worked perfectly. Afterward we went to the buffett for some breakfast. I was happier with this meal. Afterward we just sat at the table for some time watching the water go by. It was so great not to have to be anywhere. We just sat and talked and relaxed. I can't remember being in that mode. Maybe on the first day of a holiday or something. Anyway it was very pleasant. We then went back to the room and started working on a project (sorry it's top secret...don't get too excited). Then I took a nap while Diana was reading through her journal (I think she was going to write but got sucked into the reading!).

I then wanted to see if we could get internet access. We had tried to talk to someone the night before and no one was available. So we walked down there and figured it out. It was easier than the folks on the ship thought it would be. Anyway, we sat down there for awhile enjoying the piano playing. Soon the piano was playing "How great thou art". Pretty nice to have that playing on a Sunday...they knew Diana was near!

After the sacrament meeting the guy running the Book of Mormon tour, Steve Dana told all of us that weren't part of the tour to come to their meetings if we wanted to. So we went to the second half of one of their meetings. We talked to Steve and he invited us to all of the lectures. So how great is that? Tomorrrow we will hear lectures that they were going to give on the bus. We will also get free tender from the ship to Belize and to Grand Cayman as part of the group. We won't go with them to the ruins because that costs and there are no openings, but to hear the lectures and we are already scheduled to go to some ruins so we are happy.

You know picking the time of this cruise was due simply to scheduling. I was looking for the week that would fit and this was the only one. It wasn't until after we scheduled it did we realize it was over Valentines day, and what are the chances that our cruise has a sacrament meeting and free lectures on Book of Mormon sites. I'm never amazed at what people will do for Diana!

This evening was a formal dining night, seemed appropriate for Sunday. Diana got dressed up and she was stunning, even more than usual! I feel bad for her to walk around with me. I know people are saying..."How did a guy like that get a woman like that to like him?". I don't know the answer, I'm just happy she did. We had a very enjoyable meal with some wonderful couples. A couple from Indiana, Nebraska and Texas. I had the Mahi Mahi as did Diana. Diana loved it...I did too. For desert I opted for the William carmelized pear tart. I had no idea what it was but it sounded good. It was great. Think of a really fluffy pastry that is sliced in half, filled with some great cream like stuff and a pear that is sliced nearly all the way through and appears to have been saute in a sugar. It was great. Diana had the Chocolate Hazelnut souffle. It came out in a little bowl and the server would use two spoons to scoop it out and put it on your plate. They then poured some kind of sauce on it. It was very good...but I think the pear thing was better!

We then went to the many locations to have your picture taken. We will probably get one of these pictures. Then we came back to the room to work on the project and write emails so we can send them. Diana is currently napping. It is 7:30pm and she is happy to have the fancy shoes off.

We haven't done too good on the taking pictures front. We didn't even take our camera to get our picture tonight. But we do have a few. I will post them online.

Tonight I think we will go and send the email and then probably crash. We have missed a lot of what has happened on the ship today, there were two shows that we would of liked to have seen but we feel great about keeping the day holy. Truly we have been blessed. I'm afraid that one cruise will not do it for us. Everyone told us that we had to be sure and come with friends. Well, we each brought our best friend and I love it. We meet new people and enjoy their company. But then we are the ones that make the decisions what to do and when. If we are tired we are going to lay down, if we are hungry we'll eat. So it is great. Thank you all for helping us pull this off.

Tomorrow we will get to Belize. I think we will just go ashore and wander and maybe go to a beach or look through the shops. The ship is getting there late because we left late! Turns out a crew member didn't make it on board. (I thinking whoever it is is not a crew member any more!) So most of the shore excursions got canceled because we will get there two hours later. We have to go ashore however, so we can get some sand for Rebecca!

Well, this is long enough. I can't promise the same detail each night. Thanks to all, we love you.


Posts can be made!

We were able to get internet connection. It is not the best and it costs .35 cents a minute but I think we will be able to get on enough to update this blog...so keep your eyes peeled.

Grand Princess departs...

Grand Princess departs...

Well, we are nearly packed, it's after midnight and we need to leave for the airport at about 4am! We are excited about the cruise. The best part is Diana actually bought her some clothes. Rebecca was great to help her decide all the combinations and to give a good review of Diana's choices.

I have made a little web page that shows the webcams from the Grand Princess. It also has our itinerary. I'm not sure whether I will be able to get web access or not. If I can then we will try to update the blog if we can find the time. Thanks for all the well wishing.

We are very excited to relax...hope we can!

Here is the page.

Gondola Girl

Gondola Girl

Well, inspired by the topic of my recent magnet-letter phrase, my roommate and I decided to have a little fun. So

Fun Letters

Fun Letters

Hey, everyone! This is me in front of our refrigerator. Last year, my roommate Marie ended up with the letters you see (a complete set minus

Ryan and Rachel Free Wells

Ryab and Rachel Free Wells

You may not know it, but Uncle Duane's daughter, Rachel and her husband, Ryan Wells have lived in our ward since September. They sing in the ward choir with us and Rachel was just called to serve as a Young Womens' Music Leader. Holly is excited to work with her. We had them over to eat with us along with our Ryan and Stacy. Rachel, Ryan, and Chad beat us all in Cranium. (And they said that did so poorly the last time they played it. Yeah, sure. ;-)


The Baby's House

The Baby's House

Jordan took this picure today of, what Holly calls, the "Baby's House". Stacy is now about 21 weeks along and the baby is about 7-1/2 inches long.


Holly before Preference

Holly before Preference

Hi guys this is a picture of me and my friend Laura. Arn't we pretty?! This was my first date and it was very fun!
Sorry the picture didn't work, but it should come up if you click on it.


Adam sings Book of Mormon Stories...

Adam is shy. He doesn't even sing in family night. So when I saw him sing to his mom in the bathroom (that is something she will have to explain) I told him he should sing into the camera for Grandma and Grandpa. Surprisingly, he was excited! We went into a room where we could be alone and he sang his version of Book of Mormon stories...here is it, we got it in one take!

If the movie doesn't work for you then you can click here to hear just the audio.

Start the pointing and laughing

Start the pointing and laughing

So I forgot to write anything with the other picture...

Anyways, somewhere in this black and white mess the nurse says that there is at least 80% chance that we have a daughter coming. :) For those still pulling for a boy...well there is still a chance. We know plenty of would be girls that turned out to be just shy boys (ex. Jordan)


Hello Everyone!!!

Hello Everyone!!!

put comments here


Notice our great conductor, Ammon the elf. Too bad this picture doesn