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Saturday, January 26, 2013

Cruise memories

As the boat carried us home we reflected on the memories of the past week including...

amazing towel animals delivered to our rooms daily by our housekeeping staff,

Jacob under the table with his iPad escaping the noise of the dinning room, 

enjoying the sun with loved ones,

great cousin time,

dancing check to check,


great company,

door decorating,

learning to make famed towel animals,

having so much fun playing cards that the guy next to us asks to join in,

making the best of the time inside our cabins,

enjoying the Piano Bar's "Piano Man" until the wee hours of the morning,

a retreat to the nursery for the little ones,

jumping for joy,

smiles as we unload our chartered bus,

playing chess with pieces almost as tall as Jacob, and

secretly delivering the Seven Days of Crusin' to our family. 

I wanted to do something special for the family and wanted to get my kids involved.  My neighbor, Kathryn, shared what she use to do with her high school leadership students when they went to State.  She would decorate everyone's hotel door and find a way to leave them treats.  That gave me the idea to do the Seven Day of Christmas.  I've always wanted to do the Twelve Days of Christmas, and maybe this was my chance to modify the idea a bit. My kids helped me and David come up with the gift ideas for each day.  We wanted to give the families something that would be useful.  We organized the gifts to coincide with various planned activities.  For example, we knew we would be parasailing on one day, so that's the day we delivered sunblock and chap stick.  David helped me format the tags which I then cut out with my two new punches. My kids had so much fun sneaking the gifts to each cabin door and pretending they didn't know who it was from.  
Here's a glance at the specifics:

 On the FIRST day of crusin' my true love gave to me,
A Great Way to Communicate 
(white board and markers--which we used a lot because we had no cell phone service)

On the SECOND day of crusin' my true love gave to me,
TWO Sun Blockers 
(sun block and Chubby Chap chap stick)

On the THIRD day of crusin' my true love gave to me,
THREE Family Games
(pieces of Uno, a puzzle, and scrabble. 
The idea was that we would have to come together with all the pieces in order to play the games.  Worked great.)

On the FOURTH day of crusin' my true love gave to me,
FOUR Mexican Candies
(We found these coconut flavored, green, white, and red candies at a nearby store in St. George)

On the FIFTH day of crusin' my true love gave to me,
FIVE Gold Coins!
(It fit too perfectly with the song to not do this.  We found these coins at the same store mentioned above.)

On the SIXTH day of crusin' my true love gave to me,
SIXish Life Savors
(Trying to keep to the nautical theme--get it-- a life savor. Ha!)

On the SEVENTH day of crusin' my true love gave to me,
SEVEN+ days of memories
(We gave everyone a flash drive that contained all the photos taken from all the cameras during the week.  This was a labor of love.  We sorted, edited, and formatted over a thousand photos.  The result was a gift I think all the siblings appreciated.)
 I'll admit it was a lot of work, and it did take up an entire carry on, but it was well worth it.

This is one of the last sunset photos we took from the boat.  The entire experience is a memory we will always cherish.  I can't thank my parents enough for the opportunity to be together.  They are so good at cultivating experiences and this is one for the history books.

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