Friday, April 29, 2011


Everyone always raves of Cozumel, I wasn't too impressed. I'd rather be in the USA than in Mexico!

On our way to Cozumel the ride was very rocky, it was hard to walk on the ship, and a lot of people got sick. By the time we arrived in Cozumel, around 1 pm, everyone was feeling better. I was fortunate enough to not get sick. Don's sister and went to a pilates class on the ship the morning of the cozumel excursion, and the same morning the ship was bouncing around. Needless to say the spa was on the 11th floor and was very very rocky. Try doing pilates moves with the floor moving, it's not easy. Don's sister didn't make it through the class, she had to run to the restroom. I finished the class and have been sore ever since. :). Between the pilates, all the walking, and the stairs, I am exhausted.

When we arrived in cozumel we arrived early, (I think the boat was "speeding", and that is why the ride was so bumpy), and also the reason we arrived 30 mins earlier than scheduled.
We went and had a drink at SeƱor frogs and then back to the pier to catch the taxi to our excursion. In cozmel we did the zip lining. After getting our gear on and then having the safety briefing, we climbed the first tower. The worst part of the whole thing was climbing the stairs. They were very steep, and I don't like stairs anyways. Once to the top we all got very nervous. No one in my group chickened out. There wad another 17 year old girl with us, and her mother climbed up and then right back down, she didn't even try. :(. I felt bad for her daughter so we included her in our group. There was also a younger boy with his father, his dad did one, and then climbed down. So of course we included him too. The actual zip lining was like a ride at an amusement park. It wasn't jerky at all. We had someone push us off and catch us at the other end. Wish there had been more than just green leaves to look at, but hey, the "ride" was fun.After the zip lining we saw a peacock and some iguanas walking around. Pictures are on the camera, not the phone, so I'll add them later.

After zip lining we were sent off in a taxi to a beach resort. I wouldn't really call it a resort, and it didn't have much of a beach, but hey it's Mexico. We stayed at the resort for a few hours, swam in the pool, jumped off the pier into the ocean and relaxed under an umbrella.

After the resort we were sent off in another taxi and back to the ship. We met the rest if the family at the ship and headed out to find some authentic Mexican food. We had gotten the name of a good restaurant from the zip line guys. So we walked around until we found it.
After eating we had to book it back to the ship, and we got there as they were putting the last bridge in. They pulled it back out for us and let us on board.

While in Mexico Don's brother lost his debit card
and someone found it and drained his account. The next night at dinner is when we found out his account was drained. He tried to get a drink and his card was declined. Luckily he had been flirting with the waitress the whole trip, so she let him have the drink anyway. He then headed down to guest services to see what he could do since that was the only credit card he had, and the one the room was on. His mother ended up bailing him out. He'll have fun when he gets home getting that mess sorted out. He did call his bank from Mexico as soon as he realized the card was missing.
After getting back on the boat at 9:30, we headed back to Miami. We spent the day Thursday at sea. The ride was soo smooth, I actually forgot we were on the ship.
Now we are back in Miami
and waiting to check in to our room. The hotel has a nice lounge with comfy chairs,
I'm going to go see if I can find a seat at the pool. I have my sunscreen on, and I haven't burnt yet!

Talk to you soon!


Key West

Good morning all!

Our first stop was Key West. We arrived around 7 am as scheduled. We then took a pre-arranged shuttle to our shore excursion. In Key West we took a guided kayak tour. Abby and I shared a kayak and Don had his own. I hadn't kayaked before this trip, but it was a lot of fun. I think the double kayak we had was actually harder because you have to paddle in sync and rely in your partner to help you turn and steer. Abby and I did alright, we didn't tip the kayak over, but we did run into the trees. I had to lay down in the kayak so my head didn't get taken off by the tree. We provided entertainment for the rest of the yakers.
Our guide had a net and caught a live star fish, sea cucumber, and picked up a queen conch shell for us to pass around. Don took pictures on his camera, I was afraid mine was going to go in the water, so I will post those when we get home.
After kayaking we walked around downtown key west. They have very narrow streets there, and our guide told us all the sand in brought in from other places.
I called mom while we were waiting for the shuttle back to the ship. We were standing by a live web cam and she was able to see us. The URL is if I remember correctly.

On the ship they have buffets and all the food is
included on the cost of your cabin. Drinks are extra. There are shops and plenty of entertainment venues with live music. Every night on the ship is party night.
You can go to the casino, hang by the pool, go to a dance club, watch the water go by from the
observation deck, or watch a show or movie in the theatre. Oh, they also have a water park, mini golf course, and a jogging track on board the ship.
After leaving key west we sailed to Cozumel.

The view from where we ate conch critters, fish tacos, oysters, and crab cakes in key west.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, April 25, 2011

On the boat

Last night we went to Jaxon's ice cream parlor and had a dusty road.

Three jumbo scoops of ice cream, chocolate malt powder, hot fudge and whipped cream.

Today, we checked out of the hotel and headed to the Miami airport to drop off the car, and then took a FREE shuttle to the ship. We arrived a little later than I would have liked, nut nonetheless we are here. We checked in to our room, and have eaten lunch. Today we had mongolian grill.

Returning the car to the airport was quite the adventure, we had to drive around the whole airport, and then they had us doing u turns instead of making a turn lane. How weird!
Anyways, this is the view from deck 10 of the ship where we had lunch.

I didn't get a picture of the outside of the ship, but we'll try to get one of those at port.

Until next time.......


Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Dania beach

After a layer of sunscreen, we have arrived at Dania Beach.

Beach #1 Dania Beach

We are going to relax here for a while and then go find some lunch.

The lifeguard is blowing his whistle, someone went our to far.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Dinner pictures

Abby's fish and chips

Don's boiled sampler

My baked sampler

I had already eaten half of my scallops before i remembered to take a pic. Sorry, can't rotate the pics on my phone, you'll have to stand on your head for one of them. Don't stay that way too long or you might pass out.

Since we arrived later last night, it was dark shortly after we got here. I take more scenery pictures today and send them. Just remember, the camera on an iphone isn't that great. But something is better than nothing right?

Talk to you soon!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

We arrived in Fort Lauderdale

We made it! When we got to our hotel, the room we booked, with 2 double beds was not available, so they upgraded us to a one bedroom suite. And let me tell you, it is a suite room! There is even a kitchen with a stove, dishwasher, and a full size fridge, and microwave for our leftovers.

We are sitting at a restaurant called the ale house waiting for our dinner. Don and Abby are watching the original Jurassic park on one of the many TV's. I ordered the seafood sampler platter with a southern sweet tea.

Gotta go, food is here. Yum, yum!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Amy's Trip

Amy is not able to post while sitting at the airport so I am posting this for her. Her login won't work.

Good Morning all,
We, (Donald, Abby, and I) are sitting at the Madison airport waiting for our flight. Our original flight was scheduled to leave at 9:10am, however that flight was cancelled, the crew didn't show up. Our new flight is scheduled for 12:15, so here we wait. We are flying into Fort Lauderdale now instead of West Palm Beach. Our hotel is in Fort Lauderdale so we won't have as much driving now. We also had to change our rental car, but that is done now. Greg did us a huge favor and got up early and brought us to the airport this morning. Thank you Greg! We were here by 7:30 and ready to go, to bad our flight crew wasn't as efficient. :o( So why are we going to Florida you might ask? We are going on the first cruise of our life. We will be boarding Carnival Imagination on Monday. We will head to Key West on Tuesday, Cozumel on Wednesday, and then back to Miami on Friday morning. We will be back in Madison on Saturday and my wonderful brother will meet us at the Madison airport. He even downloaded the American Airlines App so he arrives at the right time.
Some of our adventures will be: In Key West we will be kayaking, in Cozumel we will go ziplining. We are looking forward to a fun filled week ahead of us. I have packed a few bottles of sunscreen, we will be picking up sunglasses (anteojos del sol, for those who would like to learn a new Spanish word today), and sun hats for Abby and I. Time for family bonding. Talk to you all soon!
Love, Amy

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

News from Kimberly

Kimberly is having issues signing into the blog, so I thought I'd share this recent fb post with you on her behalf.

"Many of you know and many of you do not know - Branden and I are expecting IDENTICAL TWINS later this year! Yes, Ayden will be a big brother! Yes, we are going to have our hands very full and we could not be more excited to extend our family and be even more full of love, laughter and happiness! We can't wait for their arrival and just pray they are healthy little babies!"

Also, they will be moving to a house just down the street from us! So, I can be there at a moments notice to help out with whatever (except in the middle of the night, per Scott - which can be overridden by my maternal instincts). So, life is pretty dull in my corner of the world. How about yours?

BTW - party at my house for Easter. If you don't have plans, feel free to join us, but you have to let me know by Friday so I can give you your duty assignment.

Love you all!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Robyn's Recipe

Ok, you asked for it, and here it is - Robyn's 10-Minute Appetizer!
1 Pkg (8 oz) softened cream cheese
1/2 C Miracle Whip dressing
TOPPING: 1 C chopped tomato
1 C chopped cucumber
1/4 sliced black olives
Athenos crumbled feta cheese with herb and garlic

Mix cream cheese and dressing until well blended. Spread on dinner platter or serving platter. Layer toppings over cream cheese. Sprinkle with the feta cheese. Serve with your favorite Nabisco crackers or cut fresh vegetables. ENJOY!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Relay For Life

Hello, this is Lexi (Holland if you are confused ;)) I am participating in Relay for Life-University of Tampa this year as you may have heard. The reason I am choosing to participate this year is because of the struggle I have found in dealing with Bill's cancer, as well as hearing that of my Papa Jean( Grandpa Holland). It just is not fair that so many people have to go through the agonizing chemo and the strain in the family trying to keep hope alive to finding the cure. By donating to American Cancer Society, you are helping thousands find the cure for cancer, the tiniest thing that kills so many people year round. I know every one of you has dealt with someone who has cancer, and I just hope that you think of them when you make a donation. Any amount you can donate is an amount worth giving :) Many tears have been shed over this six letter word ( cancer), but we can turn those tears of sorrow into tears of hope. Hope never dies, but someday, cancer will. You guys have seen me deal with Bill's cancer through the best and worst of times, and you guided me into something better, some path that led me to participating in this event, and for that I would like to thank you. When everything else feels empty, hope and love prevail. Thank you guys! Thank you for reading this, and I hope you know that you are making a huge difference . Hope is in the air. Let the helping hands unite! I love you all! You guys mean the world to me :) You can donate by going to: click at the top: donate then participant and search for Lexi Holland ( both first letters capitalized, I have two accounts but please use this one) and click in the right hand corner where it says "support Lexi R. Holland" and it will take you from there. Pass the word on to as many people as you can possibly think of. :) Thank you so much! Let's make a difference! Lexi Holland.

Update from Dawn Blog Queen Extraordinaire... at 7:17 CST:
Here's the link directly to Lexi's Relay for Life website:

That should be easier than having to hunt!
Rock on Lexi!  So proud of you!  XOXO