Monday, November 30, 2009

And A Happy New Year

Oh the weather outside is delightful, but the fire is so frightful…

I love winter and I love this time of year. In the words of Bing Crosby and Danny Kay, “What is Christmas with no snow?”

I remember that It snowed last Christmas and it was glorious indeed. It seems as though once Christmas is over, snow and ice is just ugly white cold slushy dangerous stuff; perhaps. However, I still love snow storms.

This past thanksgiving was pleasant aside from me having a cold. Luckily Thursday wasn’t the height of my sickness so it was bearable…it was the next day which is decoration day. I have to rest every ten minutes because my throat was so painful every time I tried to swallow. It got that way from moving around a lot. All the same, I played the Christmas music and I got the decor up.

I’m so thankful for my family. I love my parents and siblings and the relationships I have with them. I love that we are a Disney family and that have the opportunity to vacation together so often and with Disney; it really is a dream come true. I’m thankful for my education and that I’m as far into college as I am. I love that I know where I’m going with my career and that if feels right and I enjoy it. I’m thankful for my employment. It was tricky getting a job, but I have one now and it’s a lot of fun. I’m thankful that home is a safe place for me and that I always want to be there. I’m thankful for good health and good health of my family. I’m thankful for the privilege I have to tend my nieces still. I’ve been doing it twice a week for four and a half years and it’s been  very rewarding. I’m so lucky to have a way to make a bit more money on the side. My sister is so generous to me in this. And most of all, again I’m thankful for my family and the love we share with each other; the love clearly comes from Heavenly Father.

On a slight tangent, I’d like to one day come in contact with Kozy and ask them why they cut off Christmas music on December 26. Hmm…We wish you a merry Christmas we wish you a merry Christmas we wish you a merry Christmas and a HAPPY NEW YEAR! New years is part of the “Holidays” and I really wish they’d realize that. Now, I’ll still listen to the Christmas music on my ipod if they won’t play it, but it’d be nice to turn it on on the radio when my ipod is dead.

What is playing on my Ipod you ask? Well I listen to only the best and the music I grew up listening during the holidays:

Mannheim Steamroller

Pat a Pan

Joy to the World

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

Deck the Halls

Stille Nacht

Good King Wenceslas

Neil Diamond

Morning Has Broken

White Christmas

The Christmas Song

War is Over

Santa Clause is Coming to Town


What I love about my family’s New Years tradition is that we go up to Logan and stay with our grandparents. Although Grandpa Scott passed away in June, It’ll be slightly different without him there. It’ll be quieter with less laughs. But of course we won’t forget him. So it’s fun to know after Christmas we still have our trip there to look forward to. We have snow ball fights and play pool and ping pong as it snows outside, we go to Smith’s Market Place to buy treasures for the men and their New Years shoe. I love that tradition and I get weird looks when I tell people about how on New Years Eve we lay out our shoes and in the morning there’s a little gift or two with candy; it’s just another fun surprise to look forward to.

What’s most hard to believe is that it’s just this time of year again. I remember more than perfectly everything I was doing a year ago. Once we get to this time of year, time freezes which makes the year until now seem  like it really flew.

Well until my next post, Merry Christmas.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Our Disney Cruise…Off the Florida Key

I finally found the time to talk about our cruise. There’s so much to say to I had to take a lot of time to do it! Enjoy!


November 7, Saturday morning we made our way to the airport. I was feeling sick all night and crossed my fingers extra tight, tighter than the parent trap twins, that I’d get better for our most magical vacation. Feeling mediocre on the way to the airport, and on the plane, I finally felt recovered Saturday night; I was very glad. We stayed at a most exquisite Marriott in Orlando near the airport. We had a pleasant night, aside from our twittered stomachs anticipating what we would see the very next day. In a hurry, that very next day came swiftly. We got ready and caught our van that would deliver us to the port of dreams. After about an hours ride, a very frightful one to most of my kin, rumors have it that the driver was going eighty, though I didn’t mind nor notice, we arrived at Port Canaveral and spotted as if it was a contest who could spy it first, the Disney Wonder. Once we got out of the van, a perfect Florida breeze hitting our faces, we made our way through an unfamiliar detour due to construction right at the site. We entered the doors under the huge sign that read DISNEY CRUISE LINE and got through security safely, except for my elder brother Ben…you’ll have to ask him yourself ;) We nearly walked impatiently up the escalators up to the enormous lobby where we would check in and board the ship. To much of our surprise, the entire building was decorated for Christmas. I was so glad because I had been hoping it would be; and seeing the lobby decorated triggered our thoughts to the possibility of the ship’s interior to be all decorated. I’ll skip ahead and give away the 16259_203340766390_586086390_4413917_6275106_nsurprise that it was decorated! As we finally entered in the boat the greeters asked our last names then announced through their microphones, “Disney Wonder please welcome the Fowles and the Jensen Family!” It was quite thrilling really.  Well this being our second cruise, we found ourselves a bit more familiar with our surroundings and where to find our rooms. We did so speedily, and went directly to Beach Blanket Buffet. We enjoyed a big lunch and then went off to explore the ship. At around three or four in the afternoon, the sail away party began with dancers and even some Disney characters hopping on stage to dance as well. It was very fun to be in the crowd dancing away knowing all this fun we’re having is only the 16259_203340896390_586086390_4413933_6862715_n beginning! Before the ship took off, we heard it’s horn blow loud and clear “When you wish upon a star…” How cute is that. And before we knew it, we were treading water. That night there was a show in the Walt Disney theater called The Golden Mickey's and what it was was parts of almost every Disney movie played out on the stage; it was very entertaining. My favorite one was Tarzan. Anyway, after that we just explored some more, ventured to the various lounges and hallways. Again, it was so delightful to see beautiful Christmas wreathes up against the windows, and Christmas trees here and there and the main lobby where we first walked in had a enormous tree by the stairs. It was glorious to see these decorations throughout the ship and what was even more wonderful is that there was music playing in the halls and elevators and that music was from Disneyland! I did not remember that happening  from our first cruise so it was so fun. The first night was a lot of fun because the boat rocked a lot because of our speed and it was extremely windy outside. My dad and my brothers and I all went to the bow of the ship and stood at the very front. The wind was so strong we could hardly walk without having to hold on to the railing. It blew against our faces that we could hardly open our eyes.  They tried their best to play basketball. It was funny to see their shots blow right back at them after shooting. I’ll never forget that night.


Well, Monday morning we arrived at Nassau and got off the ship at around ten a.m. All of us went straight to the scooter rental place to get our scooters, then we rode them around for a while, then us ladies were dropped off at the flee markets while the men rode away happily (All this while, little Reese was being taken care of at the adorable Oceaneers Club.) We found cute purses and jewelry and didn’t have to spend all that much! Well I don’t want to keep going into unnecessary details, so I'll be haste. Mom and dad 16259_203350111390_586086390_4413986_893200_nwent to Atlantis, while me and the16259_203350211390_586086390_4414002_1319269_n older sibs did some more joy riding to a beach a bout a half our along the coast. It was so neat to ride around and get to know the country instead of lingering in boring tourist boundaries. Well we all had to be back on the ship at 6 pm or it’s ‘so long Disney Wonder, hello life on an island with no airport.’ or so I’ve heard they have no airport. Anyway, that night was a lot of fun…we…ok I actually can’t remember what we did exactly but I know what we did was absolutely magical! During the cruise, we had dinner at three places. Sunday night was Animators Palate, Monday night was Parrot Cay, Tuesday night was also Parrot Cay and Wednesday night was Tritons which we did not do, a few of us went to the five star Palo while the remainders wallowed in self pity due to insufficient age/lack of desire and possibly money (Palo is an additional $15). Well the reason why I brought up where we ate is because that was where we were able to first meet our waiter/waitress. They were great to us and we will always remember them as we still remember our first ones! My favorite place we dined at was probably Parrot Cay. Our table was right by the huge window. We were quite lucky.


Well moving on to Tuesday, November 10. We arrived early at Disney’s private Island, Castaway Cay. 16259_203359331390_586086390_4414041_7468566_nThe weather was perfect, as it was at Nassau. I somehow lost my family as they went ahead without me and ventured to the beach while I wasted precious time searching for them on the extra large boat. Frustrated at them I gave up and went ahead to the beach hoping to stumble upon them. I took a few pictures by myself and had some “alone” time I guess (not like I needed it) but then as I approached the family beach (there are three beaches, the family beach, teen beach and serenity bay for people ages 18 and older) I was spotted by my father. I was relieved I will be frank. I felt like a child, so upset that I was lost, though I did not shed a tear. Well we all enjoyed a relaxing morning on the beach. The water was very warm once you got use to it. It was so amazing to sit on the sand breathing the Bohemian air  and looking at the ship just parked there so still thinking, 16259_204156381390_586086390_4418544_7985364_n“I can’t believe we’re here.” Every minute on that island was truly fascinating. Well, after not too long, we were already quite anxious to go rent our bikes. Little Reese was dropped off with the oceaneers and we went ahead on our bikes and went exploring. Our surroundings were beautiful. We were even fortunate to receive a little precipitation while riding. It was a humid warm rain, but still neat. 16259_203359396390_586086390_4414051_4650393_nOnce we dropped of the bikes after a relaxing hour of riding, it was time for lunch.  The barbeque they had for us was exceptional. Disney just loves to party so while we were eating there was music playing, games going on, and of course characters wandering about. I loved it! Well, after lunch we made our way over to Serenity Bay. The man in charge of rentals for tubes and pads let us have five of them for free because we told him we were only going to use them for an hour or so, not the entire day like as the offer called for.  16259_203359431390_586086390_4414055_1436188_nNow Serenity Bay was my favorite. The water was as warm as a pool. Laying on that pad drifting slowly was one of the most relaxing times of my life. It was so quiet and a light cool breeze would brush over me but not make me cold because the water would flood over me a few inches or so. I did not want to leave.


So we spent about an hour at Serenity before we had to start making our way back to the ship. We got some shopping in and some last minute pictures of the beaches and the Flying Dutchman (the ship used in the movie Pirates of the Carribean: Dead Mans Chest is parked there) with the ship; great picture with the two together.


16259_203359471390_586086390_4414062_5770824_nWell it was  sad as my mom and I leaned against the railing saying goodbye to Castaway Cay. Were were at sail again and were going to be for the next 36 hours. Tuesday night was the traditional Pirate Party Disney holds every night after Castaway’s visit. All it really was was dancing. We were all kind of thinking…”ok we get the point…you guys like to dance” but hey, I got into it so it was fun! That night after we all did some shopping in the little stores, we met in the Walt Disney theater for the showing of the new Christmas Carol with Jim Carrey. It was good! And also that night at eleven p.m. was Karaokee at Wavebands lounge. My brothers Bryce and Brad both did Johnny Cash songs and I did Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean and then Ben and Lindsey did a duet from Grease. It was a fun night!

Wednesday November 11 was our day at sea. We swam and ate and ate and swam. In the afternoon some of us went to the showing of “UP” in the Buena Vista Theater. I loved it! It was my first time seeing it and I almost cried. Hanging out on the deck was a lot of fun. Seeing nothing but the ocean was thrilling. There’s a brand new cafe called Outlook cafe that has all glass windows above the Cove (adult pool) 16259_203359571390_586086390_4414077_7807935_nso you can see everything including the ocean. Around six thirty that evening, a thunder storm occurred. It was so awesome to see the waves slowly get higher and rougher and to see the rain drops collapsing constantly on them. Although we didn’t feel a difference in the rocking of the boat, we still got the same affect just by staring at the waves crashing against the boat. As we hung out on the deck, we began a game of shuffle board. About five minutes in, were were surprised to see Captain Hook walking towards us, then we were even more surprised to see that he wanted to play with us! So we handed him a stick and he played for a few minutes. We were so lucky that dad came outside in time to take pictures of us with him. Those pictures are priceless. That night it was our night to dine at Palo. 16259_203359656390_586086390_4414091_3168890_nWe got to dress up  which was fun. Mom and dad and my youngest brothers didn’t16259_204156426390_586086390_4418547_3166218_n come, only I and my elder siblings. It was dark outside but we could still see and hear the rain hitting the large glass windows. It was fun to be able to look outside. After dinner, we met up with the others to hear the most exciting news! Mom and dad added more points to our vacation club and the reason for that action is because only on the ship were they offering points at a killer discount, and so they couldn’t resist! They saved thousands of dollars. We were all so excited. This means our Disney vacations will come even sooner after each other. So after that little pow wow we made a movie together. Just took random clips of funny things we were doing on the ship, as if we were being spied on. Lindsey and I spent a little while longer in Cadillac Lounge located on deck 3 at the bow of the ship. We got to know a waiter there named Ross. He was very nice, and very cute I’d like to add. What was crazy is that as we were sitting there, the time being about eleven thirty, we looked behind us toward the huge windows, and saw that we were already slowly approaching our dock. I couldn’t believe it. My brother in law Chad and I, always being the ones who stay up last and latest, went out on deck and watched us port. It was neat. After that, we retired and we all woke up to one last breakfast at Beach Blanket Buffet, then sadly walked off the ship. We took a few last looks at the Wonder before our van picked us up. We immediately  already began reminiscing  of our experiences and thrills and it was that way on the ride to the airport, waiting for our flight, sitting on the plane, getting off the plane, and in the car driving home. Today is Thanksgiving November 26 and we all watched videos and pictures together in our theater laughing and loving every minute of it. The day after we returned, we all still felt like we were on vacation. We didn’t know what to do with ourselves. It all seemed like a dream that cruise. It was truly magical and I wouldn't cruise with any other line. Long live the mouse! :)

Monday, November 2, 2009

Dear October

Farewell October. Like the others you flew by incredibly fast, but you truly are my favorite month. You sent fall a bit late I'd say...but you also snowed and that was thrilling! I'm going to miss you terribly because I love everything that goes on: Halloween, red and oranged leaves, cool breezes and just a fall feeling! I love the cozy feel every day. Now, I want to let you know what I was for Halloween, you're final day. I was wind blown on the 30th and then a milk jug on Halloween. I got to wear those to work so it was fun! Ahh I still can't believe how much I already miss you. Although it is still fall out, it won't last for too much longer because snow is going to invade, but don't worry I'll still love you more.