Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The happiest place on the ocean

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14 different people ranging from 17 months to oh let’s just say over 55 years old.  14 different personalities, different fun meters, and different levels of tolerance… all going on vacation together.  You may think that is just CRAZY!!!  Well……. we are just that crazy.  It was pure chaos, complete and utter fun, and memories that I will cherish forever.  Most people would do a blog post and advertise Disney Cruise Lines…well as you know I am not most people.  This is definitely not an ad for DCL.  But it is real proof that a family of 14 can AND did go on a cruise together and had a “magical” time.   I will say it was the best cruise I have ever been on…everything was typical Disney… top-notch all the way!!!  Now with that being said…let me tell you about the FUN we had, after all we were on VACATION.   My pictures will tell my story.                                  

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My people…all 14 of us.  There were 6 cameras and many picture takers.  This crazy Nie-Nie/Granny was so happy with all the great pictures!!!!!  And everyone was really good about having their pictures taken…they learned early that it is best just to smile and get it over with :)

As a family, we know how to have a good time.  So this would not be hard for us…even on the open seas.  There was lots of dancing…which makes me HAPPY, HAPPY, HAPPY.

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We all got jiggy with it, got our groove on, shook our “bootys” (notice the pirate reference there), and yes, we did bust a move.

As for eating…well we are professionals.  There had been some dieting going on before so we were well prepared. Eating is what we Whitehursts do best.

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                             OMGOODNESS….just look at this face!!!!!!!!!!!

We all donned our pirate bandanas and were ready for pirate night.  Some took it a little more serious than others…that is just how we roll…ARGHHHHH!

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                    We all rocked the look but none as well as pirate Mames. 

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Pirate night was a blast and we really loved being “THAT FAMILY”.  You know the one everybody stares at and wishes they could be a part of!!!! :)  I had a complete stranger come up to me the next day and say…”I saw you with your daughter and grandchildren…and I told my daughter that I would be that kind of fun grandma one day”…let’s just say there were definitely some proud Mama/Nie-Nie/Granny peacock feathers all over the ship after that…..my heart smiled really big.

As you know about me, I don’t just like pictures…I LOVE LOVE LOVE pictures.  So there were many opportunities to “pose” for some really awesome pictures.

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The portholes were Warren and Annabelle’s favorite picture places! I think Pappy should put one in our house for them!!

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Amber and Warren posing in the water and Taylor and Annabelle on the red carpet showing their stuff!

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There was so much fun to be had and we had our fair share…there was much to smile about…lots of beautiful smiles!!!

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The utter and complete amount of beauty in this picture just astounds me… some of my beautiful girls.

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I will admit I am a sucker for a smile but these two here really get me EVERY time….love them A LOT!!!!!!  Does not get any cooler!!

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Warren and Amber smiling for the camera!!!  Love these faces!!!

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This picture was before Warren discovered the slide….he was all smiles after that. He was allowed to pout just a little...he was on VACATION.

Okay so we smiled a lot…but we also laughed a lot!!!!! These kinds of pictures are my FAVORITES!!!!

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Okay if that did not make you laugh out loud then there is no hope for you!!!  I can still hear the laughter I see in these faces….pure joy I tell you…PURE  JOY, JOY, JOY!

Something that makes this crazy old Nie-Nie/Granny really happy is group pictures…the ones with all my peoples faces in them.   There were not many but we did get some and I am every grateful for them and will treasure them always.
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This one is very special because Annabelle took it after telling all of us to "scootch" together. She was barking orders just like her Pappy does when he takes pictures…it was priceless.

We did see some beautiful scenery while on the ship so I will include some even though there are none of my beautiful people in them. 

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In one of the dining rooms they had interactive screens on the walls.  It looked like we were under the ocean and could see animated creatures swimming by…they would ask us questions and Warren and Annabelle got really good at answering the riddles.  I loved to see their little minds working…so much concentration and on VACATION!

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“Crush” the sea turtle actually talked to our table.  Probably because we were the coolest pirates in the dining room….well actually on the ship but that is not the point. He called me pirate lady and the kids loved it.  I was taking pictures of my beautiful grandbabies and did not want to be talking to a turtle but he was very persistent and would not leave me alone.  He wanted me to take his picture so I did and it was really cute because Dory completely photo-bombed him.  And when he said that, the whole dining room was laughing.  He asked what we were celebrating and out of  nowhere I said “LIFE”.  It sounded kind of corny and hippy-ish but I meant it.  I was there with my family and that is what I was celebrating!!! Again, he wanted me to take his picture…he posed with his arms and legs straight out and said it was what he called “caught”.  I only got part of him because my camera was still zoomed in because I had been taking close up pictures of my gorgeous grandbabies…I do have my priorities…if it is between a crazy talking turtle and my babies….well I will let you guess that answer. :)

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Speaking of fun…my Adam and Lauren ran in a 5k race and they were on VACATION! They had to buy their race t-shirts…the only prize they got was a Mickey medallion and a crazy Nie-Nie/Granny cheering them on as they started and finished!!  Pappy and Taylor were there too.  We were so proud!!!

Some pictures just don’t need words…here are some of my favorites.

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OMGOODNESS did you see the pirate tutus…..adorable.

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                Yo Ho Yo Ho a pirate’s life for me……

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PIRANHA !!!!! just kidding…but it is amazing what you can do with a few cheez-its.

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Here is Warren’s slide…and here is Warren and Amber swimming once again to the ladder so Warren can slide AGAIN…after all he was on VACATION.

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Annabelle loved the “glass elevator” but most of all the bunk bed.

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Maybree loves her Daddy and most of all eating chocolate at 10:00 at night…hey Jack, she was on VACATION.

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So yeah, 14 people of various walks of life…on VACATION together.  We had a blast and there was something for everyone.  What was my favorite part…you may be surprised…

I loved the fact that I got to sit in the back seat of the suburban with my cool grandsons, Elliot and Warren.  They are great travel partners.  And my sweet, Elliot did not even make fun of my Stevie Wonder impression while I was sleeping.  He was not worried that I would head bob too far and hit him on the shoulder with my big old head.  I never heard him snicker, laugh, or sigh.  He is awesome.

I loved waiting in line with Annabelle to see the characters…her being anxious to meet them and the looks of excitement and awe on her face when she talked with them. To see life through the eyes of a child…kindly amazing.

I loved the taste of “THE” ice cream.  No, not the soft serve I served myself…the ice cream Maybree shared so graciously with me each and every time she ate some.  Hers was so much more full of flavor…must have been the extra sugar :) And I was not about to NOT taste what she so generously offered.

I loved the fact that EVERY time I asked where Warren was while we were on the island the answer was 99% of the time…”He is on the slide”.  We may have got our moneys worth of ice cream…but Warren definitely got his moneys worth of sliding…he loved it and it was so fun to see him enjoying himself so much.

I loved the beautiful blue waters at the island…but the best part was being out there in that water with Annabelle practicing her ballet dance moves.

I loved going into Kelsey, Elliot, and Taylor’s room the night before we left to help them pack.  We cut up and joked around about everything.  I love to do or say things to make them all either laugh out loud or blush…there was a lot of both.  Those times are too few but times that I will always remember in my heart.

I loved the laughter, the smiles, the moments of total relaxation and the moments of total chaos.  I don’t have to go on a cruise to experience these things on a daily basis but this cruise made it possible to experience these things with all my people at once…priceless…