Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Pampered Chef Black Friday Sale!

Hi Friends!

It's been a long long time! Life gets busy and some things just have to take a back seat at times. I know I still need to post the second half of our extreme vacation from this summer and so much to catch up on but for now, I wanted to share my own pampered chef black friday sale! Check it out! So many great holiday ideas, recipes and gift sets!
Share this with any friends and family that might want to take advantage of this great offer!!!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Extreme vacationing part 1

First of all, I'm so sorry for my hiatus this summer. It's been busier than I wanted it to be but it's been a really fun summer so far. Anyways, onto the reason for this post:

Our family vacation:

It all started on June 28th, 2012. Derek and I left the Nashville airport around noon for our non-stop flight to Seattle, WA. My MIL and FIL were also in the air the same time as Derek and I. My SIL and BIL got in really late to Seattle that night. We stayed the night at a hotel in Seattle in anxious waiting for our alaskan cruise departure on the 29th. It was nice to be there the day before and relax unlike the last time Derek and I traveled for a cruise.

The next morning, we checked out of our hotel, ate breakfast at Denny's and made our way via shuttle to the cruise ship terminal to check in. As soon as I saw the ship, I was so excited we were going on a cruise again and I realized the diet/competition that Derek and I have been on (which he won the first 20 pounds goal right before we left for vacation) was going to have to be put on hold. Lets be honest, one of the best things about a cruise is the amazing food! Our Royal Caribbean ship: The Rhapsody of the Seas.

The beautiful Seattle skyline!

I am so glad I kept a journal on this trip! The check in process was fairly quick but when we got on the ship, our rooms weren't ready, so we just went up to the windjammer buffet and had lunch! Our rooms were finally ready, so we were able to take our carry on bags to our rooms and explore the ship! The Rhapsody of the Seas is in a smaller class of ships but it was recently renovated and still very nice! The girls set out to explore the ship and later on Derek and I went up to the top deck to play shuffle board and walk around. We had dinner in the dining room that night and saw a comedian perform. We ended the night playing cards in one of the lounges and hanging out! 

June 30th: Our first day at sea! I woke up a little after 7 (pacific time) and went to take a free abs workout class in the workout room! After the 25 minute hard core class, I jumped on the treadmill and attempted to run 1.25 miles. We all met around 8:45 for breakfast in the windjammer. The girls went to the shops and then the shopping guide seminar. We got coupons for free charms at the seminar and a coupon for a free 1 carat loose sapphire. We met for lunch and then we met up for the art auction. After awhile, Kenz (SIL) and I got our bathing suits on and went to the indoor hot tubs. Did I mention yet that this trip was COLD? I hardly got to enjoy the outdoor lounge/pool area. When we bundled up, we would go play shuffle board but that didn't happen all the time. Tonight was our first formal night and I wore a bridesmaid dress from my roommate, Katie's wedding. Dinner was so good. We had beef filet, mashed potatoes, asparagus, shrimp ravioli to share with the table, shrimp cocktail, and strawberry cheesecake. (See why I gained 6 pounds on this trip?) Before dinner, we went to trivia and during trivia we saw two whales blow water out of their blow holes! It was incredible! 
Judy Kolba was our evening entertainment. She was so funny but the show was late and I might have dosed off a time or two.

July 1st: Juneau, Alaska. The time changed around hour behind to Alaska time and my phone didn't change so I was up way earlier than I thought. I took my nice camera on the deck, got some hot chocolate, and walked around the deck. Hot Chocolate on July 1st? Crazy, right!! I got to spend some quite devotion time in the indoor pool area. They have lounge chairs, table and chairs and other chairs that line up to floor to ceiling windows! Today was a very exciting day because once my MIL stepped on Alaskan soil, she will have been to all 50 states!

We got off the boat and saw some independent excursions. We decided on a $30 city tour with a stop at the Mendenhall Glacier! It was so fun and our tour guide was great! We saw several bald eagles, too! 

When we got back from the tour, we went shopping and I got an ornament for our tree from Juneau! Dinner was Italian night. I had scallop risotto, minestrone soup, garlic tiger shrimp with veggies and rice,tiramisu and warm chocolate cake.

We went to the show that featured the Royal Caribbean singers and dancers. The show was titled "The Piano Man." It was good but after waking up so early, I might have slept through some of it. OOPS!
After my nice nap, SIL, MIL and I went to the Centrum (the middle of the ship) and dance at the 70s music dance party for awhile. 

July 2nd: Skagway, Alaska. It was 51 degrees today. I woke up not as early but still pretty early and took my camera up to the deck. I took pictures, talked on the phone to mom and dad, wrote post cards, called my teacher friend, Amy, to wish her a happy birthday! (She was surprised :) and just relaxed! Today is excursion day. All 3 couples are doing something different. Derek and I went Zip lining, rock climbing and repelling. Kenzi and Josh went hiking and river rafting (not white water), and Tom and Sandy went on the White Pass railroad train ride. Our excursion was so awesome! We rode in a van to the adventure park, saw class 6 rapids on the river, beautiful mountains, and the white pass railroad. We got to zip line first, then rock climb and finally repel. The zip lining was my favorite! We had to go across a hanging bridge after the zip that was fun. I watched a girl climb the easy route and decided to do the more challenging route that Derek was going to do. We watched several people climb and then I let Derek go first. After I rock climbed, we hiked up the mountain to the cliff to repel. The views were incredible but this part was my least favorite. 

When everyone got back from their excursions, we met up at a diner and got Alaskan King Crab Legs. It was a must since we were there! 

The boys went back to the ship and the girls went shopping of course :) Dinner was good, as always. Then we went to the show. It was called Pure Country, featuring the singers and dancers. We went to bed pretty early tonight which wasn't hard to do. 

July 3rd: Cruising through the Tracy Arm Fjord. I definitely woke up around 5:15 to get out on the deck to see the amazing views. They were breathtaking! The ice chunks/bergs in the water were incredible. I bundled up so it wasn't too bad but it was still pretty cold! The Sawyer glacier was unbelievable. We saw bald eagles, seals, sea lions, and sea otters. After we made a 360 degree turn, we made our 180 degree turn to go back out of the Tracy Arm. After we were out of the Fjord, we saw several whales! We saw their dorsal fin, we saw them blow water out of their blow holes, we saw them swim above the water but not jump out of the water. We also saw the whales flip their tales out of the water. It was one of the most incredible things I've ever seen! 

Tonight was another formal night! Today was such a great day at sea! 

I'm going to stop here and write about the rest of our cruise/vacation tomorrow. Enjoy!