Sander, Daniëlle & EmilyOur Family life...

Our Family life...

Day 4: At sea…

Today was supposed to be the Castaway Cay day but due to elections in Bahamas this was switched around with the day at sea. 

Just after 7:00am I woke up and found my way to the balcony. Here I ordered 3 croissants, a sliced banana, strawberries and milk from room service. Soon after both Danielle and Emily woke up and the food was delivered. 

At 8:30am we joined the Disney junior wake up party but Emily wasn’t really in a party mood probably because she was not 100% awake yet. But with Woody from Toy Story she was more awake and had some more fun, while waiting in line Mickey Mouse came by to say hello, 

After the picture with Woody we decided to check out the toddler playtime in the outlook at level 14 in one of the chimneys. Not much was going on yet as the advertised time was wrong in the navigator. 

We left again and went towards Animator’s Palete where we had a meet and greet with Elsa and Anna from Frozen. 

From there we went on to meet three more princesses in the Atrium. Although we had tickets there was still some time before it was our turn and Emily and I decided to leave mama behind. We met with Nicky, a German guest service member amd chatted a bit in German. Mama was close to the end of the waiting line and first up was Cinderella, then Rapunzel and the last princess was Tiana. We explored the shops one more time and Emily bought a Minnie Mouse plush. 

We went back to the toddler playtime where we had a little bit of fun but Emily was too tired and we decided to go back to the room and put Emily to sleep. After Emily slept mama went out for lunch at Cabanas while I stayed behind to babysit our little tired Emily…

Emily woke up around 1:30pm and after getting ready for some water fun we met up with mama near Nemo’s reef. Emily enjoyed the water even more as the first time. We were both hungry and mama still wanted some dessert and so we decided to eat at Cabana’s. Emily ate a hotdog, 4 pieces of sushi, rice with beans and corn, steak frites, a chicken tender amd some fish nuggets. Unbelievable… 
Since Emily her sunglasses broke we decided to visit Whozits & Whatzits for a new pair. We found one with Sofia on it but she didn’t new that until she looked at herself in the mirror later. She pulled us both to the mirror to look at Szia (Sofia in Emily’s chatter). 

Emily played a bit at the verandah before she had another nap. We woke her up at 5:00pm to get ready for dinner. She got to wear her Princess Sofia dress with her Princess Crocs! Her most amazing combination and she wore it with pride! Everyone waved to Princess Emily the First, and she waved back shouting Hi!, Bye! or Dag!

In the Atrium we wanted to meet some characters and Minnie Mouse in her pirate clothes had a short waiting line. Mama an Emily waited in that line while I went to the balcony to wait for Mickey Mouse. Emily got to meet them both and she was really impressed. 

After the picture we rushed to the Royal Palace for a pirate meal. Tonight there was the pirates party and thus the whole entertainment was pirated related. 

After dinner we went back to the room to get Emily ready for the nursery. There was a monkey in the room, 3 golden coins from the pirates and a special surprise from Nicky from guest services, a nice card and 2 bags of popcorn. Totally unexpected and even more so a nice pixie dust surprise for us. 

We dropped Emily off and this time she cried, probably because she was tired. Just 20 minutes later we got a call to pick Emily up as she had a fever, no one could really tell how much but they believed it was something between maybe 100-104 Fahrenheit (38-40 Celsius) while she was sweating. That means that she was not allowed to stay and if she’s not feeling well that’s totally understandable for us and we took her with us to our room. 

Back in our state-room we measured her temperature ourselves and we only got to 37.0 Celsius. 0.1 Celsius higher as her normal (98.6 Fahrenheit), most likely because she is teething or because she just finished a bottle of warm milk. Besides her I’m tired cry Emily is still very active and runs around and points at every Mickey Mouse she sees. Based on this experience you can imagine that we are not really impressed with the nursery so far, especially since it comes at an additional fee. And on top of it all to try it again tomorrow we need to get official medical clearance even if her fever is gone. 

Back in the room we had a bit of fun with Emily while enjoying the sunset over the ocean. When we put Emily to bed, she didn’t even cry and fell a sleep almost right away.  

Mama prepared the stuff for tomorrow while I’m getting mentally ready for my first outdoor run of the year, the Castaway Cay 5k. At 8:15am I need to be at Evolution to leave the ship as one of the first. 

Just after 10:00pm I went to deck 12 to look at the fireworks while mama enjoyed this from the verandah. The show was nice, probably the best available on a cruise ship but if you are used to other Disney shows and fireworks it might be a bit less as usual. 

When I got back to the room there was a bag on our fish extender, what could that be? It was a magical moments certificate with pins, stickers and some nice things written on it, it came from Sofia, not the princess, but one of merchandise cast members we met every day of the trip. What a nice way to end the day! 

Now it’s almost midnight and time for to rest as tomorrow is going to be a nice day at Castaway Cay! 

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From -20 degrees to +20 degrees in one flight…

Winters in Canada are long, very long. On November 18th we had the first day with sub-zero temperatures and it seems like to comes to no end. Since 2008 we go on vacation in the winter months but this year we hadn’t planned anything because of our immigration end of September. But here comes in one of the benefits of my new job, one of our most important trade fairs took place in Southern California. And although it’s winter in California too, the temperatures over there are around 20-25 degrees Celsius above zero. Lucky me…

But how about Danielle? We decided that she would follow me and she took an Air Canada flight to Los Angeles (LAX) on the 5th of February. At LAX she got a rental car from SIXT, we got a great deal, which was a Volvo XC70 with which se drove south over the highway 1 along the pacific coast towards San Diego. She arrived only minutes after the trade fair was done and here our short Californian winter break started. After an early diner at the Cheesecake Factory and walking around in the bay area we went to our hotel the Hampton Inn since Danielle was tired from the trip and I was tired from the show. The hotel was located close to the railroad and we dubbed it Hampton Ding Ding Ding Ding since that was the sound where we woke up with on Friday morning.

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After a fast breakfast we started the day with getting me singed up as a second driver on the car before we drove to Balboa park. We parked our car and wandered around ending up with a visit to the Natural History Museum with an exhibit about “The Discovery of King Tut”. This was the most beautiful part of the museum. After continuing our tour through the park we decided to visit the famous San Diego Zoo.

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At the entrance we were blown away by the entrance fee, 48$ for a zoo… But since we won’t come here often we decided to go for it. And it was worth every single dollar. This is by far the most beautiful zoo we’ve ever seen. It comes close to a Disney theme park and the animals really seemed happier as in every other zoo where we have been. Also the amount of animals was huge. Needless to say we enjoyed this visit including free bus tours in the park and a the ride on the Skyfari Aerial Tram. But we wanted to see more of San Diego…

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In the evening we visited Coronado Island. We went there by car and drove over the huge Coronado bridge. We parked our car near the beach, which is considered to be one of the most beautiful beaches of the United States, before we got to the famous Coronado Resort where we sat down for evening dinner until sunset came close from which I wanted to take pictures. It became cold soon when the sun went away and after a coffee we went back to the hotel.

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Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding…5:30am and we woke up to leave San Diego behind today. We first drove towards the La Jolla area which is the northwestern part of San Diego and famous for its beaches which are sometimes visited by seals. And we were really lucky to spot a couple or maybe not so lucky because of the smell they bring with them…
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After a short coffee break we drove further north and stopped in Oceanside where we walked a long the beach, I guess this is where we got ourselves a bit of a tan from the sun. After having lunch at Tin Fish we drove further to Anaheim where we were staying int the same hotel as where we stayed during our West Coast trip in 2012.

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For dinner we went to Downtown Disney and ordered pizza…I still need to get used to sizes in inches…

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Both tired from the driving and being outside we went to bed early because we had two days with sightseeing ahead of us.

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Go Key West…

Today was our 2nd full day here in Florida and we were going to drive from Miami South Beach all the way down south to Key West. We woke up not as early as yesterday but still at 05.30. We showered and packed the last things and at 06:30 we checked out at the hotel and picked up our car from the valet parking. Next thing to do was getting breakfast at Starbucks. And as soon as we got that, we left for Key West a little before 7 o’clock.

The trip to Key West is only 270 kilometer, but TomTom told us it was going to take us about 4 hours to get there. As soon as we left Miami behind us the highway was not that busy anymore and before we knew it we were at Key Largo. The views were amazing and shortly after Key Largo we made a quick stop to search for a GeoCache, which we found. Our first find in Florida.

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After this stop Danielle took over de wheel and drove the next part. We drove over the famous “7 Mile Bridge” and again the views were phenomenal. We stopped again for 2 easy GeoCaches, number 2 and 3 in Florida. And after finding those caches we were almost in Key West. Key West is a nice town with typical architecture.

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We arrived at our hotel, the Crowne Plaza Key West La Concha, at 11:15 and unfortunately our room was not ready yet. We stored our luggage and went for some sightseeing in Key West. Because our hotel is directly on Duval Street, which is the most important street of Key West, we can reach everything by foot.

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We both wanted to see the “Southernmost Point” of the U.S.A. but before we got that we had lunch at the Southernmost Beach Cafe & Bar. We got a table with a view over the beautiful beach and ocean. We both had a Tropical grilled chicken sandwich with a delicious cocktail.

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After lunch we visited the monument for “Southernmost Point” of the U.S.A. We waited in line to get a picture taken. After this we walked back over Duval Street to our hotel to check in.

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We need to wait a bit at check-inn but everything went well. After Sander asked we got a free upgrade to a junior suite, which is very nice and spacious. You could as well say it’s huge…

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After having checked out our room and installed every charger for our iDevices we went out for a walk to the 0 mile marker of the US Highway 1. Here was a GeoCache which we found and after having made some pictures at both the begin & the end marker we walked along Duval Street before we went to the pool in our hotel. During the 45 minutes we spend in the sun Glenn made us aware of Mallory Square which should be a good place to see the sunset.

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Within 15 minutes we went upstairs, changed our clothes and we left the hotel and walked to the square. After having a Key Lime Pie we went to the Bistro which had some tables with an amazing view on the sunset. We ordered cocktails, sliders and chips to make the 30 minutes wait better. We had a really amazing via and we made some nice pictures too.

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From there we left to Sloppy Joe’s a famous bar on Duval Street for another cocktail and after we had finished that one we went back to our hotel. We are both a bit tired after waking up early, driving for about 4 hours, multiple GeoCaches, a lot of walking, some food and a couple cocktails but this day in Key West was the best day of the trip so far, let’s hope it continues this way.

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