Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Our Ocean Voyage - Part 7

Another beautiful day dawned and it is our last full day of the cruise. Today was a day we'd really been looking forward to, a visit to Disney's Castaway Cay. It is Disney's private beach island in the Bahamas. We didn't have anything on the agenda today but relaxation and Daddy's little run around the island. Once again, I got up early and this time headed to Guest Services to get our bill and see how much we spent for the week. We were still under budget so I was feeling pretty good!

I went back up to the room and hung out on our balcony as we approached the island, taking pictures and enjoying the sunrise.

We hit the buffet one last time for breakfast. I needed to be in the sports bar on deck 3 at 9:30 to sign up for the 5K run, so I got suited up, packed a bag with my bathing suit for later and left the girls to get themselves ready. There were probably about 25 people that were running the race, most of whom looked like pretty serious runners. I knew I wasn't going to be getting a top 20 in this one, but I was going to have fun. We all debarked together and headed to the starting point, where they explained the route to us and handed out race bibs. Right when we were about to take off one of our table mates was getting off the tram and yelled "Go Jamie" which was pretty cool.  My first ever race fan!

I'd love to say that the race was a breeze, but I was struggling. I tried to keep a group ahead of me in my sights but after the first mile I was cooked. I probably went way to fast, and I'm sure the week full of eating and drinking wasn't the best preparation. The route takes you through the bike path and then up the long airplane runway to the adult beach, then back around the bike path again and returning to the start point.  At least the loop back allowed me to see the other runners again. And of course, like every other part of this trip, who did I see out jogging while I was running?   our fairy wicked step sister.  I ran the course in 35:14, which was  a pretty good time for me, but it was a struggle with several walk breaks. At they end they were taking pictures as we finished and handing out Mickey medals, which was nice. They said the pictures would be posted on a facebook page, but I've yet to find them.  Still, this moment was the inspiration for all that I'd accomplished in running so far this year, so it felt really great.

Just as I was finishing, my family was getting off the tram. We headed out onto the beach and claimed some chairs. There really is plenty of space on the beach, with palm trees and umbrellas for shade. I'm sure the larger ships fill the place up a bit more, but we had nice chairs near the food, the bar and the water slides. I changed into my suit and sat down for a minute before the girls wanted to hit the water. I left an order for a drink with my wife and headed to the water with the girls.  Oh man, it was cooold. If we thought the water in Cozumel was chilly, this was frigid. We decided to try the water slides. They have a barge about 50 feet off shore with two water slides. You have to swim out to the barge and then climb up to slide down. The girls put on life jackets and we headed out, after taking a few minutes to ease all the way into the cold water.
Pelican Plunge Water Slides

The water slides are a lot of fun.  There's a slow one and a fast one. Of course, I always went down the fast one and the girls did the slow. We did that 4 or 5 times and then I'd had enough. The girls went to play with some of their friends by the water and I went to my seat. By this time my drink had arrived and I sat with the wife enjoying the sun and sipping a lovely rum concoction. Lunch was a barbecue with burgers, hot dogs, chicken and ribs served right there on the island. It was really delicious. The ribs were phenomenal. I may have gone back a couple of times for more. But I'd just run so I deserved it.

After lunch the girls wanted to go back on the slide, so we hit that a couple of times. Then I was pooped, so I flopped onto the beach chair and let mommy take over. The girls had talked all week about getting some braids in their hair so they went off to find the hair braiding while I fell sound asleep on the chair.

We headed back to the ship to shower and rest and ran into Daisy along the way, so of course we got more pictures. Our cabin was on the side of the ship that faced the beach, so I took some shots from the ship back onto the island as the sun went down. After we got cleaned up, one of the girls fell asleep. Mommy took the other to the last show Remember the Magic, and I stayed behind while the other napped. One other cool thing that got us through times in the room were the movies. The TV had Disney movies on all the time and we watched several of them several times. I watched Harry Potter and had a glass of wine.

We packed our bags before we headed to dinner and set them out in the hall.

Tonight was our last dinner with our friends and we made the most of it. The girls all played with glow sticks and the parents enjoyed a final stuffing at the hands of our great servers. We gave them their tips and gave last handshakes and hugs. After dinner there was a Til We Meet Again party in the atrium. All of the characters and performers from the whole week came in to music and then were available for pictures around the whole area. Of course, we took this opportunity to hunt down our friend and get a picture with her and the girls.

After this, the girls wanted one more chance to go to the Kids club, so we sent them off and had a last drink with our friends. We all exchanged facebook and email to make sure we could keep in touch and headed to bed knowing we had one more meal in the morning.

On Saturday morning we woke up to the worst view of the trip ... the dock in Port Canaveral. We gathered all of our things and my wife called her family to let them know we'd arrived. Because we had late dinner, we had the later breakfast, and there were plenty of people heading off the ship before we got to breakfast. The food was pretty good, but everything was a bit rushed, understandably because that afternoon some other lucky family was about to take our place. We all hugged and headed out back to the real world.

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