Friday, May 31, 2013

Disney Cruise Day 8 - One more day

Well, what do you do when your wheelchair gets wet trying to get a bite of Key Lime Pie??  You watch movies all day!  :)  That's right!  The wheelchair no-workie!

We had an engineer from the ship come take a look, but since it was all in the computer board in the joy stick, he couldn't do anything.  We thought it was funny, he came down with his tool belt, and a can of WD-40!  HA!  We turned it on and for a split second it WORKED!  It even moved!  So, to test it, we turned it off then on again, it looked good.  After about 10 seconds, the screen faded and it wouldn't turn on at all.  sigh.

So, what to do now?  Good thing we have that TV full of movies we had not seen!  We saw Pitch Perfect, which was a cute movie!  Very enjoyable.  We now know why The Hobbit didn't do all that well in the theaters (ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ), we saw The Amazing Spiderman.  It was good, but seriously, how many times do we have to be told the ENTIRE story of how Peter Parker became Spiderman?  WE KNOW he got bitten by a spider!  We KNOW his uncle died.  C'mon!  But, it was good.  We also saw Hotel Transylvania, which was funny and charming all at the same time!

And, thank goodness for Dramamine!  Jake was on it all day just in case.  The boat was really rocking the entire day!  Really bad!  I felt it pretty good while standing, but not so much sitting or laying down.

Also, we didn't miss much hanging in our rooms.  I think everybody on the ship was ready to be home, as not too many people were out and about.  When I did go out (for food and shopping, yes, more shopping), it was windy, cold, and raining or cloudy!  A good day to stay inside actually.  I do wish we could have seen Iron Man 3 or The Great and Powerful Oz, as they were showing them for free in the theaters on board. But, it gave us a chance to pack, which was more difficult than I thought it was going to be as we had to have all our luggage we didn't want to carry out with us outside our room by 8 pm.  That's a lot of careful planning since our medical supplies are always packed!  We managed to do it pretty good and didn't forget anything (thank goodness)!
the day looked a lot like this most of the day!  Rough Seas!

My parents took Jake for dinner again, and OMG, they were having Beef Wellington!  And, I was going to miss it!  WAAAAAA!  Oh, that's right!  We had the best servers EVER and my parents had our dinner sent to us again!  It was SOOOO GOOD!  I will be having that again!  We also drank some wine we brought on board from my Wine of the Month Club.  It was really good.
Jake showing Queenie and Alfredo how to play his guitar

When we arrived in Galveston the next morning, than goodness the water was calm! The only thing we could do to get Dean out is to get him in the chair and push him.  This sounds harder than it is, but pushing 500 lbs of cool dude and wheelchair is not easy.  We also had his big patient lift, which was also hard to get moving with that many people all trying to get off at the same time.

We had to be out of our room by 8:30, but we actually made it down to the restaurant at 7:45, and had a few bites of breakfast.  Then we waited in the last line of the trip, getting off the boat.  It was actually quite smooth, and we were in our cars by 9, and home by 10:30 am!  Not bad!

 Let's just say I have an AWESOME son!  He helped me push the lift all the way to the terminal, thru ramps and doors and even elevators.  Such a big helper!

So, to sum up the trip, it went from GREAT, to Good, to um uh oh, to wow, that's no good, to OMG What the?, to tragedy!  All in all a great trip!  And, just so you know, 8 days is a really long time, especially with only 3 ports to visit.  I also think 1 day in WDW is so not enough!  We are already planning our WDW vacation!  And, I would LOVE to see more of Key West, minus the hurricane winds and rains.

If you are wondering, We do have a "loaner" wheelchair but it is just as you would expect a "loaner" to be, as Dean's wheelchair is still not working (4 weeks now).  We had to have a wheelchair guy come out and say, yes, it's broken.  Then he had to submit the parts order, the wheelchair company had to submit to insurance, they had to wait 2 weeks for our non-responsive doctor to call (we had to make calls to get them to approve), and now we are waiting for insurance approval, which was submitted on the 24th, a week after they had approval from the doctor. However, we actually got a call TODAY (5/31) that the parts were approved and the PO will be submitted Monday.

Pray for speedy delivery!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Day 7 - Key West - Tragedy at Sea!!!

Ok, so with all the Drama we have had, the day at sea and the fun Pirate night was JUST what we needed.  That way we can enjoy our Key Lime Pie!  The stop in Key West is only from 8 am to 1 pm so it's just a morning stop then a day and a half back at sea on our way home.

We learn we are docking at the Navy Base there, so a free shuttle bus will be taking us to Mallory Square.  I did make a call to see if they had accessible buses and thankfully they did as nobody was allowed to walk around the base.

The ride was in a nice open bus, very comfortable, and we enjoyed seeing the homes and small businesses along the way.  We were dropped off right in the middle of Mallory Square, which was AWESOME!

Jake under the sponge man and under the Mallory Square sign.

There was a snack bar with what we needed/wanted!  Key Lime pie, Chocolate covered Key Lime Pie, and Key Limeade!  YUMMY!  It was SO WORTH IT!  it was better there!  I got to do some shopping, got Jake some toys, me a mug, and my office some Key Lime candy, and other nic-naks.  I even got a natural sponge harvested from the waters around Key West!  

And Jake got a Guitar!!! Well, it's a ukulele, but he thinks it a guitar!
it also says Hawaii on it.  Kind of a funny buy in Key West, but we couldn't get away without it.

Then, it started to rain.  The shops closed up tight.  Then, it started to REALLY rain.
The carts are all closed, and this is the store we got our t-shirts and Jake's Guitar

Then, it started to REALLY REALLY RAIN!

It rained so fast and hard by the time our bus was ready for us, the streets were flooded over Dean's Wheelchair battery!!  We found a higher ground path to the bus, and got everybody on, we were SOAKED TO THE BONE!!  The ride to the boat was quick, and then getting off with the wind blowing the rain horizontal, that was hard!  And, the awnings they had did not provide any break from the rain since it was coming in sideways.  Then, Linda and Michelle got on the boat (ran up the ramp) and we told Durwood to go, and he hit the ramp HARD and the scooter flipped and he landed on his back!

I am not sure really what happened next.  I was holding Jake and he was hugging me hard.  He didn't like the rain.  I put him on Dean's lap and went to help Durwood.  About 10 or so people (including a fireman) helped get the scooter out from under him, stand him up and help him up the ramp.  The Infirmary was right there so he was rushed in to check everything out.  A few guys helped Dean up the ramp, but his chair has safety features built in to not flip, so he made it fine.  Dur checked out ok, and they spent the afternoon resting, and were able to enjoy dinner that evening.

We all went back to the room and had to Dean out the wheelchair to dry everything off, and we all changed.  My parents looked after Jake while we got situated.  After lunch and naps, we were getting ready for dinner.  Tragedy at sea like the title states, begins now...

Michelle goes to turn the chair on.  And it says "Joystick Error" and WILL NOT WORK!  Apparently water got into the joystick and shorted out the board that controls the chair!  So, the wheelchair is not working.  We try not to panic, decided to just hope it works the next day, and stay in the room for the night.  My parents were nice enough to take Jake to dinner and to see the show in the theater.  AND they sent the meal to our room. YUMMY Lobster!  YES!  It was really great!  We got to watch a movie, as they had movies that were just out on DVD available on several movie channels.  Nice to vacation with a movie company!

We brought some battery operated fans with us in case of an emergency, so we set them up overnight to see if we could dry off the joystick, and we just hope for the best!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Disney Cruise Day 5 - WALT DISNEY WORLD!!!

OMG!  The big day we have been waiting for has Arrived!  What could Possibly go wrong?????

Apparently a lot can go wrong on a perfectly planned day.  Lets just start by saying, there was an unexpected injury, uncharged scooter, a popular ride closed, and rain.  However, the rain wasn't so bad as I've been to WDW 5 times now and EACH and EVERY time I've been rained on!  It's just part of the trip to Florida!  We managed to have as much fun as we could!

We had to start the day with an unexpected injury as Linda hurt her foot on Castaway Cay.  She was able to walk, and it didn't hurt too much, but we needed to rent a wheelchair from the cruise in order to get her to WDW.

We got on the bus, which was a chore in itself, since we had to go through customs since we had been to a foreign country (does an Island owned by an American Company actually count as a foreign country??  I don't think so but customs does!) we had a bit of timing issues trying to get everybody off the boat and onto the bus.  We were finally on the bus around 9 (an hour late) and headed out to WDW.  The bus ride was nice, they showed cartoons so Jake was distracted by the hour and a half ride.  

Once there, we got off at Epcot (bad planning on my part) then rode the Monorail to the Monorail station, then transferred the group (a power wheelchair, a scooter, and a manual wheelchair, plus 4 more adults and an excited 2 yr old) to another monorail to get to the Magic Kingdom!  We finally got there, through security a second time since we had to do it the first time at Epcot, rented another scooter, then, bathroom breaks!  It is now 12:30 and we needed to get some lunch!  Thank goodness for the popcorn stand next to the bathrooms, Jake was quite hungry!    We waited 18 years to bring a kid to Disney World!  Glad we got to do it with all our family!

We were heading to TomorrowLand and boom, the scooter Durwood rented ran out of charge!  We limped along to the Lunching Pad that sold the biggest Hot Dogs I've ever seen, and enjoyed a nice lunch.

Then, we headed to the tea cups.  HMMM, that's strange, there's no line.  O. M. G. They are CLOSED FOR REPAIRS!  ARGH!!!  Not to fear, we are going to ride Dumbo's Flying Circus.  This is the coolest ride wait ever!  They have an indoor and air conditioned play ground where you are given a pager and your kid can play until it buzzes then a short wait in another line to get on the ride!  SWEET!  And, Jake LOVED it!  All of it!  Loved going up and down and around and around!  My mother, Ms. Michelle, and Jake and I rode it together.  Michelle was screaming the whole time!  Too funny!  
Jake a bit overwhelmed with the cool stuff to play with while waiting on the Dumbo Ride


We meet up with the rest of the gang, and my parents use their fast pass to ride Space Mountain!  Dean and I start looking for outlets since we do have the charger for the scooter.  But, apparently there are none available.  We head out to see the rest of Fantasy Land, find a shady place at the the Seven Dwarfs Mine Store.  I take Jake to see It's A Small World, however, he saw the Carousel first and decided THAT was what he wanted to ride instead!  SOOOOO, my dad and me and Jake all get in line and ride!  Was fun to see my dad on a carousel horse!  Jake of course loved it!  So much so, we rode it again a few minutes later! Crazy kid.  Then, me, my mom and dad took Jake to ride It's a Small World, and Yes that song was stuck in our head all day and YES he loved it!  All the creepy puppets made him giggle!  

After this we ran into Larry and Rachael and Hunter!  They were on vacation at the resort and we got to talk to them for a while.  We all got the gang together and headed to the Child Center, to give Jake a rest and see if they had any available outlets.  We were stopped (luckily in a shaded spot a great view) by the 3:00 parade!  YEY!  Again, Jake loved it and was waving to all the characters!  Then, we got the the child center, and they didn't allow scooters to come in, but they found a plug outside and tried to charge.  My parents and Michelle went souvie shopping.  Lucky!
Waiving at the parade!

Around 4:00, Jake was rested, Durwood was tired and Linda decided they needed to catch the 5:00 bus back to the boat, while the rest of us stayed at the park.  This is when we discovered the scooter was NOT charging at all, so it was DEAD!  We had to get everybody back to the rental place, and thanks to a VERY kind and generous manager at the rental place, we were able to return the scooter, plug OUR scooter in so we could take it with us later that evening, and use an extra wheelchair to push Durwood and the cruise chair to push Linda to the 5:00 bus.  This was accomplished at a FULL RUN pushing Durwood to catch the bus!  We did get there just in time as another family was running to catch the bus as well.  Whew!

We then grabbed a bite to eat at the Starlight Cafe, but before I could get back to the guys with our food, Jake fell asleep on Dean!  After eating, my mother and I ran over to Space Mountain.  My dad did NOT want to ride it again.  However, Jake woke up before we got out, and Dean had to distract him.  Luckily, there was a show with Mickey and the gang near by.  He was happy with that.

Then, off to Adventure Land (aren't we already on a grand adventure?  yes we are).  We had to stop at a shop.  Why, Jake heard the drums!  he had to go play those drums!  He did enjoy that.  Then, it was about to rain, so they closed the rides and we went to see the Enchanted Tiki Room.  Jake saw the whole show on Dean's Lap and really enjoyed it! In the TIki TIki TIki TIki TIki Room!

After the wait before the show, then the show itself (about 24 minutes), the rides reopened and we jumped in line at The Magic Carpets of Aladdin!  Jake again LOVED this ride, and Michelle was screaming!  it was a bit more up and down and fun!

After the ride, we decided it was time to head back to the front of the park to be close to the entrance to catch a bus around 9pm.  I got to go get Jake his Mickey Ears with his name stitched in!  AND, I got Jake a giant lolly pop to enjoy the next day while we are at sea.  The castle was all lit up for the evening and the crowds were already lining up for the parade and the fireworks.  We were not going to stay for that.  Bummer.  

So spending only one day at Walt Disney World was definitely NOT enough.  As we were walking out of the park, my father and I agreed to try to take Jake back here for a stay at the resort for his 5th birthday.  Disney in December 2015, HERE WE COME!!!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Disney Cruise Day 4 - FINALLY on Land - Castaway Cay, The Bahamas

YEY!  We finally get to set foot on land!  Whew!

The day started off a little rocky for Jake.  As, unfortunately all the adults planned on going Para sailing  and we had to drop him off at Flounder's Reef - the on board Daycare for kids under 3.  He was ok, until he realized what was going on.  He started crying and really not wanting to be left behind, but we were able to walk away knowing it would only be for a few hours.  We had him scheduled from 9 to 12 that morning.

So, our Para sailing adventure was scheduled at 10 am, so being like my dad, we were there about 45 minutes early!  We did get some great pictures of all the adults with the ship, and had plenty of time to get really excited about what we were going to do!  We did see the 9:00 para sailors over the ocean!  We could not wait!  We also were right next to where Captain Jack Sparrow was taking pictures and singing autographs!  If the line wasn't forever long and we were about to go sailing, I would have gotten in line!  I should have had Dean and Durwood do it.  Oh well.

Our time finally came, and we all took off our shoes and left them on the dock, got on the small boat and headed out on choppy seas!  The boat ride was fun, and we were getting sprayed often as the waves were a good size.  Then, My parents were up!  They hooked up and POOF!  They were OFF!  It's so very high!  I can't wait!  Then, the started hooking me and Linda up together, and once my CrAzY parents were dipped in the water, and unhooked, it was out turn!  We sat down on the deck, they hooked the parachute to us, then they took off and WOOSH!  We are in the air!  Higher and Higher and OMG look how high we are!  it was Amazing!  The views were Awesome!  I did bring along a water camera to take pictures as you will see.  It was definitely the High Light of the trip!  Coming down was easy, landing was a bit more difficult that I thought, but all in all , it was AMAZING!!!
My view of us Para Sailing!

Me and Linda coming in for a landing!

All was going well, the other two couples (fathers and daughters) LOVED it, then the boat drivers had to stop the boat to gather the parachute.  This is where my mother, who gets sea sick snorkeling, almost lost her breakfast.  She did manage to keep everything down and was better once we started moving.  We got back to the docks with no incidents.  YEY!  Then, it was only 11 so Dean and I hopped back on the boat to pick up Jake!  When we got off the elevator, I stopped to tie my shoe, and we heard him crying down the hall!  We run over there and Dean almost plowed through the door when he saw the scene of what he thought was several people holding Jake down.  It took him a second to realize they were trying to help him, distract him with food and drink.  Then, as SOON as Jake saw Dean, he ran to the door, Daddy!!!  Apparently he had been asking where's Mommy and Daddy, they kept saying "they will be back soon"  so he then asked them, is it soon yet?  Smart kid!  He was not too happy with us for a while, but he got over it when we saw Minnie and Pluto on the Island when we were going to meet with the grand parents and Michelle.

Next, we had lunch. They had a fruit stand next to the lunch area, it was covered in AWESOME fresh fruit!  We all enjoyed that as it was quite hot!  Lunch was BBQ, Hot dogs, Hamburgers, and all the trimmings from "Cookie's BBQ". After, Linda and I went to get our snorkeling gear.  My parents had their own, so they just went snorkeling while we found a good shady spot for Durwood, Dean and Michelle to enjoy.  On the way we ran into a show with Mickey, Goofy, Minnie, and Donald!  Just a quick song and dance, but we were so close!  Jake and all the kids loved it!  Was good to see him smile again.

Snorkeling Adventure Time!  Linda had a rough time with it, the flippers wouldn't stay on her feet too well, and the water was cold.  Even I had a hard time getting started as the cold water would take my breath away and I'd get a mouth full of sea water!  But, she tried it for a little bit, but had to stop.  I'm just proud she tried!  Next time, warmer water, we will try again!  I was able to go out with My Dad as my mother did in fact loose her lunch while snorkeling (um, ewwwwe).  We had fun, we went further out than they did and we got to see some fish.  They were practically running into us they were so tame!
Me and Linda snorkeling

After snorkeling, we had a bit of a snack, then we tried to take Jake into the water.  He would NOT get it!  I think it was too cold, not sure why he was scared, but oh well.  Next time!  We then had fun chasing a lizard around the picnic tables, there were several in fact!  Then, we took a walk around the island and did a bit of shopping.  Strange place to find toddler boy sized aqua socks, but you can't find them anywhere in the stores at home, you have to buy them online, so I got some!  YES!  Then, we road the tram back to the boat.  Jake called it the Bus and started singing "The wheels on the bus..."  Once we got to the boat, STITCH was there!  YEY!  We got our picture taken with him, then boarded the boat for a nap (as it was almost 3 already) and to get ready for the evening.

Para Sailing - CHECK!
Snorkeling - CHECK!
Beach Time - CHECK!
Character Greeting - CHECK!
Nap Time - CHECK!
Castaway Cay - what a fun day in the SUN!  Love this little island.  It's so small you can see across it from our Veranda!

Let the evening begin!  Dinner was French Inspired and Lumiere's.  That meant Duck was on the menu!  I think most of us got that, but I had something else, wish I could remember!  Jake just wanted to run and run and run and run, so we did.  :)  AND Supatcha always such a fun server, made Jake an Origami Frog that you could make bounce!  Love her!

We decided to skip the show that evening as it was a hypnotist and Jake probably wouldn't have sat still for that too long.  HUMMMM, Maybe if he was hypnotized..... ;)

Monday, May 20, 2013

Disney Cruise Day 3 - STILL at Sea!

AND, we are still at sea.  It is nice to be in one place for a couple of days, but I think starting off a cruise with 2 days at sea is a bit much for a young child.

We started off the day normally, nothing special.  we all slept in that day as we had a late night.  Jake didn't eat much for Breakfast, but that's not too odd when there's so much going on around us.  We walked around the ship for a little it, did some souvenir shopping, and enjoyed lunch with Nonnie and Papa.  It was really quite choppy and we could feel the boat move quite a bit.

We saw this cool sailor hat at the shop, thought he would NEVER wear it but Jake kept it on in the store and all day!  He even wore it to dinner!  AWESOME!

After a rough try but success at taking a nap, I tried to get him up to go enjoy "Pirate crafts" but he was just too groggy and didn't look like he felt well.  So, we found all the grandparents, and sat up on the deck for a bit.  Then, Jake started coughing and I asked for a towel, I knew what was coming.  We think the choppy waters were getting to him and he did throw up.
NOT a happy sailor!!

We went back to the room to rest and clean up, and get ready for the evening at Parrot Cay for dinner.  He seemed to be just fine, for a little bit...

But, then he wouldn't eat his spaghetti, so I started to get concerned.  Then, I saw the look again.  Grabbed him and ran for the nearest bathroom.  I think up to 4 mothers were helping me get to the bathroom, and one shouted to get him some sea sickness meds at the gift shop.  It is nice to get help, even if it's just a little bit!  So, needless to say, we went to the shop (did you know you can give Dramamine to a 2 yr old?) and took some "vitamins" :) and headed back to the room before my meal came.  Sad to see that happen, but it's best if I take care of my boy.  However, Dean had the wait staff bring my yummy pork chop dinner to me in the room!  AWESOME!!! After Dinner, my mother watched Jake while Dean, Daddy, Michelle and I went out on "the town" so to speak.  We got to enjoy Beat Street, and have some Yummy Chocolate Martini's!  That was fun!

We get to set foot on LAND the next day!  Whew!  Long 2 1/2 days at sea!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Disney Cruise Day 2 - At Sea

Now for our first day at sea...

April 27, 2013
We were invited to have our Character Breakfast early in the morning!  8:00 am is early to be anywhere especially staying out late the night before!  Jake had NO idea what was coming when we went to have breakfast in the nice Parrot Cay restaurant.  He was really happy to see Queenie and Alfredo!  Michelle and Durwood and Linda slept in and did not join us.  As we started eating (or playing with the food as Jake did) we started hearing cheers and saw all the Characters come in!  Jake was so excited!  We got to get autographs and pictures with some of the most famous characters ever!  

We saw Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Goofy, Pluto, and Chip and Dale!  Also, part of the fun was the wait staff made funny silly hats out of napkins (and other things) for all the guests to wear!  I got a Minnie Mouse bow, Queenie got a "Queen Crown" (of course), Alfredo got dreads and a dew rag in the styling of Jack Sparrow, Dean got goofy ears, and Jake (which didn't last longer than 5 seconds) got a Peter Pan hat! It was really fun and silly!  Everybody in the restaurant was wearing colorful napkin hats on their heads.  It was really a fun way to start the day!

Then, we found Nonnie and Papa and Jake changed into his swim suit.  The pools on the ship did not allow any kids with swim diapers in any of the pools, so we had to go to the small little "baby toddler" splash pad area, which was just a couple of small fountains from the floor and Mickey's Sorcerer's hat that sort of spit water out the top.  This was pretty small and lacking in Disney grandeur, but Jake didn't seem to mind!  He and all the other unfortunate souls that had to play in the poopie diaper area all had a great time!  There were other disappointed parents all wishing they had taken the time to potty train before coming on the cruise there with me, but we all had fun!


After fun in the sun, we enjoyed yummy lunches from the buffet and Pluto's Doghouse and Goofy's Gally.  we found out that Ms. Michelle does NOT like Lamb!  She had a great big plate full of yummy food, and I noticed she got the lamb.  I said "OOOOOO you got the lamb!"  She was mortified, stopped eating, and went to Pluto's for chicken fingers!  HA!  Then, water + sun = sleepy boy, so Jake, Queenie, and I SUCCESSFULLY went back to our stateroom for a nap.

After a nice relaxing nap time, we went up to deck 9 to wait in line to see Donald Duck at the Gazebo near Goofy's pool!  Dean was holding our place, then more people got in line and then more people got in line only to discover the line we were in was NOT the line, and we had to get behind all the people who got lucky and got in the right place after we were there for 30 minutes.  This did not sit well with me, and we did mention to the people in charge but they couldn't do anything.  They said the people in the "right" line were there as long as we were (wrong line) which was silly because some of them rode the elevator with Donald which meant the were NOT there the whole time!  Oh well, we got some AWESOME pictures with the original angry bird!  Jake so loves meeting the characters!  So much fun since they are the really REAL characters!

After playing around with a cool duck, we decided to explore the ship a bit!  Michelle, Jake, Dean, and I went up to the 10th deck to check out the sports area and the awesome views.  It is really a great sight!  It was really windy at the front of the boat, but fun to go up there to see where we are going.

Then, it's time to get ready for formal night!  We got all dressed up to enjoy the Prince and Princess dinner!  We all enjoyed a lovely dinner and we got a group picture with our ship's Captain!

The show for the evening was Twice Charmed, a twist on the Cinderella story, so yeah, it was right up my alley!  I loved it and Jake actually enjoyed it too!

Day 3 coming soon!