It’s been a whirlwind of a vacation. I mean, we’ve handled four kids in a small-ish space before, but for some reason this past week was a bit tougher than normal.
The week was far from perfect, and there were a number of ups and down for Sunshine and I throughout the week. We’ve got very different parenting styles and VERY different children (especially my teenaged daughter, who is quite the handful at times), so that ended up creating some tense moments at times throughout the week.
But as we discussed in detail on Saturday during some down-time (of which there was very little of all week long), all relationships go through ups and downs. Not all relationships are perfect and blended families usually have to work a lot harder due to the multitude of layers that each side of the family brings to the table.
When it’s just the two of us, the good is 98% of the time…and that can really spoil us when it comes to tough times and stressful parental situations. You want to tell yourself that things will be smooth, but stress is simply going to be part of every day life…especially during a vacation with “extra kids” who don’t normally hang out with one another.
Thankfully, Sunshine and I have an unbeatable ability to talk and discuss issues without everything turning into a blow-out fight. And because of that, we end up coming out of tense situations bigger and better than we were going into it.
So as the vacation ends, so does the majority of our stress as parents of a blended family. Where my daughter is still visiting until the first week of September and I’m still on the hunt for a job in Halifax so I can actually move into OUR home, stress hasn’t exactly left the building yet.
I’m actually preparing for an awesome week-long vacation that’s scheduled for the second week of August, when my daughter flies in from Ontario and my son is with me for the whole week. We’re all going to be in the new home that I am sharing with Sunshine (that STILL has a difficult time sinking in…lol) and it’s going to be a wild and crazy fun time.
But this weekend is going to be a “prelude” to the actual vacation. After having supper with my son tonight, I’m heading off for a 4-day weekend with Sunshine and I’m really looking forward to it. It’s been awhile since we’ve had some quality down time together, so this should be fun.
The down time is necessary, too. I mean, we’ve only seen each other briefly over the past three weeks for when I’ve driven there and back for job interviews. We need some quality time together, y’know?
In terms of the job hunt, I’m still looking and applying for at least one job every single day. While I’ve had some interviews, nothing has materialized yet. I’m doing my best to not get too down on things, though…I know that I’ll get something sooner rather than later. It’s just stressful on a number of different levels. The hope is that something happens within the next month…I really don’t want Sunshine to have to move into our new place and stay there alone waiting for me for very long (not to mention paying the higher rent while I still pay the mortgage on my house…moving away will come in VERY hand on a number of levels).
So a Thursday night with Sunshine and her girls along the waterfront with a ton of activities going on (Tall Ships!), a “date night” taking place either Friday or Saturday night (Ted!), and meeting up (hopefully) with friends on Sunday…this is shaping up to be exactly what the doctor ordered: sun, fun, and laughter.
We don’t really have a lot of photos from our last day at sea. It was one of those days where we just wanted to soak in as much as we could of the incredible experience that we were sharing together. Having said that, know that there was still a LOT of things that we did on this final day…and it wouldn’t be a complete series of posts if I didn’t discuss the last day at sea.
While we slept in a bit on this morning and did not get to the gym, we were still up and about and ready to make the most of our day!
We're awake...we're ready...and we're gonna kick some ass!!
Because of the time difference, we were still up early enough to enjoy one last amazing sunset after breakfast:
Enjoying one last sunrise: March 25th, 2012
Sunrise above the Carnival Legend: March 25th, 2012
The day's itinerary
After breakfast we head back to our room in order to catch “The Morning Show with Kurt”, at which point I simply HAD to call one more time. After being charming as ol’ heck for the third morning show in a row, I was told to expect something in my room that night. Again. Heh.
I honestly don’t remember doing much of anything over the next couple of hours. I remember that we were doing a bit of last-minute shopping (they have deals in their shops on the last day of every cruise) and Sunshine purchased something for me as I had to leave.
Leave?? Yep…you read that correctly.
One of the things that had bothered me since last year was my performance as Elton John during the “Carnival Legends” show (basically a karaoke show where guests dress-up and perform for the rest of the ship). Y’see, I actually thought it would be easier to memorize the words than it was, and I ended up flubbing the entire second verse of the song (video link here).
So I auditioned again this year to perform the exact same song as, once again, Elton John. Where last year’s performance had been haunting me for an entire year, I had heard the song on more than one occasion and had since memorized the words…vowing to myself to never let the opportunity pass up to redeem myself in the eyes of…well…myself. So where the performance was later in the evening, I ended up spending a couple of hours at rehearsal while Sunshine enjoyed a bit of sunshine up on Lido deck.
We enjoyed a late lunch and then head back to our room to pack. The last thing we wanted to do was rush around on the last night before we went home, so we spent a couple of hours slowly packing and then getting ready to head out for supper.
Take the dang picture already!!
Out of every meal we had on the cruise all week long, this one was probably our least favorite. I wouldn’t say it was awful, but it certainly wasn’t good. But if it’s one meal out of twenty-one, then I’d say their overall batting percentage was pretty darn good on this cruise.
We head back to our room really quick to get ready for the evening and found a bottle of champagne on our bed (a gift for calling into the Morning Show) along with one more towel animal…
We went to the Follies Lounge and participated in another trivia challenge, this one a musical one. I was brimming with confidence when we started, but that confidence quickly faded as the questions became tougher and tougher. The competition was fierce and I was really getting nervous but when all was said and done, yours truly had gotten up on stage in a sudden-death tie-breaker and ended up delivering another winning answer to another difficult trivia question. We didn’t win a ship on a stick, though. No…this time our prize was a bit more intriguing…
Yes, we won ANOTHER bottle of champagne. This would make FIVE for the week and TWO for the evening. Needless to say, we enjoyed this final night. Heh...
Immediately after winning this FIFTH bottle of champagne of the week, we sat back and enjoyed something called The Liar’s Club. Basically, it was simply the entertainment staff giving us crazy explanations to crazy words and the audience had to guess who was lying and who was telling the truth. There weren’t any winners or losers, just a lot of fun and laughter to be had by all.
This is Dan, the entertainment director of the Carnival Legend. He looks quite a bit like Tom Green, doesn't he?
This is Peter, one of the entertainment staff from sunny ol' England. Definitely one of the good guys.
Honest to goodness, I had this guy's name on the tip of my tongue until I began writing this post. Y'see, the assistant cruise director (Jaime) left two days before in Belize to become a cruise director on her own ship. This fine upstanding individual was her replacement, and he was VERY amusing. I just can't remember the dude's name. Bah.
Once the show was over, I had to run off to change and prepare for my performance. Sunshine sat with some folks that we had met on the cruise and (im)patiently waited to be shocked and amazed (or possibly she just wanted to get through the performance a second time and never have to worry about seeing me dressed as Elton John ever again).
Now here is the part where I provide you with a video of my performance. Just know that Sunshine has the actual DVD copy…this is a video she took with our camera, so the quality isn’t the greatest. Having said that, if there is enough “demand” for a better quality version, just comment below and I’ll get one uploaded. If not, this is what you’ve got…
Other than standing in one spot because of “safety concerns” (they didn’t want anybody falling off the stage), I think I redeemed myself and I’m quite happy with that performance. If I ever get the opportunity to do this show again, I’m definitely being somebody else.
Once I got changed and met back up with Sunshine, we went up to Billie’s Piano Bar to hear Alan bang on the ivories one more time. Somebody recognized me from the show and requested that he play “Crocodile Rock”. It was fun, but not nearly as good as MY performance (lol).
Unless I’m mistaken, at this point we just head back to our room and called it a night. But being us, we simply had to take advantage of all the towel animals being in our room all at once by taking one more photo…
We awoke the next morning docked in Tampa. We impatiently waited around to leave and head back to the “real” world…one that’s awesome on one hand (i.e. our kids) but really crappy on the other (i.e. it’s not on a frickin’ cruise ship).
As you can tell, we weren’t too keen on leaving.
But that’s it. That was our cruise in a nutshell. Looks like I’ll be back to “blogger reality” tomorrow.