After we dropped Paige off at the Gobles, we stopped by to see Grandma and Grandpa. They had five dogs they were dogsitting during the week, but unfortunately three of them left already before we came over. We still got to see a big chocolate lab that was pregnant and a cute old schnauzer. Andrea tried to pet Pepe, and after a couple attempts he finally let her touch him. Even though it's been a few years now, he's still a shy and skittish dog.
I got a SUP last week and on Friday when we dropped Paige off at the Goble's house for the weekend we brought my SUP over to try out on the river. It's been raining every day and there was a small window of time that it looked like we might get a break in the clouds so I inflated my SUP and dropped it in the water at the kayak launch. Paige and Millie rode around with me for about five minutes before we heard thunder in the distance and the clouds darkened the sky and ruined our fun. It was peaceful and pretty on the river and Millie liked jumping in and swimming around with me. Amanda heard a story about a kid that had a gator try and jump in his kayak recently, so we're not sure if we'll be SUPing on the river in the near future, but we'll see.
On Sunday I took Millie and the SUP to the beach. Even though it was only a yellow flag, the waves were difficult to deal with and after we fell off the second time Millie swam back to shore and we gave up. I don't think the SUP in the ocean is going to work unless it's a super calm day with no waves.
Paige was out playing with the neighbor kids and they had Cooper running around with them. I brought Millie out to see them and we snapped a quick pic of them together. Paige and the kids had a whole ceremony last year where Millie and Cooper got married and there's even a marriage certificate for them. Unfortunately, Millie is not happy with the marriage and usually tries to run away from Cooper when she sees him. Paige had to hold her next to Cooper for the picture. Thankfully Cooper doesn't seem to notice and he was very happy and smiled nicely for the picture.
This past Saturday we had the Goble boys over for a sleepover. It's the first time we've had them both overnight without their parents and while we were a bit nervous about it, we had a lot of fun with them and it was a different experience to have them on our own.
Saturday afternoon we went swimming for a while and intended to spend a lot of time outside, but as has happened almost every day lately, we had some thunderstorms roll in. Before it rained we played some basketball, got a nice pic of Millie leaping in the pool and enjoyed watching Griffin swim and dunk his head underwater.
After the storms passed us by, Andrea and I took Griffin out on the golf cart for a ride. He loved it, but it eventually lulled him to sleep. Andrea had to fight with him a bit to keep him awake so he wouldn't mess up his sleep schedule. After we got him home we put him in his PJ's and brushed his teeth. Before bed we were watching some tennis and Griffin actually loved it and would clap along when the crowd reacted to a good point. Eventually, Andrea put him to bed in the master bedroom and we laid with him until he fell asleep. It took him about thirty minutes, and you could definitely tell he was fighting it, but eventually he dozed off.
Griffin stayed asleep all night and Andrea slept with him and woke up with him in the morning. Griffin was up early on Sunday around 5:30. After I woke up around 7, I took over and I took him out to play. Griffin had a waffle for breakfast, and then we did some "cooking" in the bonus room, played ping pong with Millie, played with stuffed animals, and eventually I decided to take him out for another golf cart ride. He fell asleep on the golf cart ride and I didn't bother trying to keep him awake.
In the afternoon we met Amanda and Ryan at Cantina Louie for lunch and that was the end of our special weekend with the boys. After it was over with, Andrea and I talked and realized we hadn't done much or spent much one on one time with Graydon. After swimming on Saturday, I did a Nerf Dart war with Graydon, Connor, and Paige. Otherwise, it was Paige that mostly played with Graydon and kept him entertained and occupied. Graydon liked playing "The Sims" and Paige was cute about helping him set up a character and a household. We decided that next time we have them over we'll have to do something special with Graydon, we were definitely a bit preoccupied and focused on keeping Griffin safe.
Wednesday was the first day of Connor's Sophomore year and Paige's first day of 7th grade. It was a little chaotic since Paige's alarm didn't go off. Thankfully Paige had already fixed her lunch the night before, and it only took her a few minutes to throw on her clothes, brush her hair and teeth, and she made it to the bus stop with plenty of time to spare. Connor was up without any issues on Wednesday, but he did oversleep on Thursday and we subsequently bought him an alarm that's pretty loud and shakes the bed. With the new alarm, he didn't oversleep on Friday.
Both kids had a good first day of school and their first few days have been smooth. It's a bit less stressful this year since it's the second year for Paige at middle school and Connor's second year in high school. I took a couple short videos of the kids talking about their days.
August 5th, we boarded the brand new Disney Wish for our sixteenth Disney cruise. The boat is quite different from the other four Disney boats and it was fun to explore all the new attractions, dining rooms, and decor. Minnie Mouse is the captain of the Wish and when we saw her we made sure to tell her what a great job she was doing.
Before our rooms were ready, we wandered around the ship and went to the Oceaneer's club for the open house.
When we were able to get in to the rooms, we unpacked our things and checked out all the new changes. We liked that the closet doors slid side to side rather than swinging out into the cramped entryway. We also thought the shower was much improved with a glass door rather than a shower curtain. The showers also seemed a few inches wider, which seems like a small change, but made them much more comfortable. The beds and overall layout were pretty much the same, however the drawer space was a bit more limited than on some of the other boats.
After unpacking, the kids were a bit grumpy and were content to sit in the rooms and watch all the available movies on the TV's while Andrea and I went exploring. The icecream/sweets shop is "Inside Out" themed and is named "Joyful Sweets". Andrea stopped in for her icecream and sprinkles.
Our first dinner was in the Frozen themed Arendelle dining hall. The feast was to celebrate Anna and Kristoff's engagement and there was live music as well as appearances by Anna, Elsa, Olaf, and Kristoff.
After dinner we wandered around and took some pics with Minnie and then watched one of the new shows "Disney Seas the Adventure", which featured Goofy trying to figure out how to captain a cruise boat.
Saturday was at Nassau and we decided not to get off the boat so we could enjoy it with less other passengers around.
Paige loves the cruise food, it's likely her favorite part. We did our meals a bit different this time and we all went for a late breakfast together. Paige likes the Mickey Waffles with strawberries and cream. Andrea likes the waffles with syrup. I like to get oatmeal and muesli, and Connor doesn't really like any breakfast food but typically would get some eggs.
After breakfast, we rode on the Aquamouse water ride, which was very similar to the ride on the Fantasy and Dream. The line was a bit long, but it was nice that you didn't have to climb a bunch of stairs. Instead, there was a conveyor belt that would take you up in your raft and then drop you down the slide. The ride was stopped at one point while we were in line because of some kind of issue and it took forever for them to clear it and start it back up. Andrea and Connor finally got in their raft and Paige and I got in the raft just behind them. We rode the conveyor belt up to the top and watched the cute cartoons on screens that lined the walls of the conveyor belt tube. Andrea and Connor rode down in front of us and just at the last moment, as Paige and I were about to drop in, the ride stopped. We had to get out of our raft, walk down and then wait for about 15-20 minutes while they fiddled with the ride. Andrea heard one of the workers say that the lady sending the rafts up was doing it too fast and if there were too many at the bottom, the ride would shut off to prevent people from running in to each other. Whatever the cause, it was a long wait for the ride and we only rode it once.
The Wish had a lot of different food options on the top deck, compared to some of the other boats. Like most cruise boats there were stations for pizza and a station for hamburgers and hotdogs. The Wish had a BBQ option as well as a Chipotle style Mexican option which was fantastic.
After we got done swimming, we went to the theater to watch the Pixar movie "Lightyear". There were multiple smaller theaters on the boat with staggered movie times, which was a nice change. The seats were pretty comfy and we were enjoying the movie until the screen went black. We could still hear the movie, but there was no picture for about 15 minutes. They finally got it working again and then had to rewind the movie for us. Not a huge deal, but just one of the glitches that come from being on a new boat.
Another disappointing issue with the new boat was the "Mystery" type game that was supposed to be working, but wasn't. There is supposed to be a game that you can play, much like on the Dream and Fantasy, where you go around the boat and interact with screens and decorations using an app on your phone. We spent a while trying to figure out how it worked and finally had to ask, only to find that it wasn't operational for our cruise. Hopefully it will be working the next time we cruise on the Wish.
After the movie we went to the "Hero Zone", which was a super nice indoor gym. The gym had a basketball court (although there's only one hoop which seemed odd to me), and a bunch of games like ping pong, foosball tables, air hockey, etc. On Saturday afternoon they had a big inflatable obstacle course. Connor didn't want to do it, but Paige agreed to race me, so we ran through it once. Paige absolutely smoked me, however she kind of cheated by just running around the big X's and she didn't jump on to the swinging balls either. Probably didn't matter, but I don't believe it was as close as it would have been otherwise.
In the evening we went to the 1923 restaurant which celebrates the year that Disney was established. The decor was a bit more elegant and there were boxes with various movie memorabilia throughout the area.
In the evening on Saturday we went to another new show "The Little Mermaid".
Sunday, August 7th, we were in Castaway Cay. We slept in a bit and ate breakfast before disembarking, so didn't have a great pick on the beach for our spot since a lot of the best seats were taken. We thankfully found a decent spot with a little shade and then we went snorkeling.
It's been a long time since we snorkeled at all, much less at Castaway Cay, so it was a fun and novel experience for us. The water was nice and warm, and it was probably my favorite part of the vacation. There were lots of things to see and we saw some large stingrays and fish right away. The best part of snorkeling there are the neat stuff that are marked with big red or white floating markers. There were all kinds of things like a small boat, a statue of Prince Eric from "The Little Mermaid", the door from Monster's Inc., a submarine from the old Disney World ride "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: Submarine Voyage", a Dumbo ride vehicle, and all kinds of concrete structures to provide habitats for fish and coral. Andrea and Connor decided to go in after quite a bit of swimming, but thankfully Paige wanted to stay out and we explored around until we were sure we'd seen everything.
After snorkeling we went to the Cookie's BBQ for lunch and then Andrea and the kids went back to the Wish. I decided to stay out and went for a long walk, but had to turn back earlier than I'd wanted to since a thunderstorm was coming towards the island and I didn't want to get struck by lightning.
Dinner on Sunday was in the new Marvel themed restaurant. While we ate, Ant Man and the Wasp did a demonstration for us, which eventually caused problems and the boat was attacked by robots. Thankfully they were able to fight them off with help from Captain America, Ms Marvel, and Captain Marvel. After their battle they came through the dining area to say hi.
After dinner, Connor and I went back to the room to finish watching the Cars movies. Andrea and Paige got icecream from "Joyful Sweets" and sat out on the deck watching a movie while they enjoyed their dessert.
That was pretty much the story of our cruise! Overnight on Sunday I developed some pain in my upper chest and lower throat. I was thinking it was acid reflux, but it'd been years since I had any problem with that, so I decided to go to the health clinic just to be sure. They ran some labs and an EKG on me to be sure it wasn't a heart issue and thankfully everything came back ok. I took some Tums and after a couple hours I went back to the room and was able to sleep.
We disembarked early on Monday morning and were home in time for me to work a full day. It was a fun, albeit short cruise, and we loved the new boat.