Monday, March 25, 2013

A Cold Start to Spring Break

Last weekend was beautiful. This weekend and today not so much! In fact it was 49F this morning when we were making plans. We'd wanted to go to the golf driving range but cold, windy weather would not make for a very fun time. So we hung around home instead. Jessica worked today.
Yesterday, ready for church.

Yesterday, all dressed up for spring, but no spring like weather here.

Some of the kids decided to run yesterday even though it was cool. Warmer then than now.

Then we got out the Wii to play outdoor challenge. Adam and Jessica worked yesterday after church.

We had ginger ale and rainbow sherbert floats.

The kids wore off all the calories on Just Dance Disney!
We worked together to make a crock pot breakfast casserole.

It was supposed to cook in the crock pot on low all night.

But it burned. And it really wasn't that good. We decided to try it again in a couple of week but leave out the tomatoes and onion. Add ham as well as sausage and use a cheese with more flavor. This used mozzarella. It really didn't have much taste except the tomatoes. 

So we decided to try something with more taste.

For this, you mix two lg boxes of vanilla pudding with four cups of milk. Then mix in 16 oz of cool whip, 4 tsp vanilla, and a cup of peanut butter.

You also need a pan of fudge brownies cut into 1" squares (or close)

No, Adam, you can't eat all the miniature reeses cups.

Jasmine layered it, and she didn't go clear to the edge with the brownies so you can't really see it. But it's brownies, then Reese's, top with the pudding mix, then layer it twice more. Top with the rest of the pudding and decorate with the Reese's cups.

Jasmine had a free pizza card from school. When you go to Pizza Hut, you get the little 6" personal pan pizzas. But Dominoes actually gives you a regular-sized small pizza. Jasmine had already eaten two pieces by time she got home.

The kids stay active enough that all the extra food probably won't catch up with them.

I've been playing Wii with them, but Rick's foot is still recovering so he hasn't been able to do much. He should get the pins and stitches out Thursday.

Trying to plan the cruise has been driving all of us crazy. We have to stay within budget. I'm not going into debt for it, so have to work with what we have. That meant figuring out the total costs including port fees, taxes and tips. Plus cancellation insurance. 

We'd finally decided on one that wasn't exactly what anyone wanted but would be okay. But it was going back to Nassau where we went last time. The advantage was that it went out of Jacksonville. But then when I went to book it the next day, it had gone up $50 per person!!

So I glanced through the other cruises. I saw that one we'd liked had gone down $50 per person. The disadvantage is that it leaves from Miami and I'm driving a 2001 SUV with 220,000 miles on it. It's 9 hours to Miami. I wasn't sure. Then I noticed it had a category for people who'd previously been on a Carnival Cruise. That took another $20 off for each person (only one person per cabin had to be a previous passenger). Then I realized that the rooms with a window were on sale $20 cheaper than the ones with no window, but we'd be on a much lower deck. That's what we opted for though.

I ended up having to call in and wait on hold because I booked one cabin, and when I went to book another one, it said there were no more cabins available! It turned out to be a glitch. But I got to talk to a very nice lady who was very easy to understand. I got us set up in adjoining cabins and was able to prepay the tips and insurance all within our budget. We do have to give up some other activities though. Jasmine agreed to do her Rushmore Trip summer 2014 instead of this summer, too, so we aren't piling so many activities back to back.

We'd really wanted Jamaica - Cozumel, but we are going to Key West-Cozumel. That's okay because we like Key West. My mom, Tyler, Jessica and I actually went on a Carnival Cruise to Key West-Cozumel in 2000.

It may sound like we cruise all the time, but we don't. I went with my sister in 1985, with Rick in 1993 and 1999. With my mom, Tyler and Jessica in 2000, with Jessica (her Christmas gift) in 2009 (we had a storm on that one and didn't make it to the port we were supposed to be in) and with Rick, Ty, Jessica, Adam and Jasmine in 2012. We had bad weather on that one and all our excursions were canceled so that's why we're trying it again. The twins are going this time too.

The advantage of cruises is that everything is taken care of--transportation port to port, more meals than anyone needs and sleeping accommodations.(Disadvantage--you can't just get off! And if you are sea sick, too bad until you reach port)

Okay, enough on cruises. But if you've bee on one in the past, please share.

We are taking the rest of spring break day by day due to the cold weather this week. Everything we had planned was for the beach or other outdoor places.


megan said...

Bry and I are going on our first cruise next March for our 10 yr anniversary. I told him we probably won't make it to 50 yrs so we have to start celebrating the milestones early. we're really excited because it's a Mark Schultz cruise. We have no idea where to get our room though so maybe you can help. we know we want an outer room with a window but where should we get it? Front, middle or back of the boat? Does it matter? And our upper decks better than lower decks? Help! :)

Katie Tripp said...

I'm sorry your weather hasn't been very good. We ended up in CA for our Spring Break. When I checked the weather to pack, it was supposed to be in the mid 70's. It ended up being in the low 60's, and being from AZ, we were freezing. My husband and I went on a cruise about 9 years ago, and we loved it, but we haven't been with our kids yet. We went to the Mexican Riviera. I'd love to go to some of the islands, but we don't want to fly across country before boarding the cruise. I hope your cruise weather is much better this year!

Kathy C. said...

Katie--I know what you mean about having to fly first. I didn't even really want to drive all the way to Miami. It's only about 9 hours but half of it is on a toll road and that's a pain.

Some really nice cruises go out of CA but most of the Caribbean ones go out of Miami.

:)De said...

Cruising is a great way to vacation, especially with family members of different ages and interest because there is something for everyone. I used to love cruising, but stopped after such long disembarkments. I can't stand those.

Have a great trip. Cozumel had great snorkeling.


Kathy C. said...

I'm hoping we have good weather after having activities canceled the last two cruises! We didn't even make it to Cozumel and our other port in 2009 but had to go to Port Progresso instead.

Kathy C. said...

Megan--the lady who booked us told us it didn't matter which deck, but not to be either way front or way back. I really don't remember what she said. If you are sea sick, you're supposed to look out at the horizon so your body realizes you're moving.

One Crowded House said...

We've never been on a cruise, and don't really think we will. We have rented a house on the beach twice at the Outer Banks (the only two real vacations we have taken in the 21 year we have been together!)And we absolutely loved it.

I was so hoping that crock pot casserole had turned out :( Please let us know if you try it again!!!

kayder1996 said...

Some day I will go on a vacation that is simply a vacation. (Not a trip to pick up a child or a trip to a far away doctor which is what we will be doing this summer for Zeke's visit to Shriner's in Minneapolis.) Some day...

Kathy C. said...

Last year we did a mini vacation in Chicago in conjunction with the trip to my mom's in IN. That's how most of our are. Add a day of Disney to a medical trip or convention etc.

Hevel said...

We are planning a Medietrranean cruise for Passover break 2014.It will be a lot later than this year, and it should be fun. We'll either do that, or a river cruise on the Danube.