We're now on day 7 of our cruise, and today was the first day I really felt totally relaxed. It's funny that it seems to take me almost a week to get fully into vacation mode. Carter finally seems settled into the ship as well, which definitely helps. He was homesick the last couple of days, and kept talking about his toys and his sandbox at home. I guess you know life is good when staying home is more fun than going on vacation. ;-)
He's also been struggling with the time change a bit -- we've been losing an hour a day, and that hasn't helped. I'm not sure if a gradual time change is any easier than a big one all at once. But today he bounced out of bed at 6:15 am, and has been happy and bubbly ever since. He's even taking a nap as I write this, which is extremely rare these days. This probably means he'll stay up until midnight, alas.
Here are some pictures from the last few days. We checked out the miniature golf course a couple of days ago. Carter doesn't yet get the point of mini-golf, of course, but it's still fun. You're lucky if you get in two strokes before he chases down all the balls and puts them in the hole!
He liked this dog statue on the course.
Next we tried inline skating. I haven't been on inline skates in at least a decade, and it was a lot harder than I remember! I thought Carter and I would be able to skate a few laps, but no. I made it half a lap before I took off my skates and tried to just get him to the end of the course. I don't think we'll be trying that again!
The seas have been rough the last couple of days, so they finally drained the big pools. That's actually no problem, because Carter prefers swimming in the hot tub. It's not terribly hot (maybe 95 degrees), covered, and shallow enough that he can stand in it, so it's pretty much perfect!
After a swim, he likes to warm up under a blanket on the couch. This (along with a post-swim ice cream cone from the soft-serve machine by the pool) has become a daily ritual.
They have a "build-a-bear" type thing called "Pets at Sea", and we asked Carter if he wanted to make one. He chose this blue dragon, who was christened Draggie.
We spend our evenings hanging out on the balcony. Having a private balcony is so, so cool, I have to say! It's nice to have an easy way to get outside.
We spend a couple of hours a day in the kids' center. He enjoys playing in this room, and there are always a lot of toys available.
I need to get some pictures of him in the arcade too. He's actually starting to get good at some of the driving games! We took a walk on the deck this morning. It's incredibly windy at the front of the ship, but I don't think this picture quite captures it!
Looking out from the front of the ship.
Looking out at the water with Daddy.
It's amazing how blue the water is out here in the middle of the Atlantic. It's crazy to think that so many thousands of people made this crossing under incredibly primitive conditions. We're taking a route very similar to the one taken by Columbus and his ships. Kind of a wild thought. We've also wondered if we've sailed over bin Laden's body at some point, heh.
Carter and I shared a fruity drink by the pool this morning.
And then Carter commandeered it.
He enjoyed listening to the marimba band by the pool. I have video of him dancing to the music, but that'll have to wait for when the internet is cheaper.
And here he is sitting at the pool bar with Daddy.
We eat quite a few meals at the buffet, of course. Since we have a suite, we can order the dining room meals in our room, which we typically do at dinner. We've yet to see the inside of the dining room!
Our room is right at the back of the ship, and this has been our view for almost a week now.
Carter enjoys it too!
We haven't made it to many of the shows, but we did go to see the ice skatign show the other day. Carter really enjoyed it, more than I had expected. No pictures of that, but it was fun to watch him squeal when the skaters did big jumps!
We had a scary incident a few nights ago. I was awakened at 2:00 am by the phone ringing. My first thought was, "That's going to wake Carter up," but then I noticed Carter wasn't in bed next to me. I picked up the phone and was not at all surprised to hear the person on the other side say, "This is ___ in Guest Relations. We have your son down here."
I threw on some shoes and ran down there. Sure enough, they had Carter, still groggy-looking and clearly scared. He'd been wandering down the hall when another passenger found him and brought him downstairs. We talked to him quite a bit about it the next day and it seems like he woke up a little before 2:00 and climbed out of bed. He didn't see me in bed beside him (I'd come to bed several hours after him) and so he went looking for me. Doug was sleeping in the other bed, but Carter didn't see him either. He started opening doors looking for us, and after he opened the front door he couldn't get back inside, so he wandered down the hall. He had no identification on him, but he could tell the Guest Services people our names when they asked him, and they just had to look us up and call us. (And this is exactly the reason we've been drilling him on things like our names and his address for the last year.)
The whole thing was scary, obviously, and we were all three freaked out about it for the next day or so. Carter was extra clingy for the next two days, and really only today has relaxed again. We have barricaded the door with furniture every night since. There's no way to lock it from the inside, unfortunately. I don't think he's going to wander off again any time soon, though. When I picked him up that night, the first thing he said was, "Mommy, I got lost," with his lip quivering like he was trying really hard not to cry. And he keeps talking about it the same way he talks about falling in the campfire, so it was clearly traumatic for him. Luckily for all of us, he was found by an older couple who'd just happened to open their door at the right moment. They saw us with Carter the next day and stopped us to tell us they had been the ones to find him, so we were able to (tearfully!) thank them!
Hopefully the rest of our cruise will be far less eventful. :-)
On a lighter note, we were watching one of Carter's "Mighty Machines" videos last night, one about the boats that work in a harbor. In one part of the video, a cruise ship comes ailing into the harbor, and I realized it was the EXACT same ship we're on! I'd never paid attention before, but isn't that cool? :-D