Sunday, March 25, 2012

Birthday Vacation: Part Two (Port Canaveral via Aunt Jackie)

If you are just tuning in, stop right there. Read this and get all caught up. Don't worry, I'll wait for you :)

All caught up? Great! Join the rest of the group :)

So, the morning of my birthday was surreal. As you remember, I had already survived a run and a close-call with ugly geese. I was ready to get the road on the show!!

My Aunt Jackie arrived in style and on time (which I loved!) She was going to make the best of the long trip by going to the beach down near Port Canaveral, so she was all packed up and ready to go for the day.

Now, my Aunt and Uncle have been married for almost 20 years, but I can't remember a time when she and I spent this much time by our selves. I was thrilled to be able to chat with her just the two of us. I was able to hear about what was going on with she and my uncle, as well as her story of becoming a mother (I LOVE hearing birthing/motherhood stories, even if they are traumatic. Pregnancy and giving birth are pure miracles!). I was also able to share a little bit about where I was in life and where I felt like I was headed.

Once we met my friend, Aaron, we unloaded my stuff and he and I headed into Ruby Tuesday for Birthday Lunch.
This is Aaron, preparing to feast on half of my birthday cupcake.
He rrrrreally wanted the restaurant to sing to me, but thankfully, that did not happen.

Going through security was a breeze. I was VIP, and whipped through the lines, and straight onto the ship. I told myself it was because it was my birthday, but in reality, it was because I was a guest of a crew member.

The ship? Amazing. I haven't seen a cruise ship up-close before, so I'm quite certain that my eyes were as big as saucers when I saw this....

My home for 5 days, 4 nights. I was amazed at how BIG those ships are! And this was the smallest one RC has!

Royal Caribbean doesn't play when it comes to Sail Away Day. Every thing is a party. Just past this sign, I was talked into doing a Glamour Shot with one of the RC's people. Apparently, everyone did it. But, when I walked up, I was the only one there. They guy told me to pose and "Have fun with it." My reply? "I don't do that." LOL. He gave me a funny look and said some sort of "Come on..." phrase. So, I did. I neither followed up to see how fabulous awkward I looked, nor purchased such a picture. What happens on the cruise ship stays on the cruise ship.

They made boarding the ship SO exciting! You couldn't help but get all wrapped up in everything :)

Aaron told me to meet him on the Fourth Deck. So, I went on the Fourth Deck, and after an incident that was completely Aaron's fault, he found me and we were on our way. He showed me to the room I'd be staying in, and I got settled in.

Cruise ships are one big party. And if you aren't convinced by my words alone, just take two tiny steps on board one. From the beginning, there is alcohol, laughter, music and celebration. They make these things a big deal. I can see why people love cruises so much. The atmosphere was so positive!

The infamous "Fourth Floor" where Aaron lost me (video of the story can be seen here).

Aaron's toilet. I needed to use it, and found this sticker. It confused me, I admit. (That story is also in the video)

The view from the room I stayed in. Love. Love!

One thing that I knew I would continuously freak out about was the fact that I would be in the middle of the ocean. I didn't know how it would affect me, but I prepared my heart for whatever God had for me on the trip.

Here's what He showed me: In comparison to the cruise ship I was on, I was tiny! It was so easy to get lost on it (which I did a few times). Now, just as I was tiny compared to the ship, so was the ship tiny in the middle of the ocean! I looked side to side. I saw nothing. I walked the track on Deck 7, and saw nothing but ocean. How vast was this ocean! In the middle of all that realization, God said to me, "See how big that ocean is compared to the ship and compared to you? I made that in a moment. I am SO much bigger than these waters. I can still them. I can make waves. I can make storms so big that your ship would be capsized. I am God."

Holy Crap! I wasn't expecting that. I knew God was big. Bigger than I could imagine. I knew that. But, I had never experienced something that was so very, very big, yet so much smaller than who God is. I was humbled, in awe, and amazed at the vastness of who He is.

Port Canaveral, where we sailed from.

Our view of Cocoa Beach. Lovely. :)

My last view of land before we arrived at CocoCay the next day.

Of course, no cruise is complete without a Sail Away Party. This one was hoppin'!
They kicked it off with a flash mob and the Cha-Cha Slide :) No, I did not join.

My good friend, Aaron. What a peach! Seriously, though, he is a great friend. I'm thankful for him :)

Just the Birthday Girl. No big deal :)

.....Birthday Vacation: Part Three (CocoCay via Monarch of the Seas) coming next......

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