Friday, July 6, 2012


SO! As you all know, I recently went on a cruise with Max and his family! I've been procrastinating with this post because there are so many pictures I needed to load and so much to say! I think I'm finally ready so be prepared for a pictures overload!

So we left on the 14th of June, really early in the morning. Max's parents, Bill and Janine, rented an RV because we needed to drive down to Florida. Very comfy camper but it had it's issues. 
On our way down the generator got overheated and started smoking! This was where we pulled over to evacuate and try not to get blown up. haha Thankfully, it was the parking lot to a restaurant, Shoney's, so we got some food and kept the generator off for the rest of that night. We had planned to drive all the way through but we had been planning on visiting some family and realized that we'd be getting there extremely early in the morning. So we stopped at a Holiday Inn Express for the night and got to meet this cute little kitten! 
So the next morning we hit the road again! Eventually we stopped for gas at a gas station and that's when our RV officially broke down. We were stuck at this gas station, four hours away from where we needed to stop at. We ended up renting a HUGE bus to drive us and all our junk the rest of the way as our poor RV got towed. Here's a really pretty flower I saw on a tree as we waited for our bus. 
FINALLY we made it to the hotel and got to see our family that would be accompanying us on the cruise! And Max's brother, Donnie and his wife Allison! The next morning was cruise day! It was a little bit rainy and hectic but we got on with no real issues. Our ship was the Oasis of the Seas, the largest cruise ship in the world! Just look at this beast!
The ship was beautiful. So large and extravagant, I miss it so much just writing about it now. We all got our own rooms and we even had bottles of wine to great us when we walked in the door! Of course right away we all went out on to our balcony's and took in the view of the dock and tapped into our wine. 

Our rooms were amazing! We had a little sitting area and a our balcony's. Here's a few shots. Please excuse the mess, we were in the process of unpacking and finding places for everything. 

Our luggage didn't make it to our room by 6 o'clock, which was when our dinner was, so Allison let me borrow one of her dresses because their stuff had gotten dropped off. Dinner on the ship is SO amazing! They have a great menu, something different every night, and the best selections too! Ohhh and the after dinner shots that the O'Neill' s have taken into tradition... delicious! That night we also went and saw the musical Hairspray! It was really good and totally got me in the mood to dance! haha 
The next day was our first stop at the Bahamas and also Father's Day! Max and I got up and enjoyed breakfast with his parents before we set out to visit the island. Above is a picture I happened to get of the sunrise as we were pulling into the dock. I just randomly woke up at 6 am and I was so happy I did because this was the only sunrise I saw the whole trip. Lucky lucky me. :)

 When we got to the island we mostly just looked around at the shops and then we realized that there wasn't much to do and we didn't have a lot of time so we decided to go back to the ship. haha I tried taking an outfit shoot but it was super awkward for me with everyone around and these were the only pictures that survived. Shirt and shoes are thrift, shorts are an old pair of Anna's, and the headband is my mom's. :) I bought a shirt in one of the shops though >>>
Very vacation-y I decided. That's a bit of Nassau in the background too!
Later that day, Max and I got massages. Ahhhhh SO amazing! I got this Thai herbal one and Max got the hot stones. Idk what it is about the Bahamas but that's the only place we seem to get massages! haha That night was formal night at the dinning room so we all dressed up super pretty and got our pictures taken. <3

I drank a lot that night though so the next morning wasn't as much fun for me. But we ended up doing a lot anyway. We went to our first art auction, which made me realize I can't judge art to save my life. We also went to the casino, the arcade, bingo, and the love and marriage show that the ship puts on, which I love! The oldest couple is always so cute! And this year was no exception! Norman and Esther 4 lyfe!

The next day was another island stop at St. Thomas! Now here's a picture overload! We had a longer day to spend here than in the Bahamas so in the morning we all met on our balcony's, which we had just taken all the dividers out, that way we could all hang out easier. The views were amazing. Just LOOK at that water!! Once we had the family together and the ship was ready for people to leave, we set out on our adventure!

{Made it to the island!}
{Max's aunt, Peggy, Janine, Lynn, Peggy's friend}

{You can see our ship from here!}

 We took like one of those gondola lifts up into one of the mountains or hills, which ever. They're mountains to me cause we don't have any of these in Illinois.

 At the top there was some shops and a little zoo! There was also a nature trail but it was so hot out and to get to the zoo you had to climb 4,589 stairs so we didn't go through it, although I really wanted to! I just didn't want to be the only one incase I managed to get lost all by my lonesome. But the zoo was cute. We made friends with one of the goats. So sweet! :)
 I saw this cool cactus that people had carved their names into. I would have as well but I felt bad for it. It never asked to be carved up with names of people it doesn't even know! I went up a few steps on the nature trail and as I was walking, I tripped up a bit, threw out my hand to catch a tree for balance and almost squashed this little guy! Sorry, bro!

We hit up the shops, of course, and I got some presents for my parents, sorry Anna.. Isn't that view amazing?! Almost looks like a fake back drop! Oh and sorry for the sweaty face. haha

After that we all kind of went off and did our own thing or, at least, Max and I did. We went to a beach and had an amazing time! Something I'll never forget. :) We found a nice spot on the beach with an umbrella that we didn't have to pay for, got a bucket of beer, and just hung out in that amazing water for a few hours!

I ALMOST got a sunburn too. I didn't have any sun tan lotion on, which I never need, and my shoulders and face got red, but luckily it was gone by the next day. Poor Max though. We had almost no lotion and when we tried to buy some at the shops on the beach, they only had baby lotion spf 30. Needless to say, he got burnt. My poor fair skinned little man.

The next day we arrived at our last island, St. Maarten or St. Martin, I'm still not sure on the spelling. It's like there are a million ways to write it and maybe it depends on what side of the island you're on. I'm not sure.
{A comparison shot of our ship next to another. So crazy!}
So we got to the island and this time we all spent the day together. :) We arrived at the beach pretty early, around like 9:30 am or 10 am, but it worked out great cause we got the best seats on the beach, there was no one around for a few hours, and it was just nice and peaceful. The day was a little cloudy too but that was good cause it wasn't unbearably hot out.

{A shop had this sign on the back! Our parent's names are Andy and Sheryl. So weird!}

{We had the chairs all in the front row closest to the water.}
I miss that day a lot too. I miss getting to hang out with everyone all day, drinking and having a blast! The rest of the journey was us heading back home. The days at sea were beautiful and they seemed to last longer too because there's just so much to do in one day that you'll swear that morning must have been last week!

Another failed attempt at an outfit post. There was just so much going on all the time that I kept forgetting to take any and when I did remember, I was just never in the mood. Alcohol might have had a part in that as well. haha The shirt and short are, again, leftovers from Anna, the sandals I bought at Ross, and then I had some bracelets on that were a gift.
{Allison, Max, me!}
On sea days we spent a lot of time just wondering around the ship and trying to take in all that it had to offer, but it was hard because there was just SO much to see! At night, after dinner, the kids would all get together and go bar hopping, of course! Max isn't exactly 21 yet but it worked out with him using his brother, Kevin's, room card. YAY!

{Max and Brooke}
{Drinks at comedy night}

{Second formal night, dress bought at F21}
{James Bond lookin' MF}

So, Max and I came away from this trip with a little bit of pocket change.. haha! We were doing WORK at the casino one night and won like $400! Then another night I won at the ships bingo! I won $644! We were so lucky!
{Tell me those lobster tails don't look AMAZING!}
{Yummy desert sampler}
{shirt&skirt: F21, necklace: Macy's}

Sadly, all cruises come to an end. We enjoyed ourselves to the fullest and we got to spend time with family that we hardly ever get to see. Here's a shot from the last night aboard with just the kids courtesy of Bill. 

When we arrived back on land in Florida we drove to Max's cousin's house, Peggy's son, to visit him, his wife, and their baby Alice. It was so nice to be there as a family because Max hadn't seen his cousin in so many years!

But we had to leave them behind as we made our way in our newly fixed RV to Universal. This was the last time we saw them as we pulled out of the driveway. Peggy with her three kids, DIL, and grandbaby. They look so happy and I'm sure they had the best time being together and being able to catch up with one another. We were so lucky that we got to spend this vacation with Peggy, Mary, and Amy. We were truly blessed to have gotten the opportunity to be a family again. <3
{Brooke, Mary, Amy}
Our first day at Universal was great! I've never been there before and learned that there are other parks other than Disney world. Something I did not learn until we arrived. haha I'm dumb. But Universal studios and Adventure Island were GREAT! The first day we set out around 4ish and just went on as many rides as possible! Here's a shot of the kids and their honey's courtesy of Bill again!
{Kevin, Babel, Max, me, Donnie, Allison, Brooke, and Sam}
Then we had dinner with the parents. Things started to settle down after that. We were all stuffed and the park was to close in like an hour. But Max, Donnie, Allison, and I decided to hit up one more roller coaster before we went back to the hotel and I'm glad we did! Right when we got to the top of the ride, before we went speeding back to earth, they lit off some fireworks and it was such a beautiful scene. I didn't see much else after that because I had my eyes closed the whole time, but it was really a special scene to see.

The next day was Adventure Island, we got up super early because we had early admission because of the hotel we stayed at. We got to the park around 7 or 8 am. The day was just rainrainrain but that didn't stop our parade! We hit up some outside roller coasters cause we figured they'd get closed down sooner or later with the storm that was coming in and then we made it to Harry Potter!!!! All my dreams came true that day. We saw Hogwarts, had breakfast at the Three Broomsticks, we went on the Harry Potter ride, and we drank butterbeer!! Who cares if there was a little rain?

{The hogs head bar!}

The rest of the day was great too! We spent like 10 hours at the park in the wet and the rain! We ended the day mostly riding water rides, because why not at that point? haha The whole day was so much fun! I miss that day a lot too. Just walking around, drinking beer, being with family, and since it was so warm out the rain and the water rides felt sort of nice! But all good things must come to an end. Bill, Janine, thank you guys so much for all that you've given us! We are so lucky that you guys give us the opportunities that you do. Thank you for the whole trip and for letting all us significant others be a part of your lives!


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