the trip

Ok kids, here’s my blog for my week of vacation. If you’re not interested and want to skip to the newest section pop down to the bottom of this entry.

Friday March 29, 2002: Travel
We left for the aiport about noon CST for a 2:30 flight and we got through security with plenty of time to spare. I thought that I may as well pull out the laptop and see if there were any 802.11b networks to be found. Lo and behold, MSP has a free internet access (through April 30th) wifi network. I was able to check Leoville and my mail one last time, good thing too because I got a great email from Jan about Key West which is bound to help up when we get there. We flew to Atlanta and had a two hour layover, alas there was no wifi network to be found but we did have to eat dinner anyway. We changed planes and flew on to Melbourne, FL where we landed about 10:00 pm EST. We drove up the coast to Merrit Island where we stayed the night.

Saturday March 30, 2002: KSC
We got up early (for me) and drove the few miles out to KSC where we took a tour and got to see a number of presentations and NASA artifacts which I enjoyed, took a number of pictures which I hope will turn out pretty well. After lunch we droveq bac towards Orlando, we soon found our hotel there and unpacked. We went to Steak n’ Shake for dinner but it was not on par with our previous experiances with the chain. Anna was feeling sick muchq of the late afternoon so she stayed at the hotel and sleptq while we went to a 7:30pm Easter Vigil Mass at a local parish. Let me say that it was a very energetic parish, reminded me of a southern protestant church. Anyway, that took the average 2 hours and we returned, hung out by the pool and enjoying the nice weather for a while and then turned in for the night.

Sunday March 31, 2002: Islands of Adventure
We got up early (again) and dad and anna dropped the rest of us off at Universal Islands of Adventure while they went to an Easter Sunday mass. We rode the rollercoasters there and met up with anna and dad a few hours later. We all went and rode the rollarcoasters again together. This was noah’s day for the vacation and he wanted to spend it at the theme park. After a while the rest of us got pretty tired out but he went and rode some more stuff. About 5:30pm We left and drove down the turnpike towards Miami, stopping for the night in Fort Pierce.

Monday April 1, 2002: On to Miami
We got to sleep in for a little while today because we can’t board the ship until at least 1 pm anyway. After a short breakfast I discovered a cat 5 cable hanging behind the desk in our rooms so I thought, why not hook it up and see shat it does… a short while later I was checking some leoville messages and downloading new email. We decided to head out about 11:00 which we did and drove down the Florida Turnpike to Miami. After filling the rental car with gas and returning it to Hertz at the Miami airport we caught a shuttle to the pier. It was a little before 2 when we arrived at the boat, which was perfect because there were no lines to get on. One of the fist things we did was to have lunch at one of the buffets on board. Afterwards we explored the ship for awhile and met again for dinner at an onboard pasta cafe. Dinner was good and afterwards I went and caught a comedy show at one of the clubs. After that got out I headed to the other club for the 70s night. The crowd wasn’t too big and the band pretty good, suffice to say I got down with the dance floor. Since it was midnight by this time and it was an early wakeup in the morning I headed to bed.

Tuesday April 2, 2002: Key West / At Sea
The boat arrived at Key West, FL sometime early in the morning. We got up at 7:30 and it had already been docked and cleared. After eating a quick breakfast at one of the buffets on board we headed ashore to catch the Key West Conch Train which gives an excellent narrerated tour of the island. That took us until 10:30 we had only an hour and a half before the ship left again. I would have liked to have had a full day in Key West, but at least I got some pie. I also took a walk down to see Hemingway’s house and Truman’s “Little White House.” I’ll try to post some pictures once I get them developed. We sailed about 12:30 in the afternoon and spent the rest of the day at sea. It was pretty hot so I took a long swim in the afternoon and then dired off in the sun. I took a shower and had dinner at a poolside bbq. Afterwards I was able to catch a pretty good sunset and got a number of pictures to post. I went to a meet the captain event and then caught a broadway tunes show. Of course it being the second day of a four day cruise I had to meet some crew. Before and after the show I struck up a conversation with Christien, the onboard sound technician who is primarily responsible for mixing the big shows and also doing installation and repair of all sound systems onboard. He was nice enough to take some time after the early show to give me a tour of many of the non-public audio facilities aboard the ship and we had a great time discussing sound and lighting systems for live and studio work. After sticking my head in the other lounge which was doing Karoke I headed down to the cabin to cool off for a while. I’m going to head up to the second showing of the broadway show soon and try to get some still photogrpahs and then pop in to a 50’s through today live music event in the other lounge. At midnight I plan to be at the Chocaholic buffet and will certianly snap some photos too. We get an extra hour of sleep tonight, heading into the central timezone again, of course we loose it going out of Cozumel again tomorrow. We’ll see how that goes I think we’ve got tickets for a sail, snorkel and beach party which should be fun.

Wednesday April 3, 2002: At Sea / Cozumel
We got to sleep in today which was a nice change, after arriving in Cozumel we took a tender to the pier and went out on a catamaran sailbot to a reef where we snorkeled for about forty minutes. I took an underrwater camera and when i get the photos I’ll put some up. We got back on the catamaran and headed toa private beach for another hour or two. We had a leisurely sail back to the pier and got to see a pretty good sunset on the way. We still had some time before the ship left so we went to a local restaurant that was reccommended to us, Pacho’s Backyard, it actually had some very good authentic Mexican food. After dinner we walked back to the pier and caught a tender backt o the ship, we sailed about 10:00 at night. There wasn’t to much going on that night so I caught a live band performance and hung out on the decks for a while before heading to bed.

Thursday April 4, 2002: At Sea
I got up early today on my own free will to catch some breakfast onboard. I got an omelett which was very good and hung around the decks for a while. In the afternoon I went and watched some pool games for a while, watched for flying fish, went to a couple trivia games, and a sing along at one piano location. Just before dinner I went to see the Piqua High School Show Choir from Ohio Valley perform some numbers in the theater. They were pretty good at performing, but their singing was not as good as I’d hoped. We went to one of the fancy restaurants for dinner, I had steak which was pretty good and I ran out for a few minutes for a last chance to capture a sunset which was good but not great. In the evening I went to see another production show by the same preformers as the on-broadway show (the Jean-Ann Ryan Company) it wasn’t as good, but they’re not the best group anyway. I hung around the decks for a while and went to a live liar’s club event in the evening (basically balderdash with the cruise staff).

Friday April 5, 2002: Disembarkation / Travel
Had to get up by eight today which was no fun, I even skipped breakfast to get the extra sleep. We got off the ship around 9:15 and were quickly processed through customs, they even stamped my passport for me. We got our luggage and caught a shuttle to Hertz where we picked up a minivan to drive back up to Melbourne. My dad had the idea to drive up US 1 because we’ll be driving down CA 1 in the summer and they’re on opposite sides of the county. Well, my mom soon found FL A1A on a map and wanted to drive along it to see the ocean, it was sooo slow, after half an hour of it I gave up and I took a nap in the back for a while. They finally gave up the idea and took 95 up the coast to Melbourne, along the way I called and found us a great deal on a hotel room on the beach for the night, even though it didn’t really matter since we would only be there a short while. We got to Melbourne about 5:00 and checked into the hotel. We ate at Ci-Ci’s Pizza which we don’t have in the frozen North (yet) and my sister loves it (if you’ve never tried it do so today, it’s great, I promise!). We went back to the hotel for a while and some people went swimming, others watched a movie on TV, we all turned in at 11 since we had to get up to catch the plane tomorrow early, very early.

Saturday April 6, 2002: Airports / Home
We had to get up at 4:00AM to get showers and get to the airport to get on our 7:00 flight to Atlanta, it was unplesent but I made it. I took a brief nap on the hourlong flight. We had an hour in Atlanta so it was pretty much moving from one gate to the other, we stopped and grabbed some Cinnabons to eat on the plane. The longer 2 hourish flight back to Minneapolis was uneventful I took another nap and listened to some music on my laptop. When we got back we decided not to change back to CST because that night was Daylight Savings anyway. Some of us got back in my grandparent’s car and drove home, I went grocery shopping, my dad drove back to the airport to pick up the rest and the luggage. We went to church so we could sleep in Sunday. I stayed up and caught up on Leoville and read my email, headed to bed exhausted around midnight, long day.

Sunday April 7, 2002: Back to school
Got up around 11, read some for history, had breakfast, the ususal. Packed for school and read some more. Left for school about 4:00, got there about 5:30 (sister, slow driver…) got my mail and unpacked, settled in, caught up on my mail, ate dinner, watched the three TSS and one West Wing eps I taped while gone and did some Cisco reading. Sent some emails and that’s about it. I’m exhausted again today and will head to bed soon I hope. I think I’ll write the English paper tomorrow night, yes that sounds good to me. Sorry today’s and yesterday’s was a little brief, I’m tired, ah well back to a regular schedule tomorrow. That sounds good right now…


  1. It sounds like the trip was nice but I couldn’t tell if you enjoyed it or not. So what hotel did you stay in on the beach in Melbourne (well actually Melbourne isn’t on the beach)? I’m just curious since I grew up on the beach outside Melbourne.

  2. Yeah, technically it was the town of “Melbourne Beach” but I figgured most people wouldn’t know the difference 🙂 it was a refurbbed Quality Suites since their are 6 of us 🙂 To make it clear I really enjoyed the vacation, well except for the 4AM wakeup the last day 🙂 and would love to take another cruise…maybe they need some 802.11b networks on some ships installed, eh?

  3. oh yeah, I got to know the onborad techs pretty well too, I have thier email addresses and am planning to stay up to date with thier activities… might even offfer them a freelance job now and then we’ll see 🙂

  4. I’m glad you enjoyed your trip. It sounds like it was a lot of fun. I know exactly where you were staying in Melbourne Beach. In fact, my in-laws stayed in that same hotel when they came down from MA for my and my hubby’s wedding. Small world.