Cough cough

It has been brought to my attention that I actually have fans out there who are wasting away due to the lack of entries on my part. Seeing that the last entry was July 12, I guess I have some serious updating to do….Most of you have followed my box saga on Facebook, so have a rough idea what’s going on, but I shall endeavour to fill in some blanks for you.

I’ll start with my trip to Alaska, and will simply transcribe the journal entries I wrote each night in my snazzy spiral bound book. How archaic, yeah, I know, but I don’t have a laptop. Get over it. So we begin:

Sunday July 15, 2012: The Adventure Begins

Following an uneventful drive to Mississauga, we checked into the Delta Airport West for our “Park/Fly/Stay”. Brianna was her usual outgoing self, joking with the desk clerk, who was quite funny and entertaining. He asked where we would be travelling to, and was quite amused by Brianna’s insistence that there would be penguins in Alaska.
About half an hour after we were settled in our room, there was a knock at the door. We were handed a small plate with an attractive arrangement of chocolate bark and chocolate covered strawberries. Unfortunately, Brianna got into it before I thought to take a photo. It was accompanied by a card which, when we opened it, proved to have a picture of three penguins, with the following note:

“Dear Stilwell Family,
There may not be penguins in Alaska, but you can say you found these three in Canada!
Enjoy your stay!
From your friends at the Delta Toronto Airport West”

How utterly cool is that!

Monday, July 16, 2012 : A Day of Travel

We caught the shuttle to the airport and worked out way slowly through all the lines. We had a bit of a panic when Sean realized he had accidentally left his fedora in the hotel room. I phoned the hotel, told them exactly where the hat was in the room, and they assured me that housekeeping would retrieve it so we could pick it up when we return for the car.
The flight was uneventful – well, except for Brianna looking ashen and gripping the arm rests so tight I was certain her fingers left marks! She genuinely seemed shocked when we landed in Seattle safely. Too many episodes of Disaster 911…
After retrieving our luggage – which entailed a train ride from the gate to the main terminal – we found a taxi and headed for the port. Ours was the only cruise ship docked, so it was easy to find – and I guess the giant mouse ears on the funnels would’ve been a dead giveaway!
We worked our way through a couple more lines to finish the check in procedure and were finally able to board our ship. In true Disney style, each family is welcomed and introduced to the crew, who are waiting at the bottom of a sweeping, curved staircase.
“Disney welcomes the Stilwell Family!” -vast applause-
Our cabin wouldn’t be ready until 2, so we went in search of food. There is a restaurant (Beach Blanket Buffet) that serves a glorious lunch buffet! We all found things we liked, and I was very proud of Sean for trying several things he’d never eaten before.
After lunch we wandered around, exploring, until our cabin was ready. Luggage was still being delivered, and it was quite amusing to hear a THUD at the door, open the door and find one of our suitcases!
Next on the agenda was the cast off party on deck 9. Lots of dancing, singing, and loud applause for the various characters. This is Disney after all! I absolutely loved this – the positive, happy energies were almost overwhelming.
At 4 we attended our mandatory safety drill.
At 6:15 we went to a “welcome aboard” musical show in the Walt Disney Theater. It was thoroughly enjoyable, with lots of humour that even Sean picked up.
The kids have both spent time in the clubs for their age groups, and will likely head back there after dinner. I don’t think I like this 8:15 dinner time – it chops up the evening and we will miss a couple things we would’ve liked to have seen. Oh well, what can you do.
So, to summarize: in one day we flew, taxied, boarded a cruise ship, went to  a party, and saw a live show! And the night isn’t over yet!
Tonight we dined at Animators Palate. We are seated with a family from California – Mom (Cathy), Dad (Craig), and their beautiful daughters – Alyssa, 14, Stephanie, 18, and Heather, 17. We will be with them for our character breakfast, and all dinners, and will also have the same serving team as we move through our restaurant cycle.
The dining fare here is a bit more upscale than we are accustomed to, but we all managed to find something. Sean and I both tried new things, and liked them! We had Baked Potato and Cheese soup to start, followed by Lemon Marinated Roast Chicken Breast, which was served with mashed potato and cubed veggies. Yes, cubed. Little blocks of beets, carrots and something I couldn’t identify, but which had absorbed the flavour of the beets, so it was all good. Dessert was a Double Fudge Chocolate cake, and it was divine.
After dinner Brianna and Alyssa agreed to meet at the teen club, and Sean took himself to the tween club. In the evenings there are plenty of activities for adults, but I chose to just stay in the cabin. I was tired, as it had been such a long day of travelling, and I just wasn’t feeling up to attending a dance or a concert on my own and trying to speak to random strangers. Sleep sounded more attractive.
And to all those people who told me I wouldn’t even feel the motion of the ship – you are so very wrong! I’m so thankful we opted to use the anti motion sickness patches, because you’d better believe I can feel the motion! Lying in bed I can feel a gentle rocking sensation, which seemed to help me sleep better. And when moving around the cabin I have to have one hand touching something solid, more for reassurance than to aid balance though.
I would have to say that day one of the cruise was a huge success!

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