Thursday, December 09, 2010

Of National Icons, Cruise Ships, and Legos

It's been a busy three months. I taught 9 credits of writing at Rogue Community College this Fall, which made my life full, complex and wonderful. Not only did I meet students with stories that astounded, troubled, and inspired me as I graded their 66 papers every other week, but I earned enough money to pay for our upcoming family vacation! (That last part is important, only because we hadn't anticipated a big vacation this year.)

But that's right, we're going on a vacation. And that's the point of this post.

Last summer, Mick's Mimi (grandmother) invited her entire extended family to join her on a cruise to the Bahamas at Christmas. She generously offered us passage on the cruise if we could get ourselves there and enjoy it.

We said Yes! (We've done this before, two other times: once to The Caribbean, another to Alaska.)

Here's what we're hoping to do:

We'll head east several days before the cruise to explore on our own before we meet up with everybody. We'll land in Philadelphia and start there, seeing the Liberty Bell and eating Philly cheese steaks.

Dane surprised us yesterday with a few Lego renditions of American Symbols.
Here's the Liberty Bell, of course.

Then we'll spend some time at the magnificent Mimi's, where she'll whoop us once again at cards.

We'll also head to DC to spend a day at the Smithsonian, and another day on the Trolley Tour, visiting the White House, the Washington Monument, and the Lincoln Memorial.

The White House. He hasn't figured out how to make the top rounded part yet.

We can hardly wait!

He threw in the Statue of Liberty for his cousin Indi who'll go to New York before the cruise.
But it doesn't end there, which is so hard to believe...

From there, we head on a cruise ship to The Bahamas with 23 other members of Mimi's/Mick's family, four generations of Reynolds. That alone is special.

What's also special is that in Orlando, the kids and I will hit up Harry Potter World while Mick will fulfill a dream of wakeboarding at a water park all day. I think his cousin Andrew will join him. (We would've joined him on that, but the kids' ages aren't quite right yet, and I have a feeling Harry Potter World might have won out anyway, since that's where their cousins will be!)

We'll also snorkel and play at the beach at two stops in The Bahamas.


I'm in the middle of packing right now. Now that we have to pay $25 a checked suitcase each way, complete with size and weight restrictions, I need to be efficient!

I've done it before and I can do it again, but if you have ANY suggestions or tips for me, leave a comment, please.

  • Any tips on how to pack most efficiently?
  • Any items I'll absolutely need to bring?
  • Any places in that itinerary that I should bust a rump to get to?
  • Any things I should look for?
  • Any ways to prep my kids other than reading books about the Revolution and American Symbols, or watching Night at the Museum? 

Fire Away!


KUrlie said...

I'm really excited for you all to get to go on this whirlwind vacation! It's kee to remember meds, eyeglasses, and chargers for phones, etc. Anything else, you can buy if you've forgotten it.


KUrlie said...

Uh, that's KEY, not kee. Lord my typing skilz.

Anonymous said...

You are going see SO MANY interesting things. How fantastic!!
Oh, When I saw the first picture I thought they were legos (obviously I didn't read the Header very carefully!!), and then I saw Dane had done them. GREAT idea, Dane. Can tell you are rarin' to go and have already done some studying up.
You will all have so much fun. Woohoo!, to use one of Karen's favorites.

Mom, Big Share, Mema

anjie said...

I just thought 'kee' was some high-falutin word you were tossing my way from the Messiah or something.

Break a leg this week, Karen! Wish I was going to be there to listen to you fulfill your dream!

Be sure to give me a link, btw, so I can post on FB and notify friends in that neck of the woods if they want to go... (or maybe you already gave me that link).

Mom: Wish you were coming with us! But, alas, you're a Rasmussen, not a Reynolds. Maybe the Rasmussens or Coopers need to do something like this. Even scaled down to, say, 6 of us! :)

Anonymous said...

I told Jan today I should take her place!!

Jennie Englund said...

This trip will be so rich, so fun, a long-lasting memory.

Can't wait to hear about it when you come back.

(Hey Dane, Dominic likes your Statue of Liberty best!)

Dori said...

Well..for the packing, I say forget it all! who needs anything more than changes of underwear to enjoy this trip?!

Wow...I loved the legos :) Have a wonderful time. I'd be lying if I didn't tell you I'm a tad jealous. ;)

Anonymous said...

Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww, i wish i could go to the Bahamas.
wait i am going.