Friday, December 31, 2010

Day 6 - Cozumel - New Year's Eve!

View of Nachi Cocum

Morgan on Beach
Today, we had a private tour on a private beach in Cozumel. It was nice to not be rushed in the morning. We went up to the lido for a quick breakfast - cereal for the girls and I had a bagel. We left the ship around 9 ship time (8 Mexico time), and we walked through the port area to the area where the cabs where. I think Katie asked where we were going 18 times. I kept telling her that we were going to the cabs. She kept saying that she didn't think it was the right way. We finally found them. Whew...

Katie and Michael
We got a van quickly for the 6 of us and headed to Nachi Cocum. It is a place that only takes 100 guests a day where you have included food and drink at a beach club. Basically, when you get there, they take your picture and you get shown to your little palapa shade with chairs.

Morgan Relaxing in Shade
We got Morgan into the shade and got settled as the sports guy came around. Chris and Mike have a dive at 10 Mexico time (it is 9:15 now). The boat comes and picks them up at the dock. I had a really hard time understanding him, and I was really wanting Mike and Chris to talk to the guy in Spanish. Instead, they let me flounder with him in his broken English and the heavy accent that I couldn't understand. We finally understood that he was saying that they would try to get the dive shop to pick them up but if not they would have to walk two piers down.

Beautiful View
Morgan, Katie, Michael, and I are going snorkeling at 11 Mexico time. The boys head off and we order drinks. It was unlimited drinks including alcohol. What a bargain. Too bad I am hungover from my little binge yesterday. I start with a banana daiquiri thinking it will help. The kids all get virgin daiquiris. Morgan tried several flavors before finding one she liked (strawberry with sprite). Michael got pina coladas, and Katie got strawberry daiquiris.

 Kids getting in the water and shrieking

Michael and Katie braved the cool water while Morgan and I chilled in the chairs. Judging by Katie's screaming, I didn't think I wanted to go in and I was wondering what snorkeling would be like. Michael was thrilled by all of the coral that you could just pick up in the shallow water and on the beach.

Family Relaxing at Beach

At 11, they got us for our snorkeling. We had paid our bills for scuba, snorkeling, and the beach. All of the prices seemed reasonable to me and matched what we were told ahead of time. We got in the glass bottom boat and went out a few minutes. Then, the guide led us through the water. We saw several angel fish, barracuda, puffer fish, a sting ray (the guide made it swim), big schools of fish (the guide swam down and forced them apart and it was cool to watch them go back together), zebra fish, and lots of other cool stuff. The coral in Roatan was way prettier and the dive was much nicer in Roatan. However, there were very cool fish and a lot of them in Cozumel. The coral was typical of Mexico. Reef then sand then reef then sand. But, it was really fun and relaxing floating on the top and looking at the coral.

Michael Chillin in the Hammock
After snorkeling, we went back to our rough life on the beach. Morgan and I read. Katie and Michael relaxed in the chairs. We ordered lunch. We had appetizers that ranged from nachos to french fries, to chicken wings. We ate chips and salsa waiting on the boys to come back from scuba. It was after 1 and I was starting to get a little worried about the boys when I saw the boat pull up. Whew. The kids kept ordering more and more virgin drinks. I bet they were regretting the all inclusive price about now. :)

Katie Snoozing
For lunch, I had fish tacos, Mike had enchiladas, Michael and Morgan had grouper, Katie and Chris had burritos. It was pretty good. Morgan and I read more while everyone else slept. It was pretty funny. Michael went into the hammock for a while. I think everyone enjoyed it a lot.  We got a cab back to the ship for a reasonable $30. Morgan was nodding off the whole way  back to the port. It was so cute to watch her nod and then realize she was sleeping and JOLT back awake.

Carnival Ships in Port (Legend was ours and the one in front)
We shopped at the port a bit and bought some souvenirs. Then, we got back on the ship. We rested, napped, and relaxed until it was time to get dressed for formal night. It is New Year's Eve! We all got dressed in our formal wear and went to get pictures made before dinner. We did two different stations to get different backgrounds. At the second one, we also got just the kids. I will have to scan in the pictures because they turned out really well. We even decided to get canvas versions of them to hang on the wall.

Sun Rays So Pretty

View from Cozumel Port

Morgan and Michael were disappointed that there wasn't any lobster for dinner.  I had prime rib and so did Mike. Morgan and Chris had salmon. Katie had chicken, and Michael had pasta I think. They all split at the end of dinner to go to Circle C. The big debate was whether to change clothes or not because the schedule says formal but last time the kids weren't dressed up. They decided to change. Chris did go to O2 dressed up though. Mike and I went to the lobby bar and told the kids that we would be there if they wanted to meet us.

Mike Being Silly

Morgan with her fancy water (with a cherry!)
Mike didn't want to dance because he was all dressed up. I kept trying to get him to go back and change. We had drinks at the bar and then  got our champagne that was part of the wine package we got earlier in the week. We were all ready. We got one last Malibu Bay Breeze while we waited. The dance floor was packed, and the music was fun. Then, the countdown began. Morgan showed up about 11:45. Katie said she came about 5 til, but we didn't know that and didn't see her. At midnight, they dropped balloons from the lido deck all the way down the atrium. It was pretty cool. They had a contest where you could put your name in a balloon and if you caught yours, you won a cruise for 2! It was pretty funny watching everyone bat them around and pop them. A girl about Morgan's age won!

Balloons on the way down

Balloons as they are falling

Balloons Getting Closer

View of Bar

2010 was a good year in many ways. I accomplished fitness goals that I never dreamed possible. From my first half marathon to my first Olympic triathlon, to my first half ironman, to my first full marathon, it was quite a year. Unfortunately, it was also a year of health challenges. I am proud of the way Morgan and our entire family has rallied after her diagnosis, and I am hopeful that Cure JM can help fund a cure. We did our part by raising money through the second half of the year with a finale of the Jacksonville Bank Marathon fundraiser where we raised over $8K for Cure JM!  I am very, very thankful for my fantastic family and my wonderful friends. 2010 would have been a harder year than it was if it hadn't been for both.

We are proclaiming 2011 to be the year of health and house since we are hopeful Morgan will get better and our whole family will get healthier too. We also want to get a new house, so that will have its own journey as well. So, here is to health and house! Happy New Year! 2011 - Bring it on!

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