There were lots of things I LOVED about our very first cruise. (Royal Caribbean, Liberty of the Seas, sailing out of Galveston, TX with stops at Routan, Honduras, Belize City, Belize, and Cozumel, Mexico for you seasoned and curious cruisers.:))
- The ship was amazing! To us (with nothing to compare it to), it was luxurious and gorgeous.
- Our room, though small, was a marvel of “well-used space”. Remember, we live full-time in 300 square feet, so we KNOW small space living!
- As for on-board activities, there was something for everyone –
(A pitiful picture of)The adult side – Honest, there were two large hot tubs, a nice quiet pool, lots of deck chairs and no kids under 16.
A walking track (and more deck chairs)
And even with all the people on board, it was still possible to find a quiet corner when you just needed some peace and quiet. (That’s Gary in the orange shirt.)
- The food was abundant and delicious
and the servers were attentive and fun
- The entertainment was varied – everything from ice skating
to rock bands
to a very hilarious juggler. No picture – we were too busy laughing!
- Our excursions (though they seemed expensive to us novices) were lots of fun –
We did a monkey refuge tour and zip-lining in Routan
and enjoyed some snorkeling and a private island off of Belize.
Our time in Cozumel wasn’t quite as successful. We opted to just get a cab to a beach and were a bit disappointed in where he took us. Ah, the unsuspecting tourist. But we still salvaged the day (though Gary did loose his glasses in the ocean) and made the best of a less than perfect morning.
And we made it back to the ship before the lunch buffet closed, so all was not lost.
- But of course, the very best part of the cruise was the people we were with! So much laughter, so many giggles, so much fun!
The things that surprised me about the cruise (and cruising in general, I suppose) was the emphasis on shopping. Diamonds, designer watches, art auctions (who knew?), clothing, cosmetics – the options were endless. I left the ship with a $10 dollar scarf and a $7.50 lanyard (really, they couldn’t have supplied that?) so all was okay on my end. But the shops seemed busy each evening, so I’m pretty sure most of the folks came prepared to take home some cruise swag.
Just looking through the photos to put together this post brought back such wonderful memories and I was reminded once again how blessed we are to have been able to take such a special vacation with such dear friends.
If you’d like to see more of the fun we had – there are plenty more pictures HERE! And trust me, I really whittled them down!
The last 8 weeks have been about as fabulous as possible, filled with family, friends, and frivolity, but right now nothing is feeling quite as lovely as being home.
My own bed.
My own shower. (yes, it’s small, but it’s mine (ours!))
My own clutter.
My own stuff.
It’s past time to get my life back into some sort of routine, back into taking care of life business, and back into SOWER work. While I’m working on making all of that happen, I’ll just share a time-lapse of Gary and I building some ductwork for the project here at Montrose. You’ll just have to imagine the racket that was involved!
And now I’m off to do some Cruisin’ Musin’
Oh my – where have the last two weeks gone! 15 days on the road, RV repairs, three different beds, ball games, swingsets, tulips, good friends and wonderful family!! We fit a lot into those two+ weeks, and once we got settled in our spot at Montrose Bible Conference (Oh my, it felt good to push out those slides and once again gain access to my drawers!), I was consumed with catching up with Life, which had pretty much been on hold for those couple of weeks. And now that the bank statement is balanced and the monthly SOWER newsletter is (mostly) done and the laundry has been caught-up AND the floors have been vacuumed – we’re off again!!! Crazy, I know. But the ever precious Girls Week is about to start, and I’m pretty excited about getting to hug the necks of those sweet sisters! So, at this point, the best I can do is recommend that you check out the PHOTOS page to catch a glimpse of what adventures (and fun!) we’ve had since we left Oklahoma.
I’ll do a real catch-up SOON!!!
….I do a little blogging, right? Although I still have to put together a post about our wonderful cruise –
and then catch all you’all up on our April project at Oakridge Ministries in Anadarko, OK.
I thought I’d do a little real time update, instead.
We left Anadarko bright and early Tuesday morning.
We did have a small concern in that the “Warning” light on the dashboard came on just as we were starting out. It doesn’t actually tell you what’s wrong, just that SOMETHING isn’t right. All the fluids were good, and she was running fine, so we opted to drive up to Oklahoma City (about 45 miles) and get it checked out there.
We made it without incident, and they were able to diagnose (and replace) a failed transient suppressor (you wanted to know, right?). That’s the good news. The bad news is that they spotted a potential problem with the “#3 Exhaust Gasket” – it had a leak and there was possible damage to the manifold. However, since they couldn’t fix it until next week sometime, we opted to continue on and get it looked at (a second opinion is always a good idea anyway when $$$ is involved) in Ohio since we’ll be there for over a week. (Are you glassy-eyed yet?) Sooooo…..
With the 4 hour delay, we only got to the Missouri Welcome Center before we stopped for the night. Not quite as far as we had hoped, but thankfully we had no additional mechanical issues.
This morning we started out in the rain –
and it pretty much rained all day, all the way.
Eight Hours. Driving in the Rain. Ugh. But we made it most of the way across Illinois and, Lord willing, we’ll make it to Columbus (or at least to the diesel mechanic) by the end of the day tomorrow!!
As I type this, we are sitting in a Walmart parking lot in Effingham, Illinois watching it rain.
(And listening to PSA’s about severe weather warnings. What county are we in again? Do we head into Walmart if it gets too crazy?)
It looks like we’ll be in the rain for most of the night –
We’re the blue dot – and let me say, that green blob has been with us all day!!! We can only pray that it will be long gone in the morning!
I’d like to say that I’ll be catching up soon with Cruise and Project posts, but the truth of the matter is after tomorrow my days will mostly be filled with kids and grands. And once again, blogging will get placed on the back burner! (But that’s really how it should be, don’t you agree?)
Thanks again for stopping by!
Now some of you might be wondering just what a “Round-up” is. Well, in our SOWER world a Round-up is simply a gathering of SOWER friends – both old and new for a weekend of fun and fellowship. Here is a little write up done by my good buddy, Kim, that went into the April eNewsletter –
GOOD MORNING TRINITY PINES!!!! was the familiar call to order before daily morning devotions at the March TX “Round-Up”. Host Trinity Pines director Phil Springer, as well as Forest Glen and Camp Cho-Yeh directors each took a turn leading devotions, blessing, inspiring and challenging us through the Word and personal testimonies. And as if that wasn’t enough – gregarious games, fantastic food, titillating talent, cozy campfires, melodious music, an amazing auction, tremendous Trustee/Office Q&A and SOWER family fellowship rounded out our days and evenings.
So let’s just unpack that a bit…..
Oh my! Everything from toilet paper races
to kayak races
to archery contests –
to a game of hot potato with an ice ball (I asked for an ice-breaker and they took me literally!)
EVERYONE had a good time with the wide variety of games that we played!
From the hot dog roast that started our event
to our delicious meal at the dining hall
to our always favorite pot-luck dinner
no one can say they went home hungry!
A favorite event of any Round-up/Rally/Reunion is the Talent Show. Serious
or funny –
all talent is welcome! What fun we had!
We kept the campfire going from early morning for the coffee crowd
till late at night.
We even enjoyed a movie night under the stars –
(Nothing’s quite as fun as a group of seasoned RV’ers watching “The Long Long Trailer” with Lucille Ball and Desi Arnez!)
We all enjoyed a time of praise and worship each morning, and even managed to put together a couple of “Choir” numbers!
Plus, there is nothing quite as stirring as 60 SOWERS singing our official SOWER Song – Our Best
A long standing tradition at a SOWER Round-up is the auction. This year was no exception!
We had everything from essential oils to homemade sticky buns to RV equipment to adorable potholders! No pictures of the auction itself, but we raised over $3200 for the SOWER ministry so we think that’s a pretty good thing!
Tremendous Trustee/Office Q&A
Every SOWER Rally also likes to include a Trustee Q&A. This year we had two board members, Jenny and Kim, along with our two office staff, Ray & Alean. It was a great chance for folks to ask any questions about our guidelines and offer suggestions to help improve our ministry.
It’s always a profitable time!
And finally –
SOWER family fellowship
This is truly what a SOWER Round-up is all about. Connecting with new friends, reconnecting with old, and being reminded again (and again!) what a wonderful family we are all a part of.
It was a stellar couple of days – we are so very blessed to call these folks brothers and sisters in Christ. Our Family!
There are additional pictures HERE if you’d like to check ’em out.
Or, if you have a couple of minutes, some should scroll through below!
Posted in Family and Friends, Pictures of the Adventure, RV Life, SOWER Projects, SOWER Projects 2017, The Adventure
Tagged Campfire, Family, Rally, Reunion, Round-up, SOWERS, Trinity Pines