Well, the long awaited day came! Magnus' wish was coming true!! I took over 500 hundred photos on our 8 day trip, so I am going to to a post for each day we were gone. After going to the temple early Saturday morning with my sister and family, we rushed home to our kids so we could get to the airport.
Since we had to leave by 11 and we got home at 10:45 from the temple, Andy and I made sure we were completely ready to go the night before. We were up super late packing, doing homework assignments that would be due while we were gone, and getting carry-on's together. I had a list of about 25 things to do before going to bed and I finished everything except one assignment for school. It was actually a pretty big project that was due (a 10 page technical report, bleh!) for an online class and I only had the rough draft written. I knew I had a day of travel to work on it and one night in a hotel before getting on the ship, so I figured I would be okay.
Anyway, after arriving home, our friends, The Barlow's, came to pick us up to help us drive there (we couldn't fit everything in one car with all of our luggage) and the kids grabbed their carry-on's, and we all hopped in to head to the airport!
We had 10 suitcases, and 8 carry-on's. We were a sight to behold. The kids were so helpful with everything though. I had a little chat with the them while we were waiting to check our luggage. I explained that this was going to be a long day of travel, and so was the next day. We were going to have to wait in a lot of lines and they were going to be bored for some of the time. I told them to just expect it so that they would be prepared. We also decided right then and there to have a "Happiness Contest" and see who could be the happiest throughout the whole trip. They liked that idea, so for the majority of the day they were all so good and so patient. Teasing and whining was minimal and all it took was a reminder about our little "contest" for someone to turn their frown upside down. :)
Our flight was delayed, so we had a little bit of down time before loading the plane. I was so happy with how smoothly everything went!
Finally! Ready to go! We got super lucky on our first flight and the 5 kids and myself got the very back row of the plane all together (we flew with Southwest), and Andy was a few rows up. This was the only time we all got to sit together. We are terrible at remembering to check-in on for our flights in advance, so we were always the last in line to load, haha.
We left the yucky air in Utah behind, thank goodness.
Isn't that absolutely disgusting?! That is what Salt Lake City resident's breath every year for 2 months!
And finally, clean air.
We had one quick layover in Chicago where we ate dinner. Do you notice a theme with Baron? He is definitely my stinker when it comes to pictures.
After our second flight we arrived in Ft. Lauderdale at 11:30 PM. The hotel had a shuttle that was supposed to pick us up, but since we arrived so late we were worried it wouldn't be there. Andy used the courtesy phone to hurry and call and they said the shuttle was leaving in 5 minutes. Our luggage hadn't even been unloaded yet, so Andy ran outside to flag the shuttle down and tell them we were waiting for our luggage. He caught the driver right as he was pulling away. Phew!
We got out and loaded up in record time to head to our hotel for the night.
The kids were wired from the day and it took awhile to get them settled in their room and ready for bed. Since we had 2 rooms, we kept Magnus with us and the other 4 stayed in a room together. After Magnus fell asleep I got set up to finish my project. Oh my goodness, I was so tired. I mentioned earlier, but I had gotten about 10 hours of sleep the entire week preceding this trip. It had been the craziest week and it all just caught up to me at 1 in the morning in Florida. I HAD to finish this assignment and turn it in before we got on the ship the next day, because I wouldn't have wi-fi and it was due by that night.
I worked on it until about 2 AM and then realized I was falling asleep while trying to type. I snapped out of dozing off and realized I had typed all sorts of nonsense onto my paper, haha! I decided to sleep for a few hours and get up early to finish. I set my alarm for 6 AM.
Apparently I slept through my alarm (as did Magnus and Andy-- it was only 4 AM in Utah!) so I woke up in a frenzy at 7:30 and rushed to finish my paper. While I finished it up Andy took the kids to breakfast and got them all packed up and ready to go. He helped me type up the Table of Contents while I showered and got ready and ate the breakfast he had brought up for me. I turned it in right at 9:45 and we had to be down in the lobby at 9:50 for our shuttle to the port. Phew! Talk about a huge weight lifted off my shoulders (and PS I even got an A on the paper!)
We rushed down to the lobby only to find out our shuttle had just left.... UGH! To be continued...!