Welcome back! Today, we have PICTURES. Wooo Hoo!

Day 2: Coco Cay

7:45AM - Woke up. Banged my head on the pull-out bed above me (Shaggy's). Swore loudly. Took a shower. Attempted to get dressed in the bathroom, which was the size of a postage stamp. Banged my knee on the toilet. Banged my elbow on the sink. Almost went ass-over-teakettle into the shower. Finally, said, "Screw it," and finished dressing in the room while praying the boys didn't wake up for a view of my naked ass. I didn't succeed. Halfway through dressing, Doodlebug opened his eyes and then proclaimed LOUDLY, "Ohhhh, I should NOT have seen that!" To his future therapist -- So. Sorry.

8:45AM - Finally managed to fully wake up Mr. Clean and the boys. Learned that ALL people of the male species are incapable of getting out of bed without farting. Multiple times. Learned that the walk-in closet with beds holds the smell of farts LONG past what's tolerable. Immediately decided that I would have my OWN room on any future cruises. Called BabySis in her room and begged to be allowed to share with her. Cried when she said NO.

9:30AM - Breakfast. I tried. Fixed a plate of scrambled eggs, hash browns, and various fruits. Coffee. Managed some pineapple, watermelon, the hash brown wedge, and a bite of eggs. Do they use powdered eggs? Ugh.

9:45AM - Decided that breakfast was NOT going to stay with me and headed (quickly) back to the cabin.

10:00AM - Lots of moaning. A few tears as I realized I might MISS snorkeling on Coco Cay (where we were currently anchored).

10:02AM - Shaggy came in, took one look at me, and then left quickly.

10:15AM - Daddy walked through the door. I don't want to move. I don't want to talk. I want to HURL. He MANHANDLES me, twisting my arms so he can force seasickness bracelets on my wrists. Tries to stick pink chewables of some sort down my throat. Thankfully, I still had enough brains left to ask what they were first... Pepto Bismol. If he'd succeeded, he'd have been wearing pink within 30 seconds --- I have a seriously violent physical reaction to Pepto. Think Exorcist, then turn everything pink... that's me and Pepto. He reaches into his other pocket and pulls out orange-flavored antacid of some sort and sticks them in my mouth (Oh yes, he physically STUCK them in my mouth... because I am FIVE).

10:30AM - Admit that yes, perhaps the bracelets are working and maybe it wasn't JUST the powdered egg at breakfast that caused my issues.

10:45AM - Boarded a shuttle boat to Coco Cay. Still a bit queasy but determined that I WAS going to snorkel, dammit. Because I've never done so. And I'd already paid for it.

As we pulled up to the dock, I saw this and promptly forgot my stomach:

And then this:

How can anyone think about a queasy stomach when you see that?

11:30AM - Found the Snorkel shack and collected our fins, mask, and vest. Attended a quick and dirty lecture on using the vest and mask. The instructor sprayed "stuff" in our masks and assured me it would not sting my eyes, just to dump the remainder out, give it a quick rinse, and there she goes.

11:45AM - Strolled down to the snorkeling cove:

Totally pristine. The rocks were coral, the water was clear, and Oh My Heavens was it COLD. It felt AMAZING, especially after the morning I'd had. Immediately, I had No Worries beyond trying to get those cursed fins on my feet (which had swollen slightly on the plane and had yet to go down completely, even though I'd chugged gallons of water since boarding the ship).

12:00PM - Everyone was suited up and in the water. I put my mask on and HOLY CRAP ON TOAST... it BURNS... it BURNS... my eyes are on FIRE! I took the mask off. I can't see. I'm blinded for life. I rub my eyes, rinse the mask again, and put it back on. Nope. It burns! My eyes are flaming balls of red heat. And in between Very Brief moments of visual clarity, I notice that Doodlebug? He's not looking so into the snorkeling all of a sudden. Oh he likes wearing the mask and squirreling about in his fins but when I mention swimming out a bit further, he totally balks.

12:15PM - Doodlebug and I are DITCHED by Mr. Clean, BabySis, and Shaggy. They take off for the deep end. I'm in chest-high water, Doodlebug clinging to one arm, my Mask of Eyeball Death hanging off the other.

12:30PM - I finally get my eyes to calm down long enough to keep the mask on for more than 30 seconds. I figure by this time... Whatever. It's not going to work. I turn my attention to getting Doodlebug out there to see some fish. At the least, I want him to have fun. We head out and around a jetty of coral, to where the water is clear and I encourage him to put his face in the water and check out the view. He does so.

12:35PM - Doodlebug pops his head up out of the water and says, "I want to go in. I want to go in. Now. I'm going in NOW." I'm dumbfounded. "What did you see down there? Fish?" He shakes his head and says, "Some sort of pit or something. I want to go in now." I'm thinking, "A Pit? A pit within a pile of coral has scared him back to the beach? Are you Kidding me?" We head back. As soon as he can stand, he scampers out of the water and toward the chairs where a bunch of family members are sitting.

12:45PM - I'm hanging out in the middle of the cove, my mask still on my arm, my eyes still burning. But it's getting better every minute. FINALLY, I'm able to get my mask on and go snorkeling. Woo hoo! Except... umm.... I'm ALONE. I can't find Mr. Clean or BabySis or Shaggy anywhere -- and really? How was I supposed to? It's hard to tell who's who from their butts sticking up out of the water.

1:00PM - I see LOTS of lovely, lovely FISH!! In between moments of such profound silence I am POSITIVE SURE a shark is coming to eat me any second. Unfortunately, my periodic flailing about in order to take a 360 degree view of my surroundings... you know, to SEE the teeth before they eat my leg off... scares the fish away so each time I have to go searching for them again.

1:30PM - I see my Aunt Silly headed my way. Woo hoo!! Someone I know. I'm not alone! She gets to me and I notice her mask is not on. "It burns!" She tells me. Umm, yep... I know the feeling. It seems it may be the saltwater as opposed to the spray-stuff. And once mentioned, it dawned on me that I couldn't remember the last time I'd been in saltwater. Jamaica, I guess, and that was like almost seven years ago. We head out together toward a lifeguard tower, where the fish are said to be amazingly plentiful.

1:45PM - Plentiful is an UNDERSTATEMENT. There are so many cool fish - Tangs, Gourami looking things, striped fish, etc. They're nibbling at my hair and rubbing against my hands. I'm in snorkel heaven. I'm also sporting a hellacious calf cramp but I don't care.

2:15PM - I head back to the beach with Aunt Silly and find everyone else already out of the water. Eating. My stomach growls. I go to put on my jean shorts and find a seagull has graced me with a present, alllllll across the butt and part of the leg. PRETTY.

2:20PM - Doodlebug decides (Finally) to go out snorkeling with Cousin Bubbles, Mr. Bubbles, and Aunt SuzyQ. He shows absolutely none of the fear he had earlier. I'm relieved and excited for him.... and maybe a little Meh about him not wanting to go back out with me. Then again, I'm a bit water-logged and my stomach is drawing attention with its scary noises.

2:30PM - Eat lunch while watching the dive-bomber seagulls steal people's food. They are NOT shy. One poor guy set his plate down, then turned to grab another from his wife and in that tiny-tiny window of seconds, fifty gajillion seagulls swooped down like sharks in a feeding frenzy and STOLE that man's food. There wasn't a CRUMB left on the plate. He stood looking at the now-empty table as though he couldn't quite grasp what had just happened. Of course, we tried not to fall out of our chairs laughing -- not necessarily because it was funny but because it had scared the ever-loving bejeezus out of us. I thought I'd just entered a film set for the sequel to The Birds!

2:45PM - Finish lunch, while keeping an eye on the hundreds of seagulls lined up at the roof's edge just a few feet away... where they WATCHED ME with their starved eyes. I could hear their little brains clicking and every now and then one would squawk "Mine! Mine!" to the others, while staring as though my eyeballs, so well-soaked in saltwater, looked like the filet mignon of beach-fare.

3:00PM - Doodlebug arrives back on the beach, now sporting some tiny red marks on his arm. He claims they sting. I immediately come to the conclusion that he's had a run-in with jellyfish. No matter how I beg and plead, while trying to keep a straight face, he will positively, absolutely NOT let his brother pee on his arm. Not. Going. To. Happen.

3:15PM - We head to the Medic shack, where there is a lonnnnnnng line of folks waiting and all of them sporting similar red marks. The lifeguard on duty mans his post with a grin a mile wide and two giant spray bottles filled with vinegar. When we finally reach him, he informs us - as he spritzes my son with vinegar - that they're tiny Moon Jellyfish and the stinging should disappear within about five minutes.

3:30PM - We board another launch and head back to the ship - exhausted and sunburned. Believe it or not, there apparently is a BIG difference between Coppertone Sport SPF 50 No-Rub spray (supposedly waterproof and sweat proof) and Coppertone Ultra-Guard SPF 50 lotion spray. Mainly that the Sport doesn't WORK and the Ultra-Guard works so well you only have to apply once. Guess which one I took with us?

This is the last view of the island:

And then it was back to the ship:

3:45PM - Attempted a quick shower but found we had NO WATER. Apparently, everyone else on the ship wanted a quick shower also. Took a nap. Took my sunburned skin, my salt-watered hair, and my youngest son to the shopping level where I visited the coffee shop for the largest Iced Almond Mocha money could buy and he had a scoop of ice cream. Did you see that? ALMOND, folks. Digression: I miss my Almond Mochas soooo much. Thanks a bunch, Starbucks, for discontinuing my all-time favorite flavor for coffee. Boogers. Digression over. The coffee on board was Seattle's Best. And it was Gooood. Of course, by then I was detoxing on my Starbucks addiction so any coffee tasted like heaven.

4:15PM - BINGO! A few of us meet up in the theatre to buy Bingo cards and pull-tab instant win lottery-type tickets. Cousin Tippy-Toes' fiance wins $100. I encourage Doodlebug to kiss my tickets. We win $5. We buy another batch for -- you guessed it, $5 -- and he kisses them again. We win $5. I'm hesitant to pursue more gratuitous kissing on my Bingo cards as I wouldn't want to start a gambling addiction or anything like that. After having ONE number to go, three games in a row, I kick myself for not letting him kiss the cards. Still, we had So. Much. Fun.

8:30PM - Dinner and we were all seated together! The head waiter really came through for us. I was thoroughly impressed. It was formal night, so we were all dressed up. Earlier, we'd sat for a family portrait. We gathered stares as the poor photographer tried to get us all placed and situated. After it was all said and done, though, we collectively agreed that he'd taken MUCH less time than we did every year doing our own. Everyone looked gorgeous and we had a great meal together.

10:15PM - The Love & Marriage Show. Think the Newlywed Game but instead of just newlyweds, add a couple who's a little on the crazy side and then another that's been married for twenty or thirty years. Guess who the newlyweds were? No, go on, guess....

Yeah, members of my family. One of my cousins (Aunt Silly's son) and his wife of nine months got up on the stage and aired it ALL.

I may have almost peed myself a few times - like when she had to choose between Gone in Sixty Seconds, Superman, or Finding Nemo to describe my cousin's umm.. prowess in bed. Or when she was asked what was the first thing he touched after the alarm clock when he woke up every morning. Or when she answered that the the oddest place they'd had "whoopee" was in a jacuzzi and he said it was in her parent's living room. The best part of all was the fact that the ENTIRE family had shown up to watch this particular show. We all found out much more than we'd ever wanted to know about them. My favorite answer of my cousin's wife was to the question: "What's the most annoying thing about your husband?" She answered: "When he talks with his mouth open." Obviously, she meant when it had food it in also but what a sweet, sweet, Freudian moment.

More tomorrow....

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