Last year on New Years Eve, we found out that my Grandma had brain Cancer…she died less than a month later. (To read more about my Grandma and to see photos of her read these 2 blog posts…HERE and HERE!) She made us promise that we wouldn’t have a funeral for her. My Grandma HATED funerals. She insisted on being cremated and begged us all to just go on with life, like everything was normal. But it wasn’t normal and we all have missed her terribly. Since we live all over the country (Washington State, Alabama, Ohio, Tennessee and Virginia,) it was hard for us all to just “come together”, so my Mom planned a memory Cruise for us all to attend during Christmas this year…since we all knew the Holiday’s were going to be so rough without our Matriarch. It was great to see everyone again, and we had a blast.
My Mom, Bob, Jay, the Kids and I got up bright and early and drove to the airport. The place was PACKED! We got through security, but then my Mom realized that she had forgotten the Disney AND Universal tickets at her house. It was a mad dash to get her in a taxi back home and back to the airport before the plane left an hour later. Somehow we got the best cabbie ever (don’t worry, he was tipped VERY WELL), and she made it in time to board. (Thanks Grandma for looking out on that one!) After that hiccup, it was smooth sailing to Disney’s Art of Animation Resort. We stayed in the Car’s suite, and it was a great hotel. That night we went to the Animal Kingdom to eat at Boma, then to the Christmas party at Magic Kingdom and rode lots of rides…the next day we got up EARLY and hit Epcot…then met my Uncle Ron and Family at Raglan Road for a delicious Irish dinner!
At the airport…
Grandma just made it back in time for our flight! WHEW!Think we have enough bags? Good thing we had such a large vehicle!Art of Animation ResortAnimal KingdomMagic Kingdom never looked more beautifulEpcotChrissy dancing at Raglan Road
The next day it was CRUISE day!! So we got up and drove to Cape Canaveral and boarded the Disney Dream! We all wore Annie’s Kids shirts, that my Mom had made…it made us easy to find and made us feel closer to Grandma!
Jay sat in the back of the Suburban with all that luggageWaiting for the AquaduckMICKEY!Maddy & TruChrissy dips a toeAnd we’re off!Bon Voyage!
We woke up the next morning and pulled into Nassau Bahamas…some of us went to Atlantis, some stayed on the boat…we hit the pool for a bit then went sight-seeing!
Nassau BahamasLove the colorsSugar Happens…sometimes!We had some cracked conch at a little side street restaurant…it was GOOD!This sign cracked me up!HEAVE!
That night was the Pirate party on board…Pirates take over the ship and they set off Fireworks over the Ocean…it is SO COOL!!!
The next morning we woke up on Disney’s Island…Castaway Cay. We had a beautiful day here, full of snorkeling, jet skiing, building Grandma sand castles, laying out and just generally enjoying life!
Tru climbs the ropeA rare Uncle Tom SightingGrandma enjoyed this beach, too!Jet Skiing in the Caribbean was AMAZING!Richard and my Cousin Tara…are having TWINS!Napping!My Cousin ChrissySnorkeling crewLeaving the Port
The next morning was Christmas day…Tru was thrilled that Santa was able to find us on the ship…he even left stockings on our back porch!
Shuffleboard is FUN!Teen Angst Face
The next day we had some tearful goodbyes then some of us continued on the Universal Studios for a few more days.
Mom got picked in the Disaster show…it was SO FUNNY!The Blueman Group made this for Truman!
The next morning we got up super early and went to the Harry Potter park. By the time we left (at 8 a.m.) it was PACKED!! So we went to Islands of Adventure and rode all the big rides. It was a blast!
Everyone was super tired!
But we rallied for some evening fun!
Then we went to the park one last time to hit up all the rides we missed!
The last day, while waiting for our flight, we stopped by Celebration Florida. My Grandma used to live here and loved it. She told us she wanted to be sprinkled in the lake in the downtown area…so we made sure that happened and then we ate at her favorite diner and stopped by her favorite hotel!