Disney World & Royal Caribbean Cruise
Before we joined the rest of our extended family on a cruise on January 4th, I convinced my parents for a few days in Disney World!! It really is the most magical place on Earth and truly one of my favorite places to be! We spent three days and two nights in Orlando, FL and stayed at Disney's Coronado Springs (same resort as our University SWE trip, less than one year prior). We spent our first full day at Magic Kingdom - a classic. We even got my mom to ride Space Mountain!! It was a great and beautiful day to be in the park. The next day, we visited Epcot and even had some wine around the world!! The day began overcast and the park is under many renovations which were a bit sad. The sun came out later in the day which made it much nicer. Unfortunately, we missed the ability to ride the Test Track, but we did enjoy Soarin'. It was rather disappointing to not be able to experience Illuminations: Reflections of the Earth (especially once falling in love with it thanks to other SWE members who wanted to play it after we returned from Florida- we did not play it)! That evening, we visited Disney Springs and got to see the Christmas Tree forest they have, and eat at one of my favorite dining establishments in Disney, Maria and Enzo's Italiano Restaurant!!
From January 4th through the 11th, we went on an extended family cruise through Royal Caribbean, Rhapsody of the Seas. On our itinerary were places like Key West, and Grand Cayman. We missed our last stop due to high winds and rough waters! My mom and Uncle Paul both got onto the boat with a cold. That was eventually passed around to my dad, my cousin Joel, and my Uncle Bill. Aunt Cathy struggled with some seasickness during the cruise, and on the third to last day, Uncle Bill fell and broke his wrist. Beginning about three-four days in, I was dealing with some stomach issues and ended up finishing an entire bottle of Pepto Bismol during the cruise. ironically, we only had two dinners where all of our family was intact and together.
Regardless of the sickness that almost all of us dealt with at some point during the vacation, it was great to have a trip with everyone. We got to enjoy some of the sunshine and relax and visit new places. I particularly enjoyed Key West a lot! We did some bus tours at our two ports, and learned a lot about each place! In Grand Cayman, we got to see some ruins, some dolphins, and even visit a Tequila & Chocolate factory with fresh and wonderful tacos for lunch. Overall, I really enjoyed the experience, and time & memories made with my family!