Florida Gators and Caribbean Cruise: Day 4 November 10, 2018

(click here for today's pictures)

After sleeping wonderfully well, we all stirred and headed down the breakfast. Anderson, Graham, Campbell and Keaton went down to breakfast together. Soon Whitman and Robby followed. Then Reagan and I went down.

It was a good breakfast with plenty of options including a blueberry bagel which did make me happy. They still didn’t have any flavored cream cheese, but maybe I am just focused on the eggs benedict that I am hoping for on the cruise.

Once we ate, we loaded up the cart. As Anderson was bringing the cart up the elevator, a lady commented to him, "you have done this before." He said that he replied. "Yes ma’am, this is not my first rodeo."

From our hotel, it was probably only 15 minutes until we made it to Miami Beach. There was plenty to see, and we didn’t even make it to the nude beach. We took a picture by the iconic Miami something or another. I guess it is a calendar. We kept calling it a clock until we walked aay and Graham said, "that clock doesn’t even tell the time." True, is just said that date and the temperature.

We walked down to the beach and stuck our feet in the Atlantic. We have now been to the Pacific and Atlantic in just a few months plus we have also been to a Great Lake plus yesterday's’ Gulf of Mexico. Not too bad for a family of Southerners.

We then drove around Miami Beach. Robby and i were probably more interested in the Art Deco buildings than the kids were. The kids were actually busy picking out which boat they would buy. Anderson asked if we had never gone on any trips, if we could buy one of the boats that we were admiring. Robby said that we probably could not have (I disagreed) but he did say that we would have been able to get new kitchen cabinets.

From there, we headed to the Miami Holocaust Memorial. It was pretty massive and interesting. The kids have heard some about WWII and even some about the Holocaust, but wow, the pictures on the walls were pretty eye opening.

7-eleven was the next stop. The kids were thrilled with their icees, but I was pretty disappointed. As you can imagine, this 7-eleven did not have the slurpee Christmas ornament that I was going to buy. Oh, well, I bet that we will hit a few more before we get back to the land of no 7-elevens.

We had not driven too far when Whitman’s slurpee caught up with him, and he needed to go to the bathroom. We pulled off the interstate to a busy street, but had to drive forever until we finally made it to a Burger King to potty at.

Afterwards, we ran into the Five Below to buy some sunglasses for the girls. We had left theirs at home. So after we had our drinks, pottied and had new sunglasses we were finally back on the road to Biscayne National Park

For some reason, it seemed that we took wrong turn after wrong turn to get there. Towards, the last few minutes I was making lunch in the back while Robby was driving through backroads of palm tree farms. We were beginning to worry about the accuracy of our GPS. Thankfully, we did make it and finished our lunches for a few minutes in the car.

Then we headed towards the visitor’s center at Biscayne National Park. Robby and I have been there in the past and after receiving the kids’ Jr. Ranger badges, we took off on the short little trail that we did last time. It was through the Mangrove trees. The park was quite festive today with lots of picnics and people fishing.

Afterwards, it was back to the car for a drink and to drive towards tonight’s hotel. We had a bit of re-packing and re-arranging to do. Once in the hotel, Robby and I worked moving things around into two different piles-cruise and not cruise. We even did a load of laundry while some of the kids showered. All of the kids enjoyed the cookies from the front desk, and I am sure that we have even eaten 2 dozen of their cookies already.

We worked a bit around the hotel, then everyone loaded up to go and see Grannymom and Grandpa at the airport. Robby dropped all of us off, and we ran in to greet them. We didn’t have to wait too long before they came out of their gate.

We had already figured out where there baggage was going to be delivered and would you believe that there luggage was the very first that came on the carousel. The kids grabbed Grannymom and Grandpa’s suitcases and we headed to find Robby. He had to park upstairs so we took two escalators and were soon at the car.

From there, we zoomed on back to the hotel. While Whitman showered and Robby started the laundry, I heated up supper-chicken soft tacos, nachos, hot dogs, banana bread, chips and salsa, strawberries and blueberries. It was a real buffet-I guess that I was getting us ready for the cruise ship.

We worked all evening long getting things settled and organized to get on the boat. I made my list of how many bags we will have as we board the boat-so far the count is at 4 suitcases, 1 duffle bag and 8 bags or backpacks. I am pretty sure that there will be at least 2 more bags...now if our bags are this stuffed right now, how full will they be when we leave the cruise? Gracious me! I should have majored in packing logistics.

Around 10, we all started to bed down for the night. Graham, Campbell and Keaton are sleeping in the living room area with the plan of going to breakfast early with Grannymom and Grandpa. Tomorrow will be another big day and my crew is super excited about getting on that big boat.

Now, Robby and I saw a cruise ship today that didn’t look too super exciting. He even thought that maybe it was out of service. I checked, and it looked like we could sail out on it today. So now in the back of my mind, I am a bit concerned that maybe our boat might be a bit scary looking too. I doubt it, at least I hope not. Fingers crossed!

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