Thanksgiving Cruise - Key West

Monday, December 01, 2014

Preface: When dad insists on a cruise, you agree. Especially when he's paying.

I had the best week with my family on the Carnival Ecstasy. Unfortunately, Zach wasn't able to join us. He spent the week in Statesboro preparing for the last game of the season- WHICH MADE US SUN BELT CHAMPIONS! Anyway- his parents came down to spend Thanksgiving with him though, so I didn't feel too guilty for leaving him...

The drive to Miami (aka roadtrip) wasn't anything like you see in the movies. No. fun. whatsoever. The highlight of the drive was definitely our venture through Africa. By FAR Africa.. Florida looks like Africa after about four hours driving south. It literally looked like the setting of the Lion King. Basically all Florida needs are two giraffes and a herd of Zebras and BAM- I've found their next tourist attraction.

After about seven hours you truly become numb to driving. This was true for the way there and back. Except on the way back I had a full blown sinus infection (basically d-e-a-d). Luckily I didn't start feeling under the weather until Thursday (which was our full-day at sea), and Friday we docked and returned home. So I didn't miss out on any fun touristy stuff- cause we all know I'm a mega tourist at heart (especially with the camera).

The funniest story I gained from our little adventure would be the M-O-T-E-L we stayed at on the way down to Miami. Mom found a place about an hour above Miami, but in her defense dad is a cheapskate and didn't like any of the nice options.. BED BUG CENTRAL. I was literally afraid to walk on the carpet- not kidding at all. Worst environment I've ever found myself in, and I've used an outdoor gas station bathroom before. I hardly slept that night because I was afraid to move under the sheets, and I woke up in the middle of the night thinking I had a bed bug crawling on my arm. It was a false alarm- lint.. Mom did say it had the best reviews in the area, and if that's the case I would hate to see the other places.

My jaw hit the floor when we boarded the ship. It was beautiful- brass everywhere, bright colors, funky carpet. Definitely as tacky as tacky can be, but it was so precious I just couldn't get enough. We immediately found the dining halls for lunch. Katie and I made a pact that we would hold each other accountable on our eating behaviors. (Mom and dad gained weight on their anniversary cruise last year, so we were terrified we inevitably would too.) We both actually ate so well the entire week though! Of course, I had an ice cream cone after every meal, but I made sure to use the froyo dispenser instead of the ice cream dispenser- so that's basically healthy.. right?

Our first stop was in Key West. It's always been somewhere I've wanted to visit, but I didn't expect it to be as charming as it was. It feels like another world. My must-see was the southernmost point landmark. We waited in line for probably 15 minutes to get our pictures, but I love them so much! I didn't know Ernest Hemingway lived on the island either, but we passed his home while we were walking the streets. We didn't stop by, but it was cute to see it from the street.

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