But she was okay to pose by Captain Mickey.
The beach in Antigua was pristine and perfect. It's exactly what I would imagine the perfect beach to be. I guess Castaway Cay in the Bahamas now has some competition for my heart.
I thought it was a perfect day, but a lot of people were complaining about the clouds. They burned off in no time, and everyone got sunburned.
Kara had a great time in the water. It was warm and clear, with almost nothing but sand to step on. There were some seashells, but it really was a nice, smooth beach.
Evie had a blast hunting for seashells. I almost bought a bucket of sand toys, but it was overpriced, and I'm glad I didn't. They had a wonderful time without any toys. Instead of making a sandcastle, Evie discovered the fun of burying seashells together in a hole for someone to find later.
We were at the beach for 5 hours. The girls were more than ready to get back to the ship. I even snuck onto an early bus back. We were supposed to be there for 30 more minutes, but the kids had had enough of being sandy. Kara's suit got so full of sand between the layers of fabric, and I couldn't get it all out. She was crying because it was chafing her legs, so I had her take it off and wait in the bathroom while I rinsed it in the shower. But there was not much to the water pressure, so I did what any good mom would do, and tore a small opening with my teeth to let the sand out. Now that we're home, I'll have to remember to fix that...
Lucky Kiersten got to go with Ben to meet some stingrays. She was anxious to head out that morning.
I guess they went through some sort of bird enclosure on the way?
Ben said there were just stingrays everywhere, constantly bumping their legs, and eating out of their hands.
Pretty exciting experience for a 6 year old. He had to take her away from the stingrays at first to get comfortable snorkeling. Then she was a little less freaked out to be in the water with them.
I didn't expect them to be so large!
By the end she was brave enough to hold one. But I guess she was still unwilling to feed them. Can't say I blame her, they were her size!
I'm a little jealous, and almost wish we'd left Kara and Evie on the ship so I could go too. But I did get to go to the prefect beach, so I guess you can't have it all.
The kids had a pajama party after dinner, so they all wore their finest sleepwear.
At dinner Ben surprised me with fancy new diamond earrings! I was definitely surprised, and couldn't wait to try them on. He also bought me the dress I wore to dinner. Oh, and that seashell bracelet. What a guy!
Then I got to traipse around the ship in my new earrings while the girls went to the pajama party.
Evie really wanted to get a pic with Cinderella, so we pulled her out of the party a little early.
She actually fell asleep standing up while we were waiting for Mickey. I asked her if she wanted to go to bed, but she wanted to meet him. She does look like a little zombie in all the pictures. This was only around 9pm, I think, but 5 hours at the beach really can wear you out.
After Mickey, she asked to go to bed, but then saw Tiana, so we had to get a picture with her real quick too.
She was more than happy to get to bed, and had absolutely no trouble falling asleep.
The next morning we were in St. Lucia. We saw the brightest flowers there. It was my favorite island plant-wise. They also had huge banana trees.
We didn't sign up for anything through the cruise, and decided to take a taxi tour. The driver said it was normally a 3 hour tour, but we asked him to cut it down, since our kids aren't great about sitting in an un-airconditioned van on a hot day for very long. So he gave us the 1 1/2 hour version instead.
We drove the the top of the mountain to see the Governor's mansion. It's a pretty sharp contrast to all the dilapidated buildings in town.
We also went to see the college, which used to be a military base. The kids didn't find it very interesting, though I found myself quite intrigued.
My favorite stop was a local art museum. They have a few guys that do all of the carving. I loved so many things, it was hard to pick out a piece. But we had to go with something we could easily bring home with us, so I ended up getting a lovely wall hanging.
We also went to see where parts of "Pirates of the Caribbean" were filmed. If you can see that little arch in the background, that was filled with hanging skulls for some of the scenes. The driver was very proud to bring us here.
Fittingly, it was pirate night back on the ship. This time we decided to bring along pirate costumes to fit in better, and have a little more fun with it. The girls were excited to get all dressed up. Evie and Kiersten did pirate crafts before dinner, while Kara got to hang out in the lab. She was not a fan of her underskirt, and I don't think I'll have her use that part for Halloween. (We are making them get as much use as possible from these costumes!)
Pirate family!Evie fell asleep at dinner, so Ben took her for a nap, while I stayed with the girls for pirate dancing. They had a great time. Kiersten was awesome at limbo. I don't think the rod ever got low enough that she even had to duck.
They went back to the lab for a bit, while I joined Ben and Evie for a nap of my own.
We all went to the pirate deck party later that night. Our waiter at dinner told us just the perfect spot to stand, and I was glad we listened. It was the perfect place to see the show. Kara and Kiersten did go down to the deck for some dancing.
Captain Mickey saving us all from the pirates.
Isn't he brave?
Fireworks at sea, a magical end to the night.