Ok, I have wanted to do this forever so here goes! As I'm sure you have seen on other blogs, the 2008 Stamp & Cruise was a FABULOUS adventure! I had just the best week ever!! [Yikes, I just realized that this will be a LOT of picture of me in one post - sheesh sorry about that! :) ]
It's only right that I should start with my most wonderful roomies for the week. As you might imagine, spending 7 nights together in a teeny tiny room could potentially be a problem for 3 women (did I say that??) but Amber, Charmaine and I did not have one awkward or ugly moment - it was a pure joy the entire week!! This was the first time I had actually met Charmaine in person, although we had spoken on the phone a few times and of course, she's a fellow Prettie Girl. She is just the sweetest, warmest, kindest person and we all hit it off immediately!! Amber is a friend of mine from here at home and I was so excited to get to take this trip with her! Her daughter Sofia is the same age as my Ethan and she has become a very dear friend over the years! We had an early morning flight out of Manchester, NH, and her husband was so nice to drive us there (I think they picked me up at 3:30 am!).
Getting on the ship was so exciting! I had never cruised before so it was so much fun to take it all in. Here is a pic of our teeny little room - cozy huh?! Actually it really wasn't that bad! I had the top bunk and I have to say it was soooo comfortable - rock solid, with a very nice mattress. When we first got on the ship we couldn't go to our room yet so we had lunch is the Windjammer - think lots of people waiting to get to their rooms, hungry, tired, excited . . . . Amber and I walked in to get a bite to eat and ran right into Nichole and her family eating lunch! How good it was to see her again and meet her adorable children (Amber knew her from looonnng ago when they worked together at Casco Bay Cruiselines here in Maine).
As you might have seen on Charmaine's blog, one of the first things you do at the start of the cruise is have a lifeboat drill. It was so funny to see hundreds of people in huge orange lifevests! Here's a shot of the room were were in. Somewhere in the sea of orange we spotted Nichole again, and then Em! It was so great to see her again too, and meet her fun husband!! And of course, the amazing Nicky was there - LOVE that lady - she is the sweetest, most talented stamper!!
That first day was a little rough tummy-wise! Amber left supper early to try to sleep off a headache and I had a fight with seasickness myself. Thank goodness for those little pills the courtesy desk gives out! We got our goodie bags that first night - OH MY GOODNESS was that exciting!! They were 12 pounds!! Amazing!! All 3 companies as well as a few sponsors were so generous! It was so much fun going through and seeing all the fun products!
I won't bore you with the day by day activities . . . except to say we saw amazingly beautiful water - Labadee Haiti was sooo beautiful and hot and just the perfect day! Jamaica was interesting, but beautiful nonetheless. Grand Cayman was the only day we had rain - and the day that Amber & I snorkeled, yes in the rain, thunder & lightning!! It actually was warmer to be in the water and the fish were so beautiful!! Mexico was stellar! The day was perfect and we had so much fun shopping for bling! :) The times on the ship were f illed with stamping (mostly in the evenings), laying by the pool, eating amazing food, seeing shows on the ship and just enjoying our time with all the wonderful women there!
If I start naming people I will probably forget someone, but I have to say it was wonderful to see Kim and Alma again!! They were in our stamping group (Yeah Group B!!!) and are just 2 fun, generous ladies!!
We had so much fun dressing up for dinner every night - even had 2 formal nights! Our waiter, Vivek was just a real pleasure!! We had 5 women at the table, Kris and LeAnne were so much fun!!
A few final shout outs - the "Girls from BC" we re so much fun!! Char, Wendy, Brenda and Rhonda - LOVED meeting you crazy ladies!! I literally laugh out loud every time I look at this picture!!
There is so much more I could write about - the projects that the 3 companies did were amazing!! I have had so much fun going back through my bag of cards and projects!! How can you get much better than a cruise AND stamping with friends?!
I also had the distinct pleasure of getting to stamp with Hannah Heady!! How cool is that?! She was an awesome stamping partner - we worked together and finished every single project that night!! Than ks so much Hannah - I LOVED it!! :) It made missing our children a bit easier having the adorable Heady children at the table next to ours at dinner time! There were many nights when Ethan would sit and flirt with all the "mommies" at the next table - what a cutie! :)
It truly was the trip of a lifetime for me and I am so thankful to the many people that made it possible for me to go - my loving hubby, my Mom, MIL and SIL who all took turns helping out with the children at home, Gina K, Papertrey Ink and Stamping Bella for organizing this spectacular trip and all the fun stamping ladies I got to meet and share this amazing experience with! I will always remember that week!!