Monday, June 27, 2011

Vaca recap #5...and a winner!

Whew! It was a crazy busy weekend! But now, I am choosing to sit here and blog instead of take a shower. That's saying a lot, because I went to Zumba this morning and sweat profusely. You should really appreciate this blog post!

Before we delve into the "BEST DAY EVER!", I should announce the 300th post giveaway winner! ELIZABETH NOLTE! She has like, a jillion kids, so she might have to get a personalized necklace/magnet of her dog, but whatever the case may be -- get in touch with me Elizabeth :) Congrats!

So when we got back to our room and ready for bed on the night of the "at sea day" -- this is what we found...

I had asked a guest services person at DCL to help us try to get one of the private cabanas booked (long story). They are a huge splurge...$500 for the day for six people. An HOUR before we got on the plane to fly to Orlando, we got a call from DCL that a cabana had opened up! We debated for a few minutes, shuffled some other things around, and took it! There are only about 24 cabanas on the whole island, so they are a hot ticket for sure!

$500? What are we getting for $500 we wondered the day before cabana day. This little hut and info sheet left on our bed answered that question: Private cabana for the day with comfy furniture, ceiling fan, music. Private beach area reserved for cabana guests. Fresh fruit, unlimited sodas and bottled waters. Complimentary Coppertone products. Complimentary sand toys and snacks. Bike rentals (which we didn't use), tube rentals (which we did use), snorkel equipment (which we didn't use). We were happy just vegging in our very own corner of paradise, we didn't want to go ride bikes or snorkel and leave our happy ($500) spot!

Before we got off the ship, we ran into this good looking couple!:

We stopped just off the ship for the token Castaway Cay in-front-of-the-ship picture. The line to have the Disney photographers take it was a bit long, so we had one of our friends take it for us! Good job, Kev!

A ride on the island tram, and a personal golf cart shuttle, and we arrived here:

We were some very happy campers!

The corner just inside the cabana. In that closet was a safe where we could store our cameras, etc. Plenty of extra towels, and along that right side under the table was also the stocked mini-fridge that you can't see.

Plenty of comfy places to sit, magazines to read, snacks to gnosh on.

Outside the cabana, we had a lot of beach area to enjoy! Here's the view from our spot on the beach over to the "rest" of CC.

The view from our back porch!

The water was crystal clear!

Matt, Grandma, and the girls spent a lot of time hanging out on the floaties.

Papa and I spent a lot of time wandering the beach, and sitting in our little chairs with our feet in the water!

This was all part of the "reserved for Cabana guests" area

This is pelican plunge, the fun 'play area' they just built here at the island recently. we never did get over there to play, but it sure looked like fun!

We did a lot of shell-searching and collecting,

We had to DRAG Hannah away from the beach when it was lunch or rest time or time to leave.

Good picture, huh?

The tide went out, and you could probably walk out about a 1/2 mile with the water not coming past your knees!

A family of beach bums and Disney nuts!

The day consisted of playing at the beach, floating in the water, digging in the sand, and taking pictures. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. :) We threw in lunch at Cookies again (and I would have to say that I was a little surprised/disappointed that they didn't offer a different menu than they did our first day at CC). In early afternoon, Matt and his parents headed off for some jet-skiing. The girls and I relaxed in the cabana for awhile. I thought they would 'rest'...but I was pretty much wrong. Basically, I got them to drink something and have a snack and get out of the sun for a bit. Then we were back out to the beach.

To the left of our back porch was a little lagoon area that we weren't really supposed to go out too. To the right was our main beach area where we spent most of our time. There was a rope going out into the water that we weren't supposed to go past. As the day went on, more of the sandbar area started to appear. I asked one of the concierge staff if we could walk out on the sandbar past the rope to look for shells. They said yes, just not to park it out there and have a party or get in the water. The girls and i took off across the sandbar with our sand buckets, shovels, and camera in hand. It was awesome being all the way out there all by ourselves!

I found this kick-butt huge conch shell. I was so stoked! Shortly after I found it, I saw another DCL employee making her way across the sand to us. I said "you're not coming to take my shell are you?" She said she wasn't going to take my shell, but that we werent' supposed to be out that far. I told her I'd asked permission first but she seemed to think I was mis-informed. She also told me that I probably would not be allowed to take my shell onboard. Dang it. So we took a picture. It would have looked so nice in my beach-themed 1/2 bathroom:

I took more pics of the girls. Here's the best shot from the entire cruise:

Matt and his parents came back much earlier than i expected them. The jetski excursion had been cancelled because it had gotten windy.

There was a hammock by our back porch, along with a fresh water shower. Brooke and I both soaked up some serious hammock time, and I'm really wanting one in my backyard now!

By about 2:30 we were all pretty hot and sandy. We wanted to go back to the ship in time to make the matinee show that afternoon. We relaxed in the cabana for a little while and cooled off with these nice, damp washcloths that were in the fridge. Ohhhh they felt so good!

Hannah apparently loved her washcloth, because if you look closely (under Matt's thumb) you can see she stuffed it down her swimsuit. We were halfway back to the ship when I said "Hannah? What is in your swimsuit!?" and she pulled out her washcloth. It was so funny!

We ran into Daisy on our way back to the ship! It was at this point that somehow the camera got turned to some strange setting that makes everything look blue-ish. Happens every trip. I try to edit it back to happiness, but some pics are harder than others to recover from the blue-hue!

It was a wonderful day. Every day we've spent on Castaway Cay has been heavenly, but throw in a private cabana....and it ranks up there as one of the top 10 days of our lives I think! Shoot, it may be in the top 5, only behind getting married and having babies! :) It was such a wonderful day. And worth the $500? You bet.

I'll fill you in on the last bit of that day/night and our last day before we flew home in the next post! Have a great day!

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