Monday, August 12, 2013

Happy Birthday Month, Mom

 So, on July 27, 2013, we boarded the Oasis of the Seas, Royal Caribbeans largest ship. Friends Mike and Debbie dropped us at the port of Fort Lauderdale. We were booked into the Sky Loft Suite, on decks 17 and 18...the tippy top. (2 story windows leading to our private veranda.)

Mom announced that she was hearty enough to climb and descend the stairs so she elected for the loft bedroom.
 Sister Kris and I shared a very nice sofa bed; our personal butler (!) sneaked in each evening and made up our bed.

Likewise, he entered during our breakfast and returned it to a couch.

We had GOLD pass cards which unlocked our room and opened some special places to us.
 As Kris is the senior traveler, she got right to work, planning our days: Ice Shows, Water Shows, HAIRSPRAY, stand-up comedians, and more and more....she wanted to make sure we got to everything

You might want to google to see more but what follows is our trip..
 Can you believe it? There's an open air park in the middle of the ship.
Some staterooms open on to the park. All of the specialty restaurants are along the park paths.
 In the center is the Royal Promenade. Shops, restaurants, of course bars, all sorts of goodies.

If you got hungry between meals, you could drop by for a pre-meal pizza slice.
 Mom really liked this chair. She wanted a photo sitting in it.

There she is.
 The main dining room, appointed with linens and crystal. Many diners dressed for dinner.

Our table was right next to a porthole so we could watch the ocean go by.
 You can jog/walk along deck 5. Its outward border is lined with lifeboats. I happened to peek in and see what looked like a mini-bar. I asked. Righto...."Not much in it...some beer and snacks." So glad to know that as one is waiting to be rescued, one can nosh a bit.
Caribbean colors in Saint Thomas

 I took several shots, trying to capture the size of the ship. I also spent way too much time looking up.  My TWO skinned knees testify.
Kris getting hooked up

The Water Crew is trained to make sure that everybody on top deck has a good, wet time. Kris and I both tried the wave runner, a surf simulator. We flopped (Kris has a bit more style) on our bellies and rode the wave up and down and up and down and out.

Also, on top is the Zip Line, 90 feet long and 8 decks high.
Kris egged me on....she told me that my kids and nieces and nephews would be disappointed if I didn't try it.

They strap you into a complicated harness that take all of the weight.
 I asked, "But what if 'someone' passes out?"

"No'll just zip down there and we'll catch you.

 Oh yes....there's also a boardwalk. Ice cream, candy shops and of course, a donut case one needs a post-breakfast, pre-lunch snack.
 Also, here's the full sized carousel, with hand-carved ponies

Pretty cool.
Just looks like shrimp, yes?
 Although the specialty restaurants cost extra, our private butler(!) gave us that night, at Chops Grill, in Central Park.

MMMMM. They boast that it is a Chicago-style steakhouse.

This was my shrimp cocktail. Kris reminded me that sister Janelle always photographed the food and told me to do it. I found that like many of the things Janelle did, it takes an eye and talent.  Ah.
One of SEVERAL birthday dinners, complete with dessert and singing.
Carved ice candelabra
 Kris and I took a stroll to downtown Charlotte Amalie.  The street sign indicated that it was 1/2 mile.  Nah.  More like 2 1/2 or 3.
In the blazing sun.  In 95 degree heat. BUT I had a coupon for FREE EARRINGS so we were on a mission. Got 'em.

Then on the walk back, right by the Pizza Hut, what do we SEE?
MAGIC ICE:  Ice Bar.
Ice Throne
 Amazing. After we shelled out a few bucks, we donned hooded parkas and leggings and gloves and entered this amazing exhibit.

BRRRRR and fun!

Last Port of Call
And so, as Mom celebrates her 90th on the official day (8/24), she'll need to mull what we will do for 91.


  1. Love the synopsis Lynne! Enjoyed every minute of our days together. So fun celebrating Lady Evelyn's 90th birthday on "Oasis of the Seas." XXOO

  2. Lynne, how much I loved the the wild and wonderful adventures of the Hayes ladies celebrating Evelyn's 90th! What great memories. You have inspired me to find a zip line and go for it!

    I also ventured into the recently and beautifully chronicled journey with Michael and the grief that has followed. I am thankful that you found the words to record in those moments which must have seemed impossible to write at the time. They will be a balance and comfort to you as you look back, and will help so many others who face the same. I think you might have a book...even a small one, that would be thankfully received. Hope you can consider it someday.

    Will keep checking in...Jina (Krissy's friend in California)