Relaxing (or at least trying to) in Port A.

portaransas

This past weekend all Brielle wanted for her birthday was “to go to the ocean”. Well, we made that happened and my parents booked a trip for all of us to go to Port Aransas from Fri-Sun.

I am going to break down the hotel we stayed at, the restaurants we ate at, and some of the best and worst of times during our weekend visit!

On Friday afternoon, after waiting in the LONG ferry line and finally crossing over to enter Port Aransas, we went straight to our hotel (Beach Gate Condos), and started to unload/unpack all of our cars and talk about dinner plans!

Friday night restaurant: We ate at San Juan Restaurant and it was delicious authentic mexican food! I had the most amazing chalupas I have had in a while.  Everyone seemed to enjoy it very well, and it had a lot of options for the kids to choose from.  Down side was that it was VERY noisy and did not have a lot of room in between the tables for high chairs.

Adventure #1 Paradise Pond behind the restaurant–so pretty, could definitely take some pictures of the scenery there! It was so beautiful! Down side: The mosquitoes were CRAZY bad and we all got a few not so pleasant bites!

Hotel Swimming- It was so nice to have heated pool and a cold pool, especially since our kids tend to freeze pretty easily! We chose to spend most of our time in the heated pool, but of course there is a down side to everything.. and it was definitely the fact that I kept getting other peoples hair ALL over my arms. So gross!

Saturday Morning Breakfast: We ate at the Island Cafe which had AMAZING food and were HUGE portions! 1 pancake could fill you up! When the waitress warns you “you should probably get 1 of anything, because the portion sizes are huge” you should take their advice.  I had pancake, and oatmeal and it was so delicious! Down side: When you order oatmeal, the toppings (brown sugar, raisins, milk) come in VERY tiny cups, and you should ask for a few of each if you wanted it to be a decent portion!

Adventure #2 Beach– we spent the entire afternoon out at the ocean with winds approximately 55mph, so that was an adventure in and of itself, but so so fun! The kids laughed, played, and built awesome sand castles (that got swept away), but it was just the perfect relaxation time!

Dinner Saturday night: Seafood and Spaghetti Works had over an hour wait (and no room to wait inside the restaurant) but the food+ the salad bar was SO delicious and worth the wait! Shane got this Double meat, bacon, avocado cheeseburger and finished it ALL! It was crazy good though, so I am not surprised!

Adventure #3 Birding Center–Which was VERY stinky (right next to a water treatment facility) and the smell didn’t leave until about half way on the bridge to the birding center! My parents took us there to go see some alligators, but there were NONE in sight. So shocked and surprised! Downside: There is NO shade and it was very hot out. They did have a viewing deck/observation deck but the stairs were VERY steep and I was kind of scared to have all of my kids go up and down them.

Sunday Morning breakfast: Drive through Restaurant San Juan(same as the first one) on the way out and had the most amazing breakfast tacos!! We would highly recommend them!

Overall, it was a GREAT weekend, with lots of new and fun memories made! We will definitely know better with what to do next time we go though!

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©2017 Sheridan Johnson @Journey with the Johnsons. All Rights Reserved

Let’s go cruisin’

Johnsons take cozemel

So my niece graduated High school this year and wanted to take a big family trip with everyone in the summer to celebrate! She just didn’t know quite what she wanted to do.  Well, fast forward a month and a half and we finally all booked a vacation to Cozumel!  Well, the only thing was.. we were taking a giant ship to get there!

First off, let me just say that I have never left my husband and babies for this duration of time, and it felt like an eternity without them.. and technically it was only 5 days!

Day 1: This was the day we were so excited/nervous to all (all 7 of us) to be going on this cruise, not knowing what to expect and we just wanted to make the most out of it! When you arrive to park your car at the drop off, no one seems to tell you that it takes about 45min-1 hour to get through security/check your luggage to actually get on the ship.  Then once you enter, you must go to guest services to put cash money on your “charge card” because that is the only way you will be allowed to buy anything on the ship. no cash/card purchases are accepted.  They then give you a key to to your room and you head on down to the room.. along with thousands of your closest friends as well, ha!  Just as soon as you load all of your belongings in your room and think you have time to go “explore” the ship, they call you on the intercom down to floor 0 (bottom floor where the life boats are) to go over an in-service on property safety and rescuing techniques, in case an emergency would ensue (let’s just say.. they have a terrible system in place, it took them over an hour to do a proper head count of all the guests on the ship)!After standing shoulder to shoulder with no A/C for so long, we were ready to start our exploration of the ship! Carnival Liberty has a total of 11 floors, with LOTS to explore/do ALL the time.  That’s basicallyhow day one was spent (along with gambling and trying these crazy good drinks)!

Day 2:  Let’s just say this was night 1 of no sleep.. I don’t know how people could actually live/work on this cruise year around.  The sleeping quarters are terrible (tiny room to accommodate 4 people per room), and you feel/hear the ship moving the entire night (especially when using the restroom/taking a shower).Moving on–this day was all about checking out what they have to offer during the day (trying one of the 3 dining rooms, new food, going to the gym, just an overall day of a lot of walking and exploring and attending lots of shows), and making the most of it!  It was definitely a lot of fun, and since you have no Wi-Fi, or any way to get in contact with anyone.. we tried not to go off very far from one another.. because there is definitely no way we would run into each other.. it’s THAT big! We knew we had to go to bed semi-early since the ship was to arrive at Cozumel bright and early at 8:00am that next morning!

Day 3:  Night 2 of no sleep yet again. haha (who actually sleeps on vacations anyway?! lol)! Woke up bright and early at 5:30am to make sure I was showered and had everything in order to have time to eat breakfast before heading out since I didn’t know if we were going to make a food stop in Cozumel or not.  We bought $29.99 excursion which allowed us to spend 4 hours experiencing the culture and really seeing a lot of how they actually live. When we arrived off the ship, we had to walk through this area where they sold practically everything.. for less than we have here in Texas (or in America really).  Alcohol, clothing, cigarettes, jewelry, perfume.. you name it, they had it, and they definitely hustle for their money! About 30 mins after we arrived, we were set to start the excursion.. well let me tell you.. if you think Texas is hot.. add a TON of humidity.. dang! We got to spend 1.5 hours at the beach (HELLO $20 all you can drink.. and let me tell you, I took advantage of that deal), and then the other 1.5 hours eating (they had the best guacamole I have ever tasted) and shopping (bought the kiddos some cute stuff)! Literally right when we got back from the excursion, we had to rush to get back on the ship before it departed.  Once we got back we all just relaxed for the rest of the night, way to tired to do anything.

Day 4:  Night 3 of no sleep (of course), and felt the ship move at time high this day.  We were all basically ready to do this day.  Legit just roamed around the ship, relaxed, worked out, went swimming, and went to a couple of shows and participated in 80’s night which was so fun for majority of us! It was a great way to end the trip and I was SO READY TO GO by the end of the night!

Day 5: (I actually got 3 hours of sleep, hooray)!  I got up at 530am, showered, made sure everything was packed and ready to go and went out to get coffee and see the sunrise for the first time before heading home. I actually met up with my sis-in-law and mother in law on the top of the ship and it was so pretty and SO nice when we actually stopped moving and knowing that we had arrived back to Galveston, Tx! Thank goodness.

Overall would I do it again?  Probably not for a LONG while..if ever!

Was it worth almost $1000 round trip? No.  Next time I am going to fly there and spend the same amount of days and actually get to ENJOY Cozumel all day, every day.

I did LOVE spending time with my in-laws and getting to just talk and hang out–sans kiddos.  I would have loved if Shane could have gone as well, which is definitely a must for our next major vacation!

I will leave you with a few pictures from the trip, and hope it doesn’t deter you from taking a cruise with your family/friends.  Everyone’s perspective is different, this is just my opinion. 🙂

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©2016 Sheridan Johnson @Journey with the Johnsons. All Rights Reserved.