Sunday, October 9, 2011

Sail Away With Me

by Meghann on October 9, 2011

Happy Sunday from the middle of the Atlantic Ocean!


We have nothing but a big blue sky overhead and blue waters as far as the eyes can see around us. Life is good. :)


Can I stay forever? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Yesterday we waved good bye to the U.S. and hello to 5 days of sun and relaxation.


Heeellllooooo vacation time!

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First things first – FOOD!


As soon as we walked on the boat, we dropped our bags off and headed to the buffet on the Lido Deck. I barely had anything to eat since my 17 mile run that morning and needed food fast.


The grilled mozzarella and veggie sandwich really hit the spot. Nothing beats a nice chunk of fresh mozzarella and pesto on a sandwich.




The apple coffee strudel cake was delicious – it was moist, fruity, and the crumble on top was extra cinnamon-y and decadent. However, the cupcake? Not a fan. The icing was the flavorless whipped stuff and it had dried fruit baked in that was an unexpected not-so-nice surprise (tasted like fruit cake). Blah.



Granted, its been a few years since my last cruise, but I was pleasantly surprised the muster drill didn’t require us to grab our life jackets from our room and bring them to our assigned location. We just had to show up and listen to a five minute safety speech on what to do in case of an emergency. “If you hear a siren – grab your life jacket and come here.” Got it.


And with that – we were off!


Now, THIS is what I’m talking about!



There was lots of napping, reading, and doing absolutely nothing. I <3 vacation!

Derek and I opted for the late dinner reservations when we booked our trip, this meant we got to take our time enjoying the afternoon before our 8:15pm seating.


We were randomly seated with two other sets of young couples who were all active and really easy to get along with. We discussed running (one of the girls is training for her first marathon in February!), kids, and FOOD. We had a table of good eaters. ๐Ÿ˜‰


They’ve changed the menu set up a bit since my last Carnival cruise. You used to have an option for a salad/soup starter, and then the main course. Now, you just have an option for a starter and a main course without the separated salad/ soup option. However, you can still order how ever much you want of everything, which – for me – still meant a separate salad/soup, starter, and main meal. (The girl next to me ordered almost the whole menu so she could try everything – I knew then that we would be good friends. ๐Ÿ˜‰ )


We started with bread


and a not-badly-priced bottle of wine (was expecting a lot worse when they brought the wine menu).


Derek and I both nursed a glass each, so the bottle was re-corked and saved for tonight’s dinner.


My first appetizer was the chilled gazpacho. It was extra spicy, but missing some of the cooling cucumber flavor I love in fresh gazpacho soup.


I followed the soup with the escargot. It’s one of those things I only ever order on cruise ships, so I made sure to savor every buttery garlic bite. So rich and so worth it.


My main course was a pumpkin pot pie.


I LOVED the chunky, sweet pumpkin housed underneath the flaky crust, but my table-mate wasn’t as big of a fan. It was very rich, dense, and definitely a ‘Meghann’ dish.


Chocolate melting cake with vanilla ice cream for dessert.


Derek had ordered something different and was immediately jealous of mine. I won for the better dessert choice. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I would love to say we stayed up taking advantage of the late night activities, but I was fast asleep by 10:30pm. I was wiped and was out like a light as soon as my head hit the pillow.

Can you believe I was the one who wanted to sleep-in and skip the gym this morning, but Derek wouldn’t let me? He has this goal of running at least a mile everyday we’re on the ship. I think it’s his way of combatting all the food we’ll be eating this week. Boys. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I obliged and begrudgingly got up with him at 7:00. (usually I’m the one forcing HIM up with the sun!)



We fueled up with toast and jam before heading to the gym.



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No running for me this morning. I walked for 20 minutes, then did some deep stretches. My legs aren’t very happy after yesterday’s 17 mile run – they need to recover and loosen up before I start pushing them again.


We did the fancy breakfast in the main dining room.


Lemon poppyseed muffin




Baked apple


Yum :)

Pool time!



Complete with slide



Hot tub


And putt putt!

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There was some pear nibbling at one point


Followed by lunch in the fancy dining room (I’m a fan of the fancy dining room option – yes, I’m 92 years old and I don’t care ๐Ÿ˜‰ )


I like how they start you out with bread every time.


And you don’t have to wait in line for food. You sit, order, and they bring it to you. :)


Plus, the sushi and vegetable fajitas were worth it. Probably my two favorite things I’ve had on the ship so far!


We’re taking a siesta before heading back out to enjoy the sun. It’s nice not really having a schedule to stick to – we’re doing our own thing on our own time without any worries. Love it! :)


Chicago Flashback!

October 9, 2011

Happy Marathon Day Chicago Runners!!! Tomorrow it will be exactly one year since I ran 26.2 miles of Chicago. It was – and remains – my favorite marathon of all time. Nothing can compare with the energy and scenery that the famous flat course is known for. From running by the famous Chicago sign, to more ยป

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