A Travellerspoint blog

Griswold Style Family Vacation 2015 2

Day 1

Day One July 6

Antonio and I were up bright and early to go to the dentist. I had booked our appointments in December knowing that we always travel at the end of June. Then we decided to change our trip to July this year, but I didn't want to cancel. It was okay because Quentin had a lot of stuff to get done for the leeemo company before we left.

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After the dentist, we picked up Quentin from our house and got the rest of the luggage and the cooler full of snacks for the drive down. We had a couple more delays and by the time we got to Halie's house, she was calling us and bugging us about where we were! We were finally on the road at 12:30 PM.

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Our route took us through the very scenic Western Kansas. Oh wait, it's not scenic at all. It's a very boring drive. Antonio did a couple activities on the drive. We also put a post it note by the clock that would have a time usually about an hour away that would indicate a prize being earned if his happy face was on green.

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One of his first prizes was this Ninja Turtle scratch off picture.

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Halie sleeping was a common sight.

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A few hours later, he earned some pipe cleaners and made us some awesome jewelry and headwear. We all wore our pipe cleaner creations in to a gas station. When we got out, we were shocked to find how cold it was! The plan was to make sandwiches with stuff from the cooler, and I was standing by the trunk freezing my butt off trying to prepare them. This led to the first minor meltdown of the trip where there was a bit of yelling. What can I say, we aren't a perfect family!

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At 6:45, we made it to New Mexico. We pulled over for a picture. Also for a pregnant side of the road potty break!
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A bit after that, Antonio earned another prize. Pineapple note paper! We spent about an hour writing notes back and forth. By then, I was getting a little sleepy and weird. I wrote some notes to the bread apologizing for Halie smashing it, to Halie's beats headphones for being broken, to the bananas for turning brown, and to Antonio about whining and the possibility of him being strapped to the roof of the car.

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Antonio stole my phone and took about 100 photos that look just like this. You can see gel cling window decorations he earned for another prize. Also some of his workbook work that he hung on the window. You can kind of see our Lightning McQueen road map in the shadow.

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Finally, we made it to our first stop, Albuquerque, New Mexico. We stayed at a Holiday Inn Express. It was nice. It had a door in the room that would connect to the indoor pool, but you couldn't unlock it. Very strange. Must have been a rule change at some point.

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Pretty soon we were all passed out dreaming of fun days ahead!

Posted by MarathonMama629 13:03 Archived in USA Tagged road_trip kids new Comments (1)

Griswold Style Family Vacation 2015 1

Introduction

I had been thinking for awhile that I would like to go to Disneyland this summer instead of our usual Disney World trip because they don't have Fastpass+ yet. It took me a while to get Quentin on board, but I finally started doing actual planning in March. For a bit, I thought my dad was going to come along on the motorcycle, so I was planning on shorter drives than last years 24 hour non stop drives. When he decided not to go, I thought we would drive straight through again, then I found out I was pregnant! No 24 hour straight drives for me! This trip was all booked within a few months of leaving and we even had a last minute additional passenger. Introducing the cast of characters:

Quentin:

I met this amazing man in January 2014 on Plenty of Fish of all places. He's been a great addition to our family and we are so lucky to have him love us! He did all of the driving on this trip. He's well practiced because he owns his own transportation/limo company, All Class Limo. Even though he has 14 awesome cars we could have taken, we all squeezed in to my little Ford Fusion since it gets the best gas mileage.

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Me, Krista:

I'm the trip planner extraordinaire! I love to travel and feel sad if we don't have another trip planned as one wraps up. I was 20-22 weeks pregnant on this trip and actually felt pretty good. I may have been a bit grouchier than normal though! Sorry family! Right before the trip I had an emergency appendectomy, so I was a little nervous about all the walking, but I did it.

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Antonio:

This little guy turned 6 on June 29th! He is the light of my life! He is super excited to have a little sister on the way. He spent a lot of the trip hugging, kissing, and rubbing my tummy. He has been to Disney World every birthday, but this would be his first time on the West Coast. His favorite color is golden as you can see from his latest haircut in the picture below.

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Halie:

My 14 year old niece was a super last minute addition to the trip. As in decided the week before we were leaving that she was coming! I had been telling her she was invited, but she didn't seem too interested until the week before we left. It took some finagling to get her off work for two weeks and to get her mom to let her come, but we made it happen. She was a typical moody teenager that could be awful or perfect depending on the time of day. We butt heads a lot, but I love her like she is my own daughter. I've taken her to Disney World many times, but this would also be her first West Coast trip.

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If you started reading my trip report last year, you are probably thinking I'm not going to finish. You're wrong! Quentin and I got this whole baby typed out on the 18 hour drive home!

Posted by MarathonMama629 12:46 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Antonio's 5th Birthday Extravaganza! Part 13

We woke up bright and early as usual and headed out to the balcony expecting to see land approaching. Then we remember we wouldn’t dock in Puerto Rico till much later. We had some time to kill.

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Quentin and Antonio played “fishing.”

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I tried to go back to sleep.

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Awesome Quentin brought us breakfast to have on the balcony.

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Finally we docked in Puerto Rico and we headed out to explore. We had no real plans today other than to try to see a fort.

Ready to explore!

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Our first stop was a Drug Store where I picked up an energy drink and a magnet for my collection. I think Antonio got a stuffy too. We brought home about 25 new stuffies from this trip.

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Then we saw a visitor’s center. We stopped in there. I saw an advertisement for a race! I wish I could have done it!

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At the visitor’s center, we picked up a walking tour paper. It told you where to go and gave you information about the places you would visit. We thought this sounded like a good plan, so we headed on down the street.

There are a lot of pigeons in Puerto Rico!
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We had a great time just sightseeing today!

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After we got up to this big tree, I realized there was somebody sleeping on the bench.

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You can ride this for free. We didn’t realize this at the time.

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More sightseeing!

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These walls were around the jail.

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So beautiful!

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These walls were built in the 1600’s.

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Break time.

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More beautifulness!

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We decided to continue the walking tour along the coast. The whole city was guarded by a huge wall built in the 1600’s.

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As we walked along the wall, we saw hundreds of wild cats. Antonio loved finding them. The problem was, he wanted to touch them. We told him he couldn’t touch them because they may have diseases. Then we turned the corner and there was a crazy cat lady crouched down holding cats. He then was convinced that he could touch them too! Noooooo!!!

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Tired of wall pictures yet?
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We had some pretzels from the ship and let Antonio break them up and feed the cats.

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We got almost to the fort, and found a dead end! Oh well, it was a fun walk! Time to turn around!

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We went back to the big gate we had passed earlier and headed in to the city.

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We got Antonio some mango ice cream from a street vendor.
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Quentin stayed out with Antonio, while I went to explore the cathedral.

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Back out to my boys!

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Such a pretty city!

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There was a children’s museum opening in a few minutes and I spent some time trying to convince Antonio we should go. However, Frozen would be showing on the ship’s big screen today. He was much more interested in watching Frozen for the thousandth time. No museum today.

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On our way back to the ship, we ran in to a Coach outlet store! I got a little crazy in there and came out with a new purse for myself and my mom. Yay! We also went by another store and got a couple t-shirts.

Looks so pretty, but you go inside and it’s terrifying!

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Quick back to the ship! It’s almost Frozen time!

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We are never getting back to the ship! I found my mom’s dream store! She loves butterflies!

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You weren’t allowed to take pictures in the store. I realized after I took the first one. I did buy my mom a postcard.

I thought Puerto Rico had really nice trashcans. Is that weird?

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Back towards the ship.

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Wait, I found a Post Office! Have to send my mom’s postcard.

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Now back to the ship for Frozen! Oh wait! A casino! Must go in!

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For real, back to the ship.

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That’s when I realized that I hadn’t gotten my dad a Harley Davidson shirt. Quentin took Antonio back to the ship to watch Frozen while I went to get a shirt.

I did a bit more sightseeing on the way.

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When I was at the Harley store buying an overpriced t-shirt (totally worth it though!) I asked where I could get free wifi. They gave me a card for a Fro-Yo place.

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I got some delicious frozen yogurt and caught up on Facebook. I sent some voxers to my friends, bragged on facebook about my awesome vacation, and then felt guilty and figured I should get back on the ship to send Quentin to use free wifi to do actual work.

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I got back on board the ship and took over kid duties. Quentin headed off to use wi-fi and I settled in to watch Frozen for the thousandth time.

Posted by MarathonMama629 09:08 Comments (0)

Antonio's 5th Birthday Extravaganza! Part 12

This is why you write your report faster! I can’t remember what we did after we got back on the ship. I’m pretty sure a nap was involved though. After our nap, we got ready for dinner. Of course we had to play a little Sorry Revenge on the balcony as well.

Bye St. Thomas!

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Beautiful island! I hope we get to go back someday!

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The water was so blue.

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Birds were circling as we left.

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Dinner time! Again we couldn’t shake the kid! LOL! He occupied himself watching Frozen though. Tonight is when he met his “girlfriend.” She was at the table near us. Most adorable little 3 year old blonde girl. We would see more of her later in the cruise.

Antonio got his same fruit appetizer as every night.

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I got the special for the St. Thomas port.

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Quentin had cannelloni.

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Of course, we had ceasar salad too. They are the best on Carnival!

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The main food pictures are terribly blurry. I think I let Antonio take the pictures. I do have a good dessert shot!

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After dinner, I believe Quentin went to the show while Antonio and I headed to bed. We were greeted by a bunny!

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Big day tomorrow! Puerto Rico!

Posted by MarathonMama629 18:39 Comments (1)

Antonio's 5th Birthday Extravaganza! Part 11

Cruise Day 4, St. Thomas

The best part of waking up on a cruise is going out on the balcony to see where you are at. When Antonio and I woke up, we were still sailing towards St. Thomas.

He looks like a sleepy pirate.

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Have I mentioned that I loved my aft balcony?

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Every day after winning Sorry Revenge on the Hasbro Game Show, we had to play it on the balcony at least 10 times.

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This balcony is huge!

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We actually all went up to the buffet together this morning instead of eating on the balcony. We had our usual omelets.

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We sat by a window and could see that we were approaching some islands.

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Antonio really wanted grapes and we couldn’t find any today. We mentioned it to a worker and he went down to the storage area and got Antonio a bowlful of grapes. Customer service at its finest!

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Goofy boy enjoying his grapes!

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After breakfast, it was back to the balcony so we could enjoy the view of pulling in to St. Thomas.

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Don’t do it Quentin!

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We got to see this plane take off from the water!

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More of the view from our balcony.

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When the ship was in port, we got ready and headed down to start a fun day! I had done some research on Cruise Critic and decided we would take a taxi to Coki beach. We loaded down the stroller with everything but the kitchen sink and got going!

Nice picture Antonio!

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The first order of business was to find a place with free Wifi. We found a little bar that had wifi and stopped there and had a drink. It was kind of a pain because at the bar, they had swings, but Antonio wasn’t allowed to be at the bar. He had to be at the tables away from the bar. He really wanted to sit on a swing!

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View from the bar.

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Shoe switch!

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Quentin’s phone never would work with the wifi which really sucked as he was the one who really needed to get some work done. Mine worked though and I got to talk to my mom and update Facebook!

After we were done with the wifi, we found a taxi that would take us to the beach. It was like an open air truck with no doors and I pretty much thought I was going to die the whole time. Quentin and Antonio sat in the row ahead of me. I sat behind them trying to hang on to all of our stuff so it wouldn’t go flying out of the truck!

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Even St. Thomas has McDonalds.

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You can’t see it very well, but this is a school. Perhaps my future job???

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Gas is a bit expensive!

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This is the truck we rode in. We were on the opposite side that was all open!

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We got to the beach and found a spot to get set up.

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Look how clear that water is!

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We didn’t see many fish when we snorkeled. Just tons of these tiny fish.

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And we saw some scuba divers.

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Q snorkeling.

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Antonio’s version of snorkeling. Hold his nose, look under, come up and breathe, repeat. Quentin bought Antonio some goggles from here because we lost his at the waterpark at Disney World.

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My awesome Shelter Insurance umbrella that I won from Deanna Polly-Faulkner came in handy!

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My boys having fun!

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Mama relaxing.

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I miss this clear water!

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Yell Leader Quentin had us do some fun poses!

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I tried to get in on the action!

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Quentin, Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model!

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We ate lunch while here. Budget tip: We ordered room service and put it in baggies to take with us. We took a couple of BLT with no T, grilled cheese, pretzels, chips, and pickles. It worked out great and saved us money! We also brought bottled water.

Antonio played with his sand toys for a bit.

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Quentin was starting to get a migraines, so Antonio and I decided to swim around and see if we could find more fish. We went towards the cliff to the left of where we were sitting. That’s where we found these fish!

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People loved Antonio’s shark life jacket!

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We found Noah, Naomi and Jason over here too! Our cruise peeps!

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This is Antonio begging to go in the water without his life jacket.

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I went back to find Quentin.

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He wasn’t feeling good.

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We brought all our junk down and sat by our cruise peeps for awhile.

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View from our new spot in paradise!

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All too soon it was time to head back to the ship.

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We showered off and tried to get all the sand off of us. Then we found a taxi to take us back to the ship.

Antonio finally had time to eat. He was too busy playing to eat earlier!

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The foliage is beautiful in St. Thomas!

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Beautiful license plates!

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Every foreign country we go to, all the kids wear uniforms to school.

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Sights on the way back to the ship.

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This little boy was passed out by the time we got back to the port.

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His sleepy little sand covered face.

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St. Thomas has K-Mart!

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This is the bar we were at earlier.

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This is the taxi company we used. Highly recommended!

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We decided to buy a case of water before we went back to the ship, so we went to a couple shops to find some. Antonio, of course, had to have a stuffy. And I, of course, had to buy a couple t-shirts and a postcard. Then I found a case of water and took it to the register. They told me it was $1.50 per bottle. So the case was like $30. Uhhhhh……what???? We decided to look elsewhere.

I found this pharmacy and was able to get a case of water for $5.

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Time to go back to the ship!

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This stroller was carrying some serious cargo! See the case of water under Antonio?

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Bye St. Thomas!

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Hello Carnival Glory!

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Posted by MarathonMama629 07:19 Tagged beach st._thomas carnival_cruise coki_beach Comments (0)

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