Monday, June 17, 2019

Alaskan Cruise: Travel Day & Boarding the Ship

Happy Monday!

Although we've been back from our Alaskan cruise for a full week, I was seriously worn out, jet lagged, and trying to keep my head above water. Our travel plans home included an overnight flight where we also lost 3 hours of time (and I hardly slept on the plane), so my body was all messed up and it seriously took an entire week to get it back on track!

Now that I feel back to the land of the living, I'm going to share a trip recap of sorts here.

For starters, let me share a little more about our actual travel plans - this cruise was a family cruise (Jason's side - 12 total) where we spent 7 nights on board Royal Caribbean's Radiance of the Seas to Alaska (we began in Vancouver, Canada and ended in Seward, Alaska). This itinerary was different from the previous cruise to Alaska that we took because it was not an out and back - we were definitely able to do and see a little more here with this itinerary!

Today's post will include our travel to Vancouver along with our first day on board the Radiance of the Seas!

Our journey began in Houston where we took a flight to Calgary, followed by a second flight to Vancouver.

This was our first time to fly West Jet and we really enjoyed it! The cookies that were offered on the plan were delicious and definitely my favorite part!

As we landed in Calgary, I was SO excited to see the Walt Disney World wrapped plane. Now, y'all know this trip had nothing to do with Disney but you also know I'm a huge Disney fan, so seeing this plane made my heart do a little flutter!

Imagine my utter surprise to find that WE were going to board the WDW plane to Vancouver!! I was to the moon!

Of course, I also had to stop and pick up a "real" cadbury chocolate bar in the airport!

Once in Vancouver, we took the airport shuttle to our hotel to meet up with Jason's parents. A first for me on this trip was the fact that I had no input in any plans whatsoever and I honestly liked it! Jason's dad did most of the leg work and for once, it was freeing to release control to someone else. I was seriously able to go with the flow and not really worry about anything. He found all of the hotels we stayed at along the way as well as most of our travel plans and he did a great job!

The following morning (Friday) was boarding day for our cruise! We met at the gorgeous port terminal and sat outside for a while, just enjoying the beautiful day. I also had to purchase another "real" cadbury chocolate bar to take back home with me (since this was our last time in Canada on this trip) as well as a bag of ketchup chips. A friend of mine told me that these chips were a "thing" but I'd never heard of them or seen them. I bought them to share with the entire group and the general consensus was that they tasted like vinegar chips. Brayden on the other hand loved them! While in Canada, right?

Before long, it was time to board! Now, this was our first time ever on Royal Caribbean and I'd heard good things so I was excited to see what this ship was all about.

Boarding the ship was very lackluster. No, I didn't expect the fanfare of Disney, but at least a little "welcome on board"? They literally swiped our cards, then we were ushered into this tiny walkway of a space where tables were crowding the way, attempting to sell us drink, food, and spa packages. Toto, we're not in Kansas anymore, right?

First thing's first when boarding a ship - the buffet! We all headed up to the Windjammer for lunch which was delicious! One thing I loved about the Windjammer was the large variety of food options - they had something for everyone, including vegetarian and gluten free options! Score!

After lunch, we headed over to our rooms to check them out. The view of Vancouver was amazing - it's such a pretty city, I wish we had more time to explore!

Our muster drill was the usual - here's where you stand, come to this area, etc. They also placed a bracelet on Brayden's wrist which was individualized to our specific evacuation area. This was our first time cruising with a kid, so it was interesting to see the new-to-us things they did!

After muster drill, we dropped our bags off in our room then headed upstairs for the sail away party and to let Brayden swim before dinner.

Brayden LOVED the pool. Sadly, this was the only day we had a chance to swim in the outdoor pool as it was very chilly for the remainder of our cruise. We did appreciate the indoor solarium pool which had family hours throughout the cruise, so we were able to take advantage of those!

Dinner on our ship took place in the same dining room every evening with the same wait staff.  I did like that the menu changed each evening, with a few offerings remaining the same. Our waiter (Ronnie) was excellent and the food was delicious as well!

...and just like that, we were off to our Alaskan adventure! I couldn't wait to see what it had in store!

Oh yes, I did sneak away that evening to watch the Welcome Aboard show, where I discovered that this cruise included a live orchestra! Jason's entire family is musically inclined, so they were very excited to see that! (So was I!)

Up next: Our first (and only) At Sea Day & A Stop in Ketchikan

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Orangetheory Fitness Mayhem

Last week, Orangetheory's around the country hosted a Mayhem challenge where those who completed the official event received a hat and towel. Having missed out on most of hell week due to the great lung plague sickness, I knew I couldn't miss out on this one!

The basis of the challenge included six incredibly difficult classes over the course of a weeks time. Those who participated in four of those six classes completed the official challenge! The only twist to this challenge adventure is the fact that I'm a twice a week'er and not an unlimited monthly participant - however, since we are leaving for a cruise coming up here shortly, I knew it was my perfect opportunity to take those classes from my cruise week and push them to Mayhem week! With the stars aligning like that, how could I say no?

My first day to attend Mayhem was on Monday with a Bedlam workout and my favorite coach (the official challenge began on Sunday).  Honestly though, who am I kidding....I seriously love all of the coaches at our studio!!

Apparently the word bedlam means "crazy" and yes, this workout was crazy. Since it was my introduction to the Mayhem challenge, I wasn't sure what to expect. I loved this workout though, and it became one of my favorites of the week!

Tuesday's workout was another crazy one for the EPOCalypse! This was a triple partner workout and definitely my least favorite of the entire week. This workout resembled hell week the most (to me) because the only hell week class I attended was a partner workout and this one was very similar.

I decided to take a break on Wednesday to give my body a little rest period. This meme on instagram had me cracking up for sure because that's exactly how I felt!

Thursday's class was also known ans disturbance and this is the class I felt the absolute worst for. I didn't fuel properly during the day and literally had to stop mid-class for a gatorade. My heart rate also kept spiking into the orange/red zones for just the tiniest bit of exertion. This was definitely a warning flag for me and although I completed the class, I took it easier for the remainder of the time.

Friday's workout was by far my favorite of the entire week! I felt MUCH better on Friday morning and totally enjoyed this workout! Our coach told us that no one had made it off the rower on the final portion of the tread block in the 5 a.m. class, so I made it my mission to do so. Sadly, I didn't quite make it - I had about 200 m to row but I was definitely proud of the effort!


I was so excited to complete my second official Orangetheory Fitness Challenge (the first being Marathon month)!

After class, I stopped by our local coffee shop for a cold brew which was delicious!

In all, I loved this challenge and the fact that I actually had the chance to participate made it so much more sweet! I seriously can't wait for the next one! :)

Have you ever participated in/completed an OTF challenge or challenge at your gym?

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