Thursday, June 9, 2011

New Orleans and Carnival Elation

This past Spring Break changed my life. (I always seem to have very exciting Spring Break's- 2010 Spring Break I went on a mission trip to Georgia!)
When I was at my sophomore regions tennis match my mamaw called and asked how I would like to go on a cruise with them (they are "cruise people" for sure-one about every year) I did not hesitate to say I would love to! As time got closer I was anticipating spending a week away from friends and my parents on land, and with only my grandparents and other elder family. Boy was I scared for nothing!! That week in New Orleans and Carnival Elation is tied (with my week in Georgia) for the best week of my life! I had to write a paper of my experience of the cruise for school...Here it is :)
Spring Break 2011

As we departed at 1 o' clock Saturday morning, I had no expectation of experiencing one of the best weeks of my life. All I was prepared for was to swim a little and spend all of my time with elders. Though I was excited for the trip to Mexico, I was hesitant because I would have no communication with friends and family on land. It would be my first week, in many many years, I would be apart from my parents. With all the emotions of nervousness and agony, I knew I could look forward to, at least experiencing new culture, a new country and the Gulf of Mexico.
Our first stop was New Orleans, Louisiana. After Hurricane Katrina, all I had heard was of the damage New Orleans encountered. While I actually learned, Mississippi was hit by Katrina just as hard, and in some places harder the New Orleans had. The hotel we stayed at during our weekend was on the main road of New Orleans. The owners said they only had an inch or so of water damage. We assume that the reason New Orleans gained more experience then Mississippi was only because poverty was more of a problem, and therefore effected the people of New Orleans more.
Not only did I learn more about Hurricane Katrina, I experienced a whole new world. New Orleans is absolutely nothing like small Bardstown. You have to be on look out for crimes as you walk down the street. We encountered a gun shooting one night- I am unaware of any details. The people in New Orleans are just something else... all I really have to say is WOW. I have never walked down a street before named Bourbon, and I have most definitely not seen a man walking around in a wedding dress!
Little did I know, my adventure in New Orleans was not even the start of all I would go through when riding on Carnival Elation.

When I took my first step aboard Carnival Elation, I felt like I had entered a care-free castle. The kids running and playing, along with the glass elevator. I had literally never seen anything like that ship before. It was absolutely beautiful, and looking back as I type this paper, I may cry because of how much I learned on my vacation.
I learned how to snorkel. I formed a connection between the ocean and me that I would feel blessed to be able to share even if only one more time in my life. I mentioned before how care-free the ship was, well, the ocean had the ship beat by a mile. Swimming with the fish (and even an octopus) was the most fun and relaxing thing I have experienced in my life.
But, the most important thing I learned that week, was how much I am truly blessed with having grandparents AND great-grandparents, who are still able to love me. I formed a special bond with my family that week, and now we are closer then we have ever been. I am blessed with being able to spend that time with my elder family, because others have not been blessed with that time, or with their grandparents.
We docked at Cozumel, Mexico our third day. My grandparents, great-grandparents and me were all able to spend time in a foreign country together. We were able to shop and melt in the blazing sun as a family. My family was very impressed when I spoke the Spanish that I could.
The next day, Carnival docked at Calica, Mexico. While most passengers drove to Playa de Carmen and Cancun, my family and I stayed on board. We had practically the whole ship to ourselves! We took advantage of the water slide and the buffet. We had a relaxing day out in the sun, enjoying each others company.
It was a sad day when we had to leave, though I was ready to see and speak with my others. I will never forget the week I spent on board with mi familia!
I understand it's kind of cheesy, and the only reason I had to write it was because I was truant and needed the week excused. I'm not sure I will ever be able to put in to words how much that week on board meant to me!!

 We were docked in Cozumel, Mexico :)

This is on our way to New Orleans :)

A photo from the ship of Cozumel :)

 My first sighting of the ship :)

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