Monday, May 2, 2016

Saltwater to Space Cowboy



Our girls are are big time into the planets, stars, and space. In fact, for months now, both girls have been saying they want to be astronauts when they grow up. Not to mention all four of our kids have always had a thing for the moon. DSC_5679

When we were headed down for the cruise, we saw the signs for the Kennedy Space Center and decided if we felt up to it when we got off the boat on Monday, we’d take the kids before heading back home. IMG_4662

It was a short drive from the cruise port and because we disembarked so early off the ship, we were at the space center when they opened. There was hardly anyone else there and it didn’t take long to see we’d made a great choice. DSC_5678IMG_4689

I had been to the space center once, in fourth grade, but it was much bigger than I remember then.

There were several Imax movies that I wish we’d been able to see, but they were all like 45 minutes long. That wasn’t happening with the baby, and I’m not sure for even Mamie.

We walked around the rocket garden and other outside exhibits. Touching and climbing in whatever we could. Ha. DSC_5763DSC_5683




We went in to see the Atlantis exhibit and it was fantastic. DSC_5692DSC_5700The movie before on the history of it gave me chills and made me so proud to be an American. DSC_5708

The shuttle was so neat to see and we enjoyed walking around the double-level exhibit for about an hour. DSC_5710IMG_4697


We did the big slide (the exact slope and material that the astronauts slide off of the shuttle on) and let the girls do some of the space simulators. DSC_5711DSC_5713DSC_5718IMG_4722IMG_4727DSC_5712

Mamie and Tucker weren’t big enough for the blast off simulator, so I took them to the outside playground while DW & AB suited up and did that.

We also happened upon the spacebot. Tucker thought he was neat, but after he said his name, he wouldn’t get any closer. Ha. IMG_4755

After a little more exploring the visitor center we decided to take the bus tour. 




It takes you by the production facilities, launch pads and drops you off at the smaller visitor’s center. DSC_5737IMG_4801IMG_4807

DW had also been to Kennedy once before, but he was 6 or 7 years old and it was after his first cruise. He remembers having a bad sunburn and sleeping for the entire bus tour. Someone followed along in his Daddy’s footsteps. It was his first cruise and he slept the entire bus tour. IMG_4776

Over at the smaller visitor’s complex, there’s another I-Max like show about astronauts, but it only lasts 20 minutes. It was really good and all three of the kids enjoyed it. Tucker was so excited to see the “MOOOOOOONNNNNN!” We loved seeing all the different astronauts’ space suits through the years and even reading some of their journal entries from space travel.IMG_4830DSC_5745 Mamie loved touching a real moon rock. IMG_4823DSC_5744


The center had really started getting crowded by this point in the day. It was a little bit of a wait to catch the bus back to the main visitors complex.

It was at this point Mamie leaned over on the bus and told me, “momma, I decided I’m NOT going to be an astronaut when I grow up. I want to be a bus driver.” DSC_5754

We took the kids to the gift shop to pick out a souvenir and then headed out. DSC_5751

At the very front of the park, we ran into Van, Amber and the kids! DSC_5782They’d gotten off the cruise ship a little behind us, and we didn’t know they’d decided to go to Kennedy, too. We went the whole day and never ran into them until the end. That’s how much there is to do there, and how big it really is.

It was a great day and everyone enjoyed our time there.


Friday, April 29, 2016



This year’s Whitehurst-family vacation was a 4-day Bahamas Cruise. 4All 16 of us caravanned to Port Canaveral in our matching monogrammed fishing shirts. 9The guys had their initials small on the front pocket and we had ours big on the back flap. They turned out super cute and we got lots of compliments on them. 12

Not nearly as many compliments as we got on the little boys in theirs, with their cowboy hats and Sperrys on, though. They were the CUTEST. 7

We found our rooms and then hit the deck for some lunch…and ice cream. 18_1


After the safety drill, our three littles splashed the afternoon away before we laid Tucker down for a nap. 20222426

That evening, Pappy & Nie-Nie had made reservations for the grown-ups to have dinner at the ship’s special restaurant, “Chop’s Grille,” while they kept all the kids.29 I know they were glad they had Elliot and Taylor to help and I don’t think they probably realized that dinner was a 2-hour event. 30I got a little worried about them when the waitress told us, it was a 120 minute “experience.”  Ha. 38

Kels and her brothers

It was a great meal and a really fun evening, though! We enjoyed the view, the food, and laughed way too loud the whole dinner. 37

Our littles woke up excited and ready to go at 6:30 on Saturday morning. We went out to the deck to burn some energy before breakfast and then ate in the dining room. 424144

One of their favorite things was the glass elevator



another favorite thing…running down the long narrow hallways

We were scheduled to dock in Nassau around noon, and we had an excursion booked, so we decided to get everyone a nap since they’d all gotten up so early.

After our morning naps, we got some lunch and got ready to get off the boat. 5257605961

In Nassau, we caught our transfer boat over to Blue Lagoon Island for our excursion. (Adam, Lauren & Parker stayed back on the ship for naptime, and they weren’t really sure how Lauren would do on the smaller boat… we didn’t want a sick, pregnant Nen!)646566727376

81Sadly, our beach time was a little short because of rain. Tucker enjoyed the live music under the pavilion, though, and danced as long as his little legs could keep up. I should also mention he gets his dance moves from his momma. He’s just sort of a stand and bounce up and down to the rhythm dancer. Ha.

We ate and once the rain cleared out, enjoyed the sand and clear blue water! 85939410310510990

Our boat back to the cruise ship was at 4:30. We were back on the ship at 5:15 and dinner was at 6:00. This was also formal night. All five of us were showered and dressed in 45 minutes. I’m writing that down because that’s just plain impressive. :)119

My hair and make-up could have obviously used a little more time, but look how cute my kids are. I totally forgot Maybree’s white hair bow, so she had to wear yellow – mom fail… but did I mention all five of us were showered, dressed and ready in 45 minutes???117 116

Tucker dressed just like his daddy slays me. 123125


This was our first dinner in the dining room and I was a little worried how it might go. I packed plenty to keep the kids busy/entertained and they were all so good. Little tractors, cows, princess puzzles and sticker books go a long way with my two littlest ones.

The waiters couldn’t get over Tucker with his tiny sports coat and cowboy hat. 127128

After dinner, we went to the lobby to take our big group picture on the staircase and listen to the live music.136 129131

Parker and Nen busted a few moves. PJW has some serious ones, too! 140


141After that, we changed and headed for the show. 142143The highlight was the kids’ strawberry daiquiri. 145Tucker wasn’t really feeling the whole sit still and quietly thing, so we slipped out. After a little more exploring the ship, we called it a night. 147

Our beach day at Coco Cay made up for the rain the day before.156 It was a beautiful day and we all enjoyed the sunshine and salt water. 181168





We stayed on the island until around 3:00 and headed back to the ship to get naps and get ready for dinner.



Our last dinner was fun with the waiters all dancing around the dining room. 240237236238241 After dinner, we went out to the pool deck to watch a movie. It was more like half of the kids watch a movie while the other half danced and spilled ice cream all over their clothes. 248249You know, typical stuff that big fun is made of. :)

DW took the kids to the room while I ran by the picture shop to pick up the picture I’d gotten. When I got back to the room I walked in on a dance party. I’m pretty sure all of deck 6 heard laughs and squeals from our room. 252

We packed up that night and it took Mamie & Tucker sitting on the suitcase for me to get it zipped. 253I packed all five of us in one suitcase. I’m high-fiving myself AGAIN for that one. ;)  (We did have a small carry on bag, too).

It was 10:00 and I realized we never let the girls order room service! So we called and got some snacks. 148Mamie thought it was so funny eating French fries in bed.

We woke up to a Florida sunrise on Monday morning and made our way to the dining room for one last breakfast. 151The waitresses were so fun that day and the kids had the best time with them. 150

After breakfast, we grabbed our bags and made our way to the gangway. 254

It was a fun trip and the girls are already ready for another cruise!255 Their daddy and I, on the other hand, need a little bit of time to recover from living in under 400 square feet with three kids for three nights. We know for sure tiny house living isn’t for us. Ha. Ha. 266