Big Cedar Vacation: Day 4

Our last full day at Big Cedar we PACKED IT IN!

We started our morning splitting up- Tyler and Remi played on the beach while me, Nancy and mom did a stand up paddle boarding class. Y’all. I can’t express enough how much we LOVED this.

It wasn’t as hard as I thought it was going to be (or we are just strong enough now that I wasn’t worried about myself?).

But we paddled down the lake to the Devil’s Pool waterfall, and then we did some fitness stuff.

The instructor brought her phone out (because she’s brave!) so she took some pics for us.


After the class, we headed to the kid’s fishing pond for a fun time. Remi was a bit hesitant to fish at first, but once she saw the other kids, she wanted to try it. Thank goodness she caught a fish because she was starting to get over it.

They used real worms and she was so brave picking it up! I don’t know who enjoyed it more- her or daddy teaching her how to cast.


They caught one! She got to take it and have it weighed- a big 5 ounces!


We spent the rest of the afternoon pool hopping- visiting two pools and the lazy river. It was perfect. We had a lazy afternoon with lunch and naps.

And that evening, I grilled out some deer steaks that we brought with us. They were YUMMY. I don’t mind vacation cooking. I love to cook and on vacation, someone else is occupying Remi and cleaning up! Win, win!


Once Remi went to sleep, I packed up and then met Tyler for some night fishing. We didn’t get any bites, but we did see lots of HUGE crawdads in the water. This big one was a good 5 inches or bigger.


The next morning, Tyler and Remi took it slow while me and mom tried a dance fitness class that KICKED our butts!

After that, we changed and headed to Branson for some outlet shopping and lunch. Remi LOVES the rides at the outlet mall.


We made it home around 5 and got settled back in.

It was a SUPER fun trip. I’m so glad we can all go together.

Big Cedar Vacation: Day 3

Big Cedar Vacation: Day 3

On our next day, we decided to venture about 30 minutes away to another Big Cedar property: Dogwood Canyon. We really didn’t know what to expect because their website doesn’t give a great idea….but I’m SO GLAD we went. It was gorgeous!

There’s a big building with a gift shop/museum and restaurant…but the treasure is in the trails behind.


We decided to tackle the land via a tram ride. You can rent bikes, walk, do a segway or take a tram. And the tram is the only way to see the animals in the back- and we thought Remi would like that.

We had to wait a bit. We arrived at like 10:30 and we had to wait for a 1 pm tram. Totally worth it!

Beautiful waterfalls everywhere! Amazing streams. Beautiful tree covered canyon. Seriously serene and awesome.


We took some photos in front of the big waterfall behind the restaurant and started exploring.


There’s a huge treehouse (from the TV show Treehouse Masters) that we had fun playing in and around.


And then Tyler and Nancy paid to try fly fishing for about an hour or so. They enjoyed it.


And Remi enjoyed playing around the stream.


I cringed a bit when she sat in the mud, but ya gotta let her explore, right? She played with sticks, rocks and watched the water for a while.


On the tram, we got to get out at a few stops, but we mostly just enjoyed the amazing views (including watching TONS of trout swimming around) from the comfort and shade of our tram.


This was behind the beautiful chapel. You can’t see it, but there’s another waterfall behind us.


Trout right next to our tram. SO MANY TROUT.


It was just lovely back there to see the formations, caves, streams and more.


At one spot we got to walk up higher to take a look at the natural pool down below. Remi loves to walk up stairs.


At the back of the trip, there were herds of bison, elk, deer and some longhorns.

I liked the bison. There were even young babies!


The female elks were having a “spa day” in the mud.


When we got back, we played in the tree house for a long time until we were all tired of climbing the stairs.


After a little nap (which to be honest was a STRUGGLE but she took one) and then a dinner, we went to the nearest pool to our condo (which is up pretty high) for a sunset swim. It was lovely out!


I’m so thankful for this beautiful day!

Last Day at Sea

Last Day at Sea

We had one more day at sea to get back home- and we lived it UP!

We started with a visit to the Lido deck and a little snack while we waited for our main event- the Dr. Seuss brunch!

Remi looked ADORABLE in her dress that I had made and her Cat in the Hat hat from Autnie Paula.


Remi caught a view of the fun water slide (which Mimi and Gigi did, but me and Tyler never did)…but she’s too small for it. SO we let her play in the baby area on these little slides for a bit.


She also played some cornhole. There’s fun stuff at every turn!


After some playtime, it was time to head to the dining room. They TOTALLY transformed it into a fun space for kids. Our table looked ADORABLE.

and the menus looked like books! The food was themed as well (more on that below).


These THINGS were ready for some fun!


But the MOST fun came after ordering our food when they did a surprise entrance of Thing 1 and Thing 2. She was SO STINKING EXCITED that she squealed.


She got to meet and hug the Things.


And then we enjoyed our breakfast!  She got green eggs and ham….

And I had these fun berry waffles! There was also french toast, pancakes and other goodies.


And I’m totally making these at home- these berry yogurt parfaits with yummy strawberry sauce.

After our meal The Cat in the Hat appeared! She was so excited to meet him and show him her hat!


There was an awesome ice sculpture, too!


And the waiters sang a fun song.  Sam I Am was also there (coming down the stairs behind the waiters), but she wasn’t into him, so we didn’t wait to meet him.

After brunch, we changed into our swimsuits and hit the pool. This beach babe was READY.


We splashed and then also came up to play putt putt.  She mostly just threw the ball in the holes, but she had fun.


Tyler got into a friendly game of ping pong, too.

She played SO HARD that she passed out poolside. THIS NEVER HAPPENS.


We were trying to get her to hang on until the dance party at noon, so we gave her some lunch….


And we took her to meet the steel drum player!


But poor sister couldn’t hang.  She and I went back to nap (or rather, she napped and I packed up our bags).


That evening, we enjoyed dinner and then Mimi and Gigi took her back to the room to sleep while Tyler and I got a little date to the comedy club. It was really fun!

Progresso Beach Day

Progresso Beach Day

We got up for our second port day and headed to the Lido deck for breakfast. We were greeted to a fun surprise- TONS of towel animals!  Every chair in the center area had one. Remi LOVED seeing them all (and to be honest, we did too!)


There were also some HUGE ones including this fun Octopus…


And a ginormous alligator!


We ate breakfast and got off the boat as soon as we could.  We got suckered  to take our picture with these two men. Remi loves the fun costumes, so I guess it’s all good.

The port of Progresso is interesting.  It’s REALLLY long- like a 5 minute drive- to get from the port area to town.  So when you get off the boat and wait for your excursion, you don’t have much places to go.  You have a few shops and some benches.  We did a little shopping and Remi played.

We called her over to take a picture with this sign…and then she said

R FOR REMI!  She had to stand by her R!


Once it was time for our excursion, we took a quick bus ride to town to a beachside restaurant right by the pier.  It was SO NICE outside.  They said that this tour can accommodate 150 people, but we only had 40 that day- so it wasn’t busy and was perfect.  We all grabbed beach chairs and the waiters started bringing us chips, pico de gallo and drinks.

And Remi jumped RIGHT into the sand!


Tyler and the moms walked down the beach and I stayed with Remi.  The only downside to this beach were all the people walking and hawking their wares. However, we bought a few things, including this DELICIOUS mango with chili sauce.  The best mango I’ve ever eaten!


Remi LOVED the chips and pico. And her virgin pina colada!

This excursion was labeled a “Beach Party” day- and I was worried everyone was going to be there getting drunk since it came with an open bar.  Quite the opposite.  It was calm and fun.  They hosted games under a tent- and we got in on the action. Tyler played Jenga and I did some trivia.


And we did belly up to the bar for a bit (even thought they would bring you drinks to the chairs) because the bar stools were swings!

Since we were at a restaurant, we got some food to try.  The empanadas were WONDERFUL but the enchiladas were different. They were local Yucatan Mayan recipe (said our host) and were like chopped hardboiled eggs inside?  I don’t love eggs, so I didn’t love them.


We also bought some local sweets from a man carrying them on his head!


He initially hooked me with churros, but they weren’t like ours here, and I didn’t love them.  We got a tamarind candy- sweet and sour! But my fave were these coconut pralines full of yummy fresh coconut.

We loved playing all day together!

Remi got a big blue sucker from the pastry man and she enjoyed it. It wasn’t hard candy like we have, but a little softer.


We got back on board (with a sleepy little girl!) to a fun towel animal.


That evening was formal night, so after nap, we all got dressed up.

We LOVED how sweet Remi was being and enjoyed taking pictures together.


On our way to dinner, Tyler remembered that it was half price in the arcade, so we stopped to play a few more games.

She was being so funny at dinner. LOVING life!


After a delicious dinner, the waiters danced again. And our waiter, Igor, came and took her to dance.

She thought she was a cool kid and LOVED this.


We attempted the magic show after dinner, but a combination of it being WAY past her bedtime (it didn’t start until 9! and she’s usually out by 8!) and there being loud fireworks pops at each ta-da…and she was asking for bedtime by 9:20.


That’s ok, sister. We were tired too!