Although the Christmas holidays may seem like a distant memory to most people it is still at the forefront of my mind as I have been using my festive overindulging as motivation to push myself even harder through fitness testing and some brutal training sessions. Also because of the fantastic memories that I made over the holidays.
Having spent the holidays in Perth on my own in 2016, I was determined that I would move hell and highwater to ensure that I was with my family for Christmas 2017. My family and I live spread around the world, and the black side of my family is only very small, with there just being seven of us. My parents and sister are in Calgary, Canada, as is one of my aunts and my other two aunts live in Surrey, England.
My dad turned 50 last year (December 6) and he wanted to celebrate that milestone by taking a family vacation. I was able to use my influence and the netball calendar to encourage him to take the trip over Christmas! Fortunately, 6/7 were on board and so the Christmas cruise came to be.
Although the trip over and back was mammoth (30+ hours each way) the experience was more than worth the travel!! We spent a few days in Miami at the start and end of the trip and the middle 12 days cruising around the Caribbean over Christmas and New Year.
A regular pleasure was the long and lazy days spent at sea, sun bathing on the deck, signing up to every activity going and eating delicious food. However, for me, the days that we docked at port were the best as I got to explore some gorgeous islands. We visited 6 different islands and highlights included jewellery shopping in St. Thomas, Christmas Day spent on the beach in Antigua, chasing waterfalls in St. Lucia, pretending to be locals in Barbados, ringing in the New Year and turning 30 at a spectacular party at sea but most importantly, every second that we spent in St. Kitts.
I say this because my grandparents who have now both passed away come from St.Kitts, and although my aunts and dad have visited before, we have never all been together.
As is often the case, we do things in life a little too late, as being able to share the trip with both of my grandparents would truly have been amazing. However, we still have some family there and I have seen photos of my nan and grandad when they lived there many many years ago, as well as tales from nan when we lived together.
Although we only had one day at port in St. Kitts, we made the most of it by getting off the boat early to squeeze in some shopping before a day of tourist behaviour with our family. St. Kitts is a really beautiful island and to be able to see and spend time in places that my grandparents had was really very special. We made it back to the boat with seconds to spare, empty purses and full hearts!
Whenever I spoke to anyone before I went away the consensus was that cruises were for old people, which I can possibly confirm as much of your time on deck was spent skirting senior speed demon citizens on their mobility scooters. However, I had an amazing time experiencing so many things that I never had before alongside my favourite people!
We are only just in February, so I feel like I can continue to reminisce on my amazing Christmas break and bring it into discussions at every opportunity. Fortunately it felt like Christmas came again in the West Coast Fever camp last week as our Sunshine Girl touched down in Perth. The Australia Day long weekend was well timed and gave both my mind and body the opportunity to recover, refresh and refocus ahead of our next netball challenge. The good times continue to roll as our superstar defender C.Bruce returned home from International duties this week and so the Fever family is complete and ready to continue preparations for us to move us another step along for when the Firebirds come to town next month.