FAMILY VACATION 2018: JAMAICA 🇯🇲

FAMILY VACATION 2018: JAMAICA

I’m really excited to share this blog with you about our recent family vacation. Every year my family and I take a trip somewhere in the world to a place/ destination we haven’t been before; usually to celebrate someone else’s accomplishment or just celebrate being together again.

This year my nephew Josh graduated high school and has joined the United States Army. In honor of Josh’s accomplishments-we knew exactly what to celebrate.

The family vacations require a lot of planning, saving money and trying to get as many family members who want to attend vacation to the location.

Several of my family members have branched off and have large families of their own.

We started planning the year before, usually my sister Shanae is the most organized so we leave most of the logistics to her. Each family is responsible for booking and paying for their own group.

One of my favorite things that we do as a family are custom t-shirts. For this year, we decided on wearing green t-shirts; it was such a life saver when it was time to find one another on the cruise.

The cruise we took was 5 days to ocho Rios, Jamaica. Unfortunately, my husband is deployed once again and couldn’t be there with us. Of course, my husband has been in his share of trips with the family, but we always miss and wish he was with us.

We started the family vacation in Florida. We stayed at a beautiful hotel. The children were able to swim all day, eat pizza and have a good time. The day of the embarking of our cruise ship, the family and I wore green shirts.

Not only did we celebrate my nephew Josh’s graduation, but also being together as a family.

The laughs were endless and the memories we created made another beautiful trip. I seriously love my family so much. We ended up taking a family group photo the first night of the cruise and my 3 year old was so sleepy. Check out this group picture below.

The food on the trip was also amazing, I think I gained about15 pounds. I added a few pictures of my delicious meals.

The endless 24 hour pizza had me captured with love. Some of you may laugh, but I’m so serious. My 3 year old enjoyed eating ice cream for breakfast and also for dessert for dinner.

One of my favorite parts of our trip was going to the beaches in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands; the water was absolutely beautiful and warm. No worries or cares in the world is a great place to be in. My son Jaxon really enjoyed swimming and playing in the sand.

Margaritaville in Jamaica was also really cool, it had a nice little restaurant that was on the beach with a pool and water slide.

Of course it was hard for me to capture all the great moments because we were so busy living and enjoying them. Each vacation allows our bonds to grow and relationships to blossom.

The day before our final cruise day we took my son Jaxon and niece to a very special breakfast, “The Cat in the Hat, green eggs and ham”. Definitely memorable to say the least.Not only did we have a great breakfast with The Cat in The Hat ,but also with his character friends Thing 1 and Thing 2.

To see more of our family trip head over to my YouTube channel. Link below:)

Thank you all so much for reading. See ya in the next blog post!

Oliver Family Vacation Orlando, Florida 2017

Recently my little family and I took a week vacation to Orlando, Florida. What an amazing time we had! Originally when my husband came home from deployment in May, our family was suppose to take one, but conflicting schedules made us push it out until December.

We decided we needed more than 3 days of having a family vacation. Time goes by so fast it’s harder to bounce back, so we decided 7 days should suffice.

The hotel that my family and I stayed at was the Hampton Inn. The Hilton Hotels are the only ones that I’ve found that meet all of our expectations and never disappoint.

SeaWorld

The weather in Orlando was absolutely perfect the entire time. It didn’t rain once, Florida is known to rain throughout the day; no rain for us just sun rays.

I really admire how much theme parks honor our military members. If you don’t know my husband currently serves in the Navy. Bush Gardens/ SeaWorld offers all military members one free day pass once a year including dependents. We didn’t have to pay for our pass for the day, only thing we paid for was parking and food. SeaWorld was an absolute blast. Jaxon, our son, loved seeing all the sea creatures-whales and sea otters. I’m glad we did the trip in December because the park was decorated with all the Christmas decor, trees and lights.

Legoland

What an amazing experience we all had at legoland! Another perfect day and unique sites we loved seeing. This attraction is a must do for all ages. I was so impressed with the section that Legoland had for toddlers. Our son Jaxon did not want to leave. We also got to see amazing structures made out of LEGOs.

Food for our entire trip was….GOOOOOOOD

Y’all when I say the food the entire time we were there was AMAZING, I mean it was AMAZING. If you didn’t know the traffic in Florida is bananas to drive in. I downloaded this app called UberEats(not sponsored).

This app was a complete life saver, basically you order food from anywhere and it’s delivered to you. This worked out to our advantage so that we didn’t have to drive in the crazy traffic.

Overall I’m so thankful to God to have had the chance to spend some much quality time with my boys. I loved every second of being with my husband and son. No set obligations or schedules to do anything or see anyone was the best. My favorite part was sleeping in. I can’t remember the last time when we all slept in past 8:30 a.m ,my husband is normally is up by 530 am back home for work. Sleep was such a luxury for the entire family.

This vacation was well needed and well deserved. We are already planning the next adventure. Thank you all so much for reading! See you in the next post.

Xo Mia Joy!

🌍✈️Final Trip to Bahrain 🇧🇭Part 1: “We almost didn’t make it but we did 👪”

(This picture is from the 2nd day we were in Bahrain)—Special thanks to KaAn designs for our shirts—

I’m so excited to share this post with you. That means my family is a few months closer to my husband journey home. I hope you enjoy this post. I absolutely love sharing my experiences.

Introduction 

Let me start off by saying that every time I leave the United States to go to a different country, it’s always a humbling experience. It makes me extremely grateful to be American and from America.

Planning to leave

Originally my son and I planned to take the military flight to go visit my husband this final time. Like I  previously explained before it’s never a guarantee that you will get chosen to take the flight. But it’s a risk that every family takes when the sign up for space available. Usually on the website the airline will post how many seats are available 72hrs prior to departure. The way that I planned our trip to visit my husband was very strategic. I did not want to visit around any holidays because that’s a time when everyone is trying to fly in or out of different places. And as you can imagine, the holiday season is always busy. I decided we needed to leave when everyone wasn’t. Recently the east coast experienced a terrible hurricane named Matthew. Two days prior to Jaxon and I leaving we went to do a “early check in”. The lady who was working, informed me that there was no seats available for the day we had planned to leave. The lady searched and searched. Finally she saw one seat available, but told me there was no guarantee I would get the seat and our best bet was to sign up for the following day. The following day had 75 available seats. 

The day we were suppose to leave 

The day Jaxon and I was suppose to leave, my husband text me. He said ” babe, are you sure you’re leaving today?” ” the flight says zero seats firm”.Instantly I started to panic. I just checked the day before and it was 75 seats available. So I logged on to the website and I saw it for myself. Immediately I called my sister Shanae panicking and freaking out. The advice she gave was to take my bags, baby and myself up to the airport. Especially since I had already called several times by this point with no answer to try to confirm what I saw on the website. 

As I arrived to the airport on base. My stomach was in terrible knots. I was just hoping it was still possible. The young lady who I had spoken to, said that the flight wasn’t allowing passengers but it was a chance they would once they arrived on base. I told the lady we would wait because we had to leave that day since we were already a day behind schedule already.

Here’s a picture of Jaxon(he was ready to go)

We waited a few hours, 2hours exact, past the time the flight was originally suppose to leave. Another woman who we will call “Kesha ” informed me that the plane that was going to leave was in fact a helicopter. The helicopter was experiencing mechanical issues and they were working on fixing it and making room for a few passengers. Believe it or not, I took it as a sign from God we were not suppose to be on that helicopter . I immediately called my sister and she started looking up flights that would leave that day for Bahrain . Of course my husband didn’t care about price he just wanted us to get to Bahrain as soon as we could. Normally if you take a military flight you pay around $17 dollars to fly and to take a commercial flight it’s around $1200 dollars. Big difference. Especially since I would have to pay for two tickets.My sister Shanae ended up finding Jaxon and I a flight that would leave at night time, same day. I ended up purchasing the cheapest flight we could find.

Race against time

I didn’t have my car. Long story short-My sister ended up having to pick Jaxon and I up after she got off work. By this time it’s 5pm and if you know 5pm, you know it’s traffic. Our flight was scheduled to leave at 7pm. When my sister texted me that she was outside, Kesha informed me that there was no way we were getting on that helicopter. I let her know it was okay. I had another plan in motion.

Hungry and tired

Before we went to the international airport for our commercial flight, we had to stop for food. Of course I’m such a cheapo, Wendy’s was were we stopped to get a quick bite to eat. I was so tired because I had already been up since 6 am earlier that day because I couldn’t sleep. My nerves were shot, I was so excited that I was already sleep deprived from excitement.

The start of our 22+hour journey

Our first flight was flying into Washington, D.C. It was about the shortest flight. 30 minutes to get there. I have never taken so many elevators to get to a certain section of an airport. I took a total of 6 maybe 7 elevators to get to level C. I was so happy I brought my stroller. Once Jaxon and I got to our gate, we met the cutest little girl. The little girl name was Caroline. Caroline was blonde hair, blue eyes, high energy and 3 years old. As soon as Jaxon saw her, he immediately hugged her. It’s like Jaxon knew this young girl for years. The two played for a good hour before we had to depart for our flight. I will never forget this little girl. Caroline kept saying Jaxon was her best friend and when we got ready to board our flight, she said she was going to miss him. This is why I love how innocent children are. Children don’t care your race, religion, gender and etc. all they care about is if you are nice.

Made it 🇩🇪 Germany

Once we made it to Germany, I was extremely happy. Their airport is extremely different than the United States. It’s so big. I’m not exaggerating. We had to take trains, and several buses to get to the terminal. At one point we had to take a bus and there was no more seats. A young gentleman who we will call J.cole (because he looked like the rapper) said ” ma’am you can have my seat” I immediately said ” thank you”. Honestly, you don’t see that now days. So to the man who gave me your seat thank you again. I had my baby, stroller, carry on bag and I really needed that seat.

Jaxon did so well flying. Better than the first time we made this trip. No lie, he didn’t cry not once. I packed plenty of toys and snacks. I learned a lot from the first time we ever took this trip. The airline was so nice. The food wasn’t good though. It was actually the worst I ever experienced. Thank God I packed food.

Arrived to our final destination 🇧🇭

Now there is a big difference with trying to go through customs civilian vs military. A big eye opener. The lines to enter the country of Bahrain was outrageous. By the time we figured out we needed to be in line. My child was starting to get impatient. I kept saying we are almost done baby. Almost to daddy.  I ended up in this line with a few ppl from my flight. Y’all already know I make friends with just about anyone. While we were waiting the woman who we will name “Betty”. She reminded me of Bette Miller. Betty told me that she lost her husband wedding ring in Germany while we were catching all those buses and trains. Not knowing what to say, I said ” you’re gonna have to get a new one” .Betty looked so sad and said he passed away two years ago. The reason she was coming to Bahrain was to visit her brother. My heart broke for her. Then Betty proceeded to tell me that she was wearing her husband ashes in her necklace. Honestly I thought it was weird but cool at the same time.

About 30 mins later it was my turn to go through and get Jaxon and I passports stamped and pay for visas. It was $175 American dollars. They won’t let you get your luggage in Bahrain unless you have gone through customs and have your passports stamped.

Once we made it through customs, a random man was like come with me. The man was tall, very tan skin and had a nice smile. I said” I’m just trying to find my husband”. The guy said ” I will help you find him, come on”. Little did I know the guy would help me find my husband but for a price. Cost 3 dollars. Talk about having hustle. Definitely worth the money.

Finally reunited

It was like Christmas. There he was, incrediblely handsome, the love of my life, my husband. All three of us together finally. Jason gave me the biggest hug and kiss. My overly tired toddler Jaxon became excited when he saw his daddy. Jaxon eyes became really big when he realize his daddy was in person. The 22 + hours was worth this very moment. My husband grabbed our bags and we started to walk to the car. Once we got in the car, I was handed a single red rose, sweet tea and told I had dinner waiting for me. I was so happy, I couldn’t stop smiling and holding my husband hand. The whole car ride was so surreal. By the way we made it was almost 12am local time. Jaxon and I were so hungry, tired and ready to shower.

Stay tuned for part 2! Coming soon.( I talk about what we did, the different foods and spending quality time with my family)