The Year Disney World Ruined My Birthday

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

My 10th birthday was supposed to be the best birthday of my life. 

I was staying with my family at the Wilderness Lodge in Disney World and the pool had not one, but two water slides. My brand new American Doll whom I picked out to look just like me, Olivia Grace, was along for the trip. And I had a suitcase full of sweater tank tops that were to die for. Including the one you see below with a very classy white trimmed collar. Like I said, it had all the makings of the birthday of a lifetime.

But behind this smiling face lies a lot of sadness.  (And two very poorly executed "french braids.") The left one is a clearly a good inch longer than the right. Nice effort, mom. 


I won't even touch on the fact I've never liked coconut cake yet that's what the waitress brought me. And what that cakes even says is beyond me. I've never known. 

Merely seconds after this photo was snapped I was about to burst into tears for just the first time of many that day. Because here's the thing, I wasn't supposed to be eating gross coconut cake in the hotel restaurant on my birthday in the first place. What I was supposed to be doing was having breakfast with all of the Disney princesses at Cinderella's castle but my parents' alarm didn't go off and so we all slept through it. Or so they said... If you miss breakfast with a room of princesses the rest of the day is only destined to go downhill.

Naturally I was devastated to learn that I wouldn't get the birthday breakfast with the celebrities I was promised. I'd even brought an autograph book from home hoping to snag a few signatures. 

"Don't worry," my mom promised, "we'll get you some autographs soon." 

Determined to follow up on her word she insisted I join the children's parade in the hotel restaurant so I could get a chance to dance with the "famous" Disney characters that were promised to come in the room at any moment. Do you know who "dances" with Disney characters? Babies and toddlers. I was neither. I was ten. Yet there I was, the only overly large child marching around a restaurant with a line full of toddlers all wobbling on their unsteady legs and bobbing their huge heads to the dumb music as the "famous characters" burst through the door. 

Ten different versions of Goofy is not what I consider famous. And thus the reason for the first set of tears. I was humiliated and mortified and it's all on video tape because my mom recorded the entire thing right up until the moment I came sulking over to the table and planted my hand in front of the camera shouting "Turn it off! Turn this thing off!"

The next set of tears came just a few hours later after we got off the Disney trolley and were heading into the park and my mom discovered that her sunglasses had accidentally been left on the trolley. And whom did she blame? The birthday girl. Who else? Technically I had asked to wear them on the ride over. But how was I supposed to know that she didn't see my set them beside her leg? 

It was my birthday. I didn't deserved to be yelled at. 

Once inside the park things only got worse. My sister and brother were being snotty as usual and only rode rides with each other forcing me to ride alone. Then I didn't get to eat at Johnny Rockets for lunch because the line was "too long" according to my parents. And no one even cared that my feet hurt because my new Dr. Marten sandals were giving me blisters.

And it was my birthday. 

Kelly didn't invent this fit. I did.


Anyway, after the terrible day at Disney World (where literally no one acknowledged it was my birthday) all I wanted to do was kick back on my hotel bunk bed and look out the window to the pond just outside the hotel so I could watch the little sea otters swim. It was really all I had left at this point. But of course my demanding family had other plans.

"I just want to watch the otters swim for a minute, is that okay?" It was my birthday. Couldn't I just do what I wanted?

"Why don't you just go live with the sea otters if you like them so much? Nobody wants you here anyway," my brother said. And then my sister joined in, and eventually so did my parents, and they all insisted I pack my bags and go spend the rest of my birthday vacation with the otters at the pond.

It was devastating. It was hurtful. It was not how you treated a birthday girl!

I wish I could say this story has a happy ending but it doesn't. It just ends with my dad yelling at my mom in the rental car for not being a good navigator because he couldn't find the restaurant where we were supposed to have dinner. We got lost and drove around for over two hours until we eventually just ended up having dinner at a Carlos O Kellys attached to a hotel right off the Florida interstate. 

I don't think anyone really spoke through out the entire meal. I didn't speak much the rest of the trip.

And that was my worst birthday ever. Luckily, they've all been pretty good since. 

Now to celebrate the fact it's officially my birthday on Friday I thought it would be fun to give away a few of my favorite everyday items. It isn't anything too fancy, they're just a few small things that I know I enjoy and thought you might as well.

You know the drill, one winner takes all. Enter once or a few times. It's your call. 


1. C.R. Gibson Journal.
2. Trina Makeup Bag.
3. Absolute New York Lip Balm.
4. Roobee Thank You Notes.
5. Yankee Candle Fragrance Sphere.
6. Silly Frilly Napkins.

a Rafflecopter giveaway  photo signature-23.png

62 comments:

  1. I die. For some reason this reminds me of the episode of Full House where Stephanie lets Michelle go in front of her to rub the genie lamp and then she basically gets shit on the rest of the day.

    My worst birthday was the year my boyfriend broke up with me at the bar and I was dressed like a troll for our theme party. Burn.

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  2. Oh man. Glad they've all gone up from this point! My worst had to be the year I was in 6th grade... My birthday has always been a huge deal for me. Like a week-long-celebraion-kinda-huge. The day of my birthday I was super excited for our family dinner, cake, and of course gifts. Only to realize that someone everyone forgot. My dad had to go out and "work on the pool" just before my mom winged it with a birthday cake of sorts. When my dad came back in - he was super excited to give me my birthday presents. A brand spanking new pool brush, and a dirty soft ball. Both of which he found in the back yard. I was crushed.

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  3. My Disney trip with my family was one of a kind. I was told 1,000 times on what age to say I was, Which was of course a few years off so they could get me in cheaper. So when in the park and a lady in a polo shirt came up to me & said, "Excuse me honey- how old are you?" I thought I was busted, my parents were going to jail & I wouldn't ever make it to Universal! So as taught, I told her the age that my parents said to say. So, she says great it was the perfect age and proceeds to tell me that I get to sample a few new cookies that they were trying out. I was so excited until I looked at the scowls on my parents faces. They ended up being mad at me for lying about my age because if I would have told the lady my real age, my little sister would have gotten to take the cookie samples.
    That's what I remember from my trip to Disney.

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  4. I have had birthdays like that as well! I am the only girl of 6 kids! Thanks for sharing. Also I love the giveaway. So thoughtful of you!!

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  5. My worse birthday year is a bit of a downer. I was turning 7...had a joint party planned with my neighbor and everything...7 days before my birthday, my uncle died. He was my world so I was pretty devastated, I didn't go to my party because he wasn't there with me.

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  6. Days before my 14th birthday my family moved from CO to SC. I found out that instead of going into high school for 9th grade (like all of my friends in CO), I would still be in "junior high." Then my dad who is a awesome chef made the most disgusting pot roast for dinner. I was traumatized and thought my life was over.

    PS I plan on naming my first born Olivia Grace. I'm honored to be on par with your 10 year old self.

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  7. That does sound like a pretty shitty birthday. :( My worst birthday would have been my 16th birthday, which would have been my Step-Mom's 40th also. It was supposed to be a significant birthday for me, but everyone was making a huge deal out of her 40th and hardly anyone even said "Happy Birthday" to me. It was a really shitty feeling. I actually never really have any out of this world birthdays anyways though. I've gotten pretty used to it, I guess.

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  8. When I was 10 or so, we lived on a farm and I invited all my friends over for a birthday party. Little did I know no one else wanted to sleep in a tent once a tick was spotted. I slept in the giant tent with one other farm girl while all the other girls slept inside. It was devastating.

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  9. My birthday is Friday too!! My worst birthday would probably be when I was 8 and we had rented out mugs and movies (a small movie theater where you can play your own movies) for me and my friends. Naturally, as most 8 year old girls do, I demanded that we play Major Payne for me and my third grade peers. I was so adamant that I pretended to not care that about 75% of the parents then took their children home because apparently Major Payne wasn't appropriate for 8 year olds. So, I watched the movie with my two brothers and maybe 3 boys left over, while fuming that everyone else parents were too lame to let me stay.

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  10. My worst birthday was 15...the guy I liked stood me up for my birthday dinner and I later found out that he went out with another girl. I cried the whole night. Absolutely awful!

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  11. Aw, that's sad!! I accidentally injured my brother on my birthday once so we all had to spend the day in the hospital while he got tests done. Fun times!

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  12. Your birthday sounds like a cakewalk compared to my 7th birthday when I was kidnapped by pirates and forced to work on a boat for 10 years. Jk, I had a pool party at the YMCA that year and it was the shit. Thanks for the nifty giveaway!

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  13. My best birthday was my 29th because it was also my wedding day. So yep, my husband never has an excuse to forget either!

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  14. I think your worst birthday kind of takes the cake on all of them! I don't think I've had any terrible birthdays like that but I think one of my best birthdays would have to be when I was an exchange student turning 16 and my host family took me to the beach because they didn't know what else to do with this weird american girl who could barely speak the language. It was a good trip, just full of confusion.

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    Replies
    1. No wait I just remembered! My 10th birthday I won a Sock Hop party pack from American Girl and they sent us all sorts of decorations and such and a matching outfit for my doll. THAT was the best! How could I have forgotten that?

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  15. I don't think I have ever had a worst birthday... that or my brain mentally blocked it out. My best birthday was when my mom and aunt took me to American Girl in NYC and I ate lunch with my doll! It was fab!

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  16. I celebrated my Sweet 16 in Italy. Sounds awesome, right?! We spent the day cramped in a Fiat driving down the incredibly winding roads from Rome to Sorrento, unable to read the road signs, and only to find our "hotel" was not quite five stars, maybe not even 2. The first hotel we pulled into was gorgeous, but it turned out my mom was just asking for directions (let down!). It ended being an amazing trip, and I may have just been acting like a brat (alright fine, I was)!

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  17. Gosh, what a horrible birthday! I can't seem to remember having a horrible birthday or anything like you had!

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  18. My birthday is on New Years Eve so every bday until I was 21 pretty much sucked. One year my mom and all her friends were DRUNK while I had a sleepover bday party. She decided to call the radio station and sing happy birthday to me with her drunk friends while my friends stood by and watched and laughed. I was mortified!

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  19. My best birthday so far was the one I just celebrated on May 10th, this past Saturday. It was amazing!

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  20. UGH! Saddest Birthday ever! I hope you have a way better, fantastic birthday this year!!! All the giveaway stuff is TO DIE FOR!!!!

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  21. My best birthday was probably my 21st (I know so corny) but I didn't get so drunk that I didn't remember it but I had the time of my life with my best friends...a night to remember for sure!

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  22. Haha I can't even..."And what that cakes even says is beyond me. I've never known." I seriously laughed at that forever, like out loud, glad no one is around laughing bc I just kept looking at that cake. But then I did get pretty sad throughout the rest of it. If only iPhones were around then, the alarm clock thing probably wouldn't have happened.

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  23. I have been staring at the picture, trying to figure out what in the world that cake says for too long. I'm sorry your Disney birthday went so poorly. I went there around the same age and don't really remember it being any better. Tensions clearly run high in that place.

    My birthday pretty regularly a disaster. For my 22nd I attempted to throw a nice dinner party. I asked everyone to dress up and I made coquilles st. jacques. Everyone was hammered before we even sat down for dinner. The evening ended with two of my friends having a full on white trash brawl on my front lawn while another two tried to flush a wad of paper towels down the toilet to cover up their mess. As any sane person would guess, that did not end well. To say the least, I was not thrilled.

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  24. Is it sad that I've never been to Disney? Well, there was the one time I stayed at a Disney hotel for a conference but never got to go to the park. Anyway, happy early birthday! My best birthdays were probably 16 and 24, both of which people threw me surprise parties.

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  25. I had a similar experience at Disney World, although not for my birthday. The only autograph I got (after begging my dad for an autograph book!) was Chip and Dale, and not the hot half naked ones.

    My best birthday was my 30th - surprise party that my parents even showed up for! Great party planned by my husband :)

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  26. Ohhh oh man, i would have been crying too. I had a good disney experience on a cruise, but a real bad one at the park. i was sick. so sick they put me in a wheel chair and i got to go in front of all the lines so that's good right? happy early b-day!

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  27. Man oh man does this birthday story suck. Wow! Poor 10yr old you. I feel for you!
    I went to Disney's Magic Kingdom for my 27th birthday. Was a blast. But then I wasn't expecting princess and was completely happy with Mickey shaped waffles at the Mariott
    Happy Birthday week!

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  28. My best and worst nearly intersected at my 21st. It was with family in Amsterdam, but at one point very late in the night I thought I was going to captured by some very sketchy people in a neighborhood I probably should not have been in.
    Best was my 4th. My mom rented half of the local McDonald's. It was awesome. I don't think parents in my hometown would let their kids at a MickyDs party nowadays.

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  29. I remember some birthday in middle school was really bad. It was my first just hang out in my cool unfinished basement party and I invited so many people from school but some girl who was more popular than I was having her party the same day and most of the people went to that. The people who did come to mine I didn't even really want there I just felt obligated to invite them. I guess she didn't feel obligated.

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  30. That's quite a sad day for the first of your double digit birthdays! As a summer baby, I never had epic parties nor could I take treats to school to celebrate. Every year I complained. Thankfully, birthdays got way better after I got older... Hello, birthday shots!!

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  31. Your story makes me want to cry :( My daughter just turned 9 and I hope and pray that she never has birthday memories like this. 10 is a rough age!!!!

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  32. My worst birthday was when I was 5 - my dad took me for a haircut and I left looking like a boy. It was horrifying.

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  33. Mine probably was when I was 13, I decided it would be a good idea to go horseback riding with a few of my friends...lamest birthday ever. Also it was freezing because my birthday is in the winter. To top it off, my horse freaked out and ran away from the group...with me screaming (making it worse), running through mud so my jeans/shoes were covered in mud and probably horse crap. All in all I have to laugh about it now, but as a 13 year old cheer leading diva, I wasn't having it. Haha!

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  34. Best birthday had to have been my 24th. I had just gone on tour with a Disney show and we opened in England. I spent that weekend traipsing around English pubs and dive bars.

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  35. Happy Birthday...we've all been there. Someone broke my favorite present at my 5th birthday Peter Pan party. Devastating to this day. That's why you don't invite boys to parties.

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  36. My worst birthday was probably 16 :(

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  37. Oddly enough, my worst was one of the "Milestones" - 16. See my parents had gotten tickets for my mother and I to spend 4 days in NYC - i had never been. HOWEVER, the weekend of my birthday happened to be the weekend AFTER 9/11/2001 - so all our flights were cancelled, etc. We never ended up going, and I actually STILL have not been to NYC :(

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  38. Worst birthday was at age 15 (I'm pretty sure that's how old I was anyway). No one besides my mom said happy birthday. I spent the whole day taking care of my mom because of her back pain. I ended up buying, wrapping, and unwrapping my presents all by my lonesome. And than I finally just cried myself to sleep. Good times. Happy early birthday!

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  39. Um, I probably would have cried too. Missing breakfast with the princesses???? NO! Heck, I'd cry now! And I haven't had a whole lot of truly awful birthdays, but this past one was spent on a coach bus with 50 teenagers driving from Texas to Missouri. It wasn't awful... but it wasn't glamorous either. At least they got me a cookie cake and sang to me at a meal stop while at IHOP.

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  40. 15 was the worst, and 21 was the best!!! happy birthday!

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  41. "overslept" my ass - someone didn't want to have breakfast with disney princesses, and was clearly out to ruin your life.

    I think my worst birthday was the one I got dumped. Yeah, that was pretty mean.

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  42. oh no what a birthday. Missing a meal with Princesses on YOUR BIRTHDAY is just too much - especially for a 10 year old. Your reaction was totally warranted in my book

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  43. My 21st birthday was the worst…and not because I drank too much alcohol. Imagine newly divorced parents with their lovers, an alcoholic mad at the world, and 40 year old ladies (my mother and her friends) that have more drama than Sex and the City.
    I loved this post by the way…so sorry about your 10 year old birthday. You really should go back to Disney world on or around your birthday and dine with the princesses, it will fill that void. haha

    xo, Taylor

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  44. My fifth birthday was a tragedy. I was supposed to have a McDonald's birthday party AKA eat tons of chicken nuggets and play in those filthy, static electricity filled play pens for hours upon hours and was soooooo pumped. Then I got the chicken pox and we had to postpone it :( :( Birthday parties are nowhere near as fun 1 month after your actual birthday.

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  45. Oh my god, what a disaster! My worst birthday was probably when I was turning 7. I had a sleepover where another girl started throwing a fit because she wasn't getting enough attention. She locked herself in my room... at my house during my birthday party. And that was the only sleepover party I was allowed to have until I was 14 years old.

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  46. That is the worst birthday in the history of birthday. I hope your parents read this and apologize. No princesses, no sea otters. I probably would have run away. No kidding at all.

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  47. My 10th birthday was in Florida too! It poured rain that day but we still celebrated it on the beach where it was cold. Dad and Mom got in an argument over something and I just remember sitting in the backseat crying and telling them they weren't allowed to fight on my birthday.

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  48. My parents went for a romantic weekend getaway on my 9th birthday and the babysitter bought me a stuffed dog. Earlier that year I had almost been bit by a dog and what traumatized by them. NOT FUN.

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  49. That sucks dude but I laughed at the part where they told you to pack your bags and go hang with the otters. I die. Anyway my worst birthday? Maybe 2 birthdays ago. Nothing went right. Nothing.

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  50. Best birthday? Maybe last year. I won a trip to Nashville all expenses paid and we left the day after my birthday so basically we celebrated for four days straight. Worst part about it? Getting the tax form after the first of the year. Don't ever win anything on the radio, it's a trap. ;)

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  51. Oddly enough I can't think of a bad birthday well not one when I was a child there was the year my husband and daughters forgot my birthday that was pretty bad

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  52. I don't have any that stand out as being really bad. I had a lot of really fun birthdays in school since my bday was right before christmas break, there was usually a party!

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  53. I would say my best bdays were probably 10 and 30. I can't remember any really bad ones which is a good thing!

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  54. Ah I laughed so hard. I didnt go to Disney for my birthday but I don't remember Disney being as magical as everyone says either. I went when I was in the 5th grade and I remember a lot of crying also. Maybe we are set up to too grand expectations.

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  55. I haven't been to Disney but I know that no one wants to remember Disney as that! I hope you have a great birthday! Make it awesome!!

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  56. Worst birthday: almost every single one growing up (now they're neither here nor there). I couldn't even tell you how many times I've cried on my birthday! I guess I'm just a baby.

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  57. Bless your 10 year old heart...
    I would say my 30th sucked pretty badly. First, I turned 30. Then I had to work, go to class all day, and bought my own cupcakes. Whompwhomp

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  58. That really is terrible! I am kinda mad and sad all at the same time. Your poor little 10 year old self. :( I hope your birthdays after that were much better! Happy early birthday!

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  59. awwww that sounds like a terrible birthday. I love birthdays and I put way too much pressure on to have a perfect day that it usually turns out mediocre at best.

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  60. My worst day was a vacation in Hawaii with my husband. First day there we take a boat to go snorkeling with dolphins. The second I put my head in the water, I start freaking out because I can't get the damn snorkel to work, and I can't breathe underwater with the mouthpiece. They give me a pool noodle so I can just float above water to look for dolphins- fyi- you can't see anything floating on top of the water when all the dolphins are underwater. I get out and stay on the boat for the rest of the 4 hour cruise. I get sunburned because I didn't reapply sunscreen and I end up with a heat rash all over my legs for the rest of the trip. Who goes to Hawaii and just hides in the sun for 7 days? Me. I had to do that. Miserable.

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