Sunday, January 31, 2010

Cabo San Lucas... heaven

WOW... what to say about this day?  It could not have been more perfect.  Hayden got his way, and we piled into a rented Jeep and took off for Chileno Bay up the coast about 20 minutes. It was so warm & beautiful!  I had to remind myself that back home it was a blizzard and 20 degrees. 
Everyone got in for some snorkeling (yes... even me, after some coaxing from Hayden).  There wasn't much coral to see, but the fish were incredible.  Aspen was not about to get near the waves and water since they had taken down her sandcastles in Puerto Vallarta.  

We ran into Hayden's parents when we got to the beach.  We did some exploring up the beach, and found some secluded beaches.  We vowed to make it back to Cabo by the time we had been here less than an hour. 
Brenden's one and only spot on his MUST DO list was Cabo Wabo... which is a cantina/bar/restaurant built and owned by Sammy Hagar (lead singer for Van Halen).  It was overpriced, but Brenden was IN HEAVEN! 

What a great day.  The last part of Cabo we saw on our way out was Land's End, which is the southern-most-point of the California Baja.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Day 2 @ Puerto Vallarta.... OOPS!

We were supposed to wake up coming into Mazatlan for our second port.  HOWEVER, we spent the night and the entire next day in Puerto Vallarta because our ship hit the pier when coming into port.  YES, HIT THE PIER.  Not just HIT, but took out a 6 x 6' section of the concrete pier.  Apparently our boat "parker" was trying not to hit the other ship already in port, like he had THE week BEFORE!  HELLO???? How is this person still driving a boat??  There was considerable damage done to the inside of some of the cabins from hitting the pier, and we had to stay an extra day until we could be cleared to sail.  I didn't mind missing Mazatlan, but was going to be really ticked if we missed Cabo.  We took a taxi into old town, shopped (sorry Hayden... pain and torture, I know), visited some old churches, and walked down the boardwalk and checked out many of the statues.  We ate at the HARD ROCK cafe on our way back to the ship.  Apparently you can change the amount of the tip on your bill in Mexico and get away with it.  :)  What were we going to do?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


LAND HO!  We weren't sure what to expect in Puerto Vallarta.  We heard there were some good beaches, and many sculptures along the boardwalk worth seeing.  As we got off the ship, the first little booth we passed had a man with a little donkey in it.  This animal was THE softest thing I have ever felt, and Aspen was entranced  The man took it, picked it up and put it right in her lap.  I'm amazed we didn't have to come back to the states packing this donkey.

The part about coming into ports that not many of us like is being bombarded by all the people trying to sell you services, a taxi ride, a tour, drinks, overpriced trinkets... etc etc. We learned to look the other way, and NEVER EVER ask questions about their goods.

Usually when Hayden and I take trips into ports, we like to rent a car, drive OUT of the touristy parts of the city, and see some authentic parts of the country.  Stop somewhere and have food at a local place, or try to hit a "memorable location" while there (thanks to Wikipedia).  When traveling with a party of 8 people, however, it makes doing just such things, a bit more tricky. 

Our first destination was the beach, and there was one in front of a large bank of hotels right down the pier from the ship.  The beaches were beautiful... the humidity in the air was so thick it looked like fog... the boys loved the water, and Aspen had her first WAVE adventure.  She loved building sand-castles with Austin.  However, they had been building them pretty close to where the waves were coming in.  Aspen got very defensive about her little project, and when the waves destroyed her little sand creation while she was REBUILDING it, she had had enough of waves.  She would NOT go into the waves at the next beach place we stopped at later in the trip.


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Day 2 @ Sea... relaxing!

Day 2 at sea, and it was pretty relaxed.  It's always nice to wake up and be able to go out onto the balcony and watch the sun rise.  Brenden was missing in action, again, because he was off hanging with friends.  Aspen was IN THE WATER, and Wade & Austin came to join in.  

The weather started off somewhat cool (heat-wave, by Utah standards) at the first of the trip, but on this day it was really WARM.  Running on the ship that morning felt really good to not have to be bundled up, or wearing my "snow cleats" in order to get from point A to point B.   Looking forward to LAND tomorrow.  And a TWIST in the story.  It's kinda funny, actually.  Until then.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

December Trip: DAY 2 - Fun Day at Sea

First day at sea... and we were not without things to do.  We had a balcony cabin right next to Hayden's parents and once Aspen figured this out she wanted boosted over the divider each time.  Oh if only things were that easy on a daily basis to be able to see our grandparents.

The best part about the first day is just figuring out your way around the ship, finding the things to see and do, and getting to know the servers at dinner.  We found a couple little shops on board, and Aspen found a little backpack with a barbie in it.  She found a wall of them, actually.  It was a fight to get her to settle for ONE instead of the 3 she was insisting on carrying around.

Everyone had their "thing" they loved to do.  Wade's was the video game room with Austin.  He also has been talking about mini-golfing since we took him 2 years ago... since he was expecting a mini-course on our last ship.  Brenden's place he could be found was on the court, or in the club.  He was quite the little friend finder.  I'd sneak in to deliver a message or to find him for something and he would be in the center or a big group of chairs with friends all around (mostly girls).  Pretty funny.  Aspen's favorite place, by far, was the glass elevators and the dance floor.  A lady would play the piano in the lobby and Aspen would run onto the middle of the floor and dance and dance.  This usually ended with us dragging her away... only by tempting her with some other COOL part of the ship.

We had a formal night this night at sea... and it is always fun seeing the boys get gussied up (Brenden is hillarious... a primping 16 year old boy!!!  Much fun to watch!)  Aspen learned at dinner, thanks to Grandma, how to "TOAST".  Grandma toasted to a good trip, and great people, and once the glasses clinked together, Aspen was hooked.  EVERY dinner, every meal, even chocolate milk containers and ice cream cones got "toasted" by touching them together.  She didn't make it to the end of dinner many nights.  She stayed so busy all day, and had so much fun in the kids club, that she ended up asleep in mine or Hayden's arms by the delivery of dessert.  FUN DAY!

Tomorrow:  another day at sea... heading toward Puerto Vallarta!!  Yay

Monday, January 4, 2010

CA to MEXICO... day1

Now that I am back home in the land of the frozen, I can post pictures and stories about our little vacation and get to "live" through it again... if only in my memory.  I'll post one day at a time.  That way I can spread my pictures out over more posts... thus able to not overwhelm  :)  Hey, I took 1700 pictures... gotta share.

The original plan included an all night drive to begin the trip.  We lasted until about Mesquite, NV and knew we had bit off more than we could chew.  We crashed there, and drove into DD's house (my mom's cousin) the next day.  It rained and rained (and rained) while we were there, but it was BEAUTIFUL and we had great people to visit with.  Aspen found the pool at the house and thought that was the destination we had been referring to, and kept wanting to get in.

The following morning we headed to the ship, but since we had a few hours to burn, we hit the beach.  Huntington Beach is one of our favorites, and we have some great pictures from several years ago there.  It was definite sweater weather and a pretty stiff wind as well, but after a nice walk on the pier, the kids were down on the edge of the water, chasing birds and pelicans.  We had forgotten to buy the boys some underwear before we left so we got our first flavor of good old California prices when we bought 2 packs of boxers and paid almost $40.  Crazy.

The ship was nice.  A bit "Carnival-ish" but thats what you get when you go on CARNIVAL I guess.  When we finally took off from the pier, the city was beautiful from the balcony.  We got the kids set up at the kids' clubs, and they were good to go for the rest of the week.  The weather was still sweater weather, and it was hard to imagine we were going to be able to get around without them soon.

UP NEXT:  2 days at sea.

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