Thursday, March 23, 2017


We woke up to a cloudy overcast day in Long Beach, California, which is typical. It's always overcast in the morning. 

David and I were talking about what a major production a cruise ship is.  It runs pretty seamless for everything they have to do.  Passengers start getting on the ship almost as quickly as passengers are getting off.  They turn the ship around in a matter of about 6 hours and it's ready to go again for another week.  There was a steady stream of 18 wheelers unloading food at the port.

This is the Queen Mary which serves now as a hotel and museum. They say it's haunted.

This big dome building is where they check you in and out.

I woke up early and was sitting up in the dining area enjoying coffee and looking out the windows.  Then, I saw David walk up.  We were chatting about the birds in the water and drinking our coffee. Then, I looked around the dining area, which was unusually quiet. Nobody was talking and they all had their faces in a phone.  See our phone batteries are still dead and our chargers are in the van just beyond the dome building above. There was no more asking "where you from" or "what excursion did you do", etc. Everyone was consumed by email and facebook now that we all had cell service again.  Oh trust me, if I had a charged phone, I'd be doing the same thing, but it was just sad.  Sad that we enjoy looking at a screen more than we do looking at people.  Sad that we'd rather get a "like" from someone we haven't talked to in 25 years on Facebook, then talk to our spouse and see what they liked best about the cruise. It's just pathetic really.

Then, we walked to the area where we were waiting to get off the ship and every single person had a device in their face. Again, I would've been doing the same thing. But, when it's taken from you, you realize how awful it is, and that it is changing the human race, and not for the better.

Speaking of which, I called David the other day at work from my cell phone and his voice mail picked up. Normally, I'd just hang up and text him, but instead, I left him a message.  But, this is what I said, "Hi babe period wondering if you found your blue tooth at work question mark I remember carrying it in from the car on a book or maybe it was the Costco pizza box period haha exclamation point". Then, I remembered I was leaving a voice message, but I was doing talk to text and I laughed and laughed and laughed. 

And then we got in our van and the first thing we did was plug in our phones.  But, hey, we needed to know how to get to our next destination.  No, not home, the BEACH!

Yes, we had a 7 hour driving ahead of us, but when one of our favorite Cali beaches is 5 miles away, you go to the beach for a few hours.  Anything to squeeze a few more hours of sunshine out of this trip.

Ben likes to wander.

Noah likes to build sand castles.

And pretend to surf.

And Emily found some really cool seashells.

We were only there for a few hours, but it was enough to get us through the long drive home.

Now, where are we going next?

I say that jokingly, but I just put the last suitcase away yesterday and I have to take it back out tonight. We are headed to Tucson tomorrow for an overnight stay. It's 3 hours away.  Ben gets to fly a plane with his honors class at school through the Wright Flight program.  Don't worry, I'll post lots of pics on Facebook.  :)

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Puerto Vallarta

We LOVED Puerto Vallarta.  This was my view out our balcony the  morning we woke up.

I don't know who these little Mexican men were, but they were cute.

We did a little gift shopping and then walked 5 minutes to the place where we were getting picked up for our zipline tour. The picked us up in an open jeep type truck. It was so awesome. We could really get a feel of the town driving through and seeing everything.

The streets were packed and you could literally reach out and shake hands with the driver next to you.

It was so pretty there.  I couldn't snap a lot of pics as our driver was whizzing by the town, but it was so nice.

I loved the bougainvillea growing all over this hotel.

And even though there were hotel zones, we got to see the real Mexican parts.  I thought it interesting that even though nobody has windows, they all have satellite dishes.  Priorities.

About 40 minutes later, we arrived at the zipline. They have all these monkeys and other animals. My kids could've spent all day looking at these cute little monkeys. These are always our favorite at the zoo.

Here is our motley crew after our debriefing about all the zipline info.  

And here we go up to our first zipline.

This is the first one called the Bambino.  It was tiny and a good first zipline.

Ben was probably the most nervous which surprised me.

Noah thought he was going to be able to go with someone.  But, he got up there and was so brave and just flew down El Bambino!

Emily even went upside down at one point! 

Ziplines were so fun. It was more than 2 miles of lines and some were 1,000 feet high and 1,000 feet long. That's like a 100 story building!  I couldn't believe the kids were so brave and up for anything.

Then after, we couldn't wait to get in the river!

They had these awesome water slides. The kids looked like little puppets flying off of them.

It was like a giant jungle gym. We could've stayed there all day.

They had so many awesome animals.  Well, not that I like snakes and spiders, but they are cool.

Then, the kids got to go into the monkey house.

And oh my gosh, Emily's face in this series of photos is the best.  She was loving this little monkey on her.

Then, it jumped from Emily to Alanah!

Then, the boys got to go in and man, I hate that I don't know how to use my camera properly.

Seriously, I don't know how to focus and well, I got great pictures of the fence! Urgh, so frustrating. One day, I will learn how to work my fancy camera.

They also have cool birds.

On the way home, we stopped to get a photo with this popular rock formation.

Here's some videos of ziplining and after.

We returned to the ship, just in time to catch a beautiful sunset.  

It was the BEST day!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Cabo, Day 2

This cruise did an overnight in Cabo, but instead of staying in Cabo, we had to sail back to the ocean.  Why?  Well, they can't open the casino unless they are in international waters. So, we left Cabo and then returned to Cabo the next day.  Whatever floats your boat.  

I got to see them take down one of the lifeboats off our balcony and test it out a bit.  It's nice to know they work.

Ryan is not a hugger.  He had a dental issue recently and when one of our dentist friends helped it get it resolved, Ryan hugged him. So, then we started hugging Ryan to not feel left out.  So, we got him this shirt for Cabo and set him out in Cabo with a bunch of Miss Cheeky's.  But, we were on the wrong side of the beach for him to get any action.  Oh well, maybe next time.

After some negotiating on a water taxi, we got a ride to Medando Beach.  And we planted ourselves here for the day.  It was lovely. Truly. A perfectly warm day.  The water wasn't cold.  It was wonderful.  

We rented an umbrella for $10, which was nice.

The only bad part is the people that walk up and down the beach and try to sell you things. Anything from jewelry to hats to fruit. One lady had shrimp. Um, it's 85 degrees out. I don't think it's up to health code. And I don't think she cared. Another lady had tacos!  They didn't leave you alone, which was annoying.  I just started not even looking at them, which is rude, but honestly it was every 60 seconds.  

The one thing we would've liked, a cold Coke or beer was no where to be found.  These people need a lesson in supply and demand.  Maybe it's illegal to sell that on the beach. But, I don't think that would stop anybody.

Emily liked the warm sand.

And if you want to now where the college kids are on Spring Break, here they are. It was crazy. We did not venture down there.

And handsome Ben...

And we just played in the water and relaxed.  It was fabulous.

I thought, oh here's a library at the beach.  Then, I saw "of Tequila".  Figures.

Emily wanted  a drink in a coconut, but that was no where to be found on the beach either.  But, on the way back to the ship, we came across a Fat Tuesdays that made the kids a strawberry and pina colada drink.  And even better, the got to sit in swings and be served!  How fun!

Well, it was fun until this creepy drunk guy in a yellow shirt showed up and started swinging Noah.  It's a bar swing dude, you can only go about 2 feet.  This guy was nuts, but funny, so whatever.

And that was our second day in Cabo!