I'm so far behind on blogging that I'm not even going to try to catch up. It'll be great if I just get in a few highlights from the year. Our California trip was definitely one of those. Jeff's family rotates every year between doing a trip with just the adults and doing a kid trip. We've had some amazing trips....adult and with the kids. Grandpa Dave and Grandma Faye surprised them at a family dinner and told them we were going on a cruise!! Our little family decided to go a few days early to visit Disneyland since it had been a few years since we were there. We stayed in St. George and made it to California in early afternoon on our second day. The drive was not as bad as I thought it would be...the kids did really well.
What's fun about vacations? Doing things you can't do at home...like eating donuts in bed.
Our cute little Belle. Claire kept asking where all the princesses were...until she saw them she wasn't entirely sure we were even at D-land.
Our navigator for the park...there's something about a map for Jaxon that he just can't resist.
And our little first time D-land visitor. He was a trooper!
Finally...we made her wait half the day but I dare say she would say it was worth the wait. You don't know which princesses are going to be there and I was crossing my fingers hoping Belle would be one of them. We lucked out and Claire was in princess heaven.
I love Disneyland...Jeff and I talked about how amazing it is and how they do so many things right! To a kid it really is a dream come true. It does make for some tired kids and parents... we were beat and couldn't get back to our hotel fast enough.
Jaxon with his double light sabre that he created himself. His favorite rides were Star Tours and Space Mountain. Claire loved Finding Nemo and Buzz Lightyear.
The kids were so pumped after Disneyland that we could have just gone home and called the trip a success. It was a little like Christmas knowing what was coming and how much fun they would have on the cruise. They couldn't believe how big the ship was and that they got to sleep on it for four nights. We left out of Long Beach and cruised to Catalina Island and Ensenada, Mexico.
Grandma Faye and a few of the grandkids:
Jaxon and Tyson doing a happy dance on the top of the boat.
The perfect place for Chase to crawl around was the mini golf course on the ship...he loved it as did the other kids. The kids also loved the waterslide and the hot tubs on the ship. The pool was pretty cold but at least there wasn't a limit on how many kids could fit in the hot tubs.
Catalina Island was one of my favorite days of the trip. We rented golf carts and drove around the small island. You can always expect when you're with Jeff's family to laugh a lot and to have something happen that makes a good story. Have you ever been the most wanted on an island? Don't think most of us can say that we have except for maybe our brother in law Travis can...he's on the back of our cart in blue. We rented the carts but realized after we had paid for all of them that we were short one seat. Did we want to rent a whole other cart for one person...absolutely not. This is how Jeff's family does things...they even have a name for it...the rip and scoot. Our first mistake was not being very discreet about being a seat short. We told Travis we would drive a little down the road and pick him up. So, we drive a little ways off and Travis hops on back of our cart. Pretty soon we see a police golf cart following us and he's talking on his radio. As the police guy gets closer you can tells he's trying to count how many are in our cart. So Travis jumps off the cart and we all keep going. We thought they would leave us alone but it was only the beginning. After waiting for a bit we went back and picked Travis up. At this point we had shuffled kids....someone was hiding in the middle seat on the floor and Travis had taken off his blue shirt. Why we thought this would matter who knows. Shortly after we picked him up, we see the police guy again...chasing us down. It was rather fun being one of four golf carts trying to out run the police. They chased us for a good part of the hour that we had our carts...they finally pulled over the cart with him in it and busted him. We were all ahead and weren't sure what was happening but as we were waiting we see Travis drive by in the police car. We were all laughing our heads off...probably one of those things you had to be there, but it was definitely funny. Ended up not being that big a deal...his option was either he ride down with the police or we had to take one of the carts back. We're still not sure how Travis ended up being the one who had to jump carts, but he made a good fugitive. Thanks Travis for taking one for the team.
If you were with Grandpa Dave...holding on tight was a must.
The views were incredible...the island is beautiful.
The kids had the best time. Good thing we had our map boy in the front to navigate.
Grandpa Dave with 14 of his 19 grandchildren...
Jeff's sisters and his Dad...
Love that face....
Claire and Sisley being chased by the waves...
One of my most favorite things about cruising is dinner time. You get at least a 4 course meal every night. Most nights, Jeff and I made it a 5 or 6 course meal by adding an extra appetizer or two. We had some yummy eats. They had the most amazing chocolate molten lava cake that was unbelievable. Jaxon, Claire, and Tyson shared a table and had their own waiter to wait on them. Jaxon loved that he could get steak every night. Claire was happy with her pizza and nuggets.
There is one formal night on the boat and I'm still kicking myself for not getting a family picture of us all dressed up, but after the meal you swing your napkins over your head while the waiters sing a song and dance. Watching Jaxon do it made my night...He was truly having the time of his life!
Our second stop was Ensenada. The kids stayed on the boat at Camp Carnival while the adults went to a blow hole and a flea market. I learned that as cute as the cheap sunglasses are they aren't worth it unless you want the headache to go with them. Even the bus ride was fun...Jeff and I listened to music together and enjoyed some down time.
After Ensenada on our way back to the ship...the last picture that I took on our cruise. The flag was huge...biggest flag I've seen. What a great day!!