Thursday, July 2, 2009

Bon Voyage!

Back in January I realized that for the first time in my life I didn't have a Spring Break to look forward to. It is, after all, a critical break that helps split up all the hard work and craziness of life that goes on. I quickly decided to investigate possible vacation ideas. One month later I found super cheap tickets for the Mexican Riveria Cruise (the exact same cruise we went on for our Honeymoon last year) and we decided we couldn't pass it up. I was getting super trunky as I waited for May and our long awaited vacation time to arrive. Well, it finally arrived, but it also brought the swine flu with it. We received a cancellation call from our travel agent just 2 days before we were supposed to leave. We were so disappointed (I'd already packed my bags and was counting the hours), but Parker (who is ALWAYS so positive and quick to look for the good in everything) pointed out that with the delay we could now go on our cruise for our 1-year Anniversary! It all worked out perfectly and we had such a wonderful time.

We stopped in Vegas on our way to LA and spent some time with Ryan & Amanda and the kids. We just always seem to have too much planned because there is never enough time for us to all just hang out, but we did have fun going to lunch together. We're always so thankful for the time we do get to spend with them. Amanda & I always have to talk in fast-foward motion so that we can catch each other up on everything, and Ryan & Parker head to the office to talk sports and laugh at funny things online. Boys :)

For our Anniversary that night, Parker surprised me with tickets to Phantom of the Opera. Isn't he wonderful?! We got dressed up and had a great night out on the town. The show was absolutely amazing! Afterwards we walked around the Venetician and looked at the many intricate displays they have. We actually ended up getting lost and couldn't figure out how to get back outside to the parking garage. Those darn casinos trap you inside! Cheesy me, I reminded Parker of a line in a Brad Paisely country songs "...we were lost but holding hands". We had a great time on our little adventure but luckily we were able to escape.

Our cruise made 3 stops: Cabo, Mazatlan, & Puerto Vallarta.

In CABO we did some power-snorkeling. We had little machines that basically propelled us around so we didn't have to do any of the swimming ourselves. Normally I would have felt lazy, but I am so afraid of fish that I was just thankful to have something that could speed me past them. Parker had fun propelling and diving downward while I stayed on high-alert watch for jelly-fish.

We had a rainy day in MAZATLAN but it still turned out great.

We spent the day on a city tour and did some shopping.
There were cliff divers that jump from 45 ft into only 7 ft of water and they have to jump in between rocks! At the end of the day, we stopped for lunch at a restaurant right on the beach and the food was just fantastic. Parker ordered coconut shrimp and they brought it out in an actual coconut. Needless to say, Parker was pretty pleased.

Our last stop in Mexico was PUERTO VALLARTA. We did a short city tour and then rode a full-size bus up a narrow, twisted, and occasionally unstable, mountain road. I kept having to close my eyes so I wouldn't have to wonder if we were going to go over the edge at any moment. At one point, the road became so unsafe that our guide had everyone get off the bus and walk the rest of the distance. Then we got to hike through the jungle! It was so much fun and we got to take some great pictures. Our guide spent a good portion of the time pointing out areas of the city and jungle that were used to film the movie Predator. It was pretty funny.

Once we reached the top, we had lunch at a great restaurant in the middle of the jungle. You could swim in the river or go on the zip-lines while you were there. And, of course, get a picture of the Predator!

After all of our port stops we spent two-days on the ship relaxing as we sailed back to LA. Our ship was enormous so there wasn't a shortage of things to do. It was so nice to sleep-in, do some reading, watch movies, and best of whenever we wanted! And trust me, we did! Where else can you find a free 24-hr. soft-serve machine? We played around in the gift shops, spent lots of time in the hot tub, and even got to go ice-skating and play in the arcade! There were performances and shows every night--some of them were better than others. (Poor Parker had to listen to one too many horrible renditions of 80's hits. )

They also had an ice-skating production that was amazing! I would get dizzy just walking on the ship so I'm not sure how those skaters managed to land all those jumps and lifts. Our dining room was enormous and so elaborate. Actually, the entire ship was pretty amazing.

Once we were back on land in California we stopped for a Dodger game. I always love watching baseball live but it would have been even better if they could have won! My souvenir from the game was our mini-foam fingers. Parker won them for answering Dodger trivia--the Dodgers have won 6 World Series. Aren't you all impressed that I know that?! I've actually learned all players and their positions and Parker is now trying to teach me the pitching line-up. One thing at a time...

Our trip was so wonderful but it is really great to be back home with all of you. Honestly, there's just no place like home!

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