Sunday, May 31, 2009

He's so good

Paul just competed in his second triathlon of the season yesterday. He did the Salem Sprint Triathlon along with his brother Spencer and his brother-in-law, Luke. Salem is a small town just south of where we live. I love it when the race is close by! I actually got there in time to see Paul get started on the race. He was so pumped up, as evidenced by the picture on the top right of this collage!
Luke and Spencer got started 5 minutes before Paul did because they are in a younger age group. Once we saw Paul enter the "washing machine" of people hitting and kicking each other as they start swimming, us spectators took our own, dear, sweet time and moseyed on over to where the swimmers get out. We missed Luke and Spencer getting out, but thankfully, I was able to find Paul swimming toward the shore and get a picture of him getting out (top left).

By the time I walked over the little hill to where the transition area was, Paul was already heading out on the bike portion of the race. He had a wicked fast transition! The bike was a 6.75 mile loop they did twice. It's really difficult to get a good picture of someone speeding by on their bike, but I managed to get the one on the bottom right as he started the second loop and the one on the bottom left as he was finishing. It's fun to have multiple people to cheer on and Paul was just a little bit behind Luke and Spencer.

I didn't see Paul after that until he was running in to the finish line. I'd given the camera to Melanie so I could go up the hill to video the guys as they came in. She caught a picture of Luke sprinting in, finishing in 1:11 and coming in 5th place in his age group (awesome!)...

and then here comes Spencer, finishing in 1:18 taking 14th in his age group (way to go!).

Paul surprised us all by coming in just a couple minutes after Spencer. Unfortunately, digital cameras aren't always just "point & shoot" anymore, so Mel wasn't able to get a picture. Oh, well! He finished in 1:15, taking 7th in his age division! He missed 6th place by 4 seconds, 5th place by 15 seconds, and 4th place by 30-40 seconds. Pretty impressive if you ask me! No wonder he keeps nagging me about getting a new wheel set to make him stinkin fast. But no matter what place he takes, the most important thing is that he beat Spencer! Those two are very competitive with each other and this is now the second race in a row that Paul's beaten him, even if it is just by 2-3 minutes! Way to go, Paul! You're getting good at this!
Here are the guys (looking all sexy with their shirts unzipped!) chillin after the race. I'm so impressed with all of them! They work so hard and have truly earned the title of athletes!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

A fun project

So, one of the reasons I haven't blogged in a while is this fun project I finally got done! Several weeks ago, Paul's Aunt Rebecca called me up to commission me to make some cards for their Jr. High school teachers. She needed them to be a specific size (in order to hold money) and I had a couple weeks to get them done. It was a pretty daunting project, mostly because Paul's Aunt Marta made the cards for her last year... and you should see Marta's cards. She's awesome! In order to simplify the project a little (she needed 18 cards total), rather than making each card unique, I made a different card per department. Here's how they turned out.

This one for Janis on the left is my favorite one, closely followed by the one for Tara on the bottom right.

These ones aren't quite as fancy, but I still think they turned out well. It's hard to design cards for men. At least with Corinne, there, I could throw on a big flower focal point and call it good!

I like these cards for the English teachers, but felt like they were a little plain-ish. I loved the paper, though! In making these cards, I was SOOO glad to have my Serif Alphabet dies for my big shot as well as the smaller alphabet die. Once I decided to make their names the focal point for each card, it made it a little easier. Aunt Rebecca received them from FedEx today and sent off a very reinforcing email to me telling me she loved them! I was relieved to hear that she was so pleased with how I did. Hopefully the teachers will also like the cards next week when they receive them with some cash inside! I'm sure the cash would make ANY card look good to an underpaid teacher! What do you think?

Thursday, May 21, 2009


This is going to be another post about my weight. We got back from the cruise on a Saturday night, which meant I had 5 days to try to remedy the overeating/weight gain issue from the cruise before my next weigh in. The Thursday before the cruise, my WW weight was 147.2 (.6 of a pound from officially losing 40 lbs!). I was glad about this.

The Thursday after my cruise, I weighed in at 150 even, a 2.8 lb gain. Honestly, I didn't feel bad about this one bit. I made a conscious decision while on vacation that I was going to enjoy myself. I didn't go crazy (except for that last night!), but I also didn't deny myself too much. I had figured, "I know how to lose 5 lbs, so as long as I don't gain 10 lbs, I'll be fine!" That's why we worked out as much as we did during the cruise as well. To add to this 150 number, I was retaining some water as well (guess why!?!), so I think that had something to do with it. In either case, I wasn't going to stress about it.

This week, I've done much better. I haven't been perfect, but I've been conscious of what I've been eating and how much. I've also been working out, trying to get in at least 4-5 workouts a week. I've got a 5K race coming up in a week and I've also made plans to run the "Speedy Spaniard" 10K on July 24th and the Hobble Creek 1/2 marathon in August. That's a dang lot of running, but I know I can do it. So that's some motivation for getting my butt out on the road for some run workouts, but I'd like to keep up my fitness for triathlon as well. I've been scoping out another triathlon to get registered for, but I'm still leary of open-water swimming. Plus, I really don't want to buy a wetsuit this year. We just got Paul a new one, and I think we've spent enough! There are some pool-swim races that I'm looking into, so I'll let you know when I pick one.

So, the moment you've been waiting for... I had a KILLER week this week on the scale! Today at WW, I weighed in at 145.4! I lost 4.6 lbs this week! HOLY COW!!! I realized a couple weeks ago, that I weigh less after a bike ride than I do after a run, so today I rode my bike about 10 miles before weighing in. It helps, too, to be wearing lighter clothing like bike shorts and a cycling jersey! So, officially, I have now lost 41 lbs. I don't have to "round up" anymore! Pretty much ever since I'd lost 38 lbs, I've been saying that I've lost 40. It's nice not to have to lie now! I need to be really good this week and not blow it! If I can lose more than half a pound this week, I'll have reached my Weight Watchers goal. Then, if I can lose even more or maintain that weight for 6 weeks, I'll become a lifetime member, as long as I stay under 147. I fully plan to keep up the weight loss so I hopefully never have to pay for WW again!

I think the way I've changed my eating habits and increased my fitness levels, I believe that this is a lifestyle I can live with for years to come. I've been very careful to do this the right way and to make my changes in a sustainable way. I think I've also been very careful to keep a steady heart and mind as motivation behind all of this. I haven't blogged about this, but many of you who are close to me have heard me explain "why now." Since I'm an open book, why not share it with the rest of the world (as if they were reading)!

Last year, Paul and I were planning on having one more child. After months and months of disappointment with this goal, we finally got some testing done and figured out that our chances of having more kids are really small. I had just joined WW at the beginning of August (after putting it off for about 6 months thinking I'd be getting pregnant) and 3 weeks into it, I got this news. It was (and still is sometimes) extremely disappointing, but thankfully, not earth shattering. We are beyond grateful for the 3 awesome boys we have. While bummed that we can't add to this, we recognize the blessings we've been given and do not want to take them for granted. I had been running 5K's all through the summer and thinking that I should set a goal to do a triathlon (since Paul's sister had done one!), but again, that "I'll probably get pregnant by then" thought kept holding me back. Once that went away, I knew I had no excuse. I had really been using that potential future pregnancy as a crutch and roadblock. Without realizing it, though, I was able to adopt a "let's see what else this body can accomplish in 9 months" attitude. Somehow, I was able to channel this "loss" into this new goal of doing a triathlon. Paul's help and suggestions for training were very instrumental in all of it, along with his support with the diet. Diet and exercise worked in tandem for me. I was thrilled that with increased training, I'd lose more weight and with more weight lost, I was more successful in training. It only makes sense that "putting Charlie down" would help me run faster (3 minutes per mile faster, actually)! Following a diet plan and working out consistently WILL bring weight loss results, and I guess I just enjoyed the results so much that I was motivated to stick with it.

So, that's how I got here, for those of you who have wondered. Thanks again (for like the 50th time) for everyone's support and encouragement! It has made this journey so wonderful!

Day 6 & 7 - Time to wrap this up!

Okay, it's time to wrap up all this blogging about the trip. I need to move on with my life!

After our very fun day in San Francisco, we got to spend one whole peaceful day on board, sailing ALL THE WAY BACK to Los Angeles! I don't even think the engines were running. I think they just put the ship in neutral and we just floated downstream to LA! Anyway, it was a wonderfully relaxing day and just boring enough to get us to the point where it would be okay to go home! In the morning, we did workout again (I know, we're nuts... but it DID help on the potential weight gain front!) and got some breakfast at the buffet. Then we got our swimsuits on and went swimming again. It had been a long time since I'd been thrown in a pool... at least I was prepared!

Pretty much, we roamed around the ship and accomplished the following:

1. watched a little bit of the art auction - some of those pieces were going for less than what the frame would cost. And some others, well, they went for MUCH MUCH more!

2. put a deposit down on a future cruise. Check this out! Because our itinerary for this "Mexican" cruise was completely changed, Princess offered everyone a 50% credit of what we paid for this cruise toward a future cruise! So, with that, plus the deposit we put toward another cruise, plus the onboard ship credit they'll give us for putting down a deposit, we're minimally already $850 down into our next cruise. We just have to book it before April 2011! I'm so excited! We definitely won't be waiting another 10 years to go on another vacation.

3. talked with some of our new found friends. We spent some time chatting with Gary and Tracy again. They are very cool!

4. purchased some of the photos they had of us. We got one of our formal picture poses and the one they took of us at dinner together. It's very much like the one we purchased 10 years ago on our honeymoon, so we thought it would be cool to put them side by side! Seeing this photograph was one of those moments where I was SOOOOO grateful I'd lost so much weight before the cruise. It would have been more depressing to be 10 years older AND 40 lbs heavier. I'll take the 10 years, but I'm very glad to leave the 40 lbs behind!

5. settled our account. We were glad to see we hadn't wracked up too big of a bill. We actually kept it pretty frugal compared to some I've heard of. It helps that we aren't drinkers. I can only imagine the bar tabs some of those people were stuck with!
6. packed up all our crap. Paul was actually hanging out with the guys doing something before dinner, while I managed to get all our dirty clothes folded up enough to fit them back in the bags. I was glad we got most of this packing done earlier in the evening so we didn't have to stay up late doing it.

All of our party gathered again for our last meal together. With the way I ate, you would have thought it was my last meal EVER!!! I know it's cliche, but "I can't believe I ate the whole thing!" I had 3 of the appetizers (shrimp, salad, & some fishy thing), the steak that came with fries, and one of Paul's fajitas for the meal. They were serving baked Alaska for dessert, so I thought I'd try that, but the deep dish apple pie sounded good, so Paul and I got one of those to share. Well, I only ate about 2 bites of the baked Alaska, but SNARFED that apple pie! It was so good! But with each bite, I felt myself getting sicker and sicker. I still laugh at myself that I went so crazy! Even Ken told Paul later, "I wasn't going to say anything to her, but DANG!!!" I literally wanted to throw up. If it had been alcohol instead of food, my body would have FORCED me to throw up in order to avoid alcohol poisoning. I'm not proud of it, but I did end up going back to the room and did try to throw up, but chickened out. Just more proof that I could never be anorexic OR bolemic... which is good!

Somehow I managed to avoid a food coma and we made it back downstairs to the theater to watch the last rock concert by the band Wavelength. They had the jazz combo and the string quartet playing with them on several numbers. The concert was awesome! Since Paul became such a big fan of the group, we found them afterword and got a picture taken with them...
We didn't stick around to "party" with them or anything (can you imagine!), so off to bed we went!
The next day, we got up early (6:00 early) to get ready for the day and get some breakfast eaten before we took the "walk off" option. This was actually pretty slick since we didn't have to worry about transferring anything to the airport or anything. We got everything out of the room and just left! We were glad that we were all able to get an early start on our drive home. We were in the car and heading back home by 9:15. I don't have much to report about the drive home. Shane drove the first half and Paul drove the second. We made it to Payson and needed to get some gas. It was here that I figured, "oops, we never got anything for Charlie." So I found him a cute stuffed froggy (he loves his froggy blankets) for $5 and called it good! Hey, it was still technically a souvenir from our vacation, just the very end of it!
We pulled in to Paul's parents house at about 8:00 pm. It was great to see the boys. I think we were gone just long enough that I was really ready to be their mom again! Charlie looked like he'd grown in the last 9 days, and it was nice that our bigger boys were ready for us to be home too! There's no question that grandma and grandpa were also VERY glad for us to be back! We are so thankful to them for taking care of our sweet boys all week and allowing us to escape the way we did. They are wonderful parents and awesome grandparents! Thanks again, Mom & Dad!
So... that does it! It's been fun to relive the trip by blogging about it and trying to remember all the details! We had an incredible week. It was just what we needed! To those that managed to read the whole thing, thanks for sticking with me!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Day 6 - San Francisco!

Thursday was my FAVORITE day of the whole trip. We woke up early(ish), skipped any thought of working out, ate some breakfast, and headed out to see San Francisco! Yet another city that looks so cool from the coastline! This time, our entire group stayed together the whole day. We all wanted to take advantage of our cool tour guides, Cyndi and John. This lucky couple from San Francisco drove all the way to LA in order to go on a cruise to their hometown! They live just outside San Fran, and were gracious enough to spend the day with this strange group of folk from Idaho and Utah! It was even Cyndi's birthday and she was awesome enough to spend it with us!
First off, it was a GORGEOUS day in San Fran. It was sunny, clear, and cool enough, but not cold. We couldn't have asked for a better day to be there. It was also nice that it was Thursday and not overloaded with tourists. We got off the boat and headed over to Pier 39 first. We walked around the little shops and I was tempted to buy some beautiful jewelry pieces, but resisted. Walking around the pier, we saw these images:

I loved the huge crowd of seals and the cool views of the bay.

Next, we walked over to Fisherman's Wharf and saw all the yummy food you could buy there. We didn't get anything (since we'd just eaten), but it did sure look good! We also kept walking and made it over to the cable car turn around by Ghirardelli Square. We jumped on the car and took a ride across town to China Town. I LOVED climbing and going down those steep hills and seeing the amazing architecture of the area. Those homes are so close together! Definitely a different lifestyle than what we enjoy here in Springville, UT. But it was very cool to see it. Paul took some pictures to get the idea of just how steep those roads are. We got off the trolley at Union Square and walked by the pricey stores in that area (Saks 5th Ave, Tiffany's, Prada, etc) on our way over to the gate to China Town:
These pictures capture the view from the top of the hills and here is the entrance to China Town!
Of course, we did a little bit of shopping in China Town. "Special deal, just for you!" I ended up buying a necklace and some wooden swords for Andy and Canon. For the record, it took Canon less than 48 hours to break his sword once we gave it to him! He was bummed when we told him it would be a while til we went back to China to get him a new one. Tough luck, kiddo! Since John and Cyndi weren't Chinese food connoisseurs, they didn't feel comfortable recommending any of the restaurants there. They didn't want to recommend something and then have it be yucky or overpriced. Since we'd already walked through 15 stores that all sold the same things, I recommended that we walk back to the ship, eat lunch there, and then hit Alcatraz after we've eaten. This is what we ended up doing and by the time we made it back to the pier, we were VERY ready to sit down. We'd already done a lot of walking that day!
After lunch, all of us, except Shane, wanted to tour Alcatraz. That island is just sitting right there in the middle of the bay with so much history attached to it... we just HAD to go! We took the tour boat over there and walked through the awesome audio tour. It was SO COOL! I just love historical sights and like to imagine what it would have been like to be there in all the different capacities. There were so many different "ways of life" on that island; from the guards to the prisoners to the children who lived there. Amazing! Here's a collage of just Alcatraz:

Thankfully, the ship was disembarking later than usual, so we had some extra time in the city. We made our dinner appointment for 7:00 that night and enjoyed our meal before heading up to the deck to watch the ship sail under the Golden Gate bridge. Pretty much, the whole ship was up there and it's a good thing... this was a moment that I would have HATED to miss! The night was clear, the sun had just set, and the moon was full casting a stream of light on the ocean. By the time we got to the bridge it was getting pretty dark, so you had all the lights of the city in the backdrop as well. It was breathtaking and incredibly romantic. I was so happy to be there witnessing that scene with Paul. Nobody else I would rather be with! Unfortunately, this was the result of the shots I tried to take...
This picture captures what the moon looked like (that's not Golden Gate right there)
This picture captures the city lights
And this was the attempt to capture the moon, the city, AND the bridge, but no luck!
yep, too bad my camera stinks and this is all we came up with! Guess you had to be there!

The night ended with just walking around the ship and then listening to some other people pretend they were talented enough to sing with a real rock band! To say the least, some of the singers were just not good! At 10:30, we headed up to the bar to help Cyndi wrap up her birthday with some dancing! A bunch of her friends bought her some birthday shots, which was probably a bit much for her since she admitted she wasn't much of a drinker! Paul and I ordered mocktails and I enjoyed every sip of that pina colada and strawberry daiquiri yumminess! Mmmmm! We also had a good time dancing. I admit though, I was pooped! So I actually went to bed earlier than Paul... he wanted to try his luck with $20 in the casino. It didn't take long for it to disappear, and I think he learned a valuable lesson. You get more entertainment out of $20 in the slot machines than you do at the craps table!

So that's our day in San Francisco. I totally fell in love with this city and can't wait to go back. There is so much to see there that one day doesn't do it justice!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Day 5 - traveling North

On Wednesday, we were sailing north. That morning, we woke up with excellent intensions to get a good workout in before our day full of food on board! We got up to the gym and I warmed up on an arctrainer machine for 5 minutes since there wasn't more than one treadmill available. Paul ran on the treadmill for 10 minutes. The boat was rocking SO HARD, but it wasn't affecting me much on the arctrainer. Once I tried to do some weight lifting with the machines, that's when it got extra difficult! The weights got really heavy when the boat would rock one way, and really light when it would roll back! I quickly got faint and nauseated and couldn't keep going. I finally convinced Paul that this workout wasn't going to work for me and we went down to the buffet for some breakfast. Eating some food and drinking some orange spice tea really helped.

We walked around the ship for a while looking for our friends. They were no where to be found! One time walking through the covered pool area though, we were impressed by how the water in the pool was splashing around with the boat rocking so much, so thinking that it looked like fun, we went back to the room to change into our swimsuits. This was the first time in a LONG time I'd been swimming with the intent to just enjoy the water, and not get in a good cardio workout! With this small pool acting more like a wavepool, we had a blast in the water! We met another couple that morning. Tyler and Jana from Shelley, ID. They were also celebrating their 10 year anniversary, and we had a lot in common with them. We probably spent several hours that morning in the pool and hottub. It was nice not having anything else pressing us for our time. We ran into Kevin and Ken again at that point and got some lunch with them.

After showering and getting ready for the afternoon, I can't really remember what else we did. I think that was the afternoon that Paul went putt-putt golfing with one of the guys and I went back to our room and read/slept (funny how those are always tied together!)

It was formal night again that night and we were looking forward to the lobster! We got all dressed up again and met the gang for our dinner appointment. The dinner was DEEEEE-licious!! The giant prawns they served with the meal were almost as yummy as the lobster itself. Against better judgment, I went ahead and ordered 2 lobster dinners and was sufficiently stuffed. Kevin and Ken managed about 6 each, maybe more. It was impressive!

After dinner, Paul and I had some portraits taken. It would have been nice to buy a few more of them, but they charge you through the NOSE for the prints of your pictures! We did get one of them and still need to get it framed. After getting our pictures taken, we went to another comedy act, this one by Dan Bennett. He did a lot of juggling along with his very intellectual humor. He used to be a math professor at UCLA, so he would describe the physics behind some of his moves! It was very fast paced using very big words, but entertaining none the less. I don't envy him trying to juggle with the ship moving as much as it still was. After the comedian, we stuck around for the "marriage gameshow." We had put our names on the list to see if we'd get randomly chosen, but thankfully we didn't. True to form, they asked some pretty personal questions I would have been uncomfortable answering! I think Paul and I would have done pretty well on answering the questions the same, but a few would have been tough. For example, I'm not sure I would have known who he'd pick for a second wife and I don't know if we would have agreed on which one of Paul's annoying/disgusting habits is the worst. He's not a disgusting guy. After that, we hung out on the deck a little and in the atrium, and then just headed off to bed.

So that was our Wednesday at sea! It was a really fun day. Next stop, San Francisco!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Day 4 - Mexico, sort of.

So I have ZERO pictures of this day on the ship. It was Tuesday and we spent the morning parked outside Ensenada, Mexico. No offense to Mexico, but geesh! What a dump! I'm so glad nobody was aloud to get off the ship. Ensenada held no appeal for me.

We didn't workout that morning, but I'm assuming we got some sort of breakfast. I do remember finishing my book that morning on a deck chair and hitting my head REALLY hard on a railing as I was getting up. It hurt my head and my pride! This was the morning I managed to get a pretty decent sunburn on my shoulders and the front of my legs. It was really windy, so it never felt hot. By the time I saw some color on my legs, I had overdone it a bit! Thankfully, it wasn't too bad, but it got pretty itchy that night! Paul and I played some shuffleboard (I beat him) and I started my second book of the trip, "Star Garden." It's sad, but I'm really having a hard time remembering much! Pretty much, we just relaxed the whole time! The whole day was perfectly spent with a bit of hottubbing, lounging, watching movies in our room, reading/napping in some soft chairs in the covered area and eating whatever and whenever! The fact that we did pretty much nothing is the beauty of that day! I'm thinking I could use another day like that already!

Paul did participate in the Rock Star event again that night. This time, he sang "Sweet Home Alabama" and ended up dedicating it to me, so they called me up on stage to have him sing it to me. He did a really good job! We also went to another comedian that night, Kevin Jordan. He was pretty good, but based on what we saw from him during the "family friendly" act, we were sure we wouldn't want to attend his "adult comedy show" at midnight a couple days later.

So there's Tuesday... I think!

Day 3 - San Diego

On Monday morning, we woke up to find the ship staring right at San Diego. I had woken up early enough to head over to the "stretching" class that I was hoping would be more like yoga. Nope, it was just stretching... and a total waste of time. So to make up for the fact that I hadn't broken a sweat, I jumped on the treadmill and ran for 20 minutes. It was cool to be running and looking at downtown San Diego! For some reason, I didn't remember the city being so close to the pier. On our first cruise, we stopped in San Diego as well, but this time it was completely different for some reason. Paul had gone up to the track and ran outside for his workout.

I met up with Paul and we joined our group for breakfast all stinky and everything... I'm sure they loved that! We made plans with Shane and Heather to take a ride on a double decker tour bus around the city. After breakfast, we got showered and ready to go into the city. I think we were off the boat by 10:30. Since we were docked at the port, we didn't have to catch a ride, we just walked right off. That was so much more convenient!
So we jumped on to the top of the double decker bus (the tour cost $40 for both of us). It took us around the USS Midway docked right "next door", over near the seaside touristy spot (I'm sure it has an official name, but danged if I can remember it!), and around the downtown area.

As we drove, we could barely hear the commentary over the intercom, but found what we could hear very interesting. Our main plan was to take the bus over to "Old Town". It drove us past the mall and through Little Italy before reaching our destination. Once we got off the bus, we had about 2 hours before he would be coming back around again to pick us up. So we hit the stores! Old Town had so many great little shops and the buildings around were beautiful. It was neat to see the Church of the Immaculate Conception with it's authentic bell tower,
the Whaley House which is the oldest brick building in San Diego, and it's supposedly haunted (many linchings were performed back in the day),
and all the great restaurants and street vendors. What a cool little part of town with so much history. With only 2 hours to experience it all, we really only scratched the surface. Mostly because there was food involved! I went into this ice cream store with the intention of getting frozen yogurt, but they didn't have any. So instead of getting the one fat free option they had, I got a kiddie size scoop of the mocha almond fudge... Mmmmmmmmmmmm!

Guilt ridden, but totally worth it!

Then we got some food from a Mexican food restaurant. I got this GIANT burrito and ALMOST regretted eating the whole thing! Up to this point, I was not used to eating this much food. This is where the diet started going downhill... and fast!

A bunch of couples from the cruise did the same thing as us. This is where we met an awesome couple, Gary and Tracy from Napa Valley. They were so friendly and we had a great time talking to them as we waited for the bus to return. We also took the time to chat with them other days on the ship and they were very impressive people! This is us waiting for the bus sitting in front of the church. I had bought the sun visor and some cute nail polish that changes color in the sunlight at Del Sol! It's actually a Utah company, but my hat says "San Diego" and that's what matters! We also found a few little trinkets for the boys. We spent this whole time with Shane and Heather, but Kevin and Ken found their own things to do.
Back on the boat, we met up with the guys for our dinner reservation. After dinner, we caught another comedy act by Steve Moris and then stuck around for the "So you wanna be a ROCKSTAR" event. It was basically glorified karaoke, but harder without the bouncing ball! Paul chose to sing Patience by Guns & Roses. I admit to not having ever heard the song and after watching a couple of the earlier performers totally suck, I kept tell Paul, "tell me you know this song!" He ended up doing a pretty good job, but admits he messed up his favorite part at the end! Ah well! He had fun, and that's the point!
I think we went to bed pretty early that night. We were stinkin tired after staying up late for so many days in a row. I was exausted!

Day 2 - Santa Barbara

When we woke up on Sunday morning, we actually loved how dark it was still in our room. Nothing better than having NO IDEA just how late you were able to sleep in! We got up and got dressed for breakfast. We kept hearing over the intercom that they wouldn't be taking anyone to shore because of some very thick fog. This is what it looked like. We ate our breakfast with our friends, made some tentative plans for the day, and decided to get in our swimsuits for some hot-tubbing. I'm not one that can sit in a hottub for very long, so we got out, ordered some diet cokes and dried off on some deck chairs. This was a good time for me to pull out my book. I was reading "The Hiding Place" by Corrie Ten Boom. All morning long, the crew kept telling us over the intercom that they were continually assessing the situation and they'd let us know as soon as possible when it would be safe to start taking us ashore on the tenders. These pictures were taken while we were chilling out on deck waiting for news about getting into town!

Someone needs a TAN!!!!

Here are Heather and Shane Waters. We had a great time with them!

After this, we got showered and headed down to the buffet for lunch. We ate lunch by ourselves, since we couldn't find our friends, and when we were getting our food, we heard them call our number to get off the boat. The fog had finally lightened up at around 1:00pm! Only problem, our friends had our tickets. We snarfed our food and went looking for them, with little luck. We eventually just figured that they maybe went ahead without us, but we eventually found them. They were insistant that they not leave without us. Anyway, we finally got off the ship and into the "tender" (or lifeboat) where these pictures were taken!

Introducing Kevin Mower. He was a total riot and the reason why we were able to meet (or hear lots of stories about) so many different people on the ship. This guy talked to EVERYONE!!

I was amazed at how beautiful Santa Barbara is. So picturesque! Here's a collage and a few single shots of how pretty this place is!

I'm so glad Santa Barbara was our first stop. Just 2 days later is when a big fire caused over 30,000 people to be evacuated from the city. I'm saddened that the fire even happened, but grateful I got to witness the beauty of this city before it did. We were only able to stay there for a few hours, so we just walked along the harbor and some of the shops on the side roads. We didn't buy anything there. We did take off our shoes and walked along the rocky and weedy beach. It was our only contact with the Pacific Ocean the whole trip!
We got back on board and got all gussied up for dinner, since it was formal night.

After dinner, we went out on the deck to witness the sunset. I now can't even remember what we ate that night, but I'm sure it was delicious! We went to the singing/dancing show that night and thought it was great. We also sat in the atrium and listened to a KILLER jazz combo. I developed a serious crush on this amazing pianist, and Paul admitted the same feelings for the bass player! We even told them so! Then, off to bed we went. Next stop, San Diego!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Getting there...

Here's the log of our trip. I'm doing this more for my own benefit than for yours, but hopefully you'll find it somewhat interesting!

We left for California on Friday, May 1st. Our friends from Burley, ID, Shane and Heather Waters came to pick us up at 8:00 a.m. They are very punctual people!!! We, of course, were not ready yet. So, we continued to scramble around getting a few more things here and there packed into our bags. We actually packed pretty light and only brought a total of 3 bags. We were riding with them in their van and we got on the road after running a few errands at 10:20. I still feel so bad that it took so long to get things rolling. Charlie spent the day at our babysitters house, where his brothers joined him after school.

The road trip down went very smoothly thanks to "Lola", the sweet talking GPS system mounted on their dashboard! We hit some ugly traffic in Vegas, but managed to pull in to Paul's sister's house in L.A. around 8:30 or so. It was great to see them and get the chance to spend some time chatting with them.

In the morning, Paul and I went running with his brother-in-law and his friend. We drove across the valley to this mountainous trail which I was warned had a "hill at the beginning". Well, crud, this stinkin trail was wicked hard to run, and not just at the beginning! I made it clear that the guys were not to wait for me and that I'd just follow behind them at my own pace. I ended up running in one direction for 30 minutes and at that point, I saw the guys heading back toward me. Apparently, I wasn't too far behind them, but they had stopped to rest at the top of this peak. So, they quickly got ahead of me again as we ran back. I think I ended up going about 4 miles or so and it was extremely difficult, but I was glad I did it. It was awesome to be running in such a green and beautiful area as the sun was rising over the hills. Great way to start the week!

After showering and packing up again, we set our destination to the port and worked our way there, arriving around 1:00. Getting registered and on the ship was actually a really smooth process and I'm thinking it took less than an hour total. This was WAY different from our first cruise and we were extremely impressed! These pictures were taken as we were waiting to get on the boat. That's Heather. We found our stateroom and put our carry-on stuff down. We walked around the ship for a while and made our way to the front of the ship to watch ourselves sail away. We went to dinner at 6:00 (we had anytime, anywhere dining) with our group and found it nice enough that we opted to eat there every night to get the benefit of having the same waiters serving us all week. Allan from the Phillipines and Oliver from Macedonia (or something like that) were our waiters and they did an excellent job for us... and we weren't always an easy group!!

We also went to the comedy show that night. The comedian was Steve Moris and he was a member of the Beach Boys for 20 years. He was very entertaining mixing a lot of music with his jokes, but unfortunately he wore "stretchy pants" with no underwear, leaving very little to the imagination. Had to keep your eyes focused on his face! YIKES! Anyway, that was a great first night and we were excited for the next day in Santa Barbara!

An Amazing Week!

This is going to be a short post, but it's mostly to just get the ball rolling on blogging about our cruise. We really did have an amazing week! These last 9 days just reaffirmed why I love my sweetie, Paul, so much. I'm so blessed to have married him 10 years ago (in July!). Never before had we just enjoyed each others company so much! Princess cruise line's motto is "escape completely" and that's just what we did. We thoroughly enjoyed being waited upon, cleaned up after, well fed (and I mean WELL FED!), and completely relaxed throughout the week. If you have never been on a cruise before... GO!!! Start planning now and just GO! It is so worth it. Not that we were having marital problems, but this was such a good investment for our marriage. We felt 21 again, flirting like crazy and wanting nothing but the others enjoyment. All my following posts will be about what we did each day, but I wanted to start it off by saying...
THANK YOU, SWEETHEART!!!! I am so in love with you! Thank you for a week of heaven!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Bon Voyage!!

Just so nobody's worried, I thought I'd post the changes in our itinerary. Initially, Paul told me that they were going to take us on the same route that our first (and only thus far) cruise took to Catalina, San Diego and Ensenada. I admit I was annoyed, because of any cruise offered anywhere, that is the last one I would have purposely paid for again. Not that it's bad, but it wasn't AMAZING either!

Anyway, our cruise will be around the exotic ports of ........... CALIFORNIA!!!!! Whoopedeedoo! We'll be going to Santa Barbara, San Francisco, San Diego, and Ensenada (though we won't be getting off the ship in Ensenada, phew!), then back to Los Angeles. So, at least if we're not GOING to Mexico, we're still getting to visit cities with Spanish names! Actually, I've never been to Santa Barbara OR San Francisco, so I'm not quite so disappointed with this schedule as I was with the other. I admit though, I'm hoping they sweeten the deal by offering me a free soda card. If I'm cruising to California, then I want all the Diet Coke I can handle... and I DON'T want to pay for it! (I'm such a diva, huh!?)
By the way, here's a quick picture of my new hair do! Okay, we didn't really change enough to call it a NEW hair do, but since the color is a little darker and I'm positioning it to grow it out, we're calling it new. Anyway, Heidi does my hair and she's SOOO awesome! This is the first time I've ever fully colored my hair. It's not a drastic change by any means, but we thought we'd start off subtle before taking the plunge any further! I think she did a great job! Here's hoping I can make it look this cute on the cruise! Thanks again, Heidi! You're my girl!
I don't think we're taking the laptop with us on the trip, so I'll see y'all in 9 days!