Saturday, March 19, 2016

Our First Cruise

A couple of months ago my sister and her husband went on a last minute cruise. Ryan and I tired to find a way to tag along, but it just didn't work out with Ryan's work schedule.
I was so sad....
So a couple weeks later Ryan figured out a window of time that he would be able to sneak away, so we booked our own cruise to Mexico!
So three short weeks later we hit the road! We weren't able to find flights that were cheap enough last minute, so driving to California it was. Which was alright with Ryan, he loves road trips.

We made it down passed St. George and into one little corner of Arizona. Mostly we took this picture to tease Justin and Katrina that we were lying about going on a cruise, that we were really going to visit them. Which was the actual lie.
Sorry guys, not this time.

Vegas. I'm so over it.



Our kids stayed with my Mom and Dad. Mom sent me this video.

We were making great time until we were outside of Vegas.
That's what we get for driving for Vegas to California on a Sunday evening.

Pretty sunset as we made our way down to Long Beach,

We didn't have a hotel planned out. We weren't sure how far we would make it.
But we did end up making it all the way to long beach.
We ended up being able to find a great place for a great deal.
It included breakfast the next morning.

We had a cute little balcony. I loved all of the open windows... but then we noticed that something was being filmed outside.

After getting dressed and packing up we went outside and saw tons of people gathered around.
I guess it was for the show "mistresses". 
ok.

We drove around Long Beach. Ran to Walgreens for some last minute things.
We loved all of the older buildings.

It was a pretty rainy day, but we decided to walk along the beach anyways.
We could even see our ship, not time to get on yet.

Ryan always gets after me for being super cheesy, but then he asks for me to take photos like these. 
Who's cheesy now?

So nice to just be US.


Ryan thought this guy was too funny.




We finally decided that we should try and get on the ship.
Oh my gosh, we got so turned around!! We were doing circles!!
But we finally made it.
Just in time to have my bag straps break as soon as we left the car in the parking lot.
Great.
We were worried about long lines and waiting forever, but it all went really smoothly. 

We had been waiting to eat once we got onto the boat. Why buy lunch if you can eat on the boat for free? Then we set out to check out the boat.

We knew it was a smaller boat, but it was even smaller then we thought it would be.
There were some boys we saw jump into the pool and though "they are such idiots, they are going to hurt themselves." Little did we know a bit later we would become friends.

Our room was much larger then we thought it was going to be. It was in the way, way back of the ship. I'm so glad we got a window. I liked having the natural light.

The bathroom wasn't as small as I thought it would have been either.
Except what's with the thin, tiny toilet seat?


After a little rest for eating so much we decided to go to the hot tub of course!
We got some sodas and sat, watching the ship sail away from long beach as the sun set.
Then all of the kids came.
Like seriously 30, 20 somethings came and piled into the hot tub.
After some conversation we found out that all of us were from Utah. Them being on spring break from the U.
Ryan really hit it off with these two guys. I think they even said some of the same jokes. A finish each others sentences kind. So that was a lot of fun, especially for Ryan.

As we left the adult hot tub area I had to snap a couple of secret photos of Ryan with those boys.
Thinking we wouldn't really see them again.... 

I don't know, maybe we are stupid, but it took us a long time to figure out how the whole cruise thing works. Where to go, when and how to get there.. somewhat confusing.
This is Ryan trying alligator bites. Sounded gross.. 
It was about then that I started feeling sick. I hadn't taken anything for sea sickness, trying to see if I could get away without it. But no. I ended up leaving right away and going back to our room, taking some meds and a nap.
Ryan came down to check on me and brought me something to eat. But I couldn't eat it.
After waiting a while Ryan decided to go and check out the boat little bit more.
But by then I was starting to feel better and went up to meet him.
He had found those same boys again and was watching them sing karaoke.
Soon it was late and I wasn't feeling very well again, so we went back and went to sleep.

The next morning the fresh air made me feel a lot better.
The water was SO blue!

Although I just wanted to take pictures of the view it always seemed like there was a bird in the way.
I get kind of stressed out in an airplane, small tube, way up in the sky... I was worried I would get freaked out about being on a boat in the middle of the ocean, but really, I never even thought about it.

Although we were supposed to go to Catalina Island the first day, plans changed and the first day ended up being an "at sea" day instead. 
With me trying to adjust to the boat still we decided to just hang out at the hot tub and lounge in the sun for most of the day.
We even got some fruity drinks.

It was actually kind of chilly, especially since the boat was out on open water.
We didn't think too much about getting sunburned.
Big mistake.


My Dad requested.. over and over again... that I take lots of pictures of the food.
He wants to go on a cruise, but only for the food.

Ribs and Duck.
I was so happy to be feeling so much better the second night. 
I was actually able to stay and enjoy the whole thing.

Our server, D was super nice and fun.
We also had great couples at our table. I really enjoyed chatting with them and getting to know them.

The desserts were my favorite, even though this chocolate thing looked better then it tasted.
I have to say, I was a bit disappointed with the food.. 

We were late to formal night.. and actually never had our picture taken by the cruise. 
So this is all we had of fancy night.

I tried to remember to take pictures of all the towel animals the maid staff made to show the kids.
What is this? Sexy rabbit?

We decided to check out some of the on boat entertainment.
The comedy shows were fine, the last night things got a little more risque, otherwise it was fine.





One of the things I teased Ryan about before we went on the cruise was if he would go to the dance clubs on the boat with me.
Which he assured me he would not.
I don't know if it was how free he felt being away from work and kids or the four boys who we had met earlier who were out there shaking it, but something got into Ryan.
And he danced. A lot. All night!
It was so fun!

After a long night of dancing.. we woke up at Catalina Island!

We looked out our window to see tons of seals and dolphins!

This picture does not do justice to how many dolphins there really were!

Another breakfast outside with the birds.

This was my favorite breakfast! I loved the hash-browns and muffins!

Another first and something we had a hard time figuring out, was how to get off the dang boat!
After asking several people and walking around for what seemed like forever, we finally made it onto another little boat to take us to shore.

Catalina Island!
I had taken so much sea sickness medicine the night before, I was still kind of out of it.
I didn't get sick at all, but the next day I felt kind of zombie like.

Ryan had wanted to do some excursions, but it just wan't that warm outside.. we decided to walk around and try and find something fun to do on our own.
Ice cream while walking around town first.
After trying at three different places, we finally were able to rent a little golf cart to ride around.
Of course Ryan can't drive anything without being a little wild. I thought we were going to crash or blow a tire!


The little town is super cute, with all of the little boats.
The island is kind of dry and desert.

We still had a great time driving around.




The guy who never wants to take pictures was suddenly every couple of minutes saying "we should take a picture here!" I guess I need to take this guy on more vacations!


After returning the golf cart and doing a little shopping it was time to go back.
That ended up being the longest line of the whole trip.
I think because we had to take turns getting onto the little boat.
It was such a great day! It felt good to get off the boat, but I was excited to go back on, eat even more food!

One way leaving the island, the other coming up to the big boat.

Goodbye Catalina!

I'm serious when I say that we had the best table! I really think other tables were jealous of how much fun we were having!
One couple from Texas have been married for 7 years and are both teachers, another couple from Texas but have only known each other for 5 weeks and already are sure they are going to get married and the last couple are from San Jose, have a 3 year old daughter and work at a medical marijuana dispensary. We were all so different, but all find, sweet people.
Somehow we all decided that we would show up to dinner in our bathrobes.
The cruise let us wear them long enough to take a picture and then we had to take them off.
Silly, but fun.
  
Every night there was something weird on the menu and of course Ryan always had to try it.
Even the frog legs.
If you can believe it, I even took a little bite. Kind of like chicken.


Salmon and steak tacos- to show Dad. Even Miranda helped remind me, I needed to take pictures of the food to show my Dad.


Ryan never stopped with the surprises!
We thought it would be fun to go and see a show call "love and marriage".
Which ended up being a version of the newlywed game.
When they were looking for a couple who had been married around 10 years Ryan hopped right up and raised his hand! I couldn't believe it.
So us, along with about 8 other couples all got up on stage and the host told us, whoever "made out" the best would win a spot of the show.
I have to say that Ryan and I totally did our best! He ran up and jumped on his and he gave me the best smooch of this life!
The winner was chosen by how loud the audience cheered and we were only beat out by one other couple! All of our hot tub and dinner table friends cheered so loud for us!
The super stinky part was that we totally would have won the game too! 
We had all the same answers!
I was just so happy and excited that Ryan was willing and happy to participate and try.


After the show, we went outside and met up with the hot tub/ super hero boys.
I love Ryan's yell and booty shake!


He was having so much fun he didn't realize I stepped away to try and get a picture of him. :)

This Grandpa was SO funny!
He was telling Ryan all about his days at the disco!

It was another great night! By now we have figured out the whole boat and I was totally over any sea sickness and never had to take any more medication.

The next morning we woke up in Ensenada Mexico!

Ryan had been looking forward to this day the whole trip, he loves Mexico!
We ate a quick breakfast and headed off the ship.
It was a lot easier this time, since we were actually docked.

We are so stupid, in our excitement to get having fun to paid a little too much for too short of a ride. 
We also ended up on the way wrong side of town then where we wanted to go.

The beach was cold and a bit dirty.
Also, none of the bathrooms had toilet paper. 
Just another thing to add to our list of things to remember.
We walked all the way back to town and tried to figure out something fun to do.

For Ryan that means it needs to have an engine!
We found a guy who rented us a super nice ATV.



We drove all over town, including up to a place with an amazing view.

I couldn't wipe the smile off my face! So much fun!

For Ryan and I, I think that this was the most fun of the trip!


After driving all through town, helping out a lost family and driving all along the coast, it was time to give it back.
Luckily they were nice enough to give us a ride back into town.

We did some shopping, getting little things for the kids.
We ran out of money so fast! Dang it!

We had enough money to stop and get some fish tacos, which were actually really, really good!


Ryan was in heaven!
He wished he had enough money to buy himself an entire "Mexican" outfit.

There's a lot of weird crap there...

Our last thing of the day was to find one more thing for Ella.
This guy made a bracelet with her name on it.
We took a picture to show her, some guy really made it standing in the street.

Back on the ship with my crazy wind blow/ ATV hair!
We got lunch, which was my favorite thing to eat on the ship!

That nights weird food was escargot. I tried it too, why not!
Tasted like a mushroom. Not bad at all.
Loved my salmon cake more.


That day was actually St. Patrick's day!
Our friends Diana and Bruce gave all of us necklaces and little clappers.


With it being our last night we were too tired to go dancing much, but we had to say goodbye to the boys. They made the trip so much fun and really helped bring Ryan out of his shell!
Maybe we were meet up with the in Salt Lake sometime and go dancing again.

See what I mean....

And just like that it was time to go home.


That morning we tried to savor every last second.
We ate breakfast and hung out on deck.
Ryan was worried about getting off the boat, but it was not big deal at all.
We got to the car and headed off towards home.
The drive home is always so much worse. Back to real life.

But it was great to see all of our babies. It actually felt like we were gone a long time.
I'm so glad that Ryan and I had the opportunity to go and spend some quality time together having fun. We might need to so this again soon!
HUGE thanks to my Mom, Sami and Ella.
Thank you for watching these kids while we were gone!
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