Sunday, July 30, 2017

Summer Break: Week 6

This week was just getting back in the groove after our vacation.  It was so hard going back to work on Monday!  And I just finally got caught up on laundry this weekend.

Dayna, our awesome nanny, did some fun stuff with the girls.  They went to Starbucks for breakfast on Monday, since the housekeeper was coming and they needed to get out of the house.  Then another day they went out for Thai food for lunch, and yesterday she took them to Michael's for craft supplies.  They ended up getting a tie-dye kit and some plain white t-shirts and then on Friday they dyed them.

Thursday night our neighbor took his girls and ours to the outdoor movie in the park and then Friday night they went to a birthday party at the pottery painting place and then a sleep over at the birthday girl's house (same neighbors/friends that they went to the movie with).

Saturday was the first weekend day in forever with no plans.  I was finally able to work on some of my projects, in particular getting some items ready for the upcoming consignment sale.  I also spent some relaxing time on a lawn chair outside reading a book, and maybe taking a short nap :)

Sunday we went to church and then the girls went to a friend's for a playdate.  While they were there some friends that we went on the cruise with called and wanted to meet up for dinner so we did, and then stopped for free ice cream at the brand new Bartell Drugs in our neighborhood.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Caribbean Cruise! (Summer Break: Week 5)

So, after a little over a year of waiting and anticipating, our big Caribbean Cruise was last week.  It was so fun!

We flew to Ft. Lauderdale on Friday, the 14th, spent the night and took a shuttle to the cruise terminal on Saturday.  We met up with all our friends who had flown in on various days, boarded the ship and we were off!

A view from the ship before leaving Miami

Sunday and Monday were both days at sea, so we spent most of our time by the pool and exploring the ship.

One of the two pools

The H20 deck, with movie screen, bar, 2 hot tubs and a cool cave-like water feature

One of the water slides

A giant chess board

Ropes course

Cave-like water feature

We went to a few shows during the week.  One was a comedy/juggling show, one was a regular comedian, and one was a dinner show with a singing group.

The girls and friends at the juggling show

Meeting the juggler, Scott Cavanaugh or something like that, after the show

Tuesday we were in St. Thomas.

The girls' friend, Lindsay, in the middle

We went on a snorkeling excursion.  We rode on a catamaran to St. John, to a place called Honeymoon Beach.  We snorkeled for an hour or so and then rode back.  They were serving rum punch and champagne, but I didn't have either because I forgot to take my Dramamine and was feeling a little seasick.  Plus, I don't like rum or champagne.  I prefer vodka and wine, or margaritas.  Although, I did have a Bahama Mama one day poolside and that became my drink of choice for the rest of the cruise.

Wednesday we were in Tortola.  We went on an excursion to a place called the Baths, on the island of Virgin Gourda.  Absolutely stunning.  You hike though all these caves and rock formations and it's really beautiful.

L-R: Family friend Calvin, Paul's sister Cheryl, Olivia, Me and friend Lindsay

I took this with my water-proof camera and all of them turned out blurry but I thought it was cute anyway

Blurry again

Thursday was another day at sea, and then Friday we were in Nassau, Bahamas.  The girls got their hair braided, then we went on an excursion to swim with dolphins.  So fun.  They don't let you take pictures, and since we had just done it in Mexico last year we didn't buy any of the photos so I have nothing to post of that adventure.

Saturday morning we arrived back in Miami and went on an excursion to the Everglades.  We rode around in an airboat but didn't see much, then they have a little show with some alligators and some reptiles on display.  The girls got to hold Snappy, a baby alligator.  So cute.

That tour included transportation to the airport, but we were about 5 hours early for our flight, because Alaska only has one flight per day out of Ft. Lauderdale and it was at 6:50 or something.  But we just read and the girls had their iPads and we had an early dinner and it was finally time to board and head home.

Long wait at the airport

There were 19 people in our group all total, including Paul's parents and sisters and a bunch of friends.  It was so fun.  We all did our own thing during the day but we did do a lot of the same excursions, and we were usually with at least a few other people from our group most of the time, and then we would all met up for dinner most nights.  It was great and I'm dying to go on another one.

Trying out the mojito bar

Wine Tasting


Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Summer Break: Week 4

It's been a crazy week of appointments and trip prep.  On Monday the nanny took the girls to the pool at the golf club where she has a membership.  That was a special treat because we are not nor is anyone we know (except, now, her) members and have never been.  Then today I had to get the girls up super early, 6:50, for a 7:30 orthodontist appointment (Kayley got her expander off (yay!) and Olivia just for an initial exam).  I was dreading it because they normally sleep until at least 9:00 now that they are on summer vacation and getting them up early can be difficult, plus I got a late start to work so I had to stay later so I can be sure to get done what I need to get done before we leave on vacation FRIDAY!  And since the housekeeper was coming at 9:00, right after we got back from the orthodontist, and they had to get out of the house anyway, the nanny took them to Starbucks for breakfast.  Lucky them.

Today I had to drop my car off at the dealers and take their shuttle to work and back again.  Then I had to get a rental car (from the dealer and they didn't charge me--for some reason they don't do loaner cars at this place.  Bummer.) and show proof of insurance and noticed that my insurance ID card expired TODAY, so I had to call Paul and have him snap a photo of the new one and text it to me to give the rental agent.  It's just been a weird week, but now I have tomorrow off to finish packing, get pedicures and buy any last minute items like a sim card for my waterproof camera and magazines to read on the plane, oh, and return the rental car/pick up my car.

And as an added bonus, the girls went to a friend's for a sleepover, so I get some precious, rare alone time tonight (Paul still has to work tomorrow so he's gone to bed already) and tomorrow morning.  So, I'm already super excited for our trip, and now I'm excited to sleep in and relax with a cup of coffee in the morning with no one to bug me.  Yes!

Friday, July 7, 2017

Summer Break: Week 3

Week 3 started out at Crescent Bar where we spent the weekend before the 4th.  We were just cleaning the condo and washing all the towels and linens before heading home, however, so not really enjoying the pool or river and whatnot.  We stopped at an old-fashioned drive-in for burgers and shakes on our way home.  I have fond memories of making such stops on camping trips with my family growing up, so once in awhile I try to recreate some of that for the girls, but turns out no one (except me) really cared for the food there so I guess we'll come up with some other tradition.

The next day was the 4th, and we went to a friend’s for a barbeque and fireworks and then to the big community fireworks show after that.

The girls were having a blast (literally, ha ha) shooting them off themselves this year, with plenty of adult supervision

playing with kinetic sand before doing fireworks


their poor dog hid out in the bathroom :(

Our view while waiting for the fireworks to start

Wednesday it was back to work for Paul and I.

Thursday Olivia had a doctor's appointment in the next town over from us just late enough for Paul to get there in time after work but not to be able to come home first, so the babysitter had to drive them there and meet him.  But first they went out to lunch at a nearby Thai restaurant and then to Cold Stone for dessert.  It's so nice having a sitter with her own car that can take them places.  I don't have to feel quite as bad for having to leave them with one all day, every day,

This evening (Friday) the girls went to a birthday party.  They were supposed to be gone until 9:00 but came home early because they have already seen the movie (Moana) that the host is showing.  Whatever, and darn.  I was enjoying a nice, quiet evening.  Oh well.  I'm going to start packing for our cruise tonight!  We don't leave for another week but I don't want to leave it until the last minute so I'm going to start now with things I know I won't need in the meantime, like swimsuits and certain clothing items.  Yay!  I'm so excited!