Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Canadian Cruise III

Victoria and Vancouver are pretty close to each other, so by the time we woke up the next morning, we were already in Vancouver. Vancouver apparently is consistently ranked among the most livable cities in the world, and after visiting it ourselves we could definitely believe it. It was a very beautiful and exciting city.

These pictures don't do it justice, but I'm telling you, the scenery made me feel like Bella Swan...Twilight anyone?

After some confusion and a walk around the city, we took a bus to the Capilano Suspension Bridge. This bridge is pretty much a walk in the tree tops, some parts even reaching to 100 feet above ground. It was so pretty and quite a fun activity.

After you go over the main bridge, there are tons of little bridges that connect you through a large area of the forest. I'm telling you, these trees were HUGE! Some even had tree house type structures on them. I was just looking Capilano Suspension Bridge up on the internet and found that they actually light the whole place up for Christmas...BEAUTIFUL. I recommend looking it up if you get a chance. This is the site I was looking at http://www.capbridge.com/index.html; however, I bet the site won't keep the Christmas pictures up for too much longer.

After our visit to Vancouver, it was time to start heading back to the U.S. I should mention, on the way to Canada, the weather was awful! So cold and so windy! On the way back, to our surprise, there was lots of warm sun. We decided to take advantage of that and started laying out on the deck. Due to the previous awful weather, we didn't think much about sun block (we didn't anticipate the good weather lasting long). Needless to say, we all fried (well, mostly just me and Jason)!

(This picture was on a previous posting, but is the only one I have that shows our painful pink skin.)

And that pretty much sums up our trip. In memory of our cruise, I made a list of the top memorable moments - most are inside jokes, but enjoy:

Memorable Cruise Moments (in no particular order)

1. “Oh yeah, we have everything: Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite…”
2. Luckiest Unlucky Break Down in Vegas
3. “Are you George Gruber’s son?”
4. Tow Driver of Filth
5. Swine Flu Let Down
6. Old Man Takes on the Curb
7. “Are we at Magic Mountain?”
8. Polish Line Cutter, “Oh I’m so sorry…”
9. Crinkled or Folded?
10. Slide in 9.83 seconds
11. To Slide or Not to Slide
12. Nertz 24/7
13. 10:30 pm Emily Knock Out
14. Carnival Entertainment…Indescribable
15. Winger Bean Bag Victory
16. Kaari, The Mini-Golf Champ
17. “Haappy Birthday to Youuuu…”
18. Fart Machine Man
19. Churros of Crap
20. “You don’t look 18…” Security Guards
21. Never-ending Ice Cream Supply
22. “Is that one scoop?”
23. Late Night Dancing Man
24. Friday Sun of Death
25. Igor? Iggy? Igidius? Who Knows?
26. Hills vs. A/C
27. Harry Potter vs. Gossip Girls
28. Linda, The Harry Man Lover
29. Ok, You’re Definitely Not Ricky Martin
30. Jack Sparrow, You’re Freaking Me Out!
31. Rainy Day at Butchart Gardens
32. The Best Song Never Played – Uptown Girl (singular)

If you have any questions, feel free to ask (and I'll try to remember what it meant, ha!)

Though Canada may not be the most exotic place to visit or even close to the top of your list, it is definitely worth at least one trip in your lifetime. It was definitely worth it for us!

Canadian Cruise II

The Butchart Gardens were absolutely breathtaking, a must see! Unfortunately it was raining a bit when we were there, but nonetheless beautiful.

The public bus ride to the Gardens

So, kind of a lot of pictures, but there were TONS to choose from! After visiting the Gardens, we headed back to the ship excited for what tomorrow in Vancouver would bring.

Every night, room service would turn our beds down - a very nice touch

Each night also brought a new towel animal - very impressive!

Not a bad way to return home after a "hard" day of sight seeing!

Canadian Cruise

As I mentioned in the previous posting, Jason and I went on a seven night cruise to Canada in the beginning of May. Basically how it happened is we got back from California on Monday, May 4th, and returned to work where I was persuaded by Zach Winger that there was a crazy deal for a Mexican cruise. (Zach and Kaari live in our ward and are a couple we frequently hang out with). The catch was that it left this coming Sunday and we would have to get work off for an entire week. To our surprise, that turned out pretty easy and we were all set to sign up...except for one little thing...getting Jason to say yes. I got home that evening and to my surprise, again, Jason was all for it! We were on our way to a Mexican cruise on Carnival's newest ship, Carnival Splendor.

Wait a minute, didn't she say a Canadian cruise? Yes, that is right. The next day we checked the status of the cruise and noticed a "slight" itinerary change. The cruise would now be going up north to Canada, rather than Mexico, due to the blasted swine flu! Needless to say, we were rather upset at first; however, after accepting the inevitable, we became very excited to visit a place we probably would never have considered otherwise and it turned out to be a gorgeous and most enjoyable trip.

So we drove from Provo to Orange County, California on Saturday, May 9th. Zach and Kaari are both originally from California and luckily Zach's parents live a short drive from the port we were to be departing from the next afternoon. The drive to California itself turned out to be quite the adventure. To make a very long story short, as soon as we drove into Las Vegas, Zach's van completely stopped working and we were somehow able to coast off of the freeway and right into a parking area. For some reason, in that same empty parking lot, there was a towing man sitting in his truck having a smoke break. The towing man came over and helped as best he could; however, none of them really knew what was wrong with the van. Eventually the tow man was called onto his next job, but said he would offer his services if we ended up needing to be towed anywhere.

We had left Provo rather late as it was and this setback was not exactly what we needed. We had planned to arrive in California at 10 pm, but that wasn't looking possible at this rate. We knew we needed to get to California by the next day to make our cruise departure; we considered trying to find a way to get it fixed, getting a rental car, or even flying. None of these options sounded very good because none of us were keen on spending anymore money than we already had for the cruise. After many phone calls, a hand from a possible mafia member, renting a Toyota Corolla, and a huge fight, we were on our way again to California four hours later with the now (kind of) working van followed by the rental car. We arrived at Zach's house at approximately two or three in the morning. Unfortunately, not one of us thought to take a picture of the fiasco.

Now on to the positive side of the trip. We were very excited to board the cruise ship; neither Jason nor I had been on a cruise before. Due to the swine flu upset, Jason was able to upgrade our room to one that had a window. Not only that, but each passenger was given a $100 credit on the ship. Overall, we spent the week relaxing, eating, playing Nertz, watching shows, and getting fried on the way back.

Leaving the port

The main lobby and elevators

Our room

The indoor pool

The Piano Room, one of the many entertainment rooms

The night show auditorium

The infamous emergency drill

Our first formal night

The food was absolutely amazing and unlimited. We often got multiple entrees and desserts. We had a great time getting to know our waiter and waitress, who ended up being a married couple who met working on the cruise ship.

The cruise made two stops, one in Victoria and one in Vancouver. Both turned out to be very beautiful cities and both are places we definitely want to visit again in the future. In Victoria, we spent the day walking around the quaint and historic city and visited the famous Butchart Gardens.

We LOVED the gelato, but they were a little stingy on the servings

...stay tuned for a posting on the Butchart Gardens and our day in Vancouver...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Memorable May

May was a great month; for one, it was my birthday (doesn't get any better than that), two we went to California for Capri's baby blessing, and three, we went on a seven night cruise!

We flew to California, thanks to Karl (Jason's oldest brother) working for Jet Blue, and arrived early Saturday morning. We spent a fun day with the Spencers and some of their extended family at the mall and at their studio apartment in Studio City. Here we are again, shopping and eating at Cheesecake Factory...just how I like it.

I even got some special recognition for my birthday:

The next day, I woke up to streamers above my head and all over the hotel room (thanks to Jason) and many great gifts from the family. The baby blessing was beautiful and Capri looked so cute!

We spent the rest of the day eating birthday cake (my favorite Costco seven layer chocolate cake!) and playing rock band:

(Our friends Mike and Kaitlyn Pacada, they make quite the band)

Thank you Alli and Sean for a wonderful weekend!