Wednesday, November 30, 2016

November 2016

Holding hands while watching TV

Proof that I made Greta's hair cute this one time

Exploring a trail at St. Edward's State Park

Claire decorated the candies on this turkey and named him "Daddy Turkey to the Rescue." She had lots of fun talking to him and stroking him.

Patiently awaiting the start of Thanksgiving dinner

Greta ate a lot of pie

This is Kaitlin's daughter Lina. (roommate from BYU) She had lots of fun playing with Claire and Greta over the weekend.
Two days after Thanksgiving, we went with Lina and Kaitlin to the zoo. It was rainy so very few people were there. The perfect time to visit the zoo!
"Mom, take my picture!"

Their favorite part of the zoo.

They had so much fun splashing in puddles

Claire and Lina with the jaguar

Sensory bin in Zoomazium

Family shot at some Christmas lights at a church in Bothell

Greta definitely knows how to say "Lights!"

Claire took this photo. I usually delete her photos but I really loved the way Mark is looking at Greta in this photo.

There doesn't have to be water to play in the bathtub! Greta took all of her tub toys and lined them up along the edge of the tub.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Mexican Cruise Days 7-8: At sea and the return home

My plan for our final day at sea was to sit at the pool all day and get tan so everyone would know we had gone to Mexico. Unfortunately, it was chilly, cloudy, and windy. The pools were closed all day because they turned into huge wave pools from the rough sea, with the water roaring from side to side and then splashing out of the pools all over the deck which the crew members were frantically trying to squeegee before it would happen again.

We had some credit for the arcade so we took advantage of that, and played in the kids' pool and hot tubs which were open.

Raisin hands from being in the water too long

Greta was willing to cuddle to try and stay warm.

This is Victor from Belize. He was so kind to Claire. He used to be a jeweler and made cute necklaces and a bracelet for Claire and Greta. He happened to be around when I picked up Claire from kids' club crying a couple times (she didn't end up liking it) and always tried to cheer her up. Claire colored him a special picture and gave it to him on our last night.
We had a long wait in the airport on the next day after disembarking. And let me say that LAX is not the most exciting airport to be in. But the girls were good sports and we made it home just fine!

Greta thought the pay phones were pretty cool.

Finally zonked on the plane

Friday, November 4, 2016

Mexican Cruise Days 5-6: Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas

Our plan for Mazatlan was to spend our time at the beach. We started by taking a brief walk into the Old Town and looking around, then hopping on a public bus to get to the Golden Zone (aka Tourist zone) to find a good beach. When we were at the beach, there were vendors constantly walking past trying to sell us just about anything you can think of. It got to the point that Claire started saying "No, gracias" for us when they walked by.

Plaza de Armas in Mazatlan

Greta loved the waves in the water

Claire mostly just played in the sand. And ate popsicles.

Mazatlan is known for having open-air taxis called pulmonias. We took one to get back to the cruise ship. As you can see, Greta had reached her limit at this point.

Nice view for our drive back to the ship

More playing in the guppy room

Exhausted parents hanging out with children in the guppy room
The following day our ship stopped in Cabo San Lucas. This is where we had our big splurge: the dolphin encounter. We had been prepping Claire for weeks and showing her videos so that she wouldn't be frightened of the dolphins. It was a big hit with the girls. Our dolphin's name was Amaya. We all to to pet her, kiss her, hold her fins, touch her nose, etc. Unfortunately this is a memory we will have to just keep in our minds because the price they were charging for photos would have been more expensive than the cost of all of our tickets combined.

The dolphin encounter occupied pretty much all of our time in Cabo, especially since we had to travel to San Jose del Cabo. Mark and I had visions of eating delicious street tacos and finding more amazing paletas like we did on our honeymoon, but we simply didn't have the time. We're not overly disappointed; the girls still had a fabulous time which was the whole purpose of the trip.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Mexican Cruise Day 4: Puerto Vallarta

We were fortunate enough to be in Puerto Vallarta for the final day of the Day of the Dead celebration. We were able to see lots of altars set up, many of which honored famous deceased people in Mexican history and culture rather than just someone's deceased family members. The weather was about 100 degrees that day.

Sorry if this is more altar photos than you want to see; I figured my dad's Spanish class would appreciate the photos.

SeƱora setting up her altar

That skull is primary made up of colored rice grains

The food in this (and most other) altars is plastic.

Frida Kahlo altar

This altar is comprised of many miniature altars made by students

Diego Rivera altar

Another example of mini altars made by students

You can't ask for a better view.

This was one of my favorites.

Greta loved these dogs

We made a quick stop at the beach. We were ill prepared but we at least bought some overpriced sand toys.

When we got back to the boat, a mariachi band was playing. Claire enjoyed dancing to the music.

Claire wanted to spend every moment possible in the pool or hot tub.

Greta got the whole cruising thing figured out quite well.

Mark ate escargot. I managed to get down one bite without it coming back up.

Claire's pillow nest