Wednesday, February 25, 2009
(We are driving on a country road by a cattle ranch and it has a very stinky odor.)
Grandson: P.U. That my arm-pit.
Daughter: (laughing already) Do you think you are smelling your arm-pit?
Daughter: So you think your arm-pit smells like a cow bottom?
I love two year olds.
Monday, February 23, 2009
Thursday, February 19, 2009
In October of 2008 we went on a cruise to Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta aboard the Vision of the Seas. The Vision is part of Royal Caribbean's fleet.
We were celebrating Hubby's 50th birthday and our 30th wedding anniversary. We had no idea what to expect since we had never cruised before. We both enjoyed it so much more then we thought we would. It was wonderful. Our room was nice, the ship was beautiful, the crew was amazing, the ports were fun and spending the week with my cousin and her husband was a blast.
We sailed out of Long Beach. The weather was perfect. We met up with my cousin and her husband and boarded together:
Immediately they sent us up to the 9th deck to E.A.T. We soon found out that we would be doing a lot of that over the next 7 days. Lucky for us they had a gym and a track, both of which we made use of, and I only gained 1.5 pounds the whole week.
On sailing days we lounged by the pool. We enjoyed watching all of the silly things that go on pool side like the belly flop contest and ice sculpture speed carving. We were sailing over Halloween and we enjoyed watching some of the people who brought costumes. One in particular, Wonder Woman, who we later found out used to be Wonder Man. You should have seen the dresses he/she wore on formal nights! Then there was the woman with the largest floatation devices I have ever seen. I don't think they actually have a number to adequately label them. DDDD wouldn't even come close. She was a little pathetic. I don't know what kind of a doctor would have done that to someone, but I suspect that is a post for another time. We saw her laying by the pool in a string bikini. I hope the visual hasn't made you loose your lunch.
We ate our dinners in the Main dining room. The food was fabulous. I don't think I had a bad meal. Everything from the appetizers to the dessert was yummy. After about the 2nd meal, your waiter gets to know you and your preferences. Our drinks would automatically come to the table. We never even had to order anymore. We enjoyed the formal nights. Even Hubby didn't mind getting dressed up and standing in line to have his picture taken. It kind of reminded us both of going to the prom.
Cabo San Lucas was very hot and humid. We spent that day eating fish tacos and drinking beer at No Worry's. Well, everyone else was drinking beer, I was drinking water. We rented a water taxi to take us out to the Arches. The water was really choppy. It was like an old E ticket ride at Disneyland. We saw a water taxi capsized and were thankful for our experienced driver:
The scare was worth it as the scenery was breathtaking:
In Mazatlan we took a taxi to the Golden Zone. This is the area where there are a lot of nice resorts:
We walked along the beach:
Then we spent the afternoon poolside at a local resort:
In Puerto Vallarta we took a taxi to the flea markets. We walked along the beach and enjoyed the sand sculptures designed by the local artists:
Then we went back to the ship and walked to a local resort to use their beach and pool:
Each night when we would go back to our room we would find a different animal waiting for us and chocolates would be on our pillows:
We loved cruising and would eagerly go again. I think I hear Alaska and the Caribbean calling us and there is always the Panama Canal. Total cost of this trip was $1212.00.
Now that this series is done I am anxious to find something new to write about. How pathetic is it that when something strange happens I find myself thinking about what a humorous blog it would make? I am actually looking forward to being able to blog about having a new grandson. That should be very soon. So stay tuned to let the bragging begin....I just can't help myself.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
That being said, I could write a book about the different types of people that I've had to deal with over the last 5 years. The majority are wonderful, but from time to time you get the one who is a little more difficult. I've had bride-zilla and mother-or-the-groom-zilla. I actually told mother-of-the-groom-zilla that, if she didn't knock it off, I was going to lock her in a closet. She thought I was kidding and I'm sure I was, but.... :) Most of my brides are adorable and happy and can't wait to get married and that's what makes my job so much fun.
I can honestly say that the wedding I did this last weekend was beyond anything I could have ever even begun to make up. The bride was happy, easy-going and just wanted to get married. I had watched her grow up in the church. The church was beautiful. The cake was beautiful. I didn't know the groom, but he seemed like a nice young man. The rehearsal went fine. The ceremony went fine. The set-up for the reception went according to plan. The reception started and then literally all *^%# broke loose.
Someone noticed that the box to put cards in was missing off of the gift table. I normally take it off of the table at the beginning of the reception and put it someplace for safe keeping. I hadn't even had time to do that yet, when it disappeared. We began to look for it. Asking family members if they had put it someplace. As we are looking, I remember thinking, "Surely no one stole them from the church." About that time a little girl approached me and told me that she had seen her Aunt with it. Then an adult woman told me that she had seen a woman with it. She described her to me and, sure enough, she fit the description of the little girl's Aunt. The Aunt was a member of the Bride's family. Yep....it doesn't get any better than that. I immediately went to another one of the bride's aunts and told her what had happened and she told me that she would handle it. It is important to the rest of the story that you keep in mind that the bride's family was instantly taking care of this situation. EVERYTHING WAS UNDER CONTROL!!!!
Now enter the groom's family. Once they knew that the cards were missing they were like a dog with a bone. They simply couldn't let it go and let the situation play itself out. We were trying to not have the bride or groom find out about it because we were hoping to diffuse the situation and they would be none the wiser. The groom's family was well aware of this, but couldn't help themselves. The mother of the groom HAD to tell the groom, right before their first dance, that someone in the bride's family may have stolen all of his cards. It was all down hill from there.
The card box was found in the women's restroom. All of the cards were torn open. Checks were still inside, but money and gift cards were gone. The person last seen with them swore that they didn't take them, that they had simply put it in another room for safe keeping. (I have no idea what the truth is and the idea of this blog is not to accuse anyone of anything.) This person's car was searched and their clothing and there was no sign of the missing money.
The next thing I knew people were running out of the reception to the side of the building. I went to look and see what on earth was going on and found a mob of people throwing punches and tossing glass toast glasses at each other. One family was accusing the other of covering up the theft and that didn't go over very well. Pushing and shoving and fists were flying. I found myself in the middle of the whole thing saying something along the lines of, "Stop it!! This is a wedding reception. Let's try and get it back on track and celebrate this marriage with these two. They deserve it. We can worry about the rest of it later." Meanwhile, the Sheriff's Dept. had been called and they showed up at right about this point.
Fast forward a little while. The bride is in the bathroom crying. The groom is outside trying to keep an eye on his parents. The father of the bride is livid and trying to salvage his daughter's special day. The other wedding coordinator finally goes outside and gets the groom and tells him that he's needed in the Women's restroom to try and calm his wife down. For at least 45 minutes there was nothing going on at the reception and believe it or not the guests actually stayed. Finally the bride and groom rejoined their reception and we moved forward. The groom's parents rejoined for about the last 10 minutes.
The really sad thing is that the money was never recovered.(At least not yet.) The person accused may or may not have taken it, but it wasn't found in their possession. The Deputy searched the property in case it had been hidden on the grounds, but didn't find anything. The thing that makes me so angry is that the bride and groom (at that point) should have been on a need to know basis and quite frankly they didn't need to know. The fact that his mother would be the one to ruin their special day is appalling to me. I truly don't get it. We instinctly protect our children, be they 5 or 25, and this just seemed like a very mean and insensitive thing to do. I truly hope she is proud of herself. Generally, we pray that our children only have one wedding reception in their lifetime and to make a conscious decision to ruin it is incomprehensible to me.
Somehow I don't think the two sides of this family will be gathering to celebrate anything together in the future. How sad is that?
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Our FDIL loved the lake and, knowing her like I do, I'm sure she would go back in a heartbeat. I think her only complaint was that she didn't get to stay long enough. Our grandson, in true Pumpernickel family fashion, was instantly in love. One of the first mornings, when he woke up, we overheard this conversation between him and his mommy:
Him: Ra-Paw (then speak for what is now Papa) pool?
Her: I don't think Grandpa is going to take you to the lake at 7:00 am.
We laid in bed, looked at each other, and smiled huge smiles. Ah, yes, another Pumpernickel had fallen madly and passionately in love with Lake Tahoe. It truly doesn't get any better than that.
This year we were blessed when we were able to spend the day with some friends who now live about 1.5 hours from the lake. We had a great afternoon at the beach. It was wonderful to reconnect with some of our favorite people. I hope you don't mind that I'm posting your pics, but clear back in August I did ask your permission :)
We didn't do anything out of the ordinary, but we always enjoy the Lake just a little more when we are introducing it to someone who hasn't been there before.
I hope you enjoy the pictures from this trip.
Hanging out at the beach with our friends:
My grandson in charge of the boat oars:
The 'guys' on the beach:
Daughter-In-Law2Be and me hanging out with my goofy grandson:
Resting after hiking down to Vikingsholm. Wait...didn't you ride in the stroller?
My son and DIL2B para sailing:
Our old tired golden retriever after a long day river rafting. Well, she mostly swims beside the raft.....You just can't keep a Golden dry.
Jumping in the river with Grandpa. Disclaimer: He WANTED to jump in with raw-pa. Just don't ask how that went when it was over:
The whole group river rafting:
Eating pretzels in the raft with Grandma and Raw-Pa:
ALL Pumpernickel's smile like this when they go to the lake:
Which rock should I pick up:
If I help blow up the raft, I can get in the water that much faster:
Playing with Ra-Paw:
It truly doesn't get any better than this:
When I look back at these pictures I get that feeling of not wanting, but needing to be at the Lake. I just can't explain it. No where else on earth, that I've found yet, gives me quite the same feeling. To see the other members of my family, one by one, fall in love the same way just solidifies that feeling for me.
10 days at the Lake......$1116.00. Next post, Mexican Riviera Cruise. Then my series will be complete. Well, until I go somewhere else, that is.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
First he needed a banana for energy:
Then it was off to play in the water:
After two days we headed to Kauai where we stayed at the Point at Poipu. The grounds were beautiful and our condo had the beach out the back door and the pool out the front:
The pool had real sand around it, giving it a very natural effect. Our grandson loved it.
We spent one day on a great tour. We started out kayaking up this river:
Then we hiked through the rain forest to a truck pulling a wagon through an old plantation. The wagon took us to the trees where we had lunch and went zip lining. After zip lining we hiked to Secret Falls. Then it was a boat ride back down river to the starting point. Our grandson went along and he did everything except the zip lining. He was an absolute angel. This trip was one of my favorite ever in Hawaii.
Another day we went tubing down an irrigation ditch on an old sugar cane plantation. We wore helmets and headlamps and floated down through many tunnels. You could not control the inner tube because you were at the mercy of the water's flow. It was a blast! Unfortunately, we don't have pictures of either one of these days because they were on waterproof camera's and we all know how well they work! You'll just have to take my word for it that we actually did it and that we had fun. Maybe my daughter has some pictures. If she does, maybe she'll post them on her blog sometime.
Another day we drove to the north end of the Island and went hiking on the Napali Coast. My Grandson had the best ride in town:
The views were amazing:
We packed a picnic lunch and walked on the beach:
We went to the lighthouse:
And enjoyed the scenery:
Most days ended looking something like this:
Except for the 24 hours I battled some kind of food poisoning, a great time was had by all. Our grandson says that he can remember going to Hawaii with Papa. Who am I to argue? Hopefully, there will be many more vacations spent with him.
Total cost for 10 days in paradise.....$3713.00
Next year we introduce our grandson to Lake Tahoe and we spend a week on a cruise to Mexico. Then we will be completely caught up. Unless you count all the trips we take to 'that other state that my daughter lives in.'