Thursday, June 25, 2009

Day Two....

Day two: Here is just a glimpse, honestly each day was so packed I it would take forever to included everything so these are just some highlights. Well after having a night to rest and recover from my uber emotional day I was excited when we woke up the next morning at Catalina Island.
It has already been pretty chilly when we left San Diego and Catalina was covered in gray skies and fog. The fog surrounded the whole mountain it was so cool looking. The way the little town was set into the mountain made you feel like you were somewhere else in the world. We spent most of the morning walking through the shops and browsing, Brenn found a sweet pair of sandals and the rest of us only kept finding more sweet stuff to eat (as if we hadn't done anything but eat since we got on the ship). That is a gummy kabob that both Dad and Deke were excited about, there was also some killer caramel and candy apples if that's your fix. They had some fun little shopping areas and places to sit and eat and just listen to live music. Kimbre, Brenn, and I particularly like this little spot to hang out and listen to music and chat. It was so green and fun with it's cool little stores. Lots of others were attempting to lay on the beach even with the somewhat brisk wind while we decided to take a different route. We decided to rent bikes and bike around the island together.

Since Marley was under 18 she had to wear a helmet and so we all wore them to make her feel better. I of course subjected everyone to multiple picture moments which they are all very used to already. We also grabbed up a couple of tandum bikes as well. Before we even got riding just getting everyone on there bikes and situated was already providing humorous moments. Now I am about to make a ridiculously embarrasing confession. I did not realize until we actually rented the bike and I was putting on my helmet that I hadn't ridden a bike since I was like eight. Everyone started taking off and I started to peddle. As I started peddling I was shaking like a leaf and swerving and and kept having to put my feet down to stop. Horrified I realized that I had forgotten how to ride a bike. As my family continued to look at me in disbelief I got more and more frusterated. Everyone began chipping in their advice as I became more irrated, Brenn and Kimbre rode tandum circles around me as I frusteratedly peddled slower than people walking on the sidewalk next to us. How could this happen? I snow board, wake board, ski, ride the faster rollercoasters possible and I can't remember how to ride a flippin bike?!?!? Everytime I would finally get going Deke would praise me and instead of feeling happy I would feel more irrated. I did not want any more attention drawn to myself then what I was already doing on my own. Dad pulled up beside me and began giving me advice as if I were six again learning for the first time. Within about fifteen minutes I was fine and riding semi normal and withing a half hour I was sturdy enough to trust getting on a tandum bike with Deke. Which means I would have to be comfortable because he likes to bike fast. I loved the tandum biking with Deke it was so much fun. Once I was sturdy we biked all over the island. It was such a blast. The weather was nice and cool and it was so fun to bike up the hills with the mountain on one side and the beach and palm trees on the other. We all biked and talked and laughed it was seriously such a neat experience and such an awesome thing to do together as a family. I absolutely loved it and was bummed when it was time to turn the bikes back in. We pretty much spent the rest of the afternoon checking out the rest of the town and having lunch on the beach. Once we boarded the ship we all got cleaned up and decorated dad's room. Then we all headed to the captain's dinner (for an appetizer I had chilled strawberry soup...YUM) and then lobster for the main course, very very YUM which was fun for everyone to get dressed up and went to a show. The dancers in the show were pretty cheesy so we then headed upstairs to get some more food and just hang out on the ship for the rest of the night. We went up to the karoke stage since Deke and I have never done karaoke. This couple was so drunk, she was like forty and he was maybe 21. They kept going onto the stage and dancing and hanging all over each other. They were with a small group of friends who were also extremely drunk who started yelling "Go Shelley" to the 40 year old. Then the guy picked her up she wrapped her legs around his waist, flung herself backwards and started swinging side to side hanging off of him. It was so disturbing it made me realize why I have never been tempted to try alcohol. They Shelley and her friend decided to hit the mike which was interesting. Brenn and Kimbre headed up to the stage to join them which was hilarious to say the least. The karaoke was at time hilarious at times good and at times disturbing as well. We had arrived to late to join in so we added it to our list of things to do on another day....

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Day one

(NOTE: The pictures in the post are not in order of the typing because there is too much writing this time :) But they are from the first day of the cruise )Well this year my dad turns 50 and about eight months ago he started talking about what he wanted to do for his fiftieth. Around Christmas time he told us all that for his birthday he wanted to go on a cruise with just his kids. He said that he would pay for us all to go but that we would have to find someone to watch the kids while we went. Wait a minute dad, you want to pay for all of us to go on a cruise without our kids for five days for your birthday? We were all very excited to help him celebrate the way he wanted of course :) :) So we checked everyone's schedules and found a week that worked and booked it. Just my dad and Lisa, us four girls and Deke on a cruise without kids! Deke and I went on a cruise for our honeymoon and knew what to look forward to. Over the last six months all of us have been anxiously waiting talking about how excited we are and what a blast it was going to be. On Friday we headed to San Diego early afternoon headed to my mom's house. The whole way Avery kept squealing "we're going on acation" "we're going on acation." Saturday morning we woke up and went and ran some last minute errands then Deke and I went and did some work at the San Diego temple which was so neat. That night we stayed up way to late with Kimbre and Brenn watching Benjamin Button and finally fell into an excited sleep about 2:00 am. The next morning we got up and got everything packed and loaded. I have to say if there is anyone besides Deke that I would rather vacation with it would be my sisters, we have so much fun together they are seriously a blast to be with. As we literally are heading out the door my dad calls to tell us to make sure we have our birth certificates and my heart stops. Deke and I didn't have our birth certificates! Dad started checking with the check in agents and they all informed him that they would not take a faxed copy, or emailed copy. It had to be an orginal certificate or certified copy with seal or a passport or they would not let us on the ship. Now to preface the next part of this story I had been up for like four nights till all hours of the night scanning and inputting photos and arranging them to music making a DVD for my dad of pictures of each of us with him throughout of lives in chronological order with everyone choosing their own pictures and music. I being very overtired immediately got emotional as Deke got on the phone trying to come up with a solution. My dad continued talking to people down at the port even supervisors getting the same answer. I was ready to give up when Deke said, "MeKell we are going to get copies somehow and then we are going to show up at the port act like there is nothing wrong and they are going to let us on the ship." I was definitely lacking in faith as my dad told us to prepare that they would turn us away but to still try. Deke called his mom and she headed to Staples to fax us a copy of his certificate. I called aunt Lisa and asked her to head to our house. Of course we hadn't left an extra key with anyone and so we decided that if we had to we would have them break a small window to get in. When they got there one of our bedroom windows was unlocked and they were able to get into our house and get my certificate. We said goodbye to the kids which was emotional for me even though I was so excited to be going. We loaded in the car heading to the port me crying saying they weren't going to us on and Deke telling me to be positive. Lisa called us with a back up plan. The ship didn't sail until 5:00 pm and it was only 12:00. She said that if they wouldn't let us on the ship, she would catch the 2:00 flight out of Phoenix fly the forty minutes to San Diego with the birth certificates and we could pick her up at the airport which was literally five minutes from the port and then board still by 5:00. Overwhelmed by her willingness to help us in any way she could I immediately started preparing myself that this would be the option that we would probably have to go with. As we drove down Kimbre's favorite song came on the radio and we all started singing together. I know it sounds a little corny but it was actually really neat, then Deke talked for a minute about how much he loved the girls and how awesome our sister relationship was and then we were all bawling :) :) I had just gotten myself calmed down when we arrived at the port and saw Dad and as soon as I saw him I broked down again. I kept apologizing, I felt so bad that we might possibly mess up his birthday and this wonderful opportunity to be together. My dad kept saying, we are a big group and if we go in as if nothing is wrong they will be fine. All seven of us walked up to the counter and began talking to the woman. Dad started telling her that he was turning fifty and that these were all of his kids and talking about how excited we all were. When she asked for our stuff everyone was just talking to her and she quickly glanced at our certificates and let us pass. Then I cried again for joy because we were going to get on and because we have such a wonderful family that was willing to fly us our birth certificates to make sure we got on. I was so touched. Lonnie and Lisa you guys are amazing!!! Anyways we shortly after boarded the Elation and headed out to sea. Over the course of the five days I took something like just over 600 pictures. I am going to have to break up the days so I don't have one monsterous post. The first day we boarded did our life vest drill, immediately everyone was joking around and we were all laughing hard and I knew that this trip was going to be one we would never forget. We went to dinner and of course the food was so pretty and delicious. I love that there is food 24 hours a day whenever you are hungry and always something entertaining to do. Every day we had a huge card for my dad that was titled for example.. 50 reasons we love you or 50 reasons why your the hottest 50 year old. Every night at dinner we would give him one and he would have to read each one and guess who said it. It was really special and neat to watch him read them. The next day we were head to port at Catalina Island.....(to be continued)