Over Spring Break, we took a 7-day California Coastal cruise with about 20 members of my family.
It was a great vacation. I was looking forward most to having absolutely no time commitments- no meetings, no set schedule, no decisions bigger than whether to lay out or read.
The night before we left, I was sitting on the floor of the kids room amidst a sea of clothing (nothing like packing at the last minute!) and Agirl burst into tears. "I don't want to leave our house for SEVEN DAYS!" she wailed. It was so sweet. After picking a few special toys to bring with her and looking with Daddy at a few places we'd be visiting, she went to sleep seeming excited. Ryguy was adorably oblivious, and looking forward to wearing his Elmo backpack.
We embarked (I love that word! so fancy) on Saturday morning and hit the buffet for lunch. I was anticipating eating Paleo being difficult. For the majority of the trip, sticking with meat and veggies was pretty easy. I ate a little more dairy than I do at home (cheese, cream in soup, etc), and picked three nights to have dessert. Easter Sunday was a bit of a chocolate fest. Overall I felt really good about the choices I made and didn't feel deprived. Helped that my crazy intense sister and I hit the gym most mornings, and one of my favorite shore trips was a workout with my husband- more on that later.
Sunday afternoon we watched our enormous cruise ship pass underneath the Golden Gate bridge from our balcony- that was a very cool experience. It was Easter, so the ship had a cute Easter activity fair with an egg hunt, face painting, and other fun games. We stayed on the ship Sunday night (despite the fact that the boat was docked in San Francisco overnight) to have dinner with the entire family- it was not only Easter but also my Dad's birthday.
Monday we ventured into San Francisco with my sister and her husband for exploring and our ultimate destination- Ghirardelli Square. The kids loved the seals on Pier 39, and Auntie Erin bought them both chocolaty treats at Ghirardelli.
Next we docked in Santa Barbara- Nick, Ryguy and I stayed on the boat and Abby went into town with her Nana and cousins. The boys and I swam and napped- very relaxing day.
Then my favorite port- Catalina. Nick and I got engaged in Catalina almost seven years ago and haven't been back since. We were looking forward to sharing it with the kids. My favorite house on the island, Holly Hill House, is under construction but we took a picture with the kids with the house in the background in a spot very close to where Nick and I look one seven years prior. After searching the beach for seashells and playing mini golf at the best mini golf course EVER, we got ice cream at Big Olaf's and called it a day.
That night on the ship, I went with my cousins to watch the last Twilight movie at the "Movie Under the Stars." It's a giant movie screen above the pool on the top deck, and they lay out pillows and blankets and serve popcorn, pizza and warm cookies. Too, too fun.
Thursday we docked in San Diego, and thanks to my gracious parents we left the kids with them and had a day-date. We started with a run from the pier to Petco Park- about 3.5 miles roundtrip. Usually when Nick and I run together, I alternate between feeling like I'm sprinting to keep up with him and checking my NikeRun app to see how far we've gone. That day, though he'd never admit it, he pulled back a bit and we ran in-step, sharing good conversation and enjoying the sights. I never thought exercising would be one of my favorite parts of vacation, but that run definitely tops the list.
After one more relaxing day on the ship, we were back home. The week went by so quickly, and living on a boat just a few doors down from my parents and aunt and cousins was more fun than I could have imagined.
I asked the kids what their favorite part of the trip was...
Agirl's was having dinner each night on the "little fancy restaurant on the ship." We had diner every
Ryguy's favorite part was "going on the HUGE tender boat."
Now that the world has stopped swaying (it took a few days!) we're settling back into regular life. And have this picture to remind us of our awesome vacation-