Sunday, October 31, 2010

Creed and Ollie Are Goonies for a Day

Our cruise stopped in Astoria, Oregon for a day.  It's a cute town best known for being the site of the Goonies house.  You can take a tour, but we didn't attempt it with the boys.  It poured all morning so we stayed on the ship, but we walked around a bit in the afternoon.
Creed loved walking along the tracks

Larry loves reading historical signs.  This is a common site throughout all of our vacations.  He can never skip a historical sign.
Oh, he can also never skip places with names like Pig'N Pancake.
I loved spending all afternoon puttering around with these cute boys.

And Ollie thought it was pretty great too.
We managed to find a little beach on the edge of the river and Creed loved playing there.  It's one of the things he talking about the most since our vacation, which is funny to me after all of the adventures we had, but I guess it's a good reminder that all he really wants is to play with us.

Ollie makes a pretty cute sailor, doesn't he?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

To the Dear Old Man Who Lost His Toupe at the Thrift Store . . .

I think we can help you find it!

PS- This, my friends, is what happens when you trust your husband to take your three-year old thrift shopping for the last piece of his costume.  It makes me retch and laugh so hard it hurts at the same time.

Creed & Ollie Take a Cruise

So part of the reason we were in Vancouver was that's where we started our cruise.  When we told our friends we were going on a cruise, they all asked, "You're bringing your kids?"  Yes, that's exactly what we did.  Not only can Ollie seem to barely survive two hours away from me, but we really wanted to spend Larry's vacation time all together because we really like that guy around here.

When we were tossing around ideas for our vacation, I wanted to take a road trip to San Francisco, Larry wanted to go to Disneyland, and we both thought that it might be fun to go on a cruise. It just so happens that every September, you can go on a Pacific Coast cruise on ships relocating from spending the summer in Alaska to the winter in Miami.  Perfect!  Not only did it end in LA to allow a stop at Disneyland, it stopped along the way in Oregon and San Francisco.  Plus, I think taking the kids on a cruise to Mexico or Alaska when they are so small would have been stressful because of the extreme temperatures and the fun excursions we would have to skip because they are too little.

I think the cruise ended up being a dream vacation for Creed.
We had barely said goodbye to Vancouver 
When Creed settled in for fine diningAnd we all started relaxing.

I think the ship was just a huge playground for him.  He was always up for exploring and trying new things like golfing
 Maybe I never noticed it before because this was our first time cruising with kids, or maybe it was just this particular cruise line, but I was really pleased by the number of family activities on the ship.  Who doesn't love cupcake decorating?

or pizza making, or family lego time? Awesome!
I hadn't even thought about how cruises provide free kids clubs.  Since this trip was about family time, we didn't plan on sending Creed to the kids club, but they had a huge space that included a theater and a jungle gym and they had a lot of fun activities so Creed actually BEGGED to go a few times (I can't blame him for not wanting to miss being in the Princess and Prince Parade.  He got a balloon sword and looked like this when we picked him up.  The counsellors said he insisted on yellow for his eyebrows and mustache)
And it was nice to enjoy a quiet dinner now and then (well, not that quiet, we had Ollie with us). 
And then there was a teeny kids pool
and two big pools with a giant yellow water slide. Can you spot Larry and Creed in the hot tub with a bunch of random guys?  Larry says they were very nice and laughed and Creed's splashing.  I was too busy laughing to notice.
There was a rock climbing wall, a bowling alley (how does that work on a cruise ship that is moving?),  a sports court, and even a few kid-friendly shows (Creed LOVED the jugglers)
He also loved the towels folded up like animals that greeted us in our room every night (I loved them too.  We didn't have to drag him back to our room to go to bed because Creed was so excited to see them).

And can we talk about that bed?  Normally, that little couch would have pulled out to make Creed's bed, but since Ollie's crib was in the way, they pulled a bed down from the ceiling every night.  Creed thought that a bed that magically hid in the ceiling was the coolest thing in the world.  No way was I letting him sleep up there with just that tiny railing though.  When I walked in the door after dinner our first night and saw it, I exclaimed, "Oh, Creed!  Look at the cool clubhouse they set up for you to play in!"  We called in the clubhouse the whole trip, and he never realized that sleeping up there was a possibility.  I think playing in the "clubhouse was his favorite part of the trip because it what he tells everyone about when they ask him about the cruise.
We got a room with a balcony, not because we are posh but because we needed a little extra room and this whole cruise was very cheap since it's not most people's dream cruise.  I was a little nervous about the kids with a balcony but the railing was solid glass and it went really high so we just kept a close eye on them and it wasn't a problem.
If you are thinking about going on a cruise with kids, I promise you these smiles are worth it.
Can we do it again tomorrow?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Vancouver Day 2

We had to check out the famous Capilano Suspension Bridge while we were in Vancouver so we didn't let the rain deter us on our second day (we're from Columbus after all, a little rain doesn't scare us)
You can't even begin to get a sense of how high this bridge is from our photos.  It goes over a river, and a few people stopped on the bridge paralyzed with fear.
 You'd think from its name, there would just be a bridge, but it takes you to a park full of all sorts of paths and other bridges in the trees and even a tree house.  We all thought it was pretty cool.
 and I sort of expected Ewoks to pop up at any moment.

 After the bridge we spent the afternoon shopping down Robson Street (Oh H&M, when will you open a kids' shop in Utah?). Then we picked up some Dim-Sum from a truck parked outside of our hotel (why doesn't Salt Lake have more gourmet food trucks? I can never resist sampling them when we're visiting other cities)
 Another thing Larry and I always do when we're traveling abroad (Besides walking all over the place) is check out local grocery stores and pick up local candy.  I know we were just in Canada, but you'd be surprised how different it is, plus we passes a few Japanese Markets so we picked up some of my favorite Japanese treats.  Creed took great joy in this tradition.  He loved checking everything out at the market and helping us choose what to sample.  I loved watching him so excited to try new things, I hope that's something we can continue to instill in him (ok, who wouldn't be excited to try new candy, but still . . .)
 Speaking of Creed, he really loved hotel life.  It seemed like no matter what adventure we were having, he was begging to go back to the hotel.  It was really fun having a view like this.
And if you looked the other way, you saw the river.  Two mornings we woke up to see cruise ships parked out there.
 And from the pool you could watch sea plane take off and land and cruise ships go by.
 Did you notice the hat?  I'm sure if they had a peacock, Creed would have picked it, but penguins are his second favorite animals so he was happy with that (I took this picture just for my little sister, Marissa, who just moved to Sasktoon, in the dead center of Canada.  We miss you Riss)
 Ollie seemed to love the city too.  There was always something captivating to watch.
I have to say my favorite part of this trip was watching Creed and Larry together every night.  They would lay in bed together and replay the day, and Creed would tell Larry all about his favorite things as if Larry hadn't been there to witness it in person.  It was so cute I couldn't resist eavesdropping and hearing Creed's perspective on things.

Creed and Ollie Make Use of Their Passports

After Disneyland we flew up to Vancouver, BC and spent a few days there before leaving on a cruise.  The last time I was there I was 11 and I thought it was the coolest city.  I guess my tastes haven't developed mush because I still think it's incredible.  In fact, I love Vancouver so much I kept asking Larry if we could move there (thanks to socialized medicine, that's not going to happen).  

Thanks to Hotwire (I really love Hotwire) we stayed at the Pan Pacific Hotel, which is downtown right  on the water so our first morning we decided to walk to Stanley Park, which was a hike, but it was all along the waterfront so it made for a perfect morning.  We stopped to see the Olympic torch (don't the boys looked thrilled?)
 And we watched sea planes take off and land and boats go by
 It was too cold to go in the water, but I thought the weather was perfect
 wouldn't you love to live in one of these houseboats?  I claim the one that really looks like a house.
 There were all sorts of curiosities along the way to entertain Creed (and Larry)
 After playing on the playground, we went to the aquarium.  I remember watching the beluga whales when I was 11 so I hoped Creed would think they were amazing too.  He did :)

 and he spent a good 30 minutes at the touch tank checking out sea stars and anemones
 and of course he loved watching the dolphins
 and who isn't mesmerized by dancing jellyfish?

 After the aquarium, we caught a trolley back downtown and spent the rest of the afternoon and evening just walking around the city.  I love that Larry and I both like to travel the same way; we both like to walk around big cities as much as possible to see as much as possible.  We walked through Chinatown and then through trendy Gastown.  Don't worry, we took the requisite picture by Vancouver's famous Steam clock.
 And the requisite picture of Creed with a giant bear in a mounty suit
 Trying on all the hats at this tourist shop might have been Creed's favorite stop of the day.

 Just wait until you see the one he chose in some later posts.  He loves it so much he wears it a lot.  Seriously, Larry hides it when the weather is warm so he won't have a sweaty head and it won't get too stinky.  I guess he will always have something to remember Vancouver by.