Friday, October 31, 2014

Lake Powell!

Remember last year when our Lake Powell trip was ruined by the government shutdown, and we had to go to Lake Havasu instead? Don't get me wrong, Havasu was a ton of fun, but nothing compares to Lake Powell! Our last trip was in 2010 when I broke my leg, and my heart has been aching to go back ever since. We had hoped to go in July this year, but coordinating schedules with our friends just didn't work out. Still determined, I found a great deal on a houseboat during fall break, and we were all in!

Finding someone to go with us was the hardest part. It's a little pricey (although I know we would have spent more money on a Disneyland trip of the same duration), and fall break was only two months away, so people didn't have time to plan for it. Thankfully, our friends Pete and Sarah saved the day!

The plan was to leave Saturday morning, but the weather had a different idea. It rained hard all day Saturday, and so we didn't end up leaving until 7:30pm! We rolled in to our lakeside campsite at 2am with nothing but clear skies. The countless stars were gloriously scattered from horizon to horizon. I was dead tired, but happy to be there... though not so happy to sleep in a very uncomfortable car. The kids, on the other hand, couldn't have been happier.

Our friends opted to leave very early the next morning. Don't they look bright eyed and bushy tailed?

Here we are on the top of the boat before setting off on our voyage.

Captain Stacey!

My awesome skipper, Sarah. She even wore an appropriate hat for the job!

And Aidan loved being my first mate.

It alternated between rain and shine that first day, so we were treated to some stunning vistas!

Oh how this picture makes my heart sing. Cruising the main channel, looking down wake with our ski boat in tow. So many happy memories!

The kids enjoyed cruising on the front deck.

We headed to our old standby, West Canyon, to find a place to tie off. Even though it was his first Powell trip as captain, Russ made maneuvering that boat look easy!

The kids immediately found a fun place to play on the shore.

The day was pretty much spent, and soon it was time for dinner and games.

Luckily, I had found an awesome Lake Powell puzzle at Costco just a few days before. Score!

Even though we had clear skies again by nightfall, it was overcast come morning. The air was a little chilly, but a quick test of the water revealed what I had been hoping all along... the water was fantastic! I went off the slide a few times and swam across the canyon with Aidan and Kallie to check out a mini slot canyon.

By the time we got back, the sun was peeking through the clouds, and after lunch it was sunny again. Time for water sports!!

I don't know what Kyle was feeling so triumphant about...

But I'm thinking he spoke too soon!

The kiddie ride was next. I know Quinn is afraid of the Tower of Terror, but I swear he was only on the kiddie ride as the chaperone.

Best wipeout picture ever!

Kyle did awesome on the wakeboard!

And Russ was in heaven. Oh yeahhhhhh!

While we were out boating, we found the perfect cliff jumping spot. Kyle tested it out for everyone.

He survived, so Russ went.

And don't worry... Quinn redeemed himself from the Tower of Terror incident and proved he was no wimp.

Sarah and I jumped off a cliff about half the height, and that was PLENTY!

After dinner, we went ashore for a campfire and s'mores. Yum!

That night, Russ and I slept on the top deck under the Milky Way with little Brandon between us. Oh how I long to be back in that moment. Please excuse me while I dream.

More to come...

(Thanks to Sarah for taking so many of these pictures!)

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Best Day of the Week!

Can I tell you September was crazy? And awesome? I guess that means it was crazy awesome!! The night after we got home from San Diego, we were off to Tucson for an Aquabats concert. Can you tell I was just a little giddy? (I think my sister Lori may be right about me lifting my eyebrows too much in pictures.)

The Aquabats symbol.

I didn't realize this was their 20th anniversary tour! I first saw them New Year's Eve 1996. That was the start of a great thing.

Scenes from the show!

Pool party! For the last song, they had all the little kids come up on stage and threw a bunch of beach balls out into the crowd. The energy in that room was electrifying!! So. Much. FUN!!!

After the show, we saw Ricky Fitness out by the tour bus. Sweet!!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

San Diego and Selfies

Yes, our second trip to San Diego within a month, but this time for our traditional anniversary trip! We left after lunch on Friday, dropped the kids off at Grandma and Grandpa's for dinner, and then headed to El Torito for a lovely night out. The next morning, we headed over to the Catamaran Resort for our traditional breakfast by the bay.

The sky was overcast all morning, and the breeze was so slight that we thought we wouldn't be able to go sailing, so we headed back to our hotel to figure out what to do. Within an hour, the sun came out and I saw several sailboats out on the bay, so we decided to go for it! This is the view from our balcony. Sweet!

Talk about the most perfect day for sailing... it was cool, sunny, and so relaxing.

The only problem with sailing is that Russ can't take any pictures because he is busy operating the boat. No worries!! I have the selfies under control!! Or maybe out of control...

Then I took a break from my selfies to get another shot of my feet. You're welcome.

Back to the selfies!

And another break to get the sail and rigging.

And of course to take pictures of our fearless captain!

After sailing, we decided to take a (longer than we thought) walk down the boardwalk to Pacific Beach. What luck... we found a sandwich shop and stopped in for lunch!

After "lunch," we went back to the room to get ready for our date night with the Littles! Before we headed to dinner, we went up to the top of Mt. Soledad, one of the places Russ took me on the night we met. This is the same view we enjoyed the night we fell in love, only this time it was before sunset.

And here we are 14 years, 7 months, and 15 days later. Still together!

The sad news was that our regular anniversary dinner place went out of business, so we had to find a new one. We decided to stick with the fondue theme and headed to The Melting Pot. This picture does not make the cheese fondue look appetizing, but you can trust me when I say it was delicious.

Sharing our dinner date with the Littles was super fun, but Adam was a little high maintenance. We all had to cook our meat in hot oil instead of broth because Adam might go into anaphylactic shock if he ate the tiny parsley bits. Waaaaaaa! Just teasing you, Adam! Actually, the oil was really good because it made the outside of the meat a little crispy. We even got batters to dunk our veggies in prior to frying.

And we finished off with the yin-yang dark chocolate and white chocolate fondue. Cindy and I quickly put dibs on the cookie chunks... oh so yummy.

My trusty friend, Cindy, showed up with the coupon for the free chocolate dipped strawberries and gave them to us as a gift. They made a great breakfast!

Here's the sad part where we failed to get any pictures. After dinner, we headed back to the Catamaran for a ride on the Bahia Belle paddlewheeler. We stood on the top deck enjoying the view and talking with our friends while cruising across Mission Bay. It was a lovely evening that I guess I will just have to remember in my head. At least I got a million sailing selfies!

Before we checked out of our hotel the next morning, we took a pic of ourselves on our hotel room balcony.

Since we didn't have time during the previous evenings to walk down the beach where we fell in love, we decided to make a quick stop there before heading back to pick up the kids. It's so much different in the day with all the people out and about, but I still liked going there and thinking of the night Russ swept me off my feet.

When I got home from that trip in 2000, I was surprised to receive a bouquet of roses and a note (although we are both questioning if this note is really from that bouquet because... well, let's face it, it's a little forward for a first date!).

It makes for a good story either way... and the rest is history!