Long Time No See

Hellooooooo….

Anyone out there???

I feel like Rose in that horrific scene of Titanic, when she is laying on the board in the middle of the ocean (that clearly was big enough for her and Leo to share but she was too selfish to allow that, and let him die…) but that’s a conversation for another time… anyway, she grabs some other dude’s whistle to let the rescue people know she is alive.  Like, I’m here!  I’m here!

Anyway.

Just checking in to make sure everyone’s doing all right now that the world is officially coming to an end.  Thought I would go ahead a dump the last vacation (aka meeting) pics up from a few weeks back, just to let y’all know that we are alive & well over here and that “Rona” has not got us… yet.  We are social distancing as I’m sure most of you are, and we are going on day 8.  So far it’s been quite normal for us especially since the weather here has been absolutely beautiful!!  Not much of our time has been spent inside, luckily.  Bennett had spring break last week and was supposed to start back at school tomorrow- so tomorrow will be my first day as a PreK4 teacher…. Lord, keep me sane.  His teacher has sent me all of the workbooks, and eLearning info, all I have to do is implement…

ummm…. ok.

I’ll keep y’all updated on that nonsense. But in the mean time, here are the pics from California.  We went for Husband’s meeting in Laguna, decided to take the kids and a nanny, and after the meeting was over we scooted down to Del Mar and took the kids to the San Diego Zoo, which is my favorite.  The trip did have a looming cloud over it knowing that things were changing rapidly with this virus, just felt a little off… but the kids really have no idea what is going on, we have kept them pretty sheltered so far.  I don’t turn on the news hardly at all anymore- too depressing and slightly annoying- so, I decided to take a different approach and control what I know I can, and that’s my household.  I’ll start updating the blog with things that we are doing- school and fun activities- and hopefully inspire some of my readers to let go of what they cannot control.  We need to take back our lives by enjoying the present moment even if it’s not the way we had thought it would be in these unprecedented times.  Stop obsessing over the numbers and ridiculously wrong/ lagging data they plaster all over the media, and enjoy this special time with your family.  Is it an inconvenience in our lives- yes, absolutely. But we can do our best to try to make this tolerable.  And for the LOVE OF GOD!!!  STOP PREACHING TO EVERYONE ELSE ON SOCIAL MEDIA!!!  Everyone has already heard the #flattenthecurve motto- so just stop. FYI: Your manic energy is not going to control people.  They will live how they want until they are forced to do something different.  That’s just my two cents- off my soap box now.

For now- enjoy these cute pics of my babes and pretty scenery.

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Stay safe y’all!


Bergen, Norway

Whoa whoa whoa!  Two posts in one week?!?  Who am I?!?

Bergen was our final stop on the cruise so we decided to hire a private driver and have them guide us through their town.  First stop: Mount Fløyen to ride the funicular named Fløibanen!

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The funicular system was able to take us to the top of the mountain, about 1300 ft, in about 8 minutes.  Once at the top there is a lookout area where you can see the entire peninsula of Bergen.  We were even able too see our Disney ship!  Can you see it in the picture above?

When we got back to the bottom, our driver dropped us in the city center also known as Bryggen where there are many shops and restaurants to enjoy.  It is such a picturesque area of town, I enjoyed all the Christmas shops and the boys enjoyed seeing all the boats! We also walked through the fish market!

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Our last visit in Bergen was the aquarium.  The sea lions really know how to entertain the children!  Highly recommend if you are in Bergen with your kiddos- my boys went crazy over these guys and it was entertainment for hours!

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Here is a picture I got of our ship… I didn’t write much about the actual Disney cruise experience this time because for those who have been following along, we did a Disney cruise through Alaska a year ago and I went into deep detail about how much we loved the Disney experience via the ship.  It was wonderful again this year and we have already got a placeholder for our next one!  It’s the only way we will cruise until these kids are a little bigger…

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That concludes the Norway trip!  I hope that we are able to visit again in the future- I feel we only barely scratched the surface of this great country, but feeling very fortunate to have been able to see and do all that we did with our family!  Thanks Disney!


Oslo, Norway

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Oslo is the capital of Norway, so my expectations for this city was pretty high.  We got off the boat in some rainy & cold weather, but we were not going to let that get in the way of a fun day.  The biggest attraction we wanted to see in Oslo was the Vigeland Sculpture Park.  This park has over 200 sculptures which essentially showcases Gustav Vigeland‘s life’s work.  There are so many sweet baby and children sculptures, some are a little creepy,  some show really raw human emotion, but at the heart of the park is the most well known- The Monolith – which was made from a single piece of granite and took three mason’s 14 years to make.  It’s a little strange looking at it up close, all the bodies intertwined together… add to that all the extremely provocative sculptures surrounding it… anyway… look it up, or click the links highlighted in this paragraph to fully grasp what I’m talking about.

The park itself was very picturesque and even on a rainy day the landscape design was stunning.  The flowers we blooming so bright!  I can only imagine how packed that place must be on a beautiful day, it was perfect for a picnic and a game of hide and seek.

The other spot we really wanted to enjoy was a quaint little fishing village named, Drøbak, which is a very traditional Norwegian fjord town.  Very cute, lots of art, and of course a Christmas store open year round!  The boys enjoyed exploring the marina, deciding what kind of boat we were going to get, and devoured some delicious ice cream in the sweetest little shop- no pun intended ;).

All-in-all… It was a really great day in Oslo!

 


Copenhagen, Denmark

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You guys.  Copenhagen was so wonderful, I wish we could have spent more time there.  This was our first stop on our Disney cruise, it was drizzling, fairly chilly, but we were ready to tour the town!  We hired a private driver and tour guide for the day and it was perfect.  We hit all the hot spots like The Little Mermaid statue, Amalienborg Palace where we got to watch the guards march around the square, had lunch at the Torvehallerne KBH which had so much variety of some of the freshest foods I’ve ever seen (!!) and tasted (!!), and last but certainly not least- we enjoyed walking around Nyhavn.  When you think of Copenhagen, I’m pretty sure Nyhavn is what you picture.  The beautifully colored storefronts and lots of people enjoying the restaurants and scenery.  The boys indulged in some yummy ice cream in waffle cones while I indulged in people watching ;).  The weather cleared up mid way through our tour and made for a fabulous afternoon.  Would love to see this place again someday in the future, but for now, it was a delightful start to the trip!

xx


Dover, England

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Last month we flew out to England to catch our Disney ship out of Dover, and since we arrived an entire day early, we decided to do some exploring!  The White Cliffs of Dover are jaw dropping beautiful, I could have spent days hanging on the beach with that beautiful weather!  The boys had so much fun running around and playing in the empty fields in front of the cliffs where we spent a little time,  then we decided to drive up to the top of the cliffs and found there were multiple walking paths to take in the scenery.  The path we decided on had barriers so there was no way to fall off, but there were definitely paths with no barriers what-so-ever!  People were taking pictures on the edge where one wrong step backward could have sent them plunging into the North Sea. Scary!  Did you know that the mineral that makes the cliffs white is chalk?  And because of natural erosion, the cliffs are constantly being reshaped and the line of the cliffs are constantly changing…  We admired the views for a while, then decided to skip over to tour the Dover Castle.  The castle which was built in the 1180’s (whoa!) has seen multiple wars all the way up to the 1900’s with the two World Wars.  After walking the grounds, we were pretty wiped, so we went back to the hotel, ate an early dinner, then got a good night sleep since we were getting on the Disney Magic the following morning!  Can’t wait to post all about it!  Stay tuned!


Alaska on the Disney Wonder

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If you are considering taking a cruise through Alaska,  if you are dreaming of taking a cruise through Alaska, if taking a cruise through Alaska is a top bucket list item, if you have heard about cruises through Alaska and you thought to yourself, “hmmm… that might be something I want to do some day”… Stop whatever planning you have for your next family vacation (you know it’s probably somewhere Caribbean…), and book a freaking cruise through Alaska!!

We decided, on a whim, to make the trek to the opposite coast to catch the Disney Wonder for a 7 night cruise out of Vancouver, B.C. and I can’t even begin to describe how great it was!  We stayed in a hotel that was connected to the boat terminal called Pan Pacific and they all but carried us to the boat.  They brought our Disney luggage tags, transported our luggage to the boat so we didn’t have to hassle with them, and we just went down the elevator the morning of departure, checked in, and got right on!  Not one issue whatsoever!  Here is a view from our room of the boat:

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Now, I did not have the highest expectations for this cruise even though everything I had heard about Disney Cruise Line was extremely positive.  To be honest, I’m just not a cruise person.  I like to plan my own trips, be able to rent a car and just go.  I don’t like the idea of being confined on a big ol’ boat, around thousands of people I don’t know, in a shoebox sized room, with germs everywhere… ewww…. but y’all, this Disney cruise exceeded every single expectation… by a lot!

From the moment we set foot on the boat and they introduced our family to the whole entire boat our experience started.  We went and ate fine dining, which you would think with kids would be a complete sh*t show, but for some reason it was like a dream.  Disney sure knows how to pick their employees, they all seemed to LOVE my children!  I mean, my kids are no angels, and I don’t even pretend that they are.  They can be real a**holes sometimes.  But the staff, literally every single one, pretended to LOVE my kids.  It was a little weird at first, but you get used to it.

Next, we explored the ship.  First things first, the kids club and nursery. This is where you can drop your kids pretty much any time of day (if not all day ;)) and they can play and be entertained with children their own ages!  DREAM!!!!  So if you and your hunny want to frolic around like teenagers, go see a movie, get drunk… kids club is what’s up!  If you scroll up to where you see Bennett in a area that looks like “Andy’s Room” from Toy Story, he literally would wake up wanting to go to kids club.  And surprisingly, Remy didn’t mind the nursery!  Again, all of the workers were super friendly, always knew my kids names, the check in and check out was super secure, and if the kids were ever not 100% happy and wanted us, they would call us on our portable ship phone which is in every stateroom.

Speaking of stateroom, they were cleaned twice a day, spotless.  One night we ordered room service (because it doesn’t cost anything on the boat- yeah, you heard that correctly) and Bennett accidentally spilled BBQ sauce on the carpet.   I quickly cleaned it up and thought no one could see where it was, well, I have no idea how they knew, but our carpets were professionally cleaned the next morning while we were out on an excursion.  CRAZY!!!  We had a veranda were we had plenty of whale sightings.  We even witnessed a baby Orka learning life strategies from it’s mama!  It was amazing!  We also saw icebergs, up close and personal, going through the Tracy Arm Fjord to Sawyer Glacier (pictured above).  Just stunning!

We did plenty of excursions, I cannot even remember them all.  One of our favorites was the train ride via White Pass and Yukon Railway (starting from Skagway) which takes you across the U.S./ Canadian boarder.  The views from the train cars are incredible. Bennett especially enjoyed this!  Remy participated, but chose to take a nap instead of enjoy the scenery.

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  Another thing we really loved was the seaplane!  It was about an hour long ride in and out of the misty fjords.  It was stunning!  We couldn’t get out (which was the plan) because of the rain, but it was still a great experience.  It’s all Bennett could talk about for weeks!

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Again, Remy participated, but chose to sleep instead of enjoy the views.

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For the seaplane excursion, we got to ride in this trolley to the Docks!

The other excursion we really loved was whale watching in Juneau! Unfortunately, it was a longer excursion, I think it was about 6 hours total, and Remy was not able to participate (age) so he had to stay in the nursery.  Which, again, he didn’t mind ;).  So it was just  husband, Bennett, & I!

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We also got to hike a little bit to see Mendenhall Glacier!

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But every day we would get back on the boat, have a fun dinner, see something entertaining, and enjoyed it to the fullest!  I hope this post inspires some of you to take the adventure to Alaska.  Even with small children, it was truly remarkable!

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