Sunday, May 5, 2013

One Year ago today...

It has been exactly one year since we flew to Chicago to try our luck at in-vitro, cinco de mayo!  For us this will always be an important day.  I am also writing on this blog to direct you to our triplet blog (we update that a lot more frequently), we have had a few people as of late that didn't know we had the triplet blog, so if you fall in that category, here it is...

Be on the lookout, Emily is going to do a post there today, and you know that is a rarity, a treat, but a rarity.

Sunday, September 23, 2012


Last night the boys were outside in the backyard eating ice cream when Cooper says, "Daddy, come look, there are 2 moons!"  I didn't know what to think about that.  I thought that it was probably just a bright star or planet by the moon.  I went outside and I saw something that I had never before seen.  It was a big, bright, glowing orb that was pretty close to the moon. Take a look:

So, I got out the camera and zoomed in the best I could (optical zoom because any more than that you lose your quality, well our camera sucks anyway so not much quality), I snapped a photo, and this is what it looked like:

Then, I looked at that picture, and zoomed it in, and this is what it looked like:

A hot air balloon?  That is weird because even though we see them all the time here in ABQ, they are never out at night, and they never glow like that, and in addition, this one wasn't moving, it didn't move for about an hour.  It was just sitting there.  So, come to find out, there is a guy in our ward who works for the air traffic control here in ABQ, and he said that it was a high altitude ballon 600 feet tall, 400 feet wide, with a payload of 6000 pounds!  That is a HUGE balloon, because it was 120,000 feet up, that is almost 23 miles!  Pretty cool finding by the Coopster!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Labor Day Camping Trip!

This Labor Day Weekend we headed up to Red River, NM for a very fun and exciting camping trip with our good friends the Larson's and the Burk's, and all of the little ones (10 in total) associated with said families.  We decided with the triplets coming, and Emily getting bigger, and more uncomfortable by the day, it was time to do our final family camping trip for quite a while.  For those of you who don't know, Emily has a VERY hard time sleeping in her own bed without babies growing inside of her, add the fact that we were sleeping in a tent in bear country, it was 40 degrees, she has 3 babies in her belly, she has back issues, etc. it was NOT going to be a very fun camping trip.  The solution:
At least that was the hopeful solution.  The day we left she decided that it was time to call her OB and get a prescription for Ambien to help her sleep.  She read the instructions on the trip up to the campsite, which said something along the lines of: "Take only ONE capsule at night, right as you are going to sleep as Ambien takes effect instantly.  Allow for at least an 8 hour period of rest..."  It went on, and on.  Anyway, medications usually have little to no effect on Emily, and this time was NO different.  That poor girl didn't sleep more than 4 hours over a 3 night period!  I felt, and still feel, horrible for her.  The boys and I didn't have any sleeping issues (sorry hun!)

Our trip was so great!  We left on Friday up to our campsite, which was about a 3 hour drive to a private campground right outside of Red River, NM called River Ranch.  It was a great place, see:
Deer upon arrival

The Campsite, notice the rocks!

Fishing for the Kids
We were the first of our crew to arrive, and it was our night for dinner, so we got set up, and then went fishing.  They told us that they stocked the lake that day, so there were zero bites, but lots of fun.  Cooper and Luke loved fishing, which tells me that I need to do it more often with them, my question is how do I take them fishing in a state that has no water?

Check out that Hot Mama! 18 1/2 weeks preggers!

Even Emily got in on the (non)action fishing
The following day we headed up to the town of Red River, NM and walked the Main Street for a little bit, and we got a bite to eat at the Lift House.
Look at all the Chillins!

Hutchings Boys on the Ski Lift in the middle of town

Luke showing his snowmobile skills!
From here we went up one of the canyons and enjoyed a fun afternoon of riding the Burk's Polaris RZR to Greenie Peak.
Matt stylin' in the ladies bug eye glasses

Theron and me at Greenie Peak

An accidental beautiful sky picture!
We got back to camp and went fishing again.  Again, no luck.  I don't think there were too many fish being caught at all Friday and Saturday.  We had dinner, sat around the fire and chatted then went to bed, another great day!  Sunday, we woke up and got the fire going.  It got pretty cold in the evenings, we put a heater in our tent, that did pretty much nothing except melt itself.  Luckily for us, the brothers slept really well all 3 nights, Emily and the trips on the other hand, did not.

Sunday our friends the McAffee's came up to spend an afternoon with us, they were in Taos (45 minutes away).  We all went to a park in Red River where we had lunch, and ran some obstacle course races. When we got back to camp we went fishing, and finally we had some luck!  Well, if you call 2 little fish luck!  It was awesome to eat trout again though, I grew up eating trout and haven't had it for years.  It was just as good!  I was surprised that Luke tried it!  He is our kid that won't touch anything on his plate at home, but he gobbled that trout up.  Cooper didn't even want to touch it, which surprised me too.

The Monstrous 6 ouncer! (you may want to zoom in)

He was SO excited!
That evening we roasted some mallows and made some s'mores.  Theron busted out his mallow stick extender--check it out:

The amazing talents of Theron!
We had such a great time.  Need to send out the thanks to our buddies, the Larson's and the Burk's!  We had such a GREAT time.  Hopefully we can do it again, though with the trips coming, I don't think it will be happening anytime soon!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Carnival Splendor, The Finale

Day 6

Another Day at Sea.  More circles.  ‘Nuff said.  Just kidding.  Today is in fact another Day at Sea.  Upon waking up (to those dadgum chairs at 5:30), I did my traditional typing away in the morning, went back to the room, where Emily was actually still sleeping.  We then went and did some treadmill work up in the Cloud 9 Spa for about 20 minutes.  That was followed by the usual buffet breakfast in the Lido Café.

While we were there in the Lido Café, we were just talking about how much debt we are in (we are in the middle of the ocean and this is what we talked about, we are weird), in the meantime Emily’s mind began to wander, thinking anything from: hoping that she saw someone stranded at sea so that we could save them, then she thought how could someone survive out in the middle of the ocean, then to sharks would definitely get them, to maybe those sharks right there would eat them.  Yes, she somehow spotted not just one shark, but 2 in the middle of nowhere, just looking over the side.  Being as high up as we were, 100+ feet up, those sharks had to be at least 8’ long, quite possibly 10’+.  That was a great sighting by Emily!

This is what it looked like, but there were 2.

We thought that it would be fun to play a few games after breakfast.  So we went to deck #10 by the hot tubs, and played some “speed Scrabble”, some “Rummikub”, and “Spot It”.  It was fun to be able to do something besides reading by a pool on a cot in the middle of the day while the sun is burning me, so I was grateful for that.  When we finished with the games, I headed down to the cabin to take a little nap.  Right before I laid down, the cruise director got on the PA system and said that they were doing the Newlywed Game in the Spectacular Theater in just a couple of minutes.

One thing that has been very lackluster on this ship at the Day at Sea is the activities.  It seems like there are not very many activities.  That is one thing that I remember most about our previous cruises was all of the activities, from ice skating to rock climbing, from dodge ball to basketball tournaments, from trivia games to poolside activities, etc, etc, etc.  This cruise they have had very few activities (possibly not very well advertised).  I decided to take Gary up on that PA announcement, and today I went to the Spectacular Theater, to watch the Newlywed Game.  It was actually the funniest thing that I have seen in a long time.  They got 3 couples up on stage, from 5 days married, to 16 years married, to 47 ½ years married.  The cruise director, Gary (remember this is Gary the Cruise Director, not Gary my father-in-law!), asked the women 10 questions while the men were in the back.  With the men still in the back and the ladies having finished answering, Gary proceeded to ask the men the same questions and their responses were heard only by microphone.  The best two were as follows:

Gary: If there was a parrot in your bedroom, what would be the one word/phrase that is repeated so many times that he would learn to say it?
5-day Married: That’s a tough one…
Man up in the front row started clapping really loudly and quickly (as if that was the guy’s response).  Gary looked at the guy thinking he was crazy, and then it hit Gary what he was doing, and he bent over in hysteria.  It was hilarious!

Next question:

Gary: If your husband was stranded on a deserted island, who would he rather spend the remainder of his days with, a nun or a hooker?
47 ½ year Married: If I say hooker I’m afraid I’ll get Nun!

Ha ha!

After the show, I did go back to take a nap, and I had been sleeping for about an hour when Emily came back into the room after having read by the pool, on a cot, soaking up the sun’s rays.  She came back to get ready for dinner a little early because it was “formal” night, and she was going to do the hair and make-up for the little ladies, and for Becky.

Upon finishing dinner, we went to the “El Morocco Lounge”, and watched a comedian.  He is the voice for one of the Transformers, one of the 2 crazy Autobots that are brothers.  Anyway, he was really funny.  It was standing room only, and Emily couldn’t make it the whole time, so she went back to the cabin.  When the comedian was done, I went to get Emily so we could go to the main show of the evening in the Spectacular SpectacularTheater, it was “Fiesta Latina” night, featuring the ship’s dancers/singers.  

El Morocco Lounge
Spectacular Spectacular

Before we left though, we had to see if Michael Phelps would get his 21st Olympic Medal in the 100 m Butterfly.  He did, and in great fashion with the Gold!  Go USA!

We were a few minutes late getting to the show, and upon our arrival we realized this show was going to keep with the “Boob Cruise” theme, we saw several of the dancer’s butts because they thought it necessary to wear thongs under their dresses.  We got up and left after 5 minutes.  I am so sick of the stuff that gets passed on as being “family friendly” these days.  I will file a formal complaint to Carnival.

Boob Cruise! 

From here we went back to the room and changed into swimsuits and hopped in the hot tub (it is actually a warm tub).  They had the Olympics playing on the big-screen on the Lido Deck.  I am so grateful that we were able to get the Olympics, the only bad thing was that the channels that are picked up by the ship were channels from Miami/South Florida.  I personally dislike Miami, so it is hard to see commercials that remind me of Miami.  I know a lot of you are thinking, “How can he dislike Miami?”  A few of you know why, and I would have to write a completely different “book” for the reasons, so I will just say that I have worked down there on several occasions, and there have been several incidents that have led me to this hatred of that city.  I will leave it at that.

We came back to the cabin and slept.  End of Day at Sea, not a horrible day by any means, and I am grateful for that.  Tomorrow is Day at Sea #2, hopefully not too many circles!  Maybe I’ll go swimming or try the slide again.  Till tomorrow.

The Slide!

Day 7

Our final day aboard the Carnival Splendor.  I guess I am kind of grateful.  I am really beginning to miss the boys.  It is hard to be away from them for so long.  Today on the ship was our final Day at Sea.  It was actually a nice day, even though we didn’t do a whole lot.  We woke up, again to the scraping sound of chairs being moved across the Lido Deck right above our heads at 5:45.  I couldn’t go back to sleep, so I left Emily in the room to so she could sleep, and I headed down to the Casino for my journal typing time.  I wish that I would have had a laptop with me on the last cruise, because it has been so much easier to recall events from the same day, or the day prior, as opposed to trying to remember it from a week after it all happened.  Oh well, it wouldn’t have lasted too long either because we had no power to recharge the battery!

I went and typed, and then read for about an hour and a half, then came back to the room.  Em woke up just a few minutes later and began reading, so I lay down too and started to read.  An hour and a half later she woke me up from a very deep sleep.  I guess I was still a little tired.  We got ready for the day and headed up to Lido to eat some breakfast.  As we were sitting there, Emily (our master shark spotter) did it again and saw some other things—we couldn’t identify them 100%.  However, we did some dorsal fins, shark or dolphin—we don’t know—we also spotted something that looked like what Emily called octopus legs, I’ll let you be the judge:
Original Photo (Look in the middle, on the left side)
Zoomed in....20,000 leagues Under the Sea
We were completely oblivious to time as we were mesmerized by the ocean and all of the creatures and things we were seeing.  We finally decided to get up and go play a few games.  We played Canasta with Becky and Emma until lunch time, which usually means going to the 24 hour pizza bar, or the hamburger/hot dog stand.  I will say that it was so nice to have choices of food this time compared to the obligatory lettuce sandwich from the Cruise of 2010.  That ice cream machine would have been the death of me if we were to stay another week.  We definitely did not eat very healthy, and with the elevators working this cruise, and us being one floor under the buffet, I think I definitely put on a few pounds! 

After our game of Canasta, which Emily will say she won (we didn’t even actually finish), I headed down to our room for a Day-at-Sea-Time-Passing-Nap in lieu of circles.  I awoke a couple of hours later and headed out to find my wife.  I found her actually very quickly, which has not been the norm.  She was sitting in the corner reading, so I stuck my head out the open window to see if I could spot any cool animals.  I didn’t.  I did see a pallet floating in the open water.  I really hope that no one was on it a day or two previous.  About 5 minutes later I saw a little piece of wood that looked like it had come off of the pallet.  I guess my eyes just aren’t as tuned to seeing the fish like Emily’s are.

The Dork in Person!
As the cruise was winding down, we thought that we would take advantage of the mini-golf course aboard.  It is up on the highest deck possible.  That means it is windy!  The ship usually goes around 18-20 knots (which in English is about 23 mph, or in real English 37.04 kmh), in addition to the headwind that was blowing right into our face on the front 4 ½, and it made for a nice tailwind on the back 4 ½.  I think I got longest drive on hole #7, called the longest plank, at a whoppin’ 4 yards!  The final hole we finished tied.  I recommended that we do a playoff to see who the real winner is, and she said “No way, I won that because in golf girls usually score more points so therefore I am the winner!”  If you can explain that one to me I would really appreciate it, because to this day I don’t think that reasoning works.

After the controversial golf game, we went back to the room to get ready for our final dinner aboard the Splendor.  The Olympics were on the TV, and we watched Michael Phelps swim his final event ever in the Olympics, his 24th race in 4 Olympics.  The guy is absolutely amazing at what he does, not only did he win his 22nd medal out of 24 events, the guy took his 18th GOLD!  I can’t imagine that number will ever be broken, that is a piece of history, and that is why I had to put it in the journal.  That way everyone knows how cool I am for watching history made on a TV aboard a ship called the Splendor.  Absolutely splendid!
Olympics Day 3 - Swimming
michael phelps final medal olympics 2012

This being the last night, we had to pack up our bags and leave them in the hallway so they could round them up and have them waiting for us when we got off the ship.  It was great way to end the cruise, great food, good entertainment (Becky wins the gold for Wizard, she won’t hesitate to take anyone out of that game in a hurry!), great company.  All in all it was a great cruise.  We got to use our onboard credit for the mandatory tips that you don’t know about until you get your card statement, so thank you to Carnival for paying the tip for us (well, some of it anyway).  I now bid adieu to Carnival…forever!  Thank you to anyone reading this and taking the time out of your busy lives, it means a lot (even if this is me reading it in 20 years).

Adios Carnival!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Carnival Splendor, Our Anniversary!

Day 5

Happy Anniversary to my dear, sweet wife of 9 years!  We were fortunate enough to spend it in Puerto Vallarta. As we pulled into the port this morning the first thing I noticed was a Wal-Mart and a Sam’s Club.  What?  Where are we?  Why is that all of these countries have to have the American stores?  It seems like everywhere we go, that is all we see, Wal-Mart, McDonald’s, Subway, KFC, Domino’s, Pizza Hut, etc, etc, etc (even a Hooter’s in Cabo).  I think that is sad.  I totally understand the companies want to expand, but I personally think that it is a little excessive.  I think that maybe they should change their name or something, mask it somehow.  Oh well, I guess we just need to accept that the world is more American than America is.

Before we disembarked, we heard over the PA system, “Will Gary and/or Rebecca Jewkes please come to the Guest Services Desk?”  I wonder what that is for.  It could only be one of two things.  1) Carnival was not pleased by the reporter comment made by Gary, and will give us the credit, or 2) Emma’s great-grandfather had passed away.  We were all hoping that it was the first.  Gary went down and sure enough it was!  Each of our three staterooms were given the $100 spending credit!  I guess it pays to have a “nasty persona”—thanks Gary!

Puerto Vallarta is such a beautiful place.  There are beautiful mountains in the background as you pull into the bay, and it is all jungle.  We stepped off of the boat, because this time we pulled right up to shore, we didn’t have to be tendered in (which is such a pain).  We stepped out, and of course, instantly being attacked by the people outside to buy this product or that.  I bet some of the stuff was actually bought at Wal-Mart and they were trying to make a profit on it. 

(Notice Sam's Club in the background)

As we were walking away from the ship, there was a guy that was just attached to some of us, saying that he has a van and would drive us around, he would take us to all the sights, and go anywhere we wanted to go.  He looked like a legit guy, we said sure.  His name was Manuel, and he did stay with us all day, and he did take us to some really pretty areas.

He started by taking us through downtown Puerto Vallarta, then to Old Town Vallarta.  

Old Town Puerto Vallarta
There was a little bit of road construction (in addition to the typical crazy Mexican drivers) which slowed us down a little.  Once outside the city, we drove along this jungle road that overlooked the ocean on one side and on the other was the mountain side, SO gorgeous!  He told us that there were about 200,000 people in Vallarta, and about 20,000 Americans/Canadians.  This jungle road is where the “gueros” live.  Beautiful homes built right into the cliffs overlooking the bay.  It was so picturesque.  We stopped at a little local hotel called “El Set”, and took some pictures from the balcony where they also had people trying to sell their goods.  Beautiful!  I highly recommend Puerto Vallarta to anyone looking for a beautiful place to vacation.  Manuel told us that this was probably the #1 vacation spot for the Mexicans too.

Jungle Road

Our first stop after the beautiful drive was to a beautiful area where we were able to go do a “canopy adventure”.  This was a zipline tour of the area, 10 ziplines, and a lot of hiking.  Emma and Madi really wanted to do it, I decided to go with them.  It was a blast!  On the final line, called the “Superman”, I went down flying like Superman.  This last line lasted about a minute and a half—Awesome!  The whole canopy adventure lasted about an hour and a half.  The hikes were absolutely gorgeous, climbing through the jungle—it was mostly shaded too which made it wonderful for me and my “guero” (white) skin.

The Trail
From here we went to a little beach area called Playa Mismaloya, here we got a boat and went out to “Los Arcos” for some swimming and snorkeling.  Los Arcos are three little islands, well big rocks, about a 10 minute boat ride from the beach which all have little tunnels through them.  These big rocks are where pelicans make their home on the cliff sides.  Our boat driver attached himself to another boat and we all jumped out and swam with the fish.  Even Becky jumped in and gave snorkeling a shot (for the first time), and was very successful.  This was not the most beautiful snorkeling I have ever done, but there were tons of fish and coral, plus the water was super-clear, so it was a success.

This is where we snorkeled
From here we had to go into a store of any kind for Gary to find a hat.  His “Panama Jack” style hat has been through a lot over the last several years, and it has been to a lot of different countries, but we feel that it is time to retire it.  Gary wasn’t quite in agreement, but I think that we talked him into it enough to where he was actually looking for one now.  We made a stop at every place that we saw hats between the Mismaloya Beach and the cruise ship, unsuccessfully I might add.  However, at one of the stops we were able to get out and go to a candy store that had some very different candy than what we are used to.  For example, we tried a gummy that was mango flavored with a hint of chile, I liked it, Emily did not like it so much.  We also tried a flavor that took me back to my mission—it was a type of guava covered in sugar and chile, very spicy, Emily didn’t appreciate that one either.  We didn’t purchase either of them, but we did get some gummy’s for the kiddos.

We finally made it back to the ship after giving Manuel a nice payment for a day’s work.  It was great to be able to speak Spanish again, I kind of get carried away when I am speaking Spanish, I could really talk to anyone for a long time about anything (something I have never been able to do in my own language).  

If you are ever in Puerto Vallarta, here is Manuel's card.  I highly recommend him, great guy!

Anyway, we made it back for dinner, a little late, but they still served us.  For our anniversary dinner, Emily got the filet mignon, and I had a beef stroganoff.  Dinner was followed by a beautiful dancing company from Puerto Vallarta which was accompanied by a mariachi band.  It was really neat to see some real Latin dancers doing some of their cultural dances.  The group was headed up by a man who had to be 70 years old, he was a cute little man that was super skinny, and smiled a lot.  He was letting out the whoops and the hollers during the mariachi music with the Mexican rolling of the tongue followed by the aagh-hah.  It was very Mexican, it was great!

After the show we went into the hot tub for the first time since being on the cruise.  We actually had it to ourselves which was definitely a first.  Then Gary and Becky joined us.  The girls stayed in their rooms, which is where they spent a lot of time.  From there we came back to our room and Emily had set out some balloons that had little lights inside them, and she gave me some chocolates and other unmentionables!  I will leave it there.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Carnival Splendor, Day 4

Day 4

Well, I was right, the chair man decided that 5:30 is a perfect time to slide chairs across the floor.  

The Chairs that were my alarm clock
I woke up and headed to my spot right outside of the casino to write about yesterday.  It is actually nice at 6:30 because there is nobody around to interrupt your thought process, unlike now while I am writing this one (at 4:00pm), and of all places, I am right next to the kids’ hangout—the arcade and sushi bar.  Lots of kids are running around which is fine, they need a place to go too, right?  I was kind of limited as to where I could go, because there are about 6 plugs on the entire cruise ship, and I didn’t want to hang out in my room.

Today was actually a pretty fun day in the beautiful town of Cabo San Lucas.  Before heading out to Cabo, we went to work out for a little while at the Cloud 9 Spa.  Luckily there were not too many people there, I get very anxious and nervous when I am surrounded by a lot of people, especially at the gym.  I know that I look like I have a sexy body and am very tough and cut, but underneath my shirt, you will find nothing but a white little dough boy with a cute little (ok medium size) spare tire encircling my mid section—not too attractive.  Fortunately my wife thinks I’m sexy, at least she doesn’t say otherwise!  I decided to not show off my lifting capabilities and I just hopped on a treadmill for a nice little jog/walk.  It does feel like you can justify eating a couple more ice cream cones though when you exercise a little (I know it is just my stomach telling me those horribly incorrect falsehoods, but I can’t help it!  I’m addicted to cruise food!)

From the gym we headed down to breakfast where we met up with Gary and Becky.  Madison and Emma have been very wise and have ordered room service every morning, they are taking advantage of the rest and relax that one should do on a cruise.  We decided to head into Cabo at about 10:30.

When we arrived at Cabo San Lucas, we were instantly met by salesmen, very persistent salesmen, and they talked us into going on a 45 minute “tour” up to the arch, and they had a glass bottom boat, which was very homemade.  It was $6 per person, best $6 spent for a tour.  

We saw the arch, and a little rock that looks like an upside down version of Baja California.  We saw a couple of fish come to the bottom of the boat (no sharks unfortunately) to feed on the stringy nastiness on the bottom of the boat. 

Upon arriving back at the marina, we decided to head to La Hacienda which is a super nice hotel that Jim and Jennefer recommended we go and eat at.  Not a big deal except that as the crow flies the hotel was maybe a tenth of a mile, but as we cannot fly like a crow, we had to take the alternative walk like a human route.  That route took us all around the marina, which took about 2 to 2.5 miles.  It was hard because we could see the hotel the entire walk and it was literally right there the whole time.  Every corner we made, we thought this has to be it, but it wasn’t.  There are a couple of drawbacks to walking that route, one is that we had to walk past several of those annoying, will not take no for an answer, salesmen.  Needless to say that Gary, Madison and Emma were all suckered in to their BS sales routine on more than one occasion.  Poor Emma just couldn’t say no to anything.  That said we just continued on.

By the time we reached the hotel, I was sweating profusely, I know, hard to believe huh?  I was not the happiest camper, and Emily was not happy with me being unhappy.  In a situation like that it is so much better to let me just cool off than try to ask me what is wrong, it usually takes about 10 minutes and I am good.  Somewhere in the walk to the hotel, Gary and Becky decided to stay and shop, I felt pretty bad leaving them, mainly because we didn’t see Gary the rest of the trip in Cabo.  It made me feel better because Becky eventually found us, she ditched him too!  We were able to eat there at La Hacienda, but the pool was, and I quote, “the fruits for the homeowners”, not for us meager little peasants. 

We did however get smarter on the return trip, we went to the beach right below the hotel, and played in the ocean for about 30 minutes and then caught a water taxi back to the marina—I wish we knew about that before the 2 mile trek, oh well, we got some great exercise…I just hope that Gary made his way back to the ship, don’t know yet.  

I have to continue this at a different point in the cruise as the guy with the camera is setting up for the picture taking area during dinner, so I am being kicked out of my spot, so bye bye.

Ok, back again.  It is funny that even though more than 12 hours have passed since my last writing, it feels like no time at all has passed for the reader, it’s like a movie, crazy!  Now, back to my story about Gary (which now I know what happened to him).  He did in fact get lost.  He had no idea where we had gone to for lunch, all he knew was orange umbrellas.  He went to the beach where he walked up and down it a couple of times.  He saw a place with orange umbrellas, but we were not there (because it was a different restaurant, the Mango Breeze or something like that).  He saw the one we were at, and decided to not go there because it was a hotel.  So, he just decided to go back to the ship, he didn’t get any lunch, but he did get a Haagen-daz ice cream cone for $8!  We didn’t see him until dinner that evening, where he related his story to us.

Tomorrow is Emily and my 9th anniversary.  I had to do something amazing for her.  I went around to the shops in the ship to see what I could do, and there in the candy shop they sold roses as well, and they deliver to the room!  So, I got one single rose (I am cheap), and told them to deliver it to our room at 8:00 tomorrow morning, I hope she likes it.

At dinner, I was able to try (for the very first time in my life) shark.  I didn’t know what to expect, I hate everything that comes out of the ocean and the first bite of shark (was little breaded balls of shark meat) I thought the same thing.  I saw the lemon sitting there on my plate, and I decided to try the shark with a little bit of lemon, and that helped tremendously, and it was actually ok.  I don’t think I would ever try it again.

After dinner we went to the show, where we were able to watch a guy sing some big band songs and a few from musicals, he was a very good singer that got his start on the West End of London where Emily used to hang out as a study abroad student at least a couple times a week.  He sang one of my favorite songs from Les Miserables, “Bring Him Home”.  I thought he did a tremendous job, gave me goosebumps!

We were bound and determined to stay up past 10:00 to not be so “boring”.  Well, I made it to about 10:30 and Emily made it to 9:45.  I guess we are still pretty boring.  Tomorrow is a new day, and maybe then we won’t be so tired.  We will be in Puerto Vallarta tomorrow.  I think we are going to try and do something fun and exciting, like snorkeling.  Till tomorrow.