S: Cruise Vacation 2011
BC: Stoltz Family 2011
1: Dear Daulton, Justin & Mitch, This vacation held a lot of "firsts" for us. This was our first family vacation in Southern California, our first vacation with Grandma and Papa and Daulton & Justin's first time on a cruise. This was a wonderful vacation filled with so many great memories. We had a blast at the Manhattan Beach Marriott hotel. We will definitely have to come back for another vacation and stay longer so we can go to the beach and the boardwalk. It was wonderful to celebrate Daulton's 11th birthday during this trip - and celebrate we did! At dinner at PF Changs, at breakfast at CoCo's and especially on the cruise with wonderful decorations in our stateroom and that Yummy chocolate cake at dinner. Thanks for having a birthday D! In addition to this being your first cruise (D&J) it was also your first time to Mexico. You have now been in another country! Congratulations!!!! You were very well behaved on the cruise and in port at Catalina Island and Ensenada. I can't wait for us to do more exotic vacations and cruises. Mitch, as usual this was a wonderful getaway for us too. It was nice sharing this trip with your folks. I'm thrilled about the artwork we purchased and the great memories we made. We'll be looking back on this trip when we're older and thinking how awesome it was and "boy, didn't we look good!" Ha ha ha! I love you all so much. Thanks for another wonderful vacation. Love, Mom
2: Pool Time Manhattan Beach Marriott Hotel
3: You crazy monkeys loved the pool and the gym at our hotel. You were so funny. Every chance you got you went to the gym. I don't know how much "weight lifting" you did but I did see you walking the treadmill and watching TV!
4: Fiesta Hermosa 2011
5: We had such a fun day at the Fiesta Hermosa. This was a large arts and crafts festival with LOTS of booths. We enjoyed walking the isles and looking at all of the treasures.. Daulton & Justin got personalized baseball caps and dad bought a new hat too. We bought a fathers day gift for dad and a unique piece of art for our blue bathroom. After a very nice lunch and some people watching we called it a day and caught the shuttle back to the hotel for swimming and gym time! | 5/29/2011
7: We're all eager to get on the ship. Just a few more minutes........ | 5/30/2011
9: May 30, 2011 | 5/30/2011
10: Day 1 of the cruise and Daulton's 11th Birthday | Mom called the Bon Voyage department before the cruise and had them decorate our stateroom to celebrate Daulton's birthday. We also had a yummy chocolate cake complete with candles and singing at dinner!
12: 5-30-2011 | The boys and the pretty yellow bird lady!
13: Make a wish Daulton!
14: Our First night and the "towel art" is a dog. We wonder how our Codi is doing at "Club Grandparents"
15: Day one of the cruise is complete and we're all ready for a good night sleep. Daulton had a great birthday, with cake, candles and singing included! We're calling it an early night tonight so we're ready for fun in Catalina tomorrow!
16: CATALINA ISLAND
17: The weather was beautiful when we arrived in Catalina so we rented a six passenger golf cart and took a tour of the island. We went to the Wrigley Memorial and took the scenic cart tour up into the hills.
18: The Wrigley Memorial | The Wrigley Memorial honors the memory of William Wrigley Jr., who lived from 1861 to 1932. Although best known as the founder of the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company, largest manufacturer of chewing gum in the world, he also played an instrumental role in the history of Catalina Island. He truly loved the island, and with undying enthusiasm and energy, he brought numerous improvements: public utilities, new steamships, a hotel, The Casino building, and extensive plantings of trees, shrubs and flowers. William Wrigley Jr.'s greatest legacy was his remarkable vision and plan for the future of Catalina Island -- that it remain protected for all generations to enjoy.
20: The idea for a garden came from Mr. Wrigley's wife, Ada. In 1935, she supervised Pasadena horticulturalist Albert Conrad, who planted the original Desert Plant Collection. Catalina Island's temperate marine climate made it possible to showcase plants from every corner of the earth. In 1969, the Wrigley Memorial Garden Foundation expanded and revitalized the garden's 37.85 acres. Along with the new plantings came a new attitude. In the same way that the Wrigley Memorial uses primarily native building materials, the Garden places a special emphasis on California island endemic plants. (Plants, which grow naturally on one or more of the California islands, but nowhere else in the world.) Many of these plants are extremely rare, and some are on the Endangered Species list. | Botanical Gardens
22: Semi-Submersible Sub, here we come!
23: The sub ride was really cool. We've never been in a submarine before. It was amazing feeding the fish and watching them go crazy for the food. A really cool experience.
25: This is the Red Garibaldi fish. Do you think it's any relation to our good friend Stevie Garibaldi? The boys can't wait to tell Stevie about this fish!
27: Daulton was the first one to try the awesome water slide on the Lido Deck. It was pretty high up and lots of fun coming down but the salt water pool was not so cool! It was super salty and made the boys itch when they got out. What a bummer!
28: Day Two Night Owls Party Elephant Towel Art | 12:30 am
29: We had a wonderful day on Catalina Island followed by pool and arcade time. After dinner Justin and Daulton went to the Carnival Kids party and we went to the "show". It was a country music program with singing and dancing. It was just fabulous! Daulton was not a big fan of the "Night Owl's Party" so he went back to the room but Justin stayed up until midnight and had an absolute blast. When we got back to the room we took a picture with the towel elephant and Justin's new stuffed "night owl". Time for bed, Ensenada tomorrow.... Ole!
30: E N S E N A D A
31: We arrived in Ensenada and the first thing Justin did was buy these cool red sunglasses! | Joe | Cool
32: We got to hold and feed a baby tiger! What an amazing experience. This baby was so cute and SO soft. She was a little restless and meowing so the trainer gave us a bottle to feed her. Just like a human baby she calmed right down. This is something we will remember forever. Me and my boys and a baby tiger.... what a day!
34: Shopping in Ensenada
36: HOLA Amigo!
38: Trying to get a decent picture with Dad was like trying to get a toddler to sit still. But finally, take three - we got a good one. Thanks Honey! | GOOFBALL!
39: This artist was amazing. We were in awe as we watched him turn a piece of cardstock into a fantastic picture all with spray paint. We watched him for awhile and could not believe the beauty of his work.
40: The end of a fun day in Ensenada
41: Daulton & Justin wanted to swim in a non salt water pool so when we got to the shuttle drop off mom asked one of the drivers if there was a resort where the kids could swim. The driver asked the owner of the cafe/cantina and although he did not know of a resort he offered the boys to swim in the little courtyard pool. The boys were thrilled, that is until they got in and the water was FREEZING! Needless to say it was a short "wade" in the pool!
42: So long Ensenada. Thanks for a great day! | Baby tiger, shopping, silly pictures, tequila tasting, yummy lunch of Carne Asada tacos, enchilada's and shrimp fajitas a freezing cold swim and lots of great memories......
43: On Wednesday night after dinner we all headed over to the Queen Mary lounge to listen to our fellow passengers sing Karaoke. After a few singers had performed, quite well I might add, Daulton asked Mom to PLEASE go up and sing. Now it's important that you know Mom DOES NOT sing Karaoke. It's just not something she does. It makes her nervous and she just doesn't do it - well, that is until tonight. Daulton told her it would make his vacation so great and special if she would please go up and sing a song. So of course, she couldn't say no and be the reason his vacation wasn't GREAT. So up to the song book she went, nervous as all get out. Boy, it's not easy to find a song to sing when 10,000 songs are at your finger tips but after a few minutes THE song was chosen and waiting the waiting began. Mom was so nervous and every time the DJ called someone up to sing she hoped it was her and at the same time she hoped it wasn't. But finally it was her turn and she made her way up to the microphone to sing Queens "Crazy Little Thing Called Love". I'd like to say it was earth shatteringly good and record companies are lining up to sign Mom as the next BIG star but it was mostly in tune and Daulton & Justin were so proud of her and it's a night we will ALWAYS REMEMBER! June 1, 2011
44: Day three of the cruise was our only day at sea. Dad took his turn on the water slide and learned first hand the water is freezing and salty! But what a good sport you are dad!
45: Well, we've had two funtastic day's in Catalina and Ensenada and now it's day three and "time to party on the Lido deck". There was sun, music and dancing. Mom asked the boys to dance with her when the cruise directors taught line dances but they kindly passed - making faces of course! The boys played mini-golf, cruised around the ship and hit the arcade for a final round. Dad gave the water slide a try and then nestled into a lounge chair for some sun. Mom hung out in the shade (of course) and read her book. After lunch we went to the live art auction and enjoyed an afternoon of beautiful artwork. We are so thrilled about the pieces we bought on Tuesday at the lighting auction. See below, aren't they gorgeous?!! This is our first Peter Max (Love) and two new Gockel's to join our collection. The three of them will look fantastic in our living room. The boys enjoyed the auction and Daulton was inspired to draw for the rest of the afternoon. Justin joined in and quickly caught on to the auction idea asking for twenty-five cents per picture. I just love it! What a little entrepreneur!!!
46: The ship photographer came by every night while we were eating to take our pictures. I decided these were two of the best shots. These pictures were taken the first night - Daulton's birthday dinner.
47: We had early dinner seating at 6:00 pm in the Elation Dining room. We were seated at table 134 throughout the cruise. a nice inside table, with a beautiful ocean view.
48: I Made our wonderul dinner waiter (left) and Anton our fantastic towel animal making room steward (below) | Every night Anton surprised us with a new towel animal creation!
49: The last day of vacation is always the hardest. While we were waiting to disembark Papa taught Daulton & Justin how to play Black Jack. Justin also came up with his own game using two plastic drink glasses and a ping pong ball he found in Mom's purse. Mom's purse is just a mystery of goodies waiting to be found and turned into a game! | We were off the ship and in the van by 10:30 am and a short seven hours later we arrived home at 5:30 pm. And of course, the first thing the boys asked is if they could call Franklin, Stevie and Chris! | Pacifica or Bust!