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Our Vacations

Vacations are such a fun time to get away and visit new places. As such, we try to take lots of pictures, but have found that the stories about the trips are often just as interesting and necessary as the pictures. Many of our vacations are cruises, so we have begun to emphasize what we do, rather than what the ship looks like.

17 November - 22 November
Cabo San Lucas

With our house being remodeled, we needed this getaway trip to retain our sanity. The only stop was in Cabo San Lucas and we did take an excursion to the Hotel California in Todos Santos.

Our cabin was a balcony on the stern of the Crown Princess. This is a morning view from our cabin while docked in Cabo San Lucas.

CITY VISITED

Cabo San Lucas
14 June - 2 July

June 2016 trip mapCraig & Patty's nephew was getting married in Chicago and we decided to make a cross-country trip to attend the wedding - it was a great affair. The trip took over 7600 miles on Dreamweaver II - bringing her milage in six months of ownership up over 18,000 miles. There are certainly a lot more superchargers around than when we came this way two years ago.

On the way we stopped off in Fredericksburg, TX to visit our friends Nora and Rob. We visited their properties and stopped at the LBJ Ranch. Then it was on to Indianapolis, where we met up with our friend Ellen and the three of us set off for the wedding in Chicago.

We all has lots of fun on the hop-on-hop-off city bus tour, using it to get all over the city. The wedding was spectactularly held in Cafe Brauer, inside Lincoln Park. The following day all the attendees were invited on an architectural boat tour of Chicago.

Then it was back to Indianapolis, where Patty stayed on with Ellen and Craig set out alone for a visit to a friend in Bozemen, MT and another friend in St. George, UT, who he met on the previous trip around the country.

CITIES VISITED

Fredricksburg, TX; Indianapolis, IN; Chicago, IL; Bozeman, MT; St. George, UT
1May - 7 May
Newport Harbor

Ok, so this isn't a picture of Dana Point, but Newport Beach. Well ... we went to several cities along the coast of Orange County, CA. This composite picture, taken on the Balboa ferry, crossing from Balboa Island to the Newport peninsula, includes Marilyn & Patty, Mike & Craig, a seal swimming in the harbor, and the famous Newport Beach Ferris Wheel.

This was a short get-away trip for old friends who used to work together. Marilyn had never been to this part of Southern California and we certainly kept her busy.

CITIES VISITED

Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, Dana Point, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano
14 April - 19 April
Epcot Ball at night

Orlando, Florida is one of the most popular vacation destinations in the U.S. Most of the reason is the Theme Parks there. We went specifically to see Disney World and Universal Studios - Harry Potter World.

We went only to the Epcot Center Park in Disney World - and the famous ball marking the entrance is shown at night.

Two days were spent in Universal Studios, because the Harry Potter worlds are part of two different parks. The Hogwarts Express is the ride that links the two parks - Diagon Alley and the Hogwart's castle - and the effort to make this all seem like a world separate from our own is really spectacular.

Entering is done from a British street - where the Knight Bus is located - through a broken stone wall that empties into the Wizard World of Diagon Alley.

The Hogwarts Express takes you from Diagon Alley to the town of Hogsmeade, where you walk through to get to Hogwarts Castle and other park rides beyond.

30 December - 12 January

Hoover Dam & Lake MeadDreamWeaver II made a couple of trips to Las Vegas - first to take Craig and Mario over there for a few days, then for Patty to make a week's visit and meet her friend Ellen there. As you know from our recent Events, Ellen's husband Harry recently passed away and this was a chance for Ellen to change her routine and visit an old friend in St. George.

We also got a chance to travel to Zion National Park and Hoover Dam. Note just how low the water line is for Lake Mead in the photo to the right. Drought conditions in the West are a continuing worry.

CITIES VISITED

Las Vegas, NV; St. George, UT; Zion National Park; Hoover Dam
16 November - 20 November

Patty & Mario in AvalonWe were beginning to really need some vacation time away and this short coastal cruise had some really good prices. Everything seemed to fit and our friend Mario agreed to join us for some time at sea.

We didn't go far the first night - just 26 miles across the sea - but Patty and Craig had never been to Avalon together. Since Craig was pretty sick, they still haven't, but Patty and Mario got to spend the day ashore.

room companionCraig got to stay on board with his room companion.

CITIES VISITED

Avalon, Catalina, CA; Ensenada, MX
February 2015 - Patty's 4-Day Cruise
2 February - 6 February 2015

Patty and VanessaOur first extended road trip - below - was such a success we had to try another, shorter, trip to visit friends and relatives on the West Coast, before Patty's sabbatical from work ended.

This trip was much more relaxed, both because we have previously been to all the places we were going and because it was only going to be about two weeks. The thing is, we hadn't driven to some of these places before and the driving was a good part of the experience.

Of course we had to start by seeing C.J., Olivia, and our grandson Caleb.

Follow along with us on our blog by clicking on the map to the right. Remember blogs have the latest entry first, so scroll down to the bottom to start the journey.

7 December - 15 December 2014
Skywalk from below

Last cruise where Patty worked for Princess was on the newest ship - the Regal Princess.

CITIES VISITED

Ft. Lauderdale, St. Thomas, St. Maarten
November 2014 - Craig's 3-Day Cruise
7 November - 10 November 2014
Mario in Ensenada

Patty has taken several 'girls only' cruises and it seemed only fair that Craig go on one - a three day cruise stopping in Ensenada, Mexico - just enough time to want more.

Craig and Mario set off on a Friday afternoon, to return Monday morning. Shopping wasn't high on our list of things to do, but we did examine every part of the ship before the first day ended. It seems 3-day cruises are noted for their drinking and gambling - several people we met bought the 'unlimited drinks' card and were settling in to take full advantage of it.

As far as gambling went, Mario did spend time at the poker table and pretty much paid for the expenses he incurred during the cruise.

In Ensenada we walked all over the city, stopping for lunch in a little local spot where Craig took this picture of Mario - settled in with beer (not seen) in hand.

Truly this was a relaxation cruise, where no one could contact us by cell phone and we could make our own itinerary anew every day.

11 October - 18 October

Golden Patty, her friends Kelly and Vanessa, and Vanessa's cousin from England, took a week to relax and see the California coast. It was nothing we couldn't drive to, but it was fun to have someone else at the controls and the girls could just do their own thing.

 

CITIES VISITED

San Francisco, Santa Barbara, San Diego, and Ensenada
2 August - 16 August 2014

Northwest road trip mapOur first extended road trip - below - was such a success we had to try another, shorter, trip to visit friends and relatives on the West Coast, before Patty's sabbatical from work ended.

This trip was much more relaxed, both because we have previously been to all the places we were going and because it was only going to be about two weeks. The thing is, we hadn't driven to some of these places before and the driving was a good part of the experience.

Of course we had to start by seeing C.J., Olivia, and our grandson Caleb.

Follow along with us on our blog by clicking on the map to the right. Remember blogs have the latest entry first, so scroll down to the bottom to start the journey.

19 May - 1 July 2014

Tesla road trip mapWe took the first cross-country auto road trip of our marriage - at the same time we started a blog for the first time. We had many unexpected situations over our time on-the-road.

All those little red dots on the map indicate Tesla Supercharger locations - where we can recharge our car in 20 min to a little over an hour - making this electric trip across the country possible. Well, we don't have them available everywhere we go, so we had to plan on stops of 5-7 hours when we were 'in the wild'. On this vacation patience was truly a virtue.

The people we met were simply incredible. Contrary to news reports, people everywhere are ready to help and generous beyond belief. You want to restore your faith in America? - then take a road trip across it. Craig was in charge of making sure we got there and Patty was in charge of making sure we had fun while doing it. This sometimes caused tension, but it resulted in a fantastic adventure.

The trip was better than we ever hoped it would be. Thanks for joining us here and thanks for your comments. To relive anything visit the blog by clicking on the picture at the left. Remember blogs have the latest entry first, so scroll down to the bottom to start the journey.

29 December - 5 January 2014
New Year's Eve - Patty & Craig
Patty & Ellen

We haven't been able to travel with our 'cruise buddies', Harry & Ellen, since 2009 and this cruise was so much fun because they were along.

 We hardly left the ship in seven days and had absolutely no excursions planned - except to pick up alcohol at Wal-Mart in Puerto Vallarta - now there is an oxy-moron.

This was a Happy New Year cruise for all of us.

CITIES VISITED

Puerto Vallarta, Cabo San Lucas, and Ensenada
November 2013 - Caribbean
19 November - 29 November
Emerald Princess in Grenada

Craig had never been to the Southern Caribbean and the season there was just starting, so we went. This was an extremely relaxing cruise - except for the excursions - and part of that was not trying to get a picture of everything we did and every place we went. The result is a shorter recording of our trip, but every day was a day of rest.

Here you can see the Emerald Princess docked in Grenada.

CITIES VISITED

Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas; Roseau, Dominica; St. Georges, Grenada; Kralendijk, Bonaire; Oranjestad, Aruba
8 August - 18 August

As cruise junkies go, we were really needing a fix. The 10 day Alaska cruise out of San Francisco seemed perfect - short distance by air (a real consideration now-a-days) - and lots of sea days.

The only new port for us this cruise was Haines, Alaska. This is where we took most of our pictures. However, this cruise was also an Art Appreciation Cruise - meaning we had four artists on board and they treated us to sessions where they painted pictures later sold at auction. This was a new experience for us and we took full advantage.

CITIES VISITED

San Francisco, California; Ketchikan, Glacier Bay, Haines, Juneau, Alaska; Victoria, B.C.
5 December - 19 December

Cruising and ziplining - that's what this cruise was all about.

Patty ziplining 2

Craig had just passed his 70th birthday and the new Tesla was still a month away. We needed time to just relax and not worry about any excursions - just pampering.

We had never been ziplining - this was to be a first.

26 August - 2 September

Vern, Pat, and Patty left Seattle together to get a 'girl's eye view of Alaska on the Star Princess. Vern wanted a dry-run for the next year when she would take her parents on their first ever cruise to this part of the country, Pat was just winding down from years of acting in road shows across the entire country, and Patty just wanted time with her close friends.  

While Patty had been to the Mendenhall Glacier before, none of them had approached it by boat.

Click on the picture to see more of what they saw on this cruise. There isn't much to say, so their story is primarily what they saw and how they enjoyed each other throughout the week.

CITIES VISITED

Seattle, Washington; Ketchikan, Tracy Arm Glacier, Juneau, Skagway, Alaska; Victoria, B.C.
11 December - 18 December

This year our Christmas getaway cruise was again Mexico, but - since Princess temporarily stopped going to Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta because of civil issues - we only stopped at Ensenada and Cabo San Lucas with our friend Mario Rodriguez. Since we were going to stay overnight in Cabo, we decided to spend the night in a timeshare we had access to, instead of remaining on the ship. This made this a unique trip.

Here we see Mario, standing by the Blowhole located south of Ensenada, Mexico.

CITIES VISITED

Ensenada and Cabo San Lucas
10 November - 17 November

This year we decided to revisit our timeshare in Hawaii. We were going to take a week off from travelling and go back to one of our favorite places in the world - Kauai, Hawaii.

earth map of Kauai
30 May - 9 June

This was a Patty and Craig 'only' cruise vacation. No family, no friends, just the two of us. Would we make it through the entire cruise? You will have to look at the pictures to find out.

We decided to travel to San Francisco the day before the cruise and stay overnight at the Mark Hopkins on Nob Hill. We could see both the Golden Gate and our ship from the hotel.

Most cruises start in Seattle, Wash. Vancouver, Canada, or in Alaska. This was a 10 day adventure that started and ended in San Francisco. Northern California residents love this cruise as it means they don't have to deal with any airports, so 'locals' filled the Sea Princess.

CITIES VISITED

San Francisco, Calif; Juneau, Alaska; Skagway, Alaska; Glacier Bay, Alaska; Ketchikan, Alaska; Victoria, B.C.
5 December - 12 December

Patty's friend Vanessa invited Patty and Danielle to join her, and friend Sandy on a Girl's Only cruise to the Southern Caribbean. There were three islands Patty had never visited - Bonaire, Grenada, and Dominica and special tours were planned for these stops. In Bonaire Patty & Danielle went bicycle riding; reprising their rides on the British Isles cruise. In Grenada all four indulged in inner tubing down some rapids. They took an extended trip deep into a rainforest in Dominica and wound up with a BOSS underwater ride in St. Thomas - a repeat of the June cruise for Patty.

The girls didn't have a lot to say about this vacation, but we do have pictures and they are fun to look at.

CITIES VISITED

San Juan, Puerto Rico; Oranjestad, Aruba; Kralendijk, Bonaire; St. Georges, Grenada; Roseau, Dominica; St Thomas, U.S.V.I.
23 June - 5 July

CITIES VISITED

Hamilton and St. George, Bermuda; San Juan, Puerto Rico; Charlotte Amalie, St Thomas, U.S.V.I.; Cockburn Town, Grand Turk; New York, USA

Patty has been trying for years to get a girlfriend - Lisa - to try cruising. Finally Lisa agreed to join us on a Caribbean Cruise starting in New York (Lisa lives on Long Island). This nine day cruise stopped at three destinations we had never cruised to: Bermuda, Puerto Rico, and Grand Turk. Lisa was joined by her son Frankie and her parents, while our daughter Julie and her husband Matt also took this time to get away. Four of us stayed over in Manhattan after the cruise and took in the 4th of July fireworks over the Hudson River.

November 2009 - Mexico
7 November - 14 November

Group at Dinner This relaxing Mexico trip had special significance. In October 2002 we took a Mexico trip where we met Harry and Ellen and also Jeff and Sherry. We have become best cruise 'buddies' with Harry and Ellen and on this cruise Jeff and Sherry joined us for the reunion tour. This was not about where we were going, but who we were going with and we really enjoyed each other's company once again.

The first time we braved a following hurricane - the water spouts viewed from a stern suite were spectacular - and kept an eye out for submarines. This time the balcony time was mostly spent by Harry and Jeff smoking cigars.

This was the first time Harry and Ellen had travelled on a large cruise ship (Sapphire Princess) and we made sure we visited all the different dining rooms on board.

19 June - 7 July

CITIES VISITED

St Peter Port, Guernsey in the Channel Islands; Cork, Ireland; Dublin, Ireland; Liverpool, England; Belfast, Ireland; Glasgow, Scotland; Inverness, Scotland; Edinburgh, Scotland; Paris, France

One of Patty's dreams has been to take our family on a cruise of the British Isles and we were able to make it happen, at least with our two daughters, this year. It was a fantastic trip and we had only one-half day of rain - that when we were at sea. The hardest thing about the trip was that we had 9 ports (10 if you count Southampton, England) in 12 days. At least Patty and Craig had the opportunity to travel six days from New York to Southamption on the QM2 before starting the Princess cruise.

22 November - 29 November

CITIES VISITED

Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, and Cabo San Lucas

It turns out Mexico is our get-away cruise, when we are tired of the routine and a cruise is needed. This time Craig's cousin Fred Wood and his wife Lisa joined the party. Since we have been on this itinerary several times we didn't take many pictures. However, we did have a spectacular - once in a lifetime - encounter with whales and we did get pictures of that.

22 May - 27 May

CITIES VISITED

Halifax, Nova Scotia; Boston, MA; New York, NY

t has been years since Danielle has cruised with us and she had never been on the Queen Mary 2. This was also a chance to visit Danielle's grandmother one last time in Woburn, just outside of Boston. Danielle's friend Ezekiel joined us on the cruise and then Danielle stayed on in NYC, while Patty visited her friend Lisa on Long Island.

2 Dec - 10 Dec

CITIES VISITED

St Maarteen; St. Thomas, V.I.; Miami, Fla

We have been trying to cruise again with Mike and Marilyn for several years now. Finally we were able to get our schedules together and this was truely a getaway vacation. We had all been to these ports together before, so there was no pressure to see anything new or push ourselves in any way. The ship - Caribbean Princess - was the only thing new to us all.

13 May - 28 May

CITIES VISITED

Hawaii (Hilo & Kona), Oahu (Honolulu), Kaui (Lihue, Hanalei), Maui (Lahaina)

This vacation was different - we first sailed for 5 days to get to Hawaii, then toured 4 of the islands, then sailed for 5 days back to Ensenada and Los Angeles. Six of us went as a group: Craig & Patty, Harry & Ellen, Pat Sibley, and Jo Klein. The first leg of the journey we unwound, then we got to tour the islands, and finally we were complete vegetables on the return voyage.

20 December - 27 December

CITIES VISITED

Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan, and Puerto Vallarta

This was intended to be a family holiday cruise. As it turned out Patty, Craig, and Julie were the family; along with Patty's friend Linda D. Neither Julie, nor Linda had been on a cruise before and showing them around was a lot of fun.

17 August - 25 August

CITIES VISITED

New York, New York; Southampton, England; Hamburg, Germany

This tour was about the ship, not the destinations, although we did have fun in England and Germany. The Queen Mary 2 advertises itself as an ocean liner, not a cruise ship. It is designed for rough Atlantic seas, however, our trip was as smooth as glass and we probably could have made it in a 35' sailboat. Come get acquainted with the six of us traveling in this luxurious ship.

4 March - 25 March

CITIES VISITED

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Iguaçu {Iguazu} Falls, Brazil & Argentina; Buenos Aries, Puerto Madryn, Ushuaia, Argentina; Montevideo, Uruguay; Stanley, Falkland Islands; Punta Arenas, Puerto Montt, Santiago, Chile - plus the Amalia Glacier in Chile

Patty and Craig toured Rio de Janeiro, Brazil then traveled to Iguaçu Falls before arriving in Buenos Aires, Argentina to start the cruise. Harry and Ellen joined us there for the 14 day cruise around Cape Horn. We stayed two days in Santiago, Chile before flying home.

31 August - 27 September

CITIES VISITED

London; Vigo, Spain; Lisbon, Portugal; La Rochelle, France; Portsmouth, England; Cork, Ireland; Dublin, Ireland; Torshaven, Faroe Islands; Reykjavik, Iceland; Prins Christian Sund, Greenland; Qaqortog, Greenland; St. Johns, Newfoundland, Canada; New York

Patty and Craig cruised the European-Atlantic coast and then crossed to New York via the north Atlantic. The cruise took 21 days with 2 extra days in London at the beginning and 3 days in New York at the end. Craig drove to New Hampshire to visit relatives.

7 May - 14 May

CITIES VISITED

Seattle, Washington; Juneau, Alaska; Skagway, Alaska; Tracy Arm glacier; Ketchikan, Alaska; Victoria, Canada

Craig and C.J. cruised Alaska - beginning and ending in Seattle, Washington. It was a seven day cruise and included attempting to sail to a glacier.