Monthly Archives: February 2015

Gemma Rose

My friend Alex from work had her sweet baby girl, Gemma Rose, while we were on vacation and I was SO excited to get home and meet her!

How precious is she!

Congratulations to Alex and Eric and thanks for letting me get some sweet snuggles in with Gemma!


Hollywood, CA

After our cruise ended in Long Beach, we traveled up to Hollywood where we were going to spend the last few days of our vacation…

Bob and I with the skyline in the background

LA

We decided to do a tour of the Hollywood area to get an idea of the area and our first famous home was the former home of Wilt Chamberlain and is now owned by a famous record producer.

Scarlett Johansson’s house

One of these homes is Denzel Washington and Will Smith but I cannot remember whose was whose 🙂

We saw lots of fancy gates

These houses were literally hanging off of the hill!

Beverly Hills Hotel

We then went to Beverly Hills and Bob was in car heaven!  I pretty much snapped pictures of the cars that he pointed out…apparently this Bugatti Veyron is worth over 1 million dollars!

Polaris Slingshot

Beverly Hills

Lamborghini Aventador

Rodeo Drive

The Comedy Store where many famous comedians started out (like Eddie Murphy, Whoopi Goldberg, and Dave Chappel)

The Laugh Factory, another comedy show

More famous houses ( I think this might have been Cameron Diaz)

TCL Chinese Theater (more later)

We then got tickets to go to the filming of the Late Late Show at CBS Studios.  They were prefilming some segments in March that are guest hosted by Drew Carey!  They filmed two segments and we got to see Jane Lynch (from Glee) and Ben McKenzie (from the OC and Gotham) which was super neat!

That topped off our first full day in LA…

The next day we went to the Hollywood Museum, which we were both disappointed in.  They had mostly older generation Hollywood memorabilia, and very little that interested either of us.  This was a replica of the jail cell from Hannibal Lector with some original pieces in it.

Harry Potter costumes

Hunger Games costumes

Pee Wee Herman’s bike and suit

We then went to Madam Tussauds (because we were feeling touristy!)

Bob with Conan O’Brien

Uma Thurman

I thought it was fascinating how many hours (over 800) and dollars (upwards of $150,000!) and to learn the history of the museum.  The original Madame Tussaud created her first wax figure in 1777 and became famous throughout France for her death masks and wax figures.

Bob getting some pointers from Tiger

Kelly with Jennifer Lawrence

We then went back to the Chinese Theater which is famous for its cement handprints and footprints of celebrities in front of it.

I was excited to find the cast of Harry Potter 🙂

And we walked parts of the Hollywood Walk of Fame!  I did not realize that there were over 2,500 stars!

We walked down to the Capitol Records building

The Pantages Theater

Our next stop was to the Griffith Observatory, and we ended up waiting almost an hour for the shuttle to take us up!

At the top, we could barely make out Long Beach through the smog

But the observatory was gorgeous

Los Angeles

L.A. from the Observatory

The Hollywood sign is almost directly behind the observatory

Moon Rock in the museum

The Griffith Observatory at dusk (while we waited for the shuttle AGAIN)

Gorgeous sunset over Long Beach/L.A.

We took the subway back to Hollywood where we bought tickets to see American Sniper at the Chinese Theater

I really didn’t know what to expect of the theater inside, and I was so impressed!

The entryway was gorgeous as well….

Judy Garland’s original dress from The Wizard of Oz

We learned on Catalina Island that the same artist that did the Avalon Theater there did the Chinese Theater which was neat!

It was SO worth it to watch a movie at the Chinese Theater knowing that they do tons of movie premiere’s there!  And if you haven’t seen American Sniper, I would recommend going to it…a very powerful movie.

The next day we headed to the airport 5 hours early so we could stake out a place to watch the Packer vs. Seahawks game and obviously with that loss our trip ended on a sour note.  But we did have a fabulous trip and even that brutal loss couldn’t stifle the many memories we made!


Cruise Day 3-4 (Ensenada, Mexico)

Our next stop was at Ensenada, Mexico.  We had a tour set up to go to La Bufadora, which is about 45 minutes away from the port.  La Bufadora is a natural blowhole, which exists due to a cave in a crevice that fills with water due to the tide and as the water recedes air forces water into the air.

The waves hit this crevice and as it receded…

We sat and watched it for awhile…

The view was gorgeous

And we utilized my new remote again

And then we had to walk ‘the gauntlet’ back…about a half mile of shops where the owners met you in the road trying to get you into their shop!

I hated it…and stuck next to Bob the whole time.  We did eat the best churros that I have ever had in my whole life!  They were unbelievably amazing!

From there, we headed to Hotel Riviera del Pacifico which was a beautiful hotel built in 1930 during Prohibition for traveling Americans.

The hotel is now a museum and hosts different functions.

Mahogany, murals, the hotel was built with amazing materials

The gardens were gorgeous as well…

We walked downtown Ensenada a bit, and then headed back to the ship.  We found these statues at Three Heads Park by accident and found out they are of Mexican heroes.

Once again, we saw a beautiful sunset once onboard again

We enjoyed an empty ship for the better part of the evening 🙂

The middle of the ship has a gorgeous balconied area…

And enjoyed our favorite warm chocolate melting cake every night with dinner!

Our last day was spent at sea and we played lots of mini golf, went down the waterslides, spent lots of time in the hot tubs, and just soaked in the sun!


Cruise Day 1-2 (Catalina Island)

We had a 5 day cruise planned and were excited to board the Carnival Inspiration.

Bob was very excited for all of the food and I was ready for sun and relaxation!

Our first stop was to Catalina Island

Our ship had to anchor out in the bay and we ferried in

The seagulls were all over, and you had to be careful of your food because if you even turned your head they would swoop on in!

We went on a island tour that took us around to the different sites.  Here at the top of island you can see the bay and our ship.

Catalina Island

The cute downtown area

The famous Avalon Theater (originally built to be a casino, but has never been, and boasts a gorgeous theater and ballroom above)

The city nestled in the mountains

The Wrigley family originally ‘founded’ Catalina Island and brought it to be the tourist destination it is today.

We got to go inside of the famed theater

The acoustics were absolutely unbelievable and our guide was speaking without a microphone at the front of the theater and we could hear perfectly.  The acoustics for Radio City Hall were modeled after this theater!

The mermaid painting outside of the theater

Bob got me a remote for my camera that we put to use!

I was so excited to find this machine!

We headed back to the ship and watched the sun set behind the island.

This was one of Bob’s favorite parts of the ship!


Long Beach

We flew from Phoenix to Long Beach to start our vacation of just the two of us! We got in late Sunday night and made it to our hotel (we stayed on the Queen Mary)

The ship was an ocean liner from 1936 to 1967 and sailed for the military in WWII and is now permanently docked in Long Island.  She was converted to a hotel and tourist attraction and we had fun staying there!

Long Beach has a ‘passport’ bus that provides shuttles around the downtown area and it worked out great for us!

We headed down to the boardwalk the first morning for breakfast

We had some awesome cinnamon rolls on the boardwalk and just enjoyed the morning

Then we took an audio tour of the Queen Mary which both of us really enjoyed

The Queen Mary with our next ship, the Inspiration in the background

Long Beach, CA

Smokestack of the Queen Mary

The hallways were so long and they had done a beautiful job of restoring everything.  Our room was very big and comfy!

I liked seeing the infirmary and quarantine quarters in the bottom of the ship.

Bob of course liked the engine room the most

They built a little room and boardwalk that left the ship to view the propeller…Bob thought this was neat, but I was scared of it for some reason!

Our next adventure….


Arizona

We started off a wonderful vacation by flying to Phoenix to stay with Dave and Laurel in their vacation home for a few days.  We were so thankful for them to host us and for all of the fun activities!

We started our first day off by going to the Hole in the Rock which is a sandstone formation that sits virtually in the middle of the city.

Bob loves to pose for pictures…haha!

The back of the rock

Bob with his parents

Kelly & Bob

View through the Hole in the Rock

All 4 of us

I loved all of the Saguaro cactus scattering the hillside

Then we headed to the Desert Botanical Gardens which was beautiful

I am going to try to remember which types of cactus these all are…

Prickly Pear cactus

Toothpick cactus

Barrel cactus

Organ Pipe Cactus

Dave & Laurel

Saguaro Cactus

Closeup of a barrel cactus

Bob & Kelly

Then we headed to the Phoenix Zoo to see their Zoo lights.  The Zoo puts up almost 4 million lights, and it is absolutely beautiful!  Bob is such a ‘lights’ guy and loved every minute of it!

Every tree (and cactus) was wrapped in thousands of LED lights

There were different animal displays and this one with bears and honey bees was my favorite!

Seriously gorgeous

The next day we headed to the White Tank Regional Park and went on a few different hikes.

On our first hike there were some petroglyphs on a few of the rocks which was neat to see!

Bob finds a rock, he climbs it

Our first stop was Waterfall Canyon (which only has a waterfall after a big rain comes through) but was beautiful nonetheless

Dave & Laurel

Bob & Kelly

Paddle Cactus

Our next hike took us to the top of one of the mountains

The view was beautiful

It was so nice having an extra person to take pictures for us and I knew that the rest of the trip was NOT going to yield the same amount of pictures together

We mini golfed the next day at a really cool place that had two 18 hole courses

Each hole was so neat! (and Dave won one round and I think Bob won another)

We had such a fun and relaxing time in Phoenix but were excited for our next stop…Long Beach, CA!