Sunday, September 27, 2015

Football Sunday

The day after returning from our Amazing Anniversary trip to Catalina, we got to cap off the weekend watching our boys play flag football.  Even Grandma and Grandpa stuck around a bit longer to enjoy the boys games.
First up and lined up, the Polar Bears were ready to rock and take home another win for the season.
Each week, Kellan showed more and more determination in his plays.

He's even go the "hurry up and wait" stance down.

So close, but they still got him.
Next up, the Dragons were in action to take home another win for the season.
Oliver was on fire, going for flags.
He got the flag, but the ref ran in front of me and the perfect shot.

Oliver has lazer focus and is lighting speed.  He also looks SO tall next to his opponent.

We had a great day on the field as the Polar Bears and Dragons took home another win to continue their undefeated streak.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Celebrating 11 Years with a Weekend of Adventure

For our 11th Anniversary, we got a wild hair and went to Catalina Island off the coast of California.  Typically, we do a quick weekend in Las Vegas for pool time, dinners and shows.  This year, we wanted to do something more active with our new found energy.  We have heard that Catalina is so much fun.  We flew Grandma down for a weekend of fun with the boys and we finally made Catalina happen.  

*Disclaimer - when you send two people on vacation with three cameras, there are bound to be tons of photos*

When you own your own business, work doesn't stop.
Hip, hip, hooray!
We're off to LA!
The Grand Canyon from the sky.  Someday, we'll take the boys there and see if from the ground.
After a quick Uber ride to the ferry landing, we arrived in time to catch an early ferry and head to Catalina.  We had to sit inside because the outside seating was full, but we arrived 2 hours early, so it was worth it.
We're finally here!
This is the ferry that so kindly gave us a ride to the island.
The town of Avalon.
As I had ventured off to use the restroom and take a few photos, I came back to find this tourist sitting with luggage.  I rescued him and helped him roll our bags to our hotel.

We hiked it out to our cute little boutique hotel, which was just up the hill from the main street.
We had a partial view room, which to us, was a full view room.  Sweet!
We were SO excited to finally be on Catalina Island.
Just down the hall from our room was the rooftop deck.
It was a bit early for dinner, so we headed out and enjoyed an appetizer and drink on the water.  We were officially in vacation mode.
Fruity drink?  Yes, Please!
We strolled around a bit to check things out.  The town of Avalon was fantastic.
It looked like the town ended at the Casino (round building that is not really a casino, but that's what they call it) but we walked down to check it out anyway.

What we found around the corner and about 1/2 mile away was the beach club.  We had officially found heaven.

The best Pina Colada that I've ever had!
Toes up?  We're in vacation mode!
Cheers to celebrating 11 years of marriage and a gorgeous island setting.
Give a couple of people a few beverages and a camera, everything seems photo worthy.  Even limes,
Next up, mixing the pina colada with some  fresh strawberry daiquiri for a bit of a Miami Vice.  Heaven in a glass!
Really, can it get much better than this?
We headed back to our room to get ready to go out for dinner.  We laid down just for a minute and woke up the next morning.  Oops!  I guess this Mom and Dad needed a bit of a break.  

Not only did we wake up the next morning but we woke up before the sun.
Instead of lounging around, we sprung up and went to photograph the sun rising.  This was the one time that I wished that I had a tri-pod.  Oh well, I know how to make do.

Keith admiring the sunrise.

Carrie with the sunrise.
Proof!  I can function before the sun comes up :)
Avalon was still sleepy as we strolled in search of breakfast.
For nearly 10 months, we have started nearly every morning with a protein shake.  For fun, we opted to go out for breakfast.  When our plates came, we were blown away!  Not only were the insanely huge, they were quite delicious too.

Once we finished our insane breakfast, we strolled out with our bellies full and aching.  We may have also talked about how we now remember why we don't start out days this way anymore.  UGH!
Once back at the hotel, it was a bit early yet, so Keith finished some work as we waited for the kayak stand to be open.
Straight up 9 AM - we headed out in our banana boat.
Here we are!  Fulfilling our desires for an active anniversary weekend.  First up, kayaking to the furthest allowable point which was 7 miles away.

We had seen this place online and it looked great.  After floating by, we decided that we had a much better place to stay.  The best quality of this place was that it was called Hamilton Cove.
Just keep paddling... Just keep padding...
Keith likes to tell people that I didn't paddle, I just worked on my tan.  He also thinks he's funny.  This lady paddled the entire way there and back.
We splurged on an underwater camera for our anniversary gift to each other.  It was SO much fun!!  Not only did we have something to take photos with underwater, but also while we were on the water.  We loved it!

There were TONS of fish!  It was hard to photograph them as we paddled by, but it was super fun to watch them swim below us.
The happy anniversary couple, kayaking our hearts out.  Eleven years of marriage and still glowing with happiness.
That point on the end is our destination.
Up there on that hill, Keith claimed that he saw a bison.  Yes, there are wild bison on the island.  I didn't believe him, so we paddled inland to check it out.  I did this with the small bet that if we got there and discovered that it was a rock, he was paddling me out of there.
There he was... the bison.  We could see him rutting around in the bush and his tail whipping side to side.  It's hard to see, but he's right in the middle to the left of the dark green bush.
A bit closer.  Look in the middle.  You can see his backside coming out of the bush.
So....  with the bet lost, we both paddled out of the cove and got back on track to our destination.
Keith and I being driven as we are, we couldn't just take for granted that this was the final destination.  We had to see what was on the other side.

What we found was a secluded beach that was a perfect place to park our kayak and have a picnic lunch.
It was great to be on land!
(the downside to a water camera is that it's hard to clear the lens smudges when you don't have a dry cloth)
It was great to have a few moments to relax on the beach before heading back.
Keith is not as fond of relaxing on the beach.  See how relaxed he is....  not so relaxed.  Eyes on the water, ready to roll out.
Ahhh....there is nothing like enjoying a peaceful beach with nothing but the sound of the waves.
Before heading back, we took a quick dip in the Pacific Ocean.  It wasn't too terribly cold, but it wasn't all to warm either.
Ahhhh.... refreshing!
Oh Happy Day!!!!
After a quick pick up of our picnic, we were ready to load up and head back.
7 miles done, 7 miles to go to head back.
On our way back, we were lucky enough to see a few sea lions soaking up the sun.
They were curious about us, but not too concerned.  One did slide into the water and swam past us as we paddled.  Apparently we weren't as fast as we had thought :)

Back at the beach, we bellied up to our new favorite bar for a refreshment.

There is nothing like having the time to sit and relax for as long as you would like with no interruptions.  Nobody needed a snack, a potty or to tell about their immediate thoughts.  We may have missed the boys but we we enjoyed having no one to care for but ourselves.
As I went out for a dip, Keith was left at the bar with the camera.  He took photos of a few of his favorite things.
Me :)
His beverage.
Then.... if I ever wondered what it was like to be photographed by the paparazzi, Keith took the opportunity to take on the roll.

Our favorite bar spot.
As the days were full and active, there was still time to relax on our rooftop patio before heading to dinner.
Eventually, we cleaned up and headed out.  On our way to dinner we stopped in a few shops where Keith serenaded anyone who would listen.
On Thursday night, we enjoyed dinner at the Italian place on the corner that we had planned to eat at the night before.  We had a very quaint seat right on the patio.  It was fantastic!
On Friday morning, it was September 25.  Eleven years prior we said "I Do" in front of our family and friends.  We have built an amazing life together and we are very excited to experience many many more years together.
First up, we each had some tasks to attend to.  This rooftop patio was becoming our favorite office setting.
On the morning of our anniversary, we checked something off of our list of things that we wanted to try, Stand Up Paddle Boarding (SUP).
It was FANTASTIC!!!  I LOVED it and it was my favorite activity of the weekend.
We paddled all over the area.

Keith did not share the love of paddle boarding like I did.  He spent a lot of time in the water instead of on his board.  He was a trooper and made the most of it, even if his sunglasses ended up in the bottom of the ocean.

It was fun to just float around and watch the fish down below.
Keith got a great photo of these fish.

As easy as it may look in photos, SUP isn't always easy.  Sometimes you run into buoys and can't help it.  Sometimes, you're husband thinks this is the funniest thing to happen all morning.  I guess he needs something to laugh at since he couldn't stand on his board long enough to run into anything ;)
Buoy bashing or not....  this girls off and paddling away.
It is quite difficult to take a selfie on SUP's, but we were determined to make it happen.

Finally, caught the fun on camera.

After an amazing morning of SUP, we took a short break and then geared up to zip line, another first for both of us.
Once Keith zipped across, he turned back to take this photo.
The guide told us, "take one confident step" and that's all it took to fly through the air.  I couldn't hesitate, because if I hesitated, I would probably still be standing on that platform.  With the words "one confident step" going through my head, I stepped off of the platform and sailed through the air.

It Was AWESOME!!!!! 
We both LOVED it!!!!!!!
We were SOOOO happy to be zip lining through the hills of Catalina.
At every station, the guide would connect us with three safety devices.
Saddled up and ready to ride!

Almost done and lovin' every minute of it!

Whew!  After a morning of SUP and an afternoon of zip lining, an evening of wine and cheese on our rooftop patio was a must on the agenda.
As if this wasn't enough fun, it was time to get dolled up and head out on the town for our anniversary dinner.
We headed out to Steve's Steakhouse for a celebratory dinner.
11 years and love is still in the air.
These coconut shrimp were suppose to be awesome.  They were awesome to pose with but not the best on earth.  Regardless, we still enjoyed them.
It was a gorgeous night on the water.
Happy Anniversary!!!!
The next morning, we were greeted by a huge cruise ship in the bay.

The town was quiet, but that was about to change as the cruise ship patrons embarked on Avalon.
The Good Stuff was definitely in Avalon.  We loved it here!
Since the town was buzzing with people, we took a walk down the coast where we happened upon Lovers Cove.  Quite appropriate for an anniversary celebration.

More than six signs that say "Danger Falling Rock".  I guess they are serious, the rocks do fall.

We still had a bit of time until our ferry ride back to LA, so we enjoyed one last beverage before heading out.

One last selfie before jumping on the ferry.
Thank you Catalina Island, we had an amazing weekend celebrating our anniversary.  In 11 years, this was our best anniversary celebration yet!

It was so good that I may have napped on the ferry ride back to LA.  Oops!
Isn't he cute and adorable, Mr Selfie lover himself :)

As we approach LA, our anniversary celebration comes to a close.  It was the best one yet and we have many more yet to come.
A HUGE amount of THANKS goes out to Grandma.  This trip wouldn't be possible without her help to come and stay with the boys.  As much as we appreciate it, we are suspicious that Grandma and the Boys may have nearly as much or more fun than we do.  As they should.  Love Ya, Grandma!
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