After 2.5 years living in America we left it for the first time to not to go to Germany, but for Mexico.
Because we love city trips and this is not so easy to pull off with a very energetic toddler, we were thinking taking a cruise. I spent a lot of time searching for cruises and read a lot of reviews and found out that cruises can be one of the best and cheapest vacations you can do besides going camping and road tripping while staying in motels.
It took me about 2 weeks til I found a 4 days cruise with Royal Caribbean to Baja Mexico and flights with Alaska Air and later added a hotel via Priceline for Los Angeles and also Long Beach for the days before and after the cruise.
On Saturday morning (April 28th) we left Seattle with 2 suitcases and 2 large bags. The flight went pretty smooth, reasonably on time, which is not always common and our rental car came this navigation system. Our hotel in Beverly Hills was also very practical and nice. We spent Saturday afternoon on the UCLA campus in Westwood where I lived in the dorm and took International Communications in 1999. After that we went to my favorite attraction in LA - the Ghetty Center.
On Sunday we went shopping and walking the boardwalk in Santa Monica, spent some time in the hotel pool, drove to Melrose Place to find my favorite restaurant back in 1999 which I forgot the name, but unfortunately it was closed down. We went to Hollywood Blvd. looked at Hollywood's Walk of fame and the hand and foot prints in front of the Chinese Theater and also to Griffith Park. We had a super fun, but long day.
On Monday we went to Port San Pedro. Check in went super fast and from then on, it was time to eat very tasty food (buffet, menu, midnight snack, pizza, etc.) all around the clock. The ship was very nice and the evening entertainment varied with great shows in the theater. It was a very pleasant vacation. The only downside was that our cabin was quite small with twin beds and an ugly one piece bathroom. But we tried to avoid staying in the cabin besides for sleeping, so it was okay.
Our son also liked it, especially the tiny TV in the cabin and the elevators. Everywhere we went people smiled at him and after 3 days many passengers knew his name. We could not even remember we met all these people before, but with 2600 passengers it's not really surprising. Every day we were in a different port (San Diego, Catalina and Ensenada) going for a stroll, a wine tours, a ride in the golf cart through Catalina. There was always something new to explore.
On Friday we returned to Long Beach where we spent one night in the fancy Hyatt right on the water, next to the cruise ship port and went to the harbor, pier, WalMart, got pizza, a picnic and played in the warm to celebrate the end of a very nice vacation.
Optimistic, curious, human bee.