Monday, April 28, 2014

Mexico, day 1

We left for the airport at 4 am.  which was awesome since Rick got off work at 2 am.  Just in time to shower and get the car packed up.  We flew from SLC to Denver, and then to Cancun.  We had a shuttle pick us up at the airport and take us 65 miles south to Bahia Principe with a quick stop at Sam's Club for groceries. Our poor shuttle driver could NOT find our exact condo after much conversation and questions.  We were finally dropped off at a beautiful condo complex where a handsome, non-English speaking worker directed us to a unit that was unfinished and still being painted.  UGH.  Finally, after dragging our luggage all over the resort, we found our unit and got settled in.  We explored just a bit and then settled in for a very early bedtime.  
At 11 pm there was much screaming.  I thought I was back in Seattle and just thought I was dreaming.
Rick checked things out and came running back into our room yelling, "there's a scorpion in the room with the girls."  OK, not a dream.  So, I grabbed my camera and ran to the action.
Rick threw his shoe at the scorpion. (edit:this is not how Rick remembers it)
Great.  Scorpion killed.
Not great.  baby scorpions running everywhere.

Cleaning up scorpions and documenting the whole experience on her phone.

Our first real meal in Mexico.  La Buena Vida.
It was good, really good, but still pretty American since it's a pretty touristy place.

Seriously good fish tacos.

This place is located right on the beach.  the view was breathtaking.

We were sitting at a table in the sand, up on a little ledge.
After we ate, we climbed a few stairs and were right on the beach, looking for shells.

This was our view on the roof of our condo.  Pretty sweet with a slight breeze.

Our mini pool in the backyard.

 Day 1:  a success.

Prom 2014

getting ready.  in the kitchen.  logical.

homemade hairdo.  homemade corsage.  fake eyelashes--not the $50 kind.
she ordered her dress online--easy!  homemade manicure.  shoes she already had.  homemade strapless bra.  so proud of Summer for not spending $$$$ like so many of the girls do. thank you!!

cute couple

Summer and Chandler were the very first couple at the Promanade.
This whole thing was new to me, but I drug Rick and Cole to the school to see the kids.
Luckily for us, they were first!!  And luckily for Cole and Rick I didn't make them stay to see the rest of the school.

"Mom, stop taking pictures, it's over!!"

they had a lot of fun.  as you can see.

2014 Choir Tour to Seattle

We left Maple Mountain High School at 4 pm on Wednesday.
It would have been sooner, but the buses got lost.
They used google to try to find the high school and ended up at the District offices.
It was an omen for things to come...
We made it to Boise at about midnight.
Then on to Seattle on Thursday morning.
First stop on Thursday evening:  Hard Rock Cafe

Friday, we did some sight seeing in Seattle.

Space Needle.   It was raining and cold!!

Near the Space Needle was an exhibit called the Music Experience Project.
It was fun.  We had about 90 minutes to enjoy a days worth of activities.

On to the gum wall.
I think this is disgusting and can't believe what a big deal people make of this.
Oh well, we used it to our advantage and Summer came up with a little plan to answer her date to Prom at the gum wall.  It took some planning to get everyone in the right place at the right time, but it turned out fun.

Placing the poster...

Oh surprise, look who just showed up to find his poster:  Chandler
"...I 'chews' Prom with you, love Summer..."

at the pier, where it was once again, rainy and cold

We took a ferry out to Teacum Island for a dinner and musical production.

They greeted us off the boat with some clam juice stuff.
It wasn't our favorite.
The meal was delicious, the entertainment:  lame.

The Chamber Singers sang at the Ebenezer AME Zion Church on Sunday morning.
It's a pretty lively group.  Pretty sure nobody falls asleep in that Worship Service.
They have all kinds of musical instruments as well as a Musical Worship Team.
Lots of singing, clapping, and dancing.  We fit right in.

They also served all 200 of us a fried chicken lunch after the service.
Very kind and generous people, that's for sure.

The Choir sang at a Cathedral on Saturday.  
It was a simple cathedral that is in use although it was never completely finished.
The acoustics were amazing even though I confess that I did fall asleep for a minute.  or 7.

We attended Sacrament Meeting at this Seattle North Stake Center.
It was a testimony meeting and to be honest, there is nothing better than a non-Utah testimony meeting.  You never know what you're gonna get.
And I bet they loved our 200+attendance boost at their meeting.

We came back to the Stake Center in the evening for a musical production that including gospel singers from the Ebenezer AME Zion Church (there were 3 members of that group that were LDS).
But, before the performance, we had to eat.  
They had made arrangements to pick up boxed lunches from Subway.  (otherwise, half the group would not eat because they refused to "go out to eat" on a Sunday.  yet, they were perfectly fine eating a boxed lunch that someone else purchased...yeah, I know)
So, we created A LOT of trash of this church.  One of the choir tour chaperones went to the kitchen to grab a garbage can like we always do.  Except in Seattle it's different.  The garbages are labeled according to what kind of trash:  Paper, Plastic, Other.
It didn't phase me, but this gal could not get beyond "trash is trash".
When she came rushing into the kitchen exclaiming, "we need a trash can" and the local ladies said, "what kind of trash?" Tour chaperone girl was so confused.  And she was so rushed, she couldn't slow down to understand the conversation she was having.  She ended up storming out of the kitchen without a trash.  Then, the local ladies wheeled all of the different garbage cans out to the cultural hall and instructed the kids on what trash was what.  Kinda funny.

On Sunday evening we went to Snoqualmie Falls.
Again, rainy and cold.  But we braved the weather to get out and stretch and get some fun pictures.

Choir tour friends

Choir tour chaperone friends

Choir tour mom and daughter

Choir tour chaperones entertaining themselves during ANOTHER performance.

*the part of the tour that I didn't document with photos is the part that Rick calls "Puke Fest 2014"
True.  Some dumb mom sent their kid on choir tour that had the stomach flu.  I realize that they had spent $600 to go on tour, but it turned out awful.
I don't know the exact number of kids that were affected by the bug.  Maybe 10 to 12%
But, boy oh boy.  It was bad.  None of the adults got it.
But, when the kids got it, it hit immediately.  Not one single kid made it to the bathroom and that includes on the bus, and at the Spaghetti Factory--3 times!!
oh, those poor, poor servers.  We tipped heavily, but I'm not sure it was enough compensation!
None of my 5 girls got it.  I lectured them to not share drinks, food, or air of any of the other choir kids.  And it payed off.  They were great girls and none of them got sick.  One of the girls in Summer's group was feeling sick the first night, but we're not certain that it was the same thing.  So, we were very, very lucky.

*We also saw the Lion King on Saturday night.  But, it was right after Spaghetti Factory, we were running very late, and no pictures were taken.
*We went to Comedy Sports Bar on Thursday night.  It was fun.  Maybe even a highlight.
*We arrived back at MMHS at 4 am on Tuesday morning.  Great.  The kids were NOT excused from school that day.
Recovering from choir tour takes longer than the actual tour.