Mateo had a great time celebrating his Batman/Super-hero themed party. Mom outdid herself finding all manner of Batman-related decorations. Family came on down for have fun in the backyard playing sports, jumping in the bouncy house, hitting the Pinata, and eating BBQ.
The two Justin’s even got in on the super-hero gig and dressed up like the dynamic duo which Mateo had a blast running around with. All in all it was great fun and we were blessed to have so many come down and enjoy the festivities with our son. I can’t wait to see what the theme will be next year.
We headed south for the weekend to celebrate Norma’s birthday and do some sightseeing down at our nation’s capital. Being that it is only 4.5 hours away, it was just at a good distance away for a half day’s drive. We tried to cram in as many sites as possible that Mateo’s and Mommy’s little feet could bear with all the walking that was required. Here are the highlights:
Day 1 – Friday
We arrived around 3pm and checked into the Hilton in Old Town, Alexandria. Great location with tons of shops, restaurants, and a waterfront all down King st. I wanted to show Norma the best that exemplifies the Marine Corps – so we took the metro over to Marine Barracks at 8th & I to catch the summer-only Friday evening parade. We didn’t have a reservation but met a really nice Staff Seargent decked out in his Dress Blues at the entrance that gave us free tickets so we didn’t have to chance it in the General Admission line. We chatted up with an old Korea-era vet while waiting for the parade to start, hoping the forecast for rain wouldn’t come true. We got to hear some great marches and standards by the Marine Drum & Bugle Corps and the Presiden’t Own Band after which time Company A and B filed out in prep for the finale of the Silent Drill Team when the rain started coming down pretty good. They cut short the parade and didn’t get a chance to see the drill team but we had a blast anyway.
Day 2 – Saturday
We started the day with room service for breakfast and then headed out early to head out for our main day of sightseeing. Our first stop was the National Museum of Natural History which Mateo loved, especially the dinosaur and mammals sections. He even got to see a live tarantula feeding which scared the beejubus out of Norma. We ate lunch at the museum then headed out to see the Washington Monument and then took a short stroll north to pose in front of the White House and fist-bump Obama. Norma wore the wrong shoes so her feet were on-fire right about then due to all the walking we did, so we snuck a cab to head over to the Capital posing for pics and then a shorter stroll over to the National Archives and see the real-deal copies of the Constitution and Declaration of Independence.
We were pooped and then headed back to the hotel to relax for bit before going out to dinner down at the Charthouse on the Potomac waterfront. We ate well and celebrated with a birthday chocolate lava cake for Norma before heading back home on the Trolley and calling it a night.
Day 3 – Sunday
I think everyone was sore from all the previous day’s walking, so we got up a little later and found a cute diner in Old Town, Alexandria to eat breakfast. We headed out for the last bit of sightseeing at the Lincoln Memorial and Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial towards the west side of the National Mall. There were lots of people but we got some great photos of the memorials and of the long length of the mall.
It was a great birthday weekend from start to end. Sore feet and all, there was so much to do – really almost too much to do, that we will probably be back one day to get a chance to see more wonderful sights and history.
More pics here in the gallery.Read More
We had a lazy Sunday morning and decided on a spur to head out and catch our first real sightseeing trip to go see the Statue of Liberty. We took the lightrail down instead of driving all the way to the park but didn’t realize the train station drops you off 2miles away from the boat launch. But we got it sorted and had fun taking the quick boat-ride to Liberty Island to do some sight-seeing.Read More
The last two days were calm and relaxing sea days back home to NYC. We had lots of relaxing time winding down from our port of calls walking around the ship, playing bingo, going to the pool and most importantly – getting Mateo’s sign-book autographed with all the Disney characters we visited.
There was one more theme dinner for a dress-up night and the last theme-breakfast where all the Disney characters come around to your table if you had not had a chance to see them throughout your visit.
The trip was not just one of the best family vacations we’ve ever done, but one of the best overall. Disney thinks of absolutely everything and there are enough family and adult-only activities that we never struggled to find something to do that was of interest to all. Mateo especially had a time to remember and his constant smile and laugh were all we needed to know if it was worth the trip. We loved it so much we signed up for another cruise for the same time next year :)
More pictures than what was posted here on the blog are at our photo gallery.Read More
So began the busiest portion of our cruise with 3 straight days of Port o’ Calls. We started with a stop at the Bahamas were we decided to visit the Atlantis mega-resort complex to see the Aquarium, beaches & pools. While the resort was gorgeous to look at – it was a pretty crowded affair. We broke off from our tour and decided to go it alone and had a great time seeing the sights at our own pace.
The first sea day began getting familiar with the ship layout and finding our way to the breakfast buffet as the ship made its way down to the Caribbean. Weather was great with not much movement of the boat, but Mommy felt a little queasy later on in the day. Mateo got to check himself into the Kid’s Club and started to make new friends abound. 3 years old is the earliest club age so we were worried about potty time on his own, but he did great the whole time. The highlight was obviously the pool. Not much can be said for a 3-year old and a pool:) Can you tell how happy he was by the photos?? LOL
Daddy woke up early on the second day to take pictures of the Atlantic Ocean and practice his photography while Mateo and Mommy slept in. Lunch is a free-for-all to whichever restaurant you choose or eating at the pool deck for quick bites. Dinner on the other hand was predefined according to our schedule and the great thing about Disney is that your servers follow you from restaurant to restaurant every night and get to know your likes/dislikes.
The second sea day was also “Formal” night so the whole family got dressed up to the nines and we went around looking dapper in our tuxes and elegant in Mommy’s dress to meet some Disney characters prior to eating dinner. Lots of families were dressed up and we made good friends all around.