I have returned from my week of the sea, the beach and now I'm back in reality. Sigh.
In short, I had a FABULOUS vacation, even though it started out on a sour note. My cruise -- which was expected to hit Grand Cayman and Ocho Rios, Jamaica -- had to be rerouted because of Hurricane Felix. The storm forced our fearless captain to change our route, so we went to Cozumel, Mexico and Freeport, Bahamas instead. I was a bit disappointed about the changes, since this is the second time my Travel Buddy and myself attempted to go to Jamaica. We tried to go there with a group in 2005, but the trip changed and we wound up going to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. I had a great time on that trip as well, but I can't help but desiring Jamaica even more. Sigh. I'll have to add that to my dream trip list, right up there with Egypt.
Anyway, this was the first cruise for TB and I. Day one we both showed up on the boat with a combined total of four hours of sleep and empty bellies. But we couldn't eat until the captain did a demonstration on the emergency exits and we returned our life jackets to safe places. Once we finally ate, we planned to take a little nap before we explored the boat. Well, what was planned to be a small, 1-hour nap, turned into a 11 hour slumber and we didn't wake up until early the next morning. Because we missed a series of announcements that first day, we spent much of the time not knowing what time we were supposed to eat in the dining room, that there was some kind of competition going on and which team we were on for the competition. Eventually, we got things together.
TB and I had been to Mexico before, although it was Puerto Vallarta instead of Cozumel. Cozumel is a mostly undeveloped island in the Carribbean with nice, sandy beaches. Our guide, Cesar, took us through the town, which was pretty much abandoned in the daylight (methinks this place is more of a nighttime spot) and it was filled with tons of shops and aggressive salesmen who chase people down the street to sell just about anything. We ate at a nice restaurant called Tiki Tok where I had the quesadilla of life and the main drag was filled with the American bastardizations of McDonald's, Blockbuster, etc. Cesar also hipped us to the beauty of black coral and ways that it can become this without hurting the environment, which is now making me regret not buying that heart-shaped ring one of the aggressives tried to sell me.
I don't have my Mexico pix developed yet (they're on the disposable camera), but I do have several of the Bahamas. That up top is me making my descent into the water at the Freeport beach. This is very significant because neither myself, nor TB, can swim. (I know, I know ... I should learn). Here are some more Bahamas pix:
Here's us setting up and getting ready for the water:
Me digging my toes in the sand:
One of the things that I got a kick out of on this cruise was the towel animals. Each night, we'd return to our room with a different animal made out of our towels and washcloths. It cracked me up! By the end of the week, we had three animals -- a elephant, a snail/squid and a walrus..... I think. I tried to get the animals in an erotic pose on the last day, but that didn't work out too well. (Hey, I get my kicks wherever I can!) Anyway, here's the animal art. Please let me know if the animals aren't what I say they are.
Even though I enjoyed my cruise, I think it will be several years before I take another one. I'd really just rather visit the individual cities/towns/islands etc instead of being trapped on a boat much of the time. I didn't get seasick at all, but I often went to portions of the boat where I could feel more movement than others and that was uncomfortable.
One of the best parts of the trips was karaoke and our DJ, "Kay", who hosted it. Kay was incredibly bland (think Ben Stein), except when the music came on. Then she would bust out notes like I never heard and occasionally chimed in as other folks were singing. It was hilarious. I only wished she cut off the chick who got up there to sing Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On." I mean, really .... who sings a song from 'Titanic' when they're on a cruise ship?? Sheesh.
Well, that's enough for now. I hope you all had good weeks!