Vacation Slideshow

I know you all can't wait to hear about my faaaaabulous vacation. It was, in a word, fabulous (or since we visited Mexico, Fabulouso!). I thought about describing each activity of the vacation in excruciating detail as you watched the slideshow, but that seemed a little cruel, even for me. So instead I narrowed it down to just the highlights (plus the slideshow) with a little thing that I like to call "10 on Tuesday- Vacation edition".

One- This year we cruised for five days on the Carnival fun ship, the Holiday. People always ask me if the atmosphere on a Carnival ship is wild and crazy. I think somewhere along the way, Carnival got pegged as the floating frat party ship, but this is our second Carnival cruise, and I've not really seen that on either trip. Of course, our ship, the Holiday, is also the smallest ship in the fleet so there were a lot less people on board, thus less frat boys in general. We also cruised out of Mobile AL, so I think the number of hospitable southerners plus the lack of lines and crowds that you may find on larger ships, really made sailing quite enjoyable.

Two- I'd be lying if I said that one of the main reasons we picked a cruise wasn't the fabulous food. I LOVE cruise food! I love the fancy dining room food, I love the casual bistro buffet food, I love the 24 hour pizza and ice cream bar. (And unfortunately, judging by the fit of my clothes, all that food loves me too. I'm going to have to do some serious gym penance now that I'm back). Tony and I decided that we'd do the casual bistro buffet for breakfast and lunch and then the fancy 4 course dinner meal in the main dining hall. The first night I started with Beef and Barley Soup With Diced Root Vegetables, Filet Mignon with California Cabernet Sauce and Gorgonzola Butter, and finished with Decadence of Chocolate for dessert. The second night I had Mississippi Delta Prawns, Broiled Lobster Tail with Melted Butter and Banana Gateau for dessert. The third I had French Onion Soup, New York Sirloin Steak with Three Peppercorn Sauce, and Old Fashioned Apple Pie; the fourth was Tenderloin of Beef Wellington, and the fifth was Chateaubriand with Sauce Béarnaise. Are you hungry just thinking about it? You should be. It was food heaven! And the desserts! (Sigh). It's a good thing that I don't live on one of those ships...I'd be 400lbs in no time.

Three- We did try to work off some of that food by doing one of the ship's numerous activities-cha cha lessons! (I figured it would tie in well with all the Latin Dancing I had been doing). Tony was surprisingly good at the cha much so that I may look into trying to find some ballroom dancing classes for us back here on the mainland. (He was less than thrilled when I suggested that...that may be why he'd been holding out on me about his mad dancing skills previous to now. I'm on to him though). The boy can cha cha!

Four- We did the three reef snorkeling tour for our shore excursion in Cozumel. The guide took us out in what he referred to as the Mexican Titanic, and we visited three different reef spots. I actually think that there are nicer reefs in Jamaica and Hawaii, but the fish here were absolutely everywhere, and not at all afraid to swim right up next to you. We saw blue fish and yellow fish and striped fish and spotted fish (see the slideshow below). We saw an eel, a stingray, and a really big barracuda (Go on, sing it: "Ooooooh Bara-cuda!"). The guide also reported that there was a small shark down in one of the reef's crevices, but I couldn't get down to see it. Apparently I float like a cork, so try as I might, all the diving in the world could only get me down about six feet down before I rocketed back up towards the surface. At one point, I dove down and was fighting to stay below the surface, only to realize that my legs had actually surfaced already and my bottom half was out of the water completely, still kicking like crazy. I'm sure that was a lovely image for the other boaters.

Five- The only downside to the snorkeling was the occasional jellyfish. Growing up in Savannah, I am familiar with jellyfish. You swim, you get stung, you rub sand on it (peeing not necessary), and you go on with your life. These particular jellyfish were small- only about the size of half dollar coins, but they still packed a punch. It was like being stung by an underwater bee that 9 times out of 10, you never saw coming. I have welts on my knee, calf, wrist, and arm. Apparently jellyfish really like me too, because hardly anyone else in our snorkel party was stung. Lucky me. A week later, and I still have red spots where they got me. Despite the jellyfish, I highly recommend the snorkeling.

Six- I'm just throwing this one in as a quick shout out to the towel animals. Every night when the steward came in to turn down our covers and leave chocolate mints, he'd also assemble a towel animal. See the slideshow below for the rabbit and elephant. They do classes and sell books on the art of towel animals as one of the ship's activities, but I missed it because I got caught up in a book by the pool. My houseguests will have to suffer without towel animals for the at least the next year.

Seven- The weather was absolutely wonderful with the exception of some rough seas that actually kept us from docking at our second port of call, Calica/Playa del Carmen. We were supposed to dock at 7am on Thursday morning, but the port authority said that it was too rough to be safe, so they sent us back to Cozumel for a second day. We had planned to do a jungle ATV ride in Calica, but we were able to switch over to horseback riding through Mayan ruins, so it worked out well.

Eight- Speaking of horseback riding, it had been a little while since I had been on a horse. I took riding lessons when I was a kid, but that was probably 12 or 13 years ago, so I'm not sure how much of it stuck. No matter. The guide gave us a quick lesson in "kiss and kick", where you make the horse go by making kissing sounds and kicking him in the side. My horse and I got off to a bit of a rocky start when he decided that he would like to eat the leaves off of a low hanging tree instead of listening to my kissing and kicking instructions. See the picture of me on the horse in the tree? I'm actually in the tree...I had to lay down on the horse to get under some of the branches that he was so delightfully nibbling. Once we were on the trail though, we could gallop if we so chose. Apparently my horse only came in two gears- dead run or full stop. There was no in between. Needless to say, we did a lot of galloping. I passed most of the Mayan ruins at about 200mph. I dare say we have now qualified for Belmont.

Guide: Here we have the intricate carvings that signified the sacrificial alter of-
My horse: Whoosh!
Me: AAIEEEeeeeeee!
My horse: Heeheehee!

I'm proud to say that I managed to stay in the saddle despite the Mexican Mr. Ed's shenanigans. I'm paying for it now with my inner thigh muscles, but I stayed on. I guess all of those riding lessons when I was 13 paid off after all.

Nine- Speaking of the Mayans, did you know that the ancient Mayans used to play a game that was a lot like basketball, only the hoop was sideways instead of parallel to the floor? Each team had seven players and a captain, and the idea was to get the little leather ball through the hoop. Oh, and after the game, they'd decapitate the winning captain. Yes, the winning captain. It was such an honor to win, they would kill you once you did it. I guess chopping off your head idolizes you if you're an ancient Mayan. It brings a whole new meaning to "keeping your head in the game" doesn't it? Bah-dum-dum!

Ten- Here's the craziest thing about the trip- I still feel the boat moving even through I've been back for a few days now. I guess I got used to the boat rocking under my feet, because it's still doing it even though I have both feet planted back on Terra Firma. It's like a little piece of me is still on vacation. (Unfortunately, the rest of me is getting seasick at work).

So that's it! Enjoy the slideshow. It's my first one, so I hope it works. I was annoyed with it because some of the pictures weren't showing up earlier, but it looks like it is behaving itself now.

1 comment:

2girlsmom said...

Thank you for an opportunity to laugh out loud at your expense today. Love the snorkeling story!