I just have so many picturesand memories about our Christmas cruise that I thought I'd write a bit more aboutMexico,beautiful and edgy, a little scary maybe. I didn't get a picture of it, but there were check points with men with guns that were checking people as they drove into Cozumel. But, what is lifewithout a little adventure and excitement, I actually saw men carrying guns in NYC so, we aren't that different!
Our trip began with sailing into the harbor and getting on the Vomitorium, our ferry boat ride from the ship to Cozumel. Here you can see people have already bailed to go upstairs, cause that was supposed to be better, but for me it was not! Anyway, that trip quickly forgotten, we arrived at Cozumel and met our tour guides which made us stick close togetherwith absolutely no shopping time and off we headed to catch our bus for a 1 hour ride. This is where we were allowed to go through the check points with guns.
After arriving at Tulum for the ruins, we were led to a small opening in the rocks which led to the wide openness of the ruins, which must have added to the drama of the religious events that took place there long ago. The dramatic structures and their mysterious meanings behind the sculptures and placements of the buildings Then the beautiful ocean that stands behind the ruins is the perfect backdrop.
After the ruins we were brought a ways from there to a restaurant on the beach. They catch some of their water and have a unique outdoor bathroom.
Then it was back to the ferry where all were dreading the Vomitorium. But, NOTE TO FUTURE FERRY RIDERS: ALWAYS GO ON A FERRY BOAT WITH A CATAMARAN HULL. I don't know, but the "expert" on board said it rides the wave a lot more stably than a regular boat. My lack of sickness sure spoke volumes on that.
Back to our home away from home, The Mariner of the Seas, where even the crew in the bowels of the boat got into the Christmas spirit.
Vacation can be wonderful but, travel can be hell! If only we could wake up and be at our destination all settled in with clothes unpacked and hung up. But, alas, like a quilt it's never anything you can do in a hurry, as much as you really want to do in a hurry, I guess. So after FOURTEEN HOURS of drive time in the car, we made it to Port Canaveral, Florida. We did have our dead body carrier which elicits stares and jokes wherever we drove. This carrier makes it roomier in the car. Note to future cruise travelers ALL YOU NEED TO BRING IS ONE GIGANTIC SUIT CASE. We over packed bringing the kitchen sink of clothiers in too many bags. Chelsea was the wise traveler bringing one duffle bag, which is sufficient. You can always get traveler size Tide and wash out things in the sink. Oh ye of great back pain, what were we thinking?
The vacation our family needed was wonderful. We went for 7 nights to the Western Caribbean on the Mariner of the Seas with Royal Caribbean cruise lines. There were 4 drivers in the car, but we were probably a month ahead of where we should have been, health wise, but the allure of the azure blue water was too much so off we drove.
First stop was Bowling Green, Kentucky to pick up Chelsea who was hanging around for her boyfriend, James' graduation. Then onward to heaven wearing a bikini-well not me but it sounds nice. My girls wore their bikinis and Jennifer shrugged off her wig on the beach. I imagine it felt very nice not having to wear that wig in the heat. First things first, we must muster! This is the Disney Boat mustering right alongside us.
The boat was huge and incredible with staff that was friendly and seemed very happy to be working on the boat. After 2 rocking and rolling days at sea, which has never before happened to us or anyone at our dining table, we landed at Labadee, Haiti. Here we did not do anything but hang out on the beach, listen to some great music and watch them rescue 3 people and have to revive a lifeguard. Needless to say, on one side of the island the waves were too powerful so it was soon closed. If we go back there, the Dragon's Breath Zip line is not to be missed. Our 60 something table mates thoroughly enjoyed this adventure and if we return, that's definitely on our list of things to do.
Now you might think it would be stairs up the side of the 600FT water fall, but, NOOOOOO. We walked up the falls, literally on the rocks and against the current! Luckily no one was hurt and on our treacherous adventure. OMG that was a very exciting and bonding experience for all in our party, as at any given moment it seemed, we were saving each other's life, by grabbing and pulling us up the falls. That might seem like a quilter's blue ribbon winner exaggeration, but, just try it yourself. Dangerous but fun!
The next morning we woke up at the Grand Cayman Islands, infamous for it's money handling ways. I don't know but that place was the most expensive so somebody is getting rich. If you've kept up with me, you know I like to scuba dive. This is where I really wanted to scuba dive, but, my shoulder couldn't take the workout scuba gives you. It's a great sport and if you like water activities, you'll love it! I've messed up my shoulder and had arthroscopic surgery 7 weeks ago, so it was too much. The next best thing to scuba is snorkeling and this is me in all my fat belly glory in heaven underwater with the fishes. This is where we took a taxi for $4.00 for me and the girls to go to 7 mile beach and we lounged there all day. Jennifer got to take her wig off and I imagine that was one of the best parts of the vacation for her, not having to wear that hot wig. Bob walked around town then went back to the boat where we met up later.
Last but no least was Cozumel, Mexico. Mexico is so edgy and romantic and a bit scary. We went to the Tulum Mayan Ruins. This was our last day before being on the boat for another day at sea to go home. So we thought we'd stay out all day on land. After the Vomitorium boat ride, that Jennifer called the trip from the boat to Cozumel, we went by bus to the Ruins. Now for future cruising, note to self, GO SHOPPING ONLY IN COZUMEL, AND NEVER DO AN ALL DAY OUTING IN COZUMEL. It was a pretty harsh place that the lizards loved. The Ruins were fantastic, but it was sooo hot. We didn't get to stay long enough.
Back on the boat and a few duty free purchases later, we got back on land and headed home. Whew! The 14 hours didn't seem so long going home, I guess because we were nicely rested. The art work was inspiring and quilt inspiration was everywhere. Here is ironing board art!
There's a lot to be said for umbrella drinks and being waited on hand and foot to help change your out look on things...smile.