Wednesday, February 25, 2009


I'm back into the "blogging world" again. We got back from our cruise last Thursday night, but Zariph's been off work through yesterday (my birthday). So, I've been out having fun with Zariph and Boston. Today is our first day back to our normal schedule, so that gives me time to post - at least about the cruise. I may do another post about birthday celebrations later.
Anyway, we had a blast on our cruise. It was just a short four day cruise to Catalina and Ensenada. We left Boston with my mom. I was a little worried that I would miss him, but it was actually okay. I'm glad my mom was able to watch him and hopefully she had fun. Thanks, mom!
Sunday morning we headed out for the airport for our flight to San Diego. I had the window seat and was closely watching as we passed by everything, trying to recognize things and see where we were at. I thought we were about in central/southern Utah when all of a sudden I saw the Hoover Dam. I didn't know we were that far. I love looking at little miniature things, so it was neat to see the Hoover Dam from the air. After landing we picked up our bags, got a taxi to the port, and quickly went through the lines to get onto the ship. We stopped by our room to check it out and drop of our little bags we were carrying. Then off to our first buffet! We explored around the ship and checked out all the hallways, lounges, restaurants, decks, the spa, etc. The ship was built in 1998, which actually isn't that old, but it kind of had an older feel to it (maybe it was the bright orange doors that reminded me of The Brady Bunch). We had the late seating for dinner - 8:15 p.m. I thought that would be so late, but it actually works out better than the early seating because you can eat lunch and not worry about not being hungry for dinner. Our dinner table had six people at it: Allyssa and Brett from Buffalo, NY (they got engaged on the cruise on Monday) and Jennifer and Jesse from Phoenix, AZ (they have only been dating since December). It was very easy to talk with the people at our table. We were all about the same age so that was nice. That night there was a comedian show that was pretty funny.
Monday we were supposed to be in Catalina, but the port was close because it was so windy the water was choppy and it was too dangerous to load in the tenders to get over to Catalina. So that was changed to our Day at Sea. Since it was so stormy, the ship was really rocking. It made us both feel a little sick, Zariph was feeling worse than I did and he took a motion sickness pill that seemed to help. We just hung out around the ship and relaxed as much as we could. We got Monopoly from the library and played it next to a big window overlooking the ocean. That night was formal night for dinner. I didn't want to bring my formal dress, but I did wear my brown polka dot dress with jacket, which I think was dressy enough. They served lobster for dinner - Yummy! That night the dancers did the show in the Mikado Lounge.

Tuesday was our day in Catalina. We didn't have any excursions planned so we didn't worry about waking up early and getting off the ship, but maybe we should have gotten off earlier. We were ready to leave about 11, we ended up waiting in line for about 1/2 and hour without the line moving at all, before they told us they couldn't load anymore boats because the water was too rough. Apparently there were four boats just circling around with people on them because they couldn't unload in Catalina or back in the ship. At least I wasn't on one of those boats. So, we got out of line and walked around the ship a bit - out on the deck. It was nice to get some fresh air. Then we saw they were loading some boats so we went down to get in line. This time we only waited about 15 minutes and we were on the boat heading for Catalina. We did a bit of shopping on the main street, then we decided to rent a golf cart to drive around the island. I'm glad we did because it was a lot of fun. There's not much traffic in Catalina, so it was a really nice drive and very scenic. Plus we had a cover over our heads when it started to rain. We drove up through the mountain and saw some really pretty views. Our brakes kind of smelled weird, I wasn't sure if I trusted that they were good. The first part of the drive was fine, then when we went up through the mountain side and started coming back down, it got a little scary because there was a lot of sand on the road, it was starting to rain, and there was no fence on the side of the cliff to keep us from falling right off the side of the mountain. I was just praying those brakes would keep working. Luckily we made it back safely. We got to town a little before we needed to return the golf cart so we stopped by a little place and got some hot chocolate. It was nice sweatshirt weather, but when it started to rain, it got a little cold. The hot chocolate hit the spot.Wednesday was our day in Ensenada, Mexico. We woke up earlier and had breakfast in the restaurant. We had actually been to both of these ports before (on a cruise on our honeymoon). Last time in Ensenada we just shopped (haggled with the locals for cheap stuff). So, we were planning on doing that again. But, I kind of wanted to go to the blowhole - Bufadora. But the cruise was going to charge $35 per person for that tour, and I didn't think that was worth it. So, we got on the bus to go downtown to go shopping. On that ticket was a $5 off coupon for the Bufadora tour (original price $20). So, that was a good enough deal not to pass up. We bought both our tickets for less than Carnival was selling one. I was glad we were able to go, too. It was actually really neat.

As the water rises it starts to fill in this little cave, then when the pressure inside gets too much, it blows out the top. Sometimes the water sprayed really high, sometimes lower, but it happened about every minute. The weather was a lot nicer this day, it was sunny and really nice to be outside. The salespeople were very pushy and it was hard to bargain for a great deal. But, we still bought some things. I bought a "cowgirl" hat - the cute kind that looks all beat up and weathered - for $10 haggled down from $20. And we bought a Boston Red Sox Mexican style poncho for about $25 haggled from like $70. Unfortunately, somehow the poncho got a hole worn into it in our travels getting it back home. We spent three hours at the blowhole and shopping and then got back on the bus for the 45 minute ride back to the port. When we got back to the ship we ate lunch then had a little nap. That night the dancers did another show.
Thursday was our last day, we were off the ship by 10 a.m., but our flight didn't leave until 4:20 p.m. So, we started walking along the sidewalk by the beach, with our luggage and everything. It could have easily been 90 degrees, it was so hot! The airport was only about 1 1/2 miles from the cruise ship port, and by the time we were ready to get in a taxi to go to the airport, it felt like we were almost there, so we just kept walking. Actually about the time I was really too hot and tired, and pilot walked right by us pulling his luggage (obviously walking to the airport also). So that at least gave me hope that we were close. We walked to the first terminal and then hopped on the shuttle to get to our terminal (that saved us $15). We still had about 4 hours to wait at the airport, but eventually we loaded the plane to come back home.
Vacations go by so fast, we're always trying to come up with a way to make vacations last longer. We've found that time waiting in an airport goes slowly, so maybe our next vacation we'll spend the whole time in the airport. I've also suggested we could do nothing but sit and stare at each other, time may go slower that way.


Rachael said...

Sounds like fun. Is that the same blow hole that's in the movie "fool's gold?"

I'm glad you made it home safe, so I could wish you Happy Birthday. Get Blown off for lunch plans. ;) and get to buy you a present instead.

Rachael said...

Oh.. I keep meaning to tell you. But I found the book too. You don't need to get Kimmy another one. I put it in the diaper bag (in the car) so she would have it for church.

Mindy said...

Oh.. what memories!! I bawled as the plane taxied-out to take off when we left the girls for our last cruise.. it got better though :) I still think it's funny we went on the same honeymoon..