Here's a synopsis of our trip, day by day. I just have to say, it was an absolute blast and I would go again in a heartbeat! Most of this is written by Jay, but we did almost everything together and I don't want to write it all out again.
Friday 3/5/2010 Drive to Las Vegas, walk the strip. Watch the fountains at Bellagio. Eat at Amore Patisserie, Macaroni Grill in Caesar’s Palace
Sat 3/6/2010 Drive to San Diego, board the cruise ship. Toured the ship, buffet lunch, Karaoke in the Cole Porter Lounge, Mikado Theater for standup comedian Jerome. First night on the ship and Jay got seasick. Talk about vertigo!
Sunday 3/7/2010 Day at Sea. Breakfast in the Imagination Dining Room. Elegant dinner in the Imagination Dining Room; we wore our best dress/formal clothing. Mikado Theater for Hypnotist Jac Rene—Brock Simmons and Tyler Stephens were hypnotized, hilarious! Went to the casino after the hypnotist show and Melissa won $31!
Monday 3/8/2010 Cabo San Lucas. Breakfast in the Imagination Dining Room. Took the tender to Cabo and walked (a ton). Shopped at the flea market (Jay got a bracelet, Melissa got a necklace, and a cool sewn palm leaf bag). We ate lunch at Hard Rock Cabo, then made our way to the beach where we swam, and played for 3 hours. We walked back to the peir where the tender would pick us up. Jay got chafed, yet we still went in to the Cabo Harley-Davidson shop. Jay got a magnet and some cool stickers and David Henry gave him some bag balm and that was enough to get them back to the pier. Once back to the boat and preparing to shower, Jay noted he had two tablespoons of very coarse Cabo sand in his swimsuit. CHAFE! Dinner was at the Imagination Dining Room, and we caught a show afterwards. The first comedian was Tyler Linkin; he did a very dry yet hilarious routine which involved juggling. The second act, Glenn Hirsch had a hard time following up Mr. Linkin’s act. We would absolutely see Tyler Linkin again.
Tuesday 3/9/2010 Cabo San Lucsas. Breakfast in the Imagination Dining Room. Took the tender in to Cabo and hired an all-day excursion for whale watching, touring the sites, and snorkeling at a distant beach (40+ min away; Santa Maria Beach). We saw two whales just off Land’s End (a rock formation south-east of town near the arch and Lover’s Beach). After the whale chasing and subsequent soaking we got from the Pacific waves (which ruined our nice DSLR), we turned about and went back into the Sea of Cortez and Santa Maria Beach. The beach was fantastic! Coarse sands, pieces of sea glass and coral, amazing snorkeling with a ton of fish, and a much smaller crowd made this excursion the highlight of the trip so far. We played, got sunburned, fed fish, picked up five pounds of shells/coral/glass, and had an amazing Mexican experience. Dinner was, you guessed it, in the Imagination Dining Room. Our Waitress and her assistant had our routine down pat and the food was very appealing both visually and to the palate. We are now en-route to Ensenada and quickly falling in love with Carnival Cruise Lines!
Wednesday 3/10/2010 Day at Sea. A guy sang swing tunes which was the best show so far of the cruise. When he stopped singing I just wanted him to sing one or two more. I won $10 more dollars at the quarter slots at the casino today, too.
Thursday 3/11/2010 Ensenada. Shopping was good and it was cool to see the blow-hole. It has changed a lot since I came last time 10 years ago. It is much more developed now. The best part of the day was eating some fish tacos for lunch. They made the tortillas fresh right in front of us, even, using a hand press to flatten them. They were so good and I’m glad Jay insisted we bought some there. The churros were excellent, too. Nothing like the churros you get in the states. We both thought the ground felt like it was swaying like we were still on the ship the whole time we were walking.
Friday 3/12/2010 Melissa and I are on Lido Deck sitting in the sun waiting for debarkation to occur. After speaking with one of the stewards by the dining room we have approximately one hour to wait before it begins. We already had breakfast, this time at the buffet here on Lido. Melissa has reclined with her book and I am typing at my laptop—we checked our voicemails, and texted everyone who has taken care of our children while we were out to sea. Anna has our kids and will take them home tonight to await our return. Fantastic that she is doing that; it will save us an extra hour of driving after we get home. Looking back over the trip it is hard to place a favorite moment. I have asked several people over the last couple of days what their moments were; some of mine correlate. A definite top moment was Playa Santa Maria and its beautiful sand, snorkeling and contented feeling. I also really enjoyed myself in Ensenada with the street vendors, the fish tacos, and just being there with Melissa. Overall this cruise has been extremely relaxing; Melissa and I had our moments where we got on one another’s nerves, but they were very small and were usually related to one of us being tired. Those sorts of things are healed with apology and sleep. It has been quite nice to get to bed by 1030ish and up by 8ish. Will miss that for sure! In these last moments on the boat we have called home for the past six days I feel content. The Elation is back where we boarded her in San Diego Bay, right next to the USS Nimitz. We have a 12 hour drive ahead of us and then we’ll be home! The ground solidly below us, our children around us, and two more days off before work resumes. It’s been a good trip.